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In our latest newsletter, we bring you election results, upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, and more!


Illinois ranks among the top ten states for women in political positions. Across the state, women in Illinois were running for office and we’re taking a seat at the table! Here are some highlights from election day on April 2, 2019:

  • Chicago made history in not only electing it’s first black, openly LGBTQ woman as its next mayor, but also, for the first time, three women will lead Chicago’s Executive Branch. Congratulations to Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot, City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin, and City Clerk Anna Valencia in this historic moment.
  • In Central Illinois, Sangamon County was breaking records with over 100 women in races across the county that included wins for Mary Jo Bangert for Leland Grove Mayor and Misty Buscher for City Treasurer in Springfield. In nearby McLean County, progressive Jenn Carrillo won her seat on Bloomington’s City Council to become the first Latina and openly queer person ever elected to this seat.
  • In Rock Island, Jenni Swanson was elected 4th ward alderman and will be the only woman on the seven-member council. And in East Galesburg, after Mayor Stephen Bradley, who decided not to run again, said he’d “rather get a man” to fill a vacancy, the town responded by electing Ms. Teri Peterson to be their new mayor.
  • In the Metro East area, O’Fallon will be looking at nearly an all new city council. Ward 5 councilwoman Gwen Randolph retained her seat by just seven votes. Her appointment by the mayor last year was historic because she became the first black woman to serve on the O’Fallon City Council.


Passing legislation at the state level is an important way of protecting our rights. We support Illinois legislation that advances women and minorities rights, educates our residents, protects our body, and is inclusive. Here are four bills that you can take action today by urging your representatives in the Illinois General Assembly to support!

  • HB4, introduced by Rep. LaToya Greenwood, would provide that doula services shall be covered under the medical assistance program. Call or email your state house rep & state senator today!
  • HB2495, introduced by Rep. Kelly Cassidy, establishes the fundamental right to reproductive health and modernizes Illinois’ reproductive rights laws by repealing outdated and unconstitutional prohibitions on reproductive healthcare and enacting a new Illinois Reproductive Health Act that regulates abortion like any other form of health care. Call or email your state house rep & state senator today!
  • HB3534, introduced by Rep. Anne Stava-Murray, has passed the House and is onto the Senate. This bill would allow for a non-binary driver's license option. Call or email your state senator today!
  • HB3550, introduced by Rep. Ann Williams, has passed the House and is onto the Senate. This bill would require age-appropriate education relating to consent to be part of the sex education curriculum. Call or email your state senator today!


In 2019, we continued developing our relationship with Representative Kelly Cassidy to discuss important legislation such as the Reproductive Health Act and cannabis legalization and met with Representative Curtis Tarver’s District Director, Ms. Bernie Williams to discuss priorities and legislation impacting women.

In efforts to amplify women’s voices and bring more gender diversity to local government, we ran She Votes Alderman!, a social media series that showcased women running for alderman in Chicago. From schools to clean water to community safety and more, we gave female candidates a platform to answer questions around issues that are important to women.

Municipal elections were held across the state on April 2, 2019 and there were a number of female candidates running for their district school boards. These important local elections affected 852 school districts in Illinois and over two million students. We asked female parents, teachers, students and current school board members to contribute to our School Board Educational Series to help you gain insight, and understand the board’s impact on our communities. Check out Part I and Part II of our series.


She Votes Illinois is proud to sponsor Pilsner, Pay & Politics, an informal panel about pay equity for women and how to enact change at the city, state and federal level, hosted by Huddle In the Loop as part of The Chicago Community Trust's “On the Table” program.
Join us
Monday, May 13, 2019 from 6pm - 8pm at Vice District Brewing in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood.

Visit for more details and to purchase tickets!


Meet the Democratic Women of McDonough County. They took some time out this week to share with us their story, how their organization supports women, and what you can do to take action and support women and girls in Illinois.

Our Story

“The Democratic Women of McDonough County exists to educate and support women and girls in actively participating in our democracy at all levels. Our group prioritizes ally-ship with marginalized persons as our moral north star, developing programs, services, educational outreach, and training. We a focus on highlighting and addressing hidden intersectional feminist issues in our community.” 

Supporting Women

“We support our community by providing organizing resources, knowledge, and talent to help identify and address issues negatively affecting women and girls. Our meetings use a trauma-informed organizational style which incorporates in-meeting training and practice in a broad range of soft skills, including assertiveness, organizing, fundraising, digital media, and negotiation skills. This helps our well-informed, talented, driven members be highly effective advocates, able to speak truth to power in public and private spaces wherever women's concerns are discussed.” 

Take Action

“Our "Mental Health Task Force" identified an urgent need for increasing community resilience by providing "Mental Health First Aid" through partnering with service providers to train lay people in how to help youth in crisis. We are providing that training free to all participants in May, followed by a training for "Adult Mental Health First Aid." We will continue offering both these trainings into 2020. To learn more about upcoming events and to support our efforts, visit our Mental Health Task Force Facebook page."


Have you been looking to step up your involvement in the political process and advocate for women’s rights and equality in our state? Do you have skills as a web developer and/or web designer? She Votes Illinois is looking for bold and compassionate volunteers to rebuild our website to help advance our mission.
Contact us at for more details and be a part of our movement!

Copyright © 2019 She Votes Illinois, All rights reserved.

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She Votes Illinois
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