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CLICK TO VIEW VIDEOS: Media events were held in eight communities throughout the state to launch the Illinois Kids Count 2013 report. Above, Brenda Koester, assistant director of the Family Resiliency Center, addresses the media, community leaders, and elected officials at the launch event in Champaign. Below, Karol Ehman, director of marketing at Chaddock, tells attendees of the media launch in Quincy that “focusing on important issues in our community reminds us that our actions and the choices we make have a real impact on the lives of children and families.”
Voices Leadership Committees (VLCs) support Voices for Illinois Children’s mission of working across issue areas to improve the lives of children of all ages in our state. VLC members help parents, community leaders, and policymakers understand and respond to the wide variety of issues facing children and families. This fast-growing network of local committees and hundreds of individuals work to educate communities and build broad support for issues and programs that help all Illinois children thrive and succeed.

Over the years, VLCs have built legislator support for school funding reform, lobbied state and federal lawmakers on the vital need for quality children’s health coverage, and developed long-term relationships with their state senators and state representatives around Voices’ priorities. They also play a crucial role hosting annual media events to launch Voices’ Illinois Kids Count report, the most comprehensive examination of children’s lives in the state.

Join an existing Voices Leadership Committee (see below) or start a new VLC in an unrepresented area by contacting Voices at (312) 456-0600. Get connected with your area’s community leaders and other concerned citizens who are passionate about improving the lives of Illinois children.

How does it work?

VLCs are led by a chair who organizes the committee work. All members communicate with Voices staff and collaborate with other community groups to advocate for children.

VLC members speak up and speak out for children by lobbying legislators on Voices for Illinois Children’s policy priorities.


Joining a VLC gives you:

  • access to state and federal legislators and policymakers making critical decisions about programs, policies, and resources for children and family issues
  • subscription to Voices news alerts that provide brief issue-specific information, the action that is needed, and who to contact
  • resource support, advocacy trainings, technical assistance, and information on the latest policy issues affecting children and families
  • opportunities to network and connect with others across Illinois who share your interest in improving children’s lives
  • knowledge to stay up to date, speak out, and make a positive difference for millions of children in Illinois

Voices Leadership Committees are currently established in the following communities:

Champaign-Urbana – Brenda Koester, Chair
DuPage County – Jeanna Capito, Chair
Freeport – Craig Beintema and Peter Flynn, Co-Chairs
Joliet – Dale Evans, Chair
North Suburban Chicago – Betsy Lazerow and Rosemary Burger, Co-Chairs
Peoria-Central Illinois – Clete Winkelman, Chair
Quad Cities – Suzanne Swisher, Chair
Southern Illinois – Bonnie Wheeler, Chair
Springfield – John Kelker, Chair
St. Clair County – Joyce Smith and Roger Richards, Co-Chairs