December 2019
Message from the Leadership Team
As we take a deep breath after a very busy fall - registering voters, lauching a new initiative to improve voter participation, conducting candidate forums and preparing Voter Guides for the November elections, and of course celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Texas League of Women Voters - we pause now to enjoy the gifts of family, friends, and fellowship the holiday season brings. And following that brief respite, we ramp up again for the March primary election, the LWV Texas State Convention in April, and of course, the 2020 census. The work of Empowering Voters and Defending Democracy never ends!
Inside this issue...
  • General membership meeting, January 16
  • State of the City Luncheon, January 9
  • Membership Renewal Reminder
  • From League of Women Voters of Texas December 2019 Action News! "Modernizing Election Websites in Texas"
General Membership Meeting, Thursday, January 16
Our next general membership meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 16, at 6:00pm at Riverhill Country Club in the Grill Room. The meeting is open to the public.

An appetizer buffet will be served. The cost is $20 per person, payable at the door by check or cash. A cash bar will be available. Please make reservations with Bunny Bond by email to or phone at 830-895-1880 by Thursday, January 9th. To attend the meeting only, please let Bunny know so sufficient seating will be available.

Richard Castanon, M.A., will be our guest speaker. He is a Partnership Specialist for the United States Census Bureau - Denver Region. Richard is responsible for developing partnerships with county and local governments as well as higher education institutions.
Richard has over 25 years of experience as a public engagement professional specializing in government relations, community affairs, grassroots and grasstops outreach, and issue advocacy working in community, government, international, and public affairs.  He has strong leadership, bilingual communication, and project management credentials in diverse sectors including government, media, political communications, community organizing, citizen engagement and visibility, and marketing campaigns.
Richard served as a paratrooper and field radio communications specialist in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, and is a veteran of the Persian Gulf War I of 1991.  He is also a graduate of the United States International University - San Diego, (now Alliant International University) where he earned his Bachelor and Master Degrees in International Relations. 
State of the City Luncheon, Thursday, January 9
The Annual State of the City Luncheon will be held on Thursday, January 9, 2020, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Inn of the Hills Hotel & Conference Center, 1001 Junction Hwy in Kerrville. Individual tickets are $25.00.  If you are interested in attending, please contact Mary Ellen Summerlin at  or 830-895-7982 by December 20th. (If you prefer to reserve a seat on your own, please contact Rachel London at the Kerrville Chamber of Commerce at 830-896-1155.)

The luncheon will provide a unique opportunity for Kerrville’s Mayor and the City Manager to brief the citizens on current events and projects in Kerrville and provide an update on progress made on the historic Kerrville 2050 Comprehensive Plan. This is a great opportunity to get up to speed and learn how to become more involved! 
Membership Renewal Reminder
Membership in the League of Women Voters of Hill Country Texas will expire December 31, 2019, and renewal will begin January 1, 2020. Membership forms are available on our website at and will also be available at the January meeting. Forms should be completed even if you are just renewing, so we can be sure to have accurate information. Anyone over the age of 16, male or female, is welcome. Annual dues for individuals are $60, for households, $85, and for students, $5.

Click here for the membership form.

I f you wish to complete the form and send your check this month, the treasurer will hold your check to deposit in January. Checks should be made payable to LWV-HC and mailed with the form to Treasurer, LWV-HC, P.O. Box 290303, Kerrville, TX 78029.
From "League of of Women Voters of Texas December 2019 Action News!" ...

"Only 20% of Texas Counties Following Website Security Best Practice!

"The League of Women Voters of Texas conducted its fourth survey of Texas county websites in late October and early November 2019. The League is proud to celebrate counties large and small which meet the needs of the diverse voters in their county. The League report also brings to light significant deficits with many Texas county election websites.

"Ensuring a safe and secure election should be a priority for county election officials. Of the 254 counties, 201 of them have a website labeled “not secure.” Only 9 counties provide a site where voters will feel confident they are at the right website with a government-verified  DotGov  domain. 

"In addition to the website review, LWVTX is working with the staff at the Office of the Texas Secretary of State and the Texas Association of Counties to provide additional information and support to Texas counties to improve their websites. Local Leagues have reached out to congratulate their counties and to offer guidance on improving their websites. We encourage individuals to review their county's website and speak up as well. (Check out the League county website page for best practice guidance first!) League media outreach encourages solutions oriented journalism. Reporters from around the state have responded positively, bringing attention to this important voter education issue.

"To see the full report, go to  LWVTX County Website webpage . To see how your county fared click  here ."
Mark Your Calendars
Thursday, January 9 - State of the City Luncheon
Thursday, January 16 - LWV-Hill Country general membership meeting
Monday, February 3 - Last day to register to vote in March 3rd primary election
T uesday, February 18 - First day of early voting
Friday, February 28 - Last day of early voting
Tuesday, March 3 - Primary election day
Thursday, March 19 - LWV-Hill Country general membership meeting
April 17-19, 2020 - LWVTX Convention in Austin
May 21, 2020 - Annual membership meeting
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  

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 Texas 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 Texas
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 ( : 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
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, s 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. 
For a free, four-hour TEA continuing education credit course on issues of human trafficking, go . Teachers, take note of this!   This is the online course for which we received the state award.

 The national League, LWVUS, 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.
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League of Women Voters - Hill Country Texas