Hear Sean Casten at Plymouth Place
Congressman Sean Casten, who represents Illinois' 6th Congressional district, was the guest speaker at our annual Legislative Luncheon on May 27th. Congressman Casten has worked on many issues near and dear to League members - ranked choice voting, right to vote, gun safety, and energy and climate policy, among them. He has also recently introduced a number of bills for institutional reform in our legislative and judicial branches that would render them more representative. In his program he detailed how these reforms would work, and also answered a wide range of questions from the audience.
You can listen to a recording of his remarks here.
The Aging of the Prison Population in Illinois and the Need for Elder Parole
On Oct. 19th, the La Grange LWV hosted a program on incarceration of older prisoners. This program described how the prison population in Illinois is aging as a result of longer sentences being imposed, the human and financial costs of continuing to imprison these people as they require medical care for the diseases of old age and end of life care, the lack of effective pathways for these people to be released when they no longer pose a threat to society, and pending legislation for an elder parole process that would provide a process for early release of those older people for whom there is no valid reason for continued imprisonment. The speaker was William Nissen, an attorney who represents persons in Illinois prisons who are seeking clemency from the Governor. You can download the slides here.
The Achievement Gap: What Are Our Schools Doing About It?
On 4/21/2022, the LWVLGA and the CommUNITY Diversity Group of La Grange co-hosted the event: "The Achievement Gap: What Are Our Schools Doing About It?" You can view the recorded presentation here. The expert panel includes Dr. Brian Waterman, School District 204 Superintendent, Dr. Jennifer Rowe, Director of Equity and Belonging at LTHS; Dr. Bessie Boyd, School District 102 Board Member; and Marci Ortiz, Director of English Learners, and Kathryn Heeke, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, from School District 105. Michael Thomas, School District 204 Board Member, provides a parent’s perspective.
Prescription Prices: Can We Afford the Cure?
Dr. Thomas Gochenour is a staff pharmacist and compounder at Rush University Medical Center. He has also served as an adjunct professor at the Chicago College of Pharmacy and has been a Board Certified Pharmacotherapist (BCPS) since 2002. On February 8th, Dr Gochenaur discussed the evolution of the prescription marketplace since 1972 and reference events and legislation that have led to our current situation in which list prices of some medications have skyrocketed. You can view the entire presentation here.
La Grange Area LWV Hosts Program on Ranked Choice Voting
On Jan 12, Ann Lee led an educational program on ranked-choice voting. Ranked-choice voting (RCV) is an electoral system in which voters rank multiple candidates by preference on their ballots. She also discussed the advantages of using RCV with a real-life example to illustrate how it works, and discussed how it could work in Illinois and how we can advocate for it. You can view a video of the program here.
La Grange LWV Registers 1000+ New Student Voters!
The League of Women Voters® of the La Grange Area registered over 1,000 new student voters in 2020. The League worked with area schools to host voter registration events in celebration of National Voter Registration Day, a nationwide holiday celebrated on the fourth Tuesday of every September. Over 75 volunteers, including League and community members, students, teachers and staff, held 5 events at Lyons Township High School in La Grange, Proviso Township High Schools in Hillside and Maywood, Nazareth Academy in La Grange Park, and DePaul University in Lincoln Park.
LWV La Grange Sponsors Program On the Illinois Firearms Restraining Order
LWVLGA co-sponsored a program describing legislation to make our communities safer. The Firearms Restraining Order allows a family/household member or local law enforcement to petition for a court order to temporarily remove firearms from an individual exhibiting risky behavior. You can view a video of the program here.
Cook County LWV Releases Updated Report on Pre-Trial Systems
With LaGrange LWV member Jan Goldberg as co-chair, the Criminal Justice Interest Group of the Cook County LWV has released a comprehensive update of its 2015 report on Pre-trial Systems in Cook County. In the original report, the group made11 recommendations to help ensure that pretrial operations are fairly and equitably administered within the criminal justice system of Cook County. These recommendations were put forth in order to ensure that pretrial systems efficiently and effectively serve the accused and the citizenry of Cook County. The purpose of this updated report is to summarize the progress made on each of these recommendations and to assess what further steps our criminal justice interest group needs to be take in order to further each goal..
LaGrange League Hosts Program on Gun Violence
More than 50 local residents braved the wind and cold for a program on the impact of gun violence on our communities. Participating were Dr. Mark Cichon, Professor and Chairman, Dept. of Emergency Medicine, Loyola Medical Center, Officer Tim Andries, La Grange Police Dept. and LTHS North Campus School Resource Officer, Theresa Hirstein, LTHS Social Studies Teacher; and Pat Callahan, LTHS Teaching Assistant: Both Sandy Hook Promise Leaders and SAVE Co‐sponsors. See the video here.
League of Women Voters of the La Grange Area Sponsors Training Event for New Deputy Voting Registrars
The League of Women Voters® of the La Grange Area (LWVLGA), along with the La Grange Public Library, sponsored a deputy voter registrar training at the La Grange Public Library.
Twenty-seven volunteers were sworn in. Individuals who serve as deputy registrars play a vital role in the democratic process by registering people to vote, encouraging voter participation and enhancing the electoral process.
League Hosts Program on Legalizing Marijuana
Over 150 people crowded into the La Grange Village Hall to listen to an expert panel discussion on the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana in Illinois. The "Great Marijuana Debate" was co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the La Grange Area and the Coalition for a Drug Free Lyons Township. Panelists included Heather A. Steans, Illinois State Senator – 7th District, Jim Durkin, Illinois House Minority Leader, Will Jones, SAM Communications Outreach Associate, Dr. Aaron Weiner, Director of Addictions (Linden Oaks), Reverend Alexander Sharp, Executive Director, Clergy for a New Drug Policy, and Chelsea Laliberte Barnes, MSSA, Director/Cofounder, Live4Lali Inc. Read all about the debate in the Doings article. And watch a video of the debate here!