Making Democracy Work

Because democracy is not a spectator sport

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy.

STATE OF THE CITY - April 25, 2018

graphic blue and red image with city skyline and bridges

Join the League of Women Voters of Chicago for our annual luncheon and panelist discussion.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Union League Club of Chicago

65 W Jackson Blvd


Natalie Moore

WBEZ reporter and author of "The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation".


Evelyn J. Diaz, President, Heartland Institute for Human Needs and Human Rights

Zachary Fardon, Partner, King & Spalding LLP; Former U.S. Attorney, Northern District of Illinois

Juan Salgado, Chancellor, City Colleges of Chicago

Proceeds benefit the League of Women Voters of Chicago Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization.

For more information or to become a sponsor of this program, contact

Eventbrite - A Tale of Two Cities: Bridging Chicago's Opportunity Divide

You can also register by mail.

A Special Thank You to our Media Sponsors

LWV Chicago - Providing Access to Voting at Cook County Jail

March 10 and March 17, 2018, were historical days at Cook County Jail. For the first time, Cook County Jail hosted jail-wide, in-person voting. Around 10% of the jail cast ballots, according to Chicago Votes.

Chicago Votes piloted Cook County Jail Votes (#CCJVotes) with the hope of civically engaging individuals impacted by the criminal justice system in a unique way, and volunteers from the League of Women Voters facilitated voting in Division 11. League members Julie Shelton and Catherine Mardikes were in charge on March 10 and March 17, respectively. On those two days, 115 detainees voted in Division 11.

We look forward to November for round two of #CCJVotes, which will be even bigger and better! Check out our Volunteer Page for information on participating in upcoming CCJ voter registration drives.

If you want to help pre-trial detainees and past convicts re-engage in civic life, ask your state legislators to support HB4469, a bill that aims to help pre-trial detainees vote in jail and educate past convicts on their voting rights.

Fact sheet for HB4469

Find your representatives

League of Women Voters 98th Anniversary

group photo of LWV Chicago members in attendance at briefing.
Chicago League members attending the State Issues Briefing

It's the League's 98th anniversary February 14, and we're still going strong! We celebrated by attending the LWV Illinois Issues Briefing, where our members learned more about policy issues that we will be advocating for this year.

We discussed bridging the partisan divide with former Illinois State Representative Elaine Nekritz, who expressed worry over the current polarization in government but suggested the active recruitment of worthy new candidates as a possible solution.

State Representative Lou Lang updated us on the status of the ERA in Illinois. He hopes a vote will come in the spring legislative session, but explained that it will take raising awareness to make it happen. Contact your representatives now and ask them to support the ERA!

A number of expert panelists came together to speak on criminal justice reform as well. They suggested a number of initiatives: decreasing the prison population by reducing the use of money bail, implementing prison diversion programs such as drug court, decreasing recidivism by connecting those with criminal records with employment, and educating past convicts on their right to vote.

Experts also presented on many more topics, including the cost of segregation, the role of property taxes in funding education, community organizing around clean water initiatives, the Fair Tax, the public health approach to preventing firearm injury and death, redistricting, and implementing automatic voter registration.

What are you advocating for this year? Join us to get involved!


WOMEN'S MARCH CHICAGO: MARCH TO THE POLLS LWV Chicago voter registrars (15 people) with signs and balloons before the march

On Jan 20, 2018, approximately 300,000 people attended this march in Chicago to promote voter engagement. LWV Chicago was out in force! A team of volunteers spread out around the march, armed with March 20 voter information bookmarks,voter registration materials and patriotic balloons to identify themselves. Check out our facebook photo album for additional pictures from the event.


September 6, 2017 The League of Women Voters of Chicago announces today that it will support efforts to change the name of Balbo Drive, the heavily traveled street on the lakefront, and proposes that the street bear the name of Ida B. Wells Barnett. The group is asking city residents to contact their aldermen and ask for the name change to honor the suffragist, civil rights activist and investigative journalist who was an early leader of the civil and women's rights movements, worked against segregation in Chicago's public schools and helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Read the full press release.

The League suggests that citizens who wish to join in this campaign contact their aldermen. Locate aldermen information at: Ward and Alderman Search