logo for the League of Women Voters of Johnson County

Meetings are held the first Saturday in  September, October, November, February, March, and April at Atonement Lutheran Church (lower level Charter Hall), 9948 Metcalf, Overland Park, KS.

Coffee and snacks are provided. Social time begins at 8:30 a.m.; the meeting starts at 9 a.m. The public is welcome to attend. Programs are recorded and posted to our YouTube channel for later viewing.

Find meeting dates, locations and more on our public Facebook events page.

2017-18 Meeting Programs and Topics

November 4, 2017
Gerrymandering: The Beast Who Ate A State

When politicians chose their voters, rather than voters choosing their representatives, does democracy work? How does redistricting happen? Why do district lines matter? Speakers: Joanna Dolan from the Kansas Legislative Research Department, former state Sen.Tim Owens, and KCKCC mathematics professor Dagney Velazquez.Join us for coffee and conversation at 8:30 a.m.; program begins at 9 a.m.

Redistricting, or reapportionment, is the process by which state legislatures redraw political boundaries every 10 years following the decennial U.S. Census. The United States Constitutionand federal statutes require a federal census to be conducted every ten years, and also require that Congressional districts reapportioned based on that census data. The United States Constitution, the Kansas Constitution, and federal and state law require that the federal congressional districts be reapportioned every decade based on the data from the federal census. Kansas constitutional and state law also requires the reapportionment of the state senate districts, the state house of representative districts, and the school board districts in the state based on the census information.

According to the state constitution, redistricting is to be completed in the second year after the federal census.

December 2, 2017
Holiday Party at Central Resource Library; 2 to 4 p.m.

January 6, 2018
Program planning and brainstorming

February 3, 2018

March 3, 2018

April 7, 2018

May 5, 2018
Breakfast, awards, and annual meeting

September 9, 2017 Four people: Pettey, Sanchez, Lauffer, Johnson
“After the 2017 Legislative Session”

Speakers: State Senator Pat Pettey, member of the 2017 Select Committee on Education Finance and Paul Johnson, legislative observer and author of LWVK legislative reports.
Discussion focused on state tax structure and school funding. View program on YouTube

For background on the Kansas budget, watch this video, produced by LoudLight.org:
The Kansas budget crisis explained.

Read Paul Johnson’s wish list of topics for the 2018 Kansas Legislature.
Photo: From left: State Senator Pat Pettey, LWVJoCo co-presidents Sandra Sanchez and Donna Lauffer, and Paul Johnson

October 7, 2017
Media Integrity in an Age of Fake News
Speakers: Sam Zeff, KCUR radio; Derek Donovan, Kansas City Star
View program on YouTube



2016-17 Meetings and Topics

May 6, 2017
Breakfast, Awards, and Annual Meeting 

LWVJoCo’s 2017 Making Democracy WorK Award honored Tracy Fuller Forbush, Citizen Program Manager for refugees and migrants at Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas

April 1, 2017
Guns: Emotion, Second Amendment, Public Safety

Speakers:John Douglas (Shawnee Mission Schools Director of Security); Alisa Pacer (JCCC Emergency Preparedness Manager); and Allen Rostron, UMKC law professor Watch on YouTube

Two women stand beside LWVJoCo vertical display bannerMarch 4, 2017
The Battle for the Ballot: Voter Suppression in Kansas
Speakers Marge Ahrens  and Carol Neal (co-presidents LWVK) chronicled the successful history of the League and ACLU lawsuit against voter suppression. Join the battle to abolish the Kansas Secure and Fare Election (SAFE) Act, which established monumental barriers to voting rights. Documentary Proof of Citizenship (DPOC) is a violation of the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  Watch video
Handouts: Free State Election Reform  Factsheet: SAFE Act Testimony to Senate committee in opposition to SB 37 (Two tier voting system)

February 4, 2017
Death Penalty: An Eye for an Eye?

Our speakers were Sean O’Brien (associate professor, UMKC School of Law), and Tricia Bushnell (legal director, Midwest Innocence Project). They presented the history, the statistics, and the arguments for and against the death penalty.   Watch video
Slide show        Recommendations for action 

January 7, 2017
LWVJoCo Planning for 2017-2018

Member brainstorming meeting. This was our opportunity to suggest programs and projects for 2017-2018.  Ann Sanders presented an overview of what comprises a League study and fielded suggestions from the membership for new study possibilities. Breakout groups created ideas for our 2017-2018 general meeting topics.

Photo of Ann Sanders presenting






Photos show members brainstorming and Ann Sanders, Ph.D. working on our 2017-2018 direction. Watch video.

December 3, 2016
Holiday Party at Central Resource Library  2-4 p.m.

Recognition of 2016 Candidates

November 5, 2016:   Juvenile Justice: Corrective or Punitive? 1116juvjustice1
The speakers were Betsy Gillespie (director, JoCo Corrections), Representative John Rubin, and Judge Thomas Foster (JoCo District Court-Juvenile Docket). Watch video on YouTube:  Part One  Part Two



October 1, 2016:  Money, Money, Money; Buying Democracy
Panel included: Mark P. Johnson (Partner, Dentons, US, LLP and lecturer, KU Schools of Law and Journalism),
Clay Barker (executive director, Kansas Republican Party), Joan Wagnon (former chair of Kansas Democratic Party).  Watch video on YouTube

September 10, 2016:   Kansas Judiciary: Selection, Retention, Issues
The speakers were Paul Davis (attorney and former Kansas House Minority Leader), Dan Biles (Justice, KS Supreme Court), Karen Arnold-Burger (Judge, KS Court of Appeals), and Kelly Ryan (Judge, Johnson County District Court). View panel presentation.  Part Two: Q and A.  Or read the answers.


May 7, 2016: Annual Meeting

Our League end-of-year annual meeting was attended by over 100 members and honored guests. 516AnnualMtgDHANSHWe presented the ‘Making Democracy Work’ award to Dave Helling, Kansas City Star columnist. He spoke of the importance of voting and making the voting process more uniform and easier for voters.

Two high school seniors received  scholarships for their submissions to our ‘Activism Through Arts’ program. Diane Tejeda won first place for her essayEmma Arnold received an honorable mention for her painting.

We recognized our 50-year members with certificates. The co-presidents presented the ‘Above and Beyond’ awards to Kathy Jennings for membership growth and to Ellen Miller for guiding our 2016-2020 Long Range Plan.

April 2, 2016: Three Ways to Vote


Watch the video 

March 5, 2016: Poverty in Johnson County


  • Karen Wulfkuhle, Executive Director of United Community Services of Johnson County.
  • Paula Neth, Vice President of Programs at The Family Conservancy.
  • Judge Keven O’Grady, Johnson County District Court Help Center
  • Judge Timothy McCarthy, Veteran’s Court.

Watch video 

February 6, 2016:
Lee Kellenberger and Heather Schmidt of the Johnson County Stormwater Management Program  Watch video