Summer 2019 Activities
Voter registration opportunities continue throughout the summer.
26 August the Arlington Public Library, Encore Learning, and LWV Arlington hosted a showing of the new film, "Iron Jawed Angels”. It tells the story of the fight for women to obtain the right to vote through the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. It focused on the efforts of Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party. The National Woman’s Party was more activist than the larger National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) which founded the League of Women Voters (1920). The members and efforts of both organizations were essential to securing the right to vote.
18 July fell in ‘voter registration for people with disabilities week’. The chapter held a registration event at the ENDependence Center of N. Virgina whose Communications Manager, Elizabeth Kumar, attended the even, as did State Senator Favola.
14 July - First meeting of the newly elected 2019 - 2010 Board was lead by President Joan Porte.
13 July - LWV Arlington hosted a major voter registration training session at the Universalist Unitarian Church. Garry Ellis the Virginia Department of Elections Voter Registration Coordinator - Senior Coordinator conducted the 2 hour training session. All participants received Certificates of Training certifying them to conduct 3rd Party voter registration drives through June 30, 2020. Gretchen Reinemeyer, the newly appointed General Registrar for Arlington, also attended and provided useful Arlington specific information.
1 June - Arlington Chapter celebrated its 75th hearing speaker Elaine Weiss, author of “The Woman’s Hour: The Fight for the Vote” and receiving the beautiful 75th Anniversary Booklet which illustrates our amazing accomplishments and contributions! We decorated our Past Presidents with yellow rose coursages, the rose chosen by the “Suffs” [“Antis” chose red roses] to present to state legislators who were supportive of women getting the vote as written about by Ms. Weiss in “The Women’s Hour”.
Photographed by Jackie Rivas
17-19 May The Arlington Chapter sent a record number of members to the LWV 2019 Virginia State Convention in Norfolk. Virginia’s First Lady Pam Northrum was a featured speaker. Incoming State President, Deb Wake, addressed the Convention. Christy Coleman, CEO of the recently opened “The Civil War Museum” in Richmond, also addressed the convention. Our own Kathy Matusiak presented the Virginia State Nominating Committee’s slate. The Chapter placed Second, by merely one point, in the Outstanding Advocacy Competition. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK ARLINGTON !!!
5 May The League of Women Voters of Arlington in conjunction with the Nu Xi Zeta Chapter, Alexandria and the AAUW Arlington Branch invite presented candidate debates between Parisa Dehghani-Taft and Theo Stamos for Commonwealth Attorney and between Nicole Merlene and Barbara Favola for the State Senate District 31. Girl Scouts posted the flag and lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
4 May Arlington League representatives attended attended the LWV National Capital Area convention in Washington DC. The keynote speaker, Page Harrington, past Executive Director of the National Woman’s Party at the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, the founding Co-Chair of the Women’s History Affinity Group for the American Association for State and Local History, and Co-founder of the Women’s Vote Centennial Initiative spoke on “Women’s Suffrage and Race Relations: a Divided Legacy”. New Co-Presidents: Linda Softli, LWV Washington DC, and Joyce Starks, LWV Prince George’s County, MD, will now lead the newly elected LWVNCA Board of Directors.
27 April - The Democratic primary candidates for General Assembly District 49, Alfonso Lopez and Julius Spain participated in a debate. The forum was hosted by the League of Women Voters of Arlington, American Association of University Women and Nu Xi Zeta Chapter, Alexandria. For over an hour the candidates answered questions from residents of the 49th District on a wide range of questions.
13 April - Delegates Patrick Hope, Alfonso Lopez and Mark Levine and State Senators Barbara Favola and Janet Howell presented a “Review of the Past Session of the General Assembly”. It was live streamed from the AIM Studios.
6 April Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy and Arlington Public Schools invited all middle and high school students, and their families, to Wakefield High School, to its annual event, “Dream, Explore, Create Your Own Path”, that celebrates career readiness. LWV Arlington registered several students and sold League T-shirts in the citizenship area.
30 March the League conducted voter registration at the Ujamaa Book Fair at Drew Model School.
26 March the League of Women Voters of Arlington, Arlington County Libraries, Women’s Vote Centennial Initiative, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority (celebrating its centennial in 2020), Nu Xi chapter, and Virginia’s List hosted the “Power of Black Women Voters” Program at the Arlington Central Library. Krysta Jones, founder and CEO of Vote Lead Impact, Inc. led a conversation and an extend discussion with the audience with Gloria Browne-Marshall, JD, MA, John Hay College of Criminal Justice.
26 March A rally to “End Gerrymandering” was held at the Supreme Court building on the day the Court heard two major gerrymandering cases which will decide if political gerrymandering will be found unconstitutional or whether politicians will continue to pick their voters. Two active sponsors of the rally were LWV and Common Cause. Both are parties to the litigation.
24 March ACLU Virginia Executive Director Claire Guthrie Gastanaga spoke and answered questions on the right to vote, criminal justice and prosecutorial reform during the Workshop: “How to Assure Voting Rights in VA”.
The ACLU started major campaign to pass an amendment to the Virginia Constitution requiring “Every person 18 or over, is a citizen, a Virginia resident and who registers shall have the fundamental right to vote in the Commonwealth and such right shall not be abridged by law.” This means that convicted felons would retain the right to vote and thereby would eliminate the arduous process of restoring rights. LWVVA worked with the ACLU in the unsuccessful attempt to pass this amendment in the past General Assembly session.
7 March ended the bulk of the Spring ‘19 High School Voter Registration Campaign with the total at 365 students. Many thanks and a tip of the hat to all who participated in the highly successful class room presentations and worked through all of the delays and rescheduled classes. The teachers uniformity expressed their appreciation for our voter registration campaign.
2 March Arlington County Board members Erik Gutshall and Matt de Ferranti held a conversation with League members on the impact of Amazon's proposed move to Arlington. LWV-Arl President, Joan Porte, began the conversation in which the league's Housing Committee emphasized the needs for affordable and 'the missing middle' housing in Arlington.
23 February the League and American Promise [which is working to pass the 28th Amendment that would empower Congress and the States to regulate and set reasonable limits on raising and spending money by candidates and others to influence elections] together sponsored the program “Bipartisan Options to Address the Growing Influence of Money in Politics” at George Mason Antonin Scalia Law School. Former Congressman Tom Davis and former Department of Justice prosecutor Gene Rossi were the guest speakers and LWV Arlington member Nancy Morgan moderated the discussion.
20 February High School registrations inauspiciously ‘started’ at Wakefield High School by being canceled due to snow. Yorktown and W and L have accounted for a total of 250 registered students. Cancellations and delays will be made-up by 7 March and the total will increase in time for the spring Primaries.
13 February the Election Security Committee met in the Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads parlor where the committee review the process of “Risk-limiting audits”, an update on election security in Arlington, and a report on the League’s presentation by Judy Collins at the County Board meeting.
Spring High School Registration Campaign
13 February the ‘bags' were packed and ready to go when school visitations begin the 20th @ Wakefield.
YOUR VOTE IS YOUR VOICE REGISTER !
10 February the High School Voter Registration campaign commenced as volunteers met to prepare their presentations.
23 January Several League members joined Lisa Koteen Gerchick, Marian Klymkowsky, and Betty Cabrera at the Women's Legislative Roundtable in Richmond.
22 January Pam Berg and Debbie Churchman traveled to Richmond on January 22nd to help One Virginia 2021 with important redistricting legislation. They and members of One Virginia 2021 met with Senator Adam Ebbin and Delegate Mark Levine . They shared their impressions and made it clear they are ready to go back. Read their first-hand report here.
19 January the chapter held a “Day of Action” at Central Library. Attendees signed petitions and wrote postcards addressing ERA [HJ579 and SJ284], Redistricting [SJ274], election security, automatic voter registration, and restoration of felons’ voting rights.
12 January the membership met at the Westover Library and broke into interest groups to plan actions and activities for 2019.
4 January the chapter sponsored the Pre-Legislation Forum in the County Board Room. The League members and other Arlington community activist presented our recommendations for action and legislation. A record crowd attended and addressed our delegation.