Newsletter - May 2024

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Newsletter Highlights

League Members plan for the 24-25 year

Forest Preserve Walk in Deer Gove East June 22

State's Attorney Kim Foxx to speak at August 13 Food for Thought

2024 LWVCC Annual Meeting

President Cynthia Schilsky welcomed delegates and guests to the Annual Meeting held at Roosevelt University.

Members Approve New Officers, Budget, and Program

  • LWVIL President Becky Simon reminded the group of the League legacy of action and accomplishment and how critical our work is for this upcoming election.

  • Interest Groups highlighted impactful actions this past year: Monitoring the implementation of the Safe-T Act; special elections required for vacancies over 28 months; monitoring of ARPA programs and Forest Preserve funds. For more detail see the Interest Group Reports on the LWVCC website.

  • Retiring LWVCC Board Directors Diane Edmundson and Karin Hribar were recognized for their significant contributions to the Cook County League.

  • New Directors Victoria Cerinich and Sue Gregory were elected to the Board. VP Kathi Graffam, Secretary Carolyn Consentino, and Director Betty Hayford were elected to another term. The new Nominating Committee will be chaired by Ann Yoshida with member Diane Hodges.

  • See the LWVCC website for details on the 2024-25 BUDGET and 2024-25 PROGRAM.

Election Officials Emphasize Secure Voting

Attendees at the May 13 League of Women Voters of Cook County Annual Meeting were privileged to hear a positive report on the secure and sound operations of voting from two key officials: Edward Michalowski, Cook County Deputy Clerk for Elections and Marisel Hernandez, Chair of the Chicago Board of Elections. The discussion was moderated by LWVCC Vice-President Pris Mims.

The speakers explained the process of counting mail-in ballots for the very close 2023 States’ Attorney Democratic primary which required two weeks, as state law allows, to record all mail-in ballots. Michalowski pointed out that voters abroad, especially armed forces members, may need that grace period. Both candidates observed the voting and the counting and praised the process. 

The two officials said that they are committed to working together closely, and making it easier for voters to understand the two reporting systems. Each expressed commitment to educating the public, and thanked the League for circulating election information and recruiting election judges.

Attendees asked about signature cards as young people no longer learn cursive writing, management of voter rolls to accommodate moving or deaths, budgets and concerns about disruptions around the November 2024 election. They received comprehensive answers reinforcing the view that both these bodies are managed with competence, skill and careful management. 

LWVIL President Decries New Law

That Changes the Rules in the Middle of This Election Year

Illinois League President Becky Simon’s letter to the editor was published in the Chicago Sun-Times on May 17 which decries a newly enacted Illinois statute (Public Act 103-0586) which eliminates the ability of a political party to nominate a candidate for the General Election if no one from the party ran for that office in the Primary. Not only does this new law limit voters’ choices, it is taking effect and changing the election rules during the middle of an election year. President Simon also points out the problems with the speed with which this bill was passed and then signed by the Governor, which prevented any careful consideration by our lawmakers or input from the public. 

President Simon ends the letter by encouraging voters to let their State Senators and Representatives know how voters feel about this law. Read the full letter HERE.

Forest Preserve Interest Group Event

Saturday June 22

Deer Grove East, Palatine

Ecological Restoration

Learn about this relatively new field of science and how it has been applied to 180 acres of former farmland, dried up wetlands and unmanaged savannas and woodlands, join us for a walk in Deer Grove East Forest Preserve in Palatine IL. A Cook County Forest Preserve Steward involved with the volunteer group from the beginning of the project will share how the different facets of restoration ecology have been successfully applied to transform this acreage. The quality of some parts of the preserve are high enough to have been enrolled in the Illinois Nature Preserve System.


Saturday, June 22 - 9:00 to 11 am  

Deer Grove East, Palatine, IL

Steward led walk limited to 25 people

Approximately 3 mile walk

The trails are paved, gravel and some dirt but nothing very strenuous. At most, they may be uneven/ruts on some of the dirt trail due to some erosion. We'd meet at the far west end of the main parking lot off Dundee RdDeer Grove East far west end of parking lot.

Register at

State’s Attorney Kimberly M. Foxx

“Food for Thought”

August 13, 2024


State’s Attorney Kimberly M. Foxx has accepted the Cook County League’s invitation to be our guest speaker on Tuesday, August 13, 2024 at our annual Food for Thought fundraiser. The money raised will be used for the League’s voter service efforts.

DePaul Club room in the DePaul Center

1 E. Jackson

11:30 am to 1:00 pm. 

Cost: $40 will include lunch. 

Look for registration information in your inbox soon.

LWVCC Interest Groups report on important news in Cook County Government

Criminal Justice Interest Group

  • The Criminal Justice Group received a letter from Chief Judge Tim Evans with recent statistics that showed the Safe-T Act has not affected the reoffending rate or the failure to appear in court rate. His data reflected the time before and after the law took effect.
  • The next book discussion will be on Ben Austen's "Correction: Parole, Prison and Possibility of Change". The date will be announced.
  • The next regular meeting of the Criminal Justice Interest Group will be May 21st at 9 am via Zoom. The group will discuss a report by the Appleseed lawyers on the role of the prosecutor. A visit to the newest Restorative Justice Court in Avondale will be planned. If you would like to attend this meeting please contact Jan Goldberg

LWVCC observes and reports on board and committee meetings of Cook County government entities to provide our members with an understanding of current issues. To read more: LWVCC Observer Reports

Highlights from Observer Reports

Cook County Forest Preserve District Board of Commissioners Meeting

April 16, 2024 

  • Commissioner Degnen proposed a resolution declaring a climate emergency. She specifically asked for the elimination of single use plastic and stated that 22 million pounds of plastic waste enters the Great Lakes every year. Her goal is an ordinance eliminating single use plastic.  


Cook County Health Quality and Patient Safety Committee 

April 19, 2024 

  • The Operation Excellence (OpEx) workgroups from Stroger, Provident and Ambulatory and Community Health Network (ACHN) provided updates. At Stroger, progress is being made on both lowering central line and catheter infections and decreasing Pulmonary Embolism and Deep Vein Thrombosis occurrences. Provident Hospital has also shown improvement in their goals. Sepsis occurrence has decreased and hand hygiene has improved. 


Cook County Board Committee Meetings--Finance

April 16 2024 

  • Resolution to redirect $70 M (out of $100 M in the Disaster Response & Recovery Fund) from new arrival health care to reimbursing Chicago for food service for new arrivals (Item 24-2103) was approved after significant discussion with the caveat that any modification to the grant agreement with Chicago (such as change in vendors or use of the funds) would have to come back to the Board for approval. 

Local League Upcoming Event

Thursday, May 23, 7 - 8:30 pm

LaGrange Area LWV

Policing in the 21st Century

Speaker: Former Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel

Brookfield Library

3541 Park Ave, Brookfield

Open to the Public

2024-2025 Cook County League Board Members 

OFFICERS: President: Cynthia Schilsky, LaGrange Area; Vice-Presidents: Pris Mims, Chicago, Kathi Graffam, LaGrange Area; Secretary: Carolyn Cosentino, Homewood/Flossmoor; Treasurer: Trudy Turner, Evanston.

Board members: Victoria Cerinich, Palos-Orland Park Area; Laura Davis, Palatine; Jan Goldberg, LaGrange Area ; Sue Gregory, Glenview-Glencoe; Betty Hayford, Evanston; Sandra Slayton, Homewood-Flossmoor


The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan, political organization whose mission is to encourage informed and active participation in government; to increase understanding of major policy issues, and to influence public policy through education and advocacy. Membership in the League is open to anyone regardless of gender, race, or ethnic group.


League of Women Voters of Cook County

332 S. Michigan Ave. Suite 634, Chicago, IL 60604