From the IWIL September Newsletter:
At the 2000 Democratic National Convention, I was speaking with Barb Brown and other Democratic women leaders in Illinois about the strong need to have more women in office and a training and leadership pipeline to make that happen.This conversation led to the creation of The Illinois Women's Institute for Leadership (IWIL). IWIL is one of only a handful of groups around the country dedicated to ensuring that women seeking political office get the full range of training and experience - and most importantly, the confidence - they need to compete effectively in elections.
In 2002, we launched IWIL with our inaugural class. In just over a decade, IWIL has trained more than 136 women and 45 have won their races for local, state, or federal office. High profile IWIL alums include both Debra Shore and Kari Steele, both Commissioners of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation Commission, State Representative Laura Fine, Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering, and Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. In July, one of our current delegates, Litesa Wallace of Rockford, was appointed to the Illinois House of Representatives and will be on the ballot in November. We are so proud that local leaders chose Litesa and we are confident that her IWIL training will give her a solid start to her public career.