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Resources for Action

The 2018 Election Cycle is critical to Illinois and the nation. We need to engage Democrats across the state to ensure that we elect a Democratic Governor and legislature, as well as increasing the number of Democrats from Illinois in the U.S. Congress. Find new ways to connect with Democrats and take action to impact

Join or Renew Your Membership Now

Illinois Democratic Women is a statewide organization consisting of both women and men working together to elect Democrats, strengthen the Democratic Party and advocate for progressive issues.   Membership includes: Discounted Admission to Annual Convention Networking Events Education and Training Events Monthly Newsletters Award Eligibility And much, much more! To join online with a credit

IDW HRC Award Recipient: Comptroller Susana Mendoza

IDW is pleased to announce that Comptroller Susana Mendoza will receive the 2017 Hillary Rodham Clinton Award at the 45th Annual Convention Dinner on September 16. The HRC Award honors a current state, county, or municipal office holder. Susana A. Mendoza was elected Illinois Comptroller on November 8, 2016. She became the first Hispanic to

IDW 2015 Convention – Award Series – Eleanor Roosevelt Award – Carol Ronen

Carol Ronen

Carol Ronen served in the Illinois State Senate from 2000 until she retired in February, 2008. Carol was honored to represent one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse areas in the country that includes the Chicago neighborhoods of Edgewater, Andersonville, Bowmanville , Uptown, Lincoln Square, and Rogers Park.
Prior to her service in the Senate, she served seven years in the Illinois House of Representatives. The focus of her work in the Illinois General Assembly included fierce support of Nurses, commitment to human rights and equality and advocacy on behalf of children and child safety. Legislation she passed focused upon early childhood development; health care; violence prevention; and protecting human rights…including a woman’s right to reproductive choice.

During her tenure in the Senate she Chaired the Health & Human Services Committee where she helped author and pass legislation guaranteeing healthcare to every child and universal pre-k to every four year old.

She also Chaired of the Labor and Commerce Committee, where she led the successful effort to increase the minimum wage in Illinois and pass the Equal Pay act which increased the number of women covered by equal pay protections and provided for strong state enforcement.

In addition, Ronen was the lead senate sponsor of the Illinois Human Rights act, landmark legislation protecting Illinoisans from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Passage of the bill culminatied12 years of work and fulfilled a personal commitment she made when she first ran for office – to extend equal protection to Illinois gay, lesbian and trans-gendered citizens. Illinois was one of only five states in the nation to pass such sweeping protections.

Senator Ronen was been one of the most steadfast supporters of Illinois nurses. From her first year in the general assembly she championed the need to expand access to quality health care by greater utilization of Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs). She was the sponsor of a 1996 bill that allowed APNs to establish practices in Illinois.

Carol is an active player in Democratic politics at the local, state and federal level. She is the 48th Ward Democratic Committeeman and a member of the Cook County Democratic Party. She is also the Democratic State Central Committeewoman for the 9th Congressional District where she helps to shape the Illinois Democratic Party Platform and slate statewide candidates. At the national level Carol is a member of the Democratic National Committee, representing Illinois in the process to select a Democratic nominee for President. She is a pledged delegate for Hillary Clinton and looks forward to being part of the process to elect the first woman President.

Helping women get elected to office is a driving interest. To further this goal Carol helped found Women’s Voices, Women’s Votes, an Illinois state political action committee that supported the election of progressive Democratic women in the Illinois General Assembly and she is a founding member and on the Advisory Board of Illinois Women in Leadership, a group which mentors young women who seek to run for office.
Carol holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Roosevelt University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Bradley University. She resides in Chicago’s Edgewater Neighborhood and she is a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan…this may be the year!

Thanks to All for A Great Convention!

Thanks to all who made the 2015 IDW Convention a success. A special thanks to the staff at the UAW Pat Greathouse Education Center for providing outstanding facilities and service.

GroupShot
Some convention attendees assembled before lunch

Illinois Budget

Elaine-NekritzBy Rep. Elaine Nekritz, Assistant Majority Leader, Illinois House

Needless to say, the last few months have been a challenge in Illinois state government.  It appears that Governor Rauner has all along been pushing toward government shut down – and now he has what he wants.  Before he will even consider negotiating a budget, he has demanded that the General Assembly pass a number of the items on his “Turn Around” agenda.  The policies he is pursuing will do nothing to help us balance our state budget and are, in fact, completely unrelated to the budget.  This is an unprecedented and unwelcome tactic.  Former Republican Governor Jim Edgar has been very public in his statements that he never held the budget hostage for non-budget  matters.

The stakes are too high and the collateral damage is too painful to continue on this path.  But it gets worse.  The policies Governor Rauner is pursuing are very similar to those pushed by Republican governors in other states.  We need look no further than our neighbor to the north, Wisconsin, to see the impact of those policies.  Wisconsin is currently “enjoying” a $2.2 billion budget deficit and, since 2000, that state has experienced the largest drop in average wages of any state in the country.  In Kansas, the Republican legislature is fighting with the Republican governor because the tax cuts that were designed to stimulate economic growth (sound familiar?) instead resulted in massive budget deficits.  The last thing Illinois needs are policies that result in bigger budget deficits and more loss for the middle class.

I am hopeful that cooler heads will prevail and we can come together to solve our immediate problems.  The Governor and the legislature will have different ideas on how to balance the budget. But with dialogue and compromise we can get there.  For the good of all Illinois citizens, we must get there.

Top 15 New Illinois Laws for 2015

15for15-featureOn January 1st, we woke up to a new year. We also woke up to new and revised laws enacted by state lawmakers and the governor to improve our lives. Safety, convenience, transparency, health and fairness are the inspiration, and many new laws are directly inspired by constituents. Check out the top 15 new Illinois laws for 2015 here.

ILLINOIS DEMOCRATIC WOMEN ANNOUNCES 2014 ENDORSEMENTS

Illinois’ Democratic organization advocates for state-wide candidates

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Democratic Women announced Thursday its candidate endorsements for the upcoming November 2014 general election. Illinois Democratic Women is a statewide grassroots organization working for more equitable representation and participation of Democrat women in all levels of the Democratic Party and government.

            U.S. Senate: Dick Durbin

            Governor and Lt. Governor: Pat Quinn/Paul Vallas

            Secretary of State: Jesse White

            Attorney General: Lisa Madigan

            State Treasurer: Mike Frerichs

            Comptroller: Sheila Simon

“We believe IDW has endorsed candidates who best reflect Democratic principles and values. These candidates have demonstrated time and time again that their mission is to serve as public servants who strive to improve the economic and societal lives of Illinoisans,” said Pam Monetti, Co-President of Illinois Democratic Women. “We are proud to stand by the Democratic slate of statewide candidates in Illinois.”

Statewide Ballot Referenda

There are 5 statewide referenda that were placed on the ballot by the Illinois Legislature. Please remember to vote for these initiatives as you cast your ballot. The League of Women Voters provides an explanation of these initiatives on their website.

CONSTITUTION BALLOT
PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE 1970 ILLINOIS CONSTITUTION
Explanation of Amendment
The proposed amendment makes changes to Section 8.1 of Article I of the Illinois Constitution, the Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights.
The proposed amendment would expand certain rights already granted to crime victims in Illinois, and give crime victims the
ability to enforce their rights in a court of law. You are asked to decide whether the proposed amendment should become part
of the Illinois Constitution.

CONSTITUTION BALLOT
PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE 1970 ILLINOIS CONSTITUTION
Explanation of Amendment
The proposed amendment adds a new section to the Suffrage and Elections Article of the Illinois Constitution. The proposed
amendment would prohibit any law that disproportionately affects the rights of eligible Illinois citizens to register to vote or cast a
ballot based on the voter’s race, color, ethnicity, status as a member of a language minority, national origin, religion, sex, sexual
orientation, or income. You are asked to decide whether the proposed amendment should become part of the Illinois
Constitution.

“Shall the minimum wage in Illinois for adults over the age of
18 be raised to $10 per hour by January 1, 2015?”

“Shall any health insurance plan in Illinois that provides
prescription drug coverage be required

“Should the Illinois Constitution be amended to require that
each school district receive additional revenue, based on their
number of students, from an additional 3% tax on income
greater than one million dollars?”

A Strong Voice for Illinois Ann Callis Candidate for U.S. Congress

As a candidate for Congress, I think it is important to give a voice to those who need help our help. As a woman and a mother, I know the lack of equal pay for women as a critical issue in our community and for our nation’s economy.

This year in Illinois, women make 78 cents for each dollar a man makes for the same job. And women of color are being paid even less—African American women make 65 cents per male dollar and Hispanic women earn only 48 cents per male dollar.

But you all know that this wage gap doesn’t just impact women. It hurts families and our entire economy. Many households across our state rely on women’s salaries as all or part of the family income. Paying women less for the same jobs their male co-workers are doing hurts families’ ability to put food on the table, save for retirement, pay for health care or buy a house.

Equal Pay Day, which occurred on April 8th, signifies the day a woman’s wages would catch up to her male counterparts from last year. That is not an exaggeration–women have to work nearly 100 days more to earn the same wage. This is simply unacceptable and the lack of progress on this issue in Washington baffles me.

To start, Congress must pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to ensure women are paid equally to their male colleagues for the same work. It’s also time to raise the national minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Here in Illinois we know that six in ten minimum wage earners are women, many of whom are head of household. And raising our minimum wage would give more than 630,000 women a raise in our state.

Families across Illinois need a strong voice to advocate for equal pay and other common-sense solutions that help strengthen families and improve our economy. That’s why I’m running for Congress.

Ann Callis, Democratic Nominee for Congress, Illinois 13th District

Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth: Importance of Women’s Participation

I am reminded daily of the importance of women’s participation in the political process. Whether it is supporting a more diverse workplace free of discrimination, funding for public schools, or U.S. involvement in international conflicts, so many issues that we confront would benefit from a diversity of viewpoints that women legislators bring to the discussion. Women are over 50% of our country’s population, yet only 19% of the U.S. Congress is female. While women have made great strides in political participation, there is still much more work to be done. Organizations that promote women’s participation, like the Illinois Democratic Women, are important advocates for working families and women across the state. I am proud to stand with you in your efforts.

Women’s rights and equality are crucial because all Americans benefit when women succeed. Women can better support their families and loved ones through equal pay for equal work. For example, currently in Illinois women make on average $12,000 less per year than their male counterparts. A household with a female wage earner then suffers a loss of $12,000 from their income, not only affecting the woman but her entire family buying power. With more access to STEM and higher education, women will contribute even more to our nation in fields like medicine, engineering and public service than they already are. With access to affordable and comprehensive healthcare, women can live without fear of devastating medical bills for their families and themselves. Put simply, when more women are involved in the policy-making process, we will have legislation that better supports women and our families.

Since taking office, I have introduced and cosponsored many bills that support hard-working women. One bill I recently introduced is the Military for Opportunities for Mothers (MOM) Act. The bill extends maternity leave for women serving in the military from 6 weeks to 12 weeks and gives military women the same access to maternity leave that civilian women and federal employees have under the Family and Medical Leave Act. I am proud of the great benefits this will bring to the heroic women serving and protecting our nation in uniform.

Thank you for all that you do. I look forward to working with you to continue to stand up for Illinois women and families. I am confident that our joint efforts will bring much needed improvements to lives all across this great nation.

– Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth