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Date: 3/8/2022
Subject: 8 Mar 22 Issue
From: Jim Calvert - Voter Editor





New Tasks for All

 
It's Time to Level Up!

 

Our League is swinging into high gear to keep up with the Missouri State Legislature, Congress, local city and county commissions, and upcoming elections. League leaders work hard to make it easy for members to contribute at a level they are comfortable with, but I would like to ask you to do more.


I’m asking not because I’m a slave driver (I never once gave my students homework, though they often gave themselve homework by wasting time in class), or because I am the president’s brother (though I am). I am asking you to do more because if you don’t, we may not have any need for your time and energy later.


Many of you who follow the League on social media are familiar with the Five for Democracy tasks that provide quick and easy ways to engage in our democracy. Leadership has developed two other levels of engagement (listed below) and I encourage you to engage one level higher than you have before. These will be posted through social media and in the eVoter.


Now is the time for us all to walk towards a more stable democracy by taking three steps forward each week. Start the week with a Five for Democracy task. As you crest the midweek hump, complete a 30 Minute Matters by spending 30 minutes (the length of ½ of a football game) engaged. And finally, spend time over the weekend on a Deep Dive.  


You will feel better. I will feel better. We will all feel better. But most importantly, our democracy will feel better. And without our democracy, we will not need any of your time or energy. 


And that would be (in the word of one who struggles with words) SAD.


Take care and stay safe.


Jim Calvert

Editor


Actions Work
 
The Power of Speaking Out

The League works on shaping legislation proposed in the Missouri State Legislature by supporting or opposing specific bills, often through public comments, attendance at hearings, or testimony submitted through the Legislature’s website. Anne and Rachel have spoken about how easy this is on their podcast “Talk, Talk, Vote.” 


League member Greg Woodhams found a story that points out just how powerful such actions can be when a social studies teacher in Indiana challenged a bill moving through their state legislature that would have required teachers to remain neutral on all issues including Nazism. Teacher Matt Bockenfeld testified that he refused to take a neutral position on the issue and would “oppose Nazism until they fire me.”


State Senator Scott Baldwin (R), the bill’s sponsor, said during the hearing, “I believe that we've gone too far when we take a position on those isms... We need to be impartial.” He later tried to walk back his statement, but the damage was done and the bill failed.


We can bring about change by shining a light on the actions of our elected representatives.


Read the entire story here!

 

Registration Deadline!
 
March 9, 2022 Deadline for April 5, 2022 Municipal Election

 
Political Thought of the Issue
 
The League Matters...Especially Today
 

House Bill 1646, sponsored by Rep. Adam Schwadron (R), will be heard by the House Elections and Elected Officials Committee TOMORROW, March 9, 2022 at noon in House Hearing Room 6. Below you will find links to the exact language of the bill, the Legiscan information on the bill, the bill’s dedicated page on the Missouri Legislature website where you can offer electronic testimony, a link to the live feed of the Committee, and a link to the testimony League member Greg Woodhams submitted.


I’ve read this entire bill and while it does provide some proven protections for voting integrity (moving all jurisdictions to paper ballots by 2024), within it lies language that cuts at the very heart of one of the League’s most useful functions for our democracy…our ability to register voters.


Buried deep inside the bill is a provision (115.205) that requires all solicitors (what we are) who submit more than ten (10) voter applications to register with the Secretary of State’s office during each election period. This is “Model” legislation developed by conservative groups and distributed to state elected officials. 


Kansas recently passed such a law and is currently being sued by the Kansas League of Women Voters, along with three other groups, who contend the law suppresses voting in violation of the Kansas Constitution.


Missouri appears to be headed down a similar path. Below there are the three levels of engagement I talked about in my introduction to this issue. Please step up and take a Deep Dive into this issue and submit your testimony right away. Time is of the essence.


Submit testimony through the Legislature’s website here!

Follow the hearing live here!

Follow the Legiscan bill here!

Read the text of the bill here!

Greg Woodhams' testimony may be found here!


Take care and stay safe.


Jim Calvert

Editor



Step Up Your Engagement
 
The Three Steps


Celebrate Sunshine
 
Learn About Missouri's Sunshine Laws

The Missouri Legislature, along with other elected officials, must conform to Sunshine Laws designed to keep legislative actions and administrative decisions open to public scrutiny. Join Casey Lawrence, the Director of Sunshine Law Compliance and Records Management, for a discussion of how these laws work and what rights you have as a citizen.


When: March 14, 2022 6:00 p.m.

Where:  Live on the LWVKC Facebook page here!

 

Redistricting: The Numbers Game
 
The Fight for Fair Representation Continues
 

Republicans hold a supermajority of seats in the Missouri’s House and Senate, plus the governor’s mansion and all but one statewide office—obviously Missouri is an extremely Republican state. Right!? Actually Missouri voters are fairly close to the middle. The fact is Missourians vote roughly 54% for Republicans and 46% for Democrats according to Harvard Dataverse’s Voting and Election Science Team. For redistricting purposes, the Missouri Constitution requires the use of voting data, which averages the statewide races for Governor, US Senator, and President in the last three general elections. Currently, the state Senate Republicans are arguing among themselves over redistricting Missouri’s Congressional districts: Shall they give Democrats one or two of the eight seats? Six seats equals 75% of the eight. Seven seats would equal 87%. Doing the math, 54%-46% (the statewide voting split) should give Republicans a 5-3 split of state’s seats in Congress. Meanwhile, a panel of state judges is drawing the new state Senate districts. I hope the new map will be more representative of Missouri’s actual voting pattern than is the current 70% of state Senate seats held by Republicans. Clearly 70%, 75% and 87% all far exceed Republicans’ 54% split in statewide elections. Is Gerrymandering the difference?

 
(Source: Kansas City Star)


These three maps illustrate how important it is for members to testify at redistricting hearings. The map to the right shows the current districts with their political demographics with more Democratic or Republican areas darker, and independent or toss-up areas in white with shading in between.
This map shows redistricting proposed by the Democratic caucus.
This map shows redistricting proposed by the Republican caucus.

Monthly Membership Meeting
 
Environmental Legislation
 
We Can't Forget the Environment
 

Haley Stock will speak on the subject of Missouri legislative bills on the environment, and also ways we, as citizens, can practice good environmental habits.


Agenda may be found here!

 
See last month's meeting on YouTube here!

Upcoming Events
 

Mark Your Calendars


Help Bring About Change

 

Candidate forums for three area school districts and two city councils have been scheduled by the LWV Forums committee. Center and Hickman Mills School Districts (co-sponsored by the South Kansas City Alliance) will hold Board candidate forums as listed below, while the forum for city council candidates will be held for Independence (co-sponsored by the Walnut Garden Community of Christ) and Ray-Pec. 


Center School District: 

When:  March 15, 2022 7:00 p.m.

Where:  Check the League’s calendar for the upcoming link here!


Hickman Mills School District: 7:00 p.m.

When: March 22, 2022

Where:  Check the League’s calendar for the upcoming link here!



Ray-Pec School District:

When: March 23, 2022 7:00 p.m.

Where:      Raymore City Hall

      100 Municipal Circle

      Raymore, MO  64083


Independence City Council (Jeff Fox, editor of the Examiner, moderator)

When: March 17, 2022 6:30 p.m.

Where:  Check the League’s calendar for the upcoming link here!


Raymore City Council:

When:  March 23, 2022 7:00 p.m.

    Raymore City Hall

    100 Municipal Circle

      Raymore, MO  64083

 
Disability Rights Legislative Day
 

Disability Rights Legislative Day-


Each year the Missouri Legislature holds a Disability Rights Legislative Day to provide the opportunity for advocates to be heard and related legislation advanced. The event is held in person at the Capitol and online.


When: March 9, 2022 11:00 a.m.

Where: Capitol Building and online through a link provided upon registration


Registration required here!

 
More information may be found here!
New Member...Veteran Member...All Are Welcome!

New Member Orientations Now Quarterly

 

June 2, 2022 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

 

New members, want to learn more about the League? Join us for New Member Orientation. You must register for the Zoom meeting through the LWVKC website found here!

Hosted by Laura Marcus Mountjoy

Membership Committee Chair

Email Laura with questions here!

 

Help Wanted
 
Volunteer Registration Workers Needed
 
Help Welcome New Citizens
 
Good morning!  We have a new volunteer opportunity for EVERYONE in our LWV... two New Citizen ceremonies (10am & 1pm) at Harrah's Casino on March 16.  We will have identical opportunities on June 16 and September 21.
 
We are using "postcard" forms for these voter registrations, because we're outside the borders of Kansas City in Jackson County. We're happy to show you how to help.  Generally, we help new citizens fill forms and check them for completeness and accuracy.  If they like, we can fill out forms too.  We gather them up at the end of the events and I submit them to the Board of Elections.  We have give-away swag (including US flags), and stickers/candy.
 
If you like a pick-me-up, a great feeling for helping people who are excited to become citizens, please consider volunteering!  It's a great experience of a basic mission of LWV.  If the website list fills up, please attend anyway if you're able--we always need volunteers, and extras are welcome.
 
Also, please note my "new" email below.  My "old" LWV email is forwarded, but it's best to use the new one.  THANK YOU as always for everything you do for our League of Women Voters/KC, Jackson, Clay and Platte counties!
 
Becky Yockey
Voter Services Chair
League of Women Voters of Kansas City/Jackson, Clay & Platte Counties
P. O. Box 10416
Kansas City, MO 64171-0416
816.464.1800 

 

 

Volunteer sign up instructions:

 

Click Volunteering  to go to the Volunteer page on the League website for more details on these and other volunteer opportunities. 

  • To sign up for an event, you will need to log in to your member account on the League website.  Instructions for how to log in (and how to get your user name and password if you forgot it) can be found in the box at the bottom of this email.   
  • Once you are logged in, a green hand will appear to the right of events that need volunteers.  When you want to sign up to volunteer, click on the green hand next to the event and the "I want to Volunteer!" screen will appear. 
  • Select your preferred phone number, then click on the check box under "Register", then click the "Next" box at the bottom. 
  • Click the "Finish" button on the next screen and you are signed up for the event.  

How to log in to your member account on our League website lwvkc.org

  • Click on "Member Login" in the upper right corner of the website lwvkc.org.  The "Login" page will appear.
  • Enter your User Name and Password.  If you are on a device you own, check the box "Remember me on this computer" so that it will remember your User Name and Password for next time.  Click the "Login" button.
  • Or, if you forgot your Username or Password, click the "Forgot my Username / Password" button on the "Login" page. The "Forgot Username/Password" box will appear.
  • Enter your email address and first name and click the "OK" button.Your Username and a temporary Password will be emailed to you.Be sure to use the email address you provided to the League!
 For complete member website instructions, click on the red Website FAQs button at the top of the home page and download a PDF.

Listen and Learn
 
Listen to Anne and Rachel's "Talk, Talk, Vote" podcasts


  

Talk, Talk, Vote

 


Episode 11: Writing Bills and Getting Citizen Initiatives on the Ballot

Last time, Rachel talked about how a bill becomes a law, but how does a bill even become a bill? Anne helps break this one down!

 

Laura talks to a new citizen (and new voter!) about their plans to vote in both local and federal elections.

 

Then, Anne and Rachel are joined by Sean Soendker Nicholson who was a key member of the team that got Clean Missouri passed in 2018. He helps us understand how citizen initiative petitions get on the ballot and why it is such an important right to protect!

 

Episode 10: Federal Legislative Wrap-up

 
Episode 9: Policing in Kansas City

 

Episode 8: See You Soon!

 

Episode 7: Redistricting

 

Episode 6: Critical Race Theory: Let’s learn about it

 
Episode 5: Gun Laws in Missouri - what's going on here?

Episode 4: More Merrique
 
Episode 3: Merrique Jenson is Building Space for Trans Empowerment
 
Episode 2: It's Fun to Stay at the...
 
Episode 1: In the Kitchen with Alice

 
Talk, Talk, Vote
Available here! And here! (Apple) And here! (Spotify) And here! (Stitcher) 
 

We Want Your Blood
 
A Poke and a Sting to Save a Life
 

The CDC has updated its Covid-19 guidelines as they shift from pandemic response to endemic management. Though Kansas City still remains a high-risk area, we have decided to change our focus from Covid-19 vaccination to the tremendous need for blood donors. Two agencies collect blood in Kansas City, The American Red Cross and The Community Blood Centers. Please consider providing this gift of life as one of your community service projects. The websites are listed below.

 
The American Red Cross may be found here!
 
The Community Blood Centers may be found here!

Suggestion Box
(It's Actually Working...Just Ask Anne)
 
Ok...it's actually a form, but it is a form for suggestions with boxes to fill out

Do you have an idea for a future meeting topic or guest speaker? How about a great design for a “Get-out-the-vote” poster? Or maybe you’ve been wanting to present a Powerpoint on redistricting. 


Now’s your chance!


Put a suggestion in our suggestion box and you just might have the next great idea that we will share with the state and national organizations. Then, you will be famous.


It all starts by filling out the form and submitting it to our suggestion box here!



To volunteer, join a committee, register for a special event, or view the Member Roster, please log in to your member account on our League website lwvkc.org

  • Click on "Member Login" in the upper right corner of the website lwvkc.org.  The "Login" page will appear.
  • Enter your User Name and Password.  If you are on a device you own, check the box "Remember me on this computer" so it will remember your User Name and Password for next time.  Click the "Login" button.
  • Or, if you forgot your Username or Password, click the "Forgot my Username / Password" button on the "Login" page. The "Forgot Username/Password" box will appear.
  • Enter your email address and first name and click the "OK" button.Your Username and a temporary Password will be emailed to you. Be sure to use the email address you provided to the League!
Democracy looks like the League of Women Voters