This issue includes: President's letter, Hot Topics, a member in Jordan, Illinois Women's History Quiz and more!
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President's letter

It's Women's History Month!

How easy it is for us now to recall the familiar names of Susan B. Anthony, Geraldine Ferraro, Rosa Parks, and many others as we celebrate their celebrity and accomplishments!  But let us also remember Ruth Crowley, Lydia Bradley, Angeline Milner, and Antoinette Foerster.  Who, you may ask, are they?
*Ruth Crowley was a nurse who wrote a child care column for the Chicago Sun in 1941, then switched the focus to an advice column using the pseudonym Ann Landers. She wrote the column for nine years.

*Lydia Bradley was a philanthropist who dedicated herself to education. After the untimely deaths of her husband and children, she founded Bradley University in Peoria

*Angeline Milner was the first librarian at ISU. She not only managed the library for 37 years, but literally wrote the books on library management, research techniques, and library services.

*Antoinette Foerster was the daughter of Polish immigrants whose five-year marriage to a school teacher/church organist ended in his death, leaving her with three children whom she raised as a single mother.  And, she was my grandmother.
We owe much to these notables and others and to those who quietly contributed so much to our quality of life. They helped establish our place in our democratic society. Our best demonstration of gratitude is to continually inspire the women who come after us.

--Barbara Wysocki, League of Women Voters of Champaign County President

Upcoming Events

We hope to see you there!

  • Tuesday 3/8/16 –LWV General Meeting @11:30 at UFL. (Note: Change of date)
            Topic: the Future of Libraries    Speakers: Celeste  Choate and Martin Wolkse
  • Thursday 3/10/16 – LOCAL WOMEN AS CHANGE AGENTS: Traditions of Philanthropy and Political Action. Town & Gown Speaker Series @ 7:00 @Archives Research Center, 1707 S. Orchard St. U.                        
  • Tuesday 3/15/16 – ILLINOIS PRIMARY ELECTION (Note: No LWVCC Meeting)
  • Tuesday, 3/29/16 – LWVCC Board Meeting @ 11:00 UFL (Note: Change of date)
  • Tuesday, 4/19/16 – LWV General Meeting @ 11:30 @UFL
                  Observer Reports (Note: there will only be one reporting session)

To stay updated on these events and more, connect with us on FaceBook or Twitter. 

You're Invited

    HOT TOPIC #3- The Future of Libraries

“OCLC  -- a major library automation/database began automated catalog card production in 1971. Card production increased to its peak in 1985 when it printed 131 million. OCLC routinely shipped 8 tons of cards each week. Since then card production has declined.”

Speakers: Celeste Choate & Martin Wolkse

When: March 8th @11:30
Where: Urbana Free Library

Hear a librarian, an instructor, and a board president talk about the challenges facing libraries in the age of technology and in the age of diminishing resources.     
“Because of the Illinois budget crisis, we are cutting back on our library hours…. Still because of our extensive electronic resources, we don’t have to be open for our students to find a journal article for a speech topic.
We need to move away from relying on information distributed in printed form and embrace the new technological world.
 We need more collaboration by sharing ideas and resources. “
Holly Evan Nordheden
Librarian, DACC

New Feature: Member High Lights! 
This month, Katie Mertins, student chapter intern and president

Katie Mertins on her visit to Jordan

(Photo above: The group from the University of Illinois with camp administrators at the entrance to Za’atari Refugee Camp, the largest camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan)

       Over winter break, I travelled with a group of students from the University of Illinois to Jordan. The course was designed to study the waves of immigrants who have made Jordan their home over the past half-century, and how they have integrated themselves into Jordanian culture and society. Although Jordan is home to an abundance of ancient historical sites, it has only existed as a state since 1921. Because it is known as the safest and most stable arab country, it has accepted several waves of refugees into its borders over the past 95 years. The largest refugee populations currently living in Jordan are Palestinian refugees from the 1967 conflict with Israel and Syrian refugees fleeing the current civil war.

      Over the span of two weeks, we visited both Syrian and Palestinian refugee camps throughout Jordan, spoke to refugees, and learned about the immense strain being placed on the Jordanian economy and its government by the influx of refugees. The Syrian refugee camps, which are the newest, are comprised of canvas tents. These camps are located in the desert where summer temperatures are scorching and winter is freezing, and as a result these tents are being gradually replaced by shelters constructed from sheets of metal. Syrian refugees are not allowed to leave the camps without receiving permission from camp officials, and as a result are completely reliant on aid provided by the Jordanian government, the UN, and its donor nations. Of the 9.5 million people that live in Jordan, 3.4 million are refugees.  

       Despite the substantial strain being placed on the national systems and infrastructure of Jordan and the impact that this crisis has had on the population, the people of Jordan have continued to demonstrate hospitality towards the refugees. It is estimated that only 20% of the Syrian refugees within the borders of Jordan actually reside in refugee camps. Most rent private apartments or are taken into homes of Jordanian families. With no end in sight to the conflict in Syria, it is unclear how much longer the government and people of Jordan will be able to sustain the refugee population within their borders without an increase in aid from the international community.

            If you are interested in learning more about the living conditions in Jordanian refugee camps or about the Syrian conflict, please visit or email me at

(Living conditions inside Za’atari Refugee camp in Northern Jordan)

Illinois Women's History Quiz

Match each Illinois female personality with the clue found below.

_____ 1. Jane Addams                      _____ 2. Bonnie Blair                         _____ 3. Ida B. Wells
_____ 4. Gwendolyn Brooks          _____ 5. Patricia Harris                   _____ 6. Myra Bradwell
_____ 7. Cloris Leachman              _____ 8. Mary Jones                           _____ 9. Jane Byrne
A. Won a Pulitizer Prize for poetry in 1950

B. Matoon resident who was the first African-American female cabinet member. She served as Secretary of HEW in the Carter administration.

C. Was Miss Illinois in 1946; she went on to act in movies and television.

D. Illinois lawyer, who along with her husband, was successful in getting Mary Lincoln released from a mental hospital.

E. Rockford resident who won a Nobel Prize in 1931.

F. Thanks to a snowfall, she became the first female mayor of Chicago.

G. Champaign native who won five gold Olympic medals in speed skating.

H. Advocated for the rights of workers after losing her family to yellow fever and her business to the Chicago fire.

I. Born a slave, she became a teacher and campaigned against the evils and practice of lynching.
Answers: 1E, 2G, 3I, 4A, 5B, 6D, 7C, 8H, 9F

LaSalle St. Tax

A new idea in the Illinois Budget struggle

     In the ongoing struggle over the Illinois budget, a new idea has entered the conversation. Known as a financial transaction tax – a per-trade charge on the buying and selling of stocks, bond, and derivatives – it could raise $10 Billion a year to fund health care, schools, child care, infrastructure, and pensions.
     Francis Tobin from the Alliance for Community Services spoke at a citizens meeting sponsored by Rep. Carol Ammons to outline a proposal that could significantly help put Illinois finances on a better footing.

     A tax of $1-$2 on each trading contract, essentially a sales tax on speculative financial transactions, could generate monies to help alleviate some of Illinois’ financial woes.  While it is not a complete solution and certainly has its critics, it is a progressive partial answer to balancing Illinois’ budget. Coupled with a change to a graduated personal income tax system, Illinois could take some giant steps forward in ordering its finances, restoring funding to neglected areas in education and social services, and develop a system of fairness and equity.
Check out the website:

LWVCC Finance Drive 

    March-April, 2016


Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.”
                                                                                                                 -Anna Lappe

We think LWVCC is a good place to spend your money.
We think our Annual Finance Drive is a good moment to do so.
We think you know the reasons why a contribution to League is an investment in programs that inform, educate, and empower responsible citizenship.                         

TOWN & GOWN Speaker Series

When? Thursday, March 10th  – 7 – 8:30 p.m.
Where? Archives Research Center --  1707 Orchard St., Urbana
What? LOCAL WOMEN AS CHANGE AGENTS: Traditions of Philanthropy and Political Action
                  (included among the speakers will be Louise Allen from LWVCC)
Sponsored by the Student Life and culture Archives of the University of Illinois and the Champaign County Historical Archives, the Town & Gown Speaker Series highlights local stories through exhibits and events.

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 © 2016 League of Women Voters of Champaign County, All rights reserved.

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