Our monthly newsletter, The VOTER, provides information on the League’s programs and events. Subscribe to our email list and get it delivered to your inbox.
Vol. 69 No. 11
In this issue:
Member survey results
Spotlight on Amber Sellers
LWV State Convention
Saturday, April 6
9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Water quality is more timely than ever after record flooding along the Missouri River impaired treatment of drinking supplies in Kansas City, Mo.
Join us for a discussion about the safety and affordability of clean water in Johnson County and what we need to do to keep it that way.
Volunteer groups need member opinions and ideas. January offered our Leaguers two opportunities: the planning session, where about 85 people offered hundreds of suggestions, and an online survey about funding options. A large majority, 81 percent of the 93 respondents, indicated that staying at Atonement Lutheran Church for “first-Saturday morning” meetings made financial sense.
February’s online survey targeted LWVJoCo’s proposed Reorganization for Agility and Action. Fifty-nine members listed their own advocacy actions and indicated their likelihood of continuing.
Findings include the League should:
√ Do more to help members feel comfortable about contacting local and state elected officials on public policy issues.
√ Provide talking points.
√ Alert members about deadlines for their advocacy, which can be as early as the next morning for the Kansas Legislature.
With 315 members as of March 22, we use a variety of ways to invite member input. Keep an eye out for future surveys; we need your ideas!
Ellen Miller, LWVJoCo president
Nearly 400 people have attended the four Legislative Coffees co-sponsored by the League and Johnson County Library System this spring. This is nearly double past turnouts. The number of legislators participating has grown, too. After the formal question-and-answer period, they also stay for conversation.
As the crowds have grown, balancing civility with the public’s desire for information has been a challenge at times. That’s why League members and library staff often discuss ways to make the sessions more informative. Improvements for the two remaining Johnson County coffees will include closely monitoring speaker time limits and reminding the audience of guidelines for their comments.
Leaguers have special responsibilities at these public events. Being a nonpartisan organization means neither supporting nor opposing any candidate or political party. When you identify yourself as a Leaguer — such as wearing a LWV shirt or commenting in public forums hosted by the League — keep partisan comments to yourself. Remaining nonpartisan in our public actions is vital to our effectiveness as an organization. That will honor the trust people have in us.
At the May 4 annual meeting, members will vote on a proposed reorganization. The goal is to empower more voters by starting sooner each year. Currently, our Voter Services co-chairs, elected in May, have only three months before the August primary. Starting in March will allow more time to schedule voter registration events, reach students before their summer break and hold candidate forums.
Proposed changes include:
- Gain two extra months to organize events and members before the August primary (March annual meeting, not May).
- Partner earlier with more nonpartisan organizations.
- Divide the huge Voter Services Committee into two specialties: Voter Registration & Follow-up and Voter Information.
- Create a new Advocacy Committee to train members and inform our community about public issues.
- Save volunteer time by using convenient, efficient technology, such as SignUp Genius.
- Dues stay the same through March 2020.
- All memberships would cover 12 months, as we would now be a year-round organization.
- Current members continue to renew in July. New members would renew the month they joined.
Our May 4 event will start at 8:30 a.m. with a continental breakfast. Space is limited for the breakfast. (Of course, all are welcome to listen to our featured speaker, Davis Hammet of Loud Light, at 9 a.m. and to attend the annual meeting, which will start about 10 a.m.)
Meet Project Drawdown: 100 Solutions to Reverse Global Warming
LWVJoCo has a new Climate Change Task Force. In the coming months, the task force will be sharing information about climate change and ways that we can make a difference.
Climate change has been a hot topic in the news in the past few months. You may have read about Project Drawdown. Drawdown’s goal is to reduce carbon in the atmosphere. To do this, they have applied scientific knowledge to identify the top 100 solutions to global warming. These ideas are viable and financially feasible.
To learn more about Project Drawdown, watch this 11-minute introduction or a 17-minute TedTalk by strategist Chad Frischmann. You’ll also find many other videos by going to YouTube and searching for Drawdown.
Welcome, New Members
Eight people joined LWVJoCo during the past month: Claire Reagan, Teresa Erb, Barbara Chaplin, Charlotte Davison, Elise Altenbernd, Lisa Timmon, Meg Shoffner and Melissa Smith.
Since joining in 2017, Amber Sellers has wasted no time getting involved in much of the League’s work. Read more about Amber and her contributions.
Johnson County commissioners’ discussion of the housing insecure and Prairie Village’s move toward wind energy were 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
Join the 2020 Census Team
2020 Census results will help determine each state’s representation in Congress, as well as how funds are spent for schools, hospitals, roads and more. This is your chance to play a part in history and help ensure that everyone in your community is counted!
The Census Bureau is already recruiting to fill important temporary positions. Find out more about job qualifications and how to apply.
- Meeting Basic Human Needs Position Statement: The LWVJoco study committee that reviewed the proposed Kansas League’s position statement on meeting basic human needs recently submitted its report. Read this update that includes the report and how they came up with their 23 recommendations with corresponding strategies.
- The Voter Services team has been out in force registering voters at Kansas City Kansas Community College (at the main campus three times and at the technical education campus once), the Kansas City Kansas main library, Donnelly College and the Kansas School for the Deaf. Another voter registration training is scheduled for Sunday, April 28 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Central Resource Library on 87th Street. If you are interested in registering voters, email Becky White.
- Join us at the LWV Kansas Convention! The organization is growing across the state. Attend the convention on Saturday, April 27 in Manhattan so we can work together to inform, empower and inspire more Kansans. Register now. Those interested in carpooling to and from the convention that day can email Amber Stenger.
- LWVJoCo will host a Legislative Coffee on April 13. Get details.
Find out more about what the state League is doing.
Prefer to print the newsletter? Download now.
We welcome your feedback! Please contact the newsletter editor.
Our monthly newsletter, The VOTER, provides information on League programs and events. Get it delivered to your inbox. Subscribe for free!