League life member Marjorie Ettlinger from Highland Park is new to LWV Chicago. She recently joined Chicago and Evanston League members in an interview with her representative Heather Steans (D-7 th District). The legislative interview was her first. She reports that the experience was invigorating and informative. “I felt more involved with what’s going on.”
Now that the Illinois Senate has ratified the ERA, she “feels on top of things.” Still wearing her ERA button, RichardEttinger recalls Sen. Steans was instrumental in rejuvenating the issue in the Illinois Senate. A long-time supporter of the ERA, Steans sponsored SJRCA4. After clearing the Illinois Senate, Steans noted that “Illinois lawmakers are saying to women everywhere, ‘We hear you, and we stand with you.”
Ettlinger encourages other Leaguers to get involved in legislative interviews with their state senators and representatives. She was not fully familiar with the issues ahead of time but did review League positions and learned with other Leaguers who participated in the interview. “If you’re new to the experience, you can rely on others who can lead the conversation,” she said. In addition, LWVIL provides advice about conducting Legislative Interviews.
“Being in the environment of the senator’s office, talking about issues such as the graduated income tax and the need to replace the flat tax, the fair maps issue, as well as the ERA, and taking notes on the conversation was stimulating.”
This article was originally published in the May 2018 Chicago Voter newsletter.