Dear Members:

It is hard to believe that October is here, and that autumn is upon us. The election is looming large, and committee members are scrambling to prepare by assisting with voter registration and supporting the Fair Tax Amendment. On the day before Voter Registration Day, a surge in online traffic caused the State Board of Elections online voter registration website to crash! Early voting has begun in some states, as voters in others still await receipt of their mail- in ballots. Early voting begins in Oak Park at Village Hall on October 19, where people can either deposit their ballots in the drop boxes or vote in person. In addition, we are still working on the 2020 Census. Due to a recent court decision, the deadline has been extended through October 31.

Our Fall Kickoff, “Reimagining Policing” was a huge success! About 75 people attended the Zoom Event. Thanks to Judith McDevitt and Cynthia Schilsky, LWV Cook County President, for hosting the event, checking in participants, and screening questions. Well done, ladies! The panelists were excellent! They answered questions from the moderator, which they received in advance, and from the audience. For those of you who missed it, you can watch the edited video on YouTube. To view it, click this link. There was a full-page article in the Oak Leaves last Wednesday, entitled “What is the Role of Police?” which was highly complimentary.

Our members virtually attended the LWVIL Power the Vote Centennial Luncheon on September 24 featuring dynamic speakers, including Valerie Jarrett, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. 

Our new Secretary, Mary Ann Porucznik, will be submitting a weekly column on suffragists in the Wednesday Journal. Her column on September 23, “The Southern Belle Suffragist,” featured Julia Holmes Smith, whose amazing life was fascinating to read! We are looking forward to future columns. Well done, Mary Ann!

Our Criminal Justice Reform Committee reached consensus on Section 2, Bias in the Criminal Justice System, answering “YES” to the question: “Should there be periodic training for individuals working in the criminal justice system to recognize implicit racial and ethnic bias?” At our next meeting we will discuss Question 3, Gender Responsive Approach for All Offenders. Please take the time to read Question 3 in the document in preparation for our meeting on October 29.

Thank you all for your commitment to our mission to encourage informed and active participation in government.

Beverly Graham