League Information

Community Leaders:

Susan McCollister
Donna DeVinney

Phone:

(517) 631-4769

Website:

http://www.lwv-midland.org/

League ID:

MI320

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Stories From Around the State

  • The finalists for the High-Impact Online Engagement Power the Vote Award effectively showcased their use of social networking platforms to emphasize their work around the League of Women Voters’ priority issues, including  this year’s voters’ service and community involvement work.  Their efforts demonstrate the power of using social platforms to reach a greater audience, increase League visibility and engage more of the public in the League’s priority activities. 

    We received so many excellent applications this year and we want to thank and commend all Leagues for their outstanding and innovative program work.  The finalists stood out for their efforts in this award area.  Please read about their projects below and use the grid to rank them in order of your favorite project.

    Winners will be announced at the 2012 Convention at the Banquet on June 11, 2012.

    League of Women Voters of Florida

    After dramatic election law changes were enacted in spring 2011 threatening to disenfranchise voters, the LWV of Florida launched the “Be Ready to Vote” campaign using Microsoft Tag technology to provide up-to-date voter registration information via smartphones, email, and website to Florida voters across the state. This project makes the LWVF the first organization in the country to offer smartphone technology for voter education and registration purposes. Along with targeting college campuses, LWVF has mobilized 29 local Leagues to promote the campaign online and in print in their communities.  The use of the Tag has encouraged LWVF to interact with new organization partners, such as the AARP Florida which shared the Tag with over 300,000 e-activist subscribers before this year’s presidential primary, and has generated widespread visibility for the League.

    The “Be Ready to Vote” Tag campaign has also been highlighted in state and national media outlets, including CNN and PEW electionsline newsletter. The campaign continues to “underscore the Leagues reputation as a trusted source of voter information, as well as establishing LWV as an adept player in today’s technology.”  LWV of Florida actively engages members and voters through their Facebook and Twitter.

     

    League of Women Voters Michigan

    To leverage integration of voter service and technology throughout the state, the LWV of Michigan organized four all-day regional workshops for Michigan local Leagues. The workshops, entitled “Tapping the Power: Voter Service and the New Media,” focused on tooling the Leagues to use technology to promote participation in the 2012 election season.

    The workshops were held in urban, suburban and rural settings during October and November 2011 and attracted 64 members, including 4 via Skype, representing 89% of all Michigan local Leagues. During the workshops, a cross-functional training team of local experts equipped attendees with the tools to effectively utilize today’s technology, including social media and Vote411, to engage voters and expand League visibility. A comprehensive resource packet also supplemented the information at the workshops and provides links and references. After the workshop, attendees expressed commitment to expanding recruitment as a result of being trained to effectively utilize social media. On a larger level, the workshops have fostered trust between the state and local Leagues.

     

    League of Women Voters of the Calumet Area

    The LWV of the Calumet Area (IN) utilized their website to make campaign finance reports for local politicians easily-accessible to the entire community. The inspiration for the project came when LWV-CA Treasurer David Klein attempted to find campaign finance reports for local politicians on the Lake County Election Board’s website to no avail. Following this discovery, the League spearheaded an effort to post whatever reports were available on their website to help voters make more informed choices at the polls.

    This effort has generated discussions in the community and in the local media. Many community organizations have come forward to work with the League after viewing the reports on the League’s website.  The League has enjoyed increased visibility and membership due to this great undertaking. The League has also observed that many local politicians are filing their campaign finance reports in a timelier and more professional manner due to the increased accessibility, making these forms even more helpful to local voters.

     

    League of Women Voters of Asheville-Buncombe County

    Since May 2011, the LWV of Asheville-Buncombe County (NC) has been utilizing a heightened and more diverse online presence to gain local and national media coverage, increase awareness of the League in the community, and engage younger voters. The League has maintained an up-to-date calendar on their website and used active social media including Twitter and Facebook to reach potential members and voters and promote all upcoming events.

    The Leagues also maintains a guest blog with the local weekly newspaper, which has been dramatically increased League visibility in the community and among allied organizations. Online communication has offered the League a free, easy way to publicize events and reach a much broader, more diverse community audience, including a larger number of new, often younger attendees at their events. Overall, their online engagement efforts have reminded the community, especially the newest generation of voters, that the League is relevant and here to educate and inform voters about important issues.

     

     

    member abstract: 
    Vote here for your favorite High Impact Online Engagement Award!
  • The finalists for the Community Connection Power the Vote Award really stepped up their community involvement efforts by partnering with other groups and reaching out to engage those who are underrepresented in our democracy.  The Leagues took up activities and highlighted issues that directly affect people in these communities in order to engage them and increase their civic participation. 

    We received so many excellent applications this year and we want to thank and commend all Leagues for their outstanding and innovative program work.  The finalists stood out for their efforts in this award area.  Please read about their projects below and use the grid to rank them in order of your favorite project.

    Winners will be announced at the 2012 Convention at the Banquet on June 11, 2012. 

    LWV of the Pasadena Area

    In an effort to better connect with their community, the LWV of the Pasadena Area, CA held three public events throughout the year to celebrate their League’s 75th anniversary.  The main event was in March, with over 250 attending. The organizing committee had over 30 League members, many of whom had not been regularly active, and it was a highly successful fundraiser (netting $25,000).  An ice cream social targeting younger families was held in August to celebrate the 19th Amendment.  In October, "She's History," a one-woman play at the local community college celebrated California's centennial of women's suffrage and had 200 in attendance (half were students).

    LWV of Pasadena increased membership by 20 people and many of their not-so-active existing members became more involved in various aspects of League. LWV of Pasadena worked hard to ensure their events were diverse by working with other community groups and community members to reach individual that were not on their original mailing lists.  The League’s community partners were essential in getting the word out and making these events such a huge success. The League was able to reach a number of young voters by spreading the word among the college campuses and high schools.  Media coverage and photos and videos of the 75th Anniversary events were posted on the League’s website. 

    Using some of the funds raised through these events, the LWV of Pasadena is working on technology upgrades to ensure they have the ability to reach different audiences and to integrate all of the services and programs that they provide to the community.  As the 2012 election approaches, the LWV of Pasadena is confident they will have the skills and to offer Pasadena Area residents with a wider range of opportunities to be civically involved.  They expect their membership and interest from community groups in League to increase due to more visibility in the community.

     

    LWV of Oakland Area

    The LWV of Oakland Area, MI challenged Oakland County (Detroit metropolitan area) high school students to create a Public Service Announcement for TV, radio and/or print media that focused on the opportunities an individual can take advantage of to conserve energy.  Their campaign, What Can *I* Do? The Green Power of One, was kicked off in September 2010 and featured an awards ceremony in March 2011.  There were 50 applicants from 9 high schools.  Over 95 league members were involved as well as noted individuals from the community to act as contest judges.  They had 14 media partners and 6 sponsoring businesses which helped to circulate the winning entries. 

    Every high school student who participated benefited from increased awareness of the importance of, and individual opportunities to, conserve energy. In turn, they educated their family and friends. The joy and enthusiasm of the winning students at the Awards Ceremony, and their questions about a topic for the following year’s competition, suggests that the seeds for a habit of civic engagement had been sown. The winning TV and radio ads were broadcast and the winning essays were published.  The League tied this event around Earth Day and was able to increase media coverage to reach most of southeastern Michigan through ten TV stations (including major, local cable, and public television).  The LWV of Oakland Area partnered with two high school students to create a short promotional video based on the PSAs.  The students were featured with League members.  The video was produced by the local cable station and it was distributed to 6 other area stations and multiple high schools.  Through these efforts the LWV of Oakland Area reached numerous communities. In addition to their local media sources they leveraged Facebook and their website to get out materials including letters to teachers and guidelines for the contest.

     

    LWV of New York State

    The League of Women Voters of New York State held its 11th annual “Students Inside Albany” (SIA) conference this past April.  Thirty-five high-school students, whom were selected by local Leagues from urban and rural communities in New York, participated. This conference, which is a 4-day intensive training for students, is designed to immerse them in the process by which public policy is proposed, enacted and changed in the state of New York.  Albany insiders discuss the operations of NYS government including how policy is shaped and enacted. Students also observe Assembly and Senate sessions and shadow both their Assembly members and Senators.

    The conference serves a diverse group of communities and populations by having student participation from areas throughout the state and from different ethnic backgrounds.  It gives students not only the opportunity to learn about Albany but to interact with each other and share views and experiences. Many of the students return to their schools and their communities with the confidence and skills to become leaders.  One student reported, “As a result of SIA, I started speaking with members of the League in my town and we are creating a Student membership program for any interested high school students in Somers.”  Another stated, "As a result of my participation in the SIA conference, I have developed a surprisingly close relationship between myself and my local representatives… and [have] become vocal within my community about educational, environmental and budgetary policy."

    The League created a Facebook page just for the group of students and they were able to discuss their successes, challenges and questions among peers and League members.  This has also allowed the students to continue their friendships beyond the 4-day conference and allows them to see what issues on which they continue to have an impact. 

     

    LWV of Greater Green Bay

    Since 2000, the League of Women Voters of Green Bay has worked with an Immigration Settlement Program to reach immigrant voters by teaching educational segments to the Hmong/Loation/Vietnamese and Hispanic populations in their community.  The League has created PowerPoints for each election year since the inception of the program.  The most recent focus of these sessions has been the Voter ID law in Wisconsin. 

    The League received a $400 grant to educate the underserved populations about the Voter ID law.  They created a PowerPoint presentation entitled “Let’s Vote” (Vamos Votar) in both English and Spanish.  Each session began with a brief segment reviewing the US Government and why voting is important at all levels of government.  They touched on everything from how to get an acceptable ID for voting, voter registration, and absentee ballots and how the new laws impacted the elderly and disabled as well as underserved communities.    At this time they also registered new voters.  They were able to reach more than 300 people about the new law. 

    The immigration committee led by a local League member leveraged her partnerships with other community organizations with whom the League frequently partners.  They kept their audiences engaged and were able to address their questions so that everyone was informed.  They used their membership and connections to other local groups to plan events and disperse information throughout the communities.    They were recognized by the press in the Green Bay Press-Gazette.  The League posted flyers and utilized online and ethnic media outlets to reach out to the community.

    member abstract: 
    Vote now for your favorite Community Connection Project!

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