Legislative Interview Reports from April 27, 2015
National Voter Registration Day September 22nd, 2015
Help us encourage all informed US citizens to register to vote or to update their current registration. Tell a friend or new neighbor about three convenient ways they can do it:
Online voter registration at the IL State Board of Election website http://www.elections.il.gov/votinginformation/register.aspx
Mail in registration forms can be printed from the following website: http://www.cookcountyclerk.com/elections/registertovote/Pages/default.aspx
In person go to any Cook County Clerk's office or stop by the Wilmette Clerk's office at Village Hall.
For the April 7, 2015 municipal election, voters will be asked to decide between candidates running for six governing bodies affecting Wilmette residents: Three Trustee positions for the Wilmette Village Board, four Commissioner positions for the Wilmette Park District, four Trustee positions for the Wilmette Public Library, three Board of Education positions for the Wilmette District #39, three Board of Education positions for the AVOCA District #37 and three Board of Education positions for New Trier High School District #203.
In the League's ongoing effort to educate voters about candidates' qualifications for the positions they seek and views on current municipal issues, we prepared a written Voter's Guide and held Candidate Forums.
2015 Voters Guide
Printed copies of the Voter's Guide are distributed locally and made available to the public at various key locations throughout Wilmette (public library, train station, coffee shops).
LWV-Wilmette held two forums on the same day. Approximately 50 people were in attendance at each forum; the videos ran multiple times on our local access TV channel; and links were posted on the Village of Wilmette and LWV-Wilmette websites. There were no problems with either forum. The first forum was for the Wilmette Public School District #39, Board of Education. The second was for the Wilmette Park District, Board of Commissioners.
The forums are videotaped and shown several times on the Wilmette local access TV channel. The videotaped forums are also posted on the Village of Wilmette website.
Below is a brief rundown of the position and its requirements.
What are the general requirements?
SB172 passed the Illinois Senate on December 3, 2014 and now awaits the governor's signature to become law. If the law is well implemented, Illinois would become the national leader on voter registration modernization.
Here are some highlights of the bill:
There are several constitutional amendments and advisory referenda which will be on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Illinois. The LWVIL Issues Committee has prepared several documents to provide background information on these and other election items. Click here for the LWVIL website.
The Yes for Independent Maps campaign has decided not to pursue getting its amendment on the November ballot. This decision was made, in part, because of a court decision. Click here to read more on the LWVIL website.
To see the full set of questions and responses, see below:
This was an active year for voter registrations. The new law allowing 17-year old to vote in a primary election if they would be 18 by a presidential or mid-term election meant we had almost double the number of eligible students to register at our local high schools. David Orr's office honored our League for the record-breaking number of students we helped to registered before the primary (409). This year we tapped into some social media venues to encourage students to register and were more successful in reaching out to students through school adviseries and clubs.
We will continue to assist new voters, but now using iPads as well as paper applications. The online system will be restricted to new voters or those who wish to update their voter information who have an authentic Illinois driver's license or Illinois-issued identification card. This requirement for state ID is in place because electronic signatures will be copied from the Secretary of State database. For all others, the traditional options for registration remain (eg, Village Hall, Secretary of State offices, County Clerk's offices, and voter registration drives like ours).
Along with five other North Shore league members, three candidates from our League were trained as moderators in January. This new group of trained moderators will greatly help to relieve the shortage of trained moderators League-wide as we face a busy year for forums (November 2014, March 2015). The League is well served by our nine trained deputy registrars.
Need to have names to submit to David Orr's Office week of August 25, 2014!!!!! Please contact Trudy Gibbs for information.
David Orr has recognized LWV Wilmette for our outstanding efforts in registering students at Loyola Academy and New Trier High School. In his letter of congratulations, he said "Your League has set a high standard that pushed other schools and organization to go the extra mile. It also gave our office a sense of momentum as we pushed schools and groups to be ambitious about engaging their students." He goes on to say, "You are true Champions of Democracy and we are lucky to have you as partners.",
Note: for County Commissioner, we are in district #13. For Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, we vote for 3 commissioners out of a list of many -- in other words, we are not restricted to a specific district.
The full ballot for Suburban Cook County's March 18th primary election has also been posted on the Cook County Clerk's office website, click here.
The League held a Candidate Forum at the Village Hall on Sunday, March 17th. Ccandidates answered questions about how they would deal with pressing issues before the Village Board, Park Board, District #39 School Board and the Wilmette Public Library Board of Trustees.
Rebroadcasts of the event will be on Wilmette Local Access Channel as follows:
8:30pm LWV Forum - Park Board
7 pm LWV Forum - Library Board
6 pm LWV Forum - Park Board
7 pmLWV Forum - School District #39
8 pm LWV Forum - Library Board
8:30pm LWV Forum - Park Board
9:30pm LWV Forum - Village Trustee and President
10:30pm LWV Forum - Library Board
League of Women Voters of Wilmette's Voter's Guide contains written answers to questions posed to all the candidates, even those in uncontested races. It will be distributed at public buildings throughout Wilmette and is available online at the League of Woman Voters website.
1 to 2 Village Board Presidential Candidates
2 to 3 Candidates for Park District Board of Commissioners
3 to 4 Candidates for Wilmette District #39 Board of Education
4 to 5 Candidates for the Wilmette Public Library Board of Trustees
Once on the website, go to Elections. Then put in the required information, which includes your name and address. Click GO and you will then see your polling place.
To save Cook County money on election costs, a number of polling places are being consolidated. Of the current 65 precincts in New Trier Township, 19 will be eliminated. As yet, not all of the consolidation decisions have been finalized. However, by the end of February, voters affected by the change in the location of their polling place will receive a notice by mail. Look for those postcards yourself and spread the word about the closings to neighbors and friends. Due to the late date for decisions on closings, it is best to use the Cook County website at cookcountyclerk.com to confirm a polling place rather than the National League Polling Place Finder at Vote411.org.Here is a telephone number for the County Clerk: (312) 603-5656
Find information about the next election at .....
Cook County Clerk:http://www.cookctyclerk.com/
Wilmette voters by a large margin passed the referendum on authorizing the Village managers to form an aggregation of customers to collectively obtain our supply of electricity. The objective is to achieve rates that are lower than currently offered through ComEd.
At the April 27, 2012 Board meeting, we discussed how the Village of Wilmette in conjunction with the Village of Kenilworth is moving ahead very quickly with the selection of an alternative electric supplier for the newly form aggregate of residential and small commercial customers. The Wilmette Village management has been clear in public statements and in their presentation to our Board that the objective of the program is only to save money. With a "cost only" criteria for the selection of a supplier, Wilmette and Kenilworth will buy a standard package of electrical power from plants that produce power as the result of burning fossil fuels along with the required minimum of 7% renewable energy sources. At the first (and only) meeting of the Administration Committee of the Village Board on the topic, three options for suppliers were presented:
Additional information about the program is available on the Village website.
One reason for paying attention to sources selected is that more is at stake than simply cost. Wilmette does not generate any power within our community so that the burden of pollution produced falls in the backyards of other communities. As our managers and elected officials set policy, it is in the people of Wilmette's best interest to be mindful of the total costs of power production and not simply cost savings to our community. More is at stake than just air pollution; there is an enormous amount of water that is fouled in the process of harvesting, transporting, and burning fossil fuels. By selecting providers that will supply a higher percentage of green power, we would be accelerating the important transition from brown to green energy. At the very least, our requests for proposals should ask perspective providers to ask for what is called "power labeling" to disclose energy sources that would be provided. We need to keep in mind that the lowest costs to us come from aging coal and nuclear plants, but these plants are also associated with the highest healthcare burdens on society and they are already receiving large government subsidies.