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In This Issue

March 2020
President's Letter
Dear League Members,

We have had another very busy month as our Board Members worked on the Census Committees' Events, Fair Maps, and Voter Service activities.

Judith McDevitt and Jane Hastings partnered with the River Forest Library on a 2020 Census presentation featuring speaker LWV Issues Specialist Hillary Denk at the River Forest Library. She stressed the importance of the 2020 Census and provided valuable information to the public.

In Forest Park, Michelle Fitz-Henry and the Complete Count Committee members handed out Census information at "Leap Day" (February 29 th ) Community Fest.  The FP Census Committee will march in the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade on March 7 th , as well as at a Family Event at the FP Library where the committee will have a table and pass out Census information.  The committee's main event will be on April 1 at the FP Library entitled "Everyone Counts." It will be a party with a band and kiosks with laptops to help residents with entering their census information.

In Oak Park, Mary Cay Murray has organized a presentation at the library on March 4 th at 7:00pm featuring speaker Jay Young from Common Cause Illinois and Jeffrey Prior from the Oak Park Complete Count Committee.  Please come and show your support.

Kathy Balk, Mary Haley and Marsha Borders visited our state legislators to discuss the Fair Maps Amendment pursuant to a training at the LWVIL Headquarters.  The Amendment supports a non-partisan drawing of Illinois Districts. 

League Members attended a Birthday Party at the Congress Plaza Hotel in "the room where it happened" 100 years ago.  Speakers included Lieutenant Governor Julianna Stratton, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, and the great-great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells, Tiana L. Ferrell.  Birthday cake was served and enjoyed by over 100 LWV members and friends.

Marge Massarello, Kathy Balk, Jane Hastings, and Johan Walsh are mounting a storyboard about the past 100 years of the LWV and its contributions throughout history.  Check it out on the second floor of the River Forest Library.

Due to a slow but steady uptick of new members, our numbers are now 193 and growing!   Let's keep them coming!

Fourteen OPRF and LaGrange members and guests attended "ROE" on one of the last performances of this wonderful, controversial, and moving play (heading to Broadway!). With the help of LWV member Jackie Robinson, we were able to purchase half price main floor tickets.  

Have a great month and look forward to spring!

Beverly Graham
Census 2020
This Wednesday, March 4, Jay Young, Executive Director of Common Cause Illinois, will speak at the Oak Park Library on Census2020 and what's at stake for Illinois. He'll be joined by Jeff Prior of Oak Park's Complete Count Committee on the status of our local preparations. The event goes from 7:00-8:30pm in the Veterans Room of the Oak Park Main Library, 834 Lake Street, Oak Park. Free and open to the public. 
Second Tuesday
On Tuesday, March 10, our LWV OPRF Environmental Committee and village leaders from Oak Park and River Forest will discuss progress with waste reduction, the Eco-Friendly Restaurant Campaign, and the challenges ahead.  View the flyer here, and bring a friend!  Second Tuesday meets at the Nineteenth Century C.A., 178 Forest Ave., Oak Park. Free and open to the public.
Drinks & Dialogue

On Thursday, March 19, Drinks & Dialogue will once again be meeting from 6:30-8:00pm at  Shanahan's, 7353 Madison, Forest Park.  The speaker will be Rachael Eidsmore of Sarah's Inn, the Forest Park non-profit social service organization.  The title is "Domestic Violence: What Is It and What Can I Do?"  She will include a discussion of state and federal governmental policies on the subject. Drinks & Dialogue is a great event to bring a friend and potential League member to get know what our League does.
Partnership Program
On Sunday, March 1, our League partnered with the local chapter of Jack and Jill of America to present a program on voting. Over 25 students and their parents attended this joint event at the Oak Park Village Hall. The afternoon was started with a rap video on the importance of voting, not only in presidential races but especially in congressional races where laws are really made. Juvenile Justice Advisor for the Cook County State's Attorneys Office, Michelle  Mbekeani-Wiley, an Oak Park Township Trustee, gave the keynote speech on the difference voting can make, especially for marginalized members of the community. This was followed by short educational sessions on Equity in Education, Health Concerns, Census2020, and Climate Change. The children then used ranked-choice voting at each station to express what solutions were most important to them. The event closed with a book raffle for the participants. The students were engaged and engaging! Thanks go to members Mary Haley, Linda Valentine, Marge Massarello, Sarah Rice, and Peggy Kell for working the event, and Vicki Scaman, Oak Park Village Clerk, for hosting us at Village Hall. Thanks also to Deidra Jenkins, Jack and Jill Legislative Chair, and her committee for putting this event together. We are hoping this partnership continues for future events!
Women's History Center
On Friday, March 6, starting at 5:30pm, the Chicago Women's History Center and the Chicago Public Library are sponsoring an event on "African American Women and the Vote: A Centennial Review." It will be held at the Harold Washington Library, Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, 401 S. Plymouth Court Entrance, Chicago. Speakers will be Michelle Duster and Kathleen Thompson, followed by discussion on the upcoming documentary about the Ida B. Wells Monument. This event is free and open to the public.
I love a parade!
Forest Park will be celebrating their 25th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade on March 7th from 1:00-2:30pm. The parade begins at Madison and Van Buren and proceeds east on Madison to Elgin. The parade will host marching bands, Irish dancers, bagpipers, and numerous entries from local businesses and charities as well as police and fire departments vehicles. Enjoy one of the local establishments after the parade.
One Earth Films
Now in its 9th year, the One Earth Film Fest is back, ready to engage audiences in climate and environmental  action! The Midwest's premier environmental film festival runs March 6-15, 2020, at locations in Chicago and the suburban area. The theme this year is "The Power of We." As we see the effects of climate change and industrial pollution on our planet, this is the moment to learn...find our voice...collaborate...and take action. This year's festival offers people of all ages and backgrounds opportunities to do all of these things. At these events, enjoy beautiful, award-winning documentary films; rich discussions with trained facilitators and expert panelists; and one-on-one access to partners from your community who can connect you to local, meaningful action. Most events are FREE with a suggested $8 donation. Seating is limited. Reservations are strongly suggested. Visit  here to find out where the films are shown by location and to reserve tickets.

One film that will be shown at the nearby Austin Library is "Cooked."  It brings together the concerns of both racial and environmental justice at an important time in history and on our planet -- when our climate crisis is poised to bring more extreme weather and challenges that are already disproportionately affecting our most vulnerable communities and neighbors. 
Discussion will center around what community resiliency looks like in the face of climate change, and what so many incredible people and organizations are already doing to strengthen our neighborhoods against threats like the climate crisis. Check out the location schedule showings for this movie here.
Legislative Visits
Each year, our Advocacy Committee visits our state Senators and Representatives to talk with them about League positions and priorities. Would you like to join them for one of these visits? Calendar dates are being set now for these annual meetings. Contact Diane Moses with your interest or questions. This is a great way to meet your reps in an informal setting to advocate for our issues.
Voter Guides
Early voting starts today, Monday, March 2. The League has voters guides to help you make a more informed decision for the March 17 Primary.
Go here to see who is on the ballot, save your choices, and then take the information with you to the polls. Another voting resource is Vote for Judges. Share these links with family and friends. This is another way the League is showing its commitment to educate the public on candidates. 
100th Anniversary
Remember to visit the League of Women Voters 100th Anniversary display at the River Forest Library, 735 Lathrop, River Forest. The storyboards will be up for the month of March.
Sister, Sister
LWV US  February 27 Update 
LWV IL February 27 Call to Action
LWV Winnetka March 10 "Rigged" Documentary

League of Women Voters of Oak Park & River Forest (708) 342-0803
  lwvoprf1924@gmail.com | http://lwvoprf.org
P.O. Box 3301
Oak Park, IL 60303-3301