March 2020 Newsletter
In this Issue
League in the News






Local Politics

Vote 411


LoWV Social Media


Meeting Minutes

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




Please join LWV members and the Virginia Dare Business & Professional Women's Club in celebration of Women's History Month and the100th Anniversary of the passage of the 19 th Amendment for a riveting presentation by Lin Logan, Ed.D., retired professor of Women's Studies at Virginia Wesleyan University.  No one can tell the story of "How Women Won for Themselves the Right to Vote" in as fascinating a way as Dr. Logan!  Lin will include how Suffragents also helped in this effort.  

DATE: Tuesday, March 10, 2020
TIME: 6:30-8:30, Networking at 6, program at 6:30
LOCATION:  Mako's Beach Grille, KDH MP 7
Order individually off the menu
RSVP:  Fran Kapinos   fkapinos@aol.com

Members, guests, friends, men are welcome and invited. Please reply as we need a count for set-ups. 

A flyer is posted separately in this newsletter.  

St. Patrick's Day Parade is on Sunday afternoon, March 15 and Dare LWV will be participating.  We hope that many women, men, and youth will march with us. See info below for more details and contact Mary Jane Slesenski at mjslesinski@charter.net  

The League of Women Voters celebrated their 100th Anniversary on Feb. 14, 2020. On that Friday, Valentine's Day, local leagues distributed voter registration forms and voter information in various community locations.

KUDOS go out to the twenty-eight Dare League members and friends who gave of their time and talents to inform residents of the upcoming Primary on March 3, Early Voting times and places, candidate information on VOTE411.org, registration forms, sample ballots, and absentee ballot request forms.  There were over 470 personal contacts, including about 52 voter registration forms distributed. Please see the link with the summary of businesses and members who participated. Walmart and Food Lion supported our efforts by donating $50 gift cards, which was used for Valentine Candy for the public.  What a successful Day of Action it was due to our wonderful dedicated members who believe "Your Vote Counts". 

The LWV Centennial Film Series has launched!  Our first screening, "Iron-Jawed Angels" took place February 27 in the Media Center at First Flight High School.  Introducing the film was our own Carl Curnutte III, League member and Executive Director of the Elizabethan Gardens.  Carl was lead Costume Designer for 'Angels' and he shared fascinating insights about filming the award-winning movie-including the fact that it was filmed very nearby, in Richmond.

We thank First Flight High and the school's Media Coordinator Susan Sawin, also a League member, for their help and hospitality.  Upcoming films include "Hidden Figures" and "Harriet"-stay tuned!

More than 60 people attended the free screening_ including students and teachers

SAVE THE DATE

Mark your calendars!

Mar. 3 - Primary Election   VOTE! www.vote411.org  

Mar. 10- International Women's Day Dinner/ Speaker Dr. Lin Logan, "How Women Won For Themselves the Right to Vote"; Mako's at 6:30 PM;  Sponsored jointly with Business & Professional Women's Club and LWV Members and Guests (See details below)

Mar. 15 - Participation in Kelly's St Patty's Day Parade, celebrating LWV's 100 th Anniversary-and women's right to vote.(See Details below) 

Mar. 25 - Board Meeting at KDH Town Hall- 10:15 

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

May 5 -  Frederick Douglass presentation by Nathan Richardson, in cooperation with Bryan Cultural Series

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


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

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


THE 2020 CENSUS
by James E. Cofield, Jr.  Member, North Carolina Complete Count Commission
THE 2020 CENSUS: COUNTING EVERYONE IS A PRIORITY

The 2020 Census count day, April 1, 2020, is fast approaching.  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 my previous article, 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?
Thus, I will not repeat that discussion here.  However, it is worth noting that census professionals have identified hard-to-count communities and considerable effort is being deployed in North Carolina to count these communities.  Hard-to-count populations include young children; racial and ethnic minorities; low-income workers; homeless persons; undocumented immigrants; mobile individuals such as college students, military and seasonal workers; LGBTQ persons; and those distrustful of the government.  While there is a heightened concern with respect to counting all of these populations, in North Carolina we have developed strategies to assist in counting a number of these populations, especially the Latinx community and young children. To underscore the concern, consider that undercounting Latinx's in the 2020 Census will result in a loss of federal funding to many states for child and family assistance programs.  In fact, it is estimated that a 3% national undercount of the Latinx population translates to a loss of over $24 million in federal funding to North Carolina. With the numbers we expect, it is projected that North Carolina will pick up another congressman when the 2020 census numbers are finalized and apportionment is set in place. Additionally, some demographers suggest that if there was a total count of the Latinx population in North Carolina, the state would gain two congressmen not just the one that is already projected.  

The Historical Roots of Undercounting 

The Common Cause Education Fund has released a well-researched study, "Whitewashing Representation, How using citizenship data to gerrymander will undermine our democracy", which discusses how misguided data collection can be used to defeat the well-meaning purposes of our decennial census.  As we are acutely aware, the United States census is supposed to make sure that our government accurately represents our communities. However, history tells us that this process can be weaponized for partisan gain. The study sets out that by undercounting people of color, Black, Latinx, and Native American populations have had their voices in government diminished over time. Early estimates show which states, from the standpoint of representation in Congress, stand to gain and which states stand to lose from the projected 2020 Census.   
Beginning with the first census in 1790, political power has been intertwined with the census and communities of color have been deliberately under-counted.  In 1790, in order to obtain more political power in the U.S. House of Representatives, rural southerners demanded that enslaved Africans be counted in the survey, while urban northerners feared that their political power would be significantly reduced and diluted.  As a flawed compromise and in completed disregard of their humanity, for more than 75 years enslaved Africans were counted as only three-fifths of a human being for the purposes of Congressional representation and taxation. And for nearly 80 years, Native Americans were completely excluded from the census.

Important for the 2020 Census and going forward, consider these statistics:
  • Between 2000 and 2010, 55% of the growth in the United States was due to growth in the Latinx population.
  • The Latinx population is younger than that of the Black and white population.
  • North Carolina has the 11 th largest Latinx population in the country.
Collectively, we defeat the ill-devised purposes of those who would misuse the census by "counting everyone once, only once, and in the right place".  An accurate census is the basis of fair elections.

The Danger in Undercounting

Over $1,623 in federal funds and over $200 in state funds are distributed per person annually based on census data.  In very limited terms, undercounts significantly impact resources for our communities. With just a 3 percent undercount, we stand to lose:
  • $1.8 Billion in North Carolina's rural communities.
  • $400 Million for North Carolina veterans.
  • $333 Million for children under age five.
  • $930 Million in our African American communities.
  • $545 Million for our state's Latinx population.

Obviously, these are dollars already paid in our taxes, but dollars that will be allocated to other states and communities if we don't have an accurate count.  These funds support economic development, infrastructure, military benefits, schools, education programs, food assistance, housing programs, healthcare, roads, public transportation, and more.  Clearly, we will feel the cost of undercounting.
 
Statistics in Schools and the 2020 Census

Statistics in Schools is a vehicle that can help to shape the future of every student for the next 10 years.  SIS is a U.S. Census program www.census.gov/schools  that uses census statistics to create classroom materials for grades pre-K through 12.  Teachers and subject matter experts nationwide helped develop each SIS activity to make sure it is valuable and engaging. 
 
SIS materials aim to educate students and the adults in their homes about the importance of counting everyone in the 2020 Census, especially children.  Census responses drive decisions on the annual allocation of more than $675 billion in federal funding to states and communities, which includes support for school programs and services such as:
  • Special education;
  • Free and reduced-price lunch;
  • Class size reduction;
  • Classroom technology;
  • Teacher training;
  • After school programs; and
  • Head Start.
In conclusion, counting everyone is a priority.  Everyone can help.

Disclaimer:The views expressed above are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the North Carolina Complete Count Commission.
St. Patrick's Day Parade
by Mary Jane Slesinski

The Dare League of Women Voters members and friends will participate in the St. Patrick's Day  Parade on Sunday, March 15, as part of our Centennial Celebration and the Passage of the 19th Amendment.   Lin and I (Mary Jane) have discussed this and decided on a theme of Past,  Present, and Future of the League. Therefore, you can dress as a  Suffragette or in vintage or modern clothing. We would also like a  contingent of young people to represent the future. We welcome men and  boys. We would like to have you dress in white to honor the original  Suffragettes, but that is optional.

In 2012, the Dare League participated in the parade dressed as
Suffragettes. We decorated hats with feathers, flowers and lace. If
there is interest, we can do this again.

We also need cars, hopefully convertibles, to carry those who wish to
participate but can no longer walk the approximately one mile of the
parade route.

Please let me know, as soon as possible, whether you can participate,
have a car (and driver) we can use in the parade, and if you have a
grand-child, friend, neighbor, who can participate. The participants do
not have to be members. We welcome anyone who would like to join us and  have a great time. Also, if you have other ideas, please share them.

Please contact me ( Mary Jane Slesinski ) by phone (261-1591) or email at  mjslesinski@charter.net  Thanks in advance.
Vote 411
by Lorelei DiBernardo
The League of Women Voters of North Carolina and the Dare County League of Women Voters is proud to announce that our nonpartisan voter guide, Vote411.org  is now ready to be used by the voters of North Carolina as they get ready to vote on March 3, 2020. Vote411.org  offers a comprehensive resource on voting information, from candidate information to registering to vote, finding early voting locations and election-day voting sites, as well as detailed information about absentee by mail procedures.

Voters in 23 counties can also access personalized candidate voter guides. For those counties, we have contacted all statewide and local candidates, giving them the opportunity to reach out to voters with their contact information, responses to broad survey questions and personal profiles. Vote411.org provides information on 399 candidates in 131 contested races in those 23 counties.

Vote411.org continues the commitment of the League of Women Voters to provide the information voters need to become empowered citizens.  From our founding in February 1920 we have been dedicated to the belief that citizens should play a critical role in our democracy.
The League of Women Voters of North Carolina is a grassroots nonpartisan organization dedicated to encouraging citizens' participation in government and understanding of important issues through education and advocacy. The League of Women Voters neither endorses nor opposes political parties or candidates for office.


Day of Action
by Fran Kapinos and Judy Lotas

Dear Volunteer Members and Friends, 
 
KUDOS go out to the twenty-eight Dare League members and friends who gave of their time and talents to inform residents of the upcoming Primary on March 3, Early Voting times and places, candidate information on VOTE411.org, registration forms, sample ballots, and absentee ballot request forms.  There were over 470 personal contacts, including about 52 voter registration forms distributed.
 
Our thanks also go out to the managers and employees for their helpfulness and graciousness accommodating our members with setting up their tables with voting information:  Front Porch Cafés at MP6 and MP 10.5, Ashley's Coffee Shop, Starbucks, Wave Riders, Hotline Thrift Stores in Manteo, Nags Head and Kitty Hawk, Fessenden Center, Baum Center, Dare Center, Food a Rama, KDH Library, Manteo Library, St. Andrews Preschool, All Saints Preschool, Manteo High and JP Knapp School in Currituck. 
 
Walmart and Food Lion supported our efforts by donating $50 gift cards, which was used for Valentine Candy for the public. 
 
What a successful Day of Action it was due to our wonderful dedicated members who believe "Your Vote Counts".
 
Follow THIS LINK for a summary of the numbers reported back to me.    
 
Our Board wish to thank you all so much for making the Days of Action so successful.  

We look forward to doing it again in the fall, before the general election. 

SCENES from the DAY of ACTION





The Bias Speaker Series - featuring Dr. Lin Logan   


THE CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY
by  James E. Cofield, Jr.,  Chairman, Centennial Committee  

 
ON THE OCCASION OF THE CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY
OF THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS

Women's suffrage in the United States, the legal right of women to vote, was established over the course of more than half a century, first in various states and localities, sometimes on a limited basis, and then nationally in 1920.

In commemorating the centennial anniversary of the League of Women Voters, the Dare LWV has published a brief history of the efforts to secure the right for women to vote -- the 19 th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which was ratified by the requisite number of states in 1920.  The struggle began in 1848 at the first women's convention at Seneca Falls, New York when the movement commenced with the efforts of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony to form the National Women's Suffrage Association.  The long and arduous road to the passage of the 19 th Amendment included several other women's rights organizations, marches by the suffragists, battles with people opposed to the amendment, hunger strikes, and other hardships.  As the vote was becoming a reality, the League of women Voters was established on February 14, 2020 to provide voting information for the eight million women who would vote for the first time.  Carrie Chatman Catt served as the organization's first president. The 19 th Amendment was ratified by two thirds of the states when Tennessee voted, on August 26, 1920, to approve it.

To commemorate this centennial year, the Dare LWV has planed a number of exciting activities.  Together, these activities are designed to meet two stated objectives, aside from their celebratory and educational purposes:
  1. To raise the public profile of the League; and
  2. To create a platform to assist the League in increasing its membership.
These wonderful activities, all shared with the public, are:
  • At its Annual Kickoff Dinner in September, League member Lin Logan, Ed. D., set the stage for the upcoming year by presenting the League through historical lens, then bringing it forward to its current engagements.
  • At its Annual Holiday Dinner in December, the occasion provided the League an opportunity to share the significance of this centennial year with members and guests.   
  • The League published the aforementioned brief history.
  • In this celebratory year, the League engaged in a campaign to increase its membership.  The campaign has proved to be quite rewarding to date. 
  • A display of the rich history of the suffrage movement and the League is currently on display at the Baum Center.  Similar displays will also be presented at several other Dare County locations during the year. 
  • Presentation of a series of six films that portray the woman's struggle for the right to vote and women's issues more generally.  The films will be shown at First Flight High School after school is dismissed. That way students, as well as the general public, can attend.  
    • The first film, "Iron Jawed Angels", will be presented on February 27 th .
    • The planning details for the second film, "Harriett", are not yet complete.
  • A League "Day of Action" will be held February 14, the League's founding day, encouraging voter registration and voter participation at various locations in Dare County.  Voter information will also be distributed.
  • The League will participate in the annual Kelly's St. Patrick Day parade on March 15th.
  • In co-sponsorship with the Bryan Cultural Series, and in cooperation with the Dare Minority Coalition, the Pea Island Life Saving Station, and the Freedman's Colony, the League is sponsoring a presentation by Nathan M. Richardson as part of the Frederick Douglass Speaking Tour at Jennette's Pier, on May 5, and at the First Flight High School and Manteo High School on May 6.
  • League member, Lin Logan, will give lectures to audiences at various locations in Dare County on the topic of the women's suffrage movement and the founding of the League.
    • The first of such lectures will be in Duck as a part of The Bias Speaker Series on March 5 th .
    • The second will be presented to the Virginia Dare Business and Professional Women's Club at Mako's Beach Grill on March 10 th .  
  • Lin Logan, will give lectures to civic classes at each of the Dare County high schools, encouraging students to vote in the first election for which they are eligible and a general discussion about the electoral process.
  • High School students will have the opportunity to participate in a League sponsored essay contest, on the general topic of democracy.  First and second place prizes will be awarded.
  • Presentations to the Dare County Board of County Commissioners and other governmental units.
  • The League is planning a program to celebrate the accomplishments of outstanding women in Dare County.  Our current thinking is to initiate a program whereby the League joins other Dare County organizations in implementing this program.  
  • An early evening, festive, dinner is planned for the fall.  Details to follow.
  • As an on-going activity, the League will hold voter registration drives at various locations throughout the county during the year, leading up to the general election in November.

Welcome New Members and Membership Renewal
by Susan Merrill


Happy ALMOST spring!... although for membership purposes we are two thirds of the way through the current year!

Welcome to our new members Jen Alexander, Kathy McCullough-Testa, Ginger Walters, Donna Garcia, Lucinda Hudgins,  Howard and Eileen Neren, Tanta Luckhardt-Hendricks, Ralph and Ginger Webster, Margaret Lawler, Martha Wikre, Veronica Moschetti-Reich, Tommy Fulcher, Elizabeth Morey and Fran Weiss. 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

Property Tax Relief to Homeowners Over 65 
by Fran Kapinos
There is a state statute handled by local agencies that give property tax relief to homeowners over 65  and have income less than $31,000.  People who are totally disabled and disabled veterans also qualify.  If you know of someone who might meet the criteria, click the link below to get the information and call Margaret Dennis in Dare County for more information at 252-475-5936. 

Click Here For the Form
Centennial Display
by Judy Lotas
Some months ago, Mary Jane Slesinski and Lin Logan discussed an idea of putting  together a centennial display at the Baum Center.  After saying great,  we thought, well can we do this at more than one place?  Anyway, Mary  Jane and Lin completed the display a couple of weeks ago.  It looks  terrific -- a first-rate job





They've Moved!

The new address/contact information for the League's state office is:



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



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