||Bonnie Cox, LWVIL President
From the President:
Great Work Across the State!
Dear LWVIL members,
You are doing such great work all over the state! Here are some "shout outs" to both Voter Service during this Primary Election season and the work on gun violence prevention by Issues/ Advocacy.
It was a great trial run for our website's BallotReady/Civic Engine Voter Guide. I encouraged our neighbors, Robert and Douglas, to explore the Voter Guide before going to vote. Take a look at their response below under Voter Service. How encouraging! I know I noted some ways to make improvements to both the site itself and how to promote its use while visiting the site often to make my ballot choices. Please share with us your experience and suggestions, too.
Thanks to the local LWVs that sponsored Candidate Forums and to our LWVIL Voter Service chairs Jan Dorner and Sharon Alter for their expert organization of the Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates Debate with ABC7 and Univision. Kudos to each and every volunteer who helped. A big shout out goes to Missy Wilhelm and Jan Dorner who traveled downstate for a moderators' training. Gayle Klam of LWV Jackson County emailed: "League members who attended the moderator training this past weekend, were very pleased with the presentation...and with the connection to league members from elsewhere."
My last President's letter was written the day after the Florida school shooting, just a few days after the Issues Briefing. Let me share what I've had the privilege to observe about the work of some dedicated LWV members on gun violence prevention since then that I think demonstrates the great strength and value of the LWV.
LWV Wilmette members Kate Gjaja and Susan Fortier emailed Issues/Advocacy Committee Co-Chair Hilary Denk with several questions about ways to become more informed and active on gun violence prevention. Both had attended the Issues Briefing session on the "Public Health Approach to Preventing Firearm Injury and Death"
organized by LWV member Kathleen Conklin Wasik.
Within a day, Kate and Susan had received lots of information from Hilary, Kathleen and Mary Klonowski, our LWVIL Gun Violence Prevention (GVP) Issues Specialist. I loved reading Susan and Kate's response: "Thank you for the quick follow-up. It is always heartening at how quickly the great infrastructure of League people in Illinois respond to local leagues!"
After some more email exchanges, a great idea emerged: a Google Group for those LWV members in the state who want to learn what other LWVs are doing on GVP and to stay up to date on legislation and coalition work. Mary Klonowski had already been thinking about a GVP Google Group and responded: " Although our e-News contains the Issues Specialists' monthly reports there is so much value in having a one-on-one contact who can share info when local Leagues meet monthly. Thank you for giving credence to this idea!"
If you would like to part of this Gun Violence Prevention Google Group, please send an email to email@example.com and ask to be included.
What a pleasure to be part of the leadership for LWVIL and our great local LWVs!
Yours in League,
April 10 is Equality and ERA Lobby Day in Springfield
As partner in ERA Illinois coalition, LWVIL announces that Leaguers and other coalition members will meet in Springfield at the State House Inn, 101 East Adams Street, a block from the Capitol. Check in starts at 10:30 am, briefing at 11:30 am, lobbying legislators from approximately 12 noon til 2 pm. A box lunch will be provided. If you need a vegetarian lunch, please include that in your RSVP.
Those interested in participating in the April 10 event must send their commitment to attend plus email address, cell phone number, and state representative/state senator names and/or district numbers to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than April 3.
Sharon Alter/Jan Dorner, co-chairs
Recently, LWV Jackson County hosted LWVIL Moderator Training in Carbondale, IL for 21 league members from Jackson County and 2 members from the LWV Edwardsville. Training provided by LWV Illinois Voter Service Co-Chair, Jan Dorner, and Missey Wilhelm, Moderator Trainer, briefly reviews the responsibility of planning a forum by a local league and more extensively the role of the moderator in an educational or candidate forum.
Next Moderator Training Workshop
The next LWVIL moderator training workshop will take place on
Saturday, June 9 from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm in a Northwest suburb of Chicago. More information forthcoming including specific location.
Protect Our Vote Project
The League of Women Voters and the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (ICPR) recently jointly unveiled the results of a new study,
2018 Report: Best Practices for the Administration of Illinois Elections.
The study has led to recommendations for improvements in practice or further data gathering in three areas:
Voter Guide Feedback
On her way back from voting, Bonnie Cox' chance meeting with a neighbor led to this great review of the League's BallotReady/Civic Engine voter guide:
Volunteer Registration is Open
Here's your first chance to sign up to volunteer to work at the LWVUS Convention, to be held June 28-July 1 in Chicago. We need lots of volunteers, and it's an interesting and exciting way to be able to participate in the convention! You'll have a chance to attend the plenary session on the day you volunteer and there will be an opportunity for volunteers to purchase discounted Second City fundraiser tickets at the hotel.
Some of you have asked whether it's possible to be both a delegate and a volunteer. It is, but just make sure you don't sign up for a shift during any of your four plenary sessions.
It's easy to sign up! Just click here and follow the directions. We will be in touch with all volunteers as the convention nears.
The Best of Second City! Fundraiser to benefit LWVIL and LWV Chicago
Enjoy an evening of laughter and benefit LWVIL and LWV Chicago at the same time. As host city and state, we are presenting famed Second City comedy in a special performance. A portion of proceeds will benefit the host Leagues.
Mark your calendar for Friday, June 29, right on site of the convention at the Chicago Hilton Hotel Grand Ballroom, 7:30 - 8:30 p.m. Order tickets for yourself and friends today!
You do not need to be registered for the Convention to participate!
Note: $52 ticket price plus fees has a pre-convention purchase deadline of June 25. After that June 25 deadline, tickets may only be purchased onsite, at the Convention ticket price of $58 plus fees.
From the LWVIL Issues and Advocacy Committee
Hilary Denk and Heather Cunningham, co-chairs
Don't Forget To Open Those TFA's
During the last few weeks you probably noticed a number of TFAs or Time For Action emails coming your way. About a third of you are opening them and we have heard from a number of you when you take action. Thank you for your feedback and keep it coming! We'd love at least 50% open rate and action taken. Please share these TFAs on your League Facebook, Twitter and by email to your friends and family. The more action we take the more relevant our advocacy becomes. Our local leaders want to know people are engaged and ready to make the effort to call, email or visit to discuss issues. Which leads us to a reminder...
Are Your Appointments Made? Now Is The Time For Legislative Interviews!
Members of the Illinois House and Senate will be in their district offices until the week of April 9th. This is the time for members of your League to meet with them and ask them the Legislative Interview questions. See, lwvil.org/legislative-interviews.html for the helpful instructions, questions and other materials. Contact their offices and schedule interviews now. The deadline to turn in your responses is April 13th - just in time for our LWVIL Lobby Day!
Save the Date: LWVIL Lobby Day
Wednesday April 18, 2018 -
Join with fellow LWV members from throughout the state to lobby for important ballot initiatives on Fair Tax and Redistricting. The deadline for both initiatives is May 8th, so your one on one meetings with legislators in the Capitol will be of vital importance. More information and registration will be available in the next week.
Finally, Please Read These Excellent Reports From Issues Specialists
History of the League
February 14, 1920
The Congress Hotel, Chicago, Illinois
"There is a new battle cry... to demand an equal voice and leadership with the men of the councils directing the destinies of the political parties."
Carrie Chapman Catt addressed the 500 delegates at the opening session of the new League of Women Voters
. She urged that the members adhere to a non-partisan course. "You
need to get into the party not as a 'woman's auxiliary' but to fight for more than a 'me too' by convincing the men that you have the ability to open that tightly locked door that has shut you out and lead a successful drive for what you want. You have to convert them." READ MORE
A Last Farewell
The memorial service for former LWVIL Executive Director,
Mary Schaafsma, will be held on
Friday, April 6 at 3 pm at Fourth Presbyterian Church, N. Michigan Ave at Delaware Place, Chicago.
Notes of condolence may be sent to:
The Schaafsma Family,
700 W. Van Buren #1101,
Chicago, IL 60607.