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March 2019
Vol. 69 No. 10

In this issue:


Proposed reorganization

Spotlight on member Lynn Hardy

Voter registration at area high schools

In Memoriam


diversity, equity and inclusion in johnson countySaturday, March 2

9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Atonement Lutheran Church

Overland Park

LWV is fully committed to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in principle and in practice. DEI is 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.

Tricia Bushnell is the executive director of the Midwest Innocence Project and 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. He also serves as secretary of Equality Kansas-Metro KC, a statewide grassroots organization working to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

LWVJoCo—New and Improved?

Your board is busy designing the proposed Reorganization for Agility and Action. The goal? To empower more voters in 2020. Currently, Voter Services co-chairs elected in May have only three months before the August primary. Starting in March gives their team more time to schedule voter registration events, reach students before their summer break and hold candidate forums.

Proposed changes include:

Holding the annual meeting in March (not May), giving two extra months before the August primary.

Partnering earlier with other organizations.

Breaking the huge Voter Services Committee into two branches: Registration & Follow-up and Education & Information.

Starting a new Advocacy branch that targets local and state government.

Utilizing volunteer time and energy better with more technology and software.

Adopting the fiscal year of April 1 through March 31, like most Kansas leagues and LWV Kansas.

Implementing changes during a one-time transition year (June 2019 through March 2020).

Concerning membership:

  • Dues stay the same.
  • All memberships would cover 12 months.
  • The annual, online renewal notices would go out in your anniversary month.
  • For current members (305 as of 2/18/19!), the anniversary month would be July. For folks joining after July 1, 2019, it would be their specific month.

What’s next? On April 4, members will get an online information package including the proposed Reorganization for Agility and Action. A month later, May 4, the proposal will be part of the “votable” items at our annual business meeting. The bottom line: The proposed reorganization will help our League move to the next level in empowering voters.

Questions, concerns? Just let me know.

Ellen Miller, LWVJoCo president

ellen3147@gmail.com; 913-894-5232

Have you considered running for office?

Local municipalities and school boards have elections this year. And we always need engaged, informed citizens to run for office!

June 3 is the deadline for candidates to file for office in 2019. All local races are nonpartisan. Some of the offices open:

Mayor and/or council members: Bonner Springs, DeSoto, Edgerton, Fairway, Gardner, Lake Quivira, Leawood, Lenexa, Merriam, Mission, Mission Hills, Mission Woods, Olathe, Overland Park, Prairie Village, Roeland Park, Shawnee, Spring Hill, Westwood, and Westwood Hills

School boards: Blue Valley, Spring Hill, Gardner Edgerton, DeSoto, Olathe, Wellsville, Eudora, and Shawnee Mission

Johnson County Community College Board of Trustees

Water District #1 Board Positions

Go to the Johnson County Election Office website to find out more or to file for races.

Don't Block the Sun on KansasLegislation Takes on the KCP&L/Westar Rate Plan 

Residential customers in the Westar Energy and Kansas City Power and Light service areas stand to benefit from the Kansas Energy Fairness Act, a bill introduced on behalf of the Clean Energy Business Council that would prevent the Kansas Corporation Commission from imposing demand charges on residential solar and wind users. Read more about the legislation designed to support solar and wind energy.


Johnella NewtonIn Memoriam

Johnella Newton, who helped organize and lead the Wyandotte County League of Women Voters and championed voting rights throughout her life, died on Feb. 13. She was 96.

Johnella grew up in Chanute, Kan. and graduated from Kansas State Teachers College of Pittsburg in 1945. She began teaching in elementary schools and later transferred to Southwest High School in Kansas City, Mo., where she taught until retirement. She joined LWVJoCo in 2009 when the Wyandotte County chapter dissolved.

Marguerite Lohrenz, a sister WYCO League member, shared these thoughts: “Johnella was a devout, caring, strong and independent woman, with a lifetime interest in the larger world, social progress and justice. Members like Johnella should be remembered for their tenacity and loyalty. They are the foundation on which we all can continue to build.”

Her memorial service will be take place March 1. For details, read her obituary.

Welcome, New Members

Eleven people joined LWVJoCo during the past month: Bonnie Limbird, Lisa Larson-Bunnell, Wandra Minor, Janet Clevenger-Allen, Betzaida Imperiale, Marie Hernandez (our 300th member!), Jan Brunks, Sally Jercha, Jan Horosz, Elizabeth Witten and  Sharon Ritter.

member spotlight on Lynn HardyMember Spotlight

Lynn Hardy

Lynn Hardy has been a committed Leaguer for several years. Recently, she helped organize our League Day at the Capitol. Read why she thinks the League is so important.

Observer Corps

The new Lenexa library, the BluHawk Project and the redevelopment of the Indian Springs Mall 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.

New Member Meet & GreetNew Member Meet & Greet

Sunday, March 31, 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

We invite new members to snack, sip and socialize with us. At this casual afternoon event, learn about League opportunities, connect with other members, ask questions, and enjoy tasty treats. 

RSVP: Karin Leacox, membership chair at membership@lwvjoco.org or 913-2780-2202. It will be held at a private home in Olathe near 119th and Pflumm. Contact Karin for the address and driving directions.


Board and Committee Updates

Show Your LWV Spirit

Pick up one of these vibrant T-shirts, and wear them proudly! They are $15. Look for the merchandise table at the March 2 meeting or contact Ann Norbury.

  • The Voter Services team is working to set up voter registration events at high schools in Olathe, Shawnee Mission, KCK and Turner school districts as well as area Catholic high schools and community colleges. If you are interested in registering voters, email Becky White. 
  • LWVJoCo will present the Making Democracy Work award at the May meeting. Criteria for an honoree’s work or action include: innovative and unique, nonpartisan, and can be replicated. If you know of people who have made significant efforts in the community to encourage active, informed citizenship, please email suggestions to Diane Kuhn.
  • LWVJoCo will host four Legislative Coffees in March. See the full schedule.
  • SAVE THE DATE: LWV Kansas Convention will be in Manhattan on Saturday, April 27, at the Bluemont Hotel. Rooms must be reserved by March 26.

Find out more about what the state League is doing.

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