Making Democracy Work

League Events

Party celebrating Gov. Elbridge Gerry, the Father of Gerrymandering

Let's face it, thanks to the Governor and his clever mapping skills in 1812, he started a "gerrymandering" trend that ensured state legislative elections would never be the same!

We're inviting all League members, their friends, and our NC legislators to help us celebrate Elbridge's dubious acheivement, with a cake, candles and some NC trivia!

  • Event is free and open to everyone

July 22, 2017 at 1:30 at the League office. Click on Calendar for details.

Women's Equality Day Celebration

All are invited to Celebrate Women! at the 2017 League celebration of Women's Equality Day.

Friday, August 25th 6:00 - 8:00pm

Midwood International Center Auditorium 1817 Central Avenue

Click here for details: "Women's Equality Day Flyer " Women's Equality Day

Annual Meeting

The League's Annual Meeting was held June 1, 2017. Ella Scarborough, Chair, Mecklenburg County Commissioner, our featured Speaker joined League members for dinner and our Business Meeting.

Our New Board was elected (missing from the photograph is Ralph Milligan):

President Delores Johnson Hurt delivered the Annual Meeting Report:

Last June, barely a month after I was elected LEAGUE President and before I could get my feet damp, I was off to Washington, DC for our national convention. What an experience! There were back to back to back meetings with men and women League leaders from around the country and the US Virgin Islands. There was heated discussion - and debate - about whether we should support DC statehood, who could become members of the League and how we must recruit younger members because almost every delegate there had gray or graying hair. The outcome of the last debate was that anybody who lives in the United States, 16 years and older, can join the League. A great outcome.

Returning to Charlotte, I set about heeding the directions the board received from members at last year's Annual Meeting. We began League Talk, an every-other-month evening meeting for members who can't attend Lunch with the League.

As a former journalist, I sent press releases to the media about League events. As a result, we began to see get mentions in the media. We appeared on Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins to talk about the importance of voting. On WCNC-TV we fielded questions from voters on election day who wanted to know where they should vote. We appeared on UNC-TV to discuss our opposition to HB2. Board members wrote and had letters to the Editor published in the Charlotte Observer.

We reached out to young adults and recruited some, but were stymied because work, school and family obligations limit the time young people can dedicate to organizations such as ours.

I visited with many in the community to let them know that the League desires diversity in age, gender and ethnicity in its ranks. I spoke at the Tuesday Morning Forum and appeared as a panelist at the Urban League of Central Carolinas' State of Black America forum. Last month, I read our League position on student diversity and school equity at the CMS Board of Education public hearing on pupil reassignment. Also, last this month, I appeared at a wonderful community forum on how to avoid political polarization that was organized by students at East Mecklenburg High School.

I attended many action team meetings, helped to register students at area high schools and spoke at Central Piedmont Community College

In the year that was, I was very proud of the fact that we successfully lobbied Mecklenburg County Commission for an additional year of funding for the election debates we produce on local public TV station WTVI. Last year, for the first time, we had a judicial candidates debate.

What I've discussed are a few highlights of the year that was. You'll find much more information if you go to our website, go league.org, which we update frequently.

Finally, I would like to say that May 17 of 2016 to May of this year - our League's fiscal year - was the best of times and the worst of times.

For many Leagues around the country, including ours, it was a good year. We showed fantastic growth in membership. That growth, however, came about because of the worst of times - the 2016 presidential election with an erosion of the values and political positions the League has long held.

(By the way, if you didn't know it, the League favors direct election of the US president and Vice President by the people - not the Electoral College.)

The League, of course, came out of the movement for the right of women to vote. Today, however, we are dedicating ourselves to making sure all eligible voters - most particularly those from traditionally underserved, underrepresented communities - first-time voters, non-college youth, new citizens, people of color, the elderly and low-income Americans + have the opportunity and information needed to exercise their right to vote. And to vote in their best interest. I favor that focus because our work in that area shows we are cognizant of those who are our country's future.

Another League focus the public should know about is that we desire health care for all. The exceedingly cruel and outrageous health care bill recently passed by the US House of Representatives shocks us - and our battle against it must be loud, strong and unrelenting.

A third focus we must promote to the public is that the League stands for legislation that protects us from the effects of pollution and climate change. As Charlotteans, - we must discuss more openly, and lobby for safety measures in our area, especially with the presence of nuclear and coal ash dangers so close to us. We need an Environmental Action Team to speak to those issues and I hope we have volunteers tonight who will sign up for an Environmental Action Team.

Just four months into our new US presidency, many of us are already weary of the battles we are fighting and must continue to fight for the issues we believe in. Those who oppose our values never give up. Nor should we. Fortunately, we now have reinforcements from many new members who have joined our ranks since the election.

In closing, and I am closing now, it has been an honor to represent the League of Women Voters Charlotte Mecklenburg - and it's been my great fortune to be part of a group of extremely supportive and active Board members and Action Team leaders who make my work so much easier.

Thank you all.

Photographs from the Annual Meeting

Enjoy the following photographs from our Annual Meeting!

League Talk - Handling Storm Water and SB434

At our May 16th League Talk we welcomed Darryl Hammock, Assistant Manager of City of Charlotte's Storm Water Services Division who lead a discussion about:

How will SB434, a bill that eliminates the Catawba River buffer zones, and recently passed by the NC Senate change Mecklenburg County's drinking water?

Charlotte-Mecklenburg's 2,000 miles of streams and numerous acres of ponds and lakes and 100,000 storm drains which the City's Storm Water Services Division monitors and protects

Volunteering to help monitor that vast network of streams and storm drains.

Concerns about the trend of watershed quality with so much building going on.

Mr. Hammock's work includes comprehensive utility management ranging from budget and policy, to administrative and staff management, to determine program strategies and Council/constituent interactions. The Storm Water Services Division is responsible for monitoring and protecting the county's streams, ponds and lakes.

He is a professional engineer and graduate of UNC Charlotte with a BS in Civil Engineering. Since beginning work at the City in 1997, he has served as a Project Manager for multi-million dollar flood control projects and as a Senior Project Manager to develop sound management processes. He also served as the Water Quality Manager for may years providing oversight of the City's Federal compliance and Clean Water At, including the development of surface water protection ordinances.

Sonja Gantt Headlined Lunch with the League in April

Sonja Gantt presented: The CMS Foundation Story Goal: Rally corporate and community money to support teaches, reading and school turnaround, at our most recent Lunch with the League series presentation on April 12th.

Ms. Gannt presentation included:

One of the 22 reports prepared by the 2013 Citizens Task Force recommends reviving the CMS Foundation which had been started years ago by a former superintendent with independent community leadership. Superintendent Anne Clark tapped Sonja Gantt to be its first executive director.

League Talk welcomed Bill Blancato of the Citizens Climate Lobby

On March 21st League Talk welcomed Bill Blancato, co-regional coordinator of the Mid South region of the Citizen's Climate Lobby. He discussed the group's proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by putting a fee on fossil fuels and rebating all the money to households. The proposal, sponsors contend, will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create millions of jobs. Bill Blancato also explained how CCL is building the political will to support Congressional action.

Mr. Blancato is a Winston-Salem attorney, has started CCL chapters in several states and lobbies Congress about the proposal. You can read his op-ed published in the Charlotte Observer here: Blancato Op-ED

The CLL proposal is outlined here: CCL Proposal

Interested in the League's past action on carbon pollution? You can read comments made to the EPA here: League Comments to EPA

Light refreshments were served. All were welcome!

For details regarding location, date and time, Click on CALENDAR from the HOME page.

Lunch With The League - Kickedoff with Ending Gerrymandering Discussion Groups

Our latest program featured speakers Bob Phillips and Jane Pinski from Common Cause will kick off the formation of a roundtable discussion group on gerrymandering.

Both the League of Women Voters of NC and Common Cause have lawsuits pending in a US District Court challenging NC's 2016 redrawn Congressional districts.

Several League members have expressed an interest in the topic to look at models for independent redistricting as well as ways the League can provide public education token the issue in front of citizens in between elections when interest is the highest. All are welcome to join in the discussion.

League Talk Welcomed Democracy NC

The LWVC-M started its 2017 League Talk series with a discussion on the influence of social medial on elections.

During the election season we were constantly inundated with messaging about the candidates, issues, and politics in general. With so many news sources and mediums to get our news, how can you be sure that what you are reading and hearing is factual? How reliable is the news we can get via social media? How do we make sure that we are reading and sharing the truth and how can we combat the fake news that's clogging our media?

League Talk, welcomed guest Jen Jones, Communications Director from Democracy NC. She educated us on the rise of fake news and social media in a post truth Era and how organizations like the League of Women Voters can use social media to counter those narratives.

Keep abreast of our activities! League Talk is held every other month beginning in September. League Talk meetings consist of a speaker on a "hot topic" followed by a business meeting where board members will provide updates on their portfolios. We hope to see you there.