League of Women Voters of the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Area
Letter from the President Call to Convention • The 55th LWVIL Convention is scheduled for June 10-12, 2011 in Skokie, Illinois. Save the Date • “Illinois’ Financial Crisis,” November 9, 7:00 p.m. Gorton Community Center, 400 E. Illinois Rd., Lake Forest
Inside this issue: History
IL Financial Crisis
We have been reflecting on the history of LWV lately in light of the League’s 90th anniversary. On September 29, we held a "Birthday Bash," celebrating the efforts of the women who brought the League into existence. See page 2 for a recap of this enjoyable evening. Our other recent activities have focused on education and action. As evidenced by the large turnout, our communities continue to value the League for its voter education, especially for our candidate forums. Both of our recent forums attracted overflow crowds. Because of the Recall Amendment on the November 2 ballot, and with redistricting approaching, this fall we joined forces with the Highland Park League, to educate ourselves and the community on these important statewide issues. Look for other articles on recall and redistricting, both very important issues, in this news-
letter (pages 4 and 5). I have made major efforts on behalf of the Settlers Green affordable housing project that came before the Lake Forest City Council (see page 5). LWV-LF/LB supports affordable housing, and we need all of you to be actively on board. Many thanks to Kitty Cole for chairing and to all who turned out for the Lake Forest City Council meeting.
Ninety years ago the League did not have the Internet, but we do now. To see the current issues our local league is engaged in, visit our website (lwv-lflb.org) and click on Issues. Also see the videos; you may watch
me talking about affordable housing, or the recent candidate forums. Thanks to Nicki Snoblin for this up-todate presence online. I hope all of you will attend the November 9 meeting with our state legislators, when we will focus on the state financial situation and other major concerns. Also, mark your calendar for Friday, December 3, for our annual luncheon and review with Barbara Rinella. It’s also a good chance to bring a guest to an entertaining League event. Thank you to those of you who have returned your interest questionnaires. We have looked them over and plan to meet with those of you who have a common interest. And always, feel free to call me if you have any ideas or concerns. I thank Mary Mathews and all the rest of you who have helped to accomplish our efforts! —Jane Partridge, President
90 Years of League History On February 14, 1920, six months before the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, delegates from the National American Woman Suffrage Association met for a victory convention in Chicago. The realization of votes for women marked the end of the suffrage conventions. However, that convention was the official beginning of the League of Women Voters. Carrie Chapman Catt, in her convention address, proposed the formation of the League. Six years later, Mrs. Frank Hixon organized the LWV of Lake Forest, and two years later, Gertrude
Northcott and her friends invited Mrs. Hixon to speak to their group in Lake Bluff. One of their earliest meetings was a candidate forum. Some of the issues our predecessors supported were the merit system in civil service for all branches of government, the elimination of legal discrimination against women, federal suffrage in the District of Columbia, the welfare of children, and a shorter ballot for the state of Illinois. It is interesting that 90 years after the League was formed we are still fighting various forms of discrimi-
nation against women. Of the 192 nations that have ratified CEDAW, the U.S. is the only developed country not to do so, and Illinois is one of the states blocking it. (CEDAW is the international treaty to replace the Equal Rights Amendment; it stands for the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.) Our forebears worked on issues and helped to make law. Today we are still challenged to act upon public policy vigorously to make democracy work at all levels. —Jane Partridge
Birthday Bash a Successful Membership Event Our Membership Committee was in full swing and started our year off with a great party! The Birthday Bash on September 29th celebrated the national League's 90th birthday and also our local League's 85th birthday. Tracy Burns opened her lovely home (hid the cat and dog) and served champagne and chocolate—what more could anyone ask for! There were other treats, such as
Phyllis Albrecht, Suzanne Henderson, and Tina O’Connor with Tracy Burns, arrayed as a young woman of the 1970’s for the skit.
a birthday cake with sparklers (see page 1). OK, so we were feeling pretty youthful and enthusiastic. Unfortunately, Mary Ritter and Susan Garrett both wore leg braces from recent injuries and were not able to move around as much as they might have wanted.
directed. Their elaborate period clothes brought the timeline to life and added quite a bit of color. Members and guests were inspired in learning how the organization and the country influenced each other. Many thanks go to Mary Ritter and Tracy Burns and everyone else who helped with this party. It was a great success.
Carol Gilbert makes a perfect flapper!
Jane Partridge provided a history of the League's activities and drew parallels to events in U.S. history during the same time period. Carol Gilbert, Ann Grant, Tracy Burns, Lisa Dietrich, and Mary Ritter read their parts while Jane
For the few of you who still have not paid your dues, the opportunity to be included in this year’s Membership Directory is ending shortly. Please send your check promptly.
Candidate Forums Attract Overflow Crowds Candidate forums require experienced, sharp League members working together in a variety of capacities. Candidates agree to participate in League-sponsored forums because we consistently provide a fair venue for them to share their platform. Our League helped sponsor candidate forums on September 22 at Glenbrook South High School in Glenview and at the Lake Forest/ Lake Bluff Senior Center on September 30. The forum in Glenview, cosponsored by our League and the Highland Park, Glencoe, Glenview, and other leagues in the 10th Dis-
trict, featured candidates for the 10th Congressional District, Robert Dold and Dan Seals. More than 1000 people attended. The forum in Lake Forest included candidates Candidates for the 10th Congressional seat Robert Dold running for State Repand Dan Seals seemed miles apart during their debate in Glenview. resentative in the 58th and 59th Districts, Lake League gives to the community. We County Board District 23, Lake think you will all agree that our 90County Superintendent of Schools, year-old organization can be proud Lake County Clerk, Lake County of the work we do to promote Sheriff, and Lake County Treasurer. voter information. Approximately 150 people attended —Ann Hamlin and Ann Grant, the forum in Lake Forest. Jane ParVoter Service Chairs tridge welcomed the attendees and Joan Kaltsas served as the moderator for the 58th District. Videos of the forums and bios of the candidates are available on our League’s own website, lwv-lflb.org.
Carlton Marcyan and Anne Bassi for Lake County Board District 23.
Thanks to all who volunteered and attended the forums. We appreciate the part you played in their success. Someone mentioned to us that they thought the candidate forums are the most important service the
Lauren Turelli and Karen May for State Representative in the 58th District.
LWV-LF/LB Program: “Illinois’ Financial Crisis” November 9, 2010, 7:00 p.m. Gorton Community Center 400 E. Illinois Rd., Lake Forest Even though the election is over, civic participation is not. The League of Women Voters is already thinking ahead to the next legislative session and is looking for information and answers about Illinois’
financial crisis. LWV-LF/LB has reserved the Green Room at the Gorton Community Center for 7:00 p.m. on November 9, and State Senator Susan Garrett has agreed to meet with us to address the State budget crisis. Mark your calendar and come with a friend. League members are known for asking
compelling questions, and Senator Garrett, who is a past local League President herself, is particularly straightforward about the state of the State. Senator Garrett will speak primarily about the State’s finances but will also address other concerns raised that evening.
Save the Dates! Annual Holiday Luncheon December 3, 10:00 a.m. The Grille on Laurel
The U.S. and Cuba March 3, 2011, 7:00 p.m. LF/LB Senior Center
LWV-LF/LB Area’s annual holiday get-together will be on Friday, December 3, at the Grille on Laurel. This time Barbara Rinella will give two dramatic presentations. The event begins at 10 a.m.; coffee will be served during the program, followed by a limited-menu luncheon. Lake Forest Bookstore will bring a selection of gift books as well as Barbara's recommendations, so plan to do your holiday shopping, too. Invitations will arrive by mail.
Professor Alberto Coll, from the College of Law at DePaul University, will speak to our League about the United States’ relationship with Cuba.
It is easy to support the League with this traditional and entertaining community event!
Professor Coll is the recipient of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service for his work as deputy assistant secretary of de-
fense (1990-1993) and the Antonio Jose Irisarri Medal (2004) for his contribution to strengthening the rule of law and civilian control over the military in Guatemala. He authored The Wisdom of Statecraft and is the editor of several other books on international relations and law. Professor Coll teaches courses in the areas of international law, human rights, international trade, and Latin America.
Did you see us in the Lake Forest Day parade in August? That’s Jane Partridge in the car, with a couple of exuberant young volunteer banner-carriers.
LWVIL Talks About Redistricting Redistricting is coming. LWVIL is interested in an improved process that will ensure the fairest representation for the citizens of the state. It is predicted that, due to the most recent census, Illinois will lose at least one, or maybe two, seats in the House of Representatives. Regardless of the number of seats, populations have shifted internally in the state and district boundaries are scheduled to be redrawn, as they are after every census.
We and the LWV of Highland Park invited Mary Scharfsma from the LWVIL office to come and share with us the redistricting problems and possibilities for reform. She emphasizes the importance of changing the method for redistricting as it is now done.
too much power in the hands of legislative leaders. Poor redistricting practices result in a lack of competition and voter choice, and often communities are split. Less tangible, but real, effects include greater possibilities for public corruption and government gridlock.
Redistricting should not be partisan, although the winning party has historically determined the districts. At present, returning incumbents win 98% of the time, which puts
Join us and the LWVIL in supporting an improved process that will guide the redistricting in 2011.
Affordable Housing The LF/LB League has actively supported local affordable senior housing for the past eight years. Our League last spring at the Annual Meeting voted to support affordable housing for others as well as for seniors. Consistent with our goals, Lake Forest has an ordinance stating all new construction should provide 10% of units for seniors or that percentage in money should be set aside for senior affordable housing. In addition, Illinois state law requires every town of a certain size to provide affordable housing. Currently available rentals in Lake Forest have dwindled to far below
their historic levels. The Housing Trust, recognizing this critical need, developed the Settlers Green project for 16 mixed affordable townhouses across from the train station at Telegraph and Everett Roads. This very real opportunity for affordable housing in Lake Forest is at risk. At its October 18th meeting, the City Council directed the Housing Trust to go back and study the project further for financial concerns and for indicating a certain percentage for seniors. Our backing for this project is critical. We need to act in a timely manner because the builder is eligible to
get tax credits at a time when private financing for new building is almost nonexistent and the need is urgent. We will continue to follow and actively support the Settlers Green project. The efforts of Kitty Cole, chair, and the members of our Affordable Housing Committee are laudable, but the project has not yet been approved by the City Council. It is not too late for those who are interested to call Kitty Cole (847735-0418) or Jane Partridge (847234-1247) to help make affordable housing a reality in Lake Forest.
Background on the Recall Amendment From defining the process to determining the financial and political implications, the LWVIL thoughtfully analyzed what the recall amendment on the November 2 ballot would mean for Illinois. Although the election has passed, their findings are summarized here for our members’ information. Recall is the process whereby voters can remove and replace an elected official before the end of his or her term of office. The amendment in Illinois would allow recall of only the Governor.
• The affidavit must be signed by at least 10 members of the Illinois House. No more than 50% of the signatures in each chamber can be from members of the same political party. • Petitions must be signed by at least 15% of the total votes cast for Governor in the preceding general election. • About 525,000 signatures must be collected (100 or more from each of at least 25 of Illinois’ 102 counties) and submitted to the State Board of Elections for certification within 150 days.
The process would require the following:
If the State Board, within 100 days, determines the signatures are sufficient, it will call for a special election for voters to decide on recall.
• Any proponent of recall may file an affidavit with the Illinois State Board of Elections during the first 6 months of a Governor’s term of office.
If the recall is successful, the Governor is immediately removed from office and an acting Governor is appointed. Another election is
held—within 60 days of the recall election—to elect a successor Governor, who holds office until the next election for Governor. The recall process could take up to 13 months. The cost, estimated by the State Board, for both elections would be $101 million. Eighteen other states permit recalls, not just for the Governor. Few gubernatorial recall attempts have been successful. Prior to the 2003 recall of California Governor Gray Davis, the only other successful recall was of North Dakota Governor Lynn Frazier in 1921. California voters have initiated 32 gubernatorial recall attempts since 1911, but the 2003 recall of Governor Davis was the first to reach the ballot. Further information is available at www.lwvil.org.
Report on Lake Michigan LWV Annual Meeting The 2010 Annual Meeting of the LMLWV was held on October 9, 2010 at Manitowoc, Wisconsin and was attended on behalf of LWVLF/LB by Robbyn KilbaneMcFadden. LMLWV has found a supporter in Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickels, who spoke to the convened group prior to the business meeting on Saturday morning. Of particular interest is the fact that he has started a Mayor's Youth Action Council for the purpose of engaging his community in advocacy for Lake Michigan. Judy Johnston, who many of you have known from our League and the Lake County League, is the newly elected President of LMLWV. The 2010-2011 Program of the LMLWV will be based on the national resources positions of the LWVUS as they relate to the environmental issues affecting the Lake Michigan Basin and surrounding
states, to include the following: • Educate the public and the Lake Michigan Leagues on the problems of Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes • Encourage public participation in planning for the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes • Support scientific research for the Great Lakes • Encourage shoreline management planning and implementation State reports were given by representatives from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin (which will be further highlighted in the next issue of SPLASH, the newsletter of the LMLWV; watch for it at www.lmlwv.org). Directions were given to the Board regarding CAFOs, genetically altered plants and animals, future infrastructure development within the Lake Michigan Watershed, and emphasizing pre-European settlement and history within the Lake
Michigan Watershed and shoreline areas (Native American activity) as part of LMLWV's educational activities. In her closing remarks, President Judy Johnston encouraged all members to participate and be visible in their activism concerning Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes. A lunchtime speaker, Jim Knickelbine, from the Woodland Dunes Nature Center and Reserve in Twin Rivers, Wisconsin, made a wonderful presentation that walked us through life at the Dunes. With photos and words he showed the complexity of the wildlife and environment residing within the Reserve and how interrelated it is with the health and balance of Lake Michigan. The festivities concluded with the opportunity to go to the Woodland Dunes Reserve for a tour and walk with Mr. Knickelbine. —Robbyn Kilbane-McFadden
LWV-LF/LB NewsBriefs by E-mail Have you been getting our LWVLF/LB NewsBriefs in your e-mail inbox? Did you see our new e-mail format starting October 20? If not, let us know your current e-mail address so we can add you to the list.
Want to be kept up to date with timely, catchy, brief, and pertinent news? Watch your e-mail inbox for the LWV NewsBriefs. Don’t want to wait for information to come to you? Check out what is
happening anytime at www.lwvlflb.org. Be sure to check out the videos of recent forums, as well as President Jane Partridge being interviewed for Chicago Tonight!
League of Women Voters of the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Area
P.O. Box 645 Lake Forest, IL 60045
What are these women doing? See page 2!
Dates to Remember
LWV-LF/LB Board of Directors
November 2 November 8
Vice President, Voter Service
Vice President, Voter Service
Vice President, Membership
November 9 December 3
Election Day LWV-LF/LB Board Meeting 1:30 p.m., Lake Forest Bank Program: “Illinois’ Financial Crisis” 7:00 p.m., Gorton Community Center Holiday Luncheon, Grille on Laurel
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Vice President, Membership
LWVLC Board Liaison
LMLWV Board Liaison
Off-Board Positions Nicki Snoblin
Staff Bev Adamczyk