League of Women Voters of Oak Park & River Forest Newsletter February 2022 Volume 8 Issue 7
President's Letter
Happy 102nd Birthday! 
On February 14, 1920, the League of Women Voters was established at the Congress Hotel in Chicago, and on August 26 of that year, the 19th Amendment was ratified. Ratification was an arduous journey in which women were arrested, ostracized, jailed, and while staging a hunger strike, force fed. Along the way, distillers opposed suffrage because they feared women favored prohibition, cotton mills opposed it because they feared the end of child labor, and political machines feared it because it would dilute their power. Women against suffrage argued that it would “reduce the special protections and routes of influence available to women, destroy the family, and increase the number of socialist-leaning voters.” (Who knew the socialist boogey-man has been around that long?) A New York Times 1912 editorial predicted that with suffrage, women would make impossible demands such as "serving as soldiers and sailors, police patrolmen or firemen...and would serve on juries and elect themselves to executive offices and judgeships." The nerve of us! See Women's suffrage in the United States - Wikipedia

It’s remarkable to think that we are called once again to engage in battle for fundamental democracy: full voter enfranchisement. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, between January 1 and December 7, 2021, 19 states passed 34 laws restricting access to voting. More than 440 bills with provisions that restrict voting access have been introduced in 49 states in the 2021 legislative sessions. Many will carry over into the 2022 legislative session. If you tire, remember this: 

To get the word male in effect out of the Constitution cost the women of the country fifty-two years of pauseless campaign. During that time they were forced to conduct fifty-six campaigns of referenda to male voters; 480 campaigns to get Legislatures to submit suffrage amendments to voters; 47 campaigns to get State constitutional conventions to write woman suffrage into State constitutions; 277 campaigns to get State party conventions to include woman suffrage planks; 30 campaigns to get presidential party conventions to adopt woman suffrage planks in party platforms, and 19 campaigns with 19 successive CongressesCarrie Chapman Catt - Wikipedia

Some say that February, even with the fewest days, is the longest month of the year. Sure there’s the usual Groundhog, President's, and Valentine’s Day, but if you really want to pass some time, what about these? Jell-O, Love A Mensch and Random Acts of Kindness Week is 2/13-19; the Great Backyard Bird Count and Love Makes the World Go Round, But Laughter Keeps Us From Getting Dizzy is 2/18-21; the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering is 2/18-19; and all of February is Spunky Old Broads Month. Celebrate responsibly!
Jane and Joan
Second Tuesday Forum: Next Week
Roe v. Wade: Are the last days here? Join us on Tuesday, February 8, 9:30 - 11:00am, to hear from LWV OPRF member Ameri Klafeta, Director of ACLU Illinois' Women's and Reproductive Rights Project. As has been widely discussed in the media, the Supreme Court is poised to strike Roe v. Wade at the end of its current term after 49 years of assuring American women's access to reproductive care. Illinois is prepared to preserve those rights, but what will it take? To attend this important virtual event, register here. And go here to read an article from the Chicago Tribune concerning the dramatic increase in abortions for out-of-state women due to more restrictive laws in our neighboring states.
The Status of Immigration
LWV McLean County is sponsoring an upcoming immigration program on Wednesday, February 2, at 5:30 pm on Zoom. Bloomington and Normal have passed welcoming ordinances that are intended to make life more welcoming for immigrants here. How is that translating to a better life for immigrants, including those who have become citizens and those who have not? In 2021 more than 30,880 people in Illinois were in the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program along with 15,700 U.S. born children who have at least one parent with DACA status. Since there has been a lack of recent federal immigration legislation, what has been the federal response to immigration? Panelists will include Fred Tsao, senior policy counsel, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights; Lauren Aronson, Associate Clinical Professor and Director of the Immigration Law Clinic at the University of Illinois College of Law; and Sarah Mellor, Social Services Director, The Immigration Project. Register here for this event.
The Age of Dignity
The Oak Park River Forest Museum is sponsoring an in-person event on Saturday, February 12, from 3:00-4:00pm. Author Ai-Jen Poo. will discuss her book "The Age of Dignity:Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America." Tickets for this program are $10, or $7 for members. Space is limited, so you must register in advance. Purchase tickets here online or call the museum at 708-848-6755 to reserve your seat. This event is scheduled to be held IN PERSON at the Oak Park River Forest Museum. However, the ongoing pandemic may force this to change to an online event.
LWV IL Programs
LWV IL has more training opportunities scheduled for the coming weeks. These are a great way to learn how to become more involved in our League.
Observer Training - Thursday, February 3, 7:00-8:00pm. Members register here.
Moderator Training for Candidate Forums - Thursday, February 17, 7:00 - 8:00pm. Members register here.

Coming March 5-11, LWV IL Issues Briefing via Zoom. Mark your calendars.
League Fundraiser
Mark your calendars now for our League's Sunday, March 20 fundraiser, "An Afternoon with Eleanor Roosevelt." More information will be forthcoming in our future WIPs.
LWV US January 27 Update