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Illinois' 2024 Citizen Action Day

Published in Blog on May 07, 2024 by Sam Duerkop

On April 17th, Convention of States Illinois headed to the capitol for their 2024 Citizen Action Day. The group of 68 had a great time hearing from various speakers, meeting with legislators, and delivering COS material.

The day started off with remarks from Senate Minority Leader John Curran and Senator Seth Lewis. The team then distributed COS materials to legislators and had 12 scheduled and drop-in meetings. The highlight of the day was hearing from Illinois’ first Democrat co-sponsor Anthony DeLuca. Republican co-sponsor Brad Halbrook also addressed the group.

This was Illinois’ second Citizen Action Day and saw 25 more attendees than last year. Out of the total of 68 attendees, 40 were new to COS. This was due to the hard work of State Director David Winters, SIA Marty Benner, and the entire team. There was a lot of effort put into organizing the event and everyone did an excellent job making it happen.

With 40 new people at the capitol, it was a great opportunity for education and recruiting. Barry Newman and Lance Foust spoke with new attendees about COS and joined them in delivering informational packets and meeting with legislators. The team is currently following up with these attendees hoping to recruit them as volunteers. So far this has been successful with a few new applications already coming in.

The Illinois team is also hard at work obtaining more Democrat support. Hearing from co-sponsor Anthony DeLuca was a huge encouragement. With him on board, the team is hoping more Democrats will join him in the future. Illinois is excited to work with Representative DeLuca.

Additionally, the event was a great learning experience. Events at the capitol can be challenging, but the Illinois team has done a great job consistently improving their efforts.

This year saw a new method for delivering COS informational packets to all 177 legislators. The team divided up into 10 groups to distribute packets based on the location of offices. Each group stayed near the offices in their area to keep tabs on their legislators to try to connect with them. This method was very successful and helped everything move smoothly.

For next time, the team will be planning the event for a better day when the capital isn’t too busy or too quiet. Last year most legislators were traveling and weren’t available. This year they were busy in session. This has made it challenging to connect with legislators as desired. With this knowledge, the team is already planning for next year’s Citizen Action Day, trying to pick the perfect date. Thankfully, with some new connections made this year, planning for next time should be much easier.

Following this successful event, the team is energized and motivated to keep persevering. Illinois is a challenging state for COS to work in, but it has an amazing team to do the job. It has 68 District Captains, which is the most in the nation, and over 400 volunteers. With this great group, Illinois is successfully furthering the mission of Convention of States.

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