December 2019 Newsletter
In this Issue
League in the News

Local Politics

Vote 411

LoWV Social Media

Meeting Minutes

November 2019 Minutes
October 2019 Minutes
Co-President's Message 
by Fran Kapinos and Judy Lotas

Co-Presidents' Message
Fran Kapinos and Judy Lotas

We expect that everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving and grateful for family and friends!  Now we look forward to the holidays, remembering to find our "inner peace amid holiday stress".  Let's begin the season by getting together at our Holiday Lunch on Friday, Dec. 6. We have enjoyable activities planned, with Tess Judge as part of our program.  Please see more detailed information below. 
We thank Gail Sonnesso and Mary Pendill for their informative presentation at our Hot Topic lunch at Roosters on Nov. 1, on the challenges older adults and baby boomers are facing now and in the future.  Gail recommends that we request a member attend meetings of the Albemarle Commission Agency on Aging (AAAs) and report back to us with a summary, which we would share with our members through our newsletter and at our board meetings.  We can make a difference if we are aware and informed of the issues, and raise the issues facing older adults when providing the voter forums. We are looking for an interested member to attend quarterly meetings. For more detailed information on this, please contact Gail at and Fran at .  Included are 3 links as follow-ups to this meeting: 

1) An article on The Outer Banks Voice by reporter, Lucy Papachristou, with a summary of the Hot Topic presentation

2) Dementia Facts, Figures, Questions & Concerns! By Gail Sonnesso

3) "Aging Baby Boomers raise the risk of a long-term care crisis that the US isn't remotely ready for"

Mark your calendars!

Dec. 6 th - Holiday Lunch with Silent Auction 11:30 DWCC (See info on program below)

Jan. 10 - Hot Topic Lunch at Roosters at Noon
Presenter: Michael Lewis, Director of Hotline 

Jan. 28 - "How to Keep Your Computers Clean" 
Presenter: Teuta Towler, KDH Town Hall at 7 PM

Feb. 16 th - LWV 100 th Anniversary Gala at DWCC 

Mar. 15 - Participation in Kelly's St Patty's Day Parade, celebrating LWV's 100 th Anniversary

April 22 - "Coastal Resilience" at Pine Island Audubon Reserve in Corolla by Director, Robbie Fearns

May 5
-  Frederick Douglas presentation by Nathan Richardson, in cooperation with Bryant Cultural Series

Tess Judge to Speak at LoWV  Holiday Luncheon  
by Judy Lotas
Tess Judge to Speak at Dare League of Women Voters Holiday Luncheon  
December 6, 2019, 11:30 
Duck Woods Country Club 

This promises to be a wonderful, memorable occasion and you do not want to miss it. League member Tess Judge will speak on the subject of "Resilience", a quality we can all use in quantity!

You'll also hear about big plans in the making for the League's 100th Anniversary which coincides with the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, finally giving women the vote.

There will be a Silent Auction (donations still being accepted-write Carol Butscher with items you can donate).  Also a "Can You Believe It?!" table game re odd, surprising facts women have had to deal with through the ages.

Come!  Shop!  Donate!  Funds we raise cover the many forums and programs we present to the public to "Defend Democracy" throughout the year.  To reserve your place, contact Nancy Birindelli, (252-261-3915) by Monday, December 4th.  

You may pay at the door.

LWVNC Leadership Retreat
by Judy Lotas
This retreat was organized to provide both the LWVNC Board and the LWV local league leaders an opportunity to review past activities and prepare for next steps on two priority topics: redistricting reform and preparations for the 2020 elections. A third topic was added, preparation for the LWVNC 2020 Council meeting. 

The goal of the retreat was to allow an exchange of information among Board members and leaders, to open opportunities for sharing and collaboration and to serve as a guide for LWVNC efforts going forward. The evaluations (attached at the end of this report) indicate that the leaders appreciated this opportunity to share and discuss plans for voter education on redistricting reform and the upcoming election, as well as plans for the 2020 LWVNC Council.

This summary will provide a record of what was discussed for both League leaders who were there and those who were unable to attend. We hope that you will review these notes and refer to them as you organize your work on these two important issues in the coming year.


Phyllis Demko provided a short presentation of the basic issues of redistricting reform and gerrymandering. This short, 15 presentation, is a very good overview of the basic issues NC voters face when evaluating their voting districts. Phyllis has also developed a much longer discussion of the issues working with Common Cause to bring this issue to a wide audience. Contact Phyllis, for copies of those powerpoint presentations.

Jennifer Bremer provided a short presentation of the LWVNC project which targets members in the NC General Assembly in leadership roles and will be in a position to vote on redistricting legislation. More information and how to join Jennifer and LWVNC on that effort, go to   or

Following these presentations, we broke into smaller groups for discussion of how the local leagues can  continue work on achieving redistricting reform. The groups agreed on the following next steps (in no order).
  • Consolidate resources on the website, including resources that other local leagues have developed.
  • Improve sharing among leagues of activities and events related to redistricting so that we know what is going on around the state. Improve communication between local leagues.
  • Provide financial support from LWVNC to the local leagues.
  • Focus on activities to engage members, such as encouraging discussion and education of members about these issues.
  • Encourage nonpartisan discussion and activities to achieve redistricting reform.
  • Focus on making presentation to local community groups - Kiwanis, Rotary, church gatherings.
  • Consolidate and share best practices.
  • Provide templates for letters to the editor (LTE) and share samples or wording about state level events so that local leagues can use in educating their communities.


Marian Lewin gave a brief overview of what LWVNC has been working on to get LWVNC ready for 2020 with a focus on Vote411 (LWVNC pays all costs), combating voter suppression with the need to stay vigilant in our communities and county Boards of Elections, and sharing information on Voter ID implementation. 
We then broke into smaller groups for discussion of how the local leagues could continue work on voter outreach and voter education in our communities. The groups agreed on the following next steps (in no order).
  • Work with our county Boards of Election. Attend meeting, especially the post-election Canvass where they decide what provisional and absentee ballots to count.
  • Assemble a Vote411 team, including outreach to candidates to get their participation (develop a form letter to mail to candidates who do not respond to email outreach).
  • Ramp up voter registration efforts.
  • Encourage LWV members to become poll workers for elections, both during early voting and election day. Work with organizations who are having observers outside the voting locations.
  • Develop a "bank" of LTEs to periodically send out to remind people to vote, talk about local issues and promote Vote411.
  • Consider creating posters to put in public places, such as stores and restaurants to promote Vote411. Promote Vote411 at parades and local festivals.
  • Work to develop potential voter contact lists through access to the VAN database.
  • Develop compelling messages to share - why do I vote, why should you vote, etc.
  • Work with local schools, if possible, to encourage voter registration and voting.
  • Work with partner organizations but maintain a "vigilant" nonpartisan stance on all league activities. This will encourage candidates to participate in Vote411. Ask --what do the partner organization bring to the event before agreeing to share sponsorships.
COUNCIL 2020 Suggested topics
  • Census
  • Leadership development at the local level.
  • Fundraising
  • Strategic planning for local leagues.
  • DEI at the local level
  • Membership retention - how can you encourage renewals. How can we help new and existing leagues grow.
  • Workshop on how to be a more effective local league.
  • Workshop on civil discourse (Better Angels).
  • Workshop on doing civics and voter education in the schools in your areas.
LWVNC Leadership Retreat November 1-3, 2019 EVALUATION

Please share your comments pertaining to our weekend together. We really appreciate 

  •   Very good
  • Excellent! Location, comfort, service
  • Very nice
  • Perfect
  • Very nice, excellent location, easy to find
  • Rooms very nice but they are not as green as they want you to think.  We hung up towels to reuse as instructed and every one was replaced and not recycling of cans or plastic bottles.  Boo!
  • Worked find
  • Very nice
  • Good-wish they would recycle
  • Comfortable, good location, need to recycle though
  • Comfy bed
  • Nice hotel, good breakfast, I like stronger coffee
  • Table set up annoying-skirts, plus table seems unstable-doesn't take much to shake it.
  •  Appreciated updated info and hope to be able
  • It is still hard to determine if redistricting will be overshadowed by the election itself, but I feel that we can now bring a framework and actual actions to take back to our League.
  • Still a confusing concept.  Not sure if the education message was clear.  The emphasis was still on advocacy and the "ask".
  • This was an important opportunity for LWVNC and Fair Districts NC to support each other and all of us locally-ie, LWVNC producing documents/info
  • A good reminder/update for all.  Especially for those with limited or new knowledge of the subject.  Highlights the vast difference between local leagues
  • Very helpful discussion.  Thanks for covering VOTE411 expenses.  Having letter to editor bank for state leagues to access also helpful
  • Process for feedback from locals was good-LWVNC follow-up is critical
  • Really productive discussion
  • A good refresher
  • Glad I now know what specific steps to take and share at home
  • We will send postcards for the 5 Principles and happy for our successes so far in court
  • Basic information sharing

2020 Elections

  •  Good to see what local LWV is doing
  • VOTE 411 is the critical focus-sell the non-partisan virtues of LWV
  • VOTE411 and VAN main
  • Support will be greatly appreciated
  • Awesome! Stealing some great ideas
  • Could use talking points for meetings with republican lawmakers to get them involved with VOTE411 and local candidate forums.
  • Process for feedback from locals was good-LWVNC follow-up is critical
  • Thought provoking-we have a lot of work to do.
  • VOTE411 support a positive from all candidates and how to get solid answers and remain nonpartisan (not sure we have a solid approach to get all candidates)
  • Clarity on VOTE411.  Don't get hung up on Voter ID,
  • Great info especially on free billboards and looking forward to the LTE bank/templates
  • Billed as conference on redistricting when 1 st presents as retreat-very short notice

LWVNC Council 
  •  New info for us
  • Very helpful
  • Not familiar if our League has interest-will explain for review.
  • Great suggestions
  • Lots of terrific ideas generated.  We need a fulltime staff! Keep cost down, please
  • A good time.  Folks had some varied and interesting ideas.  Possibly the best use of the small-group format.
  • Like idea of making sessions participatory not just talking heads.
  • Process for feedback from locals was good-LWVNC follow-up is critical
  • Get us excited for Council!
  • Excited about the sharing ideas-we really do learn from each other
  • So happy date announced so far in advance.  Big Ask for 4 attendees-will try. I like the "bragging" displays-will help with ideas.  Looking forward to the workshops
  • Good way to generate ideas for upcoming Council, but we could have been better prepared had we know this was going to be asked.

What would you like to see next from your State League
  • Consolidated communication and one stop shopping online for resources available
  • Increased focus on strategic planning and leadership training.
  • Money and tech assistance
  • Please speak for us often and regularly in legislature, news and media.  Google groups for league leaders to keep in touch.
  • Great way to wrap it all up
  • Help working with State Board of Elections to get Republican leadership behind VOTE411.  Leadership on how to approach NAACP and others to increase league diversity.
  • Better communications
  • More 2-way coordination. Lots of communication, less top-down decision, more involvement with local league leaders in decision-making about actions and programs
  • Guidance on 2021 Census and pre-census
  • Assistance in visibility and promoting the league
  • Consistent updates on what leagues are doing-love new website plans, Yay, Jennifer!
  • More substance in recruiting and retaining members
  • Looking forward to getting summary of this session, but more to see followup to what was discussed/suggested

Overall evaluation of the retreat
  • Thank you
  • Excellent-exceed expectations.
  • Provided lots of material to take back and inspire our local league.
  • Worthwhile
  • 10 out of 10-and I'm usually crabby!
  • Enjoyable information and effective!  Try to enforce the break times. Assigned seating worked well.  Ask the tables to rotate presenters (leadership training) and Let's do it again!  Thanks!
  • Good pace.  Well organized.  Hoping to continue networking with other attendees.  Please distribute list of names and contact info.
  • It was good.
  • It was fun!!!  And also productive.  I have so enjoyed getting to know some of our league members better
  • Excellent-its great to be with such smart, dedicated colleagues.
  • Great exchange of information
  • Really enjoyed.  Face to face helps us all!
  • Part overwhelming, part invigorating, mostly "inspiring-you get a "check"
  • We talk about listening to others but we aren't even courteous enough to listen to each other-Civil Discourse.  Too many side conversations going on. Some people really like to talk and think they are entertaining. I know I'm tired, but not sure I consider this worth my time.

Membership Renewal
by Susan Merrill
Reminder - Membership Renewal

Membership renewals are trickling in for the 2019-2020 year.  If you haven't rejoined for the year that began July 1, 2019, this would be a good time to do so.  You can use the renewal form and mail in your check or renew with a credit card.  Both the renewal form and the link to Paypal (where you may pay via credit card or paypal) can be found by clicking  HERE

Looking forward to seeing everyone at all of the exciting events we have planned for our 100th Anniversary!

Notes from the GEM Presentation
by Gail Sonnesso

Aging Baby Boomers is a crisis the US is not ready for

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