Lame Duck Legislative Advocacy Guide for Week of December 3, 2018

Lame Duck Legislative Advocacy Guide

Week of December 3, 2018

HB511 LEGAL AGE – MARRIAGE: Would eliminate gender-based differences in the legal age to marry.

STATUS: Passed in the House. Third hearing (all testimony/possible vote) in Senate Judiciary Committee 12/4/18 @ 10:15 A.M. in North Hearing Room

ASK: Call your Senator and ask for a YES Vote.

HJR19 MODIFY INITIATIVE PETITION PROCESS: Makes it more difficult to amend the Ohio Constitution through ballot initiative.

STATUS: In the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee

–  2nd hearing on 12/4/18 @ 1:00 P.M. in Room 122 (all testimony)

–  3rd hearing on 12/5/18 @ 9:30 A.M. in Room 114 (all testimony/possible vote)

–  4th hearing on 12/6/18 @ 9:30 A.M. in Room 114 (all testimony/possible vote)

ASK: Call the Senate President Larry Obhof (614-466-7505), Speaker of the House Ryan Smith (614-466-1366), and your legislators to ask them to VOTE NO.

HB81 DEATH SENTENCE – MENTAL ILLNESS: provides that a person with serious mental illness who is convicted of aggravated murder cannot be sentenced to death.

STATUS: Sixth hearing (all testimony/possible vote) in House Criminal Justice Committee 12/4/2018 @ 1:30 P.M. in Room 114

ASK: Call your senator to ask for a YES vote.

HB461 CHILD TRAFFICKING: Would increase penalties for the trafficking of 16 and 17 year olds, and would require the appointment of a guardian for a minor in juvenile court in prostitution or human trafficking related cases.

STATUS: Fourth hearing (all testimony/possible vote) in House Criminal Justice Committee 12/4/18 @ 1:30 P.M. in Room 114

ASK: Call your representative and ask for a YES VOTE.

HB561 SPOUSAL RAPE: Eliminates the spousal exceptions for offenses of rape, sexual battery, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, gross sexual imposition, sexual imposition, and importuning; and permits a person to testify against their spouse in a prosecution for any of those offenses.

STATUS: Third hearing (all testimony/possible vote) in House Criminal Justice Committee 12/4/18 @ 1:30 P.M. in Room 114

ASK: Call your representative and ask for a YES VOTE.

HB258 HEARTBEAT: would prohibit abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detectable.

STATUS: Passed in the House. First hearing (sponsor/proponent testimony) in Senate Health, Human Services, And Medicaid 12/4/18 @3:15 P.M. in South Hearing Room

ASK: Call your Senator to ask for a NO VOTE.

HB228 STAND YOUR GROUND: would shift the burden of proof in self-defense cases to the prosecution and remove the legal “duty to retreat” when faced with threats or perceived threats.

STATUS: Passed in the House. In Senate Govt. Oversight and Reform Committee

– 2nd hearing (opponent testimony) 12/4/18 @ 7:00 P.M. in Senate Finance Hearing Room

– 3rd hearing (all testimony/possible vote) 12/5/18 @ 9:45 A.M. in Senate Finance Hearing Room

– 4th hearing (all testimony/possible vote) 12/6/18 @ 9:00 A.M. in North Hearing Room

ASK: Call your senator to ask for a NO VOTE.

HB425 POLICE BODY CAMERAS: Provides that specified portions of officers’ body/vehicle cameras are not public record.

STATUS: Passed in the House. Third hearing (all testimony/possible vote) in Senate Government Oversight and Reform 12/6/18 @ 9:00 A.M. in North Hearing Room

ASK: Call your senator and ask for a NO VOTE.

SB51 LAKE ERIE IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT: Authorizes the creation of a special improvement district to facilitate Lake Erie shoreline improvement.

STATUS: Passed by the Senate. Second hearing (all testimony) in House Finance Committee 12/4/18 @ 1:30 P.M. in Room 313

ASK: Call your representative to ask for YES VOTE

Regards,
LWVO Advocacy Team

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Rapid Response Request – Ohio Legislature lame-duck session voting on critical bills.

Rapid Response Request

The Ohio Legislature is in the middle of lame-duck session and critical bills are moving quickly. Act now and share this message.
WHAT:
ASK FOR A YES VOTE ON HB81, which provides that a person with serious mental illness who is convicted of aggravated murder cannot be sentenced to death
WHY:
It may be voted upon by the House TOMORROW.
CALL: Your state representative

_____________________________________
WHAT:
ASK FOR A NO VOTE ON HB625, which would prohibit local governments from imposing a tax or fee on single-use containers, like bottles and plastic bags.
WHY: It may be voted upon by the House TOMORROW.
CALL: Your state representative

_____________________________________ 
WHAT:
ASK FOR A NO VOTE ON SB250, which would impinge on 1st amendment rights to protest and free speech.Â
WHY: It may have a final hearing tomorrow and then voted upon by the House.
CALL: Your State Senator

_____________________________________ 
WHAT: ASK FOR A NO VOTE ON HB228 (STAND YOUR GROUND), which would allow lethal force to be the first line of defense for citizens.
WHY: It passed in the House and will likely be heard in the Senate next week.
CALL: Your State Senator

_____________________________________
WHAT: ASK FOR A NO VOTE ON HB258 (HEARTBEAT BILL), which would prohibit abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detectable.Â
WHY: It passed in the House and will likely be heard in the Senate next week.Â
CALL: Your State Senator
Thank you for your time and dedication to better public policies for all Ohioans. You may reply to this email or call 614-469-1505 if you have any questions.
LWVO Advocacy Team
League of Women Voters of Ohio | 614-469-1505 | www.lwvohio.org
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Advocate article on voting at Denison

Dear LWVLC,
Allegations of voter fraud by college students in Ohio elections have a long history and so do allegations of voter suppression.
An article in the Newark Advocate today details a complaint from six Granville residents about alleged irregularities around Denison students’ voting in the last election. The Licking County Board of Elections is seeking legal advice on the charges. According to the article, the allegations include letting students vote with a utility bill as ID, specifically, a “zero balance utility bill” issued at the bookstore.
According to a memorandum issued by the Secretary of State to Boards of Election in 2007, reaffirmed in 2008, and cited in the article, such bills are in fact acceptable forms of identification.
The purpose of showing ID on election day is to affirm that the voter lives where he or she is registered, and a utility bill with the name and address is valid for that purpose. At Dension and many other private colleges, however, all students are required to live on campus so they do not receive separate utility bills; the cost of utilities is built into a larger fee for room and board. The memorandum clarifies that a bill from an institution, even one with zero balance, shows that the recipient lives on campus.
Although the authors of the letter seem to think that only public colleges are covered under the advisory memorandum, the document itself mentions only “colleges and universities in Ohio,” making no distinction between private and public.
https://www.sos.state.oh.us/globalassets/elections/advisories/2008/adv2008-26.pdf
Another private Ohio college, The College of Wooster, instructs students specifically about presenting a zero-balance bill when going to vote.
https://www.wooster.edu/_media/files/students/dean/voting/voting-guide.pdf
We will be interested to hear how this issue develops.
Rita

11/24/2018

Posted in Community, Ohio Voting, Voter Registration | Leave a comment

We have been approved by LWV Ohio as a Local League.

Dear LWVLC

It’s official:  We have been approved by LWV Ohio as a Local League.  Hooray!

I know that some of you have been awaiting this good news before renewing your membership or joining for the first time.  Wait no longer!  We will still use the same membership form and the process outlined on our website.  Here is a link to the form.  Just print it, fill it out, and mail it to the address listed on the bottom along with your dues.  If you are renewing, please write Renewal at the top of the form. In the future we may also work out a way to pay by credit card.

Do you have a child, grandchild, or neighbor who is a student and who would like to be involved in our work?  Notice that student members can join for a mere $5 per year now.

Here are some things coming up soon.  Get involved!

 

The Hands that Feed Us: Migrant Workers in Licking County

A Panel and Discussion, Open to the Public

September 25th 7:00 at United Church in Granville

 

LWV Social Hour

October 5th at 5:30

Trek Brewing Company

 

Voter Registration

 

  • September 25th (National Voter Registration Day)
    • Denison University, Newark High School, Granville High School
  •  
  • September 26th – OSUN-COTC
  •  
  • September 29th – Granville Farmers Market
  •  
  • October 6th – Granville Farmer’s Market

Contact Anne Goodge (anne.goodge@gmail.com) if you want to be on her list of registration volunteers.

 

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The League Reflects on the Kavanaugh Hearings

Since its founding in 1920, the League’s core values aim to empower voters and expand participation in our democracy through public education and advocacy throughout the nation. We believe that we must challenge the discriminatory laws in our country and build a system that allows all citizens to have an equal voice. We fight for a representative government because protecting the right to vote is indivisibly part of the League of Women Voters’ basic purpose.

Today, our core work focuses on voter engagement, protecting voters’ rights, improving elections, campaign finance/money in politics, and redistricting. We are leaders in this space through the many decades of work by the League’s dedicated service at the local, state, and federal levels of government and throughout communities nationwide.

The League does not take a position on appointees and we don’t dispute an appointee’s qualifications. Our steady focus is on public policies—namely, the decision-making process, enforcement, and the relevant administrative rules. Yet, we are advocates and we fiercely understand the importance of our role as advocates for nearly a century.

And, while we do not take a position on appointees, we are obliged to stand up when and if ideologies—spoken or implied—threaten the people, the rights and the public policies the League has long worked on to protect and expand fundamental voting rights.

With that framework laid, it is critical to share how our work and legacy measures up against the ideology of the next Supreme Court Justice. After three days of hearings, this is what we’ve learned about Judge Kavanaugh’s record as it relates to our priority issues.

Judge Kavanaugh has not demonstrated a commitment to protect voters

The League believes that voting is a fundamental citizen right that must be guaranteed. The fight to protect voters’ rights, especially those whose voices are least heard– specifically communities of color – is ongoing and fierce.

Judge Kavanaugh’s voting rights record causes some concern and we need clarification around how he will handle important voting rights protections and whether those protections are at risk of being further eroded.

In South Carolina v. United States, Judge Kavanaugh precleared a voter photo identification law, after the Department of Justice deemed it a threat to the voting rights of tens of thousands of minority voters in the state. The separate concurrence by Judge Bates, in that same decision, is significant because it shows a clear distinction between the two judges with similar worldviews of precedent and the historic importance of not only section 5 but the Voting Rights Act generally. Ultimately, it shows that regardless of which side of the political aisle a judge sits, the ability to leave precedent undisturbed is the standard unless a compelling reason exists.

Secondly, the case of Rice v. Cayetano has also come up. In Rice, an amicus brief by Judge Kavanagh was filed that was co-authored with Robert Bork and Roger Clegg. In this brief, they argued that Hawaii violated the Constitution by permitting only Native Hawaiians to vote in elections for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a state agency charged with working for the betterment of Native Hawaiians. However, Justice Stevens wrote a compelling dissent asserting, “there is simply no invidious discrimination present in this effort to see that indigenous peoples are compensated for past wrongs, and to preserve a distinct and vibrant culture that is as much a part of this Nation’s heritage as any.” Judge Kavanaugh’s record in these voting rights cases raises red flags about how he might rule from the highest court in future decisions.

The late release of the SCOTUS nominee’s full record undermines much needed public transparency

The League has long worked for the citizen’s right to know and for broad citizen participation in government. We further believe that the government bodies protect the citizen’s right to know by giving adequate notice of proposed actions, holding open meetings, and making public records accessible.

As an organization that promotes and reveres transparency, the current Supreme Court nominee process has been unusually opaque to the public. Senate Judiciary Committee hearings were scheduled before obtaining the nominee’s full record, and over 42,000 records were released just hours before the first hearing. The proximity of the documents’ release to the hearings does not pass the transparency sniff test. When a full record of a SCOTUS nominee is not available, the public, and those officials elected to represent us, are at a disadvantage and cannot capably assess whether the nominee reflects American democracy.

Judge Kavanaugh’s record shows a consistent refusal to uphold campaign finance restrictions

The League believes that the methods of financing political campaigns should enhance political equality for all citizens, ensure maximum participation by citizens in the political process while protecting representative democracy from being distorted by big spending in election campaigns. We are fighting to reform money in politics in Congress, with state legislatures, with the executive branch, and, where appropriate, the courts. Without further inform, Judge Kavanaugh’s level of concern for the influence of money in politics runs counter to the League’s principles.

In the campaign finance case of Emily’s List v. Federal Election Commission, Judge Kavanaugh reversed a lower court’s opinion that enacted regulations to limit an influx of spending from outside groups to nonprofits. He held that contributions and expenditures constituted speech, and thus are afforded First Amendment protection. This decision laid the groundwork for the holding in the landmark Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case, giving corporations the ability to spend unlimited sums in political campaigns.

Similarly, in Independence Institute v. Federal Election Commission, he wrote the opinion for two-panel members utilizing what Demos and Campaign Legal Center deemed “a novel theory that would limit disclosure based on a spender’s tax-status, a theory subsequently rejected by a three-judge court and the Supreme Court.”

It goes without saying that the Supreme Court plays a critical role in protecting the rights of voters in this country. While we won’t assess the qualifications of the Supreme Court nominee, we exercise our obligation to diligently review Judge Kavanaugh’s record and the testimony made before the Senate Judiciary Committee to determine how this appointment could impact the fundamental values that the League of Women Voters of the United State works to protect and enhance, now and for decades to come.

 

Source: League of Women Voters – National

LINK: read:https://www.lwv.org/blog/league-reflects-kavanaugh-hearings?utm_content=buffer21350&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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Migrant Workers in Licking County: The Hands That Feed Us

The Hands That Feed Us

When Marshall Branstool, owner of Branstool Orchards in Utica, steps behind his market table filled with fresh peaches and ripe apples many are quick to notice his shirt does not have the well-known Branstool Orchards logo but instead reflects the heart of the business. The T-shirt simply reads, “Immigrants Feed America.”

In today’s political climate it may feel surprising to have a business owner make such a bold statement at what feels like a simple Saturday morning outing. To those within the food chain, however, recent focus on immigration policy is a constant reminder of how essential immigrant labor and families are to our agricultural economy.

Marshall wears his shirt to remind customers who is behind their food.

“People need to be aware and know about the work that goes on for operations of our size. We aren’t large enough to be mechanized and we aren’t small enough for just a family to manage. Our immigrant employees pick each peach and apple by hand.”

Branstool Orchards and other U-pick and agritourism farms are often the only intersection a shopper might have with the labor aspect of the food system. For one afternoon a year a family will pile into the car and drive to the countryside to pick a bushel of apples before paying the farmer for their work. Picking fruit for the afternoon feels like the perfect fall day but the U.S. fruit and vegetable industry requires a labor force of millions.

Marshall Branstool, owner of Branstool Orchards, with one of the signs he displays at his farm market on the farm.

Statistics vary and are hard to collect given the nature of a migrant and seasonal workforce but according to industry associations 2.5 million farmworkers are hired annually. This includes those working to harvest fruits and vegetables as well as farmworkers tending to livestock, ranches, nurseries and fisheries. While we may imagine picturesque scenes of fresh fruit being picked from the vine, for these farmworkers work starts in the late winter to plant, prune, thin, mow grass, spray for disease and pests, build trellising, maintain fencing and infrastructure, harvest, grade, wash, pack and deliver product.

These daily tasks begin before the sun fully rises and last until it sets 14 hours later. For most farmworkers these long hours do not pay off as they would in any other industry. While Branstool Orchards ensures their employees are paid time-and-half, the agriculture industry is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Farmworkers have the lowest annual family income of any U.S. wage workers—averaging $17,000 to $19,000 a year.

Agriculture, by nature, is unreliable and lacks job security. Produce is perishable and needs to be harvested within a small time frame. Many farmworkers migrate to follow the harvest between Florida’s winter citrus, California’s spring strawberries, the Midwest’s summer sweet corn and the Carolinas’ fall sweet potato harvest. About 13,700 migrant farm workers travel to Ohio each year through H2A visa programs alone for orchard work.

Most consumers are aware of the notion that “Mexicans pick our food” and in a real sense they are correct. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS), immigrants account for 73% of all farmworkers and the survey showed up to 75% of those were born in Mexico. The NAWS survey reported 47% of those foreign born are undocumented immigrants, but farmworker justice surveys have shown up to 70% of the workforce goes undocumented. This is a wide range and no matter which survey results one accepts it still leaves a large portion of the workforce vulnerable.

Fruits and vegetables are not the only products that require a large immigrant population. The poultry, dairy and meatpacking industries depend on immigrant labor. More than half of all dairy workers in the U.S. are immigrants, according to a 2015 industry-sponsored study, and farms that employ immigrant labor produce 79% of the nation’s milk with over half of the immigrant labor coming from Mexico. Declining rural populations, increased herd sizes to increase farm income and family members seeking off-farm jobs for health insurance purposes has shifted family dairy farms to hired staff over the last 20 years. Dairy workers account for the highest-paying farm labor jobs.

In Licking County, Stacey Atherton of Shipley’s Dairy Farm simply says, “We do not look at our immigrant labor as cheap labor. In fact, we look at them as dependable and hardworking employees.” In this competitive labor market, employees make almost double minimum wage and have stayed employed for over a decade on the farm. Stacey has worked hard to learn Spanish to create a better work environment for everyone.

Photo 1: Heading out to the orchard for a days work.
Photo 2: At Shipley’s Dairy Farm.

Most consumers may assume the nationality of those employed to harvest their food but most are unaware that an estimated 430,000 under-age children are working in the fields. U.S. labor laws provide no minimum age for children working alongside their parent on small farms with their parent’s permission. Children may work for hire on any farm with parental consent from age 12, and there are no legal limits on the hours children can work in agriculture outside of being enrolled in school fulltime. Industry studies have shown 25% of our food picked in the U.S. is by children as young as 6 years old.

For these children, they will go to school and then join their parents in the field through the afternoon and weekends, often working over 40 hours a week. It is a common misconception that these standards are higher for certified organic produce but the certification process does not have any labor conditions incentives. Our country’s desire for the cheapest food possible, competing with imported goods, has led to a human rights crisis in our fields.

For Columbus Rabbi Jessica Shimberg it was an article similar to this in a 2001 Gourmet magazine that opened her eyes to whose hands were picking her food and the privileged role she had held in the food system.

“My mother gave me an annual gift subscription to Gourmet, because we both enjoyed cooking and reading about great restaurants. One day, I opened the magazine to a stunning article by Barry Estabrook about the tomato industry. There was a picture of brown hands holding green tomatoes with the town of Immokalee, Florida, listed. I stopped to read the article, recalling that our family had taken a day trip to Immokalee for a boat ride and realizing that the impoverished homes we had driven by housed these migrant farmworkers. Here my family was sightseeing while human rights abuses were occurring within miles of our destination.”

The article was one of the first mainstream publications to shine a light on the work of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). The CIW is a worker-based human rights organization organizing the farmworker community since 1993, and was reinforced with the creation of a national consumer network in 2000. In 2011, CIW launched the Fair Food Program (FFP), which focuses on a Worker driven Social Responsibility (WSR) model based on a unique partnership among farmworkers, Florida tomato growers and participating retail buyers. Companies such as Taco Bell, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and more have signed on to this agreement to pay one penny more per tomato and purchase from ethically responsible growers. Other firms continue to resist joining the agreement.

As a rabbinical student, Jessica began to consider more about what it meant for her to keep kosher, not just to obey scriptural laws but also as a spiritual practice of blessing those who cultivate and harvest the food. Through this introspective learning, Jessica connected with T’ruah, an organization that brings a rabbinic voice and the power of the Jewish community to protecting and advancing human rights in North America. In October 2012, Jessica spent time in Immokalee learning from the CIW and has worked, locally and nationally, as part of T’ruah’s Tomato Rabbis (#tomatorabbis) ever since.

Rabbi Jessica’s work as the spiritual leader of The Little Minyan Kehilah has allowed her to connect and organize with other Central Ohio faith leaders and with the active Ohio State University Farmworker Alliance. The OSU chapter is a part of a national network of students and youth organizing in partnership with the CIW. Students Rachael Birri and Alex Hoey have been organizing with students on campus. Students volunteer to educate, organize, train and demonstrate the plight of the farmworker. Each year students host farmworkers from Immokalee to share their story. The CIW has been fighting for over 20 years, longer than some student organizers have been alive, but the students say they are not disillusioned and instead view the work of the CIW in holding space in a larger movement inspiring and renewing every time they take action together.

The work to create a fair food system involves protesting with your food dollars every day. Simple choices make a difference, such as buying in-season produce, especially avoiding imported and out-of-season berries. Buy directly from producers where you can ask about farmworker conditions and seek out farmers like Stacey and Marshall who respect their employees and are grateful for their labor. Joining a CSA program and purchasing meat and dairy products from those who utilize independent meat processing facilities also helps.

As Rabbi Jessica explains, as fellow human beings, we have an obligation to “do our best to ensure the food we put in our mouths is clean, free of human exploitation; if we can know that basic human rights have not been violated—that those who tend the crops weren’t sprayed by pesticides, that they have adequate bathroom and shade access and are free from sexual assault in the fields and other work locations, why would we choose not to? In this way, the food we eat can truly nourish our bodies and our souls.”

To get involved in Central Ohio visit: Ohio For Fair Food and Farmworker Justice on Facebook. And to learn more, Rabbi Jessica recommends reading I’m Not A Tractor: How Florida Farmworkers Took On the Fast Food Giants and Won (2017) by Susan L. Marquis. The book chronicles how farmworkers have greatly improved their working conditions on farms and more.

 

Source: Edible Columbus

By:  Bryn Bird

LINK:  http://ediblecolumbus.ediblecommunities.com/food-thought/hands-feed-us

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Here’s the link to the LWVUS position on immigration:

https://www.lwv.org/other-issues/immigration 

Posted in Community, LWV Licking County, LWV Ohio/US | Leave a comment

Voter Registration – Fall 2018 – All the Details

How do I register to vote?

The deadline to register to vote in the 2018 November General Election is October 9.
Voter registration forms can be found in most public libraries and social service agencies in Ohio.
You register to vote at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and through voter registration drives held by organizations in your area.
You can also register to vote on line.
You can use all these sources to update your voter registration if you have changed your address.

Here is a slide show (pdf) describing the details about voter registration in Ohio:

LINK: 2018 LWVO Voter Registration Training_8-23-18

 

Posted in LWV Ohio/US, Ohio Voting, Voter Registration | Leave a comment

The LWV National Convention – 27 June – 1 July 2018

The evening of Thursday, June 28th will be devoted to
A Conversation on Redistricting with Nick Stephanopoulos and Ruth Greenwood

You can watch it! This event will be live-streamed starting at 8:00 p.m. ET:  https://www.facebook.com/leagueofwomenvoters/videos/10156233947122279/.

Nick Stephanopoulos and Ruth Greenwood are experts in the field of redistricting and heavily involved in the U.S. Supreme Court Case Gill v. Whiford. Greenwood serves as a member of the legal team for the plaintiffs at the Campaign Legal Center, while Stephanopoulos helped to create the Efficiency Gap Theory, which is the standard being considered by the court in this partisan gerrymandering case.

Since this blurb appeared in the convention program, we know that the Supreme Court failed to act decisively in Gill v. Whitford (the Wisconsin case, and also in other cases), rejecting Greenwood’s theory about how to measure extreme gerrymandering.  Meanwhile, in Ohio we await the outcome of the ACLU’s lawsuit asking that implementation of Issue 1, overwhelmingly approved by voters in May, not be delayed until after the census but put into practice ASAP. All this suggests that redistricting will remain a League project for some time to come.

++++++

Rita Kipp, President LWV Licking County, will be attending the national convention.

While in Chicago, I may not be able to respond as promptly as usual to communications by email.  I do hope to post photos on the LWVLC facebook page to share the flavor of my experiences with you.  I will be back in Granville on July 2nd.

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The furious fight to win US women the vote

‘The Woman’s Hour’ wonderfully recalls the furious fight to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment

March 14, 2018 —This year, more than 400 women are considered likely candidates for US Congress, while another 79 are exploring runs for state governorships as of the beginning of this year. It’s a grass-roots movement also known as “the pink wave,” and some Americans are hoping that it will change the country, if not the world.
If only Carrie Chapman Catt were here to see it.
Catt is one of the principal players in The Woman’s Hour, award-winning writer Elaine Weiss’s excellent book about the last-minute dramatics surrounding the 1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment granting American women the right to vote.

Looking back today, we marvel that it took until 1920 for women to gain their full rights as United States citizens. But it’s easy to forget that at the time, the conferral of that right was anything but certain. In fact, Weiss’s narrative is an out-and-out nail-biter.
Up until the very last moment, the “Suffs” (the suffragists, of whom Catt was a leader) were in despair. The “Antis” (a formidable group opposed to women’s suffrage headed up by a highly educated college professor named Josephine Pearson) had mounted a fierce and very effective attack against the amendment, and it looked as if they very well might succeed.
“The Woman’s Hour” focuses on a few tense weeks in the summer of 1920. Thirty-five American states had ratified the 19th Amendment. Thirty-six “yes” votes were needed to make the amendment law, and now Tennessee’s moment of decision was at hand with a vote scheduled for August.
Weiss sets the stage, writing, “If the Tennessee legislature ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, woman suffrage would become the law of the land and twenty-seven million women would be able to vote, just in time for the fall presidential elections; if the legislature rejected it, the amendment might never be enacted. It all came down to Tennessee.”
Starting in mid-July, Suffs and Antis from around the country began converging on Nashville.
Catt, a former school superintendent and the anointed heir of Susan B. Anthony, had already devoted three decades of her life to this battle. The evening she arrived in Nashville by train from New York she was weary and discouraged. “At this time, I do not believe that there is a ghost of a chance of ratification in Tennessee,” she wrote to a friend.

Pearson, the champion of the Antis, was by contrast thrilled by the telegram that called her to Nashville from her home in southeastern Tennessee. “She knew she was doing God’s will,” Weiss writes, “fulfilling a sacred vow to her beloved mother, who had understood the dangers of female suffrage, how it mocked the plan of the Creator, undermined women’s purity and the noble chivalry of men, and threatened the home and the family.”
But talk of chivalry and purity – as genuine as that was on the part of many Antis – masked the real struggle in Tennessee that summer. The most powerful force behind the battle over female suffrage was race. If the 19th Amendment allowed women to vote, that would include black women.
“This amendment will not only hurl women into political competition and battle with men,” read an ad the Antis ran in The Tennessean on the day of the vote, “but it will and must involve political warfare between the races – a thing that no thinking American, white or black, should advocate.”

There was scheming, double-dealing, and flip-flopping up to the last moment. Weiss tells the story in gripping detail. We all know, of course, how the vote ended, but most modern readers will be astonished to learn exactly how it all went down.
Weiss wonderfully describes the drama in the Tennessee statehouse that day: crowds packed into the visitors’ gallery, the Suffs draped in saffron, and the Antis wearing red flowers. When the vote finally came, a mother’s letter and a last-minute defection were game changers so unexpected that for a few minutes history reads like outlandish fiction.
On Nov. 2, 1920, about 10 million American women voted in the election that brought Warren G. Harding to the White House. Almost two-thirds of eligible women chose not to vote, but Catt rightly predicted that the League of Women Voters – which she founded earlier that year – would gradually bring women voters into the system.

Catt, who died in 1947, went on to spend the rest of her life fighting the persecution of Jews in Europe. On Election Day 2016 – when for the first time a woman was the presidential candidate of a major US political party – thousands of women visited the gravestones of Catt, Anthony, and other suffragists, paying silent tribute with their I VOTED stickers.
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Would Catt have been disappointed that it took almost a century for such an event to occur? Perhaps, but probably not surprised.
Marjorie Kehe is The Christian Science Monitor’s books editor.

www.csmonitor.com
3 mins read
Elaine Weiss’s superb book focuses on six key weeks in the suffrage battle.

LINK:  https://www.csmonitor.com/Books/Book-Reviews/2018/0314/The-Woman-s-Hour-wonderfully-recalls-the-furious-fight-to-ratify-the-Nineteenth-Amendment

Posted in LWV Ohio/US, Women | Leave a comment

Engaging New Voters

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This study evaluates the potential of nonprofit service providers and community-based organizations to increase voting among their younger clients and constituents, while also assessing best practices for doing so. To do this, we tracked 39,000 individuals who registered to vote or signed a pledge-to-vote card at one of 122 nonprofits across nine states in the lead up to the 2016 elections. The participating nonprofits included a diverse set of community health centers, food pantries, family service agencies, multi-service organizations, community development corporations, and others. This year’s report differs from our 2014 Engaging New Voters report 1 both in its more rigorous methodology as well as its narrow focus on voters under 30 who are the most challenging to engage. We focused our analysis on 5,835 young voters that were successfully matched to the voter file across the study counties. In addition to determining who from a demographic standpoint the nonprofits reached, we used voter files to assess the rate at which those contacted turned out to vote in the November 2016 election as compared to a demographically-similar group of registered voters in the same counties. Throughout this report, we use the term “nonprofit voters” to refer to people who registered to vote or signed a voter pledge card at one of the 122 nonprofits. We use the term “comparable voters” to refer to a demographically-similar group of registered voters from the same counties which we use for comparison (See Methodology for more).

YOUNG PEOPLE ENGAGED BY NONPROFITS WERE

  • Half as likely to be White
  • 1.6 times as likely to be Black
  • 2.1 times as likely to be Latino

COMPARING TURNOUT RATES

  • Overall, voter turnout among young nonprofit voters was 5.7 percentage points higher than turnout among other comparable young voters (61.0% vs. 55.4%).
  • Turnout was higher among all racial groups engaged by nonprofits, with Latinos showing the largest gain.
    • Young Black nonprofit voters turned out at a rate 5.1 percentage points higher than comparable young Black voters (59.9% vs. 54.9%).
    • Young Latino nonprofit voters turned out at a rate 6.0 percentage points higher than comparable young Latino voters (52.8% vs. 46.8%).
    • Young White nonprofit voters also performed well, turning out at 5.5 percentage points higher than comparable young White voters (71.5% vs. 66.0%).
  • Turnout was higher among both men and women engaged by nonprofits.
    • Young women engaged at nonprofits turned out at a rate 6.5 percentage points higher than comparable young women (66.7% vs. 60.2%).
    • Young men engaged at nonprofits turned out a rate 4.4 percentage points higher than comparable young men (52.3% vs. 47.9%).
  • Pledge-to-vote cards were particularly effective.
    • Nonprofit voters who signed a pledge-to-vote card turned out to vote at a rate 14.1 percentage points higher than comparable registered voters.

TACTICS AND SUCCESS FACTORS

  • To assess best practices, we asked the 122 participating nonprofits to fill out an in-depth online survey. We also conducted interviews with several of the higher and lower-performing nonprofits. We then compared the results of the high and low-performing groups to identify factors common to more successful organizations.
  • Successful agencies had high levels of support from executive and senior leadership as well as frontline staff. This level of buying into the initiative was seen across the entire organization including intake personnel, program staff, and case managers. They also were more likely to have more than 10 individuals asking people to register.
  • High-performing groups started early in voter registration efforts as opposed to later in the electoral cycle. They were more likely to get started in June or July than less successful groups.
  • For all respondents, getting their message out in high traffic areas proved successful. Tabling at events or in their own lobby were successful tactics in their efforts.
    National Voter Registration Day participation was also a strong indicator of success with nearly all successful groups participating.
  • Successful groups were significantly more likely to provide additional voter engagement services, including providing collateral (voter guides, ballot measure informational sheets, etc.,) in addition to going literal extra miles in providing transportation to the polls.

SOURCE: Nonprofit Vote

www.nonprofitvote.org
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LINK:  http://www.nonprofitvote.org/engaging-new-voters-executive-summary/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Executive%20Summary&utm_campaign=report-blast-12-2-15

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