Susan B Anthony would remind us that the early suffragists made "organize, agitate, educate" their clarion call.
Did you join the League recently and want to know how you can start participating in League activities or become more active to make our democracy work? No one wants, or has the time, to do it all. Here are some first steps. Pick what works for you -- and do it.
1.Become familiar with your government. Don't know where to start?
Find your alderman, state legislators, and member of congress. Don't know who your elected officials are? No problem. Go to: http://www.chicagoelections.com/en/home.html. Click on "Voting" on the far left. Select "Your Voter Information" Enter your Chicago address and hit `Enter'.
Sign up to receive regular email updates, invitations to local events, and newsletters on your legislator's website
2.Learn what the League is doing.
Sign up for League E-News, Leaders Updates and Time for Action at http://www.lwvil.org/e-news.html. It's so simple and takes 30 seconds.
Look over our monthly Chicago Voter newsletter when it is emailed to you.
3.Learn what elected officials are doing or what they aren't.
Find out where your legislators stand on issues and review their voting history at VoteSmart (votesmart.org). To find out who their biggest campaign contributors are, visit OpenSecrets (opensecrets.org).
Create a Google News Alert at http://www.google.com/alerts to find out when your congressman is in the news.
Check out Google News at http://news.google.com/news for news articles about your congressman.
For Water Reclamation District Board Members, see https://www.mwrd.org/irj/portal/anonymous/Board.
4.Speak up and then speak up again! Voice your opinion and ask questions of your elected officials. It's a positive step and does not have to be time consuming.
Read Time for Action alerts from LWVIL(http://www.lwvil.org/tfa-time-for-action.html.) soon after you receive them. Call or write your elected representative to act on pending legislation that matters to you. Sometimes the alerts provide suggested blurbs so you will know what to say and how to say it productively.
Thank the elected officials who support your positions and vote accordingly. Legislators and staff typically are not contacted when they do what constituents want them to do. Your praise will encourage lawmakers to continue what they are doing.
Take advantage of opportunities to ask questions of your elected officials. Our League is engaging in Time-Sensitive Legislative Interviews. Small groups of 2-4 members will visit the local offices of our state legislators. The purpose is to ask a series of prepared interview questions on timely topics of interest to the League, gather information, and provide feedback to each other and the League. See the article on Legislative Interviews on page 6 of the March issue of Chicago Voter and contact Margaret Herring at League@LWVChicago.org if you are interested.
5.Connect with other League members.
Attend or volunteer to help at our upcoming events. To see upcoming events and mark your calendar, go to http://www.LWVChicago.org. We need volunteers to help at various events during the year. Contact Pat Graunke at League@LWVChicago.org with questions or to offer to help.
Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lwvchicago
Thank you and welcome to all new members of the League. We look forward to your interest, your ideas, and your involvement in the days ahead. Democracy needs you.