Civic engagement doesn’t stop at the ballot box. Using your voice year-round is crucial to a functioning democracy. Pay attention to how your legislators are advocating for your interests—let them know how you feel now, and be prepared for the next time you have an opportunity to vote.
Know your legislators
Find your legislators, check out their websites, sign up for their newsletters, and follow them on social media.
What policies do they support or oppose? Which issues do they prioritize? Do they “reach across the aisle” for solutions—are they open to compromise?
Visit them in their office—have a conversation!
Keep up with legislation
Follow along with current legislation on ILGA’s website—you can search for bills by number or keyword.
Follow organizations, including LWV of Illinois, that are doing work on the issues you care about—keep in touch with their newsletters and social media accounts.
After legislation passes, watch for news about how it is enacted. For example, the Cook County Forest Preserves provides an update of what they are doing with the increased funding granted by last year’s referendum.
Comment on legislators’ social media posts, email or call their office, pay a visit to their home office to meet them and their staffers. They work for you, so let them know what you think about the job they are doing.
Engage others! Talk to people in your networks about issues and give them actions to take. Be a trusted resource!