Bonnie Cox, LWVIL President
FromFrom the President
Dear LWVIL Members,
Most likely we all remember the Women's March of 2017, an outpouring of strong sentiments worldwide in reaction to the campaign and election of 2016.  On January 20, 2018 , the theme is "March to the Polls."   What an opportunity to promote the LWV and our commitment to democracy and voter service! 
The LWVIL Board is encouraging LWV members across the state to participate in the event.  If coming to Chicago, we'll let you know when and where to convene.
Wherever you march, we encourage you to carry signs that promote the LWV. Include your local LWV website or our LWVIL site: www.lwvil.org. We're working on a hashtag, too. (Perhaps #LWVILMarchToThePolls ?)  We'll keep you posted on that. 
Let's make sure that all those photos tweeted and posted to Facebook and Instagram of our Leaguers and their signs promote our dedication to helping voters be informed and engaged. 
Let's invite them to get more information about us and join us, too!
In a webinar for LWV state leaders last week I learned of the LWVUS board's recommendations for revamped LWV vision and mission statements.  Here they are:
  • Mission StatementEmpowering Voters. Defending Democracy. 
  • Vision Statement: We envision a democracy where every person has the desire, the right, the knowledge and the confidence to participate.
  I could see those statements as good ones on our signs.  How about you?
Yours in League,
League of Women Voters of Illinois
League of Women Voters of Illinois Education Fund
IssuesIssues Committee
Hilary Denk / He ather Cunningham, Co-chairs, Issues Committee
Don't Miss the 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 20.

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.

THANK YOU to our Issues Specialists, who are dedicated and diligent, intelligent and kind. During the veto session, they followed numerous bills and shared several TFA's with our membership. This article provides a roundup of the veto session:    https://illinoisdelivered.com/2017/11/16/legislative-checklist-veto-session/ 

In addition, please read this important report about redistricting

Hope you all had wonderful Thanksgiving! 
voterVoter Service: BallotReady
Sharon Alter, Vice President, Voter Service
Jan Dorner, Co-Chair
The League of Women Voters of Illinois Education Fund as signed a contract with BallotReady, who will host the Illinois League's online voter guide for the 2018 primary election on  March 20 . LWVIL and BallotReady will produce a website that will be accessible from the lwvil.org website. 
The LWVIL Board felt that BallotReady would best serve the voters of Illinois. BallotReady aggregates information from candidates' websites, social media, press, endorsers and board of elections. Everything on the site is linked back to the original source.
Although BallotReady will do the lion's share of procuring detailed information, local Leagues have the ability to send questionnaires to specific candidates, all of which would be included in the umbrella of LWVIL's contract, unless an individual League would like their own website from BallotReady. The online voter guide shows a candidate's positions on issues, biography and endorsements, and could have a tab for any questionnaire.
Users will be able to save the candidate of their choice and take it to the voting booth with them.  Voter choices can be printed out. BallotReady also is mobile-friendly, so choices can be pulled up on a phone's browser, if allowed.*
Besides its online voter guide, Ballot Ready offers a "Make a Plan to Vote."  Voters will be matched with their polling place and can choose whether to vote early, on Election Day or by mail.  BallotReady sends text messages and email reminders to make sure all turn out to vote.
Early voting starts 2/8/2018, and this website is targeted to be online by 2/1/2018, although it may not be completely populated. Remember to check with your local election authority about the actual dates when early voting will take place.
If you have any questions about this online voting guide, let us know and we can help!  voterservice@lwvil.org
*Currently, some Illinois election authorities do not allow cell phones in the voting area.  
SaveSave the Date: January 20, 2018
Women's March to the Polls National Turnout Event

Remember the excitement generated by the January 2017 March? Organizers are at work again to promote an equally exciting event on Saturday, January 20, 2018. 

LWVIL did it this year and will do so again next year:  encourage leagues throughout Illinois to join their local area's march. In the Chicago area, we will do likewise. Put on your comfortable walking shoes and join us in marching for the issues about which we care.

Watch the LWVIL website for further details as they become available.
LWVILLWVIL Working on State, Local and Regional Level to Combat Nutrient Pollution

At our LWVIL Convention in 2015, delegates approved "the reduction of nutrient pollution" as an action focus. Your local LWV may be a member of one or both Inter League Organizations doing great work on this issue: 
  • LWV-Lake Michigan Region ILO (LWV-LMR ILO)
  • LWV-Upper Mississippi River Region ILO (LWV-UMRR ILO).
The LWV-UMRR ILO has a great blog. Check it out here:  https://www.lwvumrr.org/blog
Covering LWV sponsored water related meetings and events across our 4-state region, the blog's articles will link you to valuable information and great ideas for your own LWVs.  They have been video recording and live streaming events, too. Check out the links to those programs in the blog.
Join the LWV- UMRR ILO at the Dubuque Carnegie-Stout Public Library  on Monday, December 4 from 9:15 to 11:30,  360 W. 11th Street, Dubuque, Iowa 52001 . The educational program at 1:00 pm will feature Jarod McGovern from the National Mississippi River Museum; a brief presentation about local efforts will follow. LWV members in our four-state region are invited to attend the Board meeting, and all are welcome for the educational program.
LWV-Lake Michigan Region ILO Annual Meeting in Green Bay on November 9 featured Nancy Utesch of Kewanee (WI) Cares speaking about nutrient pollution causing the growing dead zones in Green Bay and Lake Michigan. Judy Beck, from LWV-Glenview/Glencoe who is active in both ILOs, presented "Watershed Literacy and Engagement" emphasizing the LWV-LMR ILO's efforts to organize "100 Water Related Meetings Honoring the 100th Anniversary of LWV" and their "Know Your Watershed Fact Sheets"/Watershed Research project.  
Is your LWV interested in one of those 100 meetings or doing research in your watershed? Go to the LWV-LMR ILO website for more information: https://www.lwvlmr.org/
Rosemary Heilemann, LWV-Deerfield, received the Palleon Award at the LWV-LMR ILO annual
meeting on November 9 in Green Bay, in recognition of her great volunteer work on behalf of the ILO.  Rosemary (standing in the back row wearing the pink sweater) is shown here as one of the  
Watershed Game (WSG) facilitators trained in Loves Park on September 22 and 23. The LWV of Jo Daviess County and the two ILOs have collaborated to organize, plan, and find the funding to train 76 such facilitators over the last year.  If you are interested in a WSG facilitator providing a program for your LWV, email Bonnie Cox at  b onniekaycox@gmail.com .

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.

Is there news from your local League that you would like to share? Consider submitting an item to the LWVIL monthly E-News. Send it to info@lwvil.org
Remember to check out state and local League events on the LWVIL website calendar. 
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Not a League member? Check out the League in your area or join through the state League.
League of Women Voters of Illinois 
332 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 634 | Chicago, Illinois 60604
p. 312.939.5935 | f. 312.939.6887 | info@lwvil.org