National’s twitter feed – https://twitter.com/LWV – was great at giving still available updates of votes in the plenary session and I was posting votes to our Facebook page from the convention floor, https://www.facebook.com/LWVArlington/. However, I would like to take you into some of what I learned in the breakout sessions and just by meeting fellow League members.
Here I learned that many chapters and states have an immigration committee. HINT – ARLINGTON DOES NOT YET HAVE ONE. So if this is an area of interest to you – let me know!
One chapter is remaining the 1948 definition of genocide to determine if they can make analogies to what is happening on our southern border now. That definition is:
“any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part1 ; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”
There were several chapters in 287G areas and are trying to formulate plans to approach local law enforcement to cease cooperation with ICE.
I have to admit that I never heard of this before but the 287(g) program, “ is one of ICE’s top partnership initiatives, which allows a state or local law enforcement entity to enter into a partnership with ICE, under a joint Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), in order to receive delegated authority for immigration enforcement within their jurisdictions.”
Some chapters are working on citizenship classes for immigrants.
One attendee suggested that the books of Helen Thorpe are excellent in studying the immigration issue.
Both presenters provided their email address in case we needed more information.
New York – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ohio – Bremer.Jennifer@gmail.com
For more information on NY redistricting
This is a very dynamic issue in the League as you can imagine. Not surprisingly I learned here that no State legislature has ever voted to willing give ALL power to redraw maps to another body.
The issues in the debate are: who draws the maps (the legislature or a commission), if a commission, how are members picked and who has final approval of the map (legislature, commission, governor or some combination)?
Of the 29 established commissions, the legislatures have at least some control in choosing members in 27. Twenty of these commissions have final approval of the map.
It is most common for the “four corners” of the legislature – House speaker, President pro tem, majority, and minority leaders – to pick commission members from a pool of non-elected experts. Eighty percent of the commissions include judges.
Chairs of the commissions are either an independent person chosen by a super majority of the “four corners”, a super majority of the commission or by citizen members of the commission.
Again, no surprise here but the more power given the legislature in picking the commissioners the more willing they are to give the commission final map approval (with legislature “advice.”)
The New York LWV teamed with NYPIRG (Public Interest Research Group) in an effort called “Reshape New York” to raise awareness of the dangers of gerrymandering. (New York State has 50 League chapters!) One of the many awareness projects they initiated was a “Name that District” contest at fairs etc. Shown maps of highly gerrymandered districts, citizens got bestow names on them. My favorite was “Abraham Lincoln riding a vacuum cleaner.”
The Ohio initiative is on the ballot in November
The commission shall consist of the following seven members:
(1) The governor;
(2) The auditor of state;
(3) The secretary of state;
(4) One person appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives;
(5) One person appointed by the legislative leader of the largest political party in the House of Representatives of which the speaker of the House of Representatives is not a member;
(6) One person appointed by the president of the senate; and
(7) One person appointed by the legislative leader of the largest political party in the senate of which the president of the senate is not a member.
The legislative leaders in the senate and the house of representatives of each of the two largest political parties represented in the general assembly, acting jointly by political party, shall appoint a member of the commission to serve as a co-chairperson of the commission.
The Ohio League gathered names on petition (like we do for One Virginia), wrote Op Eds in local papers and had naming contests for citizen. (I was particularly fond of “snake on the lake.”)