President's Letter, Fundraising, and more!
December 2018
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President's Letter

 

I hate talking about money. 

Well, I suppose it is more accurate to say that I hate asking people for money.  But we have come to the time of the year that we send out our fundraising letter, and that means that we should talk about why we have to ask for money.

The fundraising letter may have already arrived in your mailbox. A copy of it is also in this issue of _The Voter_.  It explains that  $64 of the $65 we get from membership goes to the LWVIL and the LWVUS. That finances their important work, tracking legislation, publicizing issues, lobbying for items that the League as a whole has researched and deemed important. We wouldn’t be who we are without that work, work that is best done at the State and National level.

But most organizations get a large chunk of their funds from membership dues, we don’t.

The obvious suggestion would be to raise dues. But we are an organization with two reasons not to do that. The first is that we have a lot of members who are aging, and may well be on a fixed income. We value the contributions of these individuals and would never want money to be a blocking point for them continuing to feel a part of LWVCC. The second is that we want to grow membership,  and most notably, we need to become a more diverse organization. While we often think of that in terms of diversity  of race, of age, of sexual orientation, we also need to really consider that we need to support diversity of socio-economic status. I hate the fact that “full membership” in our organization is limited to “people who can consider giving $65 for a good cause”.  I have a dear friend whose membership I purchased and will continue to purchase. She is smart, passionate about issues, and willing to give of her time and energy where she can. But she is never going to have $65 that she doesn’t need to keep for the next power bill or health care surprise.

We need to come up with a long term solution to the problem of the high price of membership dues. If you have ideas, the board would love to hear them. We have a few ideas, including the idea of a special fundraiser just for subsidizing memberships for low income individuals, but the solution isn’t going to be one thing, it is going to be a bunch of things, and we are always open to hearing your thoughts.

But for now, let me do the thing I hate, let me ask those of you who have the ability to give more to the League to consider sending in a special donation. Donations to the education fund are tax deductable, although we are very limited on what we can spend them on. If possible, make a donation to our general operating fund.

Thank you. I think there is a good chance you hate people asking you for money every bit as much as I hate asking.


–Holly Wilper, League of Women Voters of Champaign County President

Upcoming Events

Mark your calendars; we hope to see you there!
 


Wednesday, January 16, 6:30 - 8:00 Urbana Public Library Auditorium
  • Social meeting to brainstorm ideas for the upcoming conference in June
  • Updates on Champaign League

June 7 - 9, 2019, Champaign Suites (newly renovated Hawthorne Suites)
  • State convention
Focus On A Fellow Traveler

In an effort to increase our impact in the community through networking, LWVCC is introducing a periodic section in The Voter on fellow traveler organizations in our community. The first report comes from the CCVA. If you have a non-partisan organization working on the same issues LWVCC is working on that you would like to see featured here, please contact our communications director at lwvilccwebmaster@gmail.com.
 

Champaign County Voters Alliance

Message from James Manrique

 

The Champaign County Voters Alliance (or CCVA) was formed in the Summer of 2017 as a response to the continued low turnout of local municipal elections. The group is Non-Partisan and our primary goal is to increase voter turnout in Champaign County by as much as possible. We will cover each election in Champaign County, but we are especially interested in Municipal and Primary elections, which have consistently had the lowest turnout, around 10-30% of already registered voters.
 
We hope to increase voter turnout through Awareness , Education, and Research. Municipal and Primary elections often have very low visibility for many residents. There are so many citizens that are simply not even aware these elections are happening, let alone who is running & for what positions. We try to raise election awareness through signage in local shop windows, as well as neighborhood door hanger campaigns and one-on-one conversations with potential voters.
 
Some citizens don't vote because they don't know who is running, and it can be difficult to find quality information about local races. So another primary goal of CCVA is Voter Education. We do this through our website VoteChampaign.org where we have a candidate guide featuring information on all the candidates running in Champaign County. We ask each candidate a very basic 4 question survey, and then we provide links to debate videos and other questionnaires. This helps voters get up to speed on down-ballot candidates, which promotes voter confidence, and with higher voter confidence comes higher voter turnout.
 
Lastly, we are continually researching new & unique methods to help increase voter turnout. Up until just very recently, typical Get Out The Vote strategies did not have much impact on increasing local voter turnout beyond historical ceilings. There were still huge swaths of already registered voters not casting ballots. To try and find out why, we continue to do research into academic papers on voter turnout. We also talk with different politicians, community leaders, and activists to see what methods they have tried locally, and to compare success rates of different strategies. These talks also help us build a coalition of folks with the common cause of increasing voter turnout. 

Through all of these methods, we hope to increase voter turnout in Champaign County. With higher voter turnout we can achieve a more representative democracy, and with better representation comes better outcomes for those communities.

Monthly Meetings:
November


This month's general monthly meeting featured current County Clerk Gordy Hulten and longtime political reporter Tom Kasich, who discussed election security and election integrity in Champaign County. Thanks to all who attended and contributed your thoughts and questions!

If you missed the meeting, you can watch the meeting online thanks to UPTV via the following link:
https://youtu.be/XnTU48xZczo
 
Meet the new Communications Director

Greetings!

I have to be honest, when Holly asked me to write a few words about myself for inclusion in The Voter, I had no idea what to say. (I still don’t know what to say. Shhh, don’t tell Holly.) My working career has covered a wide variety of industries in both the for- and non-profit sectors in catering, event planning, and public relations. I enjoy knitting, reading, gaming, and lap naps with my dog Mister. I am super excited to be taking on the role of Communications Director for the League of Women Voters of Champaign County and cannot wait to get to know all of you.

Kristine Hartman - League of Women Voters of Champaign County Communications Director
September 2018
Dear Members and Friends,
The League of Women Voters of Champaign County is asking again for your support for our local programs and projects. Members pay annual dues of $65 per year. But $64 of your local dues is going to support the State and National Leagues. While we benefit greatly from our contributions to the State and National Leagues, that leaves us with only $1.00 for local activities (and less if payments are made on line). Your additional donations are essential.

LWVCC continues to provide the programs you expect of the League. This spring we hosted several candidate forums for the primary elections. Our monthly meetings have presented programs on Gun Violence, Immigration in Champaign County, the Opiate Crisis, Election Integrity and Security, and Clean Energy in Champaign County. Our concern for gun violence has resulted in cosponsorship of other local meetings about the problem. Our Annual Meeting featured a talk about The Missing American Jury. Observer reports on local governments in the County were presented in March.. In summer we held a booth at Urbana’s Market in the Square to promote the League and offer voter registration. Our League student intern has prepared programs focused on current student interests for the student group at the University of Illinois.

Our website, prepared by our media specialist, includes The VOTER, a monthly newsletter, that presents local, state and national news as well as updates on our local League activities. What are we planning now? I know it is hard to think about another election now, but there are many municipal offices being decided in April 2019. And we will be there with candidate forums, and if needed we will be there with candidate forums before the primaries in February. In June 2019 LWVCC will be holding the Illinois LWV State Convention. Committees for this major undertaking are already being formed. Your volunteering for this will be very welcome!

Help League continue these activities. All donated money is used in the local community. Non-tax exempt donations made to the League of Women Voters of Champaign County (LWVCC) support all of our activities including lobbying for League positions on issues. If you prefer to make a tax deductible donation, a check should be written to the League of Women Voters of Illinois Education Fund (LWVIL-EF). .

Holly Wilper, President Antje Kolodziej, Finance Chair
__________________________________________________________________________

Name ________________________________________

Address_______________________________________

Donation Amount: $25______$50_______$100______Other _$__________

Donation to LWVCC______ LWVIL-EF_____

Please send donations to : League of Women Voters of Champaign County , P.O. Box 201, Urbana, IL 61803-201
Interested in joining the LWVCC Board or Nominating Committee next year?

Know of someone who is?

Contact Corrie Proksa at corrieproksa@gmail.com to express your own interest or suggest someone else!
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The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.  The LWCC influences public policy through education and advocacy, working on various issues at local and national levels. League members come from all walks of life – united by our shared understanding of the importance of political literacy, we celebrate being non-partisan and diverse in our identities, affiliations, and experiences.

Copyright © 2018 League of Women Voters of Champaign County, All rights reserved.


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