May 6 Newsletter


The war in Syria has led to a devastating humanitarian crisis for hundreds of thousands of men, women and children.

On Monday May 14, an impressive panel of experts who work with refugees and directly with those in Syria tell us what we can do to help:

• Suzanne Akhras Sahloul, Executive Director & Founder, Syrian Community Network
• Becky Caroll, Co-Founder of #StandWithAleppo and Ambassador Board Member of MedGlobal
• Jims Porter, Policy & Communications Coordinator, Refugee One.

Join us May 14 (7-8:45 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 232 S. York, Elmhurst),

RSVP by clicking HERE


P4C is promoting and collecting for an important donation drive from Refugee One.  Refugee kids here don't have swim gear but YOU can help them have a good summer!

URGENT: swimsuits needed most...look at Target (click link HERE) for sizes needed; requests online are child specific. You can contribute through Target or bring items to our May 14th meeting. Still half of the items needed: Beach 🏖towels, 🚲 helmets, bike 🔒 locks, swim 🏊‍ suits.


Join a group of fellow members to learn, give input, and decide actions through 1 of our 3 new Committees:

1) Education/Mission - focus on issues (environment, health care, immigration/refugees, civil rights / discrimination, etc.)
2) Outreach - focus on outreach to other NGOs, youth groups, women's march groups, etc. to further our impact
3) Elections - focus on education efforts around upcoming elections

FIRST MEETING TOMORROW OF EDUCATION / MISSION - everyone is welcome to come, listen, participate as you'd like to.  This meeting will be mostly discussion around what we want to do and what the group thinks P4C needs to focus on.
Tomorrow, May 7, 7:30- 8:45p at Elmhurst Public Library

Other Committee meetings to follow so stay tuned via email, Facebook or our webpage calendar.

Engaging and Empowering Teens

At our April meeting, P4C members Joanna Spathis and Kerri Kennedy joined us to share action items from their book, Wake, Rise, Resist: The Progressive Teen’s Guide to Fighting Tyrants and A*holes.

Joanna and Kerri wrote the book as an onramp to activism, with 128 actions – tiny, big, easy, hard, offering something for everyone – to help teens grow into their interests and their activism. They have graciously shared these Cheat Sheets for teen activists and their parents.

We’re inspired and thankful for the 15 teens who joined us and shared their insight. Their activism includes: organizing their schools’ 20 minute walk-out; volunteering with Congressman Danny Davis and Illinois State Rep Deb Conroy; participating in Moms Demand Action; joining school clubs like Empower (women’s rights), Future Diplomats, Young Politicians, Amnesty International; forming a Students Demand Action chapter at York High School; and much more. Here are a few of their thoughtful comments:

“We are creating authentic progress and equality. We are meeting people who are like-minded, progressive, sort of progressive, more moderate, and learning what connects us so we can build on it. History has shown us the tide is turning left.” – Ethan

“Thanks to Progressives for Change for being the wind beneath our wings in all of this. This is a great time for us to be in our activism, and we’re just grateful for parents and people who support us.” – Cambria

“In Social Studies, (another student) and I would speak up the most often. We knew there was a silent majority who supported us but were too afraid to speak up. There were one or two people who were so obnoxiously loud and would say, ‘Shut up and let me speak to the man in charge of you.’ We need to know there are other people behind us supporting us. And we know these experiences are making us stronger.” – Clare

“So many people are wondering why we are so interested in politics. They tell us ‘You can’t even vote. What difference can you make?’ They turn it into a negative because we don’t have any power at the ballot box. But we can lobby our congressmen. We are the future. We are the people who will eventually vote.” - Ethan

“I hear ‘How is this going to benefit you?’ But you put yourself out there for criticism. I can deal with it, but if you don’t have the support of the student population … I can’t imagine.” - Maddy

“Now more than ever is a great time to be a student activist. People are listening to us now more than ever before. And there are so many outlets, student organizations, opportunities to go about your activism and to support it. We are at a great point in history.” – girl

“People like to challenge us on the very specifics of an argument, especially on gun reform. All I know is that all these guns are not worth any of these childrens’ lives.” - Bella

“We get brushed off a lot. We get a lot of backlash. Stumble carefully through it.” - Ava

We encourage you to review the Cheat Sheets and even purchase the book (available on Amazon) to read with your teen activist(s). Thank you to P4C members Grace & Mike Clear and Joanna & Kerri, who collectively donated and raffled 10 copies of Wake, Rise, Resist for our teen participants. And, watch for future posts from our Teen Instagram-ers!


Donations from March P4C Meeting

In March, we collected boxes of feminine products to assist the York High School RAYS, Empower, and Latina Dreamers. The groups partnered to make a difference for young girls living on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation by providing them the ability to attend school all month long. Without donations, young women in the reservation would not be able to attend school, causing them falling behind in class. 



April 10, 2018 Follow-up Newsletter

Hi - we missed a few timely items on Saturday's newsletter:


At tomorrow’s P4C meeting (collection to continue throughout weekend; if you miss tomorrow’s meeting, email us for address to drop off):  Refugee One is looking for Summer Wear for kids: children’s swimsuits (new), one piece or tankinis for girls, swim trunks for boys, beach towels (new or gently used), drawstring backpacks (new or gently used), box fans, (new), bike helmets (new or gently used), bike locks (new or gently used).  Target also has a Gift Registry for Refugee One if you search their gift registry page.


For York Township Residents (for Elmhurst residents, that's anyone south of North Ave).  Attend the York Township annual meeting on Tues., April 10, 7 p.m. at the Township Office 1502 S. Meyers Road, Lombard.

On the agenda are statements and voting on whether the following resolution will be included on the York Township Midterm Elections Ballot in November 2018: "Shall our Representatives and Senators in the U.S. Congress sponsor and/or support measures that will address the serious threat posed by climate change?" Your presence could be crucial to getting this resolution placed on the ballot. Inclusion of this climate change question on the November ballot will elevate the importance of climate change in voter's minds, and a positive outcome will send a powerful message to lawmakers.

But the resolution won't even make it to the ballot unless an estimated 75 or more supporters attend the York Township Annual Meeting. Arrive at least 15 minutes early so your name can be found on the voter rolls. 


Learn about how common sense gun laws are passed in our state, current laws, proposals to make our community safer and how you can help. .Meeting at Bethel United Church at 315 E. Saint Charles Road, Elmhurst


Join supporters of the Illinois Environmental Council, Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club and Faith in Place at the Capitol in Springfield for 2018 Environmental Lobby day. In past years, these events have been vital in passing important environmental policies, including the Future Energy Jobs Act.

There will be buses heading to Springfield from locations including Chicago Loop and South Side, Naperville/Schaumburg, Oak Park, Waukegan, Peoria and Champaign. To learn more or sign up go to


So are we, and if that happens P4C will be organizing a peaceful protest at Elmhurst City Hall plaza (corner of York and 3rd).  Sign up here to get more information and details (or put in your zip code to find location nearest you) here

Rallies will begin just hours after national events are triggered: 

·         If actions are triggered BEFORE 2 p.m. local time, events will begin at 5 p.m. local time.

·         If actions are triggered AFTER 2 p.m. local time, events will begin at noon local time the following day.

Thank you


April 7, 2018 Email Newsletter

Hello everyone!


We are VERY excited about our next monthly members' meeting, Wednesday, April 11th from 7:00 - 8:45 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 232 S. York Rd., Elmhurst.

If you are a teen or young adult, are the parent of some, or want to support the growing activism of the younger generation, join us on Wednesday.  Youth from 7th grade and up will enjoy the conversation and engagement - so please bring your kids!  

Students from schools in the area plan on attending, from Elmhurst and other western suburbs - we hope students will get a chance to connect with each other on issues and actions.  So, please reach out to youth you know who want to be engaged in this conversation.

Discussion will be led by Two Elmhurst authors, Joanna Spathis and Kerri Kennedy, who last year published a helpful, fun and engaging book called Wake, Rise, Resist: The Progressive Teen’s Guide to Fighting Tyrants and A*holes.  Preview the book here

To sample Joanna and Kerri's blog, go here

For more details about the P4C meeting and to RSVP, click here. 


1. TODAY!  Town Hall reminders from People for a Safer Society:

* Town Hall for Our Lives
Sat, Apr 7 2018 at 10:00 AM, CDT
Unitarian Church of Hinsdale
17 W Maple St., Hinsdale, IL 60521
Hinsdale is in Bellock's district, and close to Durkin's district
Also in or near: Nybo, Landek, and Breen's districts

* Town Hall for Our Lives:
Saturday April 7, 1 pm - 2:30 pm, doors open at 12:30 pm
First Methodist Church of Glen Ellyn, 424 N. Forest Ave., Glen Ellyn, IL
This is in Breen and Nybo's districts, and near Tom Cullerton's district

Also TODAY: you can stream the Young Leaders Summit in south Florida, online, if you go to this link.   This is at 10 a.m. EST / 9 a.m. CST.  They are focused on sharing information on how to advocate, mobilize and organize to keep this movement going.   

Monday, April 9: Elmhurst City Council meeting:  Committees will be meeting on Monday, April 9 at 7 p.m., Elmhurst City Hall (209 N. York) to address concerns regarding possible violations of the Open Meetings Act. They will be reviewing all of their meetings in 2017, and checking to see whether closed meetings shall remain confidential. Please contact your aldermen to show that you care about transparency, and you want them to comply with the Open Meetings Act, and iIf you’re free on Monday night, attend the meetings in person.

Saturday, April 14: the NEW Elmhurst Citizens' Climate Lobby is meeting from 11:30a - 1:30p at the Elmhurst Public Library, 125 S. Prospect, Elmhurst.  Free event, register here.  "You are invited to exercise your personal and political power through the new Elmhurst Chapter of CCL We welcome all who would like to be constructively engaged in addressing climate change. We will work together to maintain a livable world."

Saturday, April 14: Candidate Book Camp - Local Government Candidacy for Beginners.  10 a - 2 p at College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd, Glen Ellyn.  Room 2001 at Culinary & Hospitality Center, above Waterleaf Restaurant.

Are you interested in running for local office and want to know more about it? Here's your chance to ask those in-the-know!

~ 10:00 - 11:00 AM Public Officials Panel Presentation
~ 15-minute break
~ 11:15 - 11:45 AM Roundtable discussions (working lunch, provided by a generous donation by Robert R. McCormick Foundation)
~ 15-minute break
~ 12:00 - 1:00 PM How do I get on and stay on the ballot?
~ 1:00 - 2:00 PM What do I need to know about campaign finance regulations?

***Free and open to the public***  Lunch will be provided with generous support from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.  This event is for educational purposes only and should not be considered to offer legal advice. Sponsored by the Citizen Advocacy Center, the League of Women Voters, Immigrant Solidarity DuPage, College of DuPage, and Elmhurst College.

Thursday, April 19: P4C Book Club.  This month's book is Stand Your Ground by Kelly Brown Douglas.  Join us at 7:30 p.m. at Cuvee Wine Cellars (545 S. Spring, Elmhurst) for discussion, socializing and if you'd like, some wine :) 

Saturday, April 21: Calling Out Mendrick, Calling For Sanctuary.  5 - 7 p.m. at Casa DuPage, 213 S. Wheaton Ave., Wheaton, IL.  Hosted by Immigrant Solidarity DuPage.

James Mendrick is the Republican front runner for Sherriff in DuPage County.  He has touted an anti-immigrant platform, attacking undocumented immigrants, attacking the Sanctuary Movement and promoting raids, paranoia and fear.  He must be energetically called out, while we make clear that in DuPage County, there will be no fear- Immigrants are welcome here!  To build and strengthen the popular campaign for Immigrant Protection and Sanctuary, while calling out the Mendrick Candidacy, join this planning meeting.

Monday, April 23: Blood is at the Doorstep.  7 - 9 p.m. at Elmhurst College, Schaible Science Center, 190 S. Prospect.   In 2014, in broad daylight in downtown Milwaukee, an officer responding to a complaint approached Dontre Hamilton, an unarmed black man with paranoid schizophrenia who was resting in a park. Minutes later, Dontre was shot 14 times and died. Erik Ljung's urgent documentary, The Blood is at the Doorstep, chronicles that fatal police shooting, and the tireless efforts of his family as they seek answers. A discussion with Ljung and two members of the Hamilton family will follow the film screening.  RSVP here


1. The Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence

ICADV is asking for witness slips in OPPOSITION to HB 4113 which is scheduled for a hearing in House Judiciary – Civil on Tuesday, April 10 at 8 a.m.

 HB 4113 would create an equal parenting time presumption in all divorce and parentage cases. The bill would be particularly devastating for children in homes with domestic violence and other forms of abuse given the high legal standard required to challenge the equal time mandate, as well as for poor parents who cannot afford the cost of legal representation to fight a presumption.   Click here to create a Witness Slip for this bill. 

2. People for a Safer Society and the Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition are asking all of us in Elmhurst and surrounding areas to:

Call and Email State Senator Chris Nybo over the next 7-10 days. This is a critical time to get his vote on the gun dealer licensing veto override (the bill Rauner vetoed just prior to the primary).   NOTE: You should call his Springfield office every day (okay to call multiple times- just have his number on speed dial), and send him an email using the tool on this webpage: 

Chris Nybo (R) (217) 782-8148

State Senator Chris Nybo’s 24th District includes parts of Elmhurst, Lombard, Glen Ellyn, Wheaton, Lisle, Oak Brook, Hinsdale, and Westmont, so share this with friends in those towns!


3. LWV Illinois Action Item on HB 4165 HA1 Do No Harm Healthcare Act

Call your State Representatives and ask them to vote in support of HB4165 HA1 Do No Harm Healthcare Act. This bill would prohibit state officials from applying any federal waiver, or other action without legislative approval, that would reduce or eliminate any protection or coverage required under the Affordable Care Act. This involves preventing any attempts to restrict or eliminate healthcare coverage, including but not limited to those with preexisting conditions. This includes any individual and group health insurance and Medicaid.

Find phone numbers for your legislators here

WHY IT MATTERS:  At the present time the US Congress and the Trump Administration are proposing actions that could threaten the health and well being of Illinoisans. These actions include rolling back consumer protections, cutting benefits, increasing consumer costs, and restricting access to healthcare coverage. The Do No Harm Healthcare Act would require the General Assembly to approve any proposed waivers, ensuring any attempt to restrict access to healthcare is open to public debate, oversight and scrutiny.

Questions: Contact League of Women Voters of Illinois
Phone: (312) 939-5935 | Email: | website:

4. Fill out a witness slip to SUPPORT HB 4469 (House Amendment #2) - VOTING IN JAIL & A 'KNOW YOUR RIGHTS' RESOURCE UPON RELEASE. 

This bill will ensure that individuals who are eligible to vote but who are detained in jail in pre-trial status are ensured the right to vote. Also, people who are released from prison have the right to vote regardless of their past convictions. This bill requires that individuals will be provided with a voter registration application upon release from custody. Please complete a Witness Slip as a 'proponent' of HB 4469 by close of business on 4/10.  Click here to create this Witness Slip

5. Deerfield officials are getting a lot of hate mail following their ban of assault weapons. If you want to send them a note of encouragement and positivity, email them at: 

Mayor Harriet Rosenthal:

The village board members are:


We will be announcing 3 new Committees at our upcoming meeting that you can join if you want to get more involved (more detail to come via email and Facebook as well):  




And a sincere THANK YOU to those of you who supported us financially with donations last month.  We are entirely volunteer-driven so we don't incur overhead, but we do incur costs for meeting space, insurance, materials, etc.  If you'd like to support us you can either bring a check to our next meeting (made out to "Progressives for Change") or send it to our P.O. Box 1441, Elmhurst, IL.  Contributions are NOT tax deductible since we are a 501c4. 


Questions on anything above?  Please email us - thank you!  And have a great weekend!


In The News Mar 3 2017

Durbin Community Outreach Coordinator Greg Bales provides discussion about political action

Posted by RVP Editor / March 3, 2017

Empowered citizens from the advocacy group Action for a Better Tomorrow hosted Greg Bales at their monthly meeting in Elmhurst on February 27, 2017. Bales, the Community Outreach Coordinator for Senator Dick Durbin, spoke about working with local politicians, provided tips on how to get involved in politics and offered insight on how to communicate effectively with local representatives.

Questions from the group focused on the roles available to community members who are new to direct political involvement, what issues Senator Durbin’s office is currently focusing on, and which local political and civic organizations need support. The session lasted for over an hour as ABT members discussed how to increase their involvement in the political process and in their local community.

ABT – Elmhurst is a chapter of Action for a Better Tomorrow, a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group with over 35,000 members statewide. ABT’s Elmhurst chapter hosts a general monthly meeting as well as individual committee meetings focused on specific concerns such as environmental issues, women’s rights, healthcare, civil liberties, immigration, LGBTQ+ rights, education, and more. Specific chapter information can be found at

In The News May 15 2017


Gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker addresses ABT-Elmhurst

Posted by RVP Editor / May 15, 2017


On Wednesday, May 10, Illinois gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker introduced himself to members of Action for a Better Tomorrow-Elmhurst. ABT-Elmhurst is a 750+ member local chapter of Action for a Better Tomorrow, an Illinois progressive advocacy group working to improve policy on the local, state, and federal level. The meeting with Pritzker is the first of several events planned to introduce constituents to candidates running for upcoming local and state elections.

Pritzker highlighted his personal passions and work experiences that prepared him to serve as governor of the state of Illinois, such as his business background and history as a philanthropist, citing a non-profit small business incubator he started called 1871.

Further, Pritzker expressed his deep concern for the state suffering from the longest time period without a budget, ranked 50th in funding for education, and in the bottom 3rd for job growth.

“Illinois is a great state, full of educated people, and has a great history,” said Pritzker. “Sometimes it’s easy to forget, but as strong Midwesterners, we can overcome these challenges.”

For more information, contact Action for a Better Tomorrow-Elmhurst at

In The News Apr 17 2017


Posted by RVP Editor / April 17, 2017

Action For a Better Tomorrow* group forms

What started in mid-November as a social gathering of 20 Elmhurst residents concerned about the future has turned into an organized group of nearly 700 (and growing) progressive political advocates determined to make a difference.

Action for a Better Tomorrow-Elmhurst offers a forum for discussion and strategizing on politics and policy, with the goal of improving our community, state and nation.

Kirsten Powers, an Elmhurst resident with experience in planning, development, fundraising and business development, saw that this was a unique moment in time.

“At that first meeting, you could feel the palpable emotions and a desire to act,” she said. “We talked about standing up for what we believe this country was founded on: a democracy that guarantees rights and freedoms for all people, as well as a better future … a better tomorrow … rather than returning to a past of neglected schools, the environment, healthcare and economic opportunity.”

Recognizing from campaign season which issues would come under attack, ABT-Elmhurst volunteers stepped up in the first month to form a 12-person steering committee. In less than four months, the organization has grown to 700 members and nine committees focusing on issues important to the group. The state organization of Action for a Better Tomorrow – a 501c4 that is 35,000 members strong — provides advocacy tools to 20 Illinois chapters, from contact lists of local elected representatives to training for members who are learning how to be politically active for the first time.

“One of the goals of ABT is to inspire and educate more progressives to run for office at all levels, from school board and township offices to state positions,” said Powers. “We’re also reaching out to the next generation, tomorrow’s leaders and voters, to get them actively engaged in politics and policy.”

In December, ABT-Elmhurst rallied to encourage District 205 administrators to publicly promote inclusion, respect and safety in all schools; participated in letter-writing campaigns advocating for issues jeopardized by the Trump administration; led phone campaigns asking for transparency in the new administration; and wrote letters of support to area mosques and the Muslim community.

“In response to one of my letters, I received a lovely note back,” says Patricia Motto, ABT-Elmhurst steering committee member. “Then a few weeks later, two men and a very sweet boy showed up at my door with a thank you note, a box of chocolates and an invitation to their mosque’s open house. It was such a lovely gesture, and was one of those moments that can restore faith.”

ABT-Elmhurst’s committees have begun to dig into issues such as healthcare, civil rights, education and the environment. Members of the Immigration and Refugees Committee rushed to O’Hare Airport in the first days of the administration’s travel ban to participate in civil protest, offer legal assistance to those in need, and organize Know Your Rights training for Latino communities. ABT hosted a representative from Muslim Advocates to discuss discrimination toward the Muslim community and ways to combat hate, and a director from Erie Neighborhood House to discuss immigration and deportation issues. Last month, the Political Arena Committee hosted a member meeting with Greg Bales, community outreach coordinator for Senator Dick Durbin, who spoke about effective political engagement.

At each monthly meeting, members are encouraged to bring donations for a designated non-profit. Proceeds have benefitted DuPage PADS (clothing and personal care items), Erie Neighborhood House preschool (books) and the ACLU.

Future plans for ABT-Elmhurst include meeting with U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (D-IL 5th District); organizing groups to attend the March for Science and People’s Climate March; media training; speakers on environmental, LGBTQ, violence prevention and media topics; and enlisting volunteers to work as registrars and precinct chairs to Get Out the Vote in 2017 and 2018.

Regardless of politics or party, ABT encourages citizens to:

● Learn the issues – locally, at the state level and nationally. To do so, seek out non-partisan, unbiased, independent news sources.

● Get involved. Pick an issue that resonates with you – from education and LGBTQ issues to disabilities and wealth inequality – and find an organization that can direct you to further action.

● Know your voice counts. Roughly 43 percent of eligible voters sat out the 2016 presidential election. It is estimated that a half million people attended the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. More than 400,000 people donated to Planned Parenthood in the three months following the election. Whether you choose to march, sign petitions, call or write elected officials, or vote, know that your efforts count.

*Action for a Better Tomorrow - Elmhurst has changed its name to Progressives for Change as of November 2017