As another in a series of opportunities for citizens to play a part in Davenport's success, the City of Davenport is creating a High Performance Government Work Group. High-performance local governments are distinguished by their ability to develop productive relationships with stakeholders, build capacity across traditional boundaries to effectively work together, and address difficult policy problems collaboratively. Davenport's Work Group will be initially comprised of six Resource Teams with seven to nine people each - a mix of citizens, Council members, staff, and members of our business and academic communities.

The Resource Teams are being created to focus attention and resources on the following areas: (1) Citizen/Customer Service, (2) Governance, (3) Technology, (4) Employee Support, (5) Budgeting, and (6) Diversity. Each of these Resource Teams will define its own mission and make recommendations to the City Administrator or City Council, as may be appropriate. The Resource Team Co-Chairs will constitute the membership of the High Performance Government Work Group, which shall meet separately from the Resource Teams to report on progress.

We need your help, and look forward to including you in our efforts to make Davenport the best place to live in the Midwest. We seek to modernize the organization, build community, facilitate cross-departmental action, leverage local business, university, and citizen knowledge, and, ultimately, institutionalize cultural change.

If you would like to volunteer to serve on one of the Resource Teams, please send a résumé and letter of interest to the attention of City Administrator Craig Malin at 226 W. Fourth St., Davenport IA 52801. We anticipate monthly meetings of the Resource Teams with a commitment of time typically of a few hours a month.

Charles W. Brooke,

Alderman Steve Ahrens,
Chair, Finance Committee

Alderman Barney Barnhill,
Chair, Public Safety Committee

Alderman Bob McGivern,
Chair, Community & Economic Development Committee

Alderman Roxanna Moritz,
Chair, Public Works Committee

Protecting Our Kids

As state representative, it is my duty to look out for the safety and well-being of our state's children and families. As a mother of two little girls, I must do the same for my daughters. On both ends, I was happy to hear that Governor Rod Blagojevich is proposing legislation to ban minors from buying violent or sexually explicit video games. Busy parents are often unaware of the disturbing material easily purchased by our children, so we must do what is necessary to make the difficult task of being a parent a little easier.

I support this initiative because it does not infringe upon First Amendment rights. It only takes the same principles applied to motion pictures and applies them to video games. The governor's proposal only prevents minors from buying these games, and does not disallow consenting adults any privileges or rights. This important initiative deserves our support as it will:

• Narrowly define "violent" and "sexually explicit" games to put retailers on adequate notice which games should and should not be sold to minors;

• Require retailers or manufacturers to label violent and sexually explicit video games, much like the parental-advisory sticker on music CDs; and

• Ban the distribution, sale, rental, and availability of violent and sexually explicit video games to minors.

The legislation will be enforced by state and local police departments, in conjunction with the Department of Revenue.

If passed, it will prohibit our children's easy access to messages that teach them to be killers and disrespect women. I do not believe that all violence and inappropriate behavior are caused by music, movies, and video games, but as a representative of a community with some crime issues, I think that we must do whatever we can to minimize any risk and not encourage violent behavior. In the end, it is parental involvement that keeps children on the right track, and this initiative will help parents do that by helping them identify material that is not appropriate. Please see the Governor's Web site ( to learn which games have been identified as problematic.

Representative Linda Chapa LaVia
Aurora, Illinois

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