Witness Slips: Speaking Truth to Power

Citizenship does not end at the ballot box. You can still speak truth to lawmakers. We have plenty of say on how our legislators in Illinois are creating new laws. This is where Witness Slips come in. A Witness Slip gives you the chance to give your own opinion on any specific bill that is being considered in a committee. You can send your opinion directly to legislators in a committee, while they are deciding whether to send the bill for a full vote of either house of the legislature. When lots and lots of us weigh in together, we have a greater voice in swaying legislators.

First, go to my.ilga.gov., the Illinois' General Assembly's website where you can create electronic witness slips. If you create an account, you can track your activity. The log on is in the upper-right corner. The ACLU-Illinois has an excellent How-To.

So, how do you find out when important bills are being considered in a committee? The Witness Slip Project (Illinois) on Facebook keeps track of different bills, and volunteers post bills, and links directly to the bill page on ilga.gov so you can fill out your witness slip with just a few clicks.

And don't forget to go to the town halls of our state senators or representatives--that face to face conversation is more powerful than anything.

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