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See the Program! 2021 Tenth Dems Annual Awards Event Honors Individuals and Excites Group

Thanks to everyone who joined us on December 21st for our 2021 Tenth Dems Annual Awards Night. Between all those who were there the entire time, people who stopped in for most of the program, and others who sat alongside family members to watch the festivities, over 80 folks participated. That’s quite a turnout, especially for a virtual event (when we’re all tired of Zoom) during a busy time of year. And we’re really proud about what the audience was able to see.

Below are some images of the event’s program booklet. Click here to view it as a pdf.

A lot of people helped make our Annual Awards Night a success. Thank you first and foremost to the volunteers who put in countless hours to organize the event. There’d be no Tenth Dems without you.

Special thanks to Keynote Speaker Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, who blew us away with his effortless ability to connect with the group. Whether he was talking about being friends with his colleagues, telling us about public speaking advice he received from his preacher, or firing up the audience about how to win in 2022, Congressman Jeffries kept us hanging on his every word. He’s a leader and a rising star.

Congressman Jeffries was joined by his colleague and friend, Congresswoman Robin Kelly, who is also Chair of the Democratic Party of Illinois. She let us know that the hard work Tenth Dems has done to elect Democrats and engage activists has not gone unnoticed. And Congresswoman Kelly was clear about something else: Congressman Jeffries could very well be the next Democratic Speaker of the House.

Hearing from these two members of Congress was a wonderful experience that built on the words we heard earlier in the evening from a more familiar face in these parts, the 10th District’s very own Congressman Brad Schneider. Brad’s message meant a lot – he graciously recognized the work we’ve done for Democrats in the area, including him. We’re so glad to be represented by such a good, thoughtful person like Brad.

And we’re so proud of our award recipients, including Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg (Ab Mikva Leadership Award), Dr. Laurence “Laurie” Schiller (Founders Award), and Judy Dolins (Rosenblit Volunteer Award). Congratulations to them!

As an all-volunteer grassroots group, Tenth Dems is all about people. Supporters, interns, volunteers – this is who we are and why we’re able to continue to do the tough but worthwhile work to elect Democrats up and down the ballot during such a critical time for our country. The night was about awards, but what we do is so rewarding … because of you. Thank you, and let’s keep going in this critical 2022 election year!

                                            

News & Notes: Weekend Whirlwind

January 19, 2022

In this Issue: Whirlwind Kicks Off Petition Season • Boost Lake Dems’ Impact on Social Media ● Volunteer Spotlight  ● Upcoming Events ● Bridges to Be Repaired

Whirlwind Kicks Off Petition Season

By Lauren Beth Gash

Chair, Lake County Democrats

Candidate petition season is underway! Our Lake County Democrats were active this weekend, with more than a dozen petition events at various locations around the county, and numerous canvassers out in the neighborhoods collecting signatures.

Its hard work in a shortened petition period of 60 days instead of 90 (because of the change in the primary election schedule). Our lawyers spent time making sure candidate petitions were legally valid. Lake Dems volunteers shuttled petitions around the county to numerous events, township organizations, and individuals.

It was quite a whirlwind, and thank you to all our many volunteers who work hard and make a difference! But what a successful weekend — and we will keep going until petitions are turned in, March 7th through 14th. If you can collect signatures for some or all of our candidates, please contact us at info@lakedems.org.

Boost Lake Dems’ Impact on Social Media

Volunteer Spotlight

Lake Dems is grateful for our many active volunteers, including the following:

Louise Donahue is a precinct committeeperson from Libertyville who helps elect Democrats in Lake County. She served as campaign coordinator for Jennifer Banek in her successful campaign for Lake County Coroner when Jennifer defeated an incumbent Republican. Louise pitches in at events with whatever needs help. She’s the editor of this very publication youre reading right now, Lake Dems News & Notes. In fact, Louise is an all-around wonderful person and is probably a little embarrassed by us writing this about her. (Note from the News & Notes Team: Too bad, Louise!)

Upcoming Events

Events below are taken from the complete list of Upcoming Events at LakeDems.org/eventsClick here to submit your event. 

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 19

Deputy Voter Registrar Training in Waukegan. Participants must be at least 18 years of age and registered to vote in Lake County. Training is open only to Lake County residents  interested in helping register new voters. 10am, Waukegan. To register and more.

Wauconda Township Democrats January Meeting. Guest speakers include 2022 candidates: U.S. Representative Bill Foster (for the 11th District), Anthony Vega (for Lake County Clerk), and Judge Rochford (for Illinois Supreme Court). 6:30-7:30pm online via Zoom. For Zoom link and more.

THURSDAY, JAN. 20

Indivisible Western Lake County (IWLC) January Meeting. Attendees will hear comments from Nancy Rotering, candidate for Illinois Supreme Court District 2; Mary Edly-Allen, candidate for State Senate; Anthony Vega, candidate for Lake County Clerk; and Laura Dias, candidate for State Representative. 7-8:30pm online. For Zoom link and more.

SATURDAY, JAN. 22

Petitions and Coffee for State Senator Julie Morrison, Lake County Board Chair Sandy Hart, and State Representative Bob Morgan. 10am-noon, Lake Bluff. More.

Drive-Up Petition Signing Event for 26th State Senate District Candidate Maria Peterson and 51st State House District Candidate Chelsea Laliberte Barnes. Coffee and donuts served. 1-4pm, Palatine. To register and more.

Winter Reception for Nabeela Syed, 51st State House District Candidate. 3-5pm, Palatine. To register and more.

SUNDAY, JAN. 23

Drive-Up Petition Signing and Food Drive for Cuba Township Food Bank. Cuba Township Democrats-sponsored event, 11am-2pm in Lake Barrington. More.

Day of Action for State Senator Adriane Johnson and State Representative Dan Didech. 11am-3pm, Libertyville. Libertyville Township Democrats and Fremont Township Democrats-sponsored event. Meet the candidates, canvass, and enjoy coffee and bagels. More.

Day of Action: Coffee and Canvassing for PetitionsWest Deerfield Dems and Moraine Township Dems event. 11am-4pm, Riverwoods. More.

Schneider for Congress January 2022 Virtual Coffee Club. Zoom link provided upon RSVP. 11am-noon. For link and more.

THURSDAY, JAN. 27

Fremont Dems Donkey Fest Fundraiser. Live music and food to buy. Candidates welcome. Petitions will be available to sign and distribute. 6-10pm, Mundelein. To RSVP and more.

Warren Township Democrats January Meeting. Online discussion to include precinct maps, petition drives and petitions available for circulation, and results from the Holiday Fundraiser. Guest speakers: Laura Dias and Tom Maillard, Democratic candidates for State Representative District 62. For meeting link and more.

SATURDAY, JAN. 29

Virtual Celebration in Support of Lake County’s Illinois House Delegation:  Representatives Jonathan Carroll, Dan Didech, Joyce Mason, Rita Mayfield, Bob Morgan, and Sam Yingling6:30pm online. Special guests: Governor JB Pritzker and House Speaker Chris Welch. To register and more.

In Case You Missed It

How Do I Join Lake County Democrats?

Lake County Democrats is made up of people like you, people who are passionate about building better communities and a better world. We’re a grassroots political organization, working with Democrats in all parts of Lake County – from Antioch to Highland Park, Libertyville to Waukegan, Barrington to Zion. Become a member online now or send a check payable to Lake County Democrats to P.O. Box 671, Lake Zurich, IL 60047. Questions? Contact info@lakedems.org.

Lake County Stands Up for Reproductive Rights

Thanks to all who spoke out, held signs, told their stories, and showed support for reproductive rights at events across Lake County. Many Democratic elected officials joined hundreds of others at rallies in the area, standing up to those who want to turn back the clock on women. Great job, everyone! But the right-wing extremists won’t stop trying to end Roe v. Wade and taking away reproductive rights, so we have to keep working hard too. And we will.

Local Democrats To Hold Fall Internship Program That Will Make A Difference

If you have progressive values and are looking for a fall internship that will make a difference, have we got a deal for you! The Tenth Congressional District Democrats (Tenth Dems) is now accepting applications for its Fall 2021 Internship Program. The internship is a substantive program designed for high school, college, and graduate students seeking an opportunity to become deeply engaged in the political process.

Tenth Dems is a grassroots political organization that helps mobilize voters and activists in one of the most widely-watched Congressional districts in the country, featuring battle-tested member of the US House of Representatives Brad Schneider. Now is a unique time to complete a political internship as we transition from the 2020 elections and prepare for supporting and electing Democrats in 2022.

Tenth Dems interns have staffed issue forums and virtual events for elected officials and candidates up and down the ballot, worked on campaigns, and conducted research. Tenth Dems interns were very active during the 2020 election cycle, including helping in legislative races, at the county board level, with countywide candidates, and in turning out the vote for Democrats running for the US House of Representatives and the White House. Interns may choose to complete general internships or specialize in areas such as media, technology, volunteer management, and political outreach.


(Note: photo taken before March 2020)

Internships are unpaid, educational positions; however, academic credit is often available.

“This is an opportunity to learn about a grassroots political organization and to develop important skills,” said former State Representative Lauren Beth Gash, Founding Chair of Tenth Dems. “Many of our interns have gone on to law school or other graduate programs, paid political positions with local campaigns, or jobs in Springfield, in Washington or with national not-for-profit organizations.”

Acceptance into the program is selective, competitive, and contingent upon a virtual interview. Residence in the 10th District isn’t required. Applicants must have an interest in electing Democrats and generally devote a minimum of 8 hours per week to the internship during the fall (16 hours during the summer).

Fall internships will be conducted remotely, although in-person opportunities (for those comfortable with them) will be available. Applicants should submit a brief paragraph explaining why they would like to be part of the program, along with a resume summarizing their educational background and activities. Neither need be formal.

To apply or request more information, email us at info@tenthdems.org. You can also follow us on Twitter (@tenthdems) and Facebook (facebook.com/TenthDems).

Illinois Leads: Strengthening Voting Rights Under Siege Across the Country

By Barbara Altman

While Republican-controlled states across the country are passing legislation to make it more difficult to vote, Illinois’ Democratic legislature and governor have just done just the opposite.

On June 15, Governor JB Pritzker signed into law amendments to the Illinois Election Code designed to make it easier for all those eligible to vote to exercise this precious constitutional right.

Some provisions of the 2021 legislation have been well-publicized. You probably know that Election Day in 2022 – November 8th – will be a State holiday and that schools will be closed that day. The legislation further requires that these schools be available for use as Election Day polling places.

Public schools are in many ways ideal venues for polling places – many are in residential neighborhoods, people generally know where their local schools are, parking is usually adequate, and there is often ample space in gymnasiums.

Designating Election Day a State holiday also should make it easier for working people to get to the polls and for any parent to bring a school-age child along while they vote – a valuable civics lesson. Note that this particular change in the Election Code applies only to 2022.

Polling Place Confusion Eased

In addition to freeing up public schools for use as polling places, the new election law requires each election authority to offer at least one polling place on Election Day where any registered voter, regardless of precinct, can go to vote.

This provision eliminates the confusion many voters experience on Election Day when they learn that their assigned polling place has changed or that their recent move within the county has caused them to be assigned to a new polling place.

If they’re unsure where to go, there will be one place any registered voter can go on Election Day. Contrast this provision with the Republican change to Georgia’s election law that prohibits – except in limited circumstances – counting ballots cast in other than the voter’s assigned polling place. Texas Republicans are considering an even more stringent prohibition on counting ballots cast in the wrong polling place.

Schools Must Inform Students About Voting

What about expanding voter registration? Illinois’ new law requires every high school in the state to disseminate information to its students about how to register to vote, and “[n]o high school may prohibit nonpartisan voter registration activities on its premises,” the law states.

Drop Boxes Are Back

Mail-in voting also has been made easier. Our General Assembly and Governor made permanent the authority to establish drop boxes for the return of mail-in ballots.

That legislation also required that mailed ballots be accepted, regardless of the amount of postage the voter put on (or left off) the envelope.

Our own State Senator Julie Morrison was the chief Senate sponsor of this significant legislation.

Permanent Vote-by-Mail Option

Now, with the newest legislation, Illinois voters will have the option to apply for “permanent vote by mail status.” That is, you can ask to be sent a mail-in ballot for every election, without having to request it each time. You can cancel this ongoing request any time, and if a voter changes their registration, their permanent vote by mail status would be rescinded by the election authority.

Primary, Other Key 2022 Dates Moved

Because the 2020 Census was not completed on time, the new legislation rescheduled the 2022 primaries for much later in the year than usual, with dates for circulating and submitting nominating petitions adjusted accordingly.

Primary Election Day will be June 28, 2022; the first date for circulating petitions will be January 13, 2022; and petitions will be due in March of 2022.