During the COVID-19 pandemic social distancing restrictions, we will not be having any in-person meetings. During normal times, program meetings will be held the first Saturday in September, October, November and February at Atonement Lutheran Church (lower level Charter Hall), 9948 Metcalf, Overland Park, KS.
Find meeting dates, locations and more on our public Facebook events page.
April 4, 2020: 2020 Census: What’s at Stake? CANCELED
Although this meeting was canceled. The LWVJoCo interviewed Karen Wulfkuehle. The interview can be seen on YouTube.
The census lays the foundation for much of what constitutes our democracy. It affects how Kansans are represented in Congress and billions of dollars in federal funding.
In the 2010 Census, experts estimate that the population was undercounted by 1 percent. The undercount was even higher for minorities — an estimated 2.1 percent of blacks and 1.5 percent of Hispanics were not counted. A similar undercount in 2020 would result in the loss of $48 million in the Kansas City region for 16 federal programs:
Watch the interview to find out just what’s at stake with the 2020 Census and what our community is doing to ensure every person is counted.
Watch for a member survey
We were also going to break up into small groups to brainstorm during the April 4 meeting. We will now do this by an online survey. Look for it soon. The topic categories are:
- Our get-out-the-vote efforts in 2020
- Embedding diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in our League
- Topics for our monthly meetings. We need your input to make LWVJoCo even stronger!Enjoy coffee and treats at 8:30 a.m.
March 7, 2020: Breakfast and Annual Meeting
Empowering Women to Lead
Our featured speaker was Judge Julie A. Robinson, the first African American named to the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. She shared insights from her distinguished career breaking barriers and forging a path to leadership.
In 2018, Judge Robinson presided over the Fish v. Kobach case and permanently blocked a Kansas law requiring voters to prove their citizenship before registering to vote. She received the Distinguished Public Service Award from Baker University and the Distinguished Service Award from the Kansas Bar Association.
More than 125 people came to hear U.S. District Court Judge Julie A. Robinson during our annual meeting on March 7. Judge Robinson shared her insights and perspective about becoming more confident in our personal and professional lives. “Empowerment is not a destination,” she said. “It’s always a journey.”
LWV Centennial Celebration
In case you missed the Centennial Celebration
About 500 people gathered Feb. 29 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and the creation of the League of Women Voters. Former U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios was the perfect person to help us honor the strength and vision of the women of the past 100 years and inspire us to continue this important work.
View photos of this memorable day:
Rosie Rios covered many of her stories of women’s empowerment in this YouTube video: TEDx Bermuda “Visibility Reinvented”
February 1, 2020
The State of Reproductive Rights in Kansas
Reproductive health and the right to abortion will likely be prominent issues in the Kansas legislative session, especially in light of Kansas Supreme Court’s landmark ruling last year affirming that the state’s constitution protects Kansas women’s right to safe and legal abortion.Join us to learn and discuss the issues affecting Kansans’ reproductive rights, including how socioeconomics and current laws restrict access to care.
- Valerie French, MD, a family planning specialist
- Bob Eye, an environmental and civil rights attorney
- Sofia Navarro, a women’s health nurse practitioner .
Journalist Lynn Horsley will moderate the panel discussion. The event is co-sponsored by MainStream Coalition.
More than 200 people attended our Feb. 1 program: “The State of Reproductive Rights in Kansas.”
Check out these links:
November 2, 2019 Building Communities for All Ages
- Gene Wilson, retired Kauffman Foundation Sr. V.P. discussed the challenges of our growing senior population
- Melissa Rooker, head of the Kansas Children’s Cabinet Trust Fund and former Kansas state representative presented an overview of the early childhood strategic plan.
Gene’s PowerPoint presentation: Communities for All Ages
October 5 program: Migration to Renewable Energy: Our Greener Future
We heard three experts survey the road map to a greener future for Kansas. They discussed how we can accelerate the migration from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
- Tammie Rhea, senior product manager—renewable at Evergy (merger of KCP&L and Westar), outlines the utility’s plans and programs to realize that greener future.
- Mark Hannifan is senior vice president of development and new initiatives with Tradewind Energy, a Kansas City-based developer of utility-scale solar and wind power projects. Hannifan will discuss renewable energy projects and what we can expect from the continuous improvement of these technologies.
- Joe Spease, president and CEO of WindSoHy, is an expert on compressed air energy storage and renewable hydrogen. Spease will talk about the crucial role such storage plays in fully realizing the potential of renewable energy sources.
September 7, 2019
Voting Matters: A Conversation with Election Commissioners
Bruce Newby, Wyandotte County Election Commissioner, Tabitha Lehman, Sedgwick County Election Commissioner, and Ronnie Metsker, Johnson County Election Commissioner discussed updates of elections in their county, similarities and differences between the counties and their challenges. The meeting can be viewed here.
May 4, 2019
Breakfast and Annual Meeting
A Focus on Activism
Davis Hammet, inspired us to continue our activism for Kansas voters. Hammet is the founder of Loud Light, a non-profit focused on increasing civic engagement of millennials and combating voter suppression. View his inspiring presentation on activism.
April 6, 2019
The Water We Drink: Keeping Our Water Safe and Affordable
We learned about the safety and affordability of clean water in Johnson County and what we need to do to keep it that way.
View the full program on YouTube.
Mike Armstrong, general manager, WaterOne
View Mike’s slide show.
Elaine Giessel, chair, Kanza Chapter of the Kansas Sierra Club
View Elaine’s slide show..
March 2, 2019
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Building a Stronger Community
LWV is fully committed to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in principle and in practice. DEI are central to our success in engaging all individuals, households, communities and policymakers in creating a more perfect democracy. Join us as we start the discussion of how to harness the power of DEI to increase the League’s social impact work in our community. View full program on YouTube.
Tricia Bushnell is the executive director of the Midwest Innocence Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to freeing innocent people in prison for crimes they did not commit.
Prior to joining MIP, she was a clinical professor at the University of Wisconsin, where she taught a course entitled “Race, Poverty, and Criminal Justice,” and a fellow at the Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama, where she represented indigent individuals sentenced to death and juveniles sentenced to life without parole. Currently, she chairs the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group for the Innocence Network Executive Committee. She is also a member of the Diverse Business Committee of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.
Tom Alonzo is the 2nd District representative to the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas Advisory Commission on Human Relations and Disability Issues and secretary of Equality Kansas-Metro KC, a statewide grassroots organization working to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Nacente Seabury, an attorney with Hawkins Parnell and Young, member of the Kansas City Environmental Management Commission and co-host of “Four Women for Conversations That Matter,” a weekly show dedicated to discussing local and national topics relating to social equity and justice.
February 2, 2019
Priced Out: Why Care About Housing Affordability?
Many people are priced out of the housing market in Johnson County. A social worker or paramedic, for example, cannot afford to purchase an average-priced home in any city in Johnson County. Having a safe, affordable home should be accessible for all, not a privilege for a select few. We learned why the lack of affordable housing in Johnson County affects the entire community and why it’s in our interest to provide more housing options in Johnson County. Our moderator was Karen Wulfkuhle, co-chair of the study committee and past director of United Community Services of Johnson County.
- Valorie Carson, Community Planning Director, United Community Services of Johnson County
- Jennifer Creagar, Financial Care Program Director, United Methodist Church of the Resurrection
- Maury Thompson, Deputy Manager, Johnson County Government
View full program on YouTube
Questions posed to the panel:
- How much do you need to earn to afford housing in Johnson County?
- What is Johnson County doing to address housing affordability?
- What barriers do we face in addressing this problem?
- How do other communities address housing affordability?
- Why is this issue important to Johnson County?
Archive of previous programs