Making Democracy Work

Observer Corps

Observer Corps

Monitoring local government meetings is a long-established practice of the League of Women Voters. It is one approach to help inform citizens about current issues and their governments.

Members volunteer to attend or watch a meeting and share what they observed in a written report.

LWVChicago observes several bodies associated with the City of Chicago. Members also assist with observing Cook County agencies as part of the LWV Cook County ILO. Please see their website for details on observing Cook County agencies.

LWVChicago attends as many meetings as there are volunteers! In person is always best, but several Chicago agencies videotape their meetings, so it is possible to view a meeting online and create an observer report.

If you are interested in participating in this program as a regular or occasional Observer, please contact the individual listed for each agency.

Chicago City Council

Observe meetings of the elected governing body for the City of Chicago. Made up of the 50 ward aldermen and the Mayor.

When: Meetings typically begin at 10 a.m., are generally on Wednesdays and held monthly. Check the calendar to verify dates.

Where: Held in Council Chambers located on the second floor at City Hall - 121 N LaSalle Drive, Chicago IL 60602

Registration/Additional Information: For more information on attending a Chicago City Council meeting, or to reserve seating, contact the Chicago City Council Sergeant-at-Arms at 312-744-6800 or via email at CityCouncilSeating@cityofchicago.org. Details on meetings can also be found on the City Council website at here.

City Council Committee Meetings: The public also is invited to committee meetings. The schedules are also listed on the online City Council calendar.

Questions? Contact Rochelle Riffer, League@LWVChicago.org

Chicago Board of Education

The Chicago Board of Education consists of 7 members appointed by the Mayor.

When: Held on the 3rd or 4th wednesday of every month, unless noted, generally at 10:30am. Meetings last approximately 2-2.5 hours. It is suggested to arrive early for seating.

Where: Held in Board room, 42 W. Madison Street, Chicago, Illinois, Garden Level.

Registration/Additional Information: You must register to observe - Go online to register and to check for the correct date of the meeting and the time to register.

You also can sign up to speak (two minutes). If you plan to speak on behalf of the LWVChicago, comments must be approved by the League President.

Questions? Contact Rae Sokolow, League@LWVChicago.org

Chicago Board of Elections

The Chicago Board of Elections has three members appointed by the Chief Judge of the Cook County Circuit Court.

When: meets at 9 a.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month.

Where: in the Board's 8th Floor offices at 69 W. Washington St., Chicago.

Registration/Additional Info: It is not necessary to register to attend. There is an opportunity for public comment (five minutes), which you can register for at the meeting. If you plan to speak on behalf of LWVChicago, comments must be approved by the League President.

Chicago Board of Elections meeting information, videos and minutes are available here.

Questions? Contact Helene Gabelnick, League@LWVChicago.org

Recent Report:: September 12, 2017

The Board of Elections discussed the recent passage of Automatic Voter Registration legislation in Illinois. While passed, it is not yet implemented. Read more about it in the full report here.