League of Women Voters of the La Crosse Area
January - February 2018 Newsletter

Reminder: RSVP 
by January 5th for
January 9th Lunch & Learn! 

    Peter Nelson  will present
    "Effective Strategies
    for Wisconsin's Online          Voter Registration."
Soup & Salad lunch at 11:30; program at 11:45
1835 Rose St, La Crosse

RSVP  to reserve a lunch ($13) by January 5th.
Please i nclude special dietary considerations with your rsvp.
You may respond and pay for your lunch via  PayPal .
You may respond by email to  smg1514@centurytel.net
by phone to  507-895-6436  and pay for your lunch at the door.

Speaking of Democracy
Join the Conversation at LWV Book Club  
February 7,  2018
6:30 - 8:00 pm
Java Vino, 1505 Losey Blvd. S  

One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed
the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported
by Norman J. Ornstein, E.J. Dionne Jr., and Thomas E. Mann 

A call to action from three of Washington's premier political scholar-journalists, the book offers the definitive work on the threat posed by the Trump presidency and how to counter it. 

American democracy was never supposed to give the nation a president like Donald Trump. We have never had a president who gave rise to such widespread alarm about his lack of commitment to the institutions of self-government, to the norms democracy requires, and to the need for basic knowledge about how government works. The book offers encouragement to the millions of Americans now experiencing a new sense of citizenship and engagement and argues that our nation needs a unifying alternative to Trump's dark and divisive brand of politics. 

*NOTE: The room rental cost is $15 to be divided among participants. Only a couple of dollars at most per time - what a bargain! 

Welcome to New Member Barb Roberts

Barb is a retired sales and marketing manager from CenturyLink.  There she focused on business system sales, consumer marketing, and employee product training.  She graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, and grew up in Northbrook, IL.

Barb and her husband, Gordon, live in La Crosse.  They spend a lot of time with their three granddaughters, as well as reading, gardening, cooking, and traveling.   

Barb has been a member of National LWV for a year and decided to join the local organization in order to become more active.  Recent trends toward voter suppression are of deep concern to her.  Barb has graciously offered to assume the role of League archivist.

La Crosse LWV Supports City Council Fair Maps Resolution

Our local chapter proffered a statement of support for a resolution from the City of La Crosse requesting the Wisconsin legislature to adopt a nonpartisan redistricting process before the 2020 census. The resolution, proposed by La Crosse Council Member Patrick Brever, was approved at the December 14 Common Council meeting.

Legislation to establish a nonpartisan process for redistricting-- Senate Bill 13  and  Assembly Bill 44  has been introduced for the past four legislative sessions. Please contact  Assembly Leader Robin Vos  and  Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald  to insist that they schedule public hearings on the legislation before this spring's adjournment. 

November UMRR Action Update 

The Upper Mississippi River Region Inter- League  Organization (UMRR)  received a $1,000 grant from the Environmental Resource Council to advance  connections and collaborations with other environmental organizations. UMRR members in  Iowa have been involved with conducting the watershed game , which teaches how land uses  impact waterways. Think of it like a game of RISK, but with the threat of rain rather than
invading armies. 

Other UMRR members in Wisconsin are working to get a potential grant of  $1,500 to train La Crosse public school teachers to use a sand tank model of groundwater to  teach about hydrogeology. The sand tank simulates how wells and other access points to  groundwater can contaminate the aquifer. 

Over the next couple of months, UMRR members will  research their states' compliance with the  federal Safe Drinking Water Act and study  the water quality i ssues specific to karst land formations. Some  members will collaborate with the Land  Stewardship Project in southeast Minnesota to  present land sustainability workshops.

If you  have questions, comments or ideas, please contact us at lwvumrr@lwvmn.org.

Transforming the LWV
The League's new mission statement:  Empowering Voters, Defending Democracy, is a strong and clear affirmation of what the League's purpose has been for nearly 100 years. 

Likewise, the new vision statement brings clarity to our shared objective: 
We envision a democracy where every person has the desire, the right, the knowledge and the confidence to participate. 

The Board adopted a value statement that acknow-ledges our history and embraces the future we are collectively shaping: 
We believe in the power of women to create a more perfect democracy.

Debra Cronmiller, LWV Wisconsin President
December 2017,"LWV Wisconsin Forward"

New Staff Members Join the LWV State Office

Eileen Newcomer, Voter Education Coordinator, and Ellen Penwell, Membership and Event Coordinator

Eileen comes with a strong background in nonprofit work and a keen commitment to free, fair and accessible elections in Wisconsin. She will be leading our VOTE411.org voter guide and election observation programs.

Eileen is "truly grateful for the opportunity to join the amazing team at the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin and be a part of moving the League's work forward as Voter Education Coordinator. Voting is such a powerful form of civic engagement. It's how 'we the people' share our voice and make real, lasting change happen. I'm excited to be able to contribute to the League and our state and do my part to encourage informed participation in our electoral system."

Ellen's experience and leadership with the  League of Women Voters Whitewater Area  give her a knowledgeable perspective for this new position at the state office. 

Ellen is "very excited to begin working on productive and creative ways to enhance the League's membership throughout the state. Working together with local Leagues, I believe we can explore innovative ways to increase and diversify League membership and nurture new leaders along the way."

Upcoming Dates:

January 9
Lunch & Learn
Effective Strategies for Online Voter Registration

February 3
Concordia Ballroom
1129 La Crosse Street

February 7
LWV Book Club
One Nation Under Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported
February 13
Lunch & Learn
Groundwater Safety and Quality

March 8
International Women's Day

Stay Connected
PO Box 363, La Crosse, WI 54602