After winning the right to vote for women, the League of Women Voters was established as a grassroots organization in 1920. Fifty-five women organized the League of Women Voters of McLean County in 1933 under the leadership of Florence Fifer Bohrer, first woman elected to the Illinois State Senate.
From the beginning, the League has been an integral part of the political and civic life of our community. Within four months of its founding, the League held its first event to meet the candidates for elective offices. We continue to help everyone be an informed voter so that our elected leaders represent our entire community.
Mallory Carroll Receives LWV Juliana Sullivan Scholarship
McLean County League of Women Voters President Kathy Tosh congratulates Heartland Community College student Mallory Carroll on receiving the 2015 The Juliana Sullivan LWVMC Memorial Scholarship. This award was established in memory of Juliana (Julie) Sullivan, former League President, who recently passed away.
Julie educated, not only students in the classroom, but also those of us who were interested in and attempting to learn about the League and League processes. With that in mind, League of Women Voters of McLean County established this scholarship at Heartland Community College.
Coming in January
Watch for Dates & Times
- Candidate Forums
- Movie Night
- Community Education
Local League Reaches Consensus on Housing Study
The League of Women Voters of McLean County reached consensus on the recommendations presented by the Housing Study Committee at the meeting held at the Normal Public Library on October 20, 2015. The study was comprised of government entities, non-profits, concerned citizens and university faculty/staff. One notable finding was that the issue of affordable, supportive housing has been a concern as far back as 2000 from various community assessments. The issues surrounding affordable, supportive housing seemed overwhelming and were not often targets for community improvement initiatives.
Through data sources such as the McLean County Regional Planning Plan, United Way Assessments, Continuum of Care and Bloomington Housing Authority, the study group was able to capture a significant picture of affordable housing needs in our community. The next steps will be for the LWV to finalize the consensus statements and to move forward with action steps to address the need in our community. We look forward to our current community partners and additional community members to join our work as we move forward with action steps.
Click here for more information on the meeting and the study.
Money & Politics in Illinois
On November 11, the LWV and its guests were treated to an informative panel on campaigns and political funding.
Illinois Campaign for Political Reform's (ICPR) Executive Director, David Melton, started off with a lengthy history of campaigns and campaign financing in the U.S. He traced the problem of huge expenditures on loopholes in legislation and the rise of campaign costs. His answer would be to publically fund campaigns.
State Senator Jason Barickman said the focus should be on prompt, accurate disclosure of campaign funding; the flow of money cannot be stopped. He used a white board to illustrate the strange way that Illinois' legislative districts were mapped. Barickman feels that the most significant reform to increase voter satisfaction would be to change the system and re-map to create competitive districts.
Sarah Brune, Deputy Director of ICPR, explained how parties can pressure legislators with the fear of losing party support and funds. She said limits on campaign funding are a must. 501c4 and 501c6 non-profits can spend 49% on political activities and 501c4 non-profits don't have to disclose donors. Brune said a policy change along with voter education is needed.
ICPR's website illinoissunshine.org gives revealing reports of donations and expenditures in Illinois and is well worth a look.
Links to Events of Interest
Wine Tasting & Social
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
McLean County Arts Center
601 N. East St., Bloomington
Another great event that is approaching quickly is our Annual Wine Tasting Fundraiser. Sample fine wines and tasty hors d'oeuvres catered by Biagg's, Restorante Italiano. Bring a friend and come mingle with members and other guests of the League as well as shop for gifts for family and friends.
- Gift Basket Raffle
- Holiday Treasures Art Show
- Tickets - $35
To make reservations, please contact Dianne Williamson at (309) 662-6129 or email email@example.com.
Drinks and Dialogue for December
Mental Health: What’s our Condition?
December 9, 2015
A Rene Wine Café
306 N. Center St., Bloomington
It seems like every day you read an article related to mental health issues. Fortunately we have some "resident experts" in the League who will lead a discussion on this important topic.
Led by Judy Buchanan, the hard-working mental health committee will give us an update on the "state of mental health" in McLean County.