League of Women Voters of Oak Park & River Forest Newsletter September 2021 Volume 7 Issue 2
Co-Presidents' Letter
Dear Friends,
While the August heat was good for the tomato crop, it was awfully hot so the September weather is a nice respite. September also marks the beginning of the 97th program year for the League of Women Voters of Oak Park and River Forest, and it’s hard to imagine the work ever being more vital. 
The world is seeing the “smash-mouth reality of climate change” (Governor Gavin Newsom), Covid is roaring back, partisan politics remain divisive, reproductive rights are under assault, and dis-information is rampant. For Pete’s sake, the CDC had to state you’re not a horse, you’re not a cow, so stop it ya’ll! Also, like 100 years ago, the right for every citizen to vote is under attack by people who swore an oath to defend and protect democracy. 
The fight continues though with environmental, voter’s services, advocacy, and civic education work, and we stay resilient through kindness, books, gardens and music. We find hope in Bishop Desmond Tutu’s words “Do your little good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” 
Please plan on participating in the September 23 annual kick-off event: SOS Democracy: The Fight for Voter’s Rights. Guests from Common Cause and the ACLU IL will discuss how the restrictive voting laws being enacted across the country threaten the fundamental principle of democracy: fair, open and trusted elections. See below for details. 
The Grace Wilbur Trout marker dedication was inspiring and a reminder that we do indeed stand on the shoulders of those that came before us. The marker is one of 250 on the National Votes for Women Trail in over 2200 sites across the nation. A special thanks to members Marge Massarello and Mary Ann Porucznik for their work with the 19th Century Charitable Association and the OPRF Historical Society in making this a reality. Also, a thumbs-up to member Leslie Lauderdale for being a photographer extraordinaire and posting the wonderful pictures and videos of the dedication on the LWV OPRF Facebook page. 
Wishing everyone a safe and happy Labor Day. 
Joan and Jane
Fall Kickoff
Coming September 23 ~ SOS Democracy: The Fight for Voting Rights. Restrictive voting laws. Gerrymandering. The big lie. Join us to discuss how these and other roadblocks threaten the fundamental principle of democracy: fair, open and trusted elections. What can we do to protect the right of all citizens to vote? Our program will open with a stirring video; followed by speakers Jay Young and Tyler St. Clair, Common Cause Illinois, and Rebecca Glenberg, ACLU Illinois. As ever, we'll end with your questions. Free and open to the public, invite your friends! Virtual from the Forest Park Library, register here.
Membership Renewals
We have about 40 members who still need to renew their membership. Work on the directory will start soon and to be included you need to renew now. Please go online to pay with a credit card. Our dues, $70 per person, make sure we can continue with our planned programs for the year. Those members who do not renew will be receiving a phone call to encourage renewal. Save those board members some time and renew now!
Great Decisions is Back!
There is still time to join the Great Decisions discussion group on Wednesdays at the River Forest Library. The next topic, "The Future of Persian Gulf Security" is scheduled for September 15. The complete schedule of dates and topics is on our website. This program meets from 1:00-2:30pm on the first and third Wednesday of the month from September through December.
Observer Training Opportunity
The League’s trained Observer Corps are a respected part of the community— they work to keep local governments accountable and community members informed. LWV IL will be holding a training session on Wednesday, October 6 at 7:00pm via Zoom. Our League has been woefully short of observers the past two years, even when municipal meetings could have been observed online. Would you be available to observe one meeting a month of a local governmental unit? Easiest way to contribute to our League's mission. This training session will help prepare you for being a observer. You need to register for the training here
Should you drink that?
On Monday, October 4, from 7:00-8:30pm, the League of Women Voters Upper Mississippi River Region will present a free program on PFAs(Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substances, or forever chemicals) and how they affect our health. Register here by October 1st for this free virtual program. Read more about this topic here.
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District September 2021 Flow Newsletter