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Across the country, Leagues are raising their voices on voting rights, redistricting, clean air and water, campaign funding and more. From Massachusetts to Florida, New York to Kansas and points in between, Leagues are busy educating and advocating. Comment on and share our Leagues in Action.
LEAGUES IN ACTION
Don’t we all have unanswered questions about how our town is run? Commenting about “Looking at Norwood: A Guide to Town Elected and Appointed Officials and Committees,” Norwood (MA) League member and editor Maria Colamaria said, “We want to provide Norwood residents information on the many and varied town offices and committees to promote a more informed citizenry, and enable residents to actively participate in Town Government.”
The Knoxville-Knox County (TN) League answered questions from teenagers when it taught high school students how to help their cohorts register to vote. The League started this week training student registration representatives in 13 area schools and hopes to expand to all Knox County public and private high schools before the semester ends. Read more and see video here.
Also reaching out to high school students, the Lexington (KY) League awarded prizes to two students recently in its annual essay contest. League President Tammy Fagley declared, “We want to encourage young citizens to take responsibility as citizens, vote and perhaps run for public office one day.” Read more here.
The Kansas State League is pulling, as the Secretary of State is pushing to move up the start date (Jan. 1, 2013) of a new law requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote to June 15, 2012. The Kansas League opposed passage of this legislation and now needs time to educate voters. Changing the start date does not allow enough time.
In New York State, the Governor plans to propose public funding of political campaigns. Barbara Bartoletti, legislative director of the NY State League recently stated: “Voters have to understand that no matter what issue they care about...it all comes back to campaign finance.” She notes that current campaign finance laws allow domination by corporations and the rich, while election districts are drawn every 10 years under an “incumbency protection program.” To follow up on this thought, we point to the League’s efforts to reform redistricting as part of the ReShapeNY coalition. Kim Reisch, president of the Geneva (NY) League noted: “When politicians engage in making safe seats for each other, they undermine the ‘one person, one vote.’” Read more here.
On another issue from New York, after extensive study, the St. Lawrence County League voiced its concern to the state Dept. of Environmental Conservation that proposed state fracking regulations may not adequately protect air and water quality. Read more here.
“This Week around the Leagues” is a recurring series to showcase Leagues at work around the country.