Making Democracy Work

Where We Stand - Our Positions

The League of Women Voters takes action based on its positions. Positions are developed after careful, un-biased study and membership consensus. The League of Women Voters of Lake County has positions on the following issues:

  • Composting
  • County Executive Form of Government
  • Criminal Justice
  • Forest Preserve District
  • Lake County Government
  • Reuse of Fort Sheridan
  • Solid Waste Disposal
  • Transportation and Land Use
  • Watershed Management

Click for links to LWV local, state, regional and national positions

Recent Action

August 21, 2007 - Lake County News Sun Article - Illinois League of Women Voters opposes local enforcement of immigration laws
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NOTE: The following link to the News Sun website does not open in a new tab/window. Click "back" on your browser navigation to return to the LWV of Lake County website. <+,5_1_WA21_LEAGUE_S1.article#>

August 2007 - Letter to the Editor - Immigration Study and Local Deputization Powers (PDF)

Spring 2007 - Letter to the Editor - Substantive Change Needed in Education Funding (PDF)


The LWV of Lake County believes that yardwaste composting can be an important method of reducing the volume of waste received at landfills, while at the same time providing an excellent soil amendment for the number of landscaping uses. The League believes that on-site composting is the best way to handle yardwaste. When commercial-public composting is necessary, emphasis should be placed on small, local, well-managed operations. Further, large-scale composting should not be established in or near conservation, preservation, or recreational areas nor in forest preserves. The League also believes that all composting operations, whether large or small, require regulation. Individuals must assume responsibility both for all toxic substances used on their property and the cost of disposal of any yardwaste removed from its source. (1991)
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County Executive Form of Government for Lake County

The LWV of Lake County supports changes in the Illinois County Executive Act which would require greater separation of executive and legislative powers under the County Executive form of government, provide for an election process which allows the voters to nominate the candidates for county executive, and clarify the language of a referendum on the county executive form of government. The League supports a system of county government which provides for professional administration of the county. (1988)
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Criminal Justice

Conditions: The League of Women Voters of Lake County supports:
1. A system of classification and identification of special needs of incoming prisoners adequate for appropriate placement within the facility, as well as to facilitate the transfer of prisoners, including the mentally ill, to different institutions as indicated;
2. Continued development and implementation of programs to provide for physical, spiritual and mental well-being. This should include opportunities for self-improvement, vocational and emotional growth;
3. Programs that encourage the detainee to develop and/or maintain community and family relationships;
4. Human conditions; additionally, the inmate is entitled to mail, phone calls, frequent visits, the opportunity to voice grievances, and knowledge of the material about him/herself that has been inserted into the records.
5. Participation of community volunteers in correctional programs.
Administration: The League of Women Voters of Lake County believes:
1. The position of administrator of the facility should be filled by a qualified and trained professional;
2. Employees other than the administrator and his/her immediate assistants should operate under a merit system removed from political influence;
3. An independent citizen's advisory board should monitor the correctional facility and make recommendations when appropriate.
Alternatives to Incarceration (Immediate Sanctions): The League of Women Voters of Lake County supports:
1. A range of community-based intermediate sanctions available to judges as pre-trial and post-trial options. These should include drug abuse programs, alcohol abuse programs, training, employment/vocational and intensive intervention programs. Emphasis should be on keeping these programs in the community. Intensive intervention may take many forms, including placement in foster homes and other residential programs.
2. Partnerships and cooperation among government and private agencies in order to develop a comprehensive service network, and reduced costly duplication of services;
3. A network of support services available to prisoners following release from the facility. (1995)
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Forest Preserve District

The primary purposes of the Forest Preserve District of Lake County (FPDLC) should be conservation and preservation, followed by flood control, restoration, passive recreation and education, in that order of priority. It is the belief of the League that due to the rapid development of the County, it is essential that the FPDLC acquire additional property to fulfill the above-stated functions. The Board should vote to issue the bonds for this purpose rather than placing either a binding or advisory referendum on the ballot. The FPDLC should develop a Long Range Comprehensive Plan to include land acquisition, maintenance, development and financing. This Plan should cover at least a ten-year span with review of all aspects at least every five years. The League supports an increase in the corporate fund levy to adequately meet the needs of the FPDLC operations, and to allow for any increases necessary to implement the long-range plans of the district. A line-item budget should be available for Forest Preserve District Board members' use, and for public inspection prior to the adoption of the levy. The LWVLC believes that there should be a greater degree of public input into FPDLC Board considerations. Possible mechanisms for this include: well-publicized hearing through the county on the development and review of any long-range plans, and some form of advisory group relative to the long-range planning. In addition to increased input, there should be improved and continued efforts on the part of the Lake County media to cover and report on the FPDLC. (1988)
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Lake County Government

The LWV of Lake County believes that the Lake County Board Chairman should be elected by all the voters of Lake County. The LWV of Lake County supports the reduction in size of the Lake County Board to an odd number of approximately 15 members who should be elected from single-member districts. (1989)
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Reuse of Fort Sheridan

The LWV of Lake County supports reuse of Fort Sheridan based on a master plan with public input. The preservation of open space at Fort Sheridan is of paramount importance to the LWV of Lake County. The League feels very strongly that present conservation areas on Fort Sheridan, including the ravines and bluffs, must be protected and preserved. The League recommends that public usage of the open space may include a park with beach, marina, golf course, swimming pool, tennis courts, and other recreational facilities. The League supports maintenance of public areas within the Fort by means of user fees, or alternatively, by a combination of user fees and taxes. The Historic District of Fort Sheridan should be preserved in its entirety because it is historic in its layout and open space. The League supports the preservation of all buildings within the Historic District, which should be maintained or rehabilitated to the U.S. Department of Interior standards. Buildings on adjoining Fort land should be compatible with the Historic District's buildings, zoning, and height. The League supports impact and cost studies to determine demographics, traffic, public transportation, utilities, water, and sewer needs. The cost of recommended improvements should be paid for through impact fees for the property that is privately developed and by public monies for the portion that is for public use. (Position update 4/30/95 recommended by an ad hoc committee.)
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Solid Waste Disposal

The LWV of Lake County believes that landfills, which are the only method used for solid waste disposal in Lake County at this time, will continue to be needed even if methods are found to reduce the amount of waste by recycling, etc. The County Board must be responsible for the siting, monitoring and planned future use of all landfill sites. There should be incentives to induce communities to accept landfills. The League believes that Lake County Forest Preserve District land could be good buffer zones for landfills, but would not be acceptable sites for landfills themselves. Encouraging source reduction by all sectors of the population should be a primary goal. Strong emphasis should be placed on recycling to reduce the waste stream and conserve public land. Public education to this end is vital. The League believes that a Resource Recovery facility is a goal to be considered by Lake County, although there are difficulties to overcome in reaching such a goal. (1981)
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Transportation and Land Use

The League of Women Voters of Lake County supports a comprehensive plan for Lake County providing a balance for orderly growth and transportation needs while protecting the environment, conserving natural resources and preserving our natural heritage. Intergovernmental cooperation is necessary to implement the plan. Decisions on planning and land use must be based on the sustainability of our natural resources balanced with the long term needs of the community. Since land and other natural resources are finite, conservation, stewardship and long term planning should be shared by all levels of government and planning entities. We support the acquisition of additional open space by the Lake County Forest Preserve District as well as maintenance of existing preserves to protect the unique ecology. Current, unbiased, quality research should be made available to the public and decision making bodies. The public must be fully informed from the beginning and throughout the planning process. Intergovernmental and interagency cooperation must include public involvement so mutual understanding can be achieved and the resulting plans will be beneficial to all. The League urges the formation of a citizen's advisory group consisting of representatives from public, private, environmental and business interests to work together to assess county and regional long term needs. The League of Women Voters of Lake County believes transportation systems should support viable business centers and reduce suburban sprawl. It is the responsibility of regional government and planning agencies to work with all municipalities within its region. When studies of the plans establish a need and legitimacy, the affected government entities in cooperation with the enabling legislative authority should have the responsibility to widen, add and improve arterial roads, collector roads, railways and waterways. Impacts on citizens, roads, business and residential sectors, schools, affected property owners, taxpayers, natural resources and the evironment must be considered and made public before any plans are adopted. Projects must show cost to each level of government. Alternatives to any proposed plan, including "no-build" options, should be fully explored. High priority should be given to transportation alternatives that mitigate road gridlock. To increase the use of public transportation, we encourage convenient routes, reasonable train and bus fares with the construction of convenient commuter parking. In addition, we endorse the continued use of subsidized bus and taxi services for seniors and people with disabilities, and incentives to employer and employee to improve rider participation. We further support creative, well-planned mixed-use development along existing transportation corridors to reduce travel distances. (1977, revised 1986, 1988, 1998) (1991, revised 1998)
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Watershed Management

The Lake County LWV feels that the flood plains can best be protected if they are not developed. Floodway land along streams should be a priority for public acquisition. The League supports flood plain acquisition by the Lake County Forest Preserve District. League members feel strongly that there should be a management plan for each watershed, administered on a county level, if the watershed is within the county, or on a broader regional basis if necessary. Minimum standards should be set and enforced by the State with local governments setting stricter standards. The League feels that changes in drainage district laws and procedures are necessary to provide for overall coordination along a stream. The League supports county actions to foster voluntary cooperation among drainage districts and make such consolidation possible. (1975)
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