We have wrapped up our 2019-2020 year and are looking forward to continuing with our program agenda in 2020-2021. At our June Transitional Board Meeting, we welcomed 3 new members to the Board: Julianne Bonwit from Forest Part, Judith Crown from Oak Park, and Jane Hastings from River Forest. Michelle Fitz-Henry will be our new Vice President, along with Joan Petertil. Mary Haley has stepped down after four years of dedicated service as Vice President and former Vice President Kathy Balk will serve one more year as Director. Sarah Shirk will be handing over the responsibilities of Treasurer to returning former President, Pauline Koch. We thank all outgoing officers for their contributions to the League and wish them all well, and look forward to working with our new Directors.
June has been a tumultuous month as we begin to enter stage 4 of recovery from Covid-19, an indication that Illinoisans have been successful in slowing the spread of the virus.
The death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, adding "the final straw" to numerous deaths of Black and Brown people at the hands of local law enforcement in the U.S., resulted in huge protests throughout the world which have lead to a reexamination of policing throughout the country. In Oak Park, the Mayor has called for an evaluation of police use-of-force policies and issues of police violence and systemic racism by an outside, impartial party. River Forest will hold public forums to examine the relationship between the community and law enforcement. The arrest of a River Forest man, who recently was charged with a hate crime, inspired a joint march of Maywood and River Forest citizens through both villages, and resulted in a historic covenant between them.
hese issues are in part points of discussion in the LWV IL Criminal Justice Update Study commencing this summer and culminating in a statewide vote next June. Our local committee currently has four members. We hope more will join us in reviewing and approving the materials from LWV IL so that we can move forward with updating our position. This will enable us to support criminal justice reform legislation in the future.
During the last week of June, some of us are attending caucuses and LWV sessions at the 54
2020 LWV US National Convention. Usually held in Washington D.C., everything is being held virtually. Pre-Convention Caucus topics included Climate Emergency, Criminal Justice Reform, Privacy and Cyber Security, Youth Vote, and others.
There will be no meetings in July, as we take a hiatus at this time each year, but we are planning our Fall Kickoff and look forward to the upcoming election season, voter registration drives and candidate forums.
Have a great summer!