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President's UpdateYou Directed, Board Responded

Each annual meeting finishes up by giving members the opportunity to provide directions to the board. Do all items see the light of day? No, because the board evaluates each in the context of our entire list of priorities and resources.

Thanks to those who spoke at the May 4 session. The board discussed them at its July meeting. Here are the seven “directions,” with the board’s disposition:

  1. Share the affordable housing study/position with the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC). Disposition: We shared the study with MARC, the Johnson County manager’s office and United Community Services, the entities most likely to move this issue forward. 
  2. Advocate that the Johnson County Election Office exercise the county-by-county option that allows voters to use any polling place in the county on election day. Disposition: The board noted that this possibility won’t occur until the Kansas secretary of state writes rules and regulations for the counties to follow. LWVK will be asked to follow this.
  3. Prepare a new LWVJoCo brochure to reflect our DEI priorities. Disposition: The two DEI co-chairs are working with the Communications Team to prepare a new handout in time for the August 26 Preview Party.
  4. Monitor issues related to the renewal of the Johnson County Home Rule Charter in 2020, such as proposals to change from nonpartisan to partisan elections. Disposition: This important issue is on the new Advocacy Planning Team’s goal list. Later this year, we will name one or two people to monitor the 2020 Charter Commission.
  5. Establish high school arts and activism scholarships. Disposition: The board confirmed its February 2019 decision to not pursue at this time; our highest priority for this transition year is preparing to empower voters in 2020.
  6. Fill the 1,300-seat Yardley Hall for the 2020 Centennial Celebration in February. We appreciate the foresight of Janis McMillen and Dolores Furtado who championed budgeting for the celebration over the last 20 years. Disposition: The board has committed significant funding for this event (speaker, venue, etc.). And the 2020 Centennial Celebration Committee is working closely with the Communications Team for maximum promotion.
  7. Act on—don’t just study—issues, such as those outlined by Davis Hammet at our 2019 annual meeting. Disposition: Personal member activism is on the new Advocacy Planning Team’s goal list. And it will be a major 2019-2020 theme for LWVJoCo, starting at the Preview Party. If you are interested in helping LWVJoCo build its advocacy team, please contact Leslie Sullivan, who is leading our efforts.

Your feedback and ideas are essential! Do check in with the “info table” at Saturday morning meetings. Respond to online surveys. Even come to a monthly board meeting, which is always held the second Tuesday of the month (check our events calendar for details). We’d love to have you.

Questions? Concerns? Just let me know.

Ellen Miller, LWVJoCo president

ellen3147@gmail.com; 913-894-5232

member gift basket

Enter to win a gift basket when you join or renew during the Preview Party.

Power’d Up for 2020

Join us as we kick off our 100th year of empowering voters: 6 to 8 p.m., Monday, Aug. 26, at Olathe Community Center. At this year’s preview party, we’ll share all of the ways we plan to make our democracy more effective, inclusive and vibrant as we head into the 2020 elections and census.

Browse the committee displays and choose a way to get involved.

Members, please bring finger foods to share. Please choose according to your last name.
A -M: Vegetable trays, cheese and crackers, dips
N- Z: Fruits, cookies, nuts

Browse our League merchandise for sale:

  • “Your VOTE Matters” yard signs for $10
  • “Voting is Good for the Constitution” red T-shirt for $15
  • “Your Vote Counts” car magnets for $5
  • Rhinestone “VOTE” pin for $20

Come prepared to join or renew. Or pay dues in advance with our easy online system at lwvjoco.org

It’s Time to Get Your Sticker!

Grab a friend or neighbor and head to the polls. Advance voting in person starts July 29 and continues through August 3. Find a location and time that works best for you.

Before you vote, check our our website for information on the August 6 primary, including the breakdown of the primary races in both Johnson and Wyandotte counties. Vote411.org also has information about candidates in your races. You can find videotaped interviews with the Johnson County Board of Trustees candidates at VOTEJOCO.

Pushing Back / Marching Forward

Again this year, LWVJoCo is partnering with the Women’s Equality Coalition (previously Women’s Equality Week) to advance issues and events concerning women in the Greater Kansas City area. The coalition focuses its efforts in three areas: pay equity, voting rights and violence against women.

In April, the group was instrumental in getting the city of Kansas City to agree to start a study of gender equity in its payroll.

As it starts its sixth year, the bistate, multicounty organization changed its name to reflect its new commitment to dispersing events throughout the year. The coalition will still host several events in August to recognize and celebrate Women’s Equality Day, which is Aug. 26. In November, events will spotlight prevention of violence against women.

Find information about the Aug. 25 launch event on the coalition’s Facebook page.

Make Our Meetings More Delicious

We all love the snacks and breakfast items at our League monthly meetings. Please consider being one of the members who bring those items. You can contribute food each meeting or just once or twice.

Please email Gloria Hiller if you are interested in bringing food at least occasionally. After she gets your name and email address, she will email you before the monthly meetings with a link to SignUpGenius where you can sign up. We’re using this online tool to organize the treats at monthly meetings this year.

Thank you for making our meetings more inviting…and more tasty!

Make time to see this short documentary film, which tells the story of how global migration transformed and enriched Garden City. Steve Lerner, the film’s co-director, will be on hand to lead a discussion.

Add to your calendar.

Mary Lou JaramilloMember Spotlight

Mary Lou Jaramillo

Read why the former executive director of El Centro and the Mattie Rhodes Center thinks the League is a good way to continue to serve the community. 


Welcome, New Members

Seven people joined LWVJoCo during the past month: Victoria Smith, Judy Snyder, Ardena Matlack, Beth Collins, Diana King, Missy Smith and Marisel Walston.

Have you had a chance to renew? Most memberships expired June 30. Renewing is fast and simple. 

Shawnee City Council to Discuss NDO

At its Aug. 13 meeting, the Shawnee City Council will be considering a nondiscrimination ordinance (NDO) to protect LGBTQ+ people. Several cities in Johnson County have passed similar NDOs this year.

Consider attending the meeting to show support for protecting LGBTQ+ individuals in our communities.

Observer Corps

The feasibility of combining a library, YMCA and community center in Prairie Village and Johnson County’s services to vulnerable populations were among the many issues recently discussed in public meetings. Read summaries created by several League members who attend these public meetings regularly.

Board and Committee Updates

  • Your Voice In Government: Carrie Lancaster, advocacy director for the League of Women Voters of Kansas, shared her expertise and experience advocating for issues in the state legislature during two workshops in July. About 20 Johnson County residents used library computers to follow along as Carrie showed them how to navigate the Kansas Legislature website. Thanks to Carrie for helping us become more effective advocates, and thanks to LWVJoCo members Marcia Manter, Christine Caseres and Leslie Sullivan for organizing these workshops.
  • At a retreat in July, the board spent time learning about how to make our League more inclusive of people of different races, socioeconomic backgrounds, genders, religions, age, sexual orientation and disabilities. Mary Lou Jamarillo and Ann Sanders, our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) directors, created a presentation to educate and inform board members about the many issues to consider. Our DEI goals will be included in board meetings throughout the year. All members are encouraged to watch DEI webinars LWV has hosted throughout the year.
  • The League is considering using member management software so volunteers can spend less time administrating and more time empowering voters. We would appreciate hearing about your experience with any member management software you’ve used in your other volunteer work. Please email Amber Stenger with your comments.

Find out more about what the state League is doing.

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