Making Democracy Work

Because democracy is not a spectator sport!

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. We influence public policy through education and advocacy.

WHAT'S NEW?

April 17. Please mark your calendars for "Legislative Threats to Women's Health," our next brown-bag meeting on April 17. Our guest speaker, Elise Higgins, serves as Kansas Manager of Government Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri. She advocates for reproductive rights in Kansas at grassroots and legislative levels. This is an opportunity to learn about issues of public concern for women of varied ages and backgrounds, including Kansas students. Feel free to spread the word and bring guests. If you know of other interested groups, please invite them to help publicize the program. If you have questions or need transportation, please contact Margaret Arnold, 785-842-9989 or mjarnold[at]ku.edu. For additional details. visit our calendar.

April 19. All members are invited to join us for our Annual Meeting, featuring State Senator (and LWV L-DC member) Marci Francisco, speaking on "Recent legistlation, is it fair?." For more information, read on; for more details about Annual Meeting, including how to register for the event, visit our calendar.

March 26. The LWVL-DC Board of Directors has recommended adoption of a program for 2014-2016 and amendments to articles IV and IX of our bylaws. Both will be considered for adoption at our Annual Meeting on April 19th. Download a copy of the recommendation for Program here and a copy of the proposed amendments to our bylaws here.

The LWVL-DC Nominating Committee has presented a partial slate of officers and board members for the 2014-2015 League year. Elections will be held at our Annual Meeting. Download a copy of the nominations here.

March 28. Read the latest LWVK Legislative e-Reports for the 2014 session!

March 11. Laura D. Routh named 2014 Recipient of the Helen Fluker Open and Accessible Government Award by the LWV L-DC. The Lawrence-Douglas County League of Women Voters has selected Laura D. Routh to receive the 2014 Helen Fluker Open and Accessible Government Award. The Fluker Award honors a Douglas County resident who shows leadership in promoting citizen participation in government. Ms. Routh was recognized for her community leadership in multiple endeavors related to making government processes and agencies more accountable, accessible, and open.


2014 Fluker Award recipient Laura Routh (L) with LWV LDC Co-President Cille King (R)

2014 Fluker Award recipient Laura Routh (L) with LWV L-DC Co-President Cille King (R)

While working on completing her Master's degree in Public Administration at the University of Kansas, Ms. Routh was a continuous presence at City Hall, attending many City Commission and Advisory Board meetings to speak out for opening the decision-making process to the general public. She is a strong advocate for establishing a Citizens Review Board for the Lawrence Police and has testified for more accountability from the Police Department when they request additional city funding. Her passionate commitment to the environment led to her appointment as recording secretary and at-large member of the local Sustainability Advisory Board (SAB). Her proposal for greening tax abatements became the basis for the SAB policy, as did her suggestion for volume-based trash rates.

During the past year Routh served as Chair for the Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods, advocating for neighborhood issues and promoting public education of city issues such as rental registration and Rock Chalk Park. She is a founding member of MadreLawrence, an organization dedicated to boosting diversity and public participation in local government. She is currently Chair of the Lawrence Pedestrian Coalition where she has shown an ability to bring people together to work towards a specific issue..

"Laura's total commitment to using facts, strong data, and an open and transparent decision-making process may upset the apple cart for some people, but I feel it is ultimately for the greater good and enhances an open democracy for all", said Leslie Soden, 2012 City Commission candidate.

The award luncheon will be at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 22, at the Smith Center at Brandon Woods, 4730 Brandon Woods Terrace. Lunch is $14 a person. To make a reservation, contact Marjorie Cole at 842-6085 or nobledog[at]aol.com before March 20, 2014.

Read an announcement in the Lawrence Journal-World here.

December 12. At our November meeting, the LWV L-DC Board approved a new dues structure, lowering dues assessments for many members! See our new dues structure here.

The latest issue of The VOTER.

Download the latest issue of our newsletter [PDF].

League in the news: Recent articles and letters to the Lawrence Journal-Word from League members

LWVK President Dolores Furtado, Due process (8 April 2014)

League members Donna and Forrest Swall, Suppressed vote (26 March 2014).

League member Midge Grinstead, Animal welfare (14 Mar 2014).

League Co-President David Burress, Patent policy (6 Mar 2014)

League member Caroljean Brune, Wasteful spending (21 Feb 2014).

League member Scott Criqui, Disheartening bill (15 Feb 2014).

League member Marilyn Roy, Rental issues (4 Feb 2014).

League Co-President David Burress, Court system (3 Feb 2014).

League Co-President David Burress, Spreading stores (23 Jan 2014).

League member Melinda Henderson, Insurance boon (4 January 2014).

The League's effort to register Douglas County voters in suspense was profiled in Volunteers working with Douglas County to help would-be voters get registered (25 November 2013).

League member Marilyn Roy, Money talks (5 November 2013).

League Co-Presidents David Burress and Cille King, Real insurance (2 November 2013).

Lawrence resident Annie Reed, League lauded (2 October 2013).

League board member Caroljean Brune was profiled in Longtime Lawrence activist recalls 1972 fight for women's rights (29 September 2013).

League Co-Presidents David Burress and Cille King, Voting rights (25 September 2013).

Letter from Cille King, ACA misperceptions (25 June 2013).

Column by Charles Stansifer, Opinion: Retired professor examines foreign policy columns (12 June 2013).

Letter from Sarah Casad, Food stamps vital (10 June 2013).

Letter from Forrest Swall, Sinking state (7 June 2013).

Letter from Patrick Wilbur, Gun fears unfounded (5 June 2013).

Letter from Marilyn Roy, Downtown demise (31 May 2013).

Celebration of the 93rd Anniversary of the 19th Amendment


More than forty League members joined co-sponsors and guests on Saturday, August 24, to celebrate the 93rd anniversary of adding the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Speakers included State Senator Marci Francisco, County Clerk Jamie Shew, MadreLawrence's Leslie Soden, and League co-president David Burress. Their messages honored past achievements in national and Kansas history while emphasizing present-day challenges to voting rights, especially in Kansas.

The program included a dramatic reading of selections from Elizabeth Cady Stanton's "Declaration of Sentiments," adopted in 1848 at the Seneca Falls Convention. Christine Smith, Lee Ketzel, Laura Routh, and Marjorie Cole participated. In addition, Marlene Merrill and members of the Lawrence Civic Choir, assisted by singer and guitarist Lilly Mason, led group singing of suffrage songs set to familiar tunes.

Co-sponsors with the League were the Douglas County Older Women's League, MadreLawrence, Lawrence NOW, and Lawrence Coalition for Peace and Justice. Watch for the September Voter's more detailed report.

Read a story about the celebration in the Lawrence Journal-World.


League Co-President Cille King reads Lawrence Mayor Michael Dever's proclamation in honor of National Women's Day


Office of the Mayor

Recognition


Lawrence, Kansas

WHEREAS: The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified on August 18, 1920, which granted American women the right to vote; and

WHEREAS: Seventy-two years after the Seneca Falls Convention, the 19th Amendment finalized women's right to vote, one of the last barriers to women's enfranchisement in the United States, and empowered women to allow their voices to be heard through the political process; and

WHEREAS: Today, ninety-three years after the ratification of the 19th Amendment, women are making a difference in our local, state, and national elections by ensuring that their votes are cast to effect change at all levels of government;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Michael Dever, Mayor of the City of Lawrence, Kansas, do hereby recognize the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment and celebrate the women who worked tirelessly to advance the causes of justice, opportunity, and prosperity for all Americans, regardless of gender.

Michael Dever, Mayor

August 20, 2013


League Membership Chairman Margaret Arnold introduces the event, thanking members of co-sponsoring Older Women's League, MadreLawrence, National Organization for Women, and Lawrence Coalition for Peace and Justice for their collaboration


League member and Kansas State Senator Marci Francisco addresses the audience, encouraging her listeners to believe they can continue to meet voter needs


The audience listens intently to a featured speaker


Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew reminds us of historical gains and setbacks, encouraging energetic voter registration


League board member Marlene Merrill, accompanied by Lilly Mason (right with guitar) and members of the Lawrence Civic Choir, leads group singing of suffrage songs to familiar tunes


League Co-President David Burress explains men's roles in Kansas suffrage history

Download a copy of David's remarks [pdf].

Leslie Soden of MadreLawrence invites the audience to campaign locally

Download a copy of Leslie's remarks [pdf].

LWV L-DC Voter Service Chair Ruth Gibbs is ready to register voters and share information


Annual Meeting 2013

Fifty-two members and two guests attended our 2013 Annual Meeting, held April 20th at the Smith Center at Brandon Woods. Our featured speaker, Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger , told us about the Health Insurance Marketplace (Exchange) in Kansas, including what is in effect now and what goes into effect in 2014, and other aspects of implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Kansas. (Download Commissioner Praeger's presentation.)

New officers and directors elected at Annual meeting include David Burress (Co-President), Cille King (Co-President and President Elect), Marci Francisco (Vice President), Marjorie Cole (Treasurer), Caleb Morse (Secretary), Caroljean Brune, Scott Criqui, James Dunn, Ruth Gibbs, and Midge Grinstead, Directors, and Sharon Brow, Bonnie Dunham, and Kay Hale, Nominating Committee. Continuing in the second year of a two-term term as Directors are Margaret Arnold and Marlene Merrill. Photos soon to follow!