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November 2018
Vol. 69 No. 6

In this issue:

League leaders in the media

LWVJoCo registers 1500+ people in 2018

Spotlight on member Lee Rowe


Power Up Your Advocacy

Saturday, November 3

9-10:30 a.m.

Atonement Lutheran Church

9948 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park

We all know that advocacy plays an essential role in a democratic society. Along with voting, advocacy provides a way for citizens to influence legislation and policies.

But just how do you go about it? That’s what this meeting is all about. Our speakers will share when, where and how to make your voice heard and how to do it effectively

Paul Johnson, League of Women Voters of Kansas Legislative Liaison and Kansas Rural Center Policy Analyst
Stuart Little, Little Government Relations

Come at 8:30 a.m. for coffee and treats. The presentation will begin at 9 a.m.

Add this to your calendar.

Board Focuses on Post-Election Priorities

LWVJoCo is halfway through its 2016-2020 Long-Range Plan (LRP). For 2018, our top priority was empowering voters for the midterm elections. But what happens after 11/6/18? We’ll be targeting one or two items in each of the five LRP goal areas, specifically:

Membership: Solicit opinions and ideas from new members. Methods include an online survey and committee chair annual plans.

Visibility: Partner with new groups. Methods include attending events and meetings organized by other organizations, such as the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Latina Nuestra awards.

Education: Engage youth voters. Methods include creating new programs as well as voter registration in high schools and colleges.

Political Action: Add “What can YOU do” events after monthly Saturday meetings. Methods include postcard-writing campaigns and petitions.

Infrastructure: Inform members that our League sends $50 of the individual $60 membership fees to state and national Leagues. Methods include fundraising letters and VOTER/website articles.

As we pursue these goals, please let us know how we are doing. We’ll discuss our progress at our board meeting on February 12, 2019.

Questions, concerns? Just let me know.

Ellen Miller, LWVJoCo president

ellen3147@gmail.com; 913-894-5232

Ed Eilert and Trinette Waldrup, candidates for the countywide position of chair, attended all three forums.

Turnout at Candidate Forums Exceeds Estimates

More than 180 people attended the three Board of County Commissioner (BoCC) candidate forums in mid-October. The credit for this success goes to voters wanting information and to local and national media coverage about our Primary Election problems.

Few people know about the BoCC even though it’s the largest governmental entity in Johnson County. Its seven-member, nonpartisan board oversees the county’s $1 billion budget and over 40 departments and agencies. By Kansas law, the secretary of state appoints our election commissioner (and those in three other counties), but the BoCC must approve the election office’s budget.

Hats off to the organizing team of Sarah Baum, Cathy Matlack, Becky White, Julie Lester, Cathy Nix, Karin Leacox, Sandra Sanchez and Ellen Miller. And a special thanks goes to Amber Stenger, Leslie Sullivan, Ann Norbury and the rest of our communications team for widespread visibility. The events were mentioned in the Shawnee Mission Post, Kansas City Star and 2mas2KC, a bilingual newspaper. And our Facebook posts highlighting the forums reached more than 7,000 people.

LWVJoCo in the News

Many reporters have contacted our president, Ellen Miller, this fall for comments on an array of issues, from the performance of Johnson County’s voting machines to the role of women in the midterm elections. Those who attended the October meeting will remember seeing a reporter and a photographer from de Volkskrant, a leading Dutch newspaper with a circulation of 250,000 people. Reporter Michael Perrson interviewed Ellen as well as several people attending the meeting.

A reporter from the Financial Times, a newspaper with a daily readership of 2.2 million people worldwide, spoke to Ellen and attended one of our voter registration events in Prairie Village to talk to women voters
about the midterm elections and particularly the Yoder/Davids race in the Kansas 3rd District.

Ellen was also interviewed by Roxie Hammil of the Shawnee Mission Post and Lynn Horsley of the Kansas City Star for other election-related articles.

While Ellen was on vacation, Candy Birch, former LWVJoCo president and Speakers Bureau chair, stepped in to share election and voting information on Cowtown Conversations on 90.1 FM KKFI. In case you missed it, you can listen here.

Housing Affordability in Johnson County

Does an adequate supply of safe, suitable, affordable housing exist in Johnson County for all members of the community? Read what the LWVJoCo Housing Affordablity Study Committee found out.

Wind Energy Becomes More Powerful in Kansas

Kansas is squarely placed in the center of America’s wind tunnel and is second only to Texas in the highest wind potential. Find out how the state is harnessing that potential. 

Voting in JoCo: What You Need to Know

On your November ballot. you will choose a candidate for governor, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, insurance commissioner and Kansas House representative. Voters will also select the third district congressional representative, and choose among the candidates for chair and district seats on the Board of County Commissioners. Several Johnson County (10th District Court) judges will be up for retention as well.

Learn about these candidates at vote411.org

Read the recently released Johnson County Bar Association member survey to help inform your decisions about the retention of the judges.

Important dates:

  • October 22-November 3: Advance voting in person.
  • November 5: Advance voting 8 a.m.- noon only at the Election Office.
  • November 6: Election Day Polls open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Useful links:

Voting Is a Treat

Trick or vote postcards. Download and print these postcards to promote voting while handing out candy. Or leave handouts at each house you visit on Halloween.

Welcome, New Members

Seven people joined LWVJoCo during the past month: Polly Robertus, Megan and Michael Wizniak, Mary Senecal, Katherine Downing, Rebecca James and Richard Weast.

And as always, we remind members to renew their memberships, which expired June 30. Renew online—it’s fast and easy.

Member Spotlight

Lee Rowe

Lee Rowe has worked to protect and improve our democracy throughout her life, from her 55 years as a LWV member to serving as mayor of Emporia. Read why she has remained committed to LWV for more than five decades.

Observer Corps

Overland Park City Council’s final plans for Thompson Park and an emergency access road for JCCC through Stoll Park 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

  • The 2019 Great Decision books are now available for sale on the International Relations Council (IRC) website. Buy your book through the IRC for $25 (including shipping to your home in early January). The LWVJoCo Great Decisions discussion group will probably meet again on Monday evenings starting in February. For more information, contact Nan Wilson at 913-262-3104.
  • The board approved a diversity statement for the website.
  • In October, members of the Voter Services Committee orchestrated 38 registration events. Co-chair Becky White also trained volunteers of the Islamic Center of Johnson County so they could conduct future registration drives.
  • During the October monthly meeting, members filled out 47 postcards inviting former first ladies Laura Bush and Michelle Obama to come to Kansas during centennial celebrations for LWV and the 19th Amendment.
  • The Speakers Bureau hosted six presentations in October to area organizations, including the Shawnee Mission chapter of the American Association of University Women, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Poplar Place senior residence, AARP and Overland Park P.E.O. Sisterhood.
  • Area media outlets—including the bilingual newspaper 2mas2kc—mentioned LWVJoCo seven times in October, thanks to efforts of the Communications Committee.
  • Treasurer Anita Kaiser represented LWVJoCo at the state League Day in Wichita. Read highlights of the meeting.
  • Member Liz Kumar was the winner of our gift basket drawing after the October meeting. All members who renewed or joined by September 30 were eligible to win.
  • The board needs volunteers to help with event planning, hospitality, communications and the Speakers Bureau. If you are interested, please email our membership team.


Find out more about what the state League is doing.

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