© 1999 - 2003 League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham and
League of Women Voters of the United States

The Voter

October 2003

A Publication of the League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham.
Re-formatted here for web publication with index and links added. Web Editor's navigational notes added in [bracketed italics].


President's Message

The board is looking for feedback from you, the members. Our first League meeting was on a Sunday afternoon. The next two will be in the evening, so that people on their way home from work can drop in for some lively and, we hope, thought-provoking discussions. Would you prefer daytime meetings? Saturday mornings? Would any of you like to explore an online chat room? We want to provide the best possible times and venues. Talk to us!

You can email me at smcdonald3357@charter.net or call any board member at the numbers listed elsewhere in this Voter.

If any of you are interested in becoming more active, we can always use new ideas and energies. You would not have to commit to a board position.

There are a number of short-term jobs that can be done:

  • Helping to distribute our guide to elected officials—Fingertips
  • Redesigning Fingertips
  • Serving on a resource committee for possible future local studies. One such possible study might be evaluating the civics curricula in area school districts.
  • Participate in our Observer Corps. The LWVGB Observer Corps attends County Commission meetings and could use more help. Such attendance serves two functions. It lets the commissioners know that the League is watching and it also helps us determine if a study or action is needed.
These are just a few of the ways you could become more active without just attending monthly meetings.

I hope to see many of you at the Oct. 23rd meeting on the Patriot Act.

Sarah McDonald - President

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A Closer Look at the Patriot Act

Come to Informal Discussion
on October 23rd
Southside Public Library
6:30 P.M. - 7:30 P.M.
Public Welcomed

The USA Patriot Act was passed in the aftermath of September 11th. Congress enacted the 352 page law on October 25th and President Bush signed it into law on October 26th. Now two years later many Americans are questioning whether we are more safe or less free as a result of the Act. While others in law enforcement are pressing to expand the powers of the Act saying the USA Patriot Act does not go far enough in helping them fight terrorism.

In fact most of us are unclear about the exact provisions of the Patriot Act and how it impacts our lives. If you would like to know more about USA Patriot Act come to a brown bag discussion on October 23rd at the Southside Library from 6:30 – 7:30. The discussion will be facilitated by League members, Cary Page and Kathryn Kerchof. As always, the League of Women Voters is committed to presenting both sides of the issue. All League Members are encouraged to bring anyone who would like to learn more about the USA Patriot Act.

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Whither Transit? Hope for the Future?

The League’s long-held position in favor of a regional public transit system has a chance of coming true if two bills pass in the next legislative session. However, legislative roadblocks loom. To address this problem, the League will meet on November 13 at 6 pm at the Southside Library.

We will update ourselves on the plan, learn from leaders of the Alliance for Transportation Alternatives (the community-wide advocacy coalition) about the current situation, and consider the League’s role in any strategy to pass this legislation and retain Senator Shelby’s 80+ million dollar setaside for this project.
More details in the next VOTER, but meanwhile, SAVE THIS DATE and plan to be there!

Ruth Wright - VP Programs

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Paying Your Dues

There are still a few members who have not paid their dues for the coming year. Please send them to Yvonne Brakefield. After Dec. 15th, you will be dropped from the membership list.

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LWVGB and AAUW Co-Sponsor Annual U.N. Day Dinner

The League of Women Voters OF greater Birmingham and the American Association of University Women will co-sponsor the United Nations Association, Birmingham Chapter's, Annual United Nations Day dinner at The Club on Friday, Oct. 24 at 7:00 PM.

Dorothy Baker will be honored at the dinner in recognition of her many years of commitment to peace and international security. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Carden Johnston of Children's Hospital speaking on global health for children.

Dorothy has recently retired after seven years as president of the local UNA. During those years she attended seven national meetings, some in New York City at the UN and some in Washington, D.C.. For two years she served on the Steering Committee for the South Atlantic Region of UNA.

Dorothy has been instrumental in planning seven United Nations Day Programs and has also supported the Jefferson County High Schools Model UN and the statewide Model UN for junior high school students-JUNA. Her League of Women Voters activities included vice-president 1993-94 and Chair of International Relations for the Board. LWV nominated Dorothy for the 1993 class of Leadership Birmingham and she was selected. Other activities include State Coordinator of Alabama Nuclear FreezeCampaign and Board Member of SANE/Freeze 1986-1993.

Please plan to attend the October 24 dinner to help honor Dot. Reservations are $32.00 per person and must be made by Oct. 17th. Call Ilse Diasio for more information.

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Contact us. We want to hear from you!!

LWVGB Board of Directors 2003-2004

3357 Cherokee Road
Birmingham, Al. 35223
Phone: (205) 968-9186

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About the Voter:

The LWVGB Voter is a publication of the League of Women Voter of
Greater Birmingham.

Voter Contact:
Kathyn Kerchof, Editor
4117 Shiloh Dr. Birmingham, 35213
Ph: (205) 802-7215
Email: kerchof@bellsouth.com

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October 18th
LWVAL Board Meeting
10:00  a.m.
October 23rd
Brown Bag Dinner Meeting
U.S. Patriot Act
Southside Public Library
6:30 p.m.
October 24th
United Nations Association Dinner
The Club
7:00 p.m.
November 4th
LWVGB Board Meeting
3357 Cherokee Road
6:00 p.m.
November 13th
General Brown Bag Dinner
Meeting on Local Transit
Southside Public Library
6:00 p.m.

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