League of Women Voters of Oak Park & River Forest Newsletter November 2021 Volume 7 Issue 4
Co-Presidents' Letter
Dear Friends,

Democracy is never a done thing. Democracy is always something a nation must be doing. 
Archibald MacLeish

Voting rights continue to dominate the news as last week Senate Republicans blocked the Freedom to Vote Act (FRVA) from even being debated in the U.S. Senate. What’s in the FRVA? Key provisions include national standards for federal elections for vote by mail and early voting; transparency in campaign funding and limits on super PAC power; gerrymandering prohibitions; and election security criteria. The LWV IL will host two important forums on voting rights:
  • On Tuesday, November 2, at 10:00am, LWV IL and Chicago Votes members will talk about protecting pretrial detainee’s right to vote. Go here to register.
  • On Thursday, November 4, from 4:00-5:00pm, join Martha Kinsella from the Brennan Center for Justice to hear the current status on the Voting Rights Amendment Act (VRAA). Go here to register.

A hot tip for LWV OPRF and state environmental advocates! LWV IL, who as a member of the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition (ICJC), received the United Nations Global Goals Award this month for its efforts in support of the United Nations Global Goal #7, Affordable and Clean Energy. The League is one of 200 ICJC member organizations that advocated for Climate and Equitable Jobs Act that was signed by Governor Pritzker on September 15, 2021. This comprehensive climate and energy bill moves Illinois to the forefront of national environmental justice efforts.

Are you a history buff? Read about the establishment and the work of the LWV OPRF from 1924-1970 on the League’s website. The League worked closely with the Nineteenth Century Club as “it was the goal of both organizations to introduce Oak Park Women to a vista of greater civic activity.” Read about the Citizen Schools and like today, the women studied and took influential and sometimes controversial positions on many issues including the United Nations, the Marshall Plan and the nuclear bomb. 

Don’t forget to register to hear Jim McGrath, LWV IL Issue specialist discuss gun violence prevention at the Second Tuesday Civic forum on November 9. In a related matter, please consider the League’s Time for Action alert regarding a renewed push to allow teachers to carry firearms and safe gun storage. See below.
Donut Day was a fun, successful fundraising event and a shout-out to all those who worked and in particular to co-president Joan Petertil for making it happen. They really are delicious donuts. 

We wish you a bountiful table and the gift of gratitude for your Thanksgiving celebration. Bon appetit! 

Jane and Joan 
Training Scheduled
The League is considered the expert in presenting non-partisan, informative candidate forums with trained LWV moderators. Learn the steps to planning a successful candidate forum, including time at the end of each training for a session on Zoom forum essentials for those who wish to remain. There are two dates for this training. Register for the 10:00am-Noon, November 9 training here and for the 10:00am-Noon, November 13 training here.
Well-moderated candidate forums are a League hallmark thanks to well-trained moderators.  LWV IL will hold moderator training on two dates. Register for the 7:00-9:00pm, November 15 training here and for the 10:00am-Noon, November 16 training here.

Registration required. Members onlyThe event link will be sent a day in advance. Those registering within the 24-hour period prior to the event will receive the event link one hour before the event.
Urge Schools Boards to Vote Against Guns in Schools
This November at the annual meeting of the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) two resolutions regarding legislative positions and firearms will be considered.
·         Resolution #2 involves allowing school employees to carry firearms on school property as part of a Student Safety and Protection Plan. 
·         Resolution #15 involves requiring safe storage of firearms in homes with students under the age of 18 years. 
Use this link for more information and a sample e-mail to send to school boards. 
Website Update
Now on our website, you will find two new documents posted in the dropdown menu under the About section in navigation. The first is the Informational Booklet that was previously included in our printed directory. These 22 pages include information on our mission statement, membership information, League terminology, League positions, Political Activity Policy, voter information websites, communicating with elected officials, and legislator lookups. All this information can now be easily accessed from our website or downloaded and placed on your desktops.
The second new document on our website is the history of our League from 1924-1970. Authored by Hazel Hanson and Eileen Subak, this document can be read and referenced by all our members and the community at large. Previously it could only be accessed in our archives at the Oak Park History Museum.
Finally, those members who requested a printed Member Contact Directory will be receiving them in the mail this week. Members who requested an electronic copy will be receiving that copy in an email this week. Keep an eye out for it.
Second Tuesday is Back!
Guns: They’re Killing Us.  Recent headlines tell the story: 23 Shot, 3 Fatal; 20 Wounded, 4 People Killed; 9 Killed, 58 Wounded; 6 Killed, 56 Wounded. Please join us for a discussion on the important topic of Gun Violence Prevention with LWV IL Issues Specialist Jim McGrath when the Second Tuesday community issues series kicks-off at 9:30am on Tuesday, November 9. The event will be held via Zoom. Sign-up here.  
Fannie Tickets
Tickets to FANNIE, the Goodman Theater play we are attending as a fund raiser, are all sold! Thanks to all who purchased tickets. Remember, audience members will be required to show vaccination cards and wear a mask during the performance. In preparation for enjoying the play, you can read more about Fannie Lou Hamer here.