League of Women Voters of Oak Park & River Forest Newsletter October 2022 Volume 10 Issue 3

Co-Presidents' Letter

Hello Friends,

It’s a little more than 30 days from the November election, the first election since the big lie assaulted democracy. It is disheartening to see the number of people who believe the lie and enraging to see those who do not but exploit it for political gain. We did not need a reminder of the vital importance of an honest election, but the picture of armed Russian soldiers going door-to-door to “Get out the Vote” for the annexation of parts of Ukraine was certainly a grim one. 

In an effort to strengthen our voting system, on September 21 the US House passed the Presidential Electoral Reform Act. The bill would strengthen the Electoral Count Act against future insurrections like the one that occurred on January 6, 2021. The Senate also unanimously passed their legislation, the Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, out of the Senate Rules Committee on September 27. 

Both bills would make clear that the Vice President's role during the tally of electoral votes is ceremonial, and both would make it more difficult for lawmakers to delay the count of a particular state's results. In the who would have ever thought it was necessary file, it also bars legislatures from appointing their own electors. A shout-out to everyone who contacted their legislators on these bills. 

Also encouraging, “concerns about democracy” has risen in voter priorities. During October, please do all you can to encourage voting. 

Share These Links

  • If you or someone you know has moved in the last year, check your voter registration status: LWV-IL (illinoisvoterguide.org)
  • Use the same site to see what is on the ballot; find your polling place; discover forums in your area; and view a calendar of key voting dates. 
  • Poll Workers needed! Power the Polls
  • Voters can receive immediate assistance at their polling place through the Election Protection hotline, available in multiple languages.

Our LWV OPRF Fall Kick-Off, No Local News is Bad News featuring guest speakers from the Wednesday Journal, was interesting, informative, and highlighted the vital role local journalism has in a healthy democracy. It is a community privilege that Growing Community Media supports not just one but five local papers serving our area. There are several ways to support their endeavors: talk about the stories you read, write letters to the editor, and if you are not already one, consider becoming a subscriber and if able, a donor. 

Thank you to everyone who signed up to be a volunteer for our fundraiser at the Oak Park Farmers Market donut sale on Saturday, October 22. We still need a few volunteers, so please contact Joan Pertertil for more information. If you are not able to volunteer this time, please stop by to say hello and enjoy a freshly made donut. 

October is breast cancer awareness month, so please remember to take care of yourself. 

Happy fall y’all!

Jane and Joan 

Second Tuesday

Second Tuesday will be Wednesday this month. Save the Date! Laura Davis, with the Vote Yes for Clean Air, Clean Water, and Wildlife Cook County Coalition, will present information about the forest preserve referendum to our local voters on Zoom on Wednesday, October 19, 7:00-8:30pm. This referendum is an historic opportunity to protect our water sources, air quality, and wildlife habitats by approving a very small property tax increase of 0.025%. Laura gave a wonderful presentation at our annual meeting, but if you missed it or have questions, attend, and please invite your friends and neighbors to help get the word out. Details to follow - but save the date now!

Run for Office

Voting is the bedrock of democracy. But who can we vote for if no one puts themselves forward as a candidate? So many local, state, and national elections are pre-ordained because there is only one person on the ballot. The municipal elections are coming up in April, 2023. Do you know of someone who would make a good candidate for a school, park, library, township, or village board? How and what do they need to do to get on the ballot? Well, on Wednesday, October 26, we will be having a presentation by legal experts Jonathan Priest and Anne Skrodzki from Klein, Thorpe, & Jenkins on "How to Get and Stay on the Ballot." This Zoom event starts at 7:00pm. Register for the evening event here. This presentation will be open to all interested citizens. Thanks to the Oak Park Library for partnering with us for this event.

Mid-Term Ballot

The Mid-Term Ballot will be a full one. Cook County voters will elect:

  • Cook County Board President, Cook County Sheriff, Cook County Clerk, Cook County Treasurer, Cook County Assessor, all 3 Cook County Board of Review Commissioners, all 17 Cook County Board Commissioners, and several Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) Commissioners.
  • State and Federal offices and judicial positions.
  • The Forest Preserve Referendum on the last page of the ballot Vote Yes Forest Preserves.
  • Amendment to the Illinois Constitution on the first page of the ballot.

Ranked Choice Voting

On Monday, September 19, our League made a request of the Oak Park Village Board to include a referendum question on Ranked Choice Voting on the April 2023 ballot. Home rule villages like Oak Park can put this question directly to their voters. Non-home rule communities need to get legislative approval to do so. Should Oak Park Village Trustees, Clerk, and President be elected using Ranked Choice Voting? That is the binding referendum question we want the Village Board to consider. If you agree, please contact the Oak Park Village Trustees and President voice your support. They can be contacted via email here.

RCV has been in the news lately. On September 29, there was a commentary article in the Chicago Tribune on RCV, while Politico explained the effect of RCV on the recent Alaska legislative House election.

In advance of the November 8 binding referendum ballot question on Ranked Choice Voting in Evanston, LWV Evanston has scheduled a panel discussion for Tuesday, October 11, at 7:00pm. Evanston Mayor Daniel Biss and Alisa Kaplan, Executive Director of Reform for Illinois, will speak to this important issue. You can start to learn more about RCV now by registering for their event here. We will be scheduling a similar event for the month of November. If you have questions or want to join the journey to get this on the Oak Park April 2023 ballot, please contact Peggy Kell.

Theater Outing

The fundraising committee is planning an excursion to the Goodman Theater for a matinee performance of "Swing State," a new play by Rebecca Gilman and directed by

artistic director Robert Falls. "Swing State" is a contemporary portrait set in America's Heartland at a time when it's hard to know who your friends are in a world that's more divided than ever.  We’ve reserved a block of 20 seats in the balcony of the Owen Theater for the 2:00pm matinee performance on Sunday, November 13. Tickets are $15, and we are asking for an additional $15 donation to the League. As our deposit is due on October 24, this date will be the deadline for purchasing tickets. Go here to purchase tickets.

Reduced parking is available across the street. Should you decide to have lunch before at Petterino's next door, valet parking is $15, which extends to the end of the play.

Mock Elections

Our League will once again be partnering with Julian Middle School in Oak Park to hold mock elections this November. Media Specialist Jamie Winchell will be providing students an opportunity to vote for state leaders using Poll Star booths from the Cook County Clerk's Office. We are happy that these young students will be given an opportunity to participate in democracy  and that our League is helping facilitate this formative event.

LWV UMMRR October 22 Newsletter including a Webinar on Carbon Pipelines

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