logo for the League of Women Voters of Johnson County

2017 saw a good number of engaging events hosted by LWVJoCo for its members and the community!

December 2: Annual holiday social.
Our special guests were the candidates on the November ballot. We recognized their commitment to public service.

View photos

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.


Movie poster of Godzilla at Topeka

Co-vice president Paula Schwach introduced the panelists: Joann Dolan, Dagney Velazquez, and former state Sen. Tim Owens

View entire gerrymandering program on YouTube:

View segments:

  • Joann Dolan on the legal process of redistricting Kansas voting boundaries.  (15 minutes)
  • Dagney Velazquez on gerrymandering–the math of manipulation. (17 minutes)
  • Tim Owens on his experience as chair of the legislative committee on redistricting. (19 Minutes)
  • Followed by audience Q and A

Slide show on redistricting from the Legislative Research Department

Slide show on gerrymandering

Record-setting crowd of 135 attended the Nov. 4 program.

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

Four people: Pettey, Sanchez, Lauffer, Johnson

Co-presidents Sandra Sanchez and Donna Lauffer thank speakers Sen. Pat Pettey and Paul Johnson

September 9, 2017 
“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



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


March 4, 2017

The Battle for the Ballot: Voter Suppression in Kansas

Marge Ahrens and Carole NealSpeakers 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