Letter from the President
Saying Hello.
Dear LWVIL Member,

We have a new beginning.  Our League of Women Voters of Illinois is fresh out of our state convention in Champaign with eight new Board members and an ambitious program of advocacy for our next two years. 

The passion, energy and focus of Leaguers at Convention was inspiring and absolutely impossible to resist.  After meeting you, hearing your stories, your accomplishments, and your big ideas, I know we are fired up and ready to go. 

My passion for League started when I attended my first League of Women Voters meeting  - at just five years old. My parents had recently moved and my mother joined the LWV to meet two urgent needs: making new friends and doing something about the pencil and paper ballots used in her new state. Gathering brand new friends around our kitchen table, my mother began the work that brought voting machines to her state and introduced me to the power of grassroots advocacy and the force that is the LWV. 

We all know the power of the LWV. It produces friendships, connections, influence, change, non-partisanship, research, coalitions, and reputation.  This power arises from the simple fact that you care. You care enough to give, work, and fight for the benefit of people you may never meet or know.  In whatever ways you engage with the LWV, you are appreciated and make a difference.  

On Tuesday, August 6th, our Annual Luncheon will make a difference when we focus on  “Rhetoric vs. Reality: Why the Time is Now for Equal Pay.” I urge you to invite your friends and colleagues to the power of the LWV at this amazing event where we will hear from Laurel Bellows, former president of American Bar Association and honor our own Barb Yong, Founder of Equal Payday Chicago and LWV La Grange Area member. 

Thank you for the privilege of serving as the Board President of the LWVIL. I look forward to meeting you at a state League or local League event. Please let me hear from you - questions, comments and brainstorms are always welcome.
Allyson Haut
2019-2021 Board President
League of Women Voters of Illinois
LWVIL Annual Luncheon
Get your Luncheon League Tables and Program Ads NOW before they sell out!
Tickets are going FAST for the LWVIL 2019 Annual Luncheon, Rhetoric vs. Reality: Why the Time is Now for Equal Pay on Tuesday, August 6. As a League member, you can purchase tickets for just $100 or become a sponsor (which includes a table of 10 and online recognition) for just $1,000. Please note that tables are limited. If you believe your local League would be interested in purchasing a table, please reach out as soon as possible to reserve space. Also, if your League is interested in purchasing an ad for the event program, please find more information on the LWVIL website. Please note that ads are due by July 17th . For any questions, please reach out to Event Chair, Heidi Graham.
LWV Lake Michigan Region Board Opportunity
Looking for four LWVIL representatives to the LWV-LMR ILO Board.
Do you love Lake Michigan?
Is the environment your thing?
Care about climate change? 

Then please use your smarts and passion as one of our four LWVIL reps to the LWVLMR Board.  

Learn more and submit application . Deadline July 26. 

Questions?   Reach out to LWVIL Board President Allyson Haut .

Saying Goodbye to a League Member
Remembering Judy Beck
We were heartbroken to learn that long time League member, Judy Beck, recently passed away. Throughout her life, Judy worked tirelessly to make the world a better place, much of her effort through the LWV.

Most recently Judy was serving as one of our LWVIL representatives to both the Upper Mississippi River Region and Lake Michigan River Inter League Organizations. Judy ’s colleague and friend Sheri Latash, co-President of LWV Glenview-Glencoe shared this remembrance. 

Dear Friends, 
We were deeply saddened to learn of Judy's passing this week. Some of us had known of her cancer diagnosis late last year and her months of chemotherapy, which she had tolerated well. Thus, her sudden death came as a shock. We're certain that long-time League members have many stories to tell about Judy and I trust that at some point we will get together to share them. Tributes from local professional colleagues can attest to her impact as US EPA's long-time Lake Michigan Manager in the Great Lakes National Program Office better than I can. So I want to describe Judy's immeasurable impact on me. 

I first encountered Judy in the early-mid 1980s when she was Natural Re-sources Chair of LWVIL and I was working for Waste Management, Inc. I attended a meeting she had requested to discuss the company's plans to expand its enormous CID Landfill on Lake Calumet into adjacent wetlands it had recently acquired. My impression of her was not just memorable, it was indelible, as this diminutive, calm, and persuasive force of nature made her case against wetlands destruction. I can still see the round table with her sitting at the 12 o'clock position and me at the 7 o'clock position. 

We met briefly again in 2000 aboard a Grand State University research vessel as she lead a US EPA teacher training workshop on the health of Lake Michigan. But it was only when I joined the League that Judy and I developed a re-lationship as we began to collaborate on our shared interests in all things environmental. Whether it was working on technical issues or ways to approach village government, Judy's perspective was always valuable. Her depth of knowledge was profound and her viewpoint on working in bureaucracies was insightful. Though we didn't always agree on a strategy, I would always ask myself--WWJD? What would Judy do? She has been the Jiminy Cricket on my shoulder. 

While collaborating with Judy was always intellectually stimulating and fun, it was our long drives together to attend League-related events that I learned about Judy's heart--her life growing up in Norfolk, VA, how she met her husband (whom she still called Tommy), her children & grandchildren, their wonderful vacations, as well as her devotion to her aged stepmother and her sadness at having lost so many close friends in the past few years. 

Though Judy retired from US EPA a few years ago, she continued to pursue her passions and share her knowledge through public speaking and participation with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), the Chicago Wilderness Executive Council, LWV Lake Michigan Region and LWV Upper Mississippi River Region ILOs, the Grove Heritage Association, our local League's Centennial Committee, and others. She was indefatigable. 
Following her retirement, Judy insisted I go shopping in her 'thrift store' (closet) before she donated her work clothes. So in addition to wonderful memories, how lucky I am to have tangible reminders of my friend and mentor, Judy Beck. She was one of a kind. Words are inadequate to express how she will be missed. 
Sheri Latash 
LWV Of Glenview/Glencoe

You can read Judy's obituary by visiting the Chicago Tribune .
Nominating for the National Board
Do you know someone who would be a great LWV National Board Member? Nominate them today!
The LWV US National Committee is seeking dynamic League members from across the country to serve as members of the next LWV National Board. National Board members serve in a governing role, including fiduciary oversight, strategic visioning and planning for LWV US, and also serve as liaisons to individual states. Although some travel may be required, the majority of your work will be done remotely. For more information about becoming a national Board member, email LWVIL Executive Director Audra Wilson .
Thanking our past League Board Members and Welcoming our new League Board Members
Thanking everyone for their service in the past and in the future.
Thank you to the following retiring members of the Board of Directors for their service: 
President: Bonnie K Cox, LWV Jo Daviess County 
Vice President (Voter Service): Sharon Z. Alter, LWV Chicago 
Vice President (Membership): Erin Roeper, LWV Homewood-Flossmoor 
Secretary: Corrine Joyner, LWV Coles County 
Treasurer: Henrietta Saunders, LWV Glenview/Glencoe
Director (Governance): Olemuel Ashford, LWV McLean County 
Director (Development): Heidi Graham, LWV Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect, Buffalo Grove
Director (Communications): Michelle Ratledge, LWV Naperville
Director (Membership): Sue Khalaieff, LWV Downers Grove, Woodridge, Lisle

Welcome to these newly elected members of the Board of Directors:
President: Allyson Haut, LWV Wilmette
Vice President: Jan Dorner, LWV Elmhurst
Vice President: Jenny Grochowski, LWV Chicago
Vice President: Lali Watt, LWV Wilmette
Secretary: Cate Williams, LWV McHenry County
Treasurer: Barbara Sturges, LWV Park Forest Area
Director: Amy Knutson Strack, LWV Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Area
Director: Jean Pierce, LWV Central Kane County
Director: Kathy Kenny, LWV Naperville
Director: Rosemary Heilemann, LWV Deerfield/Lincolnshire
Director: Siobhan Greene, LWV LaGrange Area
Director: Barbara Hayes, LWV Homewood/Flossmoor
Director: Cheryl Budzinski, LWV Greater Peoria
Director: Barb Laimins, LWV Wheaton

Nominating Committee:
Chair: Hilary Denk, LWV Downers Grove/Woodridge/Lisle
Members: Holly Wilper, LWV Champaign County
Rianne Hawkins, LWV Springfield Area
Upcoming Observer Training
Next Observer Training will be in Peoria.
The next LWVIL Observer Training   will be on Saturday, August 10 from 10:15 a.m. to 1:15p.m. at the Peoria Public Library on the Lower Level . During the training, Observers will learn what actions to take and what to report. Numerous units of government have few, if any, community members observing. This training will empower you to be the eyes and ears in the room! If you would like to sign up or have any questions, please  reach out to Jan Dorner . Also note that i f you need to stay in Peoria the night before, please reach out to LWVIL board member, Cheryl Budzinski , and she will find a local Leaguer for you to stay with.

Important Dates to Remember
Mark your calendars.
  • July 17: United Nations : Nelson Mandela International Day
  • July 19: 100th Anniversary Committee Meeting
  • July 26: Anniversary of People with Disabilities: Americans with Disabilities Act (1990)
  • August 10: Observer Training from 10:15 to 1:15 at Peoria Public Library
  • August 22: Black Women's Equal Pay Day
  • August 26: Women's Equality Day
  • September: Voter Registration Month
  • September 24: National Voter Registration Day

Please note that these are not all the dates that are important.

The Recent Supreme Court Rulings
Where LWVIL stands and what we all can do to show support.
Recently,  the Supreme Court ruled in our partisan gerrymandering cases out of North Carolina and Maryland. While we are disappointed in the Court’s decision that no fair test exists for courts to determine when partisan gerrymandering has gone too far—our work for fair maps has never been more important. 

And there IS a path forward. 

Through the establishment of independent, citizen-led redistricting commissions at the state level to draw electoral districts, we can put power back into the hands of the people, not politicians. Redistricting commissions—such as those passed in Colorado, Michigan, and Utah in 2018—have been highly successful in ensuring that district maps fairly represent the population. 

Fair maps are also possible through Congressional action. The For the People Act, which the League helped to shape earlier this year, includes fair redistricting standards for the entire country. This legislation has already passed in the U.S. House of Representatives, but it needs more support in the Senate.  The League is pushing for a Senate hearing on this bill so that every American can hear for themselves the content of the For the People Act.

The timing of the decision in  Rucho v. LWV of North Carolina  (and its companion cases) could not be more crucial as we gear up for the 2020 Census—the subject of another important case the Supreme Court decided yesterday.

The Supreme Court ruled in  Department of Commerce v. New York  that  a citizenship question in the U.S. Census report cannot proceed for 2020 . In a key part of the decision, the Court rejected the notion that the purpose of a citizenship question was to improve enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. We celebrate the Court’s ruling and are relieved that the question will not appear in the census questionnaire—but there is still much work to be done.

The 2020 Census will begin on April 1 and will aim to count every individual living in the United States. The data gathered will serve as the launching pad for the 2021 redistricting cycle, when state legislatures will begin designing new district plans for the next decade.

The inter-dependency of the census, state reapportionment, redistricting, and elections cannot be minimized—and we will be working overtime in the coming months  to ensure the most complete possible census count , with a focus on hard-to-count communities.

You can view the full statement from LWV US by visiting their website .
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