Leaders Update
November 30, 2017
Dear LWV Leaders in Illinois,

What a privilege it is to be part of the leadership team for the LWV of Illinois!   In the first couple months as President, my respect and enthusiasm about our organization, already at a high level because of many years of LWV experience, has only grown.  
LWVIL Executive Director Mary Schaafsma and I attended the LWVUS National Council just a couple of weeks after our own LWVIL Convention.  If you haven't yet had the opportunity to read the summary document about what was accomplished at this four-day event, go to this  link:    http://www.lwvil.org/uploads/1/5/9/8/15985276/lwv_solutioning_team.pdf
Please note the five "transformational objectives" for the LWV.

The LWVIL board looked to these objectives to do some strategic planning and goal setting at our meeting/retreat on July 15.  One of the areas of our work that we are examining closely is the way we communicate among our various levels of LWV as we aspire to the goal of the perception of the League as "one organization."  One of the goals we set is developing some "Google Groups."  So, what's a Google Group and how would we use them?
A Google Group is one of the communication tools used by the LWVUS to promote conversations among "state  presidents / state LWV leaders" that I've really come to appreciate. For example, an email went out to the Google Group requesting information about what each state LWV was doing in response to the recent request from the Kobach/Pence Election Integrity Commission.  Within hours, there was a great exchange of information and specific examples of Op Eds and Letters to the Editor as well as state LWV letters to the various state election commissions.

I think that encouraging a google group for local leagues in Illinois is a good idea so the  LWVIL Board is inviting you to join our Local Leaders Google Group. Please accept this invitation. To invite other members of your local leadership team to join, please send an email to  info@lwvil.org  with their name and email. It's a closed group; people either need to be invited or request to be included. 
We think that this Google Group will allow all of us to easily share our good ideas and work. It will also provide a vehicle for providing answers to questions about LWV policy/procedure that come up from time to time.  After all, if one local LWV leader needs the information, perhaps others do, too. 
A Google Group allows you to respond to the whole group or to the particular individual sender of an email response. There's no obligation, just the opportunity to converse if you choose. I do think it will help us all get to know each other better as we share our experiences, knowledge, and ideas. I hope you will give this Google Group a try.
Yours in League,
Bonnie Cox
LWVIL President

LWVUS Program Planning
In the coming months, state and local Leagues and ILOs (Inter-League Organizations) across the nation will have the opportunity to offer program planning input for the 2018-2020 biennium. The program planning process is one of the important ways we focus our grassroots work to align the organization on our issue priorities and our mission. 

Please read an important announcement from Chris Carson, President, LWVUS  here.
Don't Miss LWVIL Issues Briefing 2018

Bridging Divides:
Cultivating Common Ground for Action
February 10, 2018
9:30 am - 4:00 pm
University Center, 525 South State Street, Chicago

We have seen the terrible impact and consequences to the historic budget impasse in Illinois and are witnessing the vocal and often hostile division in our society. League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization and we consider all sides of an issue before coming to consensus on a position and advocating for legislation that supports that position. We are passionate about making democracy work for every individual in our country but how can we achieve anything when the divides distract and hamper progress? We will explore this problem and discuss solutions in numerous issue areas on February 10.

We look forward to hearing your ideas about how to bridge divides for the common good. Registration will open January 2, 2018 with more details coming in December.
LWVUS New Website
Last week, LWVUS launched its new website.  Check it out:   https://www.lwv.org/   !

We are also reminding all Leagues that roster updates are due on  January 31, 2018 which will be here before you know it! This is especially important now that LWV has launched the new national website and   all state and local League information is pulled directly from the LWVUS database.
Messages from the Board about our LWVIL Leader Family
For the last several months our Executive Director, Mary Schaafsma, has been experiencing weight loss and fatigue.  Despite several rounds of medical tests; a definitive diagnosis, course of treatment and prognosis are still to be determined. We expect to know more in the next week or so. In the meantime, despite as much grit and determination as Mary can muster, the weight loss and fatigue have grown to a point that prioritizing where she can put her energy has become necessary.
To aid Mary in continuing her LWVIL work as much as possible, the board believes that allowing Mary to work from home is a constructive way to meet her needs and ours in the next while. She will be available through email for your questions.   Her phone availability will be less however. We are developing plans for board members to fill in at the office to take your calls and route your questions and concerns to the appropriate staff or LWVIL Board member. We will try to be as efficient and responsive as possible. 
As we learn more about Mary's condition, we will let you know.  If you would like to send her a note or card, please feel free to email her at  marys@lwvil.org
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Sending Our Condolences to LWVIL Board Vice President Jean Pierce
On Sunday, November 12, Jean's husband, Lou, passed away.  Memorial gifts may be sent in Lou's name to:
Literacy Volunteers Fox Valley at  www.lvfv.org/makeadonationgive
Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva P.O. BOX 107, GENEVA, IL 60134-0107
Send messages of sympathy to Jean's home address, 2333 Danbury Court, Geneva, Illinois 60134.
 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