This issue includes: President's Letter, County/Community Conversations, Schedule of Events, The Chair's Corner, and more!
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October 2016

President's Letter

We’ve come a long since suffrage! 2016 will be as notable as the 1916 election as single women  become the most pivotal voting group in the American electorate!

After nearly 100 years, this ‘16 election will witness women reaching a critical number  -20% -  according to Jay Newton-Small in BROAD INFLUENCE, of voters necessary to effect a difference. Singular achievements such as Jeannette Rankin’s election to Congress (1916) are certainly causes for celebration; however, as the sole female, Ms. Rankin was unable to change votes, least of all hearts and minds. Today, women have achieved critical numbers in Congress, the West Wing, the Supreme Court, and in many corporate board rooms. All that remains is bringing that critical number to bear in the voting booth.

A hundred years ago, women mustered the final push for suffrage prompted by a desire for much needed social change: immigration reform, public health concerns, economic disparity, public education, and political reform. Sound familiar?

Historically, men had organized the political system to favor themselves and what they perceived as the common good: gerrymandered districts, the Electoral College, smoke-filled rooms, laws that created a privileged class.  By contrast, women – through suffrage -- were able to improve the lives of their children, newly-arrived immigrants, and their communities. They formed clubs and organizations to further their causes, and they joined unions, frequently over the objections of male members, to achieve their goals.

We’re now at another watershed moment. Over time, some gains have been diminished. Other items seem to defy change and reform; still others linger on a growing To Do list because of political inertia and the fractured system we now know so well.
In 2016 we will be not only witnesses but participants to this significant shift in our country’s political history.  Let’s make the most of it!

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

County/Community Conversations:

LWVCC's Monthly Meeting Schedule & Topics

Our second monthly meeting in our series of County/Community Conversations, examining the impact of the state budget on our County will be on Wednesday, Oct. 12th. This month we will focus on local municipal and county governments. These taxing bodies are obligated to create balanced budgets, which add more responsibility (and more pressure) along with fewer options for raising revenue.  Helping us process the situation in our new reality  of our state without a budget will be Rick Snider, Champaign County Administrator, Ray Cunningham, mayor of Homer, and Laurel Prussing and Deb Feinen the mayors of Urbana and Champaign. Their input from the perspective of the county-wide as well as small town and larger urban areas provides a good overview of how Champaign County is facing the impact.

Join us at the Urbana City Council Chambers beginning at noon for this informative panel. Bring your questions; bring a friend.
Here’s the line-up for future meetings:  Mark your Calendars! Bring a Friend or two!  
  • Wednesday, Oct. 12thThe Impact of a lack of State Budget on Local Municipal and County  Governments
  • Wednesday, Nov. 16thThe Impact of a lack of a State Budget on Local Housing Agencies and Those in Need of Affordable Housing
  • Wednesday, Dec. 21stThe Impact of a lack of a State Budget on Local Environmental Organizations and Our Natural Resources
  • Wednesday, Jan. 25th – The Impact of a lack of State Budget on Schools in Champaign County
  • Wednesday, Feb. 15th – The Impact of a lack of a State Budget on Local History and the Arts
  • Wednesday, March 15th – The Impact of a lack of a State Budget on Local Public and Mental Health Providers and Those in Need of Health Services
  • Wednesday, April 19thThe Impact of a lack of a State Budget on Policing Efforts in Champaign County
  • Wednesday, May 17th – The Bigger Picture of the Impact of a lack of State Budget on Illinois

All meetings will be televised on UPTV. Programs  start at noon and conclude by 1:30. To stay updated on these events and more, connect with us on FaceBook or Twitter. 


Contrary to earlier notices from the County Clerk's Office, registration to vote will not be possible up to and including Election Day. Voter registration ENDS on OCTOBER 11th.

Schedule of Events

Mark your calendar for these exciting opportunities ahead!


October 1: LWVCC at the Farmer’s Market  Saturday, 8-12:00

October 4: Vice-Presidential Debate

October 5: Candidate Forums – 7:00 at the Champaign City Council Chambers

October 9: 2nd Presidential Debate

October 11: Voter registration ends.

October 12: LWVCC Monthly Meeting
County/Community Conversations – 12:00 at the Urbana City Council Chambers

October 17-21: LWVCC/ County Clerk-sponsored Mock Elections in local high schools

October 17: LWVCC Election Special – Polling, Prediction, and Promises: The State of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election  Prof. Sheldon Jacobson  7:00 at the Champaign Public Library, Robeson A & B

October 19: 3rd Presidential Debate

November 8: ELECTION DAY!

The Chair's Corner

Fall Membership Renewals

LWV members with fall membership renewals are now due. Please tend to this on-line (, or by mailing a check to LWVCC P.O. Box 201 Urbana, Il. 61803, or give it to Sandy Volk, League treasurer.

Hard to believe that we’re closing in on the end of another fiscal year!  If you’re thinking of a special donation to support League, a check to LWVILEF is not only tax-deductible, but very welcomed.

–Kat Bork, Membership Chair


NPR’s Cheryl Corley joined the celebration of the return of civics education to Illinois high schools

Sandy Volk (Treasurer), Barbara Jones (New Member), and Debbie Rugg (Member) road tripped to Chicago’s Union League Club on Wednesday, September 21 to celebrate “Democracy Goes Back to School,” the focus of the day.  They networked with other League members, old friends and new.  They have come home with new ideas our League chapter might consider. 
NPR’s Cheryl Corley, a Chicago native, reflected on the role of journalism in civic education.  She praised the tradition of journalism “beats” as the best way for a reporter to get to know his/her community.  Corley started her career in Peoria, where she covered City Hall and other community government.  She then moved to Chicago, where she covered everything from the Harold Washington to the Rahm Emanuel administrations.  Corley emphasized:  “It’s about civics—whether it’s reporting on crumbling curbs or the role of police.”

The program’s next segment was the celebration of HB4025, which brings mandatory civics education back to Illinois high schools.  The speakers—from a teacher to a McCormick Foundation staffer—demonstrated how a coalition of groups and individuals works to get such important legislation passed.  In this case, the McCormick Foundation lent its gravitas to the effort and an extremely talented staff, especially Shawn Healey. 
Shawn Healey left us with one experience that resonated:  one legislator changed his vote to “yes” for HB4025 as a result of a deluge of letters from high school students from his district.  It reminds us that local advocacy does make a difference! 

–Sandy Volk, Deb Rugg, and Barbara Jones
Thanks for representing LWVCC at the State of the State Meeting, ladies! From the left we have Barbara Jones, Deb Rugg, and Sandy Volk.

Candidate Forums

October 5: 52nd Senate District Race
  • 7:00–8:00, Scott Bennet and Michael Madigan
  • 8:00–8:45, Duane Northrup and Alexander Rund
  • 8:45–9:15, Barbara Burch Rogers and James Tinsley

October 7: Unit 4 School Referendum
  • 7:00–8:00, Participants TBA



LWV began moderating and airing debates and forums on radio within five years of their founding!  

Contact Information: Chairs

Sue Phillips, Observer Chair:
Carole Rebeiz, Voter Chair Service:
Corrie Proska, Nominating Committee:
Barbara Schleicher, National Resources Chair:
Natalie Prochaska, Affordable Housing Chair:
Kat Bork, Membership Chair:

Polling, Prediction, and Promises:
The State of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

LWVCC and the public will have a rare opportunity to hear Prof. Sheldon H. Jacobson talk about the 2016 presidential race from a scientific perspective.  He will be at the Champaign Public Library on Monday, Oct. 17th at 7:00 in Robeson A & B. In this year dominated by one of the strangest political campaigns in recent memory, the League of Women Voters is delighted to sponsor his presentation to help us understand how polling affects our perception of the candidates and the American electorate.
Jacobson is a professor of Computer Science and the Director of the Simulation and Optimization Laboratory at the University of Illinois. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mathematics from McGill University and a Ph.D. in Operations Research from Cornell.

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.