Women’s Legislative Leadership Project

A joint project of the Jane Addams Senior Caucus, the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, and the Midwest Academy

The Women’s Legislative Leadership Project (WLLP) is an intensive policy training program that equips women, their 2014 FMLA Alumsallies, and their organizations with the capacity to advocate successfully for sound policies that ensure economic stability, equity, and justice for women in Illinois, with a focus on benefiting older women of color and their communities. WLLP comes alongside progressive social justice organizations working to pass state level legislation in Illinois to offer training and skill development to women leaders.

We are now accepting applications for the 2014 / 2015 project year! Get all the details and apply today.

WLLP works with between 2 to 6 organizations and around 20 diverse (age, race, and experience in Springfield) participants each year who take part in a 9-month program that includes regular intensive training sessions and hands-on Policy Teams to implement their learning.

Intensive Training:  The regular training retreats bring together participants from all the organizations and Policy Teams.  The retreats provide participants with training on the nuts and bolts of the legislative process, advocacy, and organizing

  • Staff from the Midwest Academy and Jane Addams Senior Caucus will provide the training, with a variety of guest presenters who are experts in the field and currently working on state-level legislation of their own
  • The retreats also offer participants a time to share experiences on their policy projects and make connections between organizations working on common issues

Policy Teams: The Policy Teams are small group projects designed to work on passage of a piece of state-level legislation that an organization is already working on or is preparing to work on.

  • Policy Team Configurations:
    • Option 1:  One organization could form a single Policy Team and take leadership of that team.  This organization would recruit all 6 to 8 diverse Policy Team members from their organization for that team
    • Option 2:  Two to three organizations that are working on the same policy or are in coalition together could apply together and form a joint team.  One of those organizations would take the lead or one staff person from each organization would share leadership of the team.  These organizations would recruit 7 to 10 of their members to make up a joint team

Funding: WLLP is a grant and donor funded program. Support is generously provided by the, Retirement Research Foundation, Sophia Fund for Advocacy of the Chicago Foundation for Women, Crossroads Fund, Woods Fund of Chicago, Field Foundation of IL, SEIU Healthcare, and AARP of Illinois.

“Through the project, we are helping to pass legislation and policies that are rooted in our lived experiences and make our voices heard in Springfield.” – Nona Young, 2014 Program Alum