Making Democracy Work

A Voice For Citizens, A Force For Change

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

October 1, 2015 Workshops are Coming Register Now

You are cordially invited to attend a workshop of two issues currently being studied by LWVUS: "Structures of Democracy"

When: Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015; 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Where: Capitol Building, House Rm. 3 (entrance at 1000 Bank Street)

What:

  • 9:45 Registration/Coffee
  • 10:00 Dr. Dan Palazzolo, Prof. of Political Science, U. of Richmond: "Money in Politics" (to enhance our understanding of the new schemes and structures used to influence elections and erode protections against corruption, and to review possible responses to counter them)
  • 11:15 Break
  • 11:30 Buffet Lunch Senate Room 3: (Cost $30.00 per person)
  • 12:00 Gail M. Deady, Women's Rights Legal Fellow, ACLU of Virginia: "Amending the US Constitution" (to attempt to arrive at agreement on what the ideal process should entail, in view of the fact that the Constitution itself does not spell this out clearly)
  • 1:00 Break/ (move back to House Rm. 3)
  • 1:30 Workshop on LWV consensus process/ sharing of LWVUS- provided materials for the Money in Politics and Constitutional Amendment studies

For complete information and registration information click HERE.

League of Women Voters Calls for Transparency in Virginia Redistricting Process

As the General Assembly meets in special session to redraw the maps for Virginia's congressional districts, the League of Women Voters of Virginia calls on the General Assembly to ensure that the process is as transparent as possible. Click Here to read the full statement.

OneVirginia2021 Calls for Transparency in Redistricting; Sets Criteria for Fair and Open Process

LWV-VA is working closely with OneVirginia2021 on redistricting issues. The Governor has called a special meeting of the Legislature for August 17 on redistricting to comply with a court order on redistricting.  We were among the first members of OneVirginia. Here's the latest "call to action" from its executive director! Please help and sign their petition, if you possibly can! 

Click Here to sign the petition. To read the press release, click here

Dianne and Lois 

[Link studiesredistricting_2015_15_08_oneva2012pressrelease_cannon.pdf]

2015 ELECTION CALENDAR

2015 is a busy election year in Virginia with all seats in the General Assembly and most local governing bodies up for election. A complete list can be found here.

WELCOME CHANGES TO RESTORATION OF RIGHTS PROCESS ANNOUNCED

On June 23, 2015, Governor McAuliffe announced two changes to the restoration of rights process, representing th latest steps in pursuit of his priority to ensure all Virginians have the opportunity to exercise their voting and civil rights. Read More.

GOOD NEWS ON THE REDISTRICTING FRONT!!

Note: This ruling has relevance for LWV-VA as our position advocates for a non-partisan commission.

From the LWVUS - Washington, DC: The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission was a big victory for citizen-led democracy, ruling that independent redistricting commissions set up by voters are constitutional. The decision maintains the Arizona system put in place in 2000 by voters through a ballot initiative, as well as California's system, which was also put in place directly through the initiative process.  To read the entire LWVUS press release Click Here.

PAVP: News on the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA)

"TAKING ANOTHER LOOK: VIRGINIA'S PUBLIC ASSISTANCE AGENCY COMPLIANCE WITH NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION ACT (NVRA) SECTION 7 (VOTER REGISTRATION AGENCIES Final Report to Members about the Study." By Therese Martin, PAVP Coordinator.
"The "Eureka Moment" came in early February when I visited my local public assistance office to check out the availability of voter registration forms and to see if any staff might be available to discuss why clients seem to be uninterested in registering to vote."

To read/download the summary final report to the members Click Here

BLAIS AND PAGE OFFER INSIGHTS ON 2015 LWVUS COUNCIL MEETING

The LWVUS held their biannual council meeting at the National Conference Center in Leesburg, VA on June 18-21. Incoming co-presidents Dianne Blais and Lois Page participated along with Maggi Luca, and Virginia Cowles represented Virginia. To read a report on "Takeaways From the Council", Click Here

SUMMARY OF THE 2015 LWV-VA CONVENTION COMPILED BY LWVFC DELEGATES.

More than 63 delegates (of a possible 91 delegates) from across Virginia met in Charlottesville, VA on Saturday and Sunday, May 30 and 31, to celebrate the 37th Biennial Convention of the League of Women Voters of Virginia. Click Here to read a detail report as to what took place at the convention.

VA LEAGUE MEMBERS PARTICIPATE IN VRA REFORM DEMONSTRATION IN ROANOKE

Incoming Board Secretary Rebecca Shankman was one of several speakers at an event staged in Representative Goodlatte's district demanding reform of the Voting Rights Act. Rep. Goodlatte chairs the House Committee that has refused to hold hearings on amendments.

For an account of the event published in the Roanoke Times, Click Here.

To see a video of Shankman's speech, Click Here.

To read the article "Can a Rally Help Restore Voting Rights" by Stephanie Drahan, of LWVUS, Click Here.

STATE LEAGUERS ATTEND LWVUS COUNCIL MEETING IN WASHINGTON, DC

Incoming co-presidents Dianne Blais and Lois Page spent three days at the National Conference Center in Leesburg, VA learning the ins-and-outs as to what is in store for them as they assume the leadership of the LWV-VA on July 1. "We thoroughly enjoyed interacting with other state League presidents, a vibrant, creative and plucky group," said Page.

Highlights of the biennial council meeting included celebration of the Leagues 95th birthday, sessions on providing leadership to deal with the changing culture, comparing strategies for protecting voting rights and working on--and comparing-- individual state-focused action plans. The Virginia delegation put together a plan for stepped-up advocacy for redistricting reform. Read More.

VOTE411.ORG
 A PROJECT OF
THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS EDUCATION FUND

VOTE 411VOTE411.org is a website with nationwide electoral information that is made possible by the League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF). The LWVEF has long been a trusted source of objective and nonpartisan information about candidates and issues. VOTE411 is an innovative voter information resource that provides citizens across the country with nonpartisan educational information and addresses the issues foremost in the minds of American voters. Read More.

REDISTRICTING PANEL SPONSORED BY ARLINGTON AND FALLS CHURCH LEAGUES

"Why Redistricting Matters" panel, hosted by the George Mason University School of Policy, Government and International Affairs was held on June 4. The panel featured Sara Fitzgerald of the League of Women Voters and Brian Cannon, executive director of OneVirginia2021. The event was sponsored by the Arlington and Falls Church chapters of the League of Women Voters, the Northern Virginia chapter of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy and GMU.

Click Here to view a video of the proceedings.

Click Here to view the power point presentation. (Use the down arrow to advance the slides.)

LWV-VA CLARIFIES RELATIONSHIP WITH ONEVIRGINIA2021

The League of Women Voters of Virginia issues the following statement, from President Anne Sterling:

"Despite my organization's strong support for OneVirginia2021, Virginians for Fair Redistricting, I wish to make clear that the League of Women Voters of Virginia dissociates itself from all candidate endorsements.  Today's action by OneVirginia2021, supporting two candidates for the General Assembly, cannot be endorsed by LWV of Virginia or by any local LWV in the Commonwealth.

"A bedrock principle of the League of Women Voters is non-partisanship.  We do not support or oppose candidates at any level, for any reason. 

"The League of Women Voters will continue to participate in OneVirgina2021 activities aimed at educating the public about the need for redistricting reform.  We must publicly step away, however, from the coalition's actions where they pertain to any candidates for office.

"I am asking my colleagues at every level of the League of Women Voters to cooperate in disseminating this statement."

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CALL (804) 521-4171.

Redistricting Tool Kit Now Available on Line

The articles in this collection were designed to accompany a panel on redistricting reform, the central theme of the 2015 Biennial Convention of the League of Women Voters of Virginia. The emphasis is on the need for concerned citizens to concentrate even more on advocating in their home districts. One panelist pointed out that legislators are much more likely to listen to people they know.

Of interest is the presence of articles by two of the people who were involved in a competition several years ago among Virginia college student teams to see who could draw the fairest voting districts. These two people continued their fascination with the subject and are both working on reform to this day. Something of this sort could be organized in other states.

Although this collection includes a lot of Virginia concerns, most of the material holds true nationally. View the Tool Kit here.





Your Vote Counts. "Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting." Franklin D. Roosevelt