FromFrom Mary Kubasak, LWVIL President
Dear Members:

I hope you are planning to send a full delegation from your League to convention this June! The committee has put together another outstanding weekend. Look for the details in this E-News and join the fun June 9 at the workshops and June 10 to 11 at the convention. 
The workshops are going to be great, they are being set up by the same wonderful members of the Issues Committee that just organized the truly informative Issues Briefing.  The Convention Committee has some new events planned along with many old favorites. It is so invigorating to be there, I really hope you will try to come.
See you in Des Plaines!
ConventionLeague of Women Voters of Illinois 2017 Convention
LWVIL CONVENTION 2017_PREVIEW: Making Democracy Work: Shaping the Future
Start making your plans to attend the 59th Biennium: 2017 LWVIL Convention
  • Saturday morning, June 10 through Sunday morning June 11th
  • Hilton Garden Inn Chicago O'Hare Airport
  • 2930 South River Road, Des Plaines chicagoohareairport.stayhgi.com 
  • Delegate                             $125
  • Saturday Visitor                $45
  • Sunday Visitor                   $45
  • Full meal package:
    Saturday breakfast, lunch & dinner; Sunday breakfast: $135
  • Saturday - lunch only      $ 40
  • Saturday - dinner only    $ 60 
  • $45 for two topics
    • Engaging new members and developing tomorrow's league leaders
    • Environmental justice
    • Discussing controversial topics - using the civics education model 
    • Social media
    • Advocacy training
    • New member orientation
    • Consolidation of government entities
  • Lunch speaker: Kyra Kyles, Editor in chief, Ebony Magazine: Changing the Narrative of Discussions on Race
  • Dinner speaker: Wylecia Wiggs Harris, PhD, Executive Director, LWVUS: Diversity within the League

Do you know a League member who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and significant action toward extending the League's mission? If so, consider nominating her or him for the Carrie Chapman Catt Award. The nominating form can be found here .

$109/per night, single or double. Rooms available both Friday and Saturday nights. Please make your reservation directly with the hotel: follow this link to make your reservation:
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE RESERVATION DEADLINE FOR THIS RATE IS  FRIDAY, MAY 12th . After this date, guest rooms that are available in the hotel's general inventory will be charged at the regular hotel best available rate. In addition, this rate is available until the cut-off date or when all rooms within the LWVIL block have been sold whichever happens first.
Illinois Education Secretary, Beth Purvis; CTBA's Ralph Martire; and Rep. Will Davis and daughter at morning plenary
AdvocacyIssues and Advocacy
Thank you to all who attended the LWVIL Issues Briefing on March 4th. Excellent presentations and great attendance contributed towards a fantastic annual event. We also thank all who contributed to the team effort: Issues Specialists and LWVIL Staff, with support from the entire LWVIL Board of Directors. Here is a link to the event power points and handouts to share among your members and community.   http://www.lwvil.org/issuesbriefing.html

New member, Andy Daglas, shared the following glowing review of the event:
"The 2017 Issues Briefing was my first experience with a League of Women Voters of Illinois event, and I came away impressed and motivated. I was drawn to the program by the comprehensive range of subjects on the agenda. Health care, environmental security, voting rights, economic justice, humane treatment of immigrants, well-funded and well-functioning public education-these are fundamental issues that affect all of us in some way.

However, since I am by no means a policy expert, I was initially concerned that I would not be the right audience. The opposite turned out to be true. The sessions were accessible and informative to laypeople, while going into enough analytical depth to satisfy the wonks in the crowd. Speakers from the state government and from nonpartisan research centers presented their arguments with clarity and rigor, as well as passion for their topics. Educators, social services workers, and nonprofit representatives shared the human side of the issues our state faces. The Issues Briefing offered not only solutions, but a critical reminder of the true nature of our problems.

Behind policy analysis and political wrangling are real people whose lives are dramatically impacted by our decisions as citizens. The League of Women Voters does not lose sight of this fact. Eager to get involved, I met several new contacts at the Issues Briefing who were equally eager to bring me into the fold. Every one of them stressed both the League's dedication to a fairer society and its thoughtful approach to advocacy. I look forward to doing my part to contribute."

April 4th is  Equal Pay Day and the there will be a lunch time rally in Daley Plaza in Chicago to commemorate the day women's wages finally equal those of men from 2016. Please join and wear your LWV buttons. Here are the details:  http://www.equalpaydaychi.xyz/  

April 6th is an  Environmental Lobby Day in Springfield. Join our coalition partners to support state legislation impacting our local communities. Follow this link to the Illinois Environmental Council to sign up and list your organization as LWV.   http://ilenviro.org/2017-environmental-lobby-day

April 22nd, LWVIL will join thousands in the March For Science. Krista Grimm will share the LWV meeting place in a future e-blast. Here is general information about the Chicago March. 

April 29th, LWVIL will also join in the  Climate March in Chicago. Laura Kratz will share the LWV meeting place in a future e-blast. Here is information about the Chicago March, which is limited thus far. https://actionnetwork.org/events/peoples-climate-march-chicago?source=widget&zipcode=60515&country=US&reload=true&_=1490048144244 

Please participate as proud LWV members and let us know at  hdenk@lwvil.org about other events we may support and can promote.
New Groups In Your Community? Let Them Know About LWV!
Since the November election, we have seen a huge interest in civic engagement, advocacy and issues. Many groups have formed through use of the Indivisible Guide and other sources, led by dynamic and energetic leaders. Many of our own League members are part of these groups too.

How should LWV interact with these groups? Many local Leagues have been interacting for months with great success, increasing their membership and involvement in local, state and national issues. It appears the key is to provide community information, act as advisers and in some cases, co-sponsor events, when they fall within the LWV non-partisan parameters.

Share your event fliers with these groups and attend their events too, announcing your upcoming LWV activities and explaining how LWV has been working in their communities for years on civic engagement. Share our advocacy guide "Making Your Voice Heard" http://www.lwvil.org/making-your-voice-heard.html and "Where We Stand"  http://www.lwvil.org/where-we-stand-2015-2017.html. Hold prospective member coffees and recruit members to join your committees or to train as observers. LWV has a lot to offer newly engaged members of our community. Don't hesitate to jump in and mentor the next generation of Leaguers!  
News from the Issues Committee
The Issues Committee is pleased to welcome...
Judi Szilak has joined the Issues Committee as a  Mental Health Specialist. As a long-time League member, Judy has served extensively in local league leadership, and she helped draft the current Mental Health position statement.
Making Your Voice Heard - As a League member
You have undoubtedly noticed that bills are being introduced and are moving quickly through the Illinois General Assembly, and LWVIL has e-mailed a number of Time for Action (TFA) requests. We are depending on our members to decide, based on email subject lines, whether or not you will respond to each request.  We appreciate your efforts to share TFAs through social media or personal emails.
Given the fact that the League speaks with one voice, a question has arisen about when you can identify yourself as a League member advocating for a bill.
  • If you are responding to a TFA to contact a legislator, please DO identify yourself as a League member.
  • If you are responding to a TFA for filing a witness slip, please enter SELF in response to firm/business or agency and representation; LWVIL files a slip in the President's name representing our 2800 members.
  • If you or your League would like to advocate for a bill which has not been the subject of a TFA, please contact issues@lwvil.org  before taking action.
Legislative Interviews - Please submit Reports ASAP!
Don't forget to submit your Interview reports by  April 3rd if at all possible. It is important that Issues Specialists know what your legislators are thinking. 

Issues Specialists Monthly Reports 
Click  here to read summary reports from the Issues Committee.
LWV Glenview_Glencoe New Member Coffee January 2017
Based on the census data Illinois leagues have sent to LWVUS by the January 31, 2017, deadline, membership in Illinois grew by 400 between February 1, 2016, and January 31, 2017.  This is great news!  And we've received reports that additional members have been added to many of our Local Leagues since January 31st.  More fabulous news!
We commend the good work of our Leagues as they welcome their new members and engage them in becoming involved in various activities.  Retaining members often presents challenges to our Local Leagues.   We know, however, that when new members' interests are immediately identified and then they are invited to serve on a committee or attend a special program, these new members are often more likely to stay engaged.  Other strategies for retaining new members include:  
  • Plan a special "new member" event  -- a breakfast, luncheon, or wine & cheese party -- a couple times a year. This not only welcomes  new members, but also helps "connect" them to the organization.  During these events, familiarize the new members with League process, programs, lingo and activities.  Share personal stories about the League
  • Start a mentoring program by pairing new members with seasoned members of the League.
  • Introduce new members at their first meetings with the whole membership and recognize them at annual meetings.
  • Make a point to reach out to new members by calling them when they join and thanking them for becoming a member. (President or designee) 
In addition to celebrating all these new members, we also want to commend those Leagues that have submitted articles and pictures for our new column, " Spotlighting Local Leagues."  Each week a new League is featured on the home page of our website.  Please make a point to read these articles each week and learn what activities and events our Leagues are sponsoring.  You just might find an idea or two to "harvest" in the future!
If you haven't had a chance, please take a look at the LWVIL new homepage. It's fresh and easy to navigate. While you are looking through the home page, take notice of the local leagues that are highlighted each week; it's exciting to see all the work being done at the local level. 

To get your League's upcoming events posted to the LWVIL website Event Calendar, please fill out the Event Submission Form found at http://www.lwvil.org/events-calendar.html. We can also upload your event flyer submitted in Word or pdf format and attach it to the calendar event. 
LostLost and Found
Did you leave a pair of men's gloves at the Issues Briefing? Look familiar? To claim, please contact Roberta at rhborrino@lwvil.org

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