Newsletter - April 2023

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CC Annual Meeting May 9

Register Now

Advocating for Change Works!

League Work Needed To Get Out the Vote

2023 LWVCC Annual Meeting

Together Again!

All League Members Invited

When: Tuesday, May 9 from 9:45am until 1pm
Where: The Auditorium Building - Roosevelt University 430 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago - Ida B. Wells Room Government issued ID is required to enter the building
Speaker: MWRD Commissioner Cameron Davis
Cost: $35 - Continental Breakfast and Box Lunch Included
Register at the LWVCC Website Home Page
View the Officer Nominations, Budget, and Proposed Program for 2023-24 at the website home page.
(This event is not a function of Roosevelt University)

LWVCC Advocacy

What does ADVOCACY at the county government level mean?

         We monitor: the transparency and efficiency of government processes; effectiveness of programs and ordinances; openness of elections: and the ethics of elected and appointed officials and the employees they hire. We advocate for needed change with the Commissioners and other office holders.

        Recent efforts:

  •  Advocated for live streaming and archived video of the Health and Hospital System Board Meetings
  • Urged that Cook County Board and Forest Preserve Meetings be once again held in person and open to the public
  •  Urged the CC Board to address the Electronic Monitoring Report commissioned by the Justice Advisory Council
  •  Reiterated that the Commissioners have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure ARPA funds are spent effectively, using stated outcomes and measures.

    Because we believe so strongly in the importance of advocacy, LWVCC has developed Guidelines for Advocacy.

Click Here to view them.


Voters Will Get to Select Commissioner Johnson’s

Replacement in November 2024

Because of the League


Chicago Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson will resign as Cook County Commissioner from the 1st District. The Democratic township and ward committee persons within that District will select a replacement. Until recently, that replacement would have served the remaining term of almost 4 years until December 2026. Now the office will be up for election in 2024.

In September 2022, LWVCC (specifically the Cook County & MWRD Governments Interest Group), initiated an effort to change the process for filling Commissioner vacancies. We worked with Commissioner Scott Britton (14th), and the rest of the Cook County Board.

We advocated that the same replacement provision for the President's office be adopted for the Commissioners, requiring an election if the vacancy would be for more than 28 months.

But for the League, this change may never have occurred. 


Criminal Justice Interest Group

SAFE-T Act Litigation Continues

Oral arguments took place in the Illinois Supreme Court on March 14th. The lawsuit, brought by 60 state's attorneys across Illinois, attacked the SAFE-T Act on constitutional grounds. Chief Justice Theis questioned the standing of the plaintiffs by asking State Attorney James Rowe how he had standing ( the idea that the law brings harm to the prosecutors) to bring this suit. He said that he was upholding his oath to defend the Illinois Constitution. Justice Cunningham asked what the purpose of bail was and if that purpose could be achieved without the exchange of money. A decision should be reached by late May or early June. Some lawyers think it may come late April.

Interest Group Meetings 

The next book discussion is on April 21st at 9AM over zoom. The book is "Just Pursuits" by Laura Coates.

The next regular meeting is on May 23rd at 9am over zoom.

If interested in attending either of these meetings send an email to


Municipal Elections

Low Voter Turnout for April 4th

The League has much work to do.

Encouraging the active participation of people in government, especially voting, is at the heart of the League’s mission. 

Vote-by-Mail (including permanent Vote-by-Mail option), Early Voting, Same-day voter registration, Voting Centers, as well as home precincts on Election Day were not enough to result in high turnouts for the April 4 local elections.

As of April 12, the Cook County Clerk and Chicago Board of Elections are reporting:

  •   Suburban Cook County: Out of 1,657,359 registered voters, 228,565 ballots have been counted, or 13.79% overall. Turnout varied quite a bit from suburb to suburb, with some close to 5% and some in the mid-30% range.
  •  Chicago: Out of 1,587,153 registered voters, 609,700 ballots have been counted, or 38.41% overall. Turnout varied quite a bit by ward, with a low of 20.83% and a high of 61.79%. 

There are still some outstanding vote-by-mail ballots and provisional ballots which may yet be counted, but these percentages are not expected to increase significantly. Final results will be certified on April 18th

See the Voter Info Page on the LWVCC website

Forest Preserve Interest Group

June 28th Trailside Museum of Natural History Guided Walk

The LWV Cook County Forest Preserve Interest Group is excited to offer walks in the woods. On June 28 from 10am to noon a guided walk will be offered at Trailside Museum of Natural History in River Forest. The walk is limited to 20 people and friends of League members are welcome. Further details will be provided when you register for the walk.

To register for the walk send an email to:

Cook County Governments

Observer Highlights

LWVCC observes and reports on board and committee meetings of Cook County government entities to provide our members with an understanding of current issues. To read more: LWVCC Observer Reports



  •  Commissioners voted to extend the inter-governmental agreement sharing the Inspector General’s office with Cook County. The 4-year agreement expires on May, 2023. This extension would be for one year.
  • The MWRD voted to grant the use of 2.1 acres at 2222 Green Bay Road in Evanston to be used for public recreational purposes.

Cook County Board

The Cook County Finance Committee heard Dean Consentino of the Independent Revenue Forecasting Commission give a long term forecast of Cook County revenue and expenses in the General Fund. It is projected there will be sustained slow economic growth. Inflation could impact sales tax revenue. Revenue will grow less while expenses increase at a higher rate.

Forest Preserve Board

The Forest Preserve of Cook County Board received a yearly report on the Resident Watchman program. It allows qualified individuals to live in Forest Preserve properties to help with security, etc. They also assist citizens when needed, mow grass and report on hunting/dumping/vandalism. This saves the district from having to pay contract workers to perform these duties. The program has been in existence since 1918.

Local League Upcoming Events

LWV Glenview/Glencoe League's Banned Books Reading Circle

Six times this year, we'll offer a chance to read and discuss some of the books currently being challenged in schools and libraries. Books will be organized by themes and several options will be offered per theme. Read the book(s) you want and share your thoughts about the books and their connection to the theme.  

For more information click Here.

Saturday, April 22, 10am to Noon Earth Day Walk in the Woods

LWV of Lagrange Area

Earth Day Walk In The Woods!

Bemis Woods North, entrance off Wolf Road between 31st Street and Ogden Avenue

For more information go to LWV LaGrange Area Website. Registration by April 18.

Wed. April 26. 6:30 pm Drinks and Dialog


Shanahan’s Irish Bar, 7353 Madison St., Forest Park

Learn about the mission of FORA (Forging Opportunities for Refugees in America) an after-school learning center that provides high dosage tutoring to refugee students to ensure their success in their new country. Hors d’ oeuvres will be served, cash bar. RSVP Belinda Lutz-Hamel

Wed. May 10. 7 pm - 8:30pm Zoom Meeting Trees and the Urban Environment

LWV of the LaGrange Area

The importance of trees in urban environments with examples and data from the Chicago region/seven counties. Register for this Zoom meeting Here.

2022-2023 Cook County League Board Members 

OFFICERS: President: Cynthia Schilsky, LaGrange Area; Vice-Presidents: Pris Mims, Chicago, Kathi Graffam, LaGrange Area; Secretary: Carolyn Cosentino, Homewood/Flossmoor; Treasurer: Nancy Clark, Oak Park/River Forest.

Board membersLaura Davis, Palatine; Diane Edmundson, Chicago; Jan Goldberg, LaGrange Area ; Georgia Gebhardt, Wilmette; Betty Hayford, Evanston; Karin Hribar, Arlington Heights


The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan, political organization whose mission is to encourage informed and active participation in government; to increase understanding of major policy issues, and to influence public policy through education and advocacy. Membership in the League is open to anyone regardless of gender, race, or ethnic group.


League of Women Voters of Cook County

332 S. Michigan Ave. Suite 634, Chicago, IL 60604

312-939-5935 x127