THE VOTER
August 2019
Message from the Leadership Team
In addition to the dinner LWV-Hill Country is hosting this month in recognition of Women's Equality Day, there are numerous other events and exhibits recognizing the fast-approaching 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote. As noted below, the Llano County Historical Society is hosting a Women's Suffrage Movement luncheon. The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin has a special exhibition titled Sister Suffragists: A Celebration of the Suffrage Centennial ; and the Texas State Historical Association has published an eBook titled Texas Women and The Vote . (Click here to download a free copy.) And of course, the League of Women Voters of Texas will be celebrating its 100th anniversary on October 19 in San Antonio (details below).

We hope you will join in one or all of the celebrations honoring the women who fought so hard and so long to gain the right to vote for all women.
Women's Equality Day, August 26
In honor of Women's Equality Day, LWV-Hill Country will host a dinner on Monday, August 26th, at 6:00 p.m. Buffet service, which will begin at 6:30, includes grilled chicken, a "stack" of grilled veggies (zucchini, yellow squash, and bell pepper), ancient grains pilaf, garden salad, rolls, and for dessert a choice of either winter pumpkin dulce de leche parfait or Belgian chocolate parfait, both gluten free. Tea, water, and wine will be available and are included with the dinner.

Non-refundable tickets for the dinner are $25.00 per person. The deadline for reservations is Friday, August 16th. Please send your check made payable to LWV-Hill Country to:

Mary Ellen Summerlin
LWV-Hill Country
P.O. Box 290303
Kerrville, TX 78029

Please include the notation "WED" on the memo line on your check.

For additional information, please contact Bunny Bond either by email addressed to mmbond@ktc.com or by phone at 830-895-1880 .
The guest speaker for the evening is author and speaker Jo Ivester.

In 1967 when Jo was 10 years old, her father, a pediatrician, moved their family from Newton, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston, to an all-black town in the Mississippi Delta, where they were one of only two white families and the only Jewish one. There, her father started a medical clinic, her mother taught at the local high school, and Jo was the only white student at her junior high. Living in a trailer in the poorest county in the nation during the turbulent 1960s, they were drawn into the heart of the civil rights movement.

Because of this experience, Jo is committed to advocating for equal rights for all. Her award-winning memoir about her family’s time in Mississippi,  The Outskirts of Hope: A Memoir  (She Writes Press, April 2015), has led to numerous speaking engagements about racial relations. In the last few years, Jo has broadened her focus to raise awareness about the transgender community. Inspired by her transgender son, she is now working on her second book,  Once a Girl, Always a Boy .
 
Before becoming a writer, Jo received a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from MIT and an MBA from Stanford University. She worked for many years in transportation and operations management before teaching as an adjunct professor in the business school of St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. Now living in Fort Worth, Texas, she has been married to Jon Ivester for 37 years, has four children, two grandchildren, and another grandchild on the way.

(Editor's note: To read more about Jo, as well as additional details about her inspiration for writing the book  The Outskirts of Hope: A Memoir , please visit her website at  joivester.com/about a nd scroll down to “A Letter from Jo.”)
Women's Suffrage Movement Luncheon in Llano
The Llano County Historical Society is hosting The Women’s Suffrage Movement Luncheon  on Saturday, August 24, 2019, from 11am – 1pm in the Community Room at the Llano School Administration Building, 1400 Oatman Street in Llano.  Guests will be treated to a "period menu" and "period live music."

League member Bunny Bond will be the guest speaker during the luncheon. Guest suffragettes from Llano will also be in attendance.
 
Tickets are available for purchase for $15 at the Llano County Historical Museum, 325-247-3026, and at the Llano Visitor Center, 325-247-5354. 

Plans for carpooling to Llano will be made as the event draws nearer. If you're interested in attending, please contact Bunny Bond either by email addressed to mmbond@ktc.com or by phone at 830-895-1880 .
League Action on Redistricting
"There is a whole component of citizen education dealing with transparency and public engagement that is absolutely vital to any redistricting system. People need to understand what the current redistricting process is, why it's so bad, and what can be done about it in clear, simple terms. We need good material in all formats and good speakers to share that material. We need volunteers who represent our diversity to help us inform our communities.

"We need to focus on creating a more transparent process. We need people to watch when the new maps are drawn to guard against gerrymandering. Sunlight disinfects. If the line drawers aren't doing anything "funny," then there is no reason to go behind closed doors. The public needs to see and understand who is drawing the maps and how they are drawn." ~ Chris Carson, President, League of Women Voters, US ( https://drive.google.com/file/d/1XVvWflGQbTysMuObup-UUoicLh57r6cD/view )

During the 2021 legislative session, the Texas Legislature will reapportion congressional seats, as well as Texas house and senate seats. Starting in September, the Texas House Committee on Redistricting will be holding Interim Field Hearings to gather information that will aid in making redistricting decisions. ( Click here for dates and locations. ) ( The hearings "provide an opportunity for citizens to present relevant testimony concerning local preferences, communities of interest, local voting patterns, and other issues that the legislature may consider when redrawing district lines. The hearings also promote public awareness of the legislative redistricting process." (https://redistricting.capitol.texas.gov/process#pub-hearing-section)

The LWV-Texas website has a wealth of information and resources regarding redistricting and how we can participate. Click here to visit the Redistricting/Census page.

League members will be making plans to attend one of interim field hearings and will offer opportunities for carpooling to those who are interested. Please watch for notices about the plans.
Volunteer Deputy Registrar Training
T he Kerr County Elections Department will be offering Volunteer Deputy Registrar Training in the next several months, as follows:
  • Wednesday, August 21, from 3:00-5:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, September 18, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 16, from 3:00-5:00 p.m.

All classes will be held in the Kerr County Commissioners' Courtroom in the Kerr County Courthouse, 700 Main Street, Kerrville. There is no charge for the training.

If you are interested in becoming a Volunteer Deputy Regiatrar , please contact the Elections Department at 830-792-2242 to sign up for one of the sessions.

And just a heads-up: National Voter Registration Day is Tuesday, September 24, 2019.
LWV Celebrates 100 Years Strong!
LWV Texas will be commemorating 100 years of "organizing agitating & educating" at its 100 Year Anniversary Luncheon on Saturday, October 19, 2019, at the St. Anthony Hotel in San Antonio, the very place where the League was founded in 1919! Speakers include Patricia (Trish) Cunningham Nicholson, the great grandniece of Minnie Fisher Cunningham, who will speak on the "Power of Women," and Dr. Jessica Brannon-Wranosky, Ph.D.,  who will address the heroic struggle to achieve full voting rights for all women in Texas. 

Individual tickets are $119 plus a $9.27 fee and are available for purchase here . For information about table sponsorships, please contact Bunny Bond at mmbond@ktc.com.
This and That...
Kerrville Chamber of Commerce Business Expo
A huge thanks to Maggie Megee, Cathy Learoyd, Jeannette Ruark, and Alicia Boyette for setting up, staffing, and taking down our booth at the Business Expo. Jeannette noted that: " Voter registration is only one aspect of what we do. As Bunny reported, we have a higher than average number of registered voters, but a dismal rate for actually voting. Opportunities to talk to people and discuss Vote411, as well as other League initiatives, are going to be where our success is counted, for sure." (Maggie and Cathy pictured above.)

By the way, Cathy designed a very informative refrigerator magnet to give away at the Expo. Be sure to pick up one for your fridge at our next meeting.
* * * * *


Voters Service Plans New Initiative
J eannette Ruark, Voters Service Chair, and her committee are working on a new initiative titled "Informing and Empowering Voters Project." As she explained:

"Traditionally, the LWV-Hill Country has taken advantage of National Voter Registration Day (September 24th [this year]) ... to set up Voter Registration booths at Schreiner University, local high schools, day care centers, etc. Last year, the time frame for this was expanded to include the whole week to take advantage of more opportunities, and it has been decided to adopt the week time frame again this year.

"This year (2019), it has been proposed that we add a pilot project with additional activities extending beyond the week of September 24th and through the end of 2019, based on the willingness and availability of LWV volunteers.

"Rationale: This project has been proposed and developed by League members because there is the potential for voter interest and volunteer engagement to wane during the off-year election year. While there is evidence of above average rates for voter registration in the Texas Hill Country, actual participation in the voting process is lower than average. Since the mission of the League is to "Empower Voters and Defend Democracy," it appears that activities beyond voter registration are called for. By doing this in an off-year, volunteers who might otherwise be engaged in partisan campaigns should be available for this non-partisan effort."

Jeannette will be sharing the details of the project in the near future, so stayed tuned to learn how you can help.
Mark Your Calendars

Wednesday, August 21 - Volunteer Deputy Registrar training
Saturday, August 24 - Llano County Historical Society luncheon
Monday, August 26 - Women's Equality Day
Wednesday, September 18 - Volunteer Deputy Registrar training
Thursday, September 19 - LWV-Hill Country general membership meeting
Tuesday, September 24 - National Voter Registration Day
Wednesday, October 16 - Volunteer Deputy Registrar training
 Saturday, October 19 - LWV Texas 100th Anniversary luncheon in San Antonio
Thursday, November 21 - LWV-Hill Country general membership meeting
Thursday, January 16 - LWV-Hill Country general membership meeting
Thursday, March 19 - LWV-Hill Country general membership meeting
April 17-19, 2020 - LWVTX Convention in Austin
Join Us!
Be a member of the League; we invite you to join us!  A membership form can be found on our website or you may contact Julie Sentell, Membership Coordinator, at julie.sentell@me.com.  

Our League’s annual dues are $60 for an individual or $85 for two in a household, and $5 for student memberships.  Dues are prorated from January. Please include your name(s), address, email address, and phone number. Make your check payable to LWV-Hill Country and mail to LWV-HC, PO Box 290303, Kerrville, TX 78029-0303.  Join the League and help make democracy work.
 
And consider giving a membership to a student, as they need only be 16 years of age to join.
League of Women Voters-Hill Country - Leadership Team
Treasurer : Mary Ellen Summerlin
Membership Coordinator: Julie Sentell
Voters Service:  Jeanette Ruark
Webmaster : Cathy Learoyd
Members-at-large : Bunny Bond, Alicia Boyett, Maggie Megee, Kat Walker
President’s email (presidentlwvhc@gmail.com) : Cathy Learoyd
Facebook Administrator: Kat Walker
Stay Connected

The LWV-Hill Country welcomes your questions! Post to our Facebook page or submit questions via e-mail to  presidentlwvhc@gmail.com
About the League of Women Voters
The League of Women Voters is a local, state, and national nonpartisan organization.  

Please visit the LWV-Texas state website,  my.lwv.org/texas There you will find more voter information and the League positions on a variety of issues.  The League develops its positions after study and consensus.

The LWV-Texas position on the issue of human trafficking in Texas: The League of Women Voters of Texas is opposed to all forms of domestic and international human trafficking of adults and children, including sex trafficking and labor trafficking.  We consider human trafficking to be a form of modern-day slavery and support measures to prevent the use of force, fraud or coercion to exploit a person for sexual or labor purposes, to prosecute traffickers and to protect victims. 
 
Go to  http://lwvedu.org for the free, four-hour TEA continuing credit course on issues of human trafficking. Teachers, take note of this!   This is the online course for which we received the state award.

 The national League, LWVUS,  lwv.org is actively working to influence public policy through education and advocacy.  Go to this website and see the range of issues from voter rights, voter turnout, reforming money in politics, and defending the environment.
Please Consider . . .
  • Helping fund our State League, LWV-Texas.
  • Do you purchase from Amazon? Please donate 0.5% of your purchase to LWV-Texas.  Instructions can be found on the State League's web site, www.lwvtexas.org. Scroll down - it's way down there.
Or just save these instructions:
  •  On your Amazon account:
  •  Search out Amazon Smile; select League of Women Voters of Texas Education Fund as your charity.
  •  Thereafter, for your purchase to count for the donation, log into http://smile.amazon.com
  •  The program will send you an email to install buttons into your browser to make this step easier.
League of Women Voters - Hill Country, Texas
presidentlwvhc@gmail.com
www.lwvhillcountrytexas.org