Learn about the issues and the structure of our state and federal government.
A knowledgeable constituent is one that will be heard!
Look at the Library below and more resources further down the page.
This collection is for Women’s March Chicago readers; there are two collections presented together, one for adult-level reading and one for elementary and middle school level readers. The books display randomly.
Coming soon: a listing of various resources including books, podcasts, websites, etc available via a cloud sharing service.
MORE INFO: Books come in many different formats and in some cases, languages. Use the information for the items here and check with your public or university / college library. E-books, large print, and other formats could be available to patrons.
Thanks to our many members of the Womens March Chicago Facebook page for their many suggestions!
To find a library near you, click the link below to go to the WorldCat LIbrary Listing. Enter your zip and narrow the search on the left by type of library.
Voting Laws & Rights
One of the best set of reference materials is found at this site, also includes publications, forms, candidate guides, resources for candidates, and maps.
Campus Vote Project is part of the Fair Elections Legal Network and provides information for students attending universities or colleges away from their home state. Living out of state can prove to be rather challenging for a student; this site provides links and some FAQs on the issues specific to college students.
The National Conference of State Legislators compiles state legislation related to elections. An archive is available as well. One can search based on a few simple terms to locate relevant legislation
The LOC offers extensive listings of resources, links and reference materials. Another place for the political wonk and wonkette to get a head full of information. The site offers guides, links to archives of previous election cycles, research and educational resources for kids.
For the hardcore voter rights advocate, this site contains information on voting law and Constitutional amendments, Federal Campaign Finance law, Voter Accessibility laws, voter fraud, voter intimidation and other election crimes.
A site for the policy geek as well as the information seeker. Contains a policy location widget, click on the interactive U.S. map and find the relevant policy. Also includes ongoing court decisions related to voting, a glossary, featured issues related to voting, information on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and a policy section that links to many different resources.
State laws vary with respect to those convicted of a felony. Therefore it is very important that people know their rights. Nonprofit Vote offers a summary of state laws and the variations in those laws.
In addition to providing information on candidates, Ballotpedia offers several ways to review the judiciary and the courts. The link above takes viewers to a general page for the state; the page provides multiple links to the state courts, elections, salaries and the federal courts in Illinois.
Listing of Illinois courts by county:
State-specific interactive map. Just click on the appropriate state:
The ISBA offers their evaluations to assist Illinois voters with judicial candidate decisions. The lawyers who practice in the judges’ courts and with the candidates, provide the assessments. The site offers details on how the ISBA creates their reports as well. Evaluations are divided into two PDFs; one for Cook County and another for other counties.
Created by the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice, this straightforward site is filled with information on judges and candidates for the Cook County judicial system. This system includes judges that sit on the Illinois Supreme Court, Illinois Appellate Court and trial courts. The judiciary plays a vital role in that they should make impartial decisions free of political or economic influences. Votes for these positions are just as necessary as those votes for executive and legislative roles.
Once on the page, look for a PDF for evaluations as they update the document frequently.
One way to observe the governance directly is via C-SPAN. This schedule helps one to focus on the issues of interest and avoid watching legislators wander about the floor. Check your TV listings for channel locations.
This link takes users directly to the directory of representatives. Also take a look at the “How the House Works” section as well as the “Committees” and “Legislative Activity” sections. Each committee tends to display their hearings schedules, issues and subcommittees. “Legislative Activity” provides the more political geek content: Daily Digest (records the ongoing activity for the House), proceedings (Votes, rulings), live streams and calendars. Plenty of links to explore the deeper functioning of the House.
This link takes a user to a page that contains the listing of Senators and lot more information. The Senate, containing fewer members, packs a lot more on their site such as the art found in government buildings, oral histories, Senate history as well as the current functions. Be sure to take a look at the extensive “Reference” pages as well as the “Legislation & Records” pages.
The Chicago Tribune’s topical collection for the Illinois General Assembly, a cumulative collection of news stories pertaining to the Assembly’s governance. Includes news stories, videos, photos all filtered by time frame.
Governors maintain rather active websites and usually include updates on current issues, initiatives, educational resources as well as links to their specific governmental units. Included here are the Lake Michigan states. Be aware that some URLs may contained the name of a governor and the URL may change with elections.
URLs for government sites have become far more logical in recent years, just remember that with elections, past sessions are archived.
For the Kids
The GPO (formerly Government Printing Office, now Government Publishing Office), presents age appropriate content that covers institutions, traditions and process.
Humorous videos that cover the mostly federal operations of government. Includes some discussions of parties, elections and finances presented with a touch of the funny. No age is specified, but the younger set seems to get quite a bit out of them as well as the more adult crowd.