Bonnie Cox, LWVIL President
FromFrom the President: 

Dear LWVIL members,
LWVIL members across the state are once again working hard to coalesce with other like-minded women and men in support of ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the US Constitution. The text of the ERA is: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Two more states are needed to vote to ratify the amendment and make it officially the 28th amendment to the US Constitution. Illinois could be one of them. The Illinois Senate voted 43 to 12 in April to ratify the amendment.  Now it's up to the IL House and the resolution could be brought to the floor in the next few days.
I've been reading the history of efforts to pass the Equal Rights Amendment and have been researching that history in Illinois. WHY ERA Failed is a well written and documented book by Mary Frances Berry. The history of the LWV and the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970's and 80's can be found at this link: http://www.equalrightsamendment.org/misc/LWV-ERA.pdf. I encourage you to read them.
Since the 1970 Constitutional Convention, Illinois has had an Equal Rights Amendment in our state Constitution. It's ironic that the tide would turn against ratifying the ERA to our US Constitution in a protracted battle with well-funded, national conservative forces in Illinois at a time when our state's ERA helped equalize the status of men and women and barred discrimination in so many areas: real estate transactions, access to financial credit, public accommodations and interscholastic athletics to name a few.
Then as now, the arguments against ratification of the federal Equal Rights Amendment are frequently ill informed, misleading, and not grounded in fact or the law. They turn the debate from one about equal rights and the Supreme Court's ability to apply "strict scrutiny" when a law is challenged as discriminating against a citizen solely based on whether that citizen is male or female to cultural and social debates on the "proper or traditional roles of men and women."
The principles on which our government and our identity as Americans are based are eloquently expressed in the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." But these principles were not legally binding, nor did they appear to address women. It was and is the Constitution that acts as a huge merger uniting a group of states with different interests, laws, and cultures. It is the Constitution that unites us as a nation under the rule of law. It's time for that Constitution to include the principle of equality of rights for women. To all Illinois House Members, we say, "It's time."
Yours in League, 

Bonnie Cox
AnnualAnnual Appeal 2018
You may have noticed that President Bonnie Cox has been sending out emails talking about the Annual Appeal and asking for donations. LWVIL is updating the old Phonathon and saving a "forest" by using email for our largest statewide fundraising drive among our members.

Would you please "dig a little deeper" and give an online gift today? The campaign ends May 31. If your gift is received by then, you won't receive a call.

Please donate today to either LWVIL or LWVIL Education Fund. To do so online, click on your choice of these links:
Donations by check are also welcome! Please make your check payable to the League of Women Voters of Illinois Education Fund if you want your donation to be tax deductible, otherwise LWVIL will suffice. Be sure to note that it is for the Annual Appeal in the memo line, and mail it to: 
League of Women Voters of Illinois, 332 S Michigan Ave., Suite 634, Chicago, IL  60604. 
MembershipMembership News
This year has been exciting for membership growth. Twenty-six Leagues in Illinois reported increased membership, with over 300 new members in our state. 

Who Are We? Results from the 2018 Demographic Survey
We are thrilled to report that 740 people from throughout the state responded to the Demographic Survey this spring. LWV Springfield Area will receive a check for $100 because they had the highest percentage of their members participating.
Results in a nutshell: 
   94% Women
                2% Hispanic, Latino or Spanish
                94% White, 3% Black or African American
                45% Master's Degree, 30% Bachelor's 19% Doctorate or Professional Degree
                26% Protestant, 23% No Religion, 17% Catholic, 11% Jewish, 10% Other
                42% reported household income over $100,000, 15% $75,001-$100,000
Click on the link below for the complete results:
VoterVoter Service 
Sharon Alter/Jan Dorner, co-chairs

Moderator Training  Workshop:  Saturday, June 9
LWVIL is scheduling a Northwest suburban moderator training workshop for both new and seasoned moderators.

Jan Dorner, LWVIL Voter Service CoChair and seasoned trainer, will conduct this Saturday, June 9 workshop from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm at Mt. Prospect Public Library at 10 South Emerson Street, Mt. Prospect, IL.

Friday, June 1 is the deadline to register. To register, please send your (1) name, (2) name of your league, (3) your email address, and (4) phone number to voterservice@lwvil.org. An email confirmation of your registration will be sent.

While space is limited, there must be a minimum of 10 Leaguers registered for the workshop.

We need a few more Leaguers to register to reach the minimum of 10 for the workshop.

Statewide Office Candidate Forums
We started working on getting a Gubernatorial debate/forum for the upcoming General Election in November 2018 the day after the March Primary.  Other possible debates/forums for statewide elections are also being considered.  We are looking at several locations throughout the state for these.  

Looking ahead to 2019 elections (yes! Another primary, more specific for Chicago and maybe a couple of other possible elections and consolidated elections)........if you know of anyone considering running, encourage them to build a website. 

Volunteer Registration Continues
There are a just a handful of slots remaining on the last two days. Please sign up to volunteer to work at the LWVUS Convention, being held June 28-July 1 in Chicago. 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 below and follow the directions. We will be in touch with all volunteers as the convention nears.   
The Second City: Improv All-Stars, Friday, June 29, 7:30 pm
Whether you're attending the convention or not, 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. Your family and friends are welcome, too. This presentation is open to the public. 

Order tickets for your group today by following this link Tickets are $52 plus fees at special pre-convention  pricing until June 25, when online sales end. T ickets may also be purchased at the Convention, when the price goes up to $58 plus fees.
IssuesIssues and Advocacy
So much going on as the Legislative Session comes to an end in Springfield! Read the Issues Specialists Monthly reports HERE.
SupportSupport LWV Naperville
LWV Naperville is a finalist for the Community Connection national award to be presented at the LWVUS Convention in June. Their project is entitled " Stroll to the Polls" and concerns their efforts to improve voter turnout in some of their city's lowest performing precincts.

Click on the link below to vote:
Members of LWV Jackson County and Edwardsville receive their certificates.
DownstateDownstate Swing
Jean Pierce, LWVIL Board Membership/Leadership CoChair, and Bonnie Cox, LWVIL President, personally delivered the official "Moderator Training" certificates to these LWV-Jackson County (Carbondale and area) members during their "downstate swing" to leagues with meetings in  Champaign, Edwardsville, Springfield,  and Quincy in addition to Carbondale.  Jan Dorner, LWVIL Voter Service Chair and Missey Wilhelm, LWV Wheaton, provided this training earlier this year.  

For more photos of the Downstate Swing, please see the slideshow at www.lwvil.org.
HistoryHistory of the League
This is the fourth in our series. See all of these articles on our website:    http://www.lwvil.org/history-of-the-league.html

The Beginnings of Women's Suffrage in the US
"Remember the Ladies and be more generous and favorable to them...If care and attention is not paid to the Ladies, we are determined to forment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation." These words were written by Abigail Adams on March 31, 1776 to her husband, John Adams. John Adams was an American Statesman, a Founding Father, the first Vice President, and the second President of the United States.
John Adams wrote "to give a vote to a person so dependent on another's will seem to give a double vote to husbands rather than to enfranchise wives... in a society in which it was assumed that the wife did the husband's bidding ... married men (had) a political advantage." Single women were treated the same as married women. READ MORE.

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. 
Like us on Facebook.
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