The League in Greater Birmingham - Past Accomplishments, Future Goals LWVGB current and future presidents held a discussion in the "Be Birmingham" segment of "The Alabama Way," ION Station WPXH-TV 44, Thursday, May 30, 2013 and re-aire Tuesday, June 4, 2013.
What has the League of Women Voters accomplished in the Greater Birmingham community over this past year? You would be amazed. And what are the League's goals for 2013-2014? President Cyrondys Jackson Springer & President-elect Trish Powell Crane had a very informative discussion in the "Be Birmingham" segment on the program "The Alabama Way," ION Station WPXH-TV 44, on Thursday, May 30, 2013. The program re-aired Tuesday, June 4, 2013.
The coming year 2013-2014 will be a very active one for the League. Part of the LWVGB discussion on Tuesday morning focused on the League's Observer Corps and what role it might play in keeping the public informed about public affairs in the Greater Birmingham community. Government transparency and accountability are foremost concerns for LWVGB. Also, the Birmingham mayoral and city council elections are coming up in October. For 93 years, the League of Women Voters has had an excellent reputation as a nonpartisan voter service organization. Rest assured, the League will be assisting and educating voters and encouraging all to be active participants in our democracy!
LWVGB thanks ION Station WPXH-TV 44 and Station Manager Ms. Debra Perry for scheduling this interview on the "Be Birmingham" segment of "The Alabama Way" and for giving the League permission to post this segment.
April Membership Meeting
"2014 Project Alabama"
Tuesday, April 9 at 6:00 p.m.
Homewood Public Library
1721 Oxmoor Road
Homewood, AL 35209
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NOTE: This is a recent event. We'll post the "follow up" story soon. Thank you for your interest in this issue!
Please join us for our April membership meeting on Tuesday, April 9, at 6:00 p.m. in the Round Auditorium at the Homewood Public Library in Homewood. We will learn about the 2014 Project Alabama, a non-partisan effort to encourage, identify and train more women to seek elected offices.
Alabama has a poor track record of electing women. Currently, there are 18 women in the Alabama legislature. Alabama ranks 48th among state legislatures with women comprising 12.9% of state legislators according to statistics compiled by the Center for American Women and Politics. The election of 2014 presents a unique opportunity for women to increase their numbers in office. Following the 2010 census, Alabama’s congressional and legislative districts were redrawn. The congressional districts affected the 2012 election but the redrawn legislative districts take effect in 2014. New and open seats will be created.
Reapportionment creates opportunity, and research shows that women have more success winning open seats. Also, 2014 coincides with a gubernatorial election.
The 2014 Project Alabama has partnered with many organizations in Alabama to identify and train women who are considering running for elected offices. These organizations include the Alabama Hispanic Association, the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the Leading Edge Institute, the Women's Economic Development Council, the Women's Leadership Institute of Auburn University, and Women of Will.
Join us for this informative presentation and discussion about the need for women's voices and perspectives to be represented in our elected bodies and how to increase the number of qualified women in elected positions. Light refreshments will be served.
LWVGB Rallies to Defend the Voting Rights Act (VRA)
Thank you to those who turned out!
Stand in defense of the VRA WHEN:
Friday, March 1, 2013, 10:00 a.m.WHERE:
In front of the Hugo L. Black U. S. Courthouse, 1729 5th Ave. N., Birmingham, AL
Pictured here (L-R): Jesse Bates, Mary Lynn Bates, Gene Byrd, Kathy Byrd, Eric Click, Seth Johnson, and Nancy Ekberg. See all the photos.
LWVGB February Meeting
"An Overview of School Systems Presented by:
in the Greater Birmingham Area"
Joe T. Adams, PhD,
Public Affairs Research Council of AL
Pictured here (L-R): LWVGB President Cyrondys Jackson Springer, PARCA Research Coordinator Dr. Joe Adams, LWVGB VP Trish Crain
See all the meeting photos.
See Dr. Adams' presentation.
On February 28, 2013, at 6:00 p.m. at the Homewood Public Library, Dr. Joe T. Adams, Research Coordinator of the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama (PARCA), shared information with our League about multiple indicators of school district success, including the level of student achievement across our metro area. PARCA has devised a unique color-coded method to allow citizens to interpret how various student populations are performing on the Alabama Reading and Mathematics Test (ARMT), the required standardized test for Alabama’s third through eighth graders. PARCA also analyzes information on school district spending and the breakdown of revenue sources. Dr. Adams clearly and concisely presented over 9000 pages of data in such a way that trends could be easily understood.
The League meeting at the Homewood Public Library was an insightful overview of the Greater Birmingham area’s multiple school systems, including the Shelby County system. About 30 League members and guests attended. The League was pleased that the public showed this great interest in our area public school systems. According to Dr. Adams, this is one of the most important elements in improving and ultimately successful education systems. Motivated, persistent school leaders are also a key factor, especially where there are limited resources.
Thanks again to Dr. Adams for sharing the PARCA study.
New BJCTA Executive Director Speaks
See the photos
Tuesday, January 29, 2013, 6 p.m.
The Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority
(BJCTA Board Room)
1735 Morris Ave.
(Copper-domed transit "hub" on Morris Ave.)
Guest Speaker Ann Dawson-August, Executive Director, Birmingham-Jefferson Transit Authority
January's monthly membership meeting featured Birmingham-Jefferson Transit Authority Executive Director Ann August. August shared her 30 years of professional transportation experience with attendees, as well as projections for the upcoming year at the BJCTA. Details were given about 30 new buses hitting the streets of Birmingham in September. August told the group she and a team traveled to North Dakota in January to pro-vide input on a prototype that addresses the needs of metro Birmingham riders. The first of the new fleet will roll out in June, August said.
August also said that after arriving to Birmingham, she began working with her staff and the community to improve transportation needs and efficiency. Her work has led her to identify a scheduling problem within the system. August reached out to a peer in Philadelphia, with 30 years experience as a Scheduling Director. The colleague agreed to travel to Birmingham for a "Peer-to-Peer" meeting the first week of February. The visit will be at no cost to BJCTA. August says she believes in relation-ships, and developing those relationships. She says she is already meeting with riders, community groups, civic leaders and elected officials to listen to their perspective. August said she plans to enhance the customer service improvements already under-way at BJCTA, by working with the Director of Customer Service, Adrian Solomon, and the public. Riders shared their accolades and criticisms with August during the meet-ing, expressing frustrations about route information, de-lays, and schedules. August said that a new phone system is expected to be installed in February that might improve communications. August says she wants to continue hearing from the community and all stakeholders, on ways to develop the Birmingham-Jefferson system, and encourages groups such as the League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham to actively participate in the discussion.
August is settling into her new role and new home just blocks away from Central Station.
She is also looking forward to getting to know her fellow League members.
HOSTS HOLIDAY DINNER!
DECEMBER 4, 2012
6:00 - 8:00 P.M.
2205 3RD AVENUE SOUTH
BIRMINGHAM, AL 35233
LWVGB members caught up
with long-time League friends and made some new ones! Non-League
members were welcomed. President
Cyrondys Jackson Springer
the League's many accomplishments thus far this year. The League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham wishes peace, good health, and happy holidays to all!
Thank you for voting Alabama!See Alabama election results.
Check the status of your provisional ballot.
The following remains posted for archival interest… (Update coming soon.)
General Election Nov. 6, 2012.
Go to the polls on Nov. 6, 2012 and vote between 7 a.m. and 7 p,m,.REMEMBER TO TAKE ID TO THE POLLS. It does not have to be photo ID.
These are acceptable forms of voter ID
. If you need to vote absentee, mail in an absentee ballot application by NOV. 1, 2012
Want unbiased information about the amendments on your Nov. 6 ballot? Get LWVAL's amendment analysis
. The document contains, for each of the 11 statewide amendments, the text and basic explanation of the amendment and consequences if the measure passes or does not pass. Get this and much more nonpartisan election information at Vote411.org sponsored by the LWV Education Fund
. ALERT: THREE POLLING LOCATIONS HAVE CHANGED IN JEFFERSON CO.
The following polling locations are CHANGED for the Nov. 6 General Election:
- Birmingham International Church in Vestavia Hills has changed to Horizons Church on Columbiana Road
- Lawson State Community College in Bessemer has changed to the Bessemer Civic Center.
- Wylam Fire Station has changed to Faith Chapel Christian Center on Lexington Avenue
See the complete story at al.com, Jefferson County moves three polling precincts to new locations by Barnett Wright.
Read about your voting rights under the Help America Vote Act of 2002 and how to file a formal complaint if necessary. This is essential information for all voters, especially for Americans with disabilities.
Help the LWVAL and the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program (ADAP) assess polling place accessibility.
Please download this brief checklist and the instructions. Take the checklist with you to your polling place, and complete it while there. Look around the polling site to determine the extent to which various features of voter accessibility are being met and check the list as appropriate. That's it - except don't forget to vote! Just mail in the Polling Place Checklist as instructed. Thank you for your help!
Get more election information including answers to some common election day questions.
LWVGB and UUCB Co-host Alabama Election Issues Forum
On Sunday afternoon, October 28, 2012, LWVGB co-hosted the forum “Critical Thinking: Election Issues for Alabama Voters” with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham (UUCB). The forum was held at the UUCB located at 4300 Hampton Heights Drive, Birmingham, AL 35209.
With the 2012 General Election approaching quickly, Jefferson County voters eagerly turned out to learn and participate in this lively and very timely discussion of Alabama Election issues. What are the constitutional amendments on the Nov. 6 ballot, and what are the consequences of passing or defeating these referendums? How are recent changes in election laws, including campaign finance laws, changing our democracy and election outcomes?
The three panelists were well-versed in their fields. By offering essential facts coupled with their own thought-provoking questions, they engaged the audience in discussion that reflected the group's "critical thinking" as intended. Nancy Ekberg, ACCR Birmingham Regional Chair and member of the LWV of Greater Birmingham's Board of Directors informed attendees about the eleven statewide constitutional amendment referendums and the consequences of this election on the AL constitution. Dr. Anne Permaloff, Political Science and Public Administration Professor Emerita, Auburn University Montgomery discussed the "Current State and Federal Election Laws and Impact on Voting Rights." Dr. Permaloff is also a member of the Boards of Directors of LWV of Alabama and LWV of Montgomery. Dr. Natalie Davis, Professor of Political Science and Pre-Law Advisor, Birmingham-Southern College, asked the very timely question "Are Campaign Contributions Free Speech?"
Each panelist made a 20 minute presentation, and in the segment following, forum moderator Dr. Donald Marks directed questions from the audience. Following the forum, panelists and guests continued the discussion of election issues over coffee.
The League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham would like to thank the Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham for initiating this forum and co-hosting the event at the Church.
First Presidential Debate was Oct. 3, 2012 LWV President Elisabeth MacNamara encouraged citizens to watch carefully.
| “[Debates] are the only opportunities the voters have to see and hear the candidates talk about the same things at the same time — and to take a real time comparative measure of them." Jim Lehrer, Debate Moderator |
In a recent message from LWVUS, President Elisabeth MacNamara wrote, "Tonight presidential candidates President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney will square off in the first of three debates. Debates provide candidates with a platform to speak directly to voters in their own words, rather than through ads and negative campaigning by outside groups. They provide voters an important opportunity to learn more about the candidates and their positions on the issues that matter most to you and to your community…." Read more...
Want to get the most out of your debate watching experience? Check out LWV's "Debate Watching 101 Guide" The LWV knows its way around debates!
Work of the Alabama Constitutional Revision Commission focus of LWVGB Annual Membership Meeting
Thurs., September 20, LWVGB members and guests heard from distinguished members of the Alabama Constitutional Revision Commission (ACRC) at the 2012 Membership Meeting. Rep. Patricia Todd and Ms. Carolyn McKinstry told the audience at St. Paul United Methodist Church about the commission's work to reform Alabama's 1901 Constitution article by article. Todd and McKinstry provided information about the commission's amendments on the Nov. ballot. The amendments on the general election ballot address insurance oversight and regulation, banking oversight and regulation, and the removal of racist language from the constitution. Rep. Todd represents District 54 in the AL Legislature and is Associate Director of AIDS Alabama. Ms. McKinstry is a survivor of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing.
Leaguers shared the work of the League of Women Voters with their guests over light refreshments. There was much to share about the League's many voter service activities leading up to the General Election on Nov. 6. The meeting was open to the public and all over 18, men and women, were encouraged to join the LWVGB to help "Make Democracy Work."
LWV provides unbiased information to voters for the Special Constitutional Amendment Referendum
On Sept. 18, 2012, a special proposed constitutional amendment was put before Alabama voters on September 18, 2012 and passed. The amendment transfers over $145 million each year for three years into the ailing state General Fund from the AL Trust Fund. These funds will not be paid back to the ATF. There is much more to the amendment than the description printed on ballots. The League of Women Voters of Alabama Education Fund presented unbiased information about the amendment. online to educate the voters.
This information remains posted for the public.
Brown Mackie College celebrates Constitution Day with Voter Registration Drive
As part of Constitution Day celebration activities on September 18 and 19, 2012, the LWVGB held a registration drive at Brown Mackie College in Birmingham. College Library Director James Gilbreath invited the League to provide students with this registration opportunity, distribute election information, and make timely delivery of forms to the county Board of Registrars. The League registered about 70 new voters during the two day voter registration event. Many thanks to LWVGB volunteers Joan Burroughs, Shaina Hamby, Ann Smith, Rita Winkates, Leonette Slay, Michael O'Donnell, and Jean Johnson for a very successful registration drive. The League looks forward to many more such events before the Alabama voter registration deadline on Friday, October 26.
Celebrating 92 Years of the Power of the Vote
August 26 marked the 92nd anniversary of the constitutional amendment that granted women the right to vote. The League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham celebrated Women's Equality Day by preparing voters for this fall's big election. How did you celebrate? Read the press release
. Thought: To celebrate Women's Equality Day, honor a strong woman in your life or inspire a young lady with a contribution to the League of Women Voters.
LWVGB co-sponsors Hoover City Council Candidate Forum See the Hoover Candidate Photos
August 21, 2012, seven of the nine candidates running for four seats on the Hoover City Council responded to citizens' questions. The candidate forum was co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham and BluffParkAL.org, the Bluff Park Neighborhood Web Site. About 100 Hoover citizens turned out at Artists on the Bluff in Bluff Park, AL to ask questions and to voice their own opinions. More information and photos will be posted here soon. We invite you to read these press articles about the event:
Thank you to all LWVGB volunteers who helped to make this event a success. LWVGB thanks the citizens and candidates for participating in this forum. This is how democracy works!
Homewood Residents Get to Know Their Candidates Photos courtesy of Natalie Johnson.
See these and many more on our Flickr website.
On Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012, citizens of Homewood heard from their mayor and candidates for the city council. And the candidates heard the
voices of the voters! In addition to the mayor, seventeen candidates for city council president and seven other city council ward seats participated. The forum was sponsored by the Homewood Primetime Organization and the League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham.
Homewood voters were clearly interested to hear from their candidates. Despite the threat of inclement weather, citizens filled the Homewood Senior Citizen Center auditorium to near capacity. The forum was moderated by LWVGB President Cyrondys Jackson and forum coordinator Leonette Slay. Citizen-submitted questions addressed such issues as government transparency, support or opposition for hiring a city manager, and allocation of funds for ward vs. city-wide projects. Due to the large number of candidates to address each question, there were many submitted questions that could not be answered during the one and one-half hour forum. Attendees did, however, get the opportunity to directly address their candidates one-on-one in a meet-and-greet following the forum. The public was invited to enjoy punch and cookies provided by the Primetime Organization while socially interacting with their candidates.
Thank you to Barbara Pilato and the many volunteers of the Homewood Primetime Organization for their work in making this event a great success. Also, thank you to our own LWVGB volunteers to include Cyrondys Jackson, Leonette Slay, Trish Crain, Jean Johnson, Arlene Godwin, Diane Marks, Dr. Donald Marks, Nancy Ekberg, and Joan Burroughs, Special thanks to Homewood High School students Natalie Johnson and Rebecca Feldman who volunteered their assistance at the Forum. Thank you, Natalie, for capturing this event in the photographs shown here. More of Natalie's photos are on display on our Flickr site
This candidate forum was a fine example of American Democracy in action. The League looks forward to hosting other such forums in this election season. Stay tuned! Check here often for forum news. Mark your calendar with these important voting dates and visit Vote411.org
for more election news and information:
- August 28, 2012 - Municipal Elections
- September 18, 2012 - Special Constitutional Amendment Election
- November 6, 2012 - Presidential Election