Webb, August 23, 2004

To: Mr. Seth Webb, Director of Special Projects


From: John Gordon, Chairman Illinois Committee of Blind Vendors (ICBV)

Date: August 23, 2004

Subject: Corporate sponsorship


I would like to start off by thanking you for your attendance at our Illinois Committee of Blind Vendor meeting held on July 22, 2004 in Springfield Illinois . You made it very clear at that time that corporate sponsorship was in a very preliminary stage and much information was needed before anything could be set in motion.


I reviewed the Request for Information (RFI) that was sent out along with the extension. I also appreciate the fact that the Illinois Committee of Blind Vendors (ICBV) was referenced and that you understand that blind men and women are dependant on monies generated through vending sales for their sole source of income.


Although highway rest area facilities are a significant part of vending revenues generated on state property, they have uniqueness about them that is not found on other state property. Please understand that on federal property where we have vending machines and concessions these would all fall under a federal law called the Randolph Sheppard Act which gives blind men and women first right of refusal. However, on state property we are protected by state law 2420 or Blind Persons Operating a Vending Facility Act. Rest area opportunities in Illinois were part of the Kennely Amendments to the Randolph Sheppard Act which also fall under federal law.


Please understand that the people I represent are sitting on pens and needles awaiting the next move by the Governor’s office. I think it should be very evident from the concessions audit ordered by your office that our blind men and women purchase predominately Pepsi products. I hope that these matters are all weighed very carefully and we are included on anything that would positively or negatively affect our employment opportunities.


As we stated in our meeting, we are also still very concerned over the Governor’s office and their lack of forcing compliance to state law 2420 on all state property. I am looking forward to meeting with you soon to discuss your findings set forth by the RFI.


Thank you