Bonnie Cox, LWVIL President
FromFrom the President
Dear LWVIL members and friends,

It is with sadness that we as the Board of LWVIL announce that our friend and colleague, Mary Schaafsma, has retired as of February 1 to concentrate on getting well as she battles some debilitating health issues.   We wish her lots of good luck with this endeavor and hope she is healthy and active in the very near future.

Mary was a League of Women Voters of Illinois staff member for almost 9 years, most recently and for the last 5-½ years as Executive Director. Mary's long history in public policy/good government organizations made her an excellent employee for our organization. She has a great relationship with our coalition partners, who will miss her contribution to any project. Her intelligence and work ethic has moved our organization forward and we will all miss her good humor in dealing with daily League issues 

The LWVIL Board wishes to thank Henrietta Saunders, a long time LWV member, who lent us her considerable skill and talents serving as a temporary "Deputy Executive Director" during these last few weeks as we prepared for Mary's retirement.  We would also like to recognize our staff members Roberta Borrino and Marlo Carthen who have stepped up to the plate in so many ways adding hours to their schedules and taking on extra work to help us make this transition go as smoothly as possible.  

We are now embarking on a search for a new Executive Director.  We will keep you posted on this process.  In the meantime, please bear with us as we work to fill Mary's shoes.  

Yours in League, 

Bonnie Cox

ExecutiveExecutive Director, Mary Schaafsma, Retires

For those of you who would like to recognize Mary's contribution to the League, a GoFundMe account has been established in her name. https://www.gofundme.com/maryschaafsma. There is no requirement for your participation, but donations to this fund will be greatly appreciated.

If you would like to send her a card, her address is:
Mary Schaafsma
700 W. Van Buren #1101
Chicago, IL 60607
OnlineOnline Voter Guide
LWVILEF's online voter guide for the primary election to be held March 20, 2018  is live on the  lwvil.org  website ( https://lwvil.civicengine.com ).  Visit the site!  

BallotReady/CivicEngine is the company supporting this.  We wanted this site up before early voting started, which was supposed to be February 8.  We have all heard the problems with concluding challenges with many races, so ballots are not ready in many jurisdictions.  So, the voter guide currently has federal and statewide races only. READ MORE.

RBCRBC Day of Action
On February 14, members of the Responsible Budget Coalition and hundreds of advocates from across the state will gather at the capitol in Springfield for a rally and action outside the Governor's budget address to demand a  fully-funded budget and a fair tax .

LWVIL is an RBC member and we'd love a League presence at this rally and event. If you are interested in joining, check out their  Facebook event HERE. There  will  be bus transportation from multiple points around the state. You can RSVP to povertylaw.org/peoplesaddress

ProgramLWV Program Planning: Abolition of the Electoral College
Delegates to the 2017 LWVIL Convention voted to support elevating the existing LWVUS position on abolishing the Electoral College to a national program focus for the 2018-2020 biennium.

Please share our conviction that  now is the time  to eliminate this antiquated system. It is currently time for all local LWV's across the country to submit their suggestions for LWVUS program for Biennium 2018-20. Use this LWVUS program planning opportunity to communicate your league's support of making the  Abolition of the Electoral College  a  program focus  to be approved at the LWVUS Convention in 2018.  Please include this statement,  "Please make the LWVUS existing position on the abolition of the Electoral College a priority program focus in Biennium 2018-2019"  on your LWVUS program planning report form,  due March 1 .  

Check out this link for the history of the LWVUS position on Abolishing the Electoral College:  The LWVUS position on the Electoral College

Do you need  more  information?  Please send your questions to:   
LWVIL Electoral Committee, PO Box 124, Deerfield, IL 60015.
BluffLake Forest/Lake Bluff Member Honored 

On Jan 15, 2018, at the Waukegan Township Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dreamers' Breakfast,  MaryFran Troha was named  as a 2018 Drum Major Honoree. 

In a sermon delivered nearly 55 years ago, Dr. King described what he called the "Drum Major Instinct"  to the congregation in Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church. The words he spoke that day were the inspiration for a national service award that recognizes leaders who give their time serving others but seldom seek the spotlight.

Around 500 people attended  Waukegan Township's 16th annual event. MaryFran was recognized for her leadership efforts, many of which were in conjunction with the League of Women Voters of Lake County.  
2017 Morning Plenary.
IssuesDidn't Get to Sign Up for the 2018 Issues Briefing?
Hilary Denk / He ather Cunningham, Co-chairs, Issues Committee

Neither rain nor sleet nor dark of night (or SNOW!) will keep Leaguers from wanting to know about the hottest policy issues in Illinois. We are looking forward to a packed house attending the LWVIL Issues Briefing on  Saturday, February 10, 2018  at University Center. The program runs from  9:30 am to 4:00 pm.

Can't be there? We've got you covered! We're livestreaming both morning and afternoon plenaries via our Facebook page.  The break away sessions will also be recorded on video and posted to our website soon. 

To see the final agenda, click HERE


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League of Women Voters of Illinois 
332 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 634 | Chicago, Illinois 60604
p. 312.939.5935 | f. 312.939.6887 | info@lwvil.org