Bonnie Cox, LWVIL President
FromFrom the President: 
"Let's Make LWVIL a Leader on Gun Violence Prevention!"
Dear LWVIL members and friends,

Last Wednesday, my day began with lots of loving Valentine's texts among our three kids, their spouses, and seven grandchildren. As LWVIL President, I felt good about being part of sending out a celebratory message about the LWV being founded on Valentine's Day in 1920. I was feeling so grateful and appreciative of our LWVIL Board and how we had worked together so well to face the challenges that came with our Executive Director's illness and subsequent retirement. I was happy knowing that Krista Grimm would be assuming the position of Interim Executive Director the very next day.
And then the events in Florida unfolded and those happy thoughts and feelings turned to these:  
  • What would it be like for our own kids to be texting with their children in a school under siege and then just frantically waiting when those texts stopped? 
  • How would any one of them ever recover from having to identify the bullet riddled body of one of our granddaughters (the seven year old like Sandy Hook) or grandsons (the 14 year old like the Florida school shooting)? 
  • As a former mental health therapist, I thought about those now agonizing over the failure of their mental health and legal system and what could have and should have been done to prevent an ill and troubled young man from wanting and getting his hands on an assault rifle. 
  • As the wife of a former US Congressman targeted by the NRA, I remembered the insidious ways the NRA uses its money and power in Congress and state legislatures to prevent gun control measures supported by the majority of our citizens.
LWVIL has been a leader among state LWVs on these issues in the past. Did you know that LWVIL was instrumental in LWVUS adopting its Gun Control Policy based on a study here in Illinois? LWVUS IMPACT ON ISSUES states, "The 1990 Convention took the then rare step of adopting the gun control position by concurrence. Proponents had sent two informational mailings to all Leagues before Convention. Spirited debate on the convention floor persuaded the Convention to concur with the statement proposed by the LWV of Illinois."

Let's keep working hard to "make democracy work for gun violence prevention!"

Yours in League, 

Bonnie Cox

P.S. Here are links to articles I found illuminating on gun violence prevention.   I hope you do, too!
https://www.opensecrets.org/news/issues/guns See contributions from gun control and gun rights groups to members of Congress, as well as current NRA data.
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/11/06/opinion/how-to-reduce-shootings.html?smid=fb-share A great piece with lots of great data and graphics looking at gun violence as a public health issue.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/national/assault-weapons-laws/?utm_term=.34d5b9dd85e3 Another great piece with information on the status of 5 legislative approaches to gun violence in each state.
Krista Grimm, Interim Exectuvie Director
Interim Executive Director Joins LWVIL Staff
Welcome to Krista Grimm, LWVIL Interim Executive Director.
The LWVIL Board is happy to announce that Krista Grimm is now our Interim Executive Director taking the reins on February 15 after Mary Schaafsma's retirement on February 1 due to health issues.
Many of you already know Krista and are aware of her considerable skills and dedication in using them on behalf of the LWV. For those of you who don't yet know her, read more  here to see why we are thrilled Krista has joined the LWVIL team!

The LWVIL Board wishes to thank Henrietta Saunders, a long time LWV member, who lent us her own 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. 
LWVILLWVIL 100th Anniversary Committee News
For the first in a series of monthly articles going out to all local Leagues in Illinois from the LWVIL 100 th  Anniversary Committee, go HERE.

The Committee hopes you will share these articles with your members, whether it be in your member newsletters, in a separate email, and/or by posting on your web sites and Facebook pages and Twitter. You may also know of other means where you can utilize these articles to reach a broader audience in your communities. The goal: to celebrate the history of the League, as well as the women's suffrage movement that led to both the passage of the 19th Amendment (which became part of the Constitution on August 26, 1920) and the creation of the League in Chicago on February 14, 1920.
This is just one of the many activities and events on which the 100th Anniversary Committee is working. Last week the Committee sent this invitation in the LWVIL Leaders' Update to encourage local LWVs to begin planning great events and programs. 

The 100th Anniversary Committee would love more members to join them to help choose, plan, and execute the events. There are already activities like the monthly History of the League articles that could make use of members' good research and writing skills. To discuss the volunteer possibilities for you, please call or email Mary Kubasak at mkubasak@gmail.com or  312-802-7430.  
There is also a 100 th  Anniversary Google Group. The Committee invites all interested LWVIL members -- including at least one designated member of each local LWV -- to join the online email group. It will be a great interactive way to learn what the 100th  Anniversary Committee is doing and to share with our members across the state the information about local LWV plans and events, too. To join it, email your interest to info@lwv.org and Roberta will add your email address to the 100th  Anniversary Committee's Google Group.
VoterVoter Service 
Sharon Alter/Jan Dorner, co-chairs

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.

Due to issues in concluding challenges with many races, ballots were not ready by February 1 when the site went live so only state and federal office info was at first available for many jurisdictions. In Illinois, the first early voting date was moved from February 8 to possibly Feb. 20. Visit the voter guide often as it becomes more fully populated as all ballots and information becomes available.
Gubernatorial Democratic Primary Candidate Debate
LWVILEF is partnering with ABC7 and Univision to hold a candidate debate with ALL the candidates for the Democratic Primary for Governor.  It will be 60-minute commercial-free moderated by ABC7's news anchor Alan Krashesky.  Krashesky, ABC7 Political Reporter Craig Wall and Univision Chicago Anchor Erika Maldonado will ask questions, with input from the League. 

We need about 5 volunteers at the ABC7 Studios for Friday, March 2 between 5 pm and 9 pm to help. Contact Jan Dorner.

The debate will air:
  • live on Friday, March 2, at 7:00 pm ABC7's digital channel 7.2 (Comcast 217, RCN 618, WOW 219) as well as abc7chicago.com
  • ABC7's main channel on Friday, March 2, at 10:35 pm.
  • WGBO/Univision Chicago on Saturday, March 3 at 5:00 pm.
  • It will also be made available to downstate Illinois Broadcaster Association - member television and radio station.  Check your local listings.
ABC7/Univision/LWVILEF reached out to the candidates running in the Republican Primary for Governor, as well. Illinois State Representative Jeanne Ives agreed to a debate but Governor Rauner's campaign stated the only debate in which he would participate was with the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board.

Update to LWVIL Candidate Participation Policy
At the last LWVIL Board Meeting, an updated  was passed. 

Please note the purpose in updating the Candidate Participation Policy was to include how to address social media postings of candidate forums.
LWVIL is pleased to welcome a new Member at Large Unit: Northwest Lake County. Communities serviced by this League include Round Lake, Grayslake, Fox Lake, Lake Villa, Antioch, Gurney, and Gages Lake.

Leaders of the Northwest Lake County MAL unit demonstrated that they had met the requirements in a letter requesting the State Board to approve their status. The requirements to create a MAL are:
  • Five enrolled members
  • A leadership team
  • A nonpartisanship policy
  • Meetings or activities planned for the first few months.
Anyone who would like more information about how and why to form a Members at Large unit is welcome to contact  jeanpierce@lwvil.org .
LWVUSLWVUS Convention Volunteers
In early to mid-March volunteer opportunities for the 2018 LWVUS Convention in Chicago (June 28 - July 1) will be posted on LWVIL's website, in the March E-News and in the March Leaders Update. There you will find information about using Sign-up Genius for signing up for a spot in one of several different areas:
  • Registration & Credentials
  • Hospitality & Information
  • Fundraiser Ticket Sales
  • Floor help for the Plenary Sessions (Ushers, Greeters, Election Tellers, Timekeepers, Microphone Monitors)
  • Assistance in the Volunteers' Room. 
Descriptions of these jobs will be provided as well as a list of the time slots for which they are needed. You will be able to sign up for one or more slots as your schedule permits.
Contact Erin Roeper, Local Arrangements Chair -   eroeper@lwvil.org -- with questions or concerns you may have.
A big thanks to the following LAC sub-committee chairs, many of whom have already begun their work to help ensure LWVIL hosts a successful convention:
  • Volunteer Recruitment -- Ann Yoshida and Mary Hummel (LWV Glenview/Glencoe)
  • Registration & Credentials -- Jill Althage and Joyce Haeckel (LWV Chicago)
  • Hospitality & Information -- Mary Lubertozzi (LWV Park Forest Area) and Syvia Tillman           (LWV Homewood-Flossmoor Area)
  • Fundraiser -- Sharon Alter and Cathy Potkay (LWV Chicago)
  • Plenary -- Casey Christensen and Michelle Jordan (LWV Evanston)
  • Budget - Cynthia Schilsky (LWV LaGrange)
Issues and Advocacy Committee
IssuesIssues and Advocacy
Hilary Denk and Heather Cunningham, co-chairs

2018 Issues Briefing - Bridging Divides - A Great Success!  
Thank you for all who attended and especially all of the volunteers who worked very hard to make our 2018 Issues Briefing another rousing success. All of the topics were compelling and relevant. We came away with lots of action items and heard about how we can bridge divides to support public policy that works for all of us. Our keynote speaker, Elaine Nekritz, provided excellent advice about how to bridge the divide in Springfield by first and foremost encouraging courageous and informed leaders to run for public office. She also strongly encouraged us to continue to engage our legislators with office meetings and lobby days in Springfield. They need to know there are constituents who care about issues whether the Legislator agrees with a League position or does not agree. If we don't communicate, they just don't know where we stand. We really appreciate her wise words and long public service. On a housekeeping note, if you have not filled out your evaluation survey yet, please do so right away. Materials and videos from the event will be posted soon. 
Legislator Interview Questions Coming!
We are finalizing the list of questions in order to conduct legislator interviews in local offices and they will be sent to your League Leaders. We will provide guidelines and deadlines and are always available to answer questions too. Thank you in advance for doing this work. Your connection to local legislators leads to local event planning opportunities and helps them understand the work League does. Always invite your local leaders to join the League too! All are welcome!
LostLost and Found 
Do any of these items look familiar to you? 
  • red ear muffs
  • grey knit hat
  • cable knit cream colored scarf
All were left behind at the Issues Briefing on February 20.

Please contact Roberta at rborrino@lwvil.org to claim. 

Is there news from your local League that you would like to share? Consider submitting an item to the LWVIL monthly E-News. Send it to info@lwvil.org
Remember to check out state and local League events on the LWVIL website calendar. 
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Not a League member? Check out the League in your area or join through the state League.
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