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Thursday, November 1

From the Pen of the President: November 2018

Mary Gollings
NASW-Illinois Chapter President

I believe social workers are superheroes. That means we have been given a power to help the world around us. And that's just what we do, right? By serving children and adults, and by building strong policy and solid structures, we are working to make a bit more sense out of how things work and for people to feel strong and safe. One of the strongest powers we have to help those around us is to vote. An NASW member recently told me she was elected to her county board seat by 5 votes. Each vote truly matters. This election has tremendously close races, and we can help our communities, cities, state, and country by simply voting. Many townships or cities have websites to help you study your local ballot prior to voting. There are also websites such as www.ballotready.org which allows you to enter your address. We encourage you to read our chapter's list of endorsed candidates as well.

If you are interested in helping candidates, please contact Billy Dwyer at wdwyer [dot] naswil [at] socialworkers [dot] org

If you are volunteering directly with a campaign, let them know you are a social worker and member of the NASW-Illinois Chapter! Remind each candidate: social workers VOTE!

Other ways to help increase voting this election:

  • Text ten friends or family to go vote.
  • Remind people the ride share companies are offering free rides to the polls to vote.
  • Early voting is voting--it's ok to want to avoid those lines on election day. 

Remind people of their right to vote. There are laws that protect employment, allowing everyone to vote despite scheduled shifts, etc.

The need to advocate continues long after each election as well. Two ways to get involved with the NASW-Illinois Chapter is by joining our Political Action Committee (PAC) and/or joining our newly reformed Diversity Committee, which is charged with promoting NASW programs and efforts that encourage awareness, respect, and appreciation of diversity in our profession and society. The particular focus includes race and ethnic diversity, women, and LGBT. Please contact the chapter if you are interested in lending your expertise and time for either committee.

Social Workers VOTE!  

Mary Gollings (MSW, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; LCSW) is currently social work supervisor at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago, IL, overseeing clinical social workers in medicine and surgery services, primary care, and specialty clinics. Prior to serving the profession as supervisor, Mary worked in the VA system’s Geriatric Extended Care services and inpatient medicine service. She then served for several years as program coordinator and clinical social worker for veterans with sinal cord Injuries. Prior to joining the Jesse Brown VA, Mary worked at the Captain Lovell Federal Health Care Center. Mary has served on local, regional, and national committees to help with efforts on system redesign and process improvement as well as promotion of patient-centered care. She has also served on local and regional professional standard boards and continuing education committees to ensure that the highest level of professional standards in social work are met. Mary serves as field instructor for second-year MSW students and as mentor for social workers new to the professional field to assist them in their professional growth. Mary served on the NASW-Illinois Chapter Board of Directors since 2010 as member at-large and served as treasurer for the chapter’s Political Action Committee (PAC). Mary also served as chair of the 2015 NASW-Illinois Chapter Statewide Conference. She is an active volunteer with JDRF, mentoring children with Type One Diabetes and their families, as well as fundraising for research in the field.

Posted on 11/01/18 at 07:59 AM


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