League Of Women Voters of the La Crosse Area
Sep 2016 Newsletter
September Lunch and Learn
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Radisson Hotel
200 Harborview Plaza, La Crosse
Lunch (optional) 11:30 am
Meeting and Program  11:45am - 1:00pm

On September 13, at 11:45, Teri Lehrke, Clerk, City of La Crosse, will be the featured speaker at the Radisson Hotel.  Lehrke will explain how citizens'
voices can be heard on Election Day, November 8th. She will outline how together we can ensure this basic right of citizenship--to vote in a fair, free election through serving as an Election Inspector (poll worker). Citizen volunteers are needed to serve as poll greeters and Special Registration Deputy/ Election Day Registration Officials. Ms. Lehrke will also explain the ramifications of recent court rulings and administrative rules regarding voting and 
photo ID's for the November 8th general election in Wisconsin.
The program is free and open to all. A lunch option is available for $13.00. 

RSVP to reserve a lunch by September 6th (cost $13)
Email RSVP: lwvlawi@gmail.com
or call Deborah Lutjen 608-269-9177

Save the Date:
Monday, October 3:  
LWV Wisconsin 
Gear up to Vote

Tuesday, October 11:   
Lunch and Learn
"Homelessness Issues 
in the Coulee Region"

Voter Services
Over the summer the Voter Services Committee, along with the Board and various community partners, has worked to set up registration drives, plan candidate forums, and disseminate information on voting in advance of the August 9 Partisan Primary and November 8 General & Presidential elections. 

On June 28, Special Registration Deputies (SDRs) were on hand to register people at the La Crosse Public Library.  Other registration drives will be held at UW-La Crosse during Move-In Days, Sept. 2 - 5, during the Pride at the Park celebration, September 10 and at the Western Technical College Wellness Fair, October 10.  
The state League "Gear Up to Vote" van rolls into town on October 3.  President Peter Nelson, with Erin Grunze, Voter Education Coordinator for LWV Wisconsin, has arranged for the van to stop at UW-La Crosse as the van tours the state, visiting 18 communities.  Check out the website for more information on this initiative: http://gearuptovote.com
Coming up, it will take "all hands on deck" to make sure that as many eligible voters in our region as possible cast ballots for the November 8 election.  The Voter Services committee is reaching out to LWVLA members and others to assist with a number of essential roles. One informal way to help is to spread the "Are You Ready to Vote?" message through both personal and group contacts.  Are people registered?  Do they know their polling place?  Do they have the required Voter Photo ID to take to the polls? If they are thinking about voting absentee, do they know the procedures and timeframe? Are they familiar with what's on the ballot?  Do people know about some important websites for voting:  myvote.wi.gov; bringit.wi.gov; municipal clerks' voting webpages and the LWVLA voting webpages?  The Voter Services Committee is sharing information with League members as well as other associations (AAUW) about volunteer opportunities identified by La Crosse City Clerk Teri Lehrke and LWV Wisconsin.  We invite you to become involved:
1) Election Inspectors:  The City of La Crosse Clerk's Office needs more than 85 Election Inspectors to work at the polls every election. Eligibility and application materials are on the City of La Crosse website:

2) Special Registration Deputy (SRD):  Serve as an SRD to register voters this fall and on Election Day. Teri Lehrke, La Crosse City Clerk, will offer required SRD 1 Ā½ hour training sessions on Sept. 7 at 3:30PM and Sept. 27 at 5:30PM at City Hall.  Contact the City Clerk's Office lehrket@cityoflacrosse.org to RSVP for SRD training. Secondly, to participate in League voter registration drives and outreach as an SRD, send a message to Voter Service Committee at league@lwvlacrosse.org .

3) Poll Greeters: On Election Day, you can be a greeter at the polls. Contact Teri Lehrke to volunteer lehrket@cityoflacrosse.org .
4) Election Monitors:  LWV Wisconsin is seeking volunteer election monitors, members and nonmembers, who will be trained and placed at the polls. Find the Election Observer Volunteer Form on the LWV Wisconsin website: http://www.lwvwi.org/Vote2016.aspx .  This website also has information that will keep you informed about the changes in Wisconsin Voter Photo ID law.
Thank you for your commitment to helping ensure that citizens' voices are heard on Election Day.

League Book Club
WHEN: Tuesday, October 4, 2016, at 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
WHERE: Java Vino 1505 Losey Blvd. S. La Crosse, WI 54601
BOOK: Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America by Ari Berman 
He has been a writer for New York Times, Rolling Stone and NPR. He was a keynote speaker at League's National Convention. The book details what happened after the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965, how groups have done their best to try and limit the effect of the Voting Rights Act which was intended to expand the right to vote and to enforce the right to access to the ballot. As we all know that battle is still ongoing.

Hope to see you there! 
Maureen Kinney (608) 784-5678 maureen@johnsflaherty.com

League of Women VotersĀ® of Wisconsin
201 6 Annual Meeting
Egg Harbor, WI
(by Kathy Mulliner)
The Wisconsin State League convention in Door County was a good event in several ways. I found it delightful that we had a good representation from the La Crosse League.  Energy and information gained from the State convention helps inform and guide our local group. We, of course, have our own program committee mobilize to get things done. There were more meetings at State than one person could attend, so the 8 members from the La Crosse Area League spread our efforts out, and learned a lot. (Nancy Hill)
Handouts and videos of the state meeting are available at  www.lwvwi.org/NewsEvents/2016AnnualMeeting.aspx . Here are a few highlights:
The Outstanding Featured Presentations and Sessions (by Betty Kruck, Kathy Mulliner and Anita Evans):
  • The Economic Case for Improving Water Quality, by Robert B. Atwell, Chairman and CEO of Nicolet National Bank - Atwell suggested using business and economic arguments for policies that promote good water quality.
  • Engaging the Emerging Electorate, by Colleen Gruszynski, Voter Registration Data Specialist - Gruszynski presented extensive and fascinating analysis on voter registration research dong by the Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote.   She gave helpful suggestions for encouraging voting such as being positive, providing reasons for voting, and questions to make potential voters think about Election Day; child care, driving, parking.  Gruszynski also stated that authenticity matters; meet them where they are (e.g. work places); apply social pressure targeted for particular groups (everyone is voting, you should, too); and walk people through steps.
  • Converting "Interest in the League" to Active Membershipby Louise Petering and Andrea Kaminski - The new American majority includes:  unmarried women, people of color and youth (ages 18-34).  
Two websites that may be useful are:   The Rising American Electorate http://www.voterparticipation.org/the-rising-american-electorate   and  Supermarket Legend  http://www.legendsvote.org
  The attending members adopted the following items as the State Program for 2016-17:
  • Action: LWVWI assists local LWVs on voter education & registration
  • Action: Public education and lobbying around the State Budget
  • Action: Educational forums on water quality (funding dependent)
  • Action: Education & advocacy campaign on redistricting
Parade of Leagues (by Peter Nelson)-- 3 minutes isn't much time to summarize even the highlights of all we did last year. Such was the mandate at the annual state meeting. Each of the attending local leagues in Wisconsin League of Women Voters, in the Parade of Leagues, has a representative summarize their past year's activities and achievements in just 3 minutes.  In coming President Peter Nelson spent his 3 minutes (running a bit over) focusing on achievements in voter services, especially voter registration at the various sites around the La Crosse area. His description of the pace set at UW-L, 100 registrations in one hour, drew notable reaction from the assembled leagues. In the little time remaining he touched on our (mostly luncheon) educational sessions highlighting the October session on Mississippi River Water Quality as our league joined the Upper Mississippi River Region Inter-League Organization. 
Plan now for next year's state convention - it's a great experience!
"Meeting League members from around the state, and reacquainting with members met previously brought new insight, ideas and renewed energy.  While efforts to promote voting were central to activities by Leagues across the state, I found some other tips and projects shared by local leagues interesting and helpful such as the tips for communications with elected officials printed by LWV of Door County.  Hearing and talking to Andrea Kaminski always reminds me how fortunate we are to have her as the Wisconsin LWV Executive Director.  The big news was the WI LVV elections van that will travel around the state promoting voting registration and voting." (Betty Kruck)

"I've attended several state meetings and 3 national meetings. I am delighted at the growth of League both in numbers of Leagues, and in member composition. There are more men, more people of color and a continued spread of ages. We need to do more to welcome all. There is also more effort to engage members in meaningful participation." (Nancy Hill)

From left to right -- Kathy Mulliner, Nancy Hill, Betty Kruck, Peter Nelson, Mary Nugent, Sandy Seachrest, Ellen Rosborough, and Shila Hilke (Not picture -- Anita Dahlby)

2016 LWV US National Convention
Mary Nugent
Making Democracy Work For All  was the theme of this year's National Convention in Washington DC June 16 to 19th.   47 states plus the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands sent delegates.  The 784 voting delegates participated in caucuses, workshops, and information sessions, as well as voting on changes to the League's bylaws and program for the next two years.  Nationally known experts spoke on topics such as:
  • Engaging Millennials (Jennifer Lawless, Director of Women and Politics Institute, American University)
  • Understanding American Authoritarianism (Amanda Taub, Vox News and NY Times)
  • Money in Politics (Peter Overby, NPR Correspondent)
  • Our Democracy in 2016 (Joe Goldman, President of the Democracy Fund)
  • The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America (Ari Berman, The Nation, NY Times, Rolling Stone, commentator on MSNBC and NPR, author of Give Us the Ballot).
Here is a summary of the changes voted on and passed at the Convention:
  • Campaign for Making Democracy Work (theme)
    • Restoration of the Voting Rights Act by supporting the bipartisan Voting Rights Advancement Act
    • Urging Congress to reform money in politics
    • Supporting Voting Rights and Voter Protection in the States and Local Communities
    • Voting Rights and Voter Protection Following Election 2016
  • Concurrence on Redistricting
    • Support a specific enforceable redistricting plan by independent special commissions
  • Concurrence on behavioral health access
Bylaws Amendments:
Article III Membership changed to: Persons at least 16 years old age who join the League shall be voting members of local leagues, state Leagues and the LWVUS.
Changes in Administration:
New President: Chris Carson
New Chief Executive Officer: Wylecia Wiggs Harris
I am honored to be a part of forming the direction of the League and thank you for the opportunity of being your representative.  It was very informative and vibrant and I hope many of you will join me at the
Next National Convention is 2018 in Chicago!

League of Women Voters of La Crosse Area