CHICAGOThe League of Women Voters of Illinois (LWVIL), comprising almost 50 local Leagues across the state, will meet in its 52nd annual convention June 24-26 at the Clock Tower Inn, Rockford. Theme of the convention is Charting Our Course: Navigating the Tides of Democracy.
Highlights of the convention will include a talk by guest speaker Eric Zorn, Chicago Tribune columnist, on Friday, and politically slanted entertainment by folk singer Jim Post after the Saturday night dinner.
Delegates will meet to determine the program for the LWVIL as well as adopting a budget and electing officers for the next two years. There will be reports from the president and executive director, as well as from Member Services, Development, Communications, Voter Service and Issues committees.
Workshops will be held on such topics as Making a Big Splash in the Media; Surfing the Internet for Advocacy; Running a Tight Ship: Discovering the Hidden Potential of Effective League Meetings, Web site Workshops: Ship-to-Shore CommunicationsWeb site Maintenance A, and Sailing through TechnologyWeb site Maintenance B; Navigating a Referendum; Voter Service: Beyond Voter Registration, and Leagues Issue Priorities: Process and Progress.
On Friday night, the Making a Difference Award will be presented. The award recognizes a significant impact made by a League in its community through educating citizens, advocating action, or facilitating public discussion on an important public issue.
The prestigious Carrie Chapman Catt Award will be presented for the fifth time at Saturday nights dinner. The award is named for the suffragist/founder of the League of Women Voters. The national organization was founded in Chicago at the Congress Hotel on Feb. 14, 1920. The LWVIL was founded shortly after that. This award is given to a League member who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and significant action toward extending the Leagues mission. The nominees efforts have benefited and inspired the citizens of Illinois and focused on promoting greater citizen awareness of public issues and/or wider participation in the democratic process.
Special Spotlight on Success awards will be presented to Leagues for accomplishments since the last convention in 2003.
The League is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Knowing woman suffrage was inevitable, Carrie Chapman Catt urged the National American Woman Suffrage Association to change direction and help American women learn about the issues and be worthy of the privilege of voting. That was the birth of The League of Women Voters of the United States. Both it and the Illinois League are 85 years old. There are 47 Illinois Leagues with about 4,500 members in communities and counties across Illinois. Many of those members have used the League as a training ground for leadership positions locally, at the state level and nationally. Membership is open to all citizens, women and men, ages 18 and older.
Convention co-chairmen are Vicky Greene (Libertyville, Member at Large), and Anita Buchholz (Batavia LWV). Judy Engblom (Rockford LWV) is chairman of the Local Arrangements committee. The Convention Committee is made up of 14 members from various Local Leagues, the LWVIL board and staff. The Local Arrangements Committee is recruiting and training volunteers from that League to staff the convention, as well as helping with the many details of the event.
For more information and to join, go to www.lwvil.org, or call 312/939-5935, ext 36.
From the June 15-21, 2005, issue