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We are all reeling from the news of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing. Many of the rights that women and underrepresented communities accept as settled law were due to the wisdom and legal prowess of Ruth Bader Ginsburg during her lengthy tenure on the bench.

Justice Ginsburg and generations of justices before her understood the realities of partisan politics in our country, but they did their best to elevate the importance of the law and the court above that debate.

That era has come to an end. Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump have created a new reality, one in which power always supersedes long-held norms and the written law.

I know many are feeling helpless, but we cannot allow the passing of such an inspiring woman to leave us dispirited.

We must vote, and we must be counted. In overwhelming numbers, and all across this country—whether you are in a swing state, or a “safe” blue or red state.

Here in Illinois, it’s assumed that Joe Biden will win easily. We cannot leave that to chance. And we have to elect candidates up and down the ballot who are committed to reproductive rights, affordable healthcare, social justice and many of the rights that could be in jeopardy if Donald Trump appoints another far-right conservative justice.

Vote-by-mail ballots in Illinois will begin reaching homes this week. If you want to vote by mail, visit the state’s website and fill out your application today.

Early voting also begins this week in our state, and you can look up your local voting information as well.

Finally, please make sure that you’ve filled out the census and your voice has been counted.

Please, find a way to participate. It has never been more important.

Regards,

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot