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Member Spotlight: Wendy Wilson

Kathleen Morrow | Published on 5/29/2020
Wendy Wilson Member Spotlight June 2020Where she’s from
Wendy grew up in Topeka and moved to Kansas City in 1969 to study at the Kansas City Art Institute. Her father, an electrician, still lives in Topeka and is now 100 years old!  
About her family
Wendy and her husband, a retired geologist from Burns & McDonell, and her 12-year-old grandson live in Overland Park.  
Why she joined the League
After 19 years as Director of the Rosedale Development Association in Wyandotte County, Wendy, a self-described ‘old-hippie’, joined the League in 2019. Concerned with increasing voter suppression and low voter turnout, she saw the LWVJoCo as a “good fit” and a way to address the polarization which has developed in our country. 
What she thinks the League does well
Voter registration and education efforts are to Wendy highlights of the League’s work. She feels that the organization’s non-partisan approach to issues is a real strength. The focus on improving voter accessibility and protecting voting rights are important now more than ever in our communities. 
Where she would like to see the League focus in the future
Young people, our future voters, are not engaged in learning about voting and voter issues. Wendy notes that voter education needs to start early. In addition to presenting sample curricula about voting, elections and citizen involvement to schools, we could help through speaker’s bureau presentations and developing mock elections. 
What she does to strengthen our democracy
She tries to regularly contact elected officials, particularly on local issues. Through her work as Director of the Rosedale Development Association, Wendy learned the importance of partnerships and citizen involvement in making the voice of the people heard. Advocacy with community partners resulted in Turkey Creek flood control, a land use master plan for Rosedale, development of bicycle lanes and creation of a youth employment program, just to name a few.   
Fun Fact
Wendy loves fossil hunting and the perspective it brings. Her searches in our area have unearthed many plants, bivalves, gastropods, coral and sea lilies from the “Pennsylvanian period” that are 300 MILLION years old. It lets her envision a different world and time.