Welcome to the inaugural edition of the quarterly Issues & Advocacy Report. This e-publication is designed to bring you the latest developments in LWVIL issues, Illinois policy-making and the tools you need to take action and make a difference.

Take a look back at the legislative victories you made happen this year and get ready to be part of another successful year of League advocacy.

Co-Chairs, Issues & Advocacy Committee
League of Women Voters of Illinois
2019-2021 Priority Issues
At our 59th Biennial LWVIL State Convention in June, attendees voted to focus on the following eight issues over the next two years:
  • 2020 Census
  • Affordable Housing
  • Abolishing the Electoral College
  • Environment
  • Fair Tax/Graduated Rate Income Tax
  • Gun Violence Prevention
  • Immigration
  • Redistricting
To create any change in these issues, our efforts will need people power! All are welcome to take part in whatever way works for you. To learn more or join a team for any of the Priority Issues for 2019-2021, please reach out to the LWVIL office . To request a speaker for your local League or organization on any of these or other LWVIL issues, please contact the Issues & Advocacy Committee.
Action To Take
The Priority Issues are those advocacy subjects that have the highest priority for our state Program for the 2019-2021 Biennium . Action plans, and the Issues Specialists who are spearheading their efforts for 5 of those 8 issues, are outlined below.

Each action plan is based on carefully researched positions, which can be found in Where We Stand , the publication that forms the basis for all action taken by the Illinois local Leagues on state and national issues. Additional information is available on the LWVIL website .

For questions or more information, contact the LWVIL Issues & Advocacy Committee.
2020 Census
The League of Women Voters of Illinois stands for an accurate Census Count because  it is essential to all basic functions of our society. For every person uncounted, Illinois would lose $1,500 per person for the next 10 years. The data also guides important community decisions affecting schools, housing, health care services, business investments, and much more.  

What WE can do:

Issue Specialists: Hilary Denk, Siobhan Greene, and Jane Ballengee
The League of Women Voters of Illinois have declared that there is a Climate Emergency because the world’s leading climate scientists predict that serious impacts of climate change will worsen catastrophically if prompt action is not taken to curb emissions.
What WE can do:

Issue Specialists: Bill Koehl, Di Niesman, Laura Kratz, and Krista Grimm
Fair Income/Graduated Rate Income Tax
For the past 40 years, the League of Women Voters of Illinois has supported a Graduated Rate Income Tax because it is based on one's ability to pay.
What WE can do:

Issue Specialists: Jean Pierce, Hilary Denk, and Ann Courter
Gun Violence Prevention
The League of Women Voters of Illinois believes that the proliferation of handguns and semi-automatic assault weapons in the United States is a major health and safety threat to its citizens.
What WE can do:
  • Request information about the Firearms Restraining Order law;
  • Interview your community leaders to learn whether they and their staffs are aware of the Firearms Restraining Order law, which went into effect in January 2019. If not, distribute information and ask them to share that information with their staffs so that they are prepared to counsel any concerned individual to go to law enforcement to get help with filling out the court order.

Issue Specialist: Mary Klonowski
The League of Women Voters of Illinois seeks a better system of redistricting because the current process allows officials to select their voters rather than voters to select their officials.
What WE can do:
  • Take part in the LWVIL efforts on the newly launched, nationwide LWVUS initiative, People Powered Fair Maps Action Campaign;
  • Identify people in your local League who would like to help pass a Fair Map Amendment in Illinois.

Issue Specialists: Paula Lawson and Jane Ballengee
Spring 2019 Advocacy Results
During the 2019 spring session of the Illinois General Assembly, LWVIL members and supporters advocated for the passage of 26 bills and opposed 1 bill. Of these 27 bills, 15 became new laws, 1 resolution was adopted and the Fair Tax amendment to the Constitution was slated to be placed on the ballot for November 2020.

You called. You wrote. You made a difference. Thank you for contacting your legislators to advocate for the many bills LWVIL supported this year.

What's next? In just a few weeks, beginning October 28, 2019, legislators will reconvene for a Veto Session to consider the Governor's vetoes.
Criminal Justice
Fiscal Policy
Gun Violence Prevention
Stay in Touch
There are several ways to keep up to date with the LWVIL Issues & Advocacy Committee. You can:

  • Sign up for Time for Action alerts via text! Sign up online or text VOTING to 50597.
  • If you aren't already subscribed to our Time for Action email list, you can sign up today.
  • Visit the LWVIL Issues & Advocacy webpages.
  • Follow LWVIL on social media. We are on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.