Monthly Member E-News - April 25, 2017

LWVO Convention 2017 in Cuyahoga Falls - May 5 to 7 
LWVGC Annual Meeting - June 3 
Membership continues to grow 
Watch for the Spring 2017 Voter


Signature collection to begin soon 
Donate to the redistricting reform campaign 
Training for speakers and others - May 13


Democracy For Sale screenings - April 28 and 29 
NEO Public Policy Forums: 
Cleveland East Side Development - May 9 
Fracking and the Impact of the Utica Shale on Ohio - May 16
Transportation in Northeast Ohio - June 14 
IMPACT: A Practical Guide to Political Action - May 10

LWVO Convention 2017 in Cuyahoga Falls - May 5 to 7 

The Akron League is hosting this year's state convention.

Friday, May 5, to Sunday, May 7 
Sheraton Suites Akron Cuyahoga Falls 
1989 Front St, Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221 
To register click here.
Registration closes Friday, April 28, 5 p.m.

LWVGC's convention delegates will be Michael Baron, Janis Ford, Marcia Goldberg, Heather Macalla, Audrey Morris, Pat Moyer, Joanne Siegla, Meryl Simon, and Holly Wang. You do not have to be a delegate to attend, but all attendees must register

Convention highlights:

LWVUS President Chris Carson will be the keynote luncheon speaker for Saturday, May 6. Guests are welcome, so bring a friend.

Workshops include:

Where have all the voters gone? - Learn about the National Issues Forum discussion guide examining low voter participation.

How to write a diversity plan - Explore how your League can create and implement a diversity plan in order to increase engagement of diverse populations in our work to strengthen democracy. 

Fair Districts for Congress Too Training - Hear the latest on the congressional redistricting reform effort. A petition distribution center, which will also provide signature collection training, will help volunteers get started. 

More workshops are likely to be added. For complete and up-to-date information on the LWVO convention, click here.
LWVGC Annual Meeting - June 3 
Making Democracy Work by Fighting for Fair Districts   

Saturday, June 3 
- 9:15 a.m., meeting begins 9:30 a.m. 
Catered lunch - noon, Speaker - 12:30 p.m. 
Canal Way Center 
4524 East 49th Street, Cleveland, OH 44125 

Registration deadline is May 26. To register, click here. 
Mail in registration forms will also be provided in the Spring 2017 Voter and on the LWVGC website Annual Meeting page
Lunch will be $10 per person.

Following the business meeting will be a catered lunch and speaker. The speaker, Rep. Stephanie Howse (D), Ohio House District 11, will talk about:
"Ohio Voting Rights, Women's Health, and Education issues." 

More information about Rep. Howse can be found on the Annual Meeting web page on the LWCGC website.

New members are especially welcome to Annual Meeting, which is an excellent opportunity to meet other League members and learn about League's mission and activities. Voting members are those who have joined prior to April 15, but newer, non-voting members are welcome to attend. All members are free to bring guests.

All agenda materials to be presented and voted on at the meeting can be found on the Annual Meeting web page. These include a proposed budget, proposed advocacy program, and nominating slate.
Membership continues to grow   

Eleven new members have joined since the last monthly e-news was sent at the end of March. As our membership grows, we hope to engage new members in League's important mission for Making Democracy Work. If you are a League veteran, please get to know and welcome new members. If you are a new member, please consider attending the Annual Meeting and signing up for one of many LWVGC volunteer opportunities. These will be presented at Annual Meeting as well as listed on our website. If you try to make a contact through our website but do not hear from us, please try again. Contacts can slip through the cracks, especially into spam filters.
Watch for the Spring 2017 Voter    

This printed newsletter, which will be coming soon to your mailbox, contains information about the Third LWVGC Annual Meeting and more.
Signature collection to begin soon

Petitions and signature collection training will be provided at the LWV Ohio convention (see above). About 300,000 good signatures are necessary to put the issue on the ballot. To assure enough good signatures, about double that amount, i.e. 600,000 must be collected. Signature collection alone will cost over $2 million. The campaign will employ both volunteer and paid signature collectors; obviously, more volunteers will reduce the costs. Fair Districts hopes to raise close to $8 million to cover all campaign costs.

Scenarios for both a November 2017 and a November 2018 campaign are being planned. (Constitutional referenda can be put only on November general election ballots, never primary ballots.) The signature filing deadline for the November 2017 ballot is July 5, which would provide only two months to get enough signatures to put it on this year's ballot. However, signatures collected now can be submitted also for the 2018 ballot.

If you are interested in helping this effort but have not yet signed up to collect signatures, be a speaker, or volunteer for any other activity, you can do so by visiting the Fair Districts Ohio website. 
Donate to the redistricting reform campaign

The outpouring of support for this effort has been stunning, with thousands eager to begin collecting signatures. However, campaign expenses are a daunting reality. As noted above, over $2 million will be needed just for signature collection and much, much more will be needed for the campaign. If you are eager to see reform succeed, help satisfy your passion by boosting the effort with your donation. 

You can donate by credit card on the LWV of Ohio website. Click on the first "Donate" button (for the 501c4). On the credit card form click on the "+" immediately under the amount and type in "Fair Districts Ohio." 

You can also donate by check made out to "LWV of Ohio," with "Fair Districts Ohio" in the memo line. Send your check to:

League of Women Voters of Ohio
17 South High Street, Suite 650
Columbus, OH 43215
Training for speakers and others - May 13

On May 13, LWVGC will be hosting two speakers' bureau training sessions: one on the east side in the morning and one on the west side in the afternoon. Catherine Turcer of Common Cause Ohio will lead the sessions, presenting the issue of gerrymandering and the proposed reform. Anyone interested can attend either session. Come if you wish to be a speaker for the redistricting effort or if you simply want to learn more. This training will be valuable for anyone collecting petitions signatures or otherwise supporting the cause, as they will no doubt have to answer many questions. Click on the links below to register.

Saturday, May 13, 9:30 a.m.
First Unitarian Church of Cleveland
21600 Shaker Blvd, Shaker Heights, OH 44122
To register for the Eastside session click here.

Saturday, May 13, 1:30 p.m. 
Rocky River Public Library 
1600 Hampton Road, Rocky River, OH 44116 
To register for the Westside session click here.
Democracy for Sale screenings - April 28 and 29 

There will be two screenings of Democracy for Sale, a one-hour EPIX original documentary film produced as part of the America Divided series:

Friday, April 28, 7:30 p.m.
First Unitarian Church of Cleveland
21600 Shaker Blvd., Shaker Heights, OH 44122

Saturday, April 29, 7 p.m.
West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church
20401 Hilliard Blvd., Rocky River, OH 44116

In this film Zach Galifianakis, the comic star of "The Hangover" movies, travels back to his home state to investigate how North Carolina has become a bellwether for how the money of a few has come to dominate our democracy. Galifianakis investigates allegations that the current state government was put in power by moneyed interests and has thus carried out a program that only benefits its backers: cuts to education, healthcare spending, and environmental protection; lowering of taxes for the wealthy and corporations; and the passage of laws designed to roll back access to the ballot.

For more information on the America Divided series, the film, and how to view all documentaries click here

Co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland, First Unitarian Church of Cleveland, Social Action Committee of the West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church, Fair Districts Ohio, and NOVA   
Northeast Ohio Public Policy Forums:
All forums are free and open to the public.

Cleveland East Side Development: Prospects for Reinvention - May 9
Terry Schwartz, director, Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, Kent State University, will moderate. Panelists include:
Joyce Braverman
, director of development, City of Shaker Heights
Mansfield Frazier
, journalist, business owner, and Hough resident
Wayne Mortensen
, director of design, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress
Rick Semersky
, developer/CEO, VIP Restoration, Inc. 
Tuesday, May 9, 7 - 8:30 p.m.
Heights Libraries, Main Branch
2345 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118
Registration is recommended for this forum: click here.
Fracking and the Impact of the Utica Shale on Ohio - May 16
Dan Shingler, Crain's Cleveland Business, will moderate. Panelists include:
Michael Chadsey, Ohio Oil and Gas Association
Trent Dougherty, Ohio Environmental Council
Edward "Ned" Hill, John Glenn College of Public Affairs, The Ohio State University 

Tuesday, May 16, 7 - 8:30 p.m.
Solon Community Center
35000 Portz Pkwy, Solon, OH 44139
Registration is recommended for this forum: click here.

Transportation in Northeast Ohio. Where's the equity? - June 14

Ginger Christ, reporter, Plain Dealer, will moderate. Panelists include:
Derek Bauman, vice chairman, All Aboard Ohio
Grace Gallucci, executive director, NOACA (Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency)
Hunter Morrison, senior fellow, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs
Akshai Singh, member, Clevelanders for Public Transit 
Wednesday, June 14, 7 - 8:30 p.m.
Urban Community School
4909 Lorain Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44102
Registration is recommended for this forum: click here.

This forum is also co-sponsored by the Urban Community School.

NEO public policy forums are co-sponsored by the Plain Dealer/, Case Western Reserve University Siegal Lifelong Learning Program, the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland, and the library systems of Cleveland Heights-University Heights, Lakewood, and Cuyahoga County. Corporate sponsor is First Interstate Properties, Ltd. 

IMPACT: A Practical Guide to Political Action - May 10

This event will feature speakers from local, county, state, and national political arenas on how citizen voices can be heard. Afterwards will be an open house of grassroots organizations recruiting volunteers to address issues in immigration, healthcare, voting rights/government, education, environment, racial justice/civil rights, and LGBTQ rights.

Wednesday, May 10, 7 - 9 p.m.
Shaker Heights High School Auditorium
15911 Aldersyde Drive, Shaker Heights, OH 44120
To register click here.

Facilitator: Kim Owens, AP government teacher
Local: Julianna Senturia, member, Shaker Heights City Council
County: Shontel Brown, representative, Cuyahoga County Council District 9
State: Amy Hanauer, executive director, Ohio Policy Matters
Federal:  Linda Matthews, Marcia Fudge's office

The Shaker Heights LWVGC chapter, which is organizing this event, invites all to attend with the hope that the program may present a model for similar events throughout the county. 

The event is being co-sponsored by IMPACT (a group of Shaker families).

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