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Copyright © League of Women Voters of Evanston

League of Women Voters® of Evanston
2100 Ridge Avenue, Room 1030 • Evanston, IL 60201

847-859-7883

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Serving the people of Evanston & Skokie, Illinois, since 1922.

LWVE Program Report for 2020-2021



1. Affordable Housing: LWVE will engage in study and action to support and amplify local efforts to identify and remove barriers to housing affordability through changes to municipal ordinances, regulations, and processes.

Key Activities:
Advocacy for Accessory Dwelling Units, September
Support for 1900 Sherman Avenue development, November
In concert with Joining Forces for Affordable Housing, provided educational
workshops for members to become better informed and improve advocacy skills

2.
Climate Action: LWVE will back state and national League of Women Voters climate action priorities and will support the City of Evanston in implementing its Climate Action and Resilience Plan (CARP).

Key Activities:
Climate Corner column for each issue of the
Intercom
Advocacy for the Evanston Environment Board’s proposed Natural Areas Ordinance, letter in September and testimony in December
Hosted two Drinks and Dialogue programs:

  • Reducing Your Carbon Footprint, October, featuring speakers from Citizens’ Greener Evanston and the Evanston Environment Board
  • Butterflies and Bees: Establishing a Pollinator Garden, February, with Leslie Shad, Co-chair of Natural Habitat Evanston and League member

Updated and expanded the Climate Action section of the LWVE website

3.
Criminal Justice Reform:LWVE will respond to a request from LWVIL to review its proposed revisions of its Criminal Justice positions. LWVE will convene one or several discussion sessions on revised positions and supporting materials from LWVIL and will hold consensus meetings in January to report to LWVIL.
Key Activities:
Working group became informed about the LWVIL proposed position and the related criminal justice issues
Sponsored two events:

  • Youth Advocacy with speaker Patrick Keenan-Devlin, October, describing the work of the Moran Center for Youth Advocacy to provide low-income Evanston youth with integrated legal and social work services to keep them out of the criminal justice system
  • Benjamin Ruddell, Director of Criminal Justice Policy at the Illinois ACLU, speaking on Criminal Justice Reform efforts to improve pre-trial procedures and sentencing guidelines

• Provided Intercom articles on relevant topics and the consensus process
• Conducted two consensus meetings and submitted report to LWVIL


4.
Fair Tax Amendment:LWVE will be an active member of the LWVIL effort, in concert with the Responsible Budget Coalition, to adopt the Fair Tax Amendment at the time of the November 2020 election. This amendment would abolish the current flat tax in favor of a graduated tax, which, like the Federal graduated rate income tax, would allow higher taxation of higher wage earners and lower taxation of lower wage earners.
Key Activities:
Conducted 16 presentations (by Zoom) to Leagues and other civic groups
While the measure did not receive the necessary 60 percent of the total vote counted in Illinois, over three-fourths of Evanston voters approved the amendment
Continue to be part of fiscal policy discussions that will lead to advocacy on our priorities, including fully funding the Evidence Based Funding (EBF) legislation for schools

5.
Voter Turnout Initiative:Continuing project to develop and implement a plan to increase voter turnout in future elections, with a focus on youth and local elections, in accordance with the findings and recommendations of the Voter Turnout Initiative project conducted in 2019-2020. Read the report.

Key Activities:
Produced a special
Intercom Election issue and developed and distributed Voter FAQson election topics
Collaborated with VPAC organization to exchange information and materials on voter participation
Developed ideas and strategies to support school civics programs and participated in the ETHS Civics Fair
Long-term activities will continue through Voter Services to expand voter registration strategies, continue working with civic education in the high school and middle schools, and explore a lower voting age in local elections