Local Leagues Zoom Ahead Despite Shelter-in-Place Order

In ordinary times, local Leagues would be planning their annual meeting and next year’s programming, but these aren’t ordinary times. COVID 19 put the brakes on most in-person events with a shelter-in-place order to slow the virus’ spread.

Local Leagues in Cook County have scrambled to figure out the best method of hosting meetings to conduct business, and decide whether and how to carry out routine activities, including board meetings, annual meetings, future programming and observing local government meetings.

The Observer talked to several Local League Representatives (LLRs) to the LWVCC board for an update on how it’s going.

  • Zoom videoconferencing is hands-down favorite platform for board meetings. The Cook County League held its second monthly board meeting April 14 on Zoom (see screen shot above, left), using Zoom's “voting” feature to decide on matters such as changing its tax status from a 501(c)(4)to a 501(c)(3). The Evanston, Oak Park & River Forest, Homewood-Flossmoor and Glenview/Glencoe are among those using Zoom for board and committee meetings.

  • In-person programs have been postponed or changed to a live streaming platform like Zoom. The LaGrange league, for example, moved its April 25 program featuring former State Senator Dan Biss to Zoom. Most leagues are actively engaged in planning programs for next year.

  • Some annual meetings will be held – but virtually. The Cook County League, for example, will host the business portion of its May 18 Annual Meeting on Zoom.

  • Local governments like city councils and library, school and park boards, which stream their board meetings, are being observed by League members in Evanston and Wilmette. The Cook County board will live-stream a meeting on April 23.

We’re all waiting for things to get back to normal, but what if “back to normal” never returns? Either way, the League of Women Voters will be ready.

More Local Leagues Activities

  • Chicago and the LaGrange Leagues have moved their “Great Decisions” discussion groups to Zoom.

  • The Wilmette League has joined other with civic groups to pick up groceries and prescriptions for those in need. Palatine is making face masks to donate to healthcare workers.

  • Several Leagues are actively working on projects that include support of an accurate census count and the Illinois Fair Tax proposal.

  • Numerous Leagues have stepped up their communications with members by keeping websites updated, and quickly posting date and venue changes on social media channels and in newsletters.