Member Spotlight: Jo Branine
Where she’s from
Although Jo spent a good portion of her life in Denton, Texas, she is originally from Cheney, Kansas. Of her Texas years, three-and-a-half were spent in Ponder, where she served two terms as mayor of that city. She also spent several years in New Mexico where she was Director of Grants at East New Mexico University and an External Evaluator with the U.S. Department of Education.
About her family
Jo and her husband, a classmate from Cheney, have a son, five stepchildren and three grandchildren.
Why she joined the League
Jo joined the League of Women Voters 50 years ago while living in Denton, Texas. She was president of the League there and, being a writer and communicator, helped the Denton LWV develop many public education events and write and submit articles regarding current issues to local media.
What she thinks League does well
Jo joined the LWVJoCo because she’s new to the area and wanted to participate in studying issues, have a voice in community affairs and get involved. She appreciates the League’s non-partisan approach and the fact that it is a respected presence in Johnson County and Kansas.
Where she would like to see the League focus in the future
Jo feels that the League should continue its focus on public education and advocacy around the many important issues before the nation. The League is one of the agencies at the forefront of public dialogue on issues and with Zoom it can continue communications and advocacy with the community and elected officials.
What she does to strengthen our democracy
As president of the LWV in Denton, Texas, Jo was very active in voter registration. Also, she was involved in their extensive civic and voter education effort in the schools for children in grades 1-3.
Jo established a non-profit “Literacy for America: Hope for Tomorrow” in 1991 in Denton. She regularly appeared in costume during the school day for kids K-4 focusing on the importance of reading and learning.
How she’s coping with the pandemic
Jo loves to write. She feels fortunate that she is able to use her sheltering time to pursue that activity.