A Note From the President, May 2021
With the exciting introduction of our new executive director, Azisti Dembowski, and Convention 2021 right around the corner, it seems appropriate to think about the upcoming biennium.
 
The challenges of the past year have pushed us to take new approaches to time-tested strategies for some of our most basic mission work. We have not only adapted, we have moved ahead - the need for social distancing serving as a catalyst for acquiring new tools that we now can't imagine working without.
 
Online meetings, candidate forums, and educational events have given us scope and accessibility that we are not going to give up. They help us bring more people to the table - we can be inclusive and equitable as never before.  
 
We are building our plans for the next biennium with powerful new skills and methods. We are able to set those plans upon a solid foundation thanks to two years of hard work by our LWVIL board. And now we can add to this the guidance and expertise of our executive director, who said: 

“I hope to enhance and raise our profile to the outside world, fundraise and continue to grow our membership, optimize our financial operations, and provide leadership and implement policies and programs to carry out the mission work of LWVIL.”  

Together, from border to border, LWVIL members are entering our second century stronger than ever.  As a force, your dedication to protecting our democracy is both humbling and pride-instilling.
President
League of Women Voters of Illinois 
Convention is Fast Approaching
It is time to review our past challenges and accomplishments and take care of the business of the League - setting our course for the next biennium.

Convention materials and reports are posted on the LWVIL website Convention webpage, in the For Members section. The convention page will be updated often over the next few weeks, so make sure to check back regularly. 

Delegate registration closes today, May 21. Non-delegates are encouraged to “attend” the livestream as visitors. Visitor registration closes May 26.

Questions? Contact convention chair Cheryl Budzinski. 
Get Involved with Your State League
Most state board members and nominees for the board got their start by working on state board committees. Zoom meetings make it easy for members from all over the state to get involved. There is an immediate opportunity for those interested in helping with the annual luncheon/fundraiser, held in September. Raise your hand by contacting communications@lwvil.org.
Voter Service Election Debrief
Nearly 50 Leaguers met for an election debrief in two different zoom sessions on May 11th. This valuable exchange of information around their accomplishments during the 2021 Consolidated Elections helped provide a springboard for their planning for the 2022 elections. 2022 primaries are only ten months away!

Those unable to attend can watch either the 1:00 pm, or the 7:00 pm debriefing. A written recap is also available for both sessions.
Observer Training
Thursday, June 17, 1:00 pm
The League’s trained Observer Corps are a respected part of the community - they work to keep local governments accountable and community members informed. Attend this afternoon training session. Registration required.
LWVIL Recordings available
The Webinars and Video Programs page on the LWVIL website, under News and Events, is a valuable resource, full recordings of events you might have missed.

April 19 Legislative Hour: A dynamic conversation about recent Illinois legislative gains in healthcare (Representative Lilly), criminal justice (Senator Sims) and ballot access (Senator Morrison, Representative Stuart).

April 26, Lobby Day: Hear from legislators and experts who are championing initiatives on the environment, evidence-based funding for schools, and criminal justice reform.

Issues Briefing recordings and materials are also available - see the Issues Briefing page of the website under Issues and Advocacy for the following sessions::

  • Restoring Environmental Stewardship and the Pursuit of Ecojustice
  • After the Graduated Rate Income Tax Campaign: Now What?
  • Housing is Everything: The Role of Housing as a Determinant of Eonomic Success
  • Recognizing and Doing Something About Systemic Racism and Inequality
  • Welcoming City, Sanctuary City
  • Redistricting in 2021: Community Mapping
Event Calendar
Connect with local Leagues across the state. Post and find virtual candidate forums and other educational events on our website's events calendar.
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The League of Women Voters Illinois Education Fund (LWVILEF) encourages the informed and active participation in government by providing civic education and voter services. Make a difference today for you and your community with a tax-deductible gift to support our work to defend democracy and empower voters.