Our fabulous student intern, Katie Mertins gave a presentation at the Junior League's event about voting. You can check out her presentation by clicking HERE.
We had a fabulous celebration at Milo's restaurant on Tuesday December 15th honoring all our 50 year members. We had four new inductees this year (Ruth Fisher, Maureen McCord, Margaret Stewart & Nancy Morse).
Check out the full piece interviewing our four new inductees in The News Gazette by clicking HERE.
See a Replay of Juila Reitz's Excellent Presentation on the Champaign County Criminal Justice System
LWVCC member, State Representative Naomi Jakobsson presented why a graduated income tax is fairer at the Urbana Free Library on October 15, 2013. All three speakers presented aspects of the issue as we discussed with our Representatives and Senators getting the Constitutional amendment on the Nov 2014 ballot.
Thanks to all of those who came out and made this a great event.
ABOUT THE ISSUE: The League of Women Voters of Illinois is partnering with the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability on this GRIT project. We share the common belief that the economy is of paramount importance to Illinois families and one of the best ways to achieve economic growth is by having a well educated population. Having a structural deficit weakens our ability to provide for a strong economy. Having an inefficient revenue system is the basis for that structural deficit and we believe a better fiscal system is a graduated rate income tax.
Thanks to all who came out for League of Women Voters' community discussion about criminal justice programs and facility needs in Champaign County.
TWO ACTION ITEMS and ONE REMINDER
WHY IT MATTERS:
The State of Illinois was recently ordered by a federal court to allow the carrying of concealed weapons and so legislation to implement concealed carry is likely in the near future. The League of Women Voters of Illinois joins other organizations in supporting SB1171 and HB1143 because it requires licensed gun dealers to perform a background check on individuals seeking to buy a gun. Registering guns is critical to reducing the incidence of gun violence. Making sure that those wishing to purchase a gun and registering it also undergo a background check before final purchase is critical to public safety. A background check may have prevented gun violence in Columbine, Tucson, Illinois (Northern Illinois University) and Virginia (Virginia Tech).
Four local League members, Trish Crowley, Deb and Steve Rugg and Theresa Michelson, attended the annual LWVIL issues briefing conference in Chicago on 7 February 2013. The total attendance at the event was 175, with 32 different local leagues represented.
There were 2 morning plenary sessions - one on the proposal for a Graduated Income Tax for Illinois and the second on current challenges to women's health care. In the afternoon there was one more plenary session on the voting experience in Illinois for the 2012 election. The last hour of the afternoon was a choice between three workshops: the impact of climate change on the Midwest, What's new in criminal justice, or aA
On Tuesday, the League hosted a panel concerning the national issue of incarceration and how it is increasingly becoming a local issue for many states.
In fact, in our Champaign community, there are plans to completely renovate the Champaign jail, which is roughly only about 30 years old. There is a debate about whether the jail needs to be renovated and what the $20 million dollars can be really used towards in the community.
Our speakers for the night focused on ways of preventing future mass incarceration in our community, with the focus of Doctor Ginbsurg's and Sister Carol Amon's talks on the education and the link to a lower incarceration. Doctor Ginsburg is the director of the Educational Justice Program, which is a program that facilitates the earning of degrees by inmates in the Danville correctional facility.
Sister Carol Amons focused on the issue of the Champaign jail and in particular the monetary aspects of the jail.
League member Joan Miller gave a thorough description of the Court-Watching project and how it is still going strong in the community (now in its ninth year!)
For more info about the Champaign jail issue and EJP, please click on the links below:
EJP : http://www.educationjustice.net/home/
Champaign Jail Issue:
As the New Year rolls by, the League of Women Voters continues hard at work to educate the people on a local and national level. On the State level, the League supports HB 6253, the Health Care bill that will expand Medicaid coverage for uninsured low-income adults made eligible by the Affordable Care Act. Members are encouraged to call their state representatives to show their support.
The State League also supports SB 957, the Highway Safety bill. This bill would allow immigrants currently driving without a license an opportunity to pass a driving test and become insured. More information can be found here. For more information on this topic please click on the following link:
To understand why every voice counts and how to make the most of your voice, please click on the link below:
Members of the League of Women Voters of Champaign County co-author this blog.