This issue includes: President's Letter, Election by the Numbers, Chair's Corner, Things to Come, and more!
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November 2016

President's Letter

One of the most uplifting events I attended in recent memory was the 9/11 Commemoration held on the UI campus. This was a celebration organized by the Illinois Student Senate, Illini Democrats, Illini Republicans, and the League of Women Voters.  It was remarkable in a number of ways; first, these college students truly worked in a nonpartisan manner to plan and execute this reception. Every participating organization had an opportunity to speak; each chose to speak about working together even in the midst of a highly-charged partisan election season. They were hopeful and optimistic about a future marked by citizen engagement and care for their communities. As I listened, my hope and optimism were restored.
Secondly, one has to remember that these college students were about five years old when airplanes fell from the sky, destroying life and iconic American structures.  They heard Sen. Scott Bennett (then a law student) and Rabbi Dovid Tiechtel  (then in an elementary school overlooking the Twin Towers) recount that day. The precision of their memory was as sharp and as clear as if the tragedy occurred last week. Their vivid recollections reignited the pain and confusion I felt as I processed the early morning happenings and then had to face high school students who wanted to understand these unfolding events.
Kudos to our League intern Rose Rodriguez! She served as MC and did a wonderful job of presiding, making guests feel welcome, and attending to the numerous details that make a seemingly simple ceremony become so memorable.
 

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

The Fall Election:

by the Numbers


3     THE NUMBER OF MEETINGS LWCC HELD REGARDING
         LOCAL REFERENDA

7       THE NUMBER OF CNADIDATE FORUMS LWVCC CO-SPONSORED
          WITH THE NEWS-GAZETTE, THE NAACP, AND WILL-TV

1       THE NUMBER OF REFERENDA ENDORSEMENTS LWVCC EXTENDED
         (UNIT 4)

6     THE SIZE OF THE LWVCC FARMERS MARKET CREW: Peggy Patton, Sue
         Phillips, Kathy Hatch, Susan McGrath, Theresa Michelson, and Barbara
         Wysocki

15  THE SIZE OF THE LWVCC CANDIDATE FORUM CREW: Bill & Sandy
         Volk, Naomi Jacobsson, Trisha Crowley, Theresa Michelson, Laura Sandefur,
         Holly Wilper, Barbara Schleicher, Grace Schoedel, Mary Haywood-Benson,
         Kathy Hatch, Carolyn & Ralph Trimble, Carole Rebeiz, and Barbara Wysocki

700   THE NUMBER OF VOTER REGISTRATIONS COMPLETED BY OUR
         LWV CAMPUS UNIT WORKING ON THEIR OWN AND IN PARTNERSHIP
         WITH THE ILLINOIS STUDENT SENATE THROUGH THE VOTEBIG
         CAMPAIGN

16  THE SIZE OF THE MOCK ELECTION CREW: Pat Meller, Theresa Michelson,
         Sue Phillips, Antje Kolodziei, Mary Kay Pleck, Louis & Ernie Gullerud, Chinesa
         Huff, Trisha Crowley, Peggy Patton, Clare Barkley, Carole Rebeiz, Deb Rugg,
         Naomi Jacobsson, Ralph & Carolyn Trimble, and Barbara Wysocki

Note: If you volunteered and worked at any of the above-mentioned League activities and your name is omitted, our apologies.

County/Community Conversations:

LWVCC's Monthly Meeting Schedule & Topics


 The Nov. 16th LWVCC monthly meeting will again focus on how the lack of state budget is affecting our community. This month our attention will center on local housing agencies and those in need of affordable housing. Our speakers will be four women who have devoted their lives to working with homeless populations;  consequently, they have first-hand experience of housing needs and the problems of matching need and availability in our community. Our speakers will be:

 Esther Patt – C-U Tenant Union
 Kelly Mierkowski – Manager, Grants Management Division, City of Urbana
 Ellen McDowell – Daily Bread Food Pantry
 Beverly Baker – Director of Community Impact of United Way
 
Join us at noon at the Urbana City Council Chambers. Bring a friend; bring your questions and observations; be part of the dialogue.
 
Here’s the line-up for future meetings:  Mark your Calendars! Bring a Friend or two!      
  • 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. 

Schedule of Events

Mark your calendar for these exciting opportunities ahead!


November 8: Election Day!

November 16: Monthly Meeting –12:00pm at the Urbana City Council Chambers
Topic: The Impact of a Lack of State Budget on Local Housing Agencies and Those in Need of Affordable Housing

November 22: Board Meeting – 12:15pm at the Urbana Free Library

The Chair's Corner

Sandy Volk, Treasurer

It being the end of the calendar year, some members are asking what they can do to support LWVCC.  Some suggestions: a contribution to one of many League tax-deductible funds would be of great help and could also be an appropriate remembrance of past League members.  We have a fund in Helen Levin’s name and, of course, the educational fund.  An outright gift to LWVCC supports the League organization and our work in Champaign County. Contact me for other options and more information.
Sandy Volk, Treasurer

 

Carole Rebeiz, Voter Service Chair

Thanks to everyone who volunteered during this 2016 election cycle. League is known for informing the public on issues, interviewing candidates, educating students on the voting process, and registering voters, in the community and on campus. To accomplish these goals, we have great partners including the News-Gazette, the County Clerk, local high schools, the NAACP, several media outlets, and, of course, our own membership.  We couldn’t provide these important services without any of you!

Rose Rodriguez, LWVCC Intern

LWV will be out on Election Day to do same day registration for students standing in line, hoping to vote. Hopefully this service will shorten the waits in lines and ensure that everyone who wants to vote, does so.


DID YOU KNOW?

In the fall of 1866 – 150 years ago – the first public library was organized in the city of Champaign.

 

A Sign of Things to Come?

For a week in October, LWVCC went back to high school!  We hung out in halls, in libraries, in school cafeterias, armed with pens, stickers, ballots, and ballot covers.  We were interviewed and photographed by the local news media as students voted. The mock elections were the center of attention.   

The experience was the week's story. It was a great collaborative effort between the Champaign County Clerk’s Office, the League, and eleven high schools – private and public, rural and urban, first-timers and veterans – throughout Champaign County.

First some acknowledgements: kudos to Michael Pollock who contacted and organized the efforts in each school by identifying a lead person in each building as a contact person.  He then connected them to the County Clerk’s Office where Gordy Hulten accepted requests for preferred dates, handled the logistics of moving equipment and supplies, and fielded questions.

Kudos also to the sixteen League members who spent anywhere from two to five hours serving as election judges themselves or instructing school personnel in handling ordinary election tasks which included a machine break-down in St. Joseph to a need for more ballots at Uni High, to in-servicing eager students in how to be an election judges. (Some students had already been trained by the County Clerk’s Office and will be serving in this capacity on Nov. 8th).

Thirdly, kudos to the students who participated. They took the simulation very seriously by asking good questions, wanting to do things right, and being reflective as they approached the voting area.  Most wanted to know when the results would be available and if their school’s results would be compared with other schools.

By 5:00 on Friday, the County Clerk’s Office had tabulated and recorded all the ballots with these results:
  • In the two Champaign high schools, the pending Unit 4 referendum won by 80%
  • County-wide, the referenda regarding recreational marijuana use, an increase in the minimum wage, and felons being allowed to vote all won by more than 60%
  • The big upset was the 13th Congressional Dst. Race – Wicklund won by 360 votes over Davis.
  • County-wide, Clinton won over Trump (52% - 31%), but looking at each school’s break-down, rural schools went for the latter while urban schools for the former.
 
It was a great experience all around!

Contact Information

 
Krista Evensen, Communications Director: krista.evensen@gmail.com
 
Rose Rodriguez, Student Intern: rlrodri2@illinois.edu
 
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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 © 2016 League of Women Voters of Champaign County, All rights reserved.