Loud & Clear
September 2020
September Program: Bringing the Ballot to You: Voting During a Pandemic and Beyond
Thursday, September 10, 7 p.m.

This November the pandemic will create unique challenges for voters and elections officials to ensure that every American voter can exercise their right to vote. What are the local implications of national electoral policy? What did we learn from the August primary and how can we make it easier to vote across the region? What are our options for voting in November? Join our virtual discussion and learn about both the technical aspects of how to vote in November and the fight for access to the ballot box.

Speakers: Eric Fey, Democratic Director of Elections in St. Louis County; Aquene Freechild, Co-Director, Democracy is For the People Campaign; Jennifer S. Lohman, Director, St. Louis Area Voter Protection Coalition, League of Women Voters Elections Committee Member

How You Can Protect the Vote in November
Help Register Voters
MapTheVote is a great way to make sure that your family, friends, neighbors, and everyone else are registered to vote. It uses publicly available data to map locations that are likely to have unregistered, eligible voters. Log in at https://mapthevote.org to locate potential voters; drop prepared packets containing voter registration forms and informational flyers at unregistered voters’ doors; and help register voters in a contactless, COVID-safe way.

HOW TO JOIN US

Packets will be available for contactless pick up after Tuesday, September 15.

Commit to delivering packets no later than Sunday, September 27.

We will give you everything you need to leave at a potential voter’s door. Detailed instructions about packet pickup and how to use Map The Vote will be sent after September 11.

Questions – email Michele Steinberg.
 
Be a Poll Monitor 
Women’s Voices is a local partner of the national, nonpartisan Election Protection coalition that works to protect all voters by providing resources and help for problems voters experience. As a nonpartisan volunteer poll monitor, you might remotely monitor polling places, drive between polling places, monitor social media for voters with problems, and more. You can find a place to protect the vote: in the field (with safety protocols), at the remote call centers (with lawyers, law students, paralegals), or at home monitoring social media. Register at https://protectthevote.net to get started. Don’t forget to let us know if you participate!
Please Support Our Work!
Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice is currently in the midst of our annual membership and fundraising campaign. This year our theme is “Not everyone is dealt a fair hand,” and many of you have received a letter in the mail. The work we do has never been more critical because of the impact of COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, and the 2020 elections. We have stepped up our education and advocacy work in increasing voter registrations, criminal justice reform, gun lock distribution, and health care justice.

PLEASE renew your membership and, if you are able, please support our work with an additional contribution. We are a completely volunteer organization, except for a part-time manager. We have very low expenses compared to other organizations and are good stewards of the dollars we receive. If you’d like more information about our needs and our use of the funds, please feel free to reach out to Betsy Schmidt. Thanks in advance for the work you are doing and for being a part of our Women’s Voices community.
September Lunch & Learn to Explore Affordable Housing
Tues., Sept. 15, noon

What do low- and moderate-income families face when looking for homes in St. Louis? Longtime family housing and community development leader Chris Krehmeyer will share his perspectives on opportunities and obstacles to affordable housing during a session on Tuesday, September 15. Sponsored by the Racial Justice Committee, the session will be conducted by Zoom, beginning at 12 noon.

Speaker: Chris Krehmeyer, president and CEO of Beyond Housing

Racial Justice Book & Movie Club!
Racial Justice Book Club to Discuss One Person, One Vote
Thurs., Sept. 17, 2020, 6:15 p.m. – Zoom Book Club

One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy by Carol Anderson
 
“Looking at gerrymandering, voter ID laws, the closure of polling places, and a host of other forms of voter suppression; Carol Anderson brilliantly shows how African Americans have systematically lost their voting rights since the Voting Rights Act of 1965.” Black Perspectives, “Best Black History Books of the Year
 
Mark Your Calendar for Movie Night
Beginning September 24, 2020, at 6:30 pm, Women’s Voices will offer a shared movie. We are still working on the details of where it will be offered, whether via Google Chrome, Zoom, or another venue. We plan to offer a movie every other month on the fourth Thursday.
 
On September 24, we will watch Dr Robin DiAngelo discuss her book White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. This video will make you laugh, and squirm. You will learn to be and do better. There will be a chat room during the movie and a short discussion afterwards.

Racial Justice Members Begin Housing Focus
Members of the Racial Justice committee are continuing their strategic focus around raising public awareness, increasing collaborative efforts and justice-related effectiveness. Affordable housing is a key initiative. With assistance from the Center for Civic Research and Innovation, members are working to understand the affordable housing landscape in St. Louis city and county, and to identify the partners where they can best collaborate. Once the group has the data necessary, Women’s Voices members will be asked to speak out and work in their own communities to make housing more equitable and affordable for all.
 
If you are interested in working on this, or on criminal justice reform, which is also a key initiative of the group, please email: racialjustice@womensvoicesraised.org.
Teach What You Weren’t Taught
The Racial Justice committee’s challenge for the month of September is “Teach Acceptance.” One of the reasons why we have such a racial divide in our country is that many, if not most, of us were not taught to be accepting of others. Perhaps this was not a deliberate teaching, but we learned the lesson anyway. Black children went to other schools. Black families lived “across the tracks.” Black help came in through the back door.

This September offers us a perfect time to talk to our children and grandchildren about acceptance. Start with the political campaigns. Do you see a difference in candidates running for office? What issues do the party platforms endorse? Which candidates embrace diversity?

Honor Black Suffragists
Weds., Sept. 2, 10 a.m.
Greenwood Cemetery (6571 St. Louis Ave., 63121)

As we celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which secured the voting rights for women, we must acknowledge that not all women were given that right. It wasn't until 45 years later, in 1965, that Black women were guaranteed that right. Locally, three Black suffragists were instrumental in helping Black women secure their constitutional right to vote. They are buried at Greenwood Cemetery. We will honor them at the cemetery on Wednesday, September 2, at 10 a.m. Please join us to recognize these brave women.

Summer of Lock It for Love
Good news! FOCUS St. Louis selected the Lock It for Love program for a What's Right with the Region Award in the "Demonstrating Innovative Solutions" category. It will be presented at a virtual event on September 3.

This summer Lock It for Love had a highly successful collaboration with Operation Food Search, distributing gun locks in the “Drive-thru Food Pick-up for Kids” events at four St. Louis County Library branches. From July 6 through August 17, our Lock It for Love volunteers gave out 710 gun locks at the Lewis & Clark, Florissant Valley, Natural Bridge and Weber Road county library branches. Our dedicated volunteers also continued to distribute locks at the Affinia COVID-19 mobile testing at the Victor Roberts building sponsored by State Representative Steven Roberts.

In our effort to continue to get gun locks to families during this time of limited contacts, the committee also has entered into a new partnership: St. Louis Crisis Nursery representatives will inform clients of the importance of locking guns in homes with children and will distribute gun locks to clients as needed.

The Virtual Care Fair, sponsored by Senator Jill Schupp on August 5, featured Committee Co-Chair Cathy Gilbert, who explained the work of the Lock It for Love program during the Children and Family Resources session. The recording is on Senator Schupp’s Facebook page.

Following the tragic and preventable death of a 13-year-old, KSDK Channel 5 interviewed Cathy Gilbert about the need to keep guns in the home locked. Addressing the concern that it could take too long to unlock a firearm, Cathy gave this advice: “Practice with a gun lock. It doesn’t take long to put a key in a lock and turn it and put your gun back together. You might think it takes too long to unlock your gunlock, but you need to think about how long you will be without a child, if that child found the gun first.” See the full interview here.
Black Lives Matter Masks at Onetime Supply Co.
We all have to wear masks, so why not wear ones that spark a conversation and support our community at the same time? Women’s Voices has found a local source for face masks displaying "Black Lives Matter": Onetime Supply Co., 4972 Eichelberger St., 63109. 
 
This retail and screen-printing studio was founded by designer and operator Pierrce 'Buttns' in 2014. The shop name derives from the fact that each design garners a story or anecdote, or rather a shortened version of "Once upon a time." Many of the shop's design themes carry ideas of social injustice, politics, history, and pop culture. As with Black Lives Matter merchandise, Pierrce, a Black male (he/him/his), aims to create conversation with his pieces; but insists that "Onetime is not to be taken as a gift shop for Black trauma."
 
Bulk orders from neighboring businesses and organizations make up a large part of the company’s business. Among its clients are Washington University, Contemporary Art Museum, various St. Louis public schools, and St. Louis Public Radio.
 
To learn more, visit: www.onetimesupplyco.com.
Women's Voices Members respond to injustice!
Pamella Gronemeyer, in her letter to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, speaks out for adding Medicare for All to the Democratic platform.
 
Gena Gunn McClendon’s work against voter suppression in Missouri is described in Washington University’s “the Source."

Rev. Rudy Pulido, in his letter to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, writes that churches that once held to the separation of church and state but have taken money through the Paycheck Protection Program should inform their members of the source of the income.

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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.
  • Are eligible to vote on important decisions such as Women’s Voices taking a position on a social justice issue or supporting/opposing a ballot measure.
  • Participate in advocacy activities in any way that you want or is possible for you.
  • Can 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:
  
$40 (Regular Membership)
$75 (Silver Level)
$100 (Gold Level)
$10 (Student Membership)
or
Send a check (payable to Women's Voices) to: 
 
Women's Voices
7401 Delmar Blvd. 
University City, MO 63130