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Issues and Action

Let the President, your Congressmen, and your Illinois legislators know
how you feel about today's issues.

You can find contact information for your US Congressional representatives and Illinois State legislators on the Illinois State Board of Elections website.

Phone calls to the White House can be made to 202-456-1414. Phone calls to Members of Congress can be made through the Capitol Hill switchboard at 202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121.

GRIT : Graduated Rate Income Tax

LWVIL is partnering with A Better Illinois to educate ourselves, our legislators, and voters on the Graduated Income Tax -- GRIT -- for a better Illinois. Adoption of GRIT has been a long-standing goal of the League. An LWVIL committee is actively lobbying to build support around the state.

Legislation (HJRCA 33/SJRCA 40) is pending in Springfield for a constitutional amendment on a fair tax allowing for higher rates on higher incomes and lower rates on lower incomes. The LWVIL supports this plan, rather than the flat tax now imposed in Illinois.

LWVIL believes this amendment will bring fairness to Illinois' tax code, helping Illinois' families. It will help Illinois protect key priorities such as education, public safety, health care, and human services. These vital services have been significantly shortchanged in recent years because of Illinois' systemic budget problems; the result of an out-of-date tax code which overburdens middle income families. Currently families earning less than $57,000 pay 10.9% in taxes in Illinois, while families earning $445,000 or more pay only 4.9%. Illinois residents should be taxed reasonably to keep up with a modern economy.

The legislation embodies another important principle: citizen participation. If adopted by the General Assembly, this referendum would ask Illinois voters if they want to amend the 1970 Illinois Constitution, which currently states that the personal income tax must be non-graduated (flat).

The LWVIL knows it is time for long-term budget solutions to help rebuild Illinois' economy and provide sustained support to programs and services that people need. Adoption of a graduated income tax achieves a necessary step in reaching these goals.

Click on the following links for more information about the Amendment and A Better Illinois:


Yes for Independent Maps Campaign
LWVIL is supporting the nonpartisan grassroots campaign Yes for Independent Maps to place the Illinois Independent Redistricting Amendment on the November 2014 ballot.

The 1970 Illinois Constitution's process of drawing state legislative districts has led to one political party having control of drawing all of Illinois's legislative districts, enabling that party to gerrymander districts in its favor, often enabling it to control these safe, incumbent-protected districts for 10 years. The Illinois Independent Redistricting Amendment would provide for a restructured, independent redistricting commission to draw the maps.

Are you ready to help make Illinois state government more transparent and accountable and stop the process enabling one political party to gerrymander districts in its favor? Learn more about this campaign and request a petition from Yes for Independent Maps at http://www.IndependentMaps.org or email Scott at ssiebel@independentmaps.org. Ask friends and family to sign the petition.

Become a Grass Roots Advocate!

Would you like the Illinois State League to alert you when key decisions are pending on the issues you care about? Sign up to be a Grassroots Advocate here!

Resolve to Become a Cool Citizen!

The Elmhurst Cool Cities Coalition is a volunteer coalition of local institutions, organizations, business leaders and citizens working to achieve the goals of the Sierra Club Cool Cities campaign and the U.S. Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement.

The Sierra Club Cool Cities campaign empowers city residents and local leaders to join and encourage their cities to implement smart energy solutions to save money and build a cleaner, safer future.

The City of Elmhurst, along with more than 900 other cities around the country, has made a commitment to stopping global warming. Elmhurst Mayor Thomas Marcucci signed the U.S. Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement in October of 2007.

Initiated and led by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement (USCPA) is a pledge by mayors to reduce global warming pollution in their cities by 7% below 1990 levels by the year 2012.

In Elmhurst, the League of Women Voters has been instrumental in forming and leading the coalition, along with local Sierra Club members. See accompanying article about how the Elmhurst Coalition got started in 2007.

Global warming requires solutions at every level. Cool Cities not only brings real solutions at local levels, it also showcases solutions for others to model and builds leadership to ensure solutions are implemented at state levels and nation-wide. Hybrid cars, energy efficient buildings, and renewable energy are just a few of the many ways to make this real.

(Taken from the Elmhurst Cool Cities Coaltion Web-site at http://www.elmhurstcoolcities.org/who-we-are.html).

To read more about the League's involvement with the Cool Cities Coalition, click here.

Read an overview of Elmhurst Cool Cities' history and activities, and the Elmhurst Cool Cities Pledge. You can help by taking the Cool Cities Pledge yourself and making a personal commitment to keep our environment at the forefront of your daily activities.

2012-2013 Meetings of the Elmhurst Cool Cities Coalition

The Coalition welcomes new organizations, business leaders and citizens to join its efforts and promote its mission. Come to its monthly meetins to share your ideas, or come to learn more about how you can help make the Elmhurst community a more environmentally friendly and sustainable place to live. The Coatilion meets at the Elmhurst Public Library on the first Tuesday of the month at 7:00 pm. Meetings are scheduled as follows:

2012: September 4, October 2, November 6, and December 4
2013: January 8, February 5, March 5, April 2, May 7, June 11, July 9, August 6

Green Fest in Elmhurst

When held, the goal of Green Fest is to educate our community on ways individuals can reduce their tCO2e footprint (Carbon footprint) through fun, hands-on exhibits, interesting speakers, and the introduction of eco-friendly products and services.


LWV Elmhurst Members Cheri Niewiara and Connie Zillig
enjoyed the 2nd Annual Green Fest in Elmhurst.

Notes from the Cool Cities Coalition

The Citizens Utility Board is offering FREE energy audits on-line for Com Ed customers. You need your Com Ed account number to receive a personalized analysis of your energy usage and ideas for reducing your energy use. 190 residents in Evanston have saved over $15,000 by implementing the energy-saving ideas. Go to http://www.cubenergysaver.com/ to sign-up for the audit, and also learn about how much other municipalities have saved.

Elmhurst Energy Audit

Click here, to view Elmhurst's Energy and Emissions Profile, which provides information about how energy is consumed by the residents and businesses in Elmhurst, and to help us prioritize strategies for energy efficiency and conservation.

Here's what the Illinois Constitution says about the environment:
Constitution of the State of Illinois

SECTION 1. PUBLIC POLICY - LEGISLATIVE RESPONSIBILITY The public policy of the State and the duty of each person is to provide and maintain a healthful environment for the benefit of this and future generations. The General Assembly shall provide by law for the implementation and enforcement of this public policy.

SECTION 2. RIGHTS OF INDIVIDUALS Each person has the right to a healthful environment. Each person may enforce this right against any party, governmental or private, through appropriate legal proceedings subject to reasonable limitation and regulation as the General Assembly may provide by law.

Previous Issues Adressed by LWV Elmhurst

  • A look at the impact of Illinois' fiscal crisis on our own communities. -- How does the Illinois fiscal crisis affect you and your neighbors?

    The Elmhurst League, along with others across the state, surveyed a variety of local governmental entities, not for profit agencies, and private sector providers to find out where state shortfalls are and how these groups are coping with late and/or reduced funding. Please click here to review our summary of the survey results. The League also hosted several survey respondents at our January 2011 Meeting so that the public could learn the impact on local government entities and social service organizations.

  • To view how the LWV Elmhurst Addressed issues in the past, including the proposal by Mayor DiCianni Proposes to Open Council Meetings With a Prayer, and District 205 School Board issues involving the budget process, click here.


The League of Women Voters will only take action on issues we have studied and on which we have reached consensus, that is, general member agreement.

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