Past Studies & Advocacy Programs

Kane County Forest Preserve District Study: 2013 Report – Introduction

In March 2012, The League of Women Voters of the Elgin Area released a two-year study of Potential Gravel Mining in the Brunner Forest Preserve of Kane County. The study was undertaken after strong local reaction to quiet discussions by the Kane County Forest Preserve District of the possibility of mining for gravel in the newly purchased $40 million preserve. The way in which the idea of gravel mining in Brunner Forest Preserve came to public attention in early 2010 was a strong indicator of how the story would unfold. It was not put out for public discussion as an economic or land use question. It leaked out. It came out in bits and pieces, with information and misinformation, accusations and denials, and above all, anger. Like a juicy bit of gossip, it spread through the grapevine. The very people who had worked with the Forest Preserve District to pass referendums to acquire and preserve natural areas, who had volunteered for work days to restore and improve the preserves, and who had been its most vocal supporters, now felt angry and betrayed. The Elgin Area LWV Brunner Study examined the facts and the record to complete the first phase of the study, which concluded that gravel mining is inappropriate in Brunner Forest Preserve or any other forest preserve. Indeed, the extraction and sale of natural resources, whether gravel, coal, timber, natural gas or water, is inconsistent with the mission of the forest preserve. It also concluded that certain land use decisions by the Kane County Forest Preserve District raise questions of “mission drift” from the stated goal of preserving and restoring the nature of Kane County.

Illinois, the Land of Big (and small) Government

How Many Units of Government Are There? (And Why?); What’s In Your Tax Bill?
The LWV of the Elgin area will study the number of separate taxing bodies in Kane County, including their functions, budgets, number of employees, overlap of responsibilities, and long term costs.

Mental Health Study

The mental health committee will be updating or revisiting our study of 2010-11 on nursing home implementation of the reform legislation passed during the spring of 2010. We are focusing on nursing homes where persons with serious mental illness reside. The committee will decide how to proceed after reviewing up-to-date materials on this legislation. The…

Gun Violence in the Elgin Area

This committee will conduct a study to create a profile of Gun Violence in the Elgin Area. Items that may be covered include:

Analyze local data on gun-related incidents in the past three years.
Examine local law enforcement strategies to prevent gun violence.
Investigate community outreach programs and results. (This is because Aurora police attributed its low crime rate to working with community organizations, etc. Has Elgin done anything in that way?)
Review laws/regulations pertaining to gun sales.
Investigate compliance with laws/regulations.
Other areas of activity
Interviews with local experts and community leaders.
Examination of incidents where persons with mental illness are being involved in gun violence.
School safety programs and procedures.