August 6, 2018                         August e-Newsletter
A Wonderful Example of Effective Persistent Advocacy
Three years after the Elmhurst community lost 13-year-old Annie LeGere to a tragic allergic reaction, Illinois law enforcement officers will be able to carry epinephrine auto-injectors to rapidly treat anaphylaxis. Annie's mother, Shelly LeGere has made it her mission to ensure future victims of unexpected allergic reactions have a better chance at survival. One year after Annie's death, the General Assembly passed the Annie LeGere Law, which attempted to make EpiPens available to first responders. However, while the law indemnified officers administering the drug in good faith, it left open the possibility of liability for doctors who prescribed the drug for use by law enforcement officers. As a result, only one police department in the entire state carried EpiPens.
Governor Rauner signs an amendment to the Annie LeGere law to shield doctors from civil and professional liability on July 31_ 2018.
On Tuesday, July 31, in a ceremony before a packed Elmhurst City Hall, Governor Rauner signed an amendment that will shield doctors from civil and professional liability. Immediately following the governor's signature, a doctor wrote a prescription for the Elmhurst Police Department, whose officers are already trained on administration of epinephrine.

Progress is seldom quick and legislation often imperfect. The dedication and persistence of Shelly, her family, and all of their supporters in securing this life-saving legislation should serve as a model for all advocates.
New CAC Published Resources

 

Sexual Harassment Policy Survey

 

CAC high school interns searched and submitted FOIA requests for policies against sexual harassment in all municipalities, townships, and park districts in DuPage County. Enacted on November 16, 2017, Public Act 100-0554 requires all governmental entities adopt within 60 days of enactment a policy prohibiting sexual harassment to provide at least the following four provisions:

 

(i) a prohibition of sexual harassment;

(ii) a procedure detailing how to report sexual harassment;

(iii) a prohibition on retaliation for reporting allegations;

(iv) consequences for violating the policy and consequences for knowingly making a false report. 

 

Students surveyed the policies to determine if the governmental entity timely adopted all four provisions. While most governmental entities may have already had some form of anti-sexual harassment protocol, through Public Act 100-0554 they were required to either pass a new policy or update the existing one by mid-January.

Read more about their findings by clicking the button below.

 

New Lesson Plan on Civil Discourse 

 

This lesson provides an overview of how to understand and implement civil discourse in a classroom setting. Students will learn the importance of civil discourse and the guidelines for participating in civil discourse effectively. Students will also participate in a classroom lead activity that puts them through the process of having a civil debate and asks them to challenge their understanding on controversial issues. 

Tell us how we can connect to you!
The Citizen Advocacy Center has been building democracy for the 21st century by strengthening the citizenry's capacities, resources, and institutions for self-governance, for almost 25 years!

As we celebrate CAC, we want to make sure that our followers and supporters are just as pleased with the work that we have been doing.  Will you take a minute to help us learn how we can connect you to CAC even more effectively by taking a short survey linked below?  Thank you. We appreciate your support of CAC. The work of this organization is not possible without a loyal community of supporters: donors, ambassadors, and volunteers.
Letter to the Editor by CAC Intern
Charlotte Coats, a CAC legal intern, wrote a letter to the editor about the process of collecting petition signatures in Illinois: "Collecting signatures digitally can help candidates gather petition signatures more efficiently by making it easier for them to obtain mostly valid signatures." Charlotte's letter to the editor was published in both the Chicago Tribune and the Daily Herald. Read more by clicking on one of the two links below. 
CAC Donors Successfully Meet Challenge
Andrea Alvarez, former CAC Community Lawyer, and her husband, Tony Pacini, and CAC Board Member, Gordon Goodman challenged CAC supporters to donate and double their impact in the month of July. CAC celebrates and thanks all the very generous donors who met this challenge and exceeded it by 30%.

At CAC's Democracy Night on June 26, Andrea spoke about why she supports CAC: "As a former community lawyer, I have witnessed incident after incident of citizens being told their voice, their opinion, their facts do not matter. The Citizen Advocacy Center stands up for those who are attempting to speak out and stands again those trying to shut down our ability to participate." 

Andrea went on to mention that she and Tony are parents to two young children and she movingly explained how the work of CAC to train people to stand up for the democratic process gives her and Tony hope that their children and all children will have a vibrant democracy to participate in.
In Case You Missed It
Democracy Night - CAC's Annual  Summer Intern Night
One of the truly powerful programs provided by CAC is a meaningful learning immersion experience in public policy and the democratic process for students. CAC was pleased to welcome a crop of bright and engaged students this summer. We hosted four law students, four rising high school students, one college student, and one fellow. See the bios of all CAC summer interns here.
Some of the CAC summer interns with community lawyer Ben Silver and executive director Maryam Judar.
A sampling for some of the interns research projects this summer includes:  
  • Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act: what protections do we have under state law?
  • Ballot Access: how might access to the ballot be easier, as it is in other states?
  • Public Comment: can a public body cancel public comment at an open meeting?
  • Right to Assemble: does the requirement for a $2 million dollar insurance policy violate the First Amendment?
2018 Democracy Night at Wilder Mansion in Elmhurst
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