September Meeting: Voting Matters
Here’s your chance to ask your questions about elections. Join us for a conversation with the election commissioners of three of Kansas’ largest counties: Ronnie Metsker of Johnson County, Bruce Newby of Wyandotte County and Tabitha Lehman of Sedgwick County.
Sam Zeff of KCUR will lead the discussion about the main issues affecting when and where many Kansans can vote.
Join us on Saturday, Sept. 7 at Atonement Lutheran Church. Come at 8:30 to enjoy coffee and treats. Get details.
You Are An Essential Ingredient!
What do carrot cake and LWVJoCo have in common? Classic, time-tested ingredients beloved by all. Serving as the delectable cream cheese icing for the cake are three popular League activities:
√ Voter registration—over 80 members currently signed up
√ Naturalization ceremonies—over 40 names on the list
√ Experts educating us—100+ attendance on Saturdays at Atonement Lutheran Church
What’s missing? All of the other ingredients. That cake needs flour, eggs and more. Our League needs you to “Power Up for 2020: People, Plans, Progress.” Defending democracy has never been more important. It means tackling large and small jobs now to prepare for the crucially important 2020 elections.
LWVJoCo needs additional hands now to:
- Bring goodies for Saturday mornings.
- Be an observer at city council or school board meetings.
- Tell the League story to community groups.
- Help with media outreach.
- Do online research for board projects.
- Donate money (our chapter keeps only $10 of our $60 individual memberships).
- Greet and welcome folks at events.
My challenge to our 300+ members? Add one more item to your current LWVJoCo list! And be an “extra miler” honoree at the March 2020 Annual Meeting. Our community deserves our best efforts in 2020.
Questions? Concerns? Just let me know.
Ellen Miller, LWVJoCo president
JCCC Candidate Forum
Why Care about the JCCC Board of Trustees Election?
If you don’t study, teach or work at Johnson County Community College (JCCC), you may wonder why you are asked to vote to elect the board that oversees it. The short answer: Your tax dollars help fund the college. So, just how is your money used?
JCCC’s stated mission is to inspire learning to transform lives and strengthen communities. Seven members of the community are elected to four-year terms to serve on the Board of Trustees to help lead the college. Currently, six candidates are running for three seats.
These statistics help illustrate the impact the college has on our community:
- 2,300+ people work either full- or part-time at the college
- 25,000+ graduates in the past 10 years
- $732+ million local economic impact
- 175 community arts and cultural events each year
Take time to learn about the people currently running for the board. Attend this candidate forum at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 3, in Hudson Auditorium in the Nerman Museum. The forum is co-sponsored by LWVJoCo and the JCCC Faculty Association.
Get Ready to Celebrate!
The League of Women Voters grew out of the long struggle to achieve the vote for women. The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified on Aug. 18, 1920, ending almost a century of protest nationally.
The LWV of Kansas has organized several events throughout the state to celebrate. Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker and LWV President Chris Carson helped kick off our yearlong celebration at a luncheon Aug. 24 in Wichita.
Our local celebration will be Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020 and feature Treasurer Rosie Rios. Tickets are on sale now.
Events and activities throughout the state will be listed and updated regularly at www.lwvk.org. The celebration will culminate in a statewide march to the polls in August 2020. Marchers will walk from election offices or courthouses into targeted neighborhoods and hold voter registration rallies and register voters.
Take Part in LWVJoCo’s Get-Out-the-Vote Efforts
Do you know any infrequent voters or people who never vote? You may be surprised to learn that you do, and it is likely that your encouragement could inspire them to become voters!
Research shows that the most effective way to get a voter to the polls is for someone they know to ask them to vote. That’s why once again LWVJoCo is participating in Mainstream Coalition’s Voter to Voter program.
During the general election in 2018, 82 percent of the voters contacted through this peer-to-peer advocacy program voted, which is much higher than the 56 percent turnout statewide. The 75 percent turnout among infrequent voters was even more exciting. Turnout among infrequent voters statewide was 33 percent.
Here’s how to join LWVJoCo’s Voter to Voter team:
o Sign up: Contact Jill Quigley (913-541-9645).
o Get trained: Attend a training for League members on Saturday, Sept. 7 immediately following the monthly meeting, OR take one of the many webinars from the comfort of your home.
o Identify 10 infrequent or non-voters. (We have a simple way to help you do this.)
o Give those voters voting information: Share where, when, why and how to vote. This is a nonpartisan effort, so you won’t be telling them for whom they should vote.
o Shepherd them to the polls.
In the 2018 general election, LWVJoCo’s Voter to Voter team got 250 voters to the polls (83 percent of those contacted). Can we match that turnout for the November 5 election?
Member Spotlight: Eileen Marshall
Our new Observer Corps chair thinks that diversification in all areas is critical for the League’s future. Learn more about Eileen Marshall and why she donates her time to the League.
Welcome, New Members
Nine people joined LWVJoCo during the past month: Rich Robinson, Dorothy Crooks, Kelli Broers, Carla Labunski, Helene Gesink, Art and Diane Federman, Ann Stern and Stephanie Sage.
Have you renewed your membership? Many memberships expired June 30. Renewing is fast and simple.
Prairie Village’s power grid plan, the new county courthouse and a staffing and space consolidation project at the Central Library are among the many topics reported by our Observer Corps.
Read summaries created by several League members who attend these public meetings regularly.
Board and Committee Updates
- Our Membership team is initiating a trial system for name tags. Beginning Sept. 7, members will be given their pin-on name tags to keep and manage themselves. As our membership grows, this will allow us to make better use of resources and space. New members will continue to receive a pin-on name tag, and adhesive ones will always be available, too. Members can order permanent magnetic tags for $10 at the Welcome Table at monthly meetings.
- At the August Naturalization Ceremony in Kansas City, Kansas, 89 people became new citizens. Our Naturalization Ceremony Committee registered 75 of those new citizens!
- Are you interested in local politics but not sure how to get involved? Try being part of the Observer Corps. Observers attend the meetings of a local elected board or council and write a short report for our newsletter. We learn a lot about what is happening in our own area and get to share it with League members. No training is needed; we will help you get started. We currently have 20 observers attending 13 different meetings, but we have the following openings: Shawnee Mission School Board and the city councils of Merriam, Overland Park, Mission, Roeland Park, Shawnee and Olathe. For more information, contact Eileen Marshall.
- The morning sessions of the Climate Action Summit on Saturday, Sept. 14 at JCCC are sold out. But you can still come hear Paul Hawken of Drawdown, Rep. Sharice Davids and Mayor Quinton Lucas speak starting at 2:15 p.m. Make plans to attend!
- The board approved a policy to serve as a guide for our Communications Committee when monitoring public comments on social media.
- At each meeting, the board has been devoting time to the discussion of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). This month, DEI chairs Ann Sanders and Mary Lou Jaramillo asked members to take a cultural awareness assessment. Then, they led a discussion about which areas LWVJoCo leaders should prioritize to help the chapter realize the full potential of its DEI initiative.
- Take a moment to review LWVJoCo’s Position Handbook. Members Ann Norbury and Susan Horst recently updated the handbook to include our new position on housing affordability.
- Confused about SB 130? The Kansas Legislature passed SB 130 in the 2019 session, combining several bills about voting and elections into one, which has led to some confusion. Voters will NOT be able to go to any polling place in their county and have their vote count in the upcoming November General Election. To ease both the concerns of voters and voter registration volunteers, LWVK Voter Services Chair Janice Walker prepared a handy sheet to share with League members and voters. Feel free to share it!
Find out more about what the state League is doing.
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