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Charleston is a small survivor community in the former American state of Illinois. The population is around 15,000. The community is home to Eastern Illinois University (EIU), which participates in the governing board of the community, the Emergency Council of Charleston. The community is currently in the process of rebuilding and resettling Mattoon, Illinois, a nearby city that was abandoned shortly after Doomsday.
Establishment of the CDC
Battle of I-57
Resettlement and New Mattoon
Sean Payton, hero of the Battle of I-57, was elected Mayor of Charleston in 2006. Payton has called for increased funding for the militia, though has assured Kentucky this has nothing to with their control over southern Illinois. Meanwhile in 2008, Payton announced a restoration of several EIU buildings that had fallen into disrepair since Doomsday.
Charleston’s economy is primarily agricultural. Much of the population has been resettled in the farmland surrounding the city. Despite this, EIU manages several workshops that provide some manufactured goods, but the community is mostly dependent on what they receive from larger survivor states such as Superior and Kentucky.
A landmark of Charleston is Jimmy John's Restaurant and Bar. Originally built to be a sandwich shop, owner and founder Jimmy John Liautaud expanded it into the largest restaurant in Charleston.
South of New Mattoon are oilfields controlled by the Emergency Council. Pumping and refining oil has been a big priority for Charleston since New Mattoon was established. Though the amount of oil pumped is quite small, it is enough to meet the needs of a small survivor community like Charleston. Gasoline is still strictly rationed and only the government and the richest individuals make use of it. Public transportation is provided to the citizens of New Mattoon and Charleston.
The Emergency Council of Charleston is the governing body of Charleston and its surrounding territory. The Council is made up of 11 members. Permanent members include the Mayor of Charleston (who also presides over the Council), the Mayor of New Mattoon, the President of Eastern Illinois University, the Chief of the Charleston Police Department, and the Commander of the Militia. The remaining six members are elected directly by the populace.
Due to Charleston’s location deep inside the interior of North America, Charleston has had little contact with the outside world. Much of the information it has learned comes from the other survivor states in the region who have become members of the League of Nations. There has been some tension with Kentucky over their current expansion into southern Illinois.
Though recognized as an independent nation by many of its neighbors, Charleston has yet to officially declare independence from the United States. Though it learned of President Bush's decision to disband the United States in 1995, the leaders of Charleston have not seen in necessary to "secede" from the United States.