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August 2018
Vol. 69 No. 3

In this issue:

Sparking Change: 2018 Annual Preview Party

Protecting voting rights presentation

Spotlight on member Erica Voell


Watch Your Optics!

Sure, we say we’re nonpartisan. But how does that translate into everyday life for our members? Remember three huge facts:

√ Perception is reality.

√ Photos and audios can go viral in minutes.

√ Mixed messages are interpreted as being partisan.

What’s OK for Leaguers:

  • Displaying “Vote! It Counts” car magnets.
  • In your front yard, displaying either “Your Vote Matters” OR candidate signs (but not both because it sends mixed messages).
  • Giving out voting information.

What’s not OK for League members:Avoid sending messages that the League is partisan.

  • In your front yard, displaying two signs—ours that says “Your Vote Matters” AND another that says “Vote for Susie Q” (or endorses any candidate or party).
  • Saying, “I’m from the LWV AND please vote for Susie Q.”
  • On your car, displaying both LWV “Vote! It Counts” magnets and “Susie for Senator” stickers.

How to avoid mixed messages? Just remember the four League basics:

Nonpartisan. It’s our rock upon which all is built. We do not support or oppose any candidate or party, period. We must be diligent; no “ifs, ands or buts.”

Our work. At every level — national, state and local—LWV fights for voter rights year-round. Locally, we do this by registering voters, informing voters ahead of elections and helping turn out the vote. LWV Kansas advocates with elected officials and reports on legislative actions. LWV of the United States lobbies Congress for our positions on policy issues.

Local issues. We advocate for or against key public issues with city, county and other leaders. How? By using our carefully researched, member-approved official positions, which you can view on our website.

Women’s action. We encourage women to run for public office and to advocate with
local officials. We partner with many groups, including Mainstream Coalition, Women’s Equality Week and the NAACP in Kansas.

Questions, concerns? Just let me know.

Ellen Miller

ellen3147@gmail.com; 913-894-5232

Join us August 23 to find out how you can get involved.Let’s Make a Difference

Join us for our Annual Preview Party, where we’ll learn about upcoming programs and events while mingling with others passionate about protecting our democracy.

Thursday, August 23

7-8:30 p.m. 

Olathe Community Center

Together, we’ll hear what our leadership team wants to emphasize this year. Browse the committee displays, enter to win door prizes, and place an order for native plants—an opportunity to raise money for the League and improve our environment. Learn more.

Members are asked to bring finger foods to share. Beverages will be provided.

Make voting personal

More than 20,000 suspended voters have been reinstated as a result of the federal court ruling in Fish v. Kobach. So we need to urge family, friends and neighbors to check their voting status.

Julie Lester and Becky White, our very active voter services committee chairs, have charged into their Voter Services roles with due diligences and asked each of us to:

  • Urge family, friends, and neighbors to check voting status at ksvotes.org.
  • Join voter registration services to help staff sites before the primary and general election.
  • Direct friends or neighbors to www.vote411.org for nonpartisan candidate information.

Join us for "Saving Democracy: It's Our Job" on August 22.

Saving Democracy: It’s Our Job!

Noon-1:30 p.m.

Wednesday, August 22

Colonial Church in Prairie Village

The struggle for our right to vote began 170 years ago in 1848 with the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, NY. Barriers to the ballot like voter ID laws, mandatory proof of citizenship, gerrymandering, purging voter rolls, restrictions on early voting and limits on registration are as much a threat to our democracy in 2018 as they were 98 years ago just prior to the passage of the 19th Amendment. Come hear what you can do to protect voting rights and increase voter participation. Feel free to bring your own brown bag lunch.  Learn more.

Speakers: Denise Lieberman, attorney with the Advancement Project; Pat Jones, president of the Greater Kansas City chapter of the A. Phililp Randolph Institute; Micah Kubic, executive director of the ACLU of Kansas; Dagney Velasquez, assistant professor at Kansas City Community College

Sponsors: LWVJoCo, LWV of Kansas City, Jackson, Clay, and Platte Counties, A. Phillip Randolph Institute and women in the Kansas City branch of the NAACP


Welcome, New Members

Eleven people joined LWVJoCo during July: Jean Frankel, Christina Sadun, Janet Kannard, Abby Shepard, Mary Webb, Virginia Harris, Eileen Duggan, Christine Evans Hand, Judi Barkema, Alan Barkema and Karleen Novak.

Have you renewed your membership? Memberships expired June 30. Renew online—it’s fast and easy.

League members out registering voters.Member Spotlight

Erica Voell

You may recognize this month’s featured member from one of the many community events she’s worked this summer registering voters. Read why she thinks the League’s work is so important.


Observer Corps

New library branches in Shawnee, Lenexa and Merriam, Johnson County mental health and corrections department joint initiatives, and $15+ million improvements to Ernie Miller Park and Nature Center are among the many issues public officials discussed in meetings this month. Read summaries created by several League members who attend these public meetings regularly.

Board and Committee Updates

  • Treasurer Anita Kaiser distributed a year-end summary of income and expenses. Total income exceeded its budget; dues and fundraising exceeded their budgets. Education fund contributions were under budget.
  • Marty Birch is working on a 20-minute presentation script for the Speakers Bureau about fake news and how voters can evaluate the credibility of news items. At the February 2019 Board meeting, he will give a “rehearsal” presentation for Board approval.
  • At a Board retreat in July, members discussed the 2018-2019 Board and Committee Chair Manual as well as plans for the coming League year. President Ellen Miller will present a draft of the action plan at the August 14 Board meeting.
  • The Board is still looking for volunteers to help with event planning, hospitality and the speakers bureau. If you are interested, please email our membership team.

Voting in JoCo: What You Need to Know

Important dates:

August 6: Advance voting ends

August 7: Primary Election

For more information: Johnson County Election Office

Useful links:

Confirm your voter registration

View your sample ballot 

Advance voting locations (July 23 – August 4)


Find out more about what the state League is doing.

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