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In our latest newsletter, we bring you campaign and policy updates, initiatives and events, volunteer opportunities, and more!


#FreeStrawberry Campaign 
You called Governor JB Pritzker, you signed petitions, you amplified our #FreeStrawberry campaign on social media, you made your voice heard!

We are thrilled to share with you that Strawberry Hampton was released from prison on July 10, 2019. Strawberry Hampton was housed at four different Illinois Department of Corrections men’s facilities. She said she faced repeated physical, verbal and sexual abuse from guards and fellow prisoners. Hampton was due to be released from an Illinois prison last February, but she said officers retaliated against her for reporting the alleged abuse by revoking what’s known as good time, and it effectively lengthened her sentence.

🚨 CALL TO ACTION: We wish Strawberry the best in life and if you would like to continue supporting Strawberry in her journey, consider making a donation to help raise funds for clothing, food, transportation, and survival.  

Danville Correctional Center Book Ban 
Earlier this year, we shared with you that over 200 black history and empowerment books were removed from the Danville Correctional Center.

We are proud to report that as of July 9, 2019, all of the books have been returned thanks to the hard work and leadership done by community organizations as well as pressure made by legislators and YOU!

🚨 CALL TO ACTION: If you would like to learn more about threats to higher educational programming in Illinois prisons, best practices in other states, and what you can do to protect incarcerated individuals’ freedom to learn and grow, visit the Freedom To Learn Campaign in Illinois. 

Pride Month
Over the month of June as we celebrated Pride Month, She Votes Illinois highlighted individuals in the LGBTQ community who are either from Illinois or made an impact in Illinois. The LGBTQ community has made significant contributions to America and knowing this history empowers us to achieve as well as enrich our lives. Happy Pride!

Thank you to those who supported and attended our events over the past quarter. We want residents to be informed and engaged. We look forward to continuing to host quality events in the future that are inclusive and accessible to all and make a positive impact on the lives of Illinoisans. Look out for notifications via email and on social media for our next event! 

Pilsner, Pay & Politics 
In May, we sponsored Huddle in the Loop’s “Pilsner, Pay & Politics,” an informal panel about pay equity for women and how to enact change at the city, state and federal level, as part of Chicago Community Trust's “On the Table” program. We gathered together with leaders in Illinois to help us gain insight, answer questions and take action towards equal pay. And it paid off! Since our event, the Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance and SB73, the Illinois Equal Pay “No Salary History” Act, have passed. 

🚨 CALL TO ACTION: Passing legislation that addresses the gender wage gap is an important step towards women’s equality. If you would like to continue to take action, please visit our website for bills and initiatives that still need your support. 

Emergency Rally To Save Roe
In June, we sponsored the Emergency Rally to Save Roe hosted by ACLU of Illinois, Indivisible Chicago, Men4Choice, Personal PAC, and Planned Parenthood to stand together to protect abortion rights and pass the Reproductive Health Act. Reproductive health, birth control, abortion, and maternity care is healthcare, should be treated as healthcare, and should not be criminalized. As states across the country are passing laws in order to challenge Roe v. Wade with the Supreme Court, we have made sure that Illinois remains a pro-choice state where reproductive healthcare is safe and accessible. 

Immigration Rally
In July, we sponsored the Rally to Take Action to End Criminalization, Detention, & Deportations hosted by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant Refugee Rights, Indivisible Chicago, PASO - West Suburban Action Project and many others. With over 10,000 in attendance, we protested against the administration’s destructive policies and actions, and took a stand to welcome immigrant communities in solidarity. 

🚨 CALL TO ACTION: Attend a Rapid Response event.

  • Join PASO - West Suburban Action Project on August 1 in Melrose Park, IL for Rapid Response Training. This training will give you the tools and network to document ICE raids and be able to provide support to the families that are impacted. RSVP here to attend for free. 
  • Join Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and others on August 5 in Chicago for a Workshop for Allies. Learn about the rapid response network in Illinois to respond to ICE activity and deportations. RSVP here to attend for free. 

Passing legislation at the state and local levels 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 initiatives that have passed this quarter that you should know about. 

The Elimination of Statute of Limitations on Sex Crimes
With the signing of HB2135 on July 26, 2019, Illinois became the 8th state in the country to pass legislation eliminating the statute of limitations on sex crimes.

"𝑆𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒𝑠 𝑓𝑜𝑙𝑘𝑠 𝑎𝑟𝑒𝑛'𝑡 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑝𝑜𝑠𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑡𝑜 𝑏𝑒 𝑎𝑏𝑙𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑤𝑎𝑟𝑑 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑖𝑟 𝑒𝑥𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑠𝑒𝑥𝑢𝑎𝑙 𝑣𝑖𝑜𝑙𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑙𝑜𝑡𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑑𝑖𝑓𝑓𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑜𝑛𝑠. 𝑆𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒𝑠 𝑏𝑒𝑐𝑎𝑢𝑠𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑢𝑚𝑎 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑦'𝑣𝑒 𝑒𝑥𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑒𝑑, 𝑠𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒𝑠 𝑏𝑒𝑐𝑎𝑢𝑠𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑦 𝑎𝑟𝑒𝑛'𝑡 𝑎𝑤𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑤ℎ𝑎𝑡 ℎ𝑎𝑝𝑝𝑒𝑛𝑒𝑑 𝑡𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑚 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑡𝑢𝑡𝑒𝑠 𝑠𝑒𝑥𝑢𝑎𝑙 𝑣𝑖𝑜𝑙𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑒." said Carrie Ward, executive director of the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault

We applaud the state of Illinois for taking steps to take sex crimes seriously by creating space within the justice system to serve and support survivors.

Chicago's Fair Workweek Ordinance
This ordinance that unanimously passed on July 24, 2019 is an important step in ensuring fair conditions for hundreds of thousands of Chicago’s working families. The ordinance will require, among other things, Chicago employers to give workers at least two weeks' advance notice of their schedules and compensate them for last-minute changes. Chicago’s economy is fueled by growth in retail, food service, hospitality and healthcare, but too many people working in these hourly service jobs cannot keep up with unpredictable, last-minute fluctuating workweeks over which they have no control. 

We thank Chicago’s City Council for passing the Fair Workweek Ordinance that will help working households support their families, be healthy and build thriving communities. 

LGBTQ Rights 
During Pride Month on June 30, 2019, Governor JB Pritzker signed an executive order aimed at protecting trans and nonbinary students in the state of Illinois. The order will create a 25-person task force that will develop and implement policies that better support trans and nonbinary students, as well as generally make Illinois schools safer and more comfortable for LGBTQ students.

On July 26, 2019, Governor Pritzker signed SB556, The Equitable Bathrooms Act, requiring all single-occupancy public bathrooms in Illinois to be labeled as gender-neutral starting January 1, 2020. 

We welcome the Governor and our legislator’s efforts in protecting the rights and ensuring the safety of our residents. 

Have you been looking to step up your involvement in the political process and advocate for women’s rights and equality in our state? She Votes Illinois is looking for bold and compassionate volunteers to help advance our mission.

Join us on Thursday, August 15 at Conaway Center, Columbia College Chicago for Nonprofit Draft Day, hosted by Lime Red and Table XI. Inspired by sports draft, Nonprofit Draft Day, provides a venue and process that connects organizations as “Talent Scouts” with community leaders as “Free Agents”. We’re looking for a Communications Director to add to our Board of Directors. “Free Agents” can sign up for free here and get the opportunity to meet with us face-to-face so that you can learn more about our organization and we can hear more about your interests, skills and passions. Game on! 

Not able to make Nonprofit Draft Day? Don’t have the skills to be our next Communications Director? If you are still interested in becoming part of our team, check out our list of volunteer opportunities. No matter where you live in the state of Illinois, we’d love to talk to you! Contact us at for more details and be a part of our movement! All are welcome!!!
Register as a Free Agent

Your support is vital to helping us protect, support and advance initiatives in the state of Illinois. Every dollar helps She Votes Illinois expand. Host more events. Partner with more organizations. Amplify our voices to elected officials. Please consider donating today. 

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