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What is the status of women’s access to reproductive health care in Kansas?

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.

Come at 8:30 a.m. and enjoy food provided by our hospitality volunteers. We are unable to provide coffee, so please feel free to bring your own caffeinated beverage.

The program begins at 9 a.m.

NOTE THE LOCATION: To accommodate a larger crowd, this meeting will be at Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse at 9101 Nall Ave., which is a departure from our regular Saturday morning meeting venue.

The public is welcome to attend.

President's Update

When “Take-Home Pay” Isn’t Enough

LWVJoCo runs a frugal ship. Some would say threadbare. Last year, we lived on about $11,000 “take-home pay” out of a budget of $20,180. Why?

  • Individual membership costs $60/year. Yet $50 of this goes to the national ($32) and state ($18) leagues, totaling 83%.
  • Out of that $60 membership, we get to keep only $10 – just 17%.




Keeping Only 17% of Dues Impacts Finances

Money facts

That $10 we keep from member dues comprises, on average, 40% of our income. Another 60% comes from contributions to the IRS 501(c)(3) Education Fund plus fundraising (e.g., “Giving Tuesday”). But that amount varies. Not surprisingly, CD interest is virtually 0%.  

Expenses come in two varieties:  traditional and new

Traditional includes Atonement Lutheran Church rental, insurance, partial delegate costs to the LWVUS convention and supplies/coffee. We also support other groups, such as the Women’s Equality Coalition and Grandmothers Against Gun Violence.

New, or larger, expense categories include:

  • Diverse venues for special events (indoor July picnic,  August preview party and the Holiday Party)
  • Proven technology that lets us work smarter and tell our story better. Examples include electronic tablets for online voter registration and consultant help with our website.  
  • Cost-sharing with new partners to get out the vote, such as Souls to the Polls outreach with Wyandotte County faith and civic groups


LWVJoCo budgets face two major problems. First, contributions and donations aren’t predictable. Second, keeping only $10 from individual dues isn’t enough. Defending democracy takes more than volunteer enthusiasm, sweat and time. It takes money. Our frugal $11,000 “take-home pay” can’t stretch far enough to meet changing and growing voter needs.  

Recommended dues increase

The Budget Committee and your board propose that when our new fiscal year starts in April 2020:

  • Individual membership/year would increase $10, from $60 to $70.
  • A second, household membership/year would increase $5, from $30 to $35.

These two increases would total $3200, resulting in a balanced budget.

Nobody likes cost increases. But we need to match our commitments with adequate resources. In mid-February, members will get the proposed FY 2020-21 budget. Please review it and be ready to vote at the March 7 annual meeting at Atonement Lutheran Church. Our future service depends on our members’ decision.

Questions, concerns? Just let me know.

Ellen Miller, LWVJoCo president

ellen3147@gmail.com; 913-894-5232


Take your favorite people, especially the women who have made a difference in your life, to Yardley Hall on Feb. 29, 2020 to celebrate strong women.

Our keynote speaker, former U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios, is the embodiment of empowered women. As the 43rd Treasurer of the United States, she led efforts to put a woman’s portrait on the front of US currency for the first time in the nation’s history. She currently leads Empowerment 2020, a movement that focuses on the recognition of historic American women, It provides a collective voice advocating for women in senior leadership positions and investment programs for both women and girls.

Nick Haines of KCPT will emcee the program.

At the reception following the program, we will share a festive cake to mark LWV’s 100th anniversary.

Read Rosie’s full bio.

empowering women to leadJudge Robinson to Speak at Annual Meeting

Join us Saturday, March 7, as we celebrate empowered women. Our featured speaker is Judge Julie A. Robinson, the first African American named to the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. She will share 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.

8:30 a.m. Continental breakfast ($5, pay at the event)

9:15 a.m. “Empowering Women to Lead” featuring U.S. District Court Judge Julie A. Robinson

10 a.m. LWVJoCo annual meeting (voting on 2020-2021 officers and budget, 501(c)(3) status)

The breakfast is $5. Reservations are required for the breakfast and are due by Feb. 28. (Space is limited to 100 people.)

Judge Robinson’s presentation is free and open to the public.

Reserve your spot for breakfast now. Pay with check or cash at the event.

Help Wanted graphic“What can I do?”

Your source for opportunities to help Make Democracy Work! We need YOU.


January 30 – Souls to the Polls, Wyandotte County.

Work with faith and other groups to turn out the vote.

Oak Ridge Baptist Church, 9301 Parallel Pkway, KCK, 66112, 6:30-8 p.m.

Contact Ann Sanders at elizabethannsanders@yahoo.com by Jan. 20.

February 13—Day of Action, Topeka.

Part of LWVUS’ new “Fair Maps” national redistricting initiative.

Get facts, then meet with legislators. Free lunch provided.

Carpool. 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Contact Ann Norbury at annknorbury@gmail.com by Feb. 5.

YouTube Subscribers Needed

This good deed couldn’t be any easier. Go to our YouTube channel and click the subscribe button. When we have at least 50 subscribers, we can customize our URL, which will make it easier for others to find us.

Mark Your Calendar for Legislative Coffees

Find out what’s brewing in the Kansas Legislature for 2020!

The Johnson County Library and LWVJoCo invite current Kansas legislators to a Saturday morning coffee to inform residents about legislative actions in Topeka. Legislators will discuss their committee assignments, current bills and upcoming legislation. Coffee and donuts provided.

Johnson County Legislative Coffees (All start at 10 a.m.)

Jan. 25: Corinth Library, 8100 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS

Sen. Pat Pettey, Reps, Stephanie Clayton, Jarrod Ousley, Jerry Stogsdill, Rui Xu

Feb. 8: Blue Valley Library, 9000 W. 151st St., Overland Park, KS

Sen. Molly Baumgardner, Reps. David Benson, Cindy Holscher

Feb. 22: Lenexa City Center Library, 8778 Penrose Lane,. Lenexa, KS

Sen. Dinah Sykes, Reps. Brett Parker, Susan Ruiz, Brandon Woodard

March 14: Monticello Library, 22435 W. 66th Street. Shawnee, KS

Sen. Barbara Bollier; Rep Tom Cox

March 28: Gardner Library, 137 E. Shawnee St., Gardner, KS

Sens. Molly Baumgardner, Julie Lynn; Rep John Resman

April 11: Central Resource Library, 9875 W. 87th Street, Overland Park, KS

Sens. Barbara Bollier, John Skubal; Reps.Jan Kessinger, Nancy Lusk

Wyandotte County Legislative Coffees

Current Kansas legislators are invited to share info about legislative actions in Topeka, Senators and representatives will discuss their committee assignments, current bills and upcoming legislation. Coffee and donuts provided.

March 28: 

Main Library, 625 Minnesota Ave., Kansas City, KS, 10:30 a.m. to noon

Bonner Springs Library, 201 Nettleton Ave., Bonner Springs, 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Great Decisions

For those who signed up for Great Decisions: By now you should have received the 2020 Briefing Book if you plan to join this year’s Great Decisions discussion group. If not, there is still time to order by calling the IRC at 816-897-6474.

The first meeting will be Monday, February 10 at the Oak Park Library at 6:30, when the group will discuss the first article on Climate Change.


Member Spotlight: Claire Reagan


Civic engagement leads to a new interest for this high school English teacher.

Learn more about Claire.




Stacy Hetz

Sara Kurtz

Diane Stewart

Mapi Buitano

Nancy Anstaett

Jennifer Bauer


Need to renew your membership? Renewing is fast and simple.   

Observer Corps icon

Observer Corps

Catch up on the actions, decisions and proposals of our local public officials. 

Read summaries by League members who attend several public meetings in our area.

This month, highlights include:

  • The Parks and Recreation Division is concerned about challenges by five “Big Box” stores to the Kansas Board of Tax Appeals against their Johnson County Tax Appraisals.
  • The Johnson County Library has added streaming services, and some details of the Comprehensive Master Plan were discussed.
  • The Overland Park City Council approved changes to the Overland Park Arboretum, which include a new visitors center and an amphitheater with lawn seating for 850.

2020CensusBoard and Committee Updates

  • The next U.S. Census launches April 1, 2020. Let’s start talking about the importance of EVERYONE being counted with Johnson County’s Count Me in JoCo campaign. In 2020, for the first time, the census will be available to take completely online in addition to the traditional methods of phone, mail and home visits. For more information on the census in Johnson County, visit CountMeInJoCo.org
  • The Board approved a request for $125 from the Advocacy Committee to hire a vendor to sort our membership list into state senate and house districts. The Advocacy Committee will use this newly created list to build powerful teams, The goal is to make LWVJoCo’s 300+ voices more effective in advocating on priority 2020 policy issues.
  • Love fried foods on sticks and livestock exhibits? Plan to attend the Kansas State Fair and help support the LWV of Kansas! The state League is looking for volunteers to work in our voter registration and information booth to accompany our traveling exhibit. The fair is in Hutchinson, Sept. 11-20. If you are interested, contact Ann Zimmerman of the Salina League at ann@annzimmerman.com or 785-825-7135. Volunteers must pay their own expenses for travel, lodging and meals.

Find out more about what the state League is doing.

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