League of Women Voters of Oak Park & River Forest Newsletter January 2022 Volume 78Issue 5
President's Letter
Dear Members, 
Happy New Year! We hope you set aside your cares and were able to celebrate the season and ring in 2022 with hopeful anticipation. For some of us, saying 2022 aloud sounds “Jetsonian.” Nonetheless, here we are, grateful and hopeful. Looking for a New Year’s resolution? 
  • Invest in quality journalism at all levels. Like never before, we need reporting to inform our citizenry and to speak truth to power. Consider subscribing to the local newspaper, investing in Growing Community Media, and paying for one or two news sites. Yes, almost all of it is free at the library, but that doesn’t pay the gumshoes. 
  • Check your bias, check your facts.  Make sure your bubble is well-rounded. Try sites such as NewsGuard that shows trust ratings for 6000+ news sites as judged by trained journalists or GroundNews that lets you easily compare how a news story is covered by thousands of sources. Something sound fishy? Use Snopes to expose misleading statements. PolitiFact won a Pulitzer Prize for fact checking political cases. 
  • Make some noise.  Even when they hold sympathetic positions, elected officials appreciate comments and what the heck, a job well-done note would probably cause them to dance. Pre-address postcards and save phone numbers so the next time you say, “I’m going to contact such and such ...” it’s easy! Consider a thank-you postcard to any elected official who stands for democracy. Write letters to the editor highlighting the danger of the Big Lie. 
  • Fight for voters everywhere. There are many get out the vote postcard writing groups; join one. Stay outraged at voter suppression, and lobby corporations to direct their donations to pro-democracy states. Support nonpartisan voting rights groups, particularly in the states that have enacted egregious voter suppression laws. Call your representatives and President Biden to tell them to support the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. 
  • Above All, Stay Resilient. In the spirit of laughing lest we cry, read Dave Barry’s Year in Review: Wait, wasn’t 2021 supposed to be better than 2020? (msn.com).  Amanda Gorman’s powerful Inaugural poem The Hill We Climb left us speechless, and now she has gifted us with another one, New Day’s Lyric Watch: Amanda Gorman shares hopes for future in New Year's poem - UPI.com.
Thank you for your hard work and steadfastness during the last year. We wish you a happy, healthy 2022! 

Jane and Joan
Second Tuesday Forum: Next Week
The Kids Are Alright. Or Are They?  Our 2022 forums kick off next Tuesday, January 11, 9:30am. Sign up now to hear from our local Collaboration on Early Childhood and Pillars Community Health. Is the pandemic having long-term effects on children's education, health, well-being? We hope to see you there! Register by clicking this link.
2022 Great Decisions
There are a few spots left for the Great Decisions Maze Library group. New group discussions with new 2022 topics will begin in February. This promises to be an exciting series of discussions about international issues, exploring 8 issues over 8 sessions. Books have been ordered for this Spring session, so please email Alex Matthews for more information and to reserve your book. The topics will be Outer Space, Climate Change, Russia and the U.S., Myanmar and ASEAN, Quad Alliance, Drug Policy in Latin America, Industrial Policy, and Biden's Agenda.
Democracy Starts at the Local Level
Join Indivisible Illinois and others to learn about the rise of well-funded disinformation campaigns targeting school boards and educators. This event will cover: Who’s behind the disinformation campaign around masks/vaccines mandates, an erosion of LGBTQ+ rights, and the way race is being taught in our schools? How can we band together to support our school boards and staff who are being threatened and to protect public education? You can register for the Thursday, January 27, 7:00pm event here.
LWV IL Programs
January has numerous opportunities to become trained in League jobs. These virtual events are for members only, and registration is required.
Thursday, January 6, 7:00-8:00pm - Observer Training. Register here
Tuesday, January 11, 10:00-11:00am - the Illinois Voter Guide: Informational Session on this one-stop voter education tool. Register here.
Thursday, January 27, 10:00-11:00am - Moderator Training for candidate forums. Register here.

Coming March 5-11, LWV IL Issues Briefing via Zoom. Mark your calendars.
Act. Vote. Win!
As neighboring states strip away access to care, Illinois remains the haven for reproductive health and rights in the Midwest. But our work is not done. The 2022 election is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; every member of the Illinois General Assembly, as well as the Governor and Attorney General, will be up for re-election. We must protect our champions and elect leaders who believe health care is a human right!
Join Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA) and Planned Parenthood Illinois Action PAC (PPIA PAC) as they come together on Thursday, January 27th, starting at 5:30pm, to celebrate our legislative victories and raise much needed funds to Act, Vote, and Win in 2022! PPIA will welcome vaccinated guests at Morgan Manufacturing, 401 N. Morgan St., Chicago, and also offer a live-stream option. Tickets can be purchased here.
News You Can Use
Need Information and Inspiration? The Insurrection: One Year Later. Join Pro Publica here on the anniversary of January 6 as they examine potential vulnerabilities in the 2022 election and the greatest threats to American democracy.
Need More Inspiration? Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear badges. Some wear boots. Some wear neckties. Some wear pant suits. Some even wear tennis shoes. And in these troubling times, during the darkest time of the year, we need to celebrate the real-life heroes in and around American politics. Read about some citizens of all political stripes who stood tall for democracy.
Support Voting Rights Now! Take Action on the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act here.
LWV and 2021 in Review. From countering mis- and disinformation to creating fair maps, the League was involved in many pro-democracy actions this past year. Read Chief Executive Officer Virginia Kase Solomón's 2021 summary .