Leaders Update
From the President:  

At the 2017 National Council in Virginia, LWV leaders from 42 states, LWVUS Board members, and LWVUS staff were guided through a very intense, structured and collaborative process to understand, evaluate, and discuss five transformational objectives for the LWV at all levels. It was organized and conducted by a consulting firm called LaPiana.
Since National Council, the consultant's work product is a 41-page report called "Assessment and Transformational Roadmap." The report was sent to all members in a May 24 League Update. For a variety of reasons, this report has been the subject of much robust discussion during the monthly conference calls of state League presidents. During one call, the "new" vision, mission, and value statement were shared:  

Our Vision:   We envision a democracy where every person has the desire, the right, the knowledge, and the confidence to participate.

Our Mission:   Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.

Our Value Statement: The League believes in the power of women to create a more perfect democracy.  

The value statement is controversial because it could be interpreted as exclusionary at a time when the League is also encouraging men to join.

We do not know whether the LaPiana report is a plan that will be subject to delegate approval at convention or is something the LWVUS board feels it has the authority to implement on its own. We know from recent communication with LWVUS staff that there will be some kind of discussion at convention.

As I've learned this past year, the structure, by-laws, and management of state Leagues is extremely varied. It would be premature to draw conclusions about the implications of the LaPiana report on LWVIL or our local Leagues.  However, I urge you to read the LaPiana report and send me your thoughts. The national League is asking for feedback through an online survey.  

Soon after the Parkland High School shooting and the subsequent student movement to protest gun violence, the national LWVUS Board decided at a board meeting to waive the student membership payment to encourage more students to join the LWV.   The LWVUS board encouraged our state LWV to also waive state Per Member Payments (PMP). Those student members will become LWV members by virtue of their memberships being registered online with LWVUS. This is to be a "time limited pilot project."

PMP for all membership categories are stipulated in our LWVIL bylaws and in the bylaws of local LWVs.   The bylaws of LWVUS also stipulate PMP for all membership categories. Members of our state board have suggested to the national board that the decision to waive student PMP should have been enacted by amending the LWVUS bylaws at the convention this summer.    

Members of our LWVIL Board have been particularly attuned to the importance and relevance of how our bylaws stipulate membership.  Last fall a member of the LWV-Downers Grove/ Lisle/ Woodridge, along with that LWV, were sued after an Observer Corps Report was published on the LWV's Facebook page.  The plaintiff alleged "defamation" for a statement made in the report.

LWVIL's Travelers Insurance has paid for the cost of defense.  At first the claim was denied with our insurer stating that the local LWV in question was not listed as a member LWV of LWVIL and therefore that LWV and its member would not be covered by the liability policy for LWVIL.  However, when it was brought to the insurer's attention that our LWVIL bylaws as well as each of our local LWVs' bylaws state that any member of any local LWV is also a member of LWVIL and LWVUS, the insurer agreed to pay the claim. (More info on what we've learned regarding insurance coming soon.)  

At this time, LWVIL will not waive the student PMP. The Board determined that doing so would require a bylaws change at our next convention, if that is the desire of the membership. The decision is based on the concern that if we do not strictly comply with our bylaws, student members will not be covered by our liability insurance.

Local League Leaders Google Group

If you have not already joined, you are still welcome to give the Local League Leaders Google Group a try.  We're up to  members!

If you'd like a new invitation sent to you or another member of your league, please send the name and email address to  info@lwvil.org.
Membership and Leadership Development News

This year has been exciting for membership growth. Twenty-six Leagues in Illinois reported increased membership, with over 300 new members in our state. This bring rewards and challenges - How do we meet the needs of these new members while helping them develop their leadership skills? And of course, there is always room for more members.

The MLD program exists to help Leagues attract and retain members and create paths for new leaders.

We need to hear from your League ASAP if you are considering participating in the MLD program in 2018/19. Can 2-3 members of your League's leadership make time to participate in a monthly conference call (lasting about 45 minutes) designed to help you address your membership and leadership concerns? If so, please click on the following link:

To register your league for the 2018/19 MLD program: 

Are members from your League interested in developing their leadership skills - creating an agenda, leading a meeting, etc. If so, please RSVP to tell us who can come to free training led in part by experienced educators at Maggiano's Restaurant in Chicago on July 21 from 10-3. Home hospitality will be provided for League members who are traveling a distance to come to Chicago.

To register by email, print and return to Krista Grimm kgrimm@lwvil.org 
The Second City: Improv All-Stars, Friday, June 29, 7:30 pm

Whether you're attending the convention or not, enjoy an evening of laughter and benefit LWVIL and LWV Chicago at the same time. As host city and state, we are presenting famed Second City comedy in a special performance. A portion of proceeds will benefit the host Leagues.

Mark your calendar for  Friday, June 29 , right on site of the convention at the Chicago Hilton Hotel Grand Ballroom, 7:30 - 8:30 p.m. Your family and friends are welcome, too. This presentation is open to the public. 

Order tickets for your group today by following  this link!  Tickets are $52 plus fees at special pre-convention  pricing until June 25, when online sales end. Tickets may also be purchased at the Convention, when the price goes up to $58 plus fees.

Moderator Training  Workshop:  Saturday, June 9

LWVIL is scheduling a Northwest suburban moderator training workshop for both new and seasoned moderators.

Jan Dorner, LWVIL Voter Service CoChair and seasoned trainer, will conduct this Saturday, June 9 workshop from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm at Mt. Prospect Public Library at  10 South Emerson Street, Mt. Prospect, IL.

Friday, June 1 is the deadline to register. To register, please send your (1) name, (2) name of your league, (3) your email address, and (4) phone number to  voterservice@lwvil.org. An email confirmation of your registration will be sent.

While space is limited, there must be a minimum of 10 Leaguers registered for the workshop.

We need a few more Leaguers to register to reach the minimum of 10 for the workshop.
Invitation to Follow Up on Annual Appeal

Would you like the opportunity to raise some funds for your League? As in years past, local Leagues may elect to make phone call to League members asking for contributions to LWVIL's Annual Appeal. In exchange, your League will earn 15% of donations associated with calls you make. In the past, this fundraising campaign was known as Phonathon.

It will be a streamlined process this year. We will provide lists of members with phone numbers and email addresses. Volunteer callers whom you recruit will call members and follow a provided script to ask for a donation to LWVIL's Annual Appeal. Then they will follow up with an email containing links to an online donation page.
Your League will be asked to call your own members, and your League may also choose to call members in other Leagues.
Please contact Krista Grimm at  kgrimm@lwvil.org  by June 11 with the name and contact info of your coordinator of this project if your League will participate, or if you have questions. 

Thanks for your consideration!
Call for 100th Anniversary Stories

Last summer, LWVIL launched the 100th Anniversary "Celebrating Our First One Hundred Years! Investing in Our Second!" Campaign. Local Leagues may commemorate a person or a story from the year of their choice, 1920 to 2020. Then, by contributing $1000 as a League or an individual, it will be highlighted on our "Celebration of Our History" timeline.

Each time a story is commemorated, it will be shared on the LWVIL website and our social media sites.   By our 100th Anniversary celebration in 2020, we will be able to publish a commemorative booklet with 100 remarkable and inspiring LWV stories, 100 years' worth of LWV history in Illinois.

We are very thankful to the Leagues and individuals who have already contributed. It is time to send in your stories! We have an intern who will be working on this project this summer and we are eager to be inspired by our history. Please contact Interim Executive Director Krista Grimm at kgrimm@lwvil.org with your submissions.
As funds are raised through this campaign, they will be earmarked in our next budget to develop the skills and abilities of our emerging leaders in our local LWVs across the state.
 League of Women Voters of Illinois 
332 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 634| Chicago, Illinois 60604 
Phone:  312-939-5935 | Fax:  312-939-6887 |  info@lwvil.org