Loud & Clear
September 2022
Membership Minute
Welcome to our new section, Membership Minute, where we will be highlighting WVR members and community leaders sharing why they support Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice.

Collectively we rise to make change, because individually it is really hard to make progress. Become a member today to join your voice with ours and amplify our education and advocacy work.

If you have a story to share about why you are a member, or what WVR means to you, contact Bryna Williams, executive director.
Time to Choose Democracy
When we look at America’s history, it is clear that crucial moments periodically arise when every citizen faces the choice to either commit to saving our democracy or to do nothing and risk losing it. We are living in just such a time today. Many state legislatures, who often represent only a minority of their state’s citizens, are working hard to limit personal freedom, block efforts to gain racial and social equity, and deny voting rights to a large swath of citizens.
Please donate now to our 2022 Annual Campaign so we can continue our work to protect our democracy by providing high-quality educational programs that are free and open to the public, as well as a variety of opportunities to act on our values. Always remember, there is power in Women’s Voices Raised!
Midterms Matter: Advocacy and Education for the November Election
Thursday, September 8, 7 p.m.
Join us in-person at The Center of Clayton or on Zoom
Christine Dragonette, MSW, Director of Social Ministry, St. Francis Xavier College Church
Michele Steinberg, Membership Director, Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice
Voting is both a right and a responsibility. Black citizens, women and other vulnerable groups struggled to get the right to vote and continue to fight barriers to voter participation. Missouri’s new 2022 law, HB 1878, presents grave challenges to voters and to those who register people to vote. Michele Steinberg, will describe these challenges. Christine Dragonette will share information about assisting individuals to obtain valid IDs. Ruth Ehresman, Women’s Voices Board member, will explain ways that Women's Voices members can participate in protecting the vote in the critically important November election.
MO HB 1878 Places Egregious Restrictions on Voting-Related Activities
Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice is a proud member of the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition and enthusiastically supports the lawsuits filed challenging HB 1878's voter engagement restrictions and photo ID requirements. We will continue to advocate to protect civic engagement groups’ right to register and assist Missouri voters and work to expand the electorate.
Some important changes to note:

Voter registration restrictions: A person who intends to register more than 10 voters per election cycle must register as a solicitor with the secretary of state. Solicitors must be over 18 and registered Missouri voters. Access the solicitor form here.
No absentee solicitation: HB 1878 makes it illegal to provide anyone with an absentee ballot application or help voters fill out parts of the form. Violations are a class 1 election offense, punishable by possible jail time and loss of voting rights. Do not provide absentee forms or make them available.
Photo ID restriction: HB 1878 requires an unexpired Missouri or federal photo ID to vote. HB 1878 also eliminates the non-photo IDs that many Missourians currently use to verify their identity at the polls, and eliminates any obligation for the secretary of state to provide advance notice of the photo ID rules.
Photo ID Lawsuit
Are you part of an impacted community or know someone who is? Share your stories! Advocates want to share your experience and help you vote.
  • Seniors with expired ID
  • People who do not drive
  • People with disabilities
  • Persons without a birth certificate
  • Students with out-of-state ID
  • Persons living in shelters or unhoused
  • Returning citizens
Contact Gillian Wilcox, ACLU gwilcox@aclu-mo.org 816-470-9938 or Denise Lieberman, MOVPC denise@movpc.org 314-780-1833
Task Force Works to Seal Nonviolent Criminal Records
The Racial Justice Committee’s task force on Criminal Legal System Reform (CLSR), co-chaired by Anne Litwin and Mary Schuman, has been researching the obstacles faced by formerly incarcerated people when they return to their communities. Having a criminal record creates ongoing obstacles to employment, housing, education and family well-being. Many types of nonviolent criminal records are already eligible to be sealed in Missouri, but the current petition process is expensive and time intensive; only 1% of eligible individuals on average are able to complete the process. Clean Slate legislation, already passed in several states, streamlines the process with the help of technology, making record clearing of eligible, nonviolent convictions automatic once someone has remained crime free for a set period of time.

This bipartisan initiative has the potential to change the lives of thousands of Missourians, and we are excited to see this aggressive campaign by Empower Missouri and UMKC-Law to bring Missouri on board. The CLSR task force will be accelerating our education and advocacy efforts on this issue, including taking an active role in the Clean Slate campaign when appropriate.

To learn more about this exciting initiative, join Empower Missouri’s virtual town hall on Thursday, September 8, from 3:30-5 p.m. For more information on the campaign, visit www.mocleanslate.org. For information on the CLSR task force and its other system-reform priorities, contact Mary Schuman at or Anne Litwin.
A Chance to Raise Your Voice
St. Louis residents have a critical opportunity to shape city leadership and priorities. The Social Policy and Electoral Accountability Collaborative (SPEAC) is planning a candidate forum prior to the election of the president of the Board of Alderpersons on November 8. We urge you to participate in developing questions for the forum by answering the survey at SPEAC Forum Content Survey. What issues are most important to you? Please tell us what you think by September 12.
Details about the October 25 forum will be shared later as they are finalized. SPEAC is a group of leading St. Louis area organizations who envision an equitable region where a person’s life outcomes are not predicted by their race. Women’s Voices has been a member of SPEAC since 2019.
Women's Voices September Co-Sponsored Events
Film Screening
Meet the Janes: The Heroes of Abortion Action Before Roe v. Wade
Thurs., Sept. 15, 6:30-9 p.m.
Ethical Society of St. Louis

Prior to the screening, award-winning journalist Charles Jaco will give a brief introduction about his connection to The Janes. At the conclusion of the film, Stacey Newman of ProgressWomen will share information on how you can take action to support access to abortion.
Rock the November Vote:
Registration, Regulation & Disinformation!
Thurs., Sept. 22, 2-3 p.m.
Virtual Program

Jennifer Lohman will discuss current registration and voting regulations. Jennifer will highlight the connection between disinformation and voter access, as well as social media’s influence on voting.
Dance the Vote
Sat., Sept. 24, 12:30-3 p.m.
MO History Museum

To create excitement around voting, see dance groups, nonprofit organizations, and voter education for people of all ages and abilities. 
Women's Voices Members Respond to Injustice!
Karen Coulson, in her letter to the Webster Kirkwood Times, writes that development provides new housing opportunities in Kirkwood.

Ellen Wentz, in her letter to the Webster Kirkwood Times, writes that density in new housing in Kirkwood will increase viability.
Have something to submit for Loud & Clear?

Loud & Clear is the official monthly e-newsletter of Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice and is usually distributed on the first Monday or Tuesday of the month. The general deadline for article submission is the Wednesday prior to publication. Click here to contact editor Laura Rose.
Membership Info
Even if you can’t come to meetings or become personally involved, your membership is important…and greatly appreciated.

Benefits of Membership
When you join Women’s Voices you:
  • Make our voice stronger when we advocate with elected officials.
  • Provide support to the organization by adding your name to our advocacy efforts.
  • Provide ideas and suggestions to help determine how to define our positions and choose our causes.
  • Participate in advocacy activities in any way that you want or is possible for you.
  • Take pride in your affiliation with a strong, progressive group of women working for social justice.
  • Help cover our administrative and outreach costs through your dues.
Annual Dues:

$60 (Regular Membership)
$100 (Silver Level)
$150 (Gold Level)
$20 (Student Membership)
Send a check (payable to Women's Voices) to: 

Women's Voices
7401 Delmar Blvd. 
University City, MO 63130