July 2021
SUPPORT INCLUSIVE EDUCATION
SUPPORT SCHOOL DISTRICT 99 – SPEAK UP ON JULY 19!.
The Downers Grove “Tea Party” republicans, led by Laura Hois, are in full propaganda mode at School District 99 Board Meetings. Check out the “Wake Up D99” flyer (link) they are circulating throughout our community for the Monday, July 19 Board Meeting. To view the propaganda that they spewed at the June 21 board meeting, here’s the link to the video. At 15:49 is the start of Laura Hois’ public comment. She and others kept referring to “CRT” (referred to it as Critical Race Theory) legislation on the Governor’s desk. There is no Critical Race Theory legislation in Illinois (see later article for more information).

As Democrats, we need to be represented by our attendance and public comment that is the truth and counters Laura and her party’s lies. If you are able, attend the next board meeting on Monday, July 19. The meeting starts at 6:30 pm at DG South High School in the Commons* of the classroom addition, 1436 Norfolk Avenue, Downers Grove. Please arrive by 6:00 pm or earlier so you can get seating in the front. The Commons of the classroom addition can be reached by entering through door number 32 which is the door at the Dunham Street circle.

Tell your friends about the meeting. If you are unable to attend the meeting, support the board by sending them an email. The meeting agenda can be found by clicking on the following link https://go.boarddocs.com/il/csd99/Board.nsf/Public

In this newsletter, we have two articles relating to 1) “GOP Weaponization of Critical Race Theory” that includes a sample email to the board and 2) “Culturally Responsive Teaching is not Critical Race Theory.” Thanks to Chris and Leslie for writing these informative articles.
District 99 Board Meeting
Monday, July 19, 6:30-10:00pm
DG South High School in the commons of the addition (try to arrive by 6 pm)

Support the board by email to BoardMembers@csd99.org
GOP WEAPONIZATION OF CRITICAL RACE THEORY.
By Leslie Sadowski-Fugitt
The weaponization of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in District 99 is not just a local problem. Throughout the country, the GOP is using CRT as their next boogeyman. School districts have gone as far as pausing their Cultural Competence, Advocacy, Relationships and Empowerment program in Forest Hills in Ohio to ensure CRT “is not being intentionally taught to students or staff.” In Forest Hills, and communities around the country, these arguments are not new. Rather, they are recycled versions of this country’s racism since its inception. The objectors ignore the fact that they are prioritizing white discomfort with something that does no harm over the actual, documented pain of systemically marginalized groups in America. More disturbing is they are cleverly targeting local politics, particularly school boards.

In 2020 when everything was virtual due to COVID-19, a Seattle city employee leaked footage of an anti-bias training session and sent the footage to a journalist named Christopher F. Rufo. Rufo decided to capitalize on this moment, likely for his own fame, and set out on a quest to link anything related to diversity, equity, and inclusion to CRT (for more on Rufo, read this: https://www.newyorker.com/news/annals-of-inquiry/how-a-conservative-activist-invented-the-conflict-over-critical-race-theory).

At that point it was picked up by Tucker Carlson and Fox News, who ran wild with it. Rufo was a conservative media darling, and many Republican legislators across the country asked him to help draft bills to prohibit the teaching of CRT in classrooms. At least five states have passed bans on critical race theory or related topics in recent months, and nearly a dozen other states are pushing for similar legislation. This, of course, ignores the fact that CRT is a law school course and has never been taught in K-12 classrooms (rather, most people confuse Culturally Relevant Teaching with Critical Race Theory). This mobilization of conservative voters against CRT reflects not a problem with the education system, but rather the fear among white, Conservative Americans that they will lose their centuries-long stranglehold on this country. By focusing on our public education system, they are cutting off the honest depiction of American history at its source. Do not let them fool you; this was never about accurately representing American history. It is, and has always been, about maintaining the status quo, keeping power consolidated within the wealthy, connected, white population, and continuing to deny Black citizens a voice in our history and our democracy.

Voice your opinion to the District 99 School Board. Email them at BoardMembers@csd99.org or attend the next meeting on Monday, July 19 from 6:30-10pm at South High school in the commons of the addition (try to arrive by 6 pm).
CRT? CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE TEACHING IS NOT CRITICAL RACE THEORY!
By Chris Hotchkin
Recently conservatives have been attacking school boards and state legislatures, accusing that Critical Race Theory is being taught to public school students in elementary, middle, or high schools. Some state legislatures across the country are enacting laws preventing the teaching of race theory to public school students. Critical Race Theory is not taught in public schools, and never has been. These cultural warriors are purposefully confusing Critical Race Theory with teaching the factual history of slavery and racism in America, and with teachers considering a diversity of cultures in their teaching.

Critical Race Theory is an academic theory more than 40 years old. Its idea is that racism in America is not just individual prejudice, but a social construct that is part of our legal systems and our policies. The theory was created by legal scholars. Its opponents argue that this theory encourages division and intolerance, when actually it is an attempt to explain the intolerance that is part of our nation’s history and imbedded in our institutions. (Read Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste for a well-written portrayal of systemic racism.)

In Illinois, Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning Standards have been proposed by the Illinois State Board of Education. These standards require that those who are in teacher training should be required to take classes in understanding cultural diversity and learn ways for their teaching to be inclusive of all the cultures represented in their classrooms. Rather than being divisive as the right-wing cultural warriors are clamoring about (see Leslie Sadowski-Fugitt’s article in this newsletter on the right’s “weaponization” of Critical Race Theory), Culturally Responsive Teaching seeks to ensure that all students feel included in their classroom and the lessons taught.

Culturally Responsive Teaching does not mandate what teachers should teach about our nation’s history and the role that race has played. It is about teacher professional development, not about a school’s curriculum. Culturally Responsive Teaching Standards are supported by both the Illinois Education Association and the Illinois Federation of Teachers. Culturally Responsive Teaching Standards recognize the diversity of students across our state (and in our local communities). They acknowledge the value that students’ various life experiences bring to learning. They seek to address biases within our culture and to provide teachers with tools and training to create welcoming and inclusive classrooms.

We must be aware of right wing attempts to confuse Culturally Responsive Teaching with Critical Race Theory. We must fight back against attempts by ultra-conservatives to mandate against teaching the facts of our history to our public-school students. Many students today are aware of the destructiveness of racism in America and want to bring about change. The Black Lives Matter protests in our local communities were organized and attended by young people, many still in high school. Maybe this is what frightens the right wing. These young people will also vote!

We should be aware of what right-wing cultural warriors are saying at local school board meetings and be ready to counter with the facts. We should support school boards as they respond to fact-less accusations and to right-wing demands that schools inaccurately teach the history of our country, a history which regrettably includes slavery, Jim Crow, and the suppression of voting rights among our people of color. Our students deserve to be taught the truth in a way that is sensitive and inclusive of all students.
FROM OUR LEADERSHIP
MESSAGE FROM OUR CHAIR. JULY EDITION.
By Greg Hosé
Fellow Democrats,

The Republicans' weaponization of "Critical Race Theory" has become the rallying cry of the right. Nevermind that they are disingenuously misconstruing it to millions of people. You will read about this in greater detail in other articles here. What is really going on is that they are using this misinformation to organize themselves for the 2022 midterm elections in the hope of getting their base out to vote. You will also read in other articles in this newsletter about one way to start fighting back with the truth by attending the District 99 meeting Monday, July 19, 2021 at 6:30 PM in the Commons area. You can also e-mail BoardMembers@csd99.org to register your thoughts with the District 99 School Board.

Fighting back at District 99 is imperative, but it is not enough. We need to fight back throughout Downers Grove Township. To do so, I am asking you to consider joining our Quick Reaction Force, a group of like-minded Democrats who will work together to 1) identify other local school districts where anti-education Republicans are spewing this nonsense; 2) spread the word on social media; 3) write the school board and encourage others to do the same; and 4) attend school board meetings to let their voices be heard and encourage others to do the same. We need to organize against the Republicans in order to protect our children’s education and defeat Republicans next November. I hope you will join us. Please e-mail me at gwhose@gmail.com or e-mail dgdemocrats@gmail.com to sign up. Please put “Quick Reaction Force” in your email subject line.

Democratically Yours,
Greg Hosé
DOWNERS GROVE TOWNSHIP DEMOCRATS IN PARADES!
By Chris Hotchkin
Downers Grove Township Democrats represented in the Hinsdale Independence Day Parade on July 3 and the Darien Independence Day Parade on July 5. Thank you to Tony DeFranco for the use of his very sharp black Corvette for both parades and for driving the car. Thank you to the intrepid volunteers who walked with us in one or both parades: Mark Garrity, Paul Farber, Sue Steeley, Kim Savage, Julie Renehan and her husband Daniel, Jan Kingman, Jennifer Zordani, Chris Hotchkin. (Apologies for anyone I missed!) Next year we hope to have many more DG Township Dems with us in parades!
DGTDO OFFICE
------
Send checks to DGTDO, PO Box 785,
Downers Grove 60515
SUPPORT DGTDO OFFICE AND HELP ELECT DEMOCRATS!
Please donate today to keep our office open and help us to continue our outreach to our voters. We will be meeting in person again and knocking on doors in this election cycle. In addition to social media and email, we will continue to outreach through the U.S. Mail. Also, we must continue to pay for our office rent, utilities and other expenses.
 
The DGTDO office is instrumental in supporting and electing Democrats to offices at all levels of government. We need to start planning for the 2022 election cycle. Because of redistricting, we will have more candidates in 2022 than in other election cycles. All US Representatives, State Senate, State Representatives, County Board, and Forrest Preserve Board positions will be up for election. We will be busy and your donation allows us to do the work to elect Democratic candidates.
 
If you are a monthly supporter, we appreciate your ongoing commitment to the organization. We also appreciate the annual checks that we have received from some of our special donors.
 
We hope that everyone will continue to donate to fund our work during this next vital election cycle. Don't forget, in recent elections, we elected a majority on the County Board and the Forest Preserve Commission, a judge to the Circuit Court, county wide offices, and to the State Legislature. It is our job to help get voters to the polls, and we welcome your support. Here are links to online donation opportunities:


Send checks to DGTDO, PO Box 785,
Downers Grove 60515

Thank you for your continued support!

DGTDO OFFICE RESOURCES AVAILABLE.
DGTDO Office resources are available for volunteers and PC. Here are some of them:
 
  • To reserve the office for a meeting, text Sue at 630-441-6640 or email at sasitton@aol.com. Provide date, time, reason and how many people are expected.
  • Print and make copies of PC letters to voters thanking them for voting
  • Voter lists based on your needs - contact Sue Sitton at sasitton@aol.com if you need help
  • Run and print voter lists
  • Voter labels for mailings

Let us know what you need.
PC CORNER
PC CORNER - JULY 2021.
By Chris Hotchkin
We hope all our PC’s are enjoying their summer. Take time to travel, enjoy time with family and friends, read a good book or two. Soon we will be canvassing and contacting our voters in various ways. Now is a good time to register new voters, especially young people home from college. You might also want to invite some of the Democrats in your precinct over for an informal get together just to get to know each other. There are postcards to voters in swing states remaining in our office that you can pick up, write, and send.
STAY INFORMED - LOCAL.
DISTICT 58 PLAN SMART – UPDATE.
By Rich DeMink
District 58 School board received only one bid submission from their May resolution that asked, at a minimum, $3.8 million for the property. The submitted bid was for $3.6 million and therefore a non-qualified bid. In the meantime, as shown in press reports, the Village has re-initiated their quest for a new Village Hall, which as proposed would include new village offices, new Police Department and some administrative offices for District 58. It should be pointed out that the school district’s original (and preferred) plan was to house their administration at the new Village Hall. District 58 staff has reported that their fiscal year ending 6/30/21 came in significantly better than first budgeted (over $2 million better). It should be noted that as stated in recent public meetings, the Board’s reason to quickly sell the Longfellow property was to fund June 2022 maintenance projects. This surplus seems to remove that urgency.

As reported by members of PLAN SMART 58, who have attended all recent Board meetings, for whatever reason, the Board has now abandoned the option of being part of the Village’s plan and is planning to restart the sale process again with a lower reserve price.
Members of PLAN SMART 58 asked for answers to: 
  1. Why is the Board not even talking to the Village, considering this was originally their first option?
  2. Schools across the nation are receiving millions in Covid-19 aid. The question is, how much does the Board expect to receive. Their response was, an answer would be provided later. (It certainly appears that, this windfall of funds should be available to fund next summer’s and maybe the summer after that projects). The point here is that the Board obviously has funds for future projects and don’t have to rush to sell.
  3. The Board was asked again to slow down and consider all the dynamics of what is happening and were asked again to consider alternative use options for the property.

The Board also indicated they would proceed with getting bids to repurpose the existing (63rd Street) Administration Building and (in closed session) discussed pursuing an office lease to house the administration.

A group of Downers Grove residents has formed to save the Longfellow Center and its surrounding grounds. The site is owned by School District 58 and is currently used to house administrative offices. Longfellow is a historic building finished in 1928, the same year as Whittier Elementary School, North High School, and the Tivoli Theater.  The Center sits on 3.3 wooded acres which includes over 40 century-old oak trees. 

The School District intends to sell the property, which could be subdivided to put up to 12 new homes – at the cost of removing the historic structure and most of the legacy trees.  The District put the property up for bid, but no bids were received that met the minimum qualifying offer.

The grass roots organization PlanSmart58 is asking District 58 to take a slower approach and consider options that will preserve the historic building and green space.  For additional information including photos and contacts, visit our Facebook page or search for Longfellow Center, Downers Grove on Facebook.
STAY INFORMED - FEDERAL
FILLIBUSTER REFORM.
By Joanna Williams
Statement on the filibuster from League of Women Voters CEO Virginia Kase:

March 30, 2021
“The League of Women Voters calls on the US Senate to amend the filibuster rule that continues to stand in the way of progress for the American people. The League has a history of calling for filibuster reform to ensure a functioning democracy. In 2011, the League called for filibuster reform to end gridlock and partisan warfare in the Senate. Today, we are seeking the same reform to limit obstruction. 

The American voters elected senators to legislate, and we want to see Congress pass laws—not use outdated, arbitrary rules with a history of racist ties to obstruct our democracy. The Senate filibuster is a Jim Crow relic, historically used to protect the South’s dependence on slave labor and later to defend segregation and block civil rights legislation. 

The League supports reforming the filibuster to prohibit a minority party from blocking opening debate of a bill. We support instituting a ‘talking filibuster,’ ending silent holds, putting the onus on minority parties to produce 40 votes, and lowering the cloture vote threshold to bring bills to a final up-or-down vote on the Senate floor. 

As long as senators can hide behind the filibuster, they are not beholden to the American people. Under current rules, senators far too often abuse the filibuster to delay important legislation and conceal debate behind closed doors, out of the view of the American people. 

This does a disservice to our democracy. The American voters deserve to see which of their elected senators are obstructing a vote on issues that matter to our communities, the nation, and the health of our republic. Those wishing to block action should be held accountable and required to hold the floor of the US Senate to explain themselves to the public. 

Our nation deserves better. The American people are tired of seeing this archaic tool used and abused to delay progress. It is time to amend the filibuster for the health and safety of our democracy.”
GET INVOLVED.
FIND YOUR VOICE.
By Kim Savage
Do you need to muster your messaging skills? Polish your presentations? Galvanize your group? If you answered yes to any of these questions, PEACE Toastmasters is here to help.

Progressive Enthusiasts Articulating and Communicating Eloquently (PEACE) was founded in 2012 with seed money from the Democratic Women of DuPage County to cover the chartering fees with Toastmasters International. The mission to provide a safe place for Democrats to hone their speaking and leadership skills grew out of the need to prepare Democratic candidates and volunteers to become more articulate.

Meetings are structured into three main sections. At each meeting, three to four members deliver prepared speeches or presentations. Following the prepared speeches, members engage in a session of impromptu speaking, which challenges speakers to create a 1-2 minute speech on a topic given to them (PEACE often focuses on emergent political themes). The last section offers feedback, with selected members creating 2-3 minute critiques of the prepared speeches. The evaluation section also reviews grammatical issues observed during the meeting, as well as timing for all prepared and impromptu speeches. The club provides excellent training for elected officials, potential candidates, and organizational leaders.

Currently, PEACE meets on the 1st Friday from 6:30-8:30pm and 3rd Sunday of each month from 3:00-5:00pm. Check out the Facebook page for up to date virtual or in person meeting locations. Visit http://peacetoastmasters.org/ for additional information.

For specific questions, feel free to contact President Kim Savage at kimsavage@gmail.com.
DGTDO OFFICE IS OPEN.
Now that the office is open, we have coffee and chat on Saturday mornings - in person. Typically people show up around 10 am, but the office is open from 9 am to 12 noon. Stop by for good conversation with like-minded democrats. It helps to keep our sanity and to get caught up on what's going on is our community. You might also find a great volunteer opportunity.
POSTCARDS TO SWING STATES AVAILABLE AT DGTDO.
Are you interested in writing postcards to swing states? Stop by DGTDO office and pick them up. We currently have postcards for Georgia, thanking voters for voting in the 2020 election. These postcards can be mailed as you write them. Thanks for your help.
2022 ELECTION
RACES ON THE 2022 BALLOT.
Due to the delay in finalizing redistricting, the 2022 Primary Election will be in June. Here are key dates:

Petition signatures: 1/13 to 3/14
Petition filing: 3/7 to 3/14
Primary Election: 6/28

For a current list of races that will be on the 2022 Ballot for DG Township (based on current districts), go to our website dgdemocrats.org.

Districts for state house and senate are done. DuPage County and Congressional districts are expected to be available in September. Stay tuned for updates.
MORE EVENTS AND RESOURCES
Friday August 6 from 11:30 am to 5:00 pm
DOWNERS GROVE TOWNSHIP DEMOCRATS SAVE LIVES BY DONATING BLOOD.
The DGTDO is proud to be hosting its second blood drive on Friday, August 6 from 11:30-5. We have partnered with Versiti Blood Centers of Illinois for the event. Every unit of blood collected saves three lives.

The successful blood drive on April 30 collected 28 units of blood, saving 84 lives. The collection exceeded the goal of 26 units and nine of the donors were new to Versiti. Help meet the urgent need for blood and see if we can beat April’s statistics.

The mobile blood collection unit will be parked on Washington Street next to our building. While walk-ins will be available, please schedule a slot in advance by clicking this link. When you are done, stop by and visit with your Democratic neighbors in the office. We are open!
DEMOCRATIC WOMEN OF DUPAGE COUNTY CELEBRATES WOMEN'S EQUITY DAY.
Honors Women’s Equality Day with a special panel presentation

Sunday, August 29, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Illinois Federation of Teachers
500 Oakmont Ave., Westmont
Enter through Entrance D or E
in the rear of the building.

“Every student in, no student out.”
Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT).
  • Do we teach anti-racism in schools? Should we teach anti-racism?
  • What is Culturally Responsive Teaching? Is this the same as Critical Race Theory?
  • What is mandated by the state of Illinois in regard to Culturally Responsive Teaching?
  • How are teachers prepared for Culturally Responsive Teaching?
  • How can concerned community members support the accurate teaching of American history, and negate false information about CRT brought up at school board meetings, on social media, etc.?
  • What is the experience of students? Why is Culturally Responsive Teaching needed?

The panel:
  • State Senator Karina Villa, former school social worker
  • Stacy Davis Gates, Vice President Chicago Teachers Union
  • Rebecca Gamboa, 5th grade teacher, local teacher union leader, and National Education Association Director
  • Drushya Musham, recent graduate of Matea High School, student at Indiana U.

There is no fee to attend. 

Those in attendance will be invited to join us for Women’s Equality Day Cake and refreshments after the meeting.
WE THE PEOPLE CONSTITUTION DISCUSSION GROUP (Virtual)
TOPIC: To be announced

MARK YOUR CALENDAR!

Tuesday, AUGUST 10
7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

If interested, please email wtpconstitutiondg2020@gmail.com
IDCCA COUNTY CHAIRS' BRUNCH
MARK YOUR CALENDAR!

VIRTUAL AND IN-PERSON EVENT

Crowne Plaza Hotel - Springfield

Wednesday, August 18
9:00 a.m.

DGTDO WINE TASTING AND FUNDRAISER!
MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
Invite your friends and family!

Saturday, October 23

SavWay Fine Wines & Spirits
3821 South York Road
Oak Brook

Stay Tuned for Updates
JOIN PEACE TOASTMASTERS.
PEACE! TOASTMASTERS
1ST FRIDAY 6:30-8:30PM (virtual)
3RD SUNDAY 3:00-5:00pm (in person)
DUPAGE DEMOCRATS OFFICE

  • Improve your impromptu speaking
  • Learn to articulate your message clearly
  • Learn to use feedback to improve performance
  • Try out new ideas
  • Vent with like-minded people
White House: (202) 456-1111   
Click on GET INVOLVED in the blue header

Dept of Justice: (202) 353-1555

Congressional Switchboard for Both Houses: (202) 224-3121

Local offices if Washington office is busy:
Sen. Dick Durbin (312) 353-4952
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (312) 886-3506
Rep. Sean Casten 202-225-4561, 630-520-9450
Rep. Mike Quigley (773) 267-5926
Rep. Bill Foster (630) 585-7672
Rep. Marie Newman (773) 948-6223

Illinois State Elected Officials

State of IL: JB Pritzker:
(217) 782-0244

State Sen Suzy Glowiak
(217) 782-8148, (630) 785-3177

Rep Deanne Mazzochi
(217) 782-1448, (630) 852-8633

State Sen John Curran
(630) 796-2623, (217) 82-9407

State Rep Jim Durkin
(217) 782-0494, (630) 325-2028

State Rep Anne Stava-Murray
(217) 782-6578 , 630-605-0595
DGTDO OFFICE HOURS:
July / August 2021
DGTDO Office
(PO Box 785)
908 Curtiss, Downers Grove
630-297-8600

Monday 1:30 to 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday 1:30 to 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 1:30 to 6:00 p.m.
Thursday 1:30 to 6:00 p.m.
Friday 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
For most current list of events, go to www.dgdemocrats.org/
 
Upcoming Events and Key Election Dates
Types of events: DGTDO, Candidate, Education / Issues, “Be Active”, Organization Meeting
To add events to the following list, email information to dgdemocrats@gmail.com
 
Updated July 18, 2021

Recurring Events

DGTDO Office Hours (In-Person – We’re back!)
Saturdays, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Stop by for coffee and chat. Good conversation with like-minded people.
DGTDO Office
908 Curtiss Street, Downers Grove
 

July 2021

July 18 (Sunday), 3:00 to 5:00 pm
PEACE Toastmasters Meeting  (1st Fridays, 3rd Sundays)
In Person - check for location

July 19 (Monday), 7:00 to 8:30 pm 
We the People Constitution Discussion Group
Virtual Meeting
Details to follow

July 22 (Thursday), 7:00 to 8:30 pm 
Understanding the Criminal Justice System: Know Your Rights
(hosted by:  DuPage NAACP)
Virtual Meeting
 

August 2021

August 6 (Friday), 6:00 to 9:00 pm 
PEACE Toastmasters Meeting  (1st Fridays, 3rd Sundays)
Virtual Meeting

August 10 (Tuesday), 6:30 to 8:00 pm 
We the People Constitution Discussion Group
Virtual Meeting
Details to follow

August 11 (Wednesday), 7:30 to 9:00 pm 
DGTDO Monthly Meeting (2nd Wednesday)
Virtual Meeting

August 15 (Sunday), 3:00 to 5:00 pm
PEACE Toastmasters Meeting  (1st Fridays, 3rd Sundays)
Virtual Meeting

August 18 (Wednesday), 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
IDCCA Annual County Chairs’ Brunch (Special Guest Senator Jon Ossoff – GA)
Virtual Meeting and In-person
Crowne Plaza Springfield – Convention Center
3000 South Dirksen Parkway, Springfield

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

September 10 (Friday), 9:00 am to 6:00 pm 
DuPage Dems Golf Outing 2021
(hosted by: DuPage Dems
Bloomingdale Golf Club
181 Glen Ellyn Road, Bloomingdale
Details to follow
 
October 23 (Saturday), 6:00 to 8:00 pm 
DGTDO Wine Tasting & Fundraiser
(hosted by: Downers Grove Township Democratic Org.)
SavWay Fine Wines & Spirits
3821 South York Road, Oakbrook
Details to follow