April 2020 Newsletter
In this Issue
League in the News

Local Politics

Vote 411

LoWV Social Media

Meeting Minutes

March 25th, 2020 Minutes

January 15, 2020 Minutes
Co-President's Message 
by Fran Kapinos and Judy Lotas

Fran Kapinos and Judy Lotas

We very much hope that this finds you and yours healthy, safe and not too stir-crazy. We're grateful to live in a community full of generous, caring neighbors.  We will see this through!

Meanwhile, thanks to every health care professional, every person who keeps our grocery stores and pharmacies open, our fire and police operations functioning and all who simply pitch in and do what needs doing.

To celebrate Women's History Month and the 100th Anniversary of the passage of the 19 th Amendment , a dinner was held on March 10 at Mako's Beach Grille.  The League co-sponsored the event with the Virginia Dare Business & Professional Women's Club.  Approximately 50 people came to hear our wonderful guest speaker, Dr. Lin Logan.  Her topic:  "How Women Won for Themselves the Right to Vote".
We've had cancellations right and left, including the St. Patty's Day Parade.  But virtuality reigns and we're meeting by ZOOM and Free Conference Calls to take care of business. 

Our trip to Pine Island Audubon Reserve scheduled for Earth Day, April 22 is cancelled for now, but hoping we can reschedule it for the fall. 
The Frederick Douglass presentation in cooperation with the Bryan Series for May 5 is also postponed.  

We will be mailing a packet of information one month in advance of our Annual Meeting scheduled for June 4 at Mako's at noon.  This will include our Nominating Report for Election of Board Members, Proposed budget for 2020-2021, Non-partisan statement that has to be reviewed and accepted annually, minutes of 2019 Annual Meeting, 2020 Citizens Guide, and a ballot that we ask to be returned by mail in case we cannot hold this meeting in person on June 4. 


The LWVNC holds state Conventions in odd-numbered years, Council meetings in even-numbered.  

This year's Council, the in-person version, had to be canceled.  But an agenda has been created for the 2020 Council and it will take place via ZOOM on April 17 and 18.  Watch your inbox for details and sign up.  It's free!  You don't need a ZOOM account to participate but you do need to download the program.  Visit 


Mark your calendars!

June 4 - Annual Member Lunch at Mako's at 12:00 with Guest Speaker, Author Ralph Webster, Installation of 2020/2021 Board Members, Budget, etc. 

June 17 - Planning Retreat for Board Members at Outer Banks Visitors Center, Manteo at 9:30-3:00 

Sept. 17 - 100 th Anniversary Celebration at Hilton Pier House, 5:30-8:30 PM, Details Coming Soon

Sept. and Oct. - Voter Registration, Voter Candidate Forums, Voter Services, Vote411, Early Voting Period

Nov. 3
- Election Day

The 2020 Census - Coronavirus Considerations
by James E. Cofield, Jr.  Member, North Carolina Complete Count Commission

The 2020 Census count day, April 1, 2020, is around the corner.  In addition to the work of the U.S. Census Bureau, the North Carolina Complete Count Commission  ("NCCCC") continues its work to achieve the highest participation rate possible for North Carolina.  More specifically, the NCCCC endeavors to:
  • Advise the Governor and the North Carolina General Assembly on census activities in the state;
  • Identify barriers that might impede the progress of the 2020 Census in North Carolina;
  • Promote and advertise the 2020 Census;
  • Respond to residents' questions and concerns about the census;
  • Develop partnerships with regional and local Complete Count Committees to increase participation.  (Dare County has established a complete count committee and some of its work will become visible in the weeks ahead.  The committee is chaired by Donna Creef and Dorothy Hester.)
  • Distribute and share census information with traditionally hard-to-count areas and populations; and lastly 
  • Seek to ensure the highest participation rate possible.

In previous articles, I covered the following topics:
  • What is the census and what data does it collect?
  • How is census data used?
  • Census facts you should know
  • Hard-to-count populations
  • The historical roots of undercounting
  • The danger in undercounting
  • Statistics in schools and the 2020 Census

The 2020 Census and Covid-19
Obviously, the coronavirus is impacting the operations of the 2020 Census as its limitations are disrupting almost every aspect of our daily lives.  And while there have been disruptions in Dare County, many aspects of the census operation began on time. As an example, the "Update Leave" operation started on March 15.  With this program, census workers deliver invitations and questionnaires to homes that do not have mailboxes. However, this operation has been temporarily suspended, along with other field operations.   2020 Census packets that have not already been delivered will be delayed until after April 1. Without knowing the full impact of the coronavirus on efforts to complete the 2020 Census collection, we should remain mindful of the importance of the census and remind our friends and neighbors to complete and return the 2020 Census questionnaire.

College Students - College housing officials can now count students who were supposed to be living on campus on April 1, 2020.  This operational adjustment provides for the counting of students that have returned home or to other addresses due to coronavirus limitations.  For students living off-campus, the Census Bureau is recommending that schools contact their off-campus students and remind these students to respond to the 2020 Census using the address where they live most of the year (which is probably their off-campus apartment/house address), even if they have returned to their parents' home, or somewhere else, prior to April 1 due to coronavirus limitations.

Homeless People - Service based enumeration to count homeless people at shelters, soup kitchens and mobile food vans is scheduled to occur March, 30, 2020 - April 1, 2020.  The original plan was for Census Bureau enumerators to visit these locations and count the people on those dates. However, the Census Bureau is now asking service providers themselves to count the people.

Mobile Questionnaire Assistance Centers (MQACs) - The original plan was to start providing MQACs to help people complete the 2020 Census on March 30.  However, the Census Bureau has now pushed the start date back to April 13, 2020.      

Operational Adjustments Due to Covid-19
Operational adjustments put in place to date, as a result of the coronavirus, are designed to:
  • Protect the health and safety of Census Bureau employees and the American public;
  • Implement guidance from federal, state, and local health authorities; and
  • Ensure a complete and accurate count of all communities.

There are three ways to submit 2020 Census information:
  • Submit the 2020 Census online: https://my2020census.gov/
  • Complete the 2020 Census via phone seven days a week:  7:00 AM - 2:00 AM: 1 (844) 468-2020
  • Return the 2020 Census questionnaire via mail:
U. S. Census Bureau, 4417 W. Buckeye Road, Phoenix, AZ  85043-9901

Self Response Rates To Date*

Self-response rates are the response rates from households that respond to the 2020 Census online, via mail, or via phone.  Selected self response rates are given below:  

 * All statistics are as of March 25, 2020 

In conclusion, counting everyone is a priority.  Everyone can help.

James E. Cofield, Jr.
Member, North Carolina Complete Count Commission

Disclaimer:The views expressed above are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the North Carolina Complete Count Commission.
A Little Pick Me Up
Suggested Article from Judy Lotas

What the World Needs Now - for Virtual Orchestra
What the World Needs Now - for Virtual Orchestra

(Click on the Image to Play Video)

When songwriting team Burt Bacharach and Hal David released the song "What the World Needs Now Is Love" (originally sung by Jackie DeShannon) in 1965, the United States was deeply divided over the war in Vietnam. Bacharach was initially nervous about the song's reception given the fragile cultural environment, but the song became a top ten hit and brought people together under its call for unity.

Fifty-five years later, many around the world are experiencing a time of unprecedented physical separation due to the rise and spread of the  coronavirus (COVID-19). As students shift into online classes for the rest of the semester, Boston Conservatory at Berklee student Shelbie Rassler kicked things off with her own version of Bacharach's anthem of connection, joined by a virtual orchestra of 74 of her peers, 60 of whom are a mix of students and alumni from the Conservatory and the College. Rassler, a senior  majoring in composition and a 2019 Presser Scholar, came up with the idea on her plane journey home to Florida, and produced, arranged, and edited the video herself.

Education Report
by Marion Midgett

At regular meetings in February and March 2020, the Dare Board of Education handled old and new business items, honored staff and student achievements, received staff reports, and heard from teachers and students during "instructional highlights" presentations.

This report covers filling the vacant District 2 Board seat, the Dare Schools response to the coronavirus crisis, plus a few notes about possibilities and LWV outreach to schools during this centennial celebration year.

District 2 Board Seat

As reported in the February Newsletter, board member from District 2, Ben Sproul, won the mayoral race for the Town of Kill Devil Hills in November. His resignation from the BOE was announced at the December meeting.  So began a process to fill his seat. On February 5 during a special meeting, the Board interviewed four applicants, discussed them, and chose by voice vote Harvey Hess, Jr. to fill the seat through November 2020; this all happened in open session at Nags Head Elementary School.  Mr. Hess is a former teacher and local businessman. He is not running for the seat in November. Other applicants were Jen Alexander, Susan Bothwell, and Kyle Eaker. 

Dare Schools Response to the Coronavirus Crisis
  • Schools are closed through May 15 following an executive order by Governor Cooper.  The original closure was for two weeks, March 16 to March 30.
  • A meals plan for any/all students began on Wednesday, March 18. Sixteen pick-up sites, including some schools and neighborhood sites are available.  Breakfasts and lunches are prepared at schools and taken to the extra sites by bus drivers.
  • Remote learning (internet delivery) began for all students on Monday, March 23 and continues.
  • During a call with NCAE (North Carolina Assoc. of Educators) members, Governor Cooper said that the State Board of Education is considering the possibility of extending the school year into the summer when the closure   ends. The NC Legislature returns to work in April.
  • The Raleigh News and Observer  reported on March 24 that some schools might reopen as daycare centers for frontline (essential) workers.  No areas were mentioned.  
School Outreach
  • This winter Dr. Lin Logan, the Dare LWV historian, talked to social studies students about women's history and the US suffrage movement at Manteo High and First Flight High.  The closure closed out the Cape Hatteras Secondary presentation. It will be rescheduled for the fall.
  • Also during the fall, the LWV will sponsor a student essay contest celebrating  suffrage and bringing attention to the centennial.
Election Note---Four BOE Seats Will Be on the Ballot in 2020

Candidates will be on the general election ballot on November 3, 2020. These will be partisan races.  Voters vote in all district races. District geography shows area the candidate/member represents.

District 1 - East Lake, Stumpy Point, Manns Harbor, Manteo, Wanchese
      Democrat - Bea Basnight, incumbent, Manteo
      Republican - Carl Woody II, Manteo 

District 2---Seat with appointed member -- Kill Devil Hills, Colington, Nags Head
        Democrat - Jen Alexander, Kill Devil Hills
        Republican - Susan Bothwell, Nags Head

District 4 ---Rodanthe, Salvo, Waves, Avon, Buxton, Frisco, Hatteras Village

Republican-Mary Ellon Balance, incumbent, Hatteras   (unopposed)

        Democrat - Charles Parker, Kill Devil Hills
        Republican - David Twiddy, incumbent, Manteo

Voter Registration
Recommended article by Fran Kapinos
It's official:

The State Board of Elections announced today that the N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV)  is now offering online voter registration (OVR) as part of services available at the NCDMV website.

That means if you have a North Carolina driver's license or NCDMV-issued ID, you can now apply to register to vote or update existing voter registration information - all online.  Even better, this free, standalone service DOES NOT require you to complete another NCDMV transaction, such as renewing or duplicating a license, at the same time.

Today's announcement is the latest move by our state's leaders to assist voters when many county boards of elections have limited access or are closed to the public, and residents are being asked to stay home because of the spread of COVID-19.

So, are you a new voter? Have you moved recently? Not listed as "active" on the State Board of Election's voter lookup tool?*

*Not sure if you're registered? No problem! There's no harm in registering online again. 

We know OVR will allow more eligible voters to take part in the political process and have their say this year - no matter where you live or who you're voting for. That's good news for our democracy at a time when we need it most.

It's also our hope that OVR is the first of many near and long term steps that North Carolina's leaders will take to preserve voting access in light of this unprecedented crisis, including expanding absentee voting access and poll worker recruitment. The state has a responsibility to ensure a fair, inclusive, and accessible election this fall - including for those voters most affected by this crisis and those who face chronic barriers to the ballot.

Until then, be sure to share this email with your networks.  Start by forwarding this link to at least five friends today and help us make sure all North Carolinian's  are ready to vote this fall.

Tomas Lopez
Executive Director

Democracy North Carolina
1821 Green Street, Durham, NC 27705, 
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Donate through the League to Fight Covid-19
by Fran Kapinos
If you would like to voluntarily give a pledge to LWV Dare to be used as a donation to Outer Banks Community Foundation for COVID 19 Grant fund, please reply to Nancy at bbirindelli@aol.com with your amount.  Then send her a check for that amount to LWV Dare, PO Box 689, Kitty Hawk, NC 27949.  She will get our check to OBCF after this Wednesday, April 1st.

If you prefer to do this individually for your tax donations, send to OBCF at 13 Skyline Drive, Southern Shores, 27949.  Note LWV on your check. 

Or donate directly on their web site, indicating LWV in the note section. 
Treasurer's Report
by  Nancy Birindelli
Greetings fellow Leaguers,
Hope this newsletter finds you well, following county directives, and attempting to keep busy while at home.

Some financial news from your League:


Our fund raising efforts for this 100th anniversary year were our most successful ever!  We gained nine new donors who were very generous in their contributions!!  See the list on the back page of the Citizen's Guide which will be coming to you soon with your packet for the Annual Meeting.


We submitted a grant request to the Outer Banks Community Foundation to assist with funding for several items on our agenda for the celebration - mostly education.  Unfortunately, that request was not granted, so we will have to revisit our agenda to determine what we will be able to fund with our existing resources.  Then the tsunami hit!  Many the events have now been cancelled or will be rescheduled, so our plans will really have to be altered.  In the immediate future, the Frederick Douglass presentation scheduled for May 5 has been temporarily cancelled; all other events that were scheduled for the spring are either on hold or cancelled.  Alternative plans will be sent to you as they can be scheduled.  Keep tuned...

The Belk Charity Day Sale scheduled for May 2 will more than likely be cancelled.  The store is currently closed, and the date is within the governor's window of closures for the state.  More on that later as it develops.


The Outer Banks Community Foundation will be establishing a COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund to assist non-profits that are assisting with the immediate crisis.  Any member who would like to make a contribution to that worthy effort can make a check payable to Outer Banks Community Foundation (or OBCF) COVID Response, and mail it to the Community Foundation, 13 Skyline Rd.,, Southern Shores, 27949.  If you would like the staff to know that you are a League member, write LWV-Dare on the message line.  These donations will be tax deductible.  For further information, visit their website at Outer Banks Community Foundation and clink on giving.  Thanks for your generosity.

Keep well and safe and think positive thoughts -- hope to see you as soon as possible.
Welcome New Members and Membership Renewal
by Susan Merrill

We are at an all time high for active members this year in our Dare League..104! Unfortunately, we had to postpone our new member welcome breakfast but we plan on rescheduling as soon as the coast is clear!  (Ha, ha, pun intended!)  We would like to extend a warm welcome to our most recent new members Deborah Helber and Debbie Byrne.   We are happy to have you in the League and look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events!

Our new member campaign is complete although if there are further suggestions for people you think might be interested in joining, please let me know at  semmerrill@gmail.com.  I would be happy to send them the materials. Of the new members listed above 11 have been as a result of this outreach!  Both the renewal form and the link to Paypal (where you may pay via credit card or Paypal) can be found by clicking  HERE

Citizens Guide 2020
by Carol Butscher

The Citizen's Guide 2020 was delivered throughout Dare County beginning March 1.   7000 copies were printed thanks to our many donors listed on the back page of the guide and the In-kind donations listed on page 48.  This year we had a record 9 new contributors!! Be sure to check out the list and thank them when you visit. 20 copies of the guide were presented to the various Town Councils at their monthly meeting.  Thanks to Lori DiBernardo, Marion Midgett, James Cofield, and Mary Jane Slesinski for doing the presentations. The Citizen's Guide is also available on The League of Women Voters Dare website.  

The success in the distribution of the Guide is due to our member volunteers.  I would like to acknowledge the following: PROOFREADERS: Glenda Keel and Charlotte Pedigo.  BUNDLERS: Nancy Birindelli, Dave Butscher, Yvonne Duiker, Glenda Keel, Francene Kelly, Carole Kimmel, Judy Lotas, Laurie Martin, Charlotte Pedigo, and Laura Singletary.  DISTRIBUTORS: Nancy D'Andrade, Linda Campbell, Earl Keel, Francene Kelly, Susan Merrill, Marion Midgett, Susan Pfaff and Monica Thibodeau. Also many thanks to Coastal Impressions for delivering 2000 Citizen's Guides to the Baum Center, Kill Devil Hills Library, Board of Education and Assoc of Realtors.
Bias Lecture Series - Dr. Lin Logan
by Judy Lotas
Dr. Lin Logan gave a wonderful talk March 5th at Duck Town Hall as part of the Bias Lecture Series.  It was titled "HOW WOMEN WON FOR THEMSELVES THE RIGHT TO VOTE".  

Pictured here, Don Kingston, Mayor of Duck....Dr. Lin Logan....James Cofield, whose family foundation partners with the town in sponsorship of the series.
ERA in the News
by Judy Lotas

More than 1000 ERA supporters turned out for the fabulous "CELEBRATE 38" March in Richmond on Sunday, March 8-International Woman's Day.  Virginia was the 38th, final state needed for ratification.  

It took two seconds for the lawsuits to spring up and the Archivist was advised by our Justice Department to 'do nothing' until legal dust settles.

A big sticking point is the deadline, which was never part of the amendment; it was imposed by Congress and therefore Congress could un-impose it.  To that end, the House of Representatives voted to dump the deadline.  The bill is now in the Senate and you can help by calling or writing Senators  Burr and Tillis, telling them to vote yes on SR6, to lift the deadline and put Amendment 28 into the Constitution.

League of Women Voters of Dare County | | lwvdare@gmail.com | http://lwvdarenc.org/