League of Women Voters of Oak Park & River Forest Newsletter April 2021 Volume 6 Issue 9
President's Letter
Tomorrow is the big day when those who didn’t vote early or mail in a ballot will go the polls to cast their votes for the village candidates whom we watched live or on YouTube over the past several weeks. Thanks to the efforts of our Voter Service Chair, Peggy Kell, we all had the opportunity to make informed decisions based on their answers to questions asked by the viewers, giving us a better idea of what they stand for and who they are as people. You can still view these forums here. Good luck to them all!

Although the weather has been changeable, as it always is in March, temperatures have been moving in the right direction as spring approaches. Daffodils, crocus and snowdrops are appearing on lawns, there are buds on the trees, and the birds are singing. All this points to our Spring Fundraiser at the Good Earth Greenhouse in River Forest. I know you all are eager to get back to the garden, so check out the flyer below and get started by calling in your preorders so that they will be ready to pick up the weekend of April 30 – May 2. You may also go into the store that weekend and choose your plants. Please read the instruction sheet and get started.

Our Women’s History Month Fundraiser starring Elaine Bromka portraying three First Ladies was entertaining and informational as Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, and Betty Ford recollected their years in the White House with laughter and tears. Everyone enjoyed the show and the Q & A afterward with Elaine. We also did very well financially, netting $700, thanks to the participation of 45 members in the audience. Thank you all for supporting our League.

On the Criminal Justice front, the results of our study were approved by the State Board! This is excellent news, and we look forward to the next step at the State Convention on June 12 and 13, where the delegates from throughout the State will vote to approve the results of our hard work. Our committee members did a thorough job of studying and presenting the material so that those who attended the final meeting reached consensus on all the questions. Please support us by attending the convention and voting to approve our work and moving us into a new era of Criminal Justice Reform.

The Nominating Committee has completed its slate for the 2021-2022 year, filling all vacancies on the Board and Committee Chair positions. A job well done! The slate will be included in the Annual Meeting packet. The meeting will be on June 3, and Speaker Chris Welch will be our guest speaker. 

Celebrate Earth Day on April 22 by purchasing a bracelet from 4Ocean, participating in Oak Park’s composting program or planting native flowers in your garden. Happy spring!

Plant Sale Fundraiser
Our League will once again hold a plant sale fundraiser with the Good Earth Greenhouse, 7900 Madison, River Forest. You can pre-order for a curbside pickup or shop in person. Curbside preorder instructions are here. Preorders must be submitted by April 12. The plant pre-order list is here. Print the flyer here and take it with you when you shop in person.
People Power, Day of Action
On Thursday, April 29, at 6:00pm, watch “Line in the Street,” a 30-minute film co-produced by Robert Millman and Rachel Millman. This film tells the story of citizens, activists, and legislators as they fight for redistricting reform in Pennsylvania, one of the most heavily gerrymandered states in the country. After the film, stay tuned for a short presentation by LWV member Paula Lawson on the non-partisan committee in Springfield that is working to prevent gerrymandering so that all voters have an equal voice. She will also talk about the efforts to amend the Illinois Constitution to provide for an Independent Redistricting Commission and the IL General Assembly’s efforts to get public input in this year’s redistricting process. This presentation is done in partnership with the Forest Park Library and you can register for the Library Zoom event here.
Get out there!
Spring is here, bringing lots of new things to do. If you haven't lately, visit our nearby Trailside Museum at Thatcher and Chicago Avenues and check out the bird walk, wildflower walk, and other free activities. Also, on Saturday, April 24, 9:00am- 3:00pmhelp clean up litter in Thatcher Woods in honor of Earth Day. Bags and gloves provided; check in and get the supplies in the Trailside Museum’s lobby. Last, our annual LWV IL legislative visits are going on now, and one of the three essential questions being asked concerns the Clean Energy Jobs Act (SB1718/HB804) coming up for action this session. Read this summary of the provisions from the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition, be informed, and share what you know!
April Second Tuesday
Coming Next Tuesday!  Please join the Second Tuesday committee on Tuesday, April 13 at 9:30am to hear Tyler St. Clair from Common Cause discuss voting reforms nationally as well as in Illinois, the current status of the census data, when it might be released and the implications for congressional redistricting and finally, ethics reform/accountability in Illinois. “Common Cause Illinois sides with no one but the people as we build a democracy that works for all of us. Every aspect of our elections and representative self-government must be fair, open, accessible, and set up so we all have faith in the integrity of election outcomes and of those who serve us.” Please register  here.
Feminist Four Athletes
The 1972 passage of Title IX was a game-changer for women in sports. Before 1972, high school male athletes outnumbered female by a ratio of 12.5 to 1 and barely 1% of college athletic budgets were allocated to women's sports. Now, almost 50 years later, women are getting off the sidelines and into the game. But we still have a long way to go! Read about four women who are changing their sport here in the Berkeley Heights, New Providence, and Summit LWV Feminist Four monthly newsletter.
LWV OPRF Candidate Forum Videos
LWV Upper Mississippi River Region May 22 Annual Meeting