What We’ve Done Recently

What We’ve Done Recently

Highlights – June 2021 through June 2022

Goal: Promote non–partisan voter education and encourage all eligible citizens to vote

Used the VOTE411 Candidate Guide, a unique LWV offering, to increase communication with potential voters

  • Worked with other leagues to implement the newly designed vote 411 website with updated features and improved ease of use.  Vote411 has won an award for best marketing campaign from Ragan PR Daily.
  • Trained new volunteers to input data on new districts and candidates
  • Used 2020 census information to identify new voting districts
  • Educated voters on the changes coming for the June 2022 primary election with newsletter  articles and a member ideas forum in June 2022.

Led and supported candidate forums for the June 2022 primary election

  • Organized and led candidate forums, reaching  voters through Zoom, Facebook Live, and YouTube
  • Assisted with candidate forums led by other local Leagues

Expanded voter registration and voter education efforts

  • Participated in National Voter Registration Day at five local high schools; registering 428 new voters.
  • Held Spring registration drives at District 203 and District 204 high schools and at other locations such as Story Point Naperville leading to an additional 344 registrations.
  • Expanded high school outreach to include Wheatland Academy
  • Delivered close to 1000 (954) redesigned birthday boxes with updated voter registration information to students at six  area high schools.
  • Updated the non-partisan student registration presentation
  • Applied a youth voter registration grant to pilot a follow-up program with registered high school students and to provide funding for our existing birthday box program
  • Held a youth outreach event to introduce middle school students to local government officials
  • Increased the number of LWV voter registrars for DuPage and Will Counties  to 36, a 44% increase
  • Attended Illinois social studies teacher conference to promote League activities in high schools throughout Illinois

Advocated for voter access and supported election integrity

  • Trained poll watchers in Will and DuPage counties to promote secure elections
  • Organized a full team of election observers from across the county who watched the recount of the 2020 DuPage County Auditor race start to finish, and to also observe the court hearings for the recount
  • Organized a DuPage County voting equipment roadshow to introduce voters to the new county voting equipment, scheduling and publicizing six events partnered with the Naperville Public Library, the Naperville Park District, the Islamic Center of Naperville, and the Naperville Woman’s Club

Goal: Provide programs to attract broader and more diverse audiences

Expanded the topics for community forums, including:

  • Climate Crisis
  • Redistricting
  • Acquisition of new election equipment for DuPage and Will Counties
  • Local clean energy issues
  • Follow the Money: campaign financing in Illinois with Alisa Kaplan of Reform for Illinois
  • An interview with the Naperville DEI Manager, Dr. Geneace Williams
  • Naperville’s city manager form of government with City Manager Doug Kreger & Councilwoman Theresa Sullivan
  • A virtual tour of the EJI Legacy Museum/ equal justice initiatives
  • An interview with the Naperville Sustainability Coordinator Ben Mjolsness
  • Electoral College reform with the InterLeague Electoral College Committee
  • How and Why to Vote in the June 28 Primary Elections

Focused on broader community outreach

  • Expanded to two book groups per week and increased participation by 25%
  • Reached out to leaders of other non-partisan community groups to form working coalitions
  • Sponsored Illinois Humanities events, including a video of a play on women’s suffrage
  • Took part in Take Back the Night event at Benedictine University
  • Participated in the DuPage River Sweep
  • Participated in Naperville Earth Day Fair

Goal: Increase advocacy for issues important to Naperville

  • Created an issues and advocacy board position, along with a committee, to take action on League’s priority issues
  • Conducted legislative interviews with state and local  legislators to promote League positions on issues of importance to us and learn how LWV Naperville can partner with these legislators
  • Conducted informational interviews with city council members
  • Engaged with local government officials to advocate for clean energy for Naperville and to support open meetings for Illinois Municipal Electric Agency (IMEA)
  • Began advocacy for township 708 mental health boards and engages with other organizations
  • Sent delegates to the Annual Meetings of the League of Women Voters of the Lake Michigan Region and League of Women Voters of the Upper Mississippi River Region

Goal: Raise the League’s public profile

  • Organized and held a vigil for the January 6 attack on the Capitol, featuring 3 congressmen as speakers, 5 news stations on hand to cover, 4 partner organizations, and more than 100 attendees.
  • Marched in Labor Day Parade with Suffragists and introduced ‘Billy the Ballot Box’
  • Took part in July 17 John Lewis vigil with partner organizations
  • On February 14, honored the LWV’s 102nd anniversary with a recreation of the Silent Sentinels
  • Published multiple letters to the editor on issues important to League of Women Voters of Naperville
  • Conducted 12 monthly events
  • Added new videos to our YouTube channel, including recorded events and candidate forums
  • Built larger social media presence with increases over the past year, focusing on platforms that had lower followers in previous years.
  • Increased speaking engagements, including the League President’s  appearance at  NCTV17 Spotlight,  Rotary Club, Delta Dental, AAUW, and Naperville District 204 School Board

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