LWV OPRF February 20 Week in Preview

Candidate Forums

Our next two candidate forums are this Thursday, February 23, for the Oak Park Village Trustees and Monday, February 27, for the River Forest School District 90 Board. Both start at 7:00pm. Go to our website calendar to register for either of these events. You can also view the statements from the uncontested Oak Park Park Board and School District 97 candidates on the calendar list.

We still need your probing, insightful questions so we can decide which of these candidates deserve our votes. Send questions to our email address. Please tell us to which race the question is directed.

Please share our forum information with other organizations, houses of worship, and your friends and neighbors.

Gun Violence is a Racial Justice Issue

On Thursday, February 23, from 6:30-7:30pm, the Black Organizing Program and Young Adults for Planned Parenthood are hosting a panel discussion on the impact of gun violence in Illinois. We know that gun violence is a public health issue, but its racial justice implications disproportionately affect Black communities throughout the state. A panel of community leaders and experts will discuss community-based solutions to ending gun violence and provide resources for processing gun violence trauma. To learn how you can become an advocate for change and help reduce gun violence in Illinois, go here to register for this in-person free event being held at the Weinberg/Newton Gallery in Chicago.

Abortion Rights and Access

On Monday, February 27, from 4:00-4:45pm, there will be a special virtual briefing on the ACLU of Illinois’ work following the Supreme Court’s devastating decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, including our latest efforts in Springfield to pass the recently signed House Bill 4664. This measure reinforces protections for abortion and gender-affirming health care in Illinois.

The event will feature ACLU of Illinois reproductive rights advocates discussing this measure, the nationwide abortion rights landscape, and the critical work ahead. You will hear directly from:

  • Khadine Bennett, Director of Advocacy and Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Colleen Connell, Executive Director
  • Ameri Klafeta, Women’s and Reproductive Rights Project Director
  • Ed Yohnka, Director of Communications and Public Policy

Register for this free event here.

State of the State

On Wednesday, February 15, Governor JB Pritzker gave his State of the State and Budget Address. If you missed it, you can read the Governor’s remarks here and the Fiscal Year 2024 budget in brief is here.

National Popular Vote

The League of Women Voters has long supported the direct election of the President of the United States and the National Popular Vote as one way to achieve it. In fact, at the LWV US National Convention in June, 2022, the direct election of the president, including both National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (the more immediate pathway) and the abolishment of the electoral college by Constitutional Amendment (the moon-shot pathway) were made an explicit part of the Campaign for Making Democracy Work!!!

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) is a state-by-state agreement that assures that the nationwide winner of the presidential election becomes president. Happily, Illinois has passed the NPVIC, but additional states must pass the law to implement it. Several states have a probability of passage in their current legislative session, including our Midwest neighbors of Minnesota and Michigan. We can help get NPVIC passed in these states!

We are putting together a list of our league members (or others in IL who would like to participate) who are willing to help make phone calls or texts into the states considering the bill. We expect the bills in MN and MI to move rather swiftly, so please volunteer in this important effort. No fears-your personal phone numbers will not be disclosed. 

To volunteer or get more information about the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, contact Barb Paterick.

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