First, we ACTed.
Then we CONNECTed.
Finally, we ENGAGEd.
On January 21, 2017, a group of friends from First Congregational-United Church of Christ in Naperville, Illinois, joined the Women’s March on Washington, D.C., and the sister March on Chicago. Shortly thereafter, we met for lunch to share our experiences and decided to ask other women and men in the community to join our nascent movement.
The first general meeting was held in early February and 28 attended. By the third meeting in March, more than 100 populated our email list. It now numbers well over 200.
ACE members have participated in the following activities:
- In July, 2021, ACE members joined Indivisible Naperville, Indivisible DuPage, IL NOW, DuPage NAACP, and Stand on Every Corner Naperville to support passing S1, the For the People Act in the U.S. Senate at the Naperville Deadline for Democracy Rally. Speakers included IL Senator Laura Ellman (IL-21), IL Rep. Anne Stava-Murray (IL-81), DuPage NAACP members Patrick Watson and Ken Mejia-Beal, Saba Haider, Col. Don Potoczny, and Drushya Musham.
- Discussed the Illinois Criminal Justice and Police Reform Bill with a state representative, community activists, and members of law enforcement in March 2021. Panelists included Rep. Anne Stava-Murray (IL-81), Regina Brent and Paul Scott from Unity Partnership, DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick, and Naperville Police Chief Robert Marshall.
- Held a Meet and Greet for 2021 Naperville City Council and Park District Candidates.
- Held a Meet and Greet for 2021 School Board District 203 and 204 Candidates.
- Held a panel discussion on COVID-19: The Current State of the Pandemic.
- Discussed the proposed Illinois Fair Tax on May, 2020.
- Held a panel discussion on “Journalism: The Fourth Estate—Does social media threaten the integrity, function, and role of established news sources?”.
- Participated in a Summer Study Project 2020: Selections from The Federalist Papers
- Co-sponsored a Naperville Mayoral Candidate Forum in January 2019, a Naperville City Council Candidates Forum in February 2019, and a District 203, 204 and COD Board Forum with other local grassroots, nonpartisan, and Democratic groups, including Indivisible Naperville, Moms Demand Action, Voice of Indian-American Voters, Stand on Every Corner, Naper Gals, Wheatland Township Democrats, and the DuPage Township Democrats.
- Wrote approximately 3,500 postcards to swing states for the November 2020 election urging them to vote and and 2,500 postcards to Georgia for the senate election to flip the state blue.
- Participated in an Autumn Study Project 2019: “The First Amendment” with Steve Macek, professor of communications, North Central College.
- Volunteered for local candidates for the 2018 midterm elections canvassing, phone banking, and working on their campaign staffs.
- Wrote 1,600 postcards for CBIL6 urging voters to cast their ballots in the midterm elections on November 6, 2018.
- Hosted an update on Immigration and Family Reunification Panel to discuss the latest information from the Texas-Mexico border.
- Attended Families Belong Together Rallies to protest the Justice Department’s Zero Tolerance Policy on immigration and to urge the quick reunification of children ripped from their parents while trying to enter the United States.
- Hosted members of our community for a Common Sense Gun Laws Panel, which included Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, and local high school students who organized walkouts in wake of the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
- Hosted a Focus on the Environment Panel that discussed the benefits of solar technology, new jobs associated with FEJA, how to successfully retrofit, and the Carbon Fee and Dividend.
- Lobbied in Springfield for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment in Illinois.
- Held a Women’s Issue Panel that featured Illinois NOW President Michelle Fadeley, Paloma Arryoyo from Planned Parenthood, and Blake Kelley of Men4Choice.
- Supported Naperville North High School students when they participated in the National School Walkout Day for common-sense gun laws and in respect for the 17 who died in the Parkland, Florida, shooting.
- Held a Candidate Meet & Greet for local candidates in the 2018 and 2020 primary elections.
- Held a Candidate Meet & Greet for Illinois women running against long-time male representatives in the 2018 primary election.
- Protested the GOP Tax Scam. Leader Beverly George addressed the crowd in Naperville.
- Protested Rep. Peter Roskam (IL-6) and his support of the GOP Tax Bill.
- Marched in the Women’s March, the 2nd Women’s March, the March for Science, the Climate March, the March for Truth, the Trump Tax Day March, the March for Our Lives, and the March to the Polls.
- Rallied and protested against Trumpcare and for the ACA.
- Canvassed and wrote postcards for CBIL6.
- Called, wrote, and Tweeted state and federal legislators on a plethora of issues.
- Held a special viewing of “An Inconvenient Sequel: Speaking Truth to Power.”
- Participated in local activist expos.
- Marched for progressive awareness in Naperville’s St. Patrick’s Day and Labor Day parades.
- Launched a Styrofoam recycling initiative.
- Hosted local speakers on a variety of topics.