Viewpoint: Back off, Legislature: It's Called Democracy
League of Women Voters of North Carolina Co-Presidents, Mary Klenz and Willie Taylor, Special to the Observer, respond to The Charlotte Observer December 16th Editorial "Breathtaking dis of North Carolina voters." Their response was published in the December 19th edition of The Charlotte Observer. Read the full text of the letter here:
League Education Chair, Helene Hilger, makes statement to Mecklenburg County Commission
At the November 1, 2016 meeting of the Mecklenburg County Commissioners where an agenda item was to ask the Board of Education to delay implementation of any new magnet plan, LWV Education Chair Helene Hilger urged the board members to "fulfill your roles as champions of CMS as they negotiate this very challenging task. In our estimation, your job is not to second guess the educational experts but to partner with them in your capacity to fully fund the CMS plan so that our schools will become stronger."
Further, she stated "League will continue to advocate for all stakeholders on the County Commission, City Council, in the Housing Authority to own their share of responsibil-ity for creating educational equity in our region. We hope you will find ways to create the synergies needed to get us there as a community pulling together."
LWVCM President invited as panel participant
LWVCM President, Delores Johnson Hurt, will participate in the panel, "The State of Justice and Civil Engagement" as part of the 40th Anniversary of The State of Black America sponsored by The Urban League of The Central Carolinas.
The all day program will be Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church. Ms. Johnson's panel begins at 2:30. For more information including details on how to register to attend the event, click on the attached PDF.
Mecklenburg County Board of Elections Decides Early Voting Hours and Sites
The Mecklenburg County Board of Elections voted to cut the overall number of early voting hours and decided to open at least 22 sites around the county for the November 8, 2016 election. The number of total early voting hours was cut by 238 from the 2012 election number. The vote comes after Governor Pat McCrory asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the decision of the US 4th Circuit that found the 2013 NC Voter ID laws unconstitutional. The Mecklenburg County Board of Election's decision must be approved by the state board of elections before it becomes effective.
You can find information about when, where and how to vote, and check your voter registration or register to vote, by going to the Mecklenburg County, NC Board of Elections website.
US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals strikes down NC voter ID Law and US Supreme Court rejects Governor's request for stay
The US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with The League of Women Voters of North Carolina and other plaintiffs in overturning the 2013 NC General Assembly law that had made sweeping changes to election laws.
"Democracy wins today. Voters win today. This decision is the latest in a string of major federal rulings that send a clear message: Politicians have no business standing in the way of our right to vote," said Mary Klenz, Co-President of the League of Women Voters of North Carolina.
The 4th Circuit ruling prohibits North Carolina from requiring photo identification from voters in future elections, restores a week of early voting, restores preregistration for 16- and 17- year olds and ensures that same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting will remain in effect.
"With this ruling League volunteers will be able to get back to what we do best: equipping voters with the information they need to cast a vote this year," continued Klenz. "We have a lot of work to do to make sure North Carolinians understand how this ruling affects them, and we stand ready to help millions of North Carolinians exercise their most fundamental right to vote."
UPDATE: The US Supreme Court rejected Governor McCory's request for a stay of the decision pending appeal. The 2016 November election will follow the pre-2013 law.
Charlotte Observer publishes League's Letter to the Editor about Education Bonds
Beth Springston, Interim President of the League of Women Voters of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, advocates letting voters decide CMS bonds this year in her letter to the The Charlotte Observer. Springston's Letter to the Editor appeared in the Tuesday, May 17th Opinion page.
Springston urges county commissioners to not postpone the bond referendum requested by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
League President speaks out on HB2 and Education Funding
Beth Springston, Interim President of the League of Women Voters of Charlotte called for repeal of HB2 at a Press Conference called by Senator Jeff Jackson and held at CPCC Charlotte Campus. Springston confirmed the League's call to repeal HB2 and raised alarm that HB2 threatens federal funding of education in North Carolina.
The Press Conference was covered by the Charlotte Business Journal.
The LWV Education Fund in Washington DC awarded our League a pass through grant to work on voter registration at new citizen naturalization ceremonies.
LWVC-M is already involved in helping new citizens register to vote at naturalization ceremonies. This grant will help us reach out and follow up with more of the new citizens. In the next six months, we project at least 3200 new citizens will be sworn in and we'll be available at all the ceremonies to help register them.
Interested in helping out? Click on the Voter Services tab to learn how.
League President makes statement at CMS school board hearing on Guiding Principles for Student Assignment
Beth Springston, Interim President of the League of Women Voters of Charlotte presented its Education Committee Statement before the Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education public hearing held on April 26th that invited public comments on the Guiding Principles for Student Assignment being considered by the Board. Springston voiced support for the Guiding Principles as presented by the CMS school Board.
The Charlotte Observe ran an article on Tuesday, January 5, 2016, about the Civics 101 Course offered by the League annually. This year marked the twentieth anniversary of the course. Please read the article here.
Mary Klenz is a new co-chair of LWVNC. She previously served on the LWVUS Board of Directors and is a past president of the state and local leagues.
Check out the YouTube video on Women's Equality for the City of Charlotte! You will notice our own June Kimmel being highlighted.
LWVC-M Helps New Citizens Register to Vote
On October 24, 2015 the League participated in The U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services' Naturalization Ceremony held at the Charlotte Museum of History. A reception followed the ceremony with the League offering their congratulations and providing voter information to 25 new citizens.
CMS Student Assignment Plan Forum
The League co-sponsored a forum to discuss the impending changes to the CMS Student Assignment Plan. Here are several video clips for the forum speakers.
One of our Education Committee members, Helene Hilger, spoke at the public forum regarding the CMS Student Assignment Plan. Please read her remarks.