Spring is finally here as evidenced by birds singing, trees turning green, blossoms decorating the streets, and most of all, the Spring Plant Sale! We were fortunate to get a beautiful weekend so that many people came out to purchase flowers, herbs, and plants for their yards, balconies and porches. Since Friday, 25 members have participated in the event purchasing over $3,000 worth of selections; and there is still one more day. Now the work of planting begins!
April was a busy month as we finalized next year’s slate, budget, and program ideas. We look forward to more open and (hopefully) in-person gatherings. Many of us have been vaccinated, allowing for a more relaxed and enjoyable summer. Due to our support, most local restaurants survived the winter months and are now open for outdoor dining.
Unfortunately, many retail stores have closed, leaving empty windows on Lake Street and Oak Park Avenue. Hopefully, new businesses will open as our economy comes roaring back.
On April 29 our League partnered with the Forest Park Library to participate in the national “People Powered Day of Action” featuring Robert Millman’s “Line in the Street” film followed by a presentation from State Redistricting Specialist Paula Lawson. Now we eagerly await the next drawing of the lines by our legislators in Springfield next month. New Speaker of the House, Chris Welch, will be the guest speaker at our Annual Meeting on June 3rd. We hope you all will join us virtually for this event. We also hope to see you on May 18th at the LWV Cook County’s Annual Meeting with guest speaker and President of the Cook County Board, Toni Preckwinkle.
Another highlight of the year was our Criminal Justice Reform Study, which was recently approved by the State League Board and will be called to a vote by the delegates at the State Convention on June 12 and 13. A small committee of Oak Park members worked diligently to research, discuss, and present their findings to our membership. We reached Consensus on January 30 with a unanimous vote to approve.
This is my last President’s Letter as my term has come to an end. I wasn’t planning on a world wide epidemic but due to the ingenuity and dedication of our Board Members and Committee Chairs, we didn’t miss a beat, as they made the transition using Zoom to conduct meetings virtually. Truly amazing! Thank you all for your hard work! It has been a pleasure to serve you, and I look forward to continuing as a Director on the Board for the next two years. I leave you in good hands as two Co-Presidents, Jane Hastings and Joan Petertil, take over the leadership next month. With the support of our continuing and new officers, they will doubtless do an extraordinary job.
Have a wonderful summer!