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League Annual Meeting Set for Saturday, June 3rd

Press Release May 24 2017:

Polarization and Civic Engagement Leadership Awards at League Annual Meeting

The League of Women Voters Greater Verde Valley will hold its Annual Meeting on Saturday June 3, 11:30-1:30PM at the Sedona Elks Lodge, 110 Airport Rd, Sedona. The meeting is open to the public and the cost is $22 which includes lunch.

In addition to annual League business including election of Officers and Directors, the program features a speaker and the presentation of the 2017 Civic Engagement Leadership Awards.

The keynote speaker is Harriet Young, Ph.D., retired NAU political science professor. Young will address "Why We Have Polarization and How to End It." According to Young, "The question is whether a multicultural society can adopt institutions to balance unification with ethnic/cultural differences. For example, in the 1960's, there were journal articles bemoaning that America's political parties needed to be more driven by an ideology as in the British system. The American observers defended the traditional party system as preventing polarization and facilitating compromise since one could agree on policy, while ideology would divide them. Think of Nixon signing off on consumer protection, the EPA, women's rights, and the various expansions of voters rights. What's happened over the years to bring us to where we are?"

Three local community members will be honored with the 2017 Civic Engagement Leadership Awards recognizing their outstanding work in encouraging informed and active participation in community and government which exemplifies the purpose of the League of Women Voters.

Ellen Ferreira will be honored for her work organizing participants for the January 21 Women's March in Phoenix. She has subsequently formed an "After the March" group which meets to continue their involvement in civic activities and government actions. Nathalie Johnson will be honored for forming the group "Northern Arizona Voice of Action"(NAZVOA) which meets monthly, has speakers to help everyone become better informed about issues, and organizes actions her group can take to make their voices heard. Kathy Kinsella will be honored for organizing "The Women's March" in Sedona on January 21 which was expected to attract about 300 participants and attracted over 1500. She has led the organizing of several smaller marches in Sedona since then including the March for Science March on April 22. Recently Kinsella led the team organizing the League of Women Voters Candidate Boot Camp series of 3 workshops for individuals thinking about running for office others wanting to help on campaigns.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization dedicated to public service in the field of government. It is a national organization, open to both men and women, and whose purpose is to encourage political responsibility through informed and active participation in government. The League influences public policy through education and advocacy. The League never supports or opposes political parties or candidates for elective offices.

To reserve your place at the luncheon, contact Barbara Litrell 649-0135 or blitrell@aol.com.

League to Present Program on Capitalism, Socialism, and Communism

From Sedona Biz -

Sedona AZ (May 26, 2017) + According to Blair Henry, featured speaker at the League of Women Voters Philosophy and Politics Series on June 8, "For a long time now, we Americans have been subjected to demonization of capitalism, socialism and/orcommunism without any real understanding of what they really are, how they really work,or how relevant they are today. Once distinguished in theory and in practice, we have much more freedom in understanding the terms, what they really mean, and how irrelevant theyare today."

The presentation and discussion will take place at the Sedona Public Library, 3250 White Bear Rd, Sedona, on Thursday, June 8, 6-7:30PM. The program is free and open to the public.

Blair Henry is a former Seattle corporate and prosecuting attorney,mediator and graduate school professor. He lives in the Village ofOak Creek and is the Founder and Executive Director of ThePeoplesConvention.org which is a neutral, nonpartisan, 501c3 nonprofit organization providing the American people with theopportunity to exercise their previously unexercised constitutional right to hold their own nonpartisan convention, explore proposal saddressing their concerns, and forward highly popular proposals to the state legislatures for approval as amendments to their federal and state constitutions.

"Philosophy and Politics" is a bimonthly program of the League of Women Voters launched during this "Year of Civic Engagement." Speakers address political issues from a philosophical point of view. Previous topics have included "The Goodness of Government: A Justification for the State," and "Wealth and Inequality."

For Information call Barbara Litrell, 649-0135 or blitrell@aol.com

National League Statement on Elections Integrity Commission

Press Release May 11 2017: League of Women Voters Statement on Trump's "Election Integrity Commission"

Washington, DC + The League of Women Voters president, Chris Carson issued the following statement in response to reports that President Trump will announce an election commission to investigate false claims of widespread voter fraud in American elections: "President Trump's 'Election Integrity Commission' is an unnecessary distraction from the real work to protect against foreign hacking and interference in our electoral process. The real purpose of this effort is to justify President Trumps' false claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2016 elections. "This effort begins with a deep credibility gap. Commission members' views on elections are well known and have been discredited as political ideologues with dangerous agendas. This is part of a wider effort to suppress the vote, keep certain politicians in power, and undermine our elections by spreading falsehoods. "Today's announcement is just another distraction from the real issues and we expect that any findings or recommendations from this Commission will only be used to make it harder for people to vote in the future. "The White House is attempting to bury this Commission at a time when the nation and Congress are consumed with this administration's own Russia scandal. "The real problems with our electoral system are the suppressive laws that prevent eligible voters from access to the ballot. False claims of voter fraud have been used to push through more restrictive voting laws including voter ID, proof of citizenship requirements and limiting or reducing early voting opportunities. "This administration is laying the groundwork to usher in widespread discrimination in our systems of voting and manipulate our democracy."

Contact: Sarah Courtney | 202-263-1332 | scourtney@lwv.org

State League Comments on Need to Correct Flawed Voter Registration Procedures

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF ARIZONA PRESS STATEMENT May 5, 2017

"Integrity of Election Process Should Transcend Party AND Flawed Policy"

The League of Women Voters of Arizona is speaking out in support of Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes and his recent actions to rectify the status of citizens whose State voter registration forms were consigned for years, in some cases, to a box in a County warehouse, although their citizenship status could have been confirmed through a simple check with the MVD.

The League applauds the May 4 The Arizona Republic's editorial stating that ". . . the integrity of the election process transcends party. (Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes) is right that his job is about facilitating voter access to the polls, not blocking it. Those from across the political spectrum should be willing to become allies in this effort."

Robyn Prud'homme-Bauer, Co-President of the non partisan LWVAZ, said that "The right of every citizen to vote has always been a basic right supported by the League of Women Voters. We have been in the forefront of all organizations using public education, advocacy and litigation to ensure that every citizen's right to vote is protected and that voting procedures and systems are consistent, efficient, accurate and aimed at the goal of ensuring the right to vote."

Mr. Fontes has said that as many as 17,000 citizens who thought they'd registered to vote were disenfranchised. But no matter the numbers," said Ms. Prud'homme-Bauer, "a cross-check against the MVD database is a common-sense and vital procedure, since that database includes all those who produced citizenship ID in order to get a driver's license or state identification card. This is done for those using the federal voter registration form, so why not the state? The law should be clarified to include such a cross-check."

She also urged the Secretary of State's office to review and revise the Voting Procedures Manual to ensure that the procedures expand voting rights for all and said that the League stands ready to continue to work with the office as well as all County Election Officials and Recorders to help achieve that goal as it has in the past.

League Hosts Immigration Program May 15th

Press Release: LEAGUE HOSTS IMMIGRATION PROGRAM

"The Politics of Immigration" is the subject of the May Voter Education Program presented by the League of Women Voters Greater Verde Valley in partnership with OLLI on Monday, May 15, 12:30-2PM at Yavapai College, 4215 Arts Village Drive, Sedona. The program is free and open to the public.

The featured speaker is Stephen Nuno, PhD, Associate Professor/Graduate Coordinator Politics and International Affairs at Northern Arizona University. According to Nuno, "The United States has struggled over the topic of immigration since its founding and immigration policy continues to be a ubiquitous part of the political landscape. The 2016 presidential election illustrated the importance of immigration and the powerful rhetoric that can be deployed to garner votes. I will explore the history of immigration policy in the United States, look at the incorporation of immigrants into American society and assess how our national identity has been shaped in large part by the duality of our rhetoric of openness to immigrants and the struggle to limit migration flows into the country."

Stephen Nuἥo is an Associate Professor focusing on Political Behavior, Race and Ethnic Politics, Latino Politics, Mobilization, and Partisanship at Northern Arizona University. He is a Research Associate at the Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University and also a contributor for NBC News-Latino, where he focuses on national stories that have an impact on the Latino community. He has written over 200 pieces for NBC. He has also written articles for Reuters, The New York Times, Talking Points Memo, MSNBC, and The Monkey Cage Blog for Washington Post. He graduated from Loyola High School in Los Angeles, an all-boys Jesuit college preparatory high school. He has a B.A. in political science from UCLA, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from UC Irvine in political science.

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

On January 31, 2017, League of Women Voters National President Chris Carson issued the following statement in response to President Trump's immigration ban, "The League of Women Voters is opposed to deportation of non-criminal undocumented immigrants. The League supports cities, towns, counties and states that make a decision not to cooperate with federal deportation and enforcement actions that include non-criminal undocumented immigrants. Moreover, the Trump Administration's orders are of dubious legality. It is simply wrong, and a perversion of the American system of justice, for the Executive Branch to refuse to obey federal court orders. The LWV is opposed to discrimination, including discrimination in immigration, based on religion. The Trump Administration's orders appear to be targeted at Muslims and immigrants from majority-Muslims nations."

For information, contact Barbara Litrell 649-0135 or blitrell@aol.com.

Legislative Update by League of Women Voters Lobbyist

Press Release, April 5 2017

Rivko Knox, 50-year member of the League of Women Voters and an on-site registered lobbyist at the 53rd Arizona Legislature will be the featured speaker at the April 17 Voter Education Program hosted by the League of Women Voters Greater Verde Valley at Yavapai College, 4215 Arts Village Drive from 12:30pm-2:00pm. The program is free and open to the public.

According to Barbara Litrell, president of the local League, "Rivko exemplifies activism in action. She has been monitoring the current legislative session for the League, reviewing more than 1,000 bills introduced by legislators, following those that represent League priorities including health, education and voters' rights, testifying in favor or in opposition to bills, speaking at committee meetings and press conferences, and helping to generate "Action Alerts" for League members throughout the state. Rivko is passionate about her work and we're thrilled she'll be coming to Sedona to share the inside scoop with us."

Knox is on the League of Women Voters Metro Phoenix board and serves as Advocacy Chair. She was one of the 6 members on the planning committee for the statewide Voters' Rights Summit held in January 2017. She is also an observer for the League of Women Voters Arizona on the Citizens Clean Elections Commission and the Morrison Institute's Citizens Initiative Review Advisory Committee.

In her career, Knox worked for the State of Arizona and managed Arizona's HUD funded Community Development Block Grant program for the non-urban areas of Arizona from 1981-2002. She has a Masters Degree in Public Administration from ASU and a BA from the University of Southern California. She's passionate about her work at the Legislature and says "Going to the Legislature to testify is an adventure; you never know how long you'll be there or whether the bill you care about will be heard. And the strike all amendment process in Arizona can turn one bill into another so I have to always keep current on the status of bills. I bring along a snack bag, a water bottle, an extra jacket and something to read because I never know if I'll be there for 30 minutes or 8 hours."

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization dedicated to public service in the field of government. It is a national organization -- open to both men and women -- whose purpose is to encourage political responsibility through informed and active participation in government. The League influences public policy through education and advocacy. The League never supports or opposes political parties or candidates for elective offices. For more information contact Barbara Litrell 649-0135 or blitrell@aol.com.

Thinking About Running for Office? Sign Up for "Campaign Boot Camp"

Blair Henry to Lead Discussion of "Wealth and Inequality"

Philosophy and Politics April 6 2017

2017: The Year of Civic Engagement

PRESS RELEASE:

The League of Women Voters Greater Verde Valley has declared 2017 "The Year of Civic Engagement" according to Barbara Litrell, President, who added, "Since the recent election, more and more people want to learn about issues and get involved, take action, and make a difference. We have not seen this level of engagement in a long time. That's good news for our democracy."

Great leaders of our nation, from the beginning, have encouraged citizens to be informed and engaged with their government on the local, state and national levels. Former Presidents have stressed the importance of engaged citizens, including Franklin D. Roosevelt who said, "Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education," and Dwight D. Eisenhower who remarked, "Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen."

At the request of the League of Women Voters, the Cottonwood City Council will issue a proclamation declaring 2017 as "The Year of Civic Engagement" at their January 18 Council meeting and the Sedona City Council will issue a proclamation at their January 24 meeting. Both Councils are encouraging their residents to participate in programs to become informed citizens and to take action to have their voices heard on issues of importance to them, the community, and society as a whole.

The LWVGVV has designed its 2017 programs to enhance civic engagement in a variety of ways. The League has planned monthly Voter Education Programs to inform members and the public about issues, created venues for monthly member meetings focused on "Let's Talk Politics" roundtable discussions, planned a bi-monthly Politics & Philosophy lecture/discussion series, scheduled a 6-week OLLI Class on "Healing the Heart of Democracy" based on Parker Palmer's book of the same name, launched the second year of its monthly political book club, and in May will offer "Candidate Boot Camp," a series of workshops to motivate and inform people about running for public office.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization dedicated to public service in the field of government. It is a national organization, open to both men and women, and the purpose is to encourage political responsibility through informed and active participation in government. The League influences public policy through education and advocacy and never supports or opposes political parties or candidates for elective offices. For information, contact Barbara Litrell 649-0135 or blitrell@aol.com or http://www.lwvverdevalley.com.

Presentation on End of Life Choices

Press Release (March 7 2017)

League of Women Voters to Present Medical Aid in Dying Program - Monday, March 20th

Should a mentally capable adult diagnosed with a terminal illness which would result in death within 6 months be able to legally request a prescription for a life-ending medication to be self-administered when and if suffering becomes unbearable?

"Medical Aid in Dying" will be the subject of the March Voter Education Program of the League of Women Voters Greater Verde Valley on Monday, March 20th, 12:30-2PM at the Sedona Community Center, 2615 Melody Lane, Sedona. Leesa Stevens, Northern Arizona contact for Compassion & Choices Arizona will be the featured speaker. The program is free and open to the public.

According to a survey of 700 adult heads of households done by Behavior Research Center in 2015, 63% of those 55 and older support a proposal which would allow a doctor to prescribe a lethal drug to those who physicians conclude are terminally ill and mentally competent. Two bills were introduced into the Arizona Legislature in 2017 but neither has moved forward. Six states plus Washington DC have enacted similar Medical Aid in Dying laws including Montana, Washington, Oregon, Vermont, California and Colorado. In Arizona, Tucson, Bisbee and Oro Valley's city councils have all passed support documents including resolutions and proclamation in favor of legalizing Medical Aid in Dying in Arizona.

The League of Women Voters of Arizona has done a white paper on End of Life Choices examining the Oregon model, but the League has not taken a specific position in support or opposition to medical aid in dying. For more information about the March 20 program, contact Barbara Litrell 649-0135 or blitrell@aol.com.

League Anniversary Celebration February 15th

We celebrated the League's birthday on Wednesday, February 15th, with a buffet lunch and a talk by Anne Schneider, a member of the Chandler League, former university professor, author, and advocacy specialist in social justice for the Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation. Dr. Schneider spoke on the topic "The Most Effective Actions You Can Take Today." A lively Q&A followed the talk, and our fundraising auction was a success. The luncheon sold out; thanks to all who attended.

Signing In

Elks Lodge Servers

Happy Party People

LUNCH!!

3 Enjoying Lunch

2017 Anniversary Luncheon Photos
League Pres and Speaker Plotting

Anne Schneider

Mayor Moriarty

Angela

Patriotic Cupcakes

PHOTOS COURTESY OF TOBY FRIEDMAN

Can We Ensure That the Next President Will Be Elected by the Popular Vote?

2-13-2017 PRESS RELEASE

Querard Explains National Popular Vote Compact at Feb. 20 Meeting

The League of Women Voters Greater Verde Valley has invited National Popular Vote advocate Constantin Querard to present "National Popular Vote Compact Fully Explained" on Monday, February 20, 12:30-2PM at Yavapai College, 4215 Arts Village Dr., Sedona. The event is free and open to the public.

The recent Presidential election has once again thrust the Electoral College into the spotlight with calls to eliminate the Electoral College and allow for direct election of the President ensuring that the person who wins the popular vote will become President. While elimination of the Electoral College is a long shot if not impossible, the National Popular Vote Compact bill has been introduced in state legislatures and could serve to achieve the national popular vote outcome without amending the Constitution. It's complicated and needs to be understood by voters since it has been introduced in several sessions of the Arizona Legislature, including the current 53rd session.

Constantin Querard is the founder and president of Grassroots Partners, LLC, a campaign consulting and public policy firm. He has been active in Arizona and Colorado politics for more than two decades, working on a variety of campaigns for pro-family candidates and causes. He has managed and worked on campaigns for candidates from the State Legislative level to the U.S. Senate. In 2013, Campaigns & Elections magazine named him one of Arizona's 5 GOP Influencers, and in 2015 he was named Best Campaign Consultant by the Arizona Capitol Times. He also founded the Arizona Family Project, an Arizona non-profit focused on involving Arizona's families in the public policy process, and he served as the organization's Executive Director for several years.

On the National Popular Vote Compact he has said, "As someone who was originally introduced to the idea as something I should oppose, it took me a very long time to actually learn what the bill did and didn't do. Not content to just believe someone else's 5 minute video or a short email filled with bumper sticker slogans, I went to work learning everything I could about the bill. Eventually I came to support the bill and offered to help advance the idea here in Arizona."

During this Year of Civic Engagement declared by the League of Women Voters, there will be information about action voters can take to let their opinions about the bill be known to legislators.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization dedicated to public service in the field of government. It is a national organization -- open to both men and women -- whose purpose is to encourage political responsibility through informed and active participation in government. The League influences public policy through education and advocacy. The League never supports or opposes political parties or candidates for elective offices. For more information, 649-0135 or blitrell@aol.com or http://www.lwvverdevalley.com.