From the President
Dear LWVIL Members,
Thanks to the efforts of LWVUS Shur Fellow, Melissa Currence, and our own LWVIL Membership/Leadership team (Erin Roeper, Jean Pierce, and Mary Schaafsma), 30 of us from around the state learned a lot about how to be stronger, more effective LWV leaders last weekend in Bloomington.
For me, this was the second MLD training I've had the privilege of attending. I was impressed by the responsiveness of our national board and staff to what we had requested after that last training. We told them that we were attracting new members but we wanted to know more about how to develop and engage members to lead our local leagues. LWVUS came through with flying colors providing us with the tools, materials, and support to help us lead enthusiastically and effectively. I think that we were all energized by the training.
Our LWVIL Board hopes to be just as responsive to your local LWV needs and requests. One of the first things we did as a board is take a careful look at all the directives that came from you, through your delegates to the 2017 convention in June. We assigned the follow up to those directives to the appropriate board or staff person. For some directives, we're working on developing committees with off board members, too. We will be reporting on the progress we're making on each of those directives in the weeks and months ahead.
One of the directives was to continue the theme of the convention, "Talking about Race." I think that our State of the State luncheon on October 11
th will help us do that. Renee Ferguson, the first African American investigative reporter in Chicago, will share her experiences and how the courage and determination of suffragist Ida B. Wells, the daughter of slaves, inspired her to give voice to women and marginalized people through her own work. We're still hoping Senator Dick Durbin or Senator Tammy Duckworth will be joining Renee for a discussion of how to make sure antiracist policies are enacted in our neighborhoods, communities, state, and nation.
Little did we know when we started planning this event months ago that the events in Charlottesville would once again be focusing the nation on the history and heartache of racism and bigotry in this country. To quote Ida B. Wells, "The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them." I guess we'll just keep trying to do that.
Yours in League,
In anticipation of the 2018 elections, the LWVIL Voter Service Committee is offering two opportunities for
The first opportunity will be in Peoria on Saturday, September 16th
LWVIL-trained moderators moderate LWVIL-sponsored candidate forums and other events. Learn the nuts and bolts of moderating at the September 16
Irene Pritzker, former LWVIL Voter Service Co-Chair, will conduct this workshop from
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Community Room at
Schnuck's Supermarket, 4800 N. University, Peoria. This location is 1-1/2 hours from Champaign, 1-1/2 hours from Macomb, and 1-1/2 hours from Springfield.
While space is limited, there must be a minimum of 10 Leaguers registered for the workshop. The workshop will not occur if fewer than 10 register. Lunch provided.
is the deadline to register. To register, just forward the following information to
- Your Name
- Your League
- E-mail address
- Telephone number
The second opportunity will be in Chicago on Saturday, November 4th.
lease mark your calendars. More information will be forthcoming.
mportant News on Candidate Forum/Debate Policy for Statewide Office Candidates
We have become aware of many new women's groups contacting local Leagues to ask them to co-sponsor/host/conduct gubernatorial debates/forums. Please remember the LWVIL Candidate Participation Policy states, in part,
"Local Leagues are reminded that LWVIL takes the initiative for scheduling forums/debates for US Senator and Illinois Constitutional offices (Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Treasurer, and Comptroller)."
Any questions? Contact us!
The Illinois State Board of Elections met on Tuesday, August 22
nd to, among other agenda items, consider the August 2, 2017 request of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, co-chaired by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
The State Board of Elections did not endorse a specific response as to whether or not it would comply with the request but instead chose to send a letter to Commission requesting additional information:
- how the Commission will keep voter data confidential as it had promised in earlier correspondence;
- how exactly the Commission will use the data provided;
- raising the concern about confidentiality expressed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office.
for the August 17
Memorandum from the Illinois State Board of Elections (SBE) addressed to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity (PACEI) in response to the request for additional information.
to read the 7 follow-up questions asked by PACEI and SBE's response.
During the August 22
nd meeting, the League of Women Voters of Illinois reiterated its position that the State Board of Elections should provide no additional information as requested by the Pence/Kobach Commission.
News from the Issues Committee
Thank you all for advocating for the override of the state budget veto. Our calls, emails and letters to the editor made a difference. Your continued work now on the override of the education funding bill, SB1, is also critical. Please continue to share the action alerts with members and other aligned groups within your community. Negotiations continue and your local Legislator need to hear that SB1 is the best option for our schools.
At the 2017 Convention, delegates approved the review of the LWVIL Criminal Justice position and number of members stepped up to be a part of the study committee, however more volunteers are welcome. The first meeting of the study committee will take place in late September and if you are interested in participating on the committee or want to learn more about what that means, please contact Hilary Denk, Vice President, Issues at
Where We Stand
Due to the unusually long state legislative session, we delayed the update of Where We Stand and are currently preparing the 2017-19 version to mail in October. You can look at the LWVIL web site at any time to see the 2015-17 version. We strongly encourage local leagues to incorporate information about League positions into your public events about specific policy areas, for the education of our members and the public about our work.
The Issues Specialists give hundreds of hours of volunteer time to keep us informed and we extend a message of thanks for their work. We also thank our new LWVIL President for her leadership and visibility on the most pressing issues in our State.
What's in YOUR Watershed?
Some Good News about Good Work by LWVIL!
The League of Women Voters of Illinois Ed Fund received good news on August 21! The US Fish and Wildlife Service approved our grant application for $20,000 for our proposed project "Working Together in the Apple Plum Watershed: Galena River Focus." A big thank you goes to LWV-Jo Daviess County project coordinator Beth Baranski and our Executive Director Mary Schaafsma who both worked long and hard to get the work done for this grant application.
Be a Watershed Leader in your community!
In 2014 the LWVIL approved nutrient pollution (the excess phosphorus and nitrogen going into our waterways contributing to the growth of toxic cyanobacteria, unsightly algae, and dead zones) as an action focus. The work being done in the Galena River Watershed is an example of taking action on nutrient pollution.
The LWV Inter Leagues (Lake Michigan and the Upper Mississippi River Region) continue to promote a model where this video (linked here:
) is shown at meetings of local LWVs and Rotary clubs. Then an invitation is extended to set up a time to engage others in playing the Watershed Game, an interactive tool that helps participants learn how various land uses contributes to nutrient pollution and the best practices to mitigate it.
We have a grant from to provide a Watershed Game Facilitators' Training on September 22 and 23 (you attend one day or the other) in Rockford. Interested in engaging your community in learning more about the challenges to water quality? Join us for this training.
As Bonnie Cox wrote in her President's letter, a very successful
Membership & Leadership Development (MLD) workshop was held in Bloomington on Saturday, August 19. Participants left energized and ready to put into practice some of the tools shared during the workshop.
(L-R) LWVUS Shur Fellow and Facilitator, Melissa Currence with the 2017-18 coaches: Kathy Tosh, Teresa Grosch, Mary Cay Murray, Josie Hamilton, Jan Dorner, Jean Pierce and Jayne Boeckleman.
One More Thing!
Details about buying tickets and sponsorships to the 2017 State of the State will be available soon. So look forward to your invitation!
As a reminder:
2017 State of the State Luncheon
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
11:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m.
Union League Club of Chicago, 53 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago.
Ticket prices and advertising rates are the same as they were in 2016.
The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.
-Ida B Wells
Lodging Requested for State of the State Out-of-Town Guests
In an effort to encourage and make it possible for more of our members to attend the October 11, 2017
State of the State Luncheon in Chicago, the SOS committee is asking that some of the League members in the Chicago area offer lodging for out-of-town members. If you are able to host one or more overnight guests on Tuesday evening, October 10
, please fill out the form below and return it to Erin Roeper -
- by September 10, so it can be determined how many people we might be able to accommodate the evening before our State of the State event. If enough responses are received, we will then issue the invitation for lodging to our out-of-town League members. Follow-up information will be provided in upcoming E-newsletters.
Email ___________________________________________ Phone______________________
Number of guests you can accommodate___________
Is there public transportation (the El or Metra) nearby? ____yes ____no
(If not, we assume you will be able to provide a ride downtown for your guest or guests.)
Is there available parking for your guest's car near your residence -- on the driveway or on the street? ____yes ____no
Is there anything else you would like to share with us, please do so.
Thank you, in advance.
2017-2019 Board Members
As a reminder, here is a directory of members of the League of Women Voters of Illinois 2017-2019 Board of Directors:
Bonnie Cox, President
Sharon Alter, Vice President, Voter Services
Hilary Denk, Vice President, Issues
Jean Pierce, Vice President, Membership
Erin Roeper, Vice President
Olemuel Ashford, Treasurer
Corrine Joyner, Secretary
Heather Cunningham, Director, Issues Co-Chair
Jan Dorner, Director, Voter Service Co-Chair
Meg Murphy, Director, Communications Co-Chair
Michelle Ratledge, Director, Communications Co-Chair
Lali Watt, Director, Governance Committee Chair