Dear LWVIL Member,
Let’s celebrate LWVIL’s achievements and evolution to the vital organization we are today at our 2019 Convention: “100 Years and Beyond!”
Louise Young describes the League as reaching its
by 1950, emerging as a grassroots organization whose positions
bubbled up from below
In the Public Interest, The League of Women Voters, 1920-1970
). She contrasted the League to other political action organizations whose “decisions were made by a small cadre of officers and board members.
By contrast, the League’s vitality “lay in how its program was adopted at its biennial conventions” after a “prolonged process of solicitation of local League suggestions and review of proposals.
Thank you to the 354 members of the 20 local Leagues representing 2060 of our members who answered the call to submit program planning suggestions for this year’s convention!
Young also noted that in 1957 the LWVUS
strengthened and expanded its capacity to apply its skills to the function of mediating between citizens and government by creating the LWV Voters Education Fund as a separate legal entity to develop and promote educational programs with financial support from foundations, corporations, government agencies and individuals whose financial support would not otherwise have been available because of the League’s nondeductible tax status as a political advocacy organization.
That’s exactly what LWVIL did in 1979 when the League of Women Voters of Illinois Education Fund was created as a separate entity with 501c3 IRS status able to accept tax deductible contributions.
A 2017 “will of convention” directive to the LWVIL Board was this: “Concerned about 501c3/501c4 issues. Please clarify and give guidance.”
With the help of attorneys at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP,
the LWVIL Board is ready to do just that. We look forward to reporting our findings and recommendations when we see you in Champaign.
Yours in League,