League of Women Voters of Oak Park & River Forest Newsletter November 2022 Volume 10 Issue 4

Co-Presidents' Letter

Dear League Members,

“The freedom to vote is the freedom that unlocks all others.” Vice President Kamala Harris, speaking at the 2022 NAACP convention.

Election Day is finally upon us--tomorrow night we will begin to get the results of our midterm elections. Many of you have already voted, but if not, please do so and take a neighbor with you! Some of us will be glad that the bombardment of election commercials and donation solicitations will end. This year’s midterms have been contentious, and there are many tight races in which the election results will decide the majority in the U.S. House and Senate. We will all be on pins and needles awaiting the November 8 election outcomes. 

In late October, Protect Democracy filed a lawsuit on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Arizona in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona in response to organizations and individuals who have conspired to intimidate voters. On November 2, a federal judge responded by granting an emergency order from the bench. That order bans Arizona's ballot drop box monitors affiliated with the conservative group Clean Elections USA from taking photos of voters while they are within 75 feet of a ballot box, from posting identifying images or information about voters online, and from making false statements about election law from now to the end of the voting period. A well-deserved round of applause to our sisters in Arizona. See Federal judge limits ballot drop box monitoring in Arizona ahead of midterms (msn.com)

On the environmental global scale, the first two weeks in November will see the United Nations’ 27th Conference of the Parties, COP27, an annual global summit on climate change. This conference will build on the outcomes of last year’s conference to deliver action on an array of issues critical to tackling the climate emergency – from urgently reducing greenhouse gas emissions to delivering on the commitments to developing countries. 

Veteran’s Day, November 11, is the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I in 1918 and is our nation’s day to honor all veterans. In recent news, retired Air Force Major Fannie Griffin McClendon, age 102, and her fellow WWII 6888 unit members recently received the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor. This unit was the first all-Black, all-female United States Army WWII unit to be deployed overseas as the Central Postal Directory Battalion. Eventually, a then Lt. McClendon joined the Air Force and became the first woman to lead an all-male squadron in the Strategic Air command. From retired Major McClendon : “I am amazed that I’ll be receiving the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor. I’m only sorry that, out of more than 800 battalion members, only a handful of us are still living to see this day.” Watch for a movie about the Six Triple Eight in the near future! To learn more, go here.

As we approach Thanksgiving and think of all we have, let us not forget the Ukrainians

fighting for their land and of all people under the distress of war, famine, and disease.

Wishing you a safe and healthy Thanksgiving!

Jane and Joan 

Election Day

Election Day is Tomorrow! Online voter registration is closed, but a citizen can still register to vote before they cast their ballot. Here is a list of Early Voting Sites. Hear from the candidates by watching the WTTW Video Voter Guide. The Guide includes videos of and other information about the candidates for U.S. Senate and House districts in the viewing area, statewide candidates for Illinois government, and all offices for Cook County and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. Find information on judges running for office here.

You will be given two ballot cards this election. Ballot Card A: Constitutional Amendment; Federal, State, County, and Judicial Offices; and at the end of Card A, the Forest Preserve Referendum Question. Ballot Card B: Judicial Retention and local referenda questions (if applicable). Finally, access the IllinoisVoterGuide.org to check your registration, see what's on your ballot, and watch candidate forums. Everything you need to make informed decisions!

Mock Elections

Students at Julian M. S. in Oak Park took part in a mock election in the races of Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Senator, U.S. House Representatives, and Illinois State Senator. Poll Stars were obtained from the Cook County Clerk's Office for the students to use over a two-day period. Voter turnout was high; 81% of 6th graders, 70% of 7th graders, and 73.4% of 8th graders. Jamie Winchell, teacher librarian, organized and ran the elections. Students developed an "I voted" sticker also. Thanks to Mike Cooley from the Cook County Clerk's Office for making it so easy to get the Poll Stars and to Jamie Winchell for getting our young people interested in voting so early in their lives.

Wastewater Management

MWRD Commissioner Du Buclet recently moderated a panel pertaining to the COVID-19 wastewater testing programs run by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Chicago Department of Public Health. The role that the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and other utilities play in wastewater encompasses surveillance programs and the future of wastewater surveillance in Illinois. The University of Illinois at Chicago is a partner in this effort. 

If you did not get a chance to attend the live webinar, you can watch it on WEF's YouTube channel.

Women Warriors

Women have a long and important history of serving and protecting. Despite gender-based restrictions on their military service, women have been instrumental in guarding U.S. national security interests. This month's Feminist Four from LWV Berkeley Heights, New Providence, and Summit, N.J. highlights three women: Cathay Williams, Mary Hallaren, and Ann E. Dunwoody. Read about their contributions along with those of female spies here. Remember to click on the pictures to learn more about each woman.

LWV UMMRR November Newsletter

LWV US November 3 Update

League Calendar
LWV OPRF Board/Committee List
Editor Contact
LinkedIn Share This Email