What We’ve Done Recently

What We’ve Done Recently

Highlights – June 2020 through May 2021

Goal: Provide factual information to inform voters

Created a highly effective VOTE411 Candidate Guide
  • For the November 2020 national elections, VOTE411 reached 151,442 voters in Illinois and nearly 9,673 voters in Naperville, Joliet, Aurora, and Bolingbrook. It covered 40 races (103 candidates).
  • For the April 6, 2021 municipal elections, VOTE411 reached over 22,896 voters in Illinois and  3,385 voters in Naperville, Joliet, Aurora, and Bolingbrook. It covered 25 races (108 candidates).
  • Educated voters on the changes for the 2020 election through Voting 101, a LWV Naperville member event covering election FAQs, website postings and a regional FAQ document, and Facebook postings 
  • Used signs, posters, and social media to promote Vote411:
    • Yard Signs – Fall 2020: 37 members and businesses posted 32 yard signs and 15 posters around town to promote VOTE411
    • Yard Signs – Spring 2021: 21 members and businesses posted 29 yard signs around town to promote VOTE411 
Led two full rounds of successful candidate forums
  • Organized and led candidate forums and a Fair Tax program by Zoom for the November election, reaching over 2,500 voters through Zoom, Facebook Live, and YouTube.  
  • Assisted with candidate forums led by other local Leagues
  • Organized and led four candidate forums for the April local elections, reaching nearly 6,000 voters through Zoom, Facebook Live, and YouTube
Expanded voter registration
  • Set up registration and information tables at various local venues
  • Held a drive-through registration event for National  Voter Registration Day
  • Created a virtual youth voter registration presentation for high school students (Time to Vote), which covers the importance of voting provides registration information
  • Delivered virtual birthday boxes to high school students. Birthday boxes became colorful emails with live links to valuable election and registration sites. An advantage to the emails is that some students sent reponses and thank-you emails to the note writers! Teachers and students indicated a preference for real boxes and we hope to work with student liaisons to make them even better for 2021-2022.
  • Sent two batches of postcards to non-registered voters with the invaluable help of volunteers who addressed  the postcards and helped pay postage (2000 postcards in total).
Advocated for voters and encouraged voting
  • Put sticky notes on residential doors and distributed posters for nursing homes to reach older voters
  • Trained poll watchers in Will and DuPage counties to promote secure elections
  • Participated in Observer corps training to increase opportunities to monitor election integrity
  • Observed election equipment testing and ballot certification in Will and DuPage Counties

Goal: Provide opportunities for community and member education and dialog

Increased number and scope of events – virtual programs on community issues
  • IL Fair Tax Amendment event 
  • Environmental voter event
  • City council ethics proposal event
  • Criminal justice events with Chief Marshall and Anne Stava Murray
  • The future of newspapers and local news
  • Began virtual living room conversations to discuss current issues
  • Adopted the themes of women’s suffrage and diversity for the Book Group in 2020; social justice for 2021
Promoted diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)
  • DEI board survey and Movie Nights
  • Monthly features in the Voter on organizations with DEI mandates
  • Meetings with NAACP
  • Meetings with LGBTQ groups
  • DuPage Heritage Gallery – working to diversify featured individuals
Promoted and commemorated the Centennial of women’s right to vote and the League’s 100th anniversary
  • Received SECA and Illinois Humanities Grants
  • Held in-person event with panel of speakers; continued with virtual events
  • Put commemoration banners up in downtown Naperville
  • Participated in Naper Settlement Centennial event
  • Organized and rode as suffragists in touring cars through downtown Naperville

Goal: Participate in developing  and advocating for League positions

  • Appointed Issues and Advocacy liaison for immigration issues
  • Completed a two year effort to produce a Criminal Justice Committee report and consensus for the League of Women Voters of Illinois 
  • Promoted participation in the 2020 census
  • Conducted legislative interviews with state and national legislators to understand their positions and how we can work with them

Goal: Raise the League profile by increasing the use of  social  media and outreach

  • Converted traditional programs to virtual formats, thereby increasing attendance and participation
  • Built larger social media presence with significant increases over the past year: Facebook – 44% increase, Instagram 51% increase, Twitter 62% increase
  • Used a variety of avenues  to support of VOTE411 and candidate forums , including VOTE411 yard signs, posters, local TV, newspapers,  and social media support
  • Reached out to NCTV17 Spotlight for the League President’s  appearance
  • Testified at hearings and local government meetings in support of League issues
  • Received support from many community members and groups: 
  • Shoutouts go to D204 government teachers Susan Fuhrer, Chris Wolak, and Jennifer Ferkenhoff for their dedication to their students and civic education even in the face of a worldwide pandemic! 
  • Also, shoutouts go to our amazing crew of birthday box note writers including: League members, friends of the League, members of the Naperville Neighbors and Newcomers Club, the Naperville Women’s Club, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority!   

Goal: Improve operational efficiency and effectiveness

  • Initiated Inter-League dialog meetings to share ideas with local League presidents
  • Adopted Google suite to manage information sharing and documentation
  • Created a new member booklet to educate new members about our organization
  • Conducted a member experience and interest survey to identify opportunities for participation 
  • Initiated a sustaining member fundraising program to increase voter education opportunities