Minutes of the Action Ridge Meeting
9/12/2019 – 7:00 PM
Community Church, 100 Courtland, Park Ridge, IL
Presentation of Ranked Choice Voting by Claris Olson and Pat Lofthouse
• Explanation of the process of RCV – Claris and Pat prepared an excellent PowerPoint presentation that is posted along with these minutes on the Action Ridge website (https://actionridgepr.com/).Ranked Choice Voting 09.12.2019
• In the United States, most elections are Plurality based where the candidate with the largest number of votes wins. In close elections a candidate may win with less than 50% of the votes. In that case, the Winner does not represent most of the electorate which leads to increased voter dissatisfaction and decreased voter participation in future elections.
• RCV elections are Majority based where the winning candidate must obtain 51% of the votes. This encourages inclusion where most of the electorate is represented and leads to increased voter satisfaction and voter participation in future elections.
• For example: Under RCV when there are four candidates for an office, the voter indicates their First, Second, Third and Fourth choice. When all the votes are tallied the candidate with the least number of votes is eliminated. The ballots where the First choice went to the eliminated candidate are examined for their Second choice and then applied to the remaining candidates. This continues until one candidate achieves 51% of the vote and is declared the winner.
• Why is RCV important?
• RCV will help protect against the promotion of a ‘spoiler candidate’ for the express purpose of ‘splitting the vote’.
• Candidates are elected with a clear mandate.
• Voters can vote their conscience versus trying to guess who is the most electable.
• Avoids costly runoff elections like the 2019 Chicago, Illinois mayoral election.
• RCV can be easily implemented on new voting machines or adapted for older voting machines.
• What’s being done legislatively
• Six states, all caucus states, use RCV in their Primaries.
• The State of Maine used RCV in the 2018 Congressional Election.
• Maine will be the first state to use RCV for the 2020 General Election.
• RCV is constitutional as it was upheld in Maine.
• Illinois is working to get RCV passed in 2020 for use in the 2024 elections.
• What can those who support the concept of RCV do?
• Send Illinois State Senator Laura Murphy an email thanking her for supporting RCV.
• Sign up for RCV Action Alerts via email or text.
• Sign up at Fairvote.org or on the Illinoisans for RCV Facebook page.
• Encourage friends and/or organizations to invite an RCV speaker.
• Volunteer to staff an event to educate voters.
• Share posts about RCV on Facebook.
• If the United States changes to a National Majority Vote, thus eliminating the Electoral College, that will take effect and RCV is not needed.
Review of Summer Activities by Nan Parson
• Book Discussion on What It Means To Be White—Last meeting on September 25th covering Chapters 11-18.
• Taste of Park Ridge – Action Ridge members helped sell tickets and manned a table providing literature and answering questions,
• National Night Out – Actions Ridge members spoke with people about Illinois’ Red Flag Law. Sara Knizhnik from Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence thanked Action Ridge for our support of the Red Flag Law.
• GPAC supports the 9/25/19 Anti-gun Violence Rally in Washington, D.C. – Father Michael Pfleger has arranged for 10 buses leaving from St. Sabina.
• Affordable Housing and the Comprehensive Plan—Respond to Park Ridge Wonderful – Kristin Berg and Nan Parson to meet with Jim Brown, Park Ridge’s Director of Preservation & Development
• Core Leaders’ Meeting – All 16 members were present! Decisions regarding choices of future programs will be made by more than one person.
• Next meeting date changed to Wednesday, October 16th.
• Discussion of the book Polarized with the authors, Protestant minister Paris Donehoo and atheist philosopher Keith M. Parsons. We can hold different opinions and have respectful discussions.
• November and December meeting suggestions, thinking about the Holidays
• One suggestion is to have a Social in December.
• Focus on the elections
• Voter Registration
• Getting Out the Vote
• Partner for Marilyn Novak in these efforts – Marilyn is a leader in registering voters. Voters registered at Brookdale in Des Plaines, IL.
• On-going Gun Violence Prevention Efforts
• Do we want leaders for different areas of interest as was first conceived?
• Current active topics include Gun Violence Prevention, Equity, Voter Registration, ERA, Green Living.
• Let Nan or Liz know if you have a passion to lead a topic.
20 People in Attendance on a night that included a Democratic 2020 Presidential Candidates Debate.