“To the wrongs that need resistance, to the right that needs assistance, to the future in the distance, give yourselves.”
— Carrie Chapman Catt, Founder, League of Women Voters
A lot has changed rapidly in the past few weeks with the COVID-19 pandemic. What hasn’t changed is the San Antonio League’s commitment to provide the information that voters need to make informed choices at the ballot box for the upcoming elections and also to fill out the 2020 Census forms. 

As we continue to navigate through these uncharted waters, practicing physical distancing, adapting to new norms, and enduring many more days homebound, the League team is developing strategies to reach out to voters. The newsletter includes some suggestions on how you can help keep the momentum, generated before the primaries, going in these days of social distancing. Our efforts may be virtual for now, but they are no less real and effective than the many community actions League members and volunteers have already participated in this year.

Social media will play an important role. Please be sure to like us on social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – and share our posts with your online social networks. And we will need to extend this communication beyond social media posts to reach people who have limited or no internet access . I invite you to join us as we work to expand our communication toolkit.

Voters trust the information provided by the League and count on the League to get them the necessary voter and election related information. To that end, we are fully committed and positioned to continue our important work. 

This newsletter also highlights the energy and enthusiasm of League members and dedicated volunteers, acknowledging and celebrating ALL the work that was accomplished in the first 72 days of 2020. 

We are all dealing with our new reality of living during a pandemic, a reality few of us could have imagined. In the face of this new challenge, we can draw strength from our collective action.

Stay healthy, stay safe, and stay informed.

Madhu Sridhar, President
League of Women Voters of the San Antonio Area
What League Members Can Do
In these times of social distancing and sheltering at home, it's easy to think there isn't much of anything we can do to promote voter engagement and protect democracy; yet, it is just these moments that need us to stay engaged and informed. The question is how to do that when so much of League activity is in-person outreach in the community.

Individually, we may have a mixed relationship with our digital tools, but right now, they are indispensable in our continuing work. Individually, we may have a mixed relationship with our digital tools, but right now, they are indispensable in our continuing work. We invite you to consider whether any of the opportunities below are of interest to you and contact the appropriate person to get involved .
Contact Elizabeth Wood-Hull ( ewoodhull.lwvsa@gmail.com ) if you are interested in working on either of the following:
  • compiling a community calendar list
  • using your WordPress web design skills

Contact Jill ( torbertj@aol.com ) if you are interested in collaborating on ways to continue voter outreach through the San Antonio Public Libraries.

Contact Harriet Wiygul ( harriet.wiygul@gmail.com ) if you are interested in collaborating on:
  • tracking current Congressional legislation having to do with elections
  • doing online research on voting rights history
Recent Events
Conversation with Councilman Treviño
 On Monday, February 10, League members met at Councilman Treviño's field office, where the councilman spoke about his efforts for the homeless and housing in District 1 and in the city, especially the deleterious effects eviction has on individuals and families. There were follow-up questions as well as questions focused on other community issues.
Distributing Voter Information Providing accurate and timely information to voters about candidates and about voting rights is an integral part of the League’s voter outreach. In addition to the candidate information available on VOTE411.org, the League distributed 20,000 printed copies of the Voters Guide throughout the San Antonio area. 
To encourage turnout and to inform voters on their rights, volunteers gathered on a Sunday in early February to put together packets that included multiple copies of English and Spanish language versions of our brochures: Texas Voters' Bill of Rights , Frequently Asked Questions About Voting and Elections , and Vote: It's in Your Best Interest . The packets were delivered by Board members to community outreach organizations, media outlets, and community centers for distribution to their clientele and employees.
For the Future–San Antonio   Candidate Forums
The League joined with Raise Your Hand Texas in co-sponsoring a State Senate District 19 candidate forum on January 30th focusing on education-related topics, both statewide and local. Two other For the Future candidate forums were held, one on February 11th with Texas House District 119 candidates at Highlands High School and another on February 13th with Texas House District 121 candidates at MacArthur High School.
Elections / Poll Monitoring
Primary Runoff Election Early Voting
July 6 - July 10

July 14: Primary Runoff Election Day
Vote at any polling station in Bexar county.
Being a Poll Monitor
The League of Women Voters of the San Antonio Area was proud to partner with the nonpartisan  Texas Election Protection Coalition  to help ensure that all eligible voters cast a ballot at the polls. Here are three League members who trained and worked as poll monitors during early voting and on Primary Election Day, 2020. Perhaps their experiences will help others choose to perform this important function (when we can once again gather in groups).

Andrea MacRae: I was a poll monitor Election Day from 7:00-11:00 a.m. I was to document if the polling location opened on time and any issues, (e.g., the line moving slowly, people being turned away, looking to see if people were leaving with a troubled expression). I plan on volunteering again. I urge others to become poll monitors as well. Voting is such an important part of our lives, we should do everything we can to ensure we all can participate. 

Elizabeth Wood-Hull: Volunteering as a poll monitor was gratifying work. I answered questions about voter ID and polling hours for people who might not have voted if they hadn’t received immediate information. I was also able to redirect voters to nearby polling locations for the period during which the machines at my location were not functioning. For issues I couldn’t address, I referred voters to the attorney-staffed 866-OUR-VOTE hotline. Every single vote matters!

Walter Kallick: The poll monitoring tasks included ensuring that there was no electioneering within the 100-foot neutral zone around the polling site, The poll monitor also checks that the polling site opens on time, and that required signage is in place. The other poll monitors I worked with were, for the most part, veteran poll monitors and were warm and friendly to all voters.
Voter Outreach Had A Goal. 
League Volunteers Surpassed It!
The League started the year with a goal of participating in 60 events in 60 days, leading up to the March primaries. With voter outreach kits fully stocked, volunteers were out in the community – educating people about the election and motivating them to get out to vote.
During the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend, volunteers handed out information at the Young Men’s Leadership Academy’s 5k Run, carried League signs during the MLK, Jr. March, and registered voters all day long, both during the March and at the League’s booth at Pittman-Sullivan Park afterwards. 
At the Young Men's Leadership Academy 5K Run
At the start of the March
At Pittman-Sullivan Park
At the end of January, as part of Telemundo’s Hazte Contar civic engagement campaign, Telemundo and the League co-hosted an event at Woodlawn Lake Park where twenty-eight people were registered.  
On February 14th, as part of the Women Power the Vote Day of Action, called by the national League of Women Voters, the San Antonio League, in partnership with Telemundo, hosted a table at The Pearl at a special Valentine's Day edition of Sound Cream Sunset Sessions.
League volunteers appeared every Sunday at the Pearl Farmers Market to staff our voter outreach tent and even began working a monthly Saturday voter information table at SoFlo Market, an urban art and craft market in the South Flores Arts District.
SoFlo Market
On Saturday evenings in January and February, the Alamo Drafthouse hosted the League where members informed moviegoers about the upcoming primaries.   
By February 14, the League had surpassed its initial goal, but volunteers kept working.   
Twenty-two libraries were visited, some multiple times, with volunteers handing out the League’s popular voter resource bookmarks and dispensing other critical information.
League volunteers were present at cultural events, such as the free Texicana Mamas concert at the Pearl and the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Celebrando Tradiciones: Ser Mujer .

And on the last evening before early voting ended, two members knocked on 130 doors, a first-time block-walking effort.   

And there was more! The League was present at the Eastside Education and Training Center, the SAHA Career and Education Fair, Connect+ability, and Leon Valley’s Earthwise Living Day. 
By March 12, the last day the League participated in face-to-face voter outreach, volunteers had worked at 93 events. A total of 471 volunteer hours were logged, and volunteers spoke with over 1,500 people. This was all done in 72 days.  

To all the amazing volunteers that made it possible for the League to be in so many places and talk to so many people, THANK YOU . All of this happened because you gave your time and energy to promote citizen engagement and protect our democracy. We hope to see you all back when it is safe to be out in public.  
Coda: Hollywood Interprets Suffragettes
While the coronavirus pandemic may be absorbing most of our attention, it is important that we don’t lose sight that 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing the right of women to vote. What better way to honor that while sitting at home than to watch a couple of movies about women’s suffrage! Here are a few suggestions for movies available on various streaming services.

Perhaps the earliest one available is 1917’s silent  Mothers of Men, in which a woman becomes governor of California. The movie predates the passage of the 19th Amendment. Available to rent on Fandor or Fandor through Amazon Prime.

In 1947, Betty Grable wasn’t shocking enough for male moviegoers in  The Shocking Miss Pilgrim  because she didn’t show her legs. Her character shocked the men in 1874 Boston as a young office worker who becomes an avid suffragette.  Available to rent on several streaming services.

The Ballad of Josie  (1967) features Doris Day as a widow in frontier Wyoming who decides to raise sheep in cattle country and organizes the area women to demonstrate for suffrage. Available to rent on several streaming services.

And  Mary Poppins  (1964) must be included, even though it takes place in England, because who can forget Mrs. Banks singing “Sister Suffragette”? Available to rent on several streaming services.