The League of Women Voters is a multi-issue organization, whose mission is to encourage the informed and active participation of citizens in the government and to influence public policy through education and advocacy. View a presentation on the League's history.
Annual Meeting May 19 and Program on Criminal Justice Reform
Join League members at the annual meeting and potluck supper at the First United Presbyterian Church, 695 Calvin Street, in Witherespoon Hall on Thursday May 19 at 5:30PM. Bring a covered dish to share. Plates, silverware, and drinks will be provided.
6:00PM Program. Professor Cynthia Nance, Dean Emeritus and Nathan G. Gordon Professor at the University of Arkansas School of Law, will speak on "The Need for Criminal Justice Reform." According to the White House, "over the past twenty-five years, the U.S. prison and jail population reached an all-time high and the number of people on probation and parole doubled. Convictions have collateral consequences that last far beyond the term of sentence. In addition, many jurisdictions depend upon a system of fines, and fees and forfeiture that has disparate, and serious consequences for low income and citizens of color." This presentation will briefly introduce these issues, and suggest what might be done to address them.
Afterwards, at a business meeting, members will have an opportunity to select programs for next year and volunteer to work on them.
Women’s Economic Policy Forum April 30
From paid maternity leave to tax credits for working families, public policy has an enormous impact on the long-term economic opportunities of women in our state. Arkansas women and girls are more likely to live in poverty than men and boys.
You are invited to join us to discuss these issues and our own opportunity to make a difference for all families, at a special Women’s Economic Policy Forum in Fayetteville on Saturday, April 30. We will be joined by Rep. Clarke Tucker of Little Rock, who sponsored legislation in 2015 calling for paid maternity leave for state workers.
Laura Kellams, NWA Director for Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families and LWVWC board member, has written Falling Behind: State Loses Ground on the Education of Its Children. Learn where Arkansas stands on the funding of its Arkansas Better Chance program. Read the colum was published August 7, 2015 in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Arkansas State Board of Election Commissioners Replacement pages to the 2014 Poll Worker Guide (in light of the decision striking down the voter ID law) are here.
Voter ID amendments to the Arkansas Constitution have been proposed in the 2015 legislature (see above) but without the exception for residents of a long-term care or residential care facility licensed by the state that was in Act 595.
Three important amendments to the Arkansas Constitution proposed by the Arkansas Legislature and a petition-initiated act were approved by voters in the November 4 election. The texts of the approved measures are:
Revised by-laws of the League of Women Voters of Washington County were approved by membership at the LWVWC Annual Meeting on May 14. Read the revised by-laws here.
American Voting Experience Report and Recommendations
The American Voting Experience: Report and Recommendations of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration was released on January 22, 2014. Because many voters in the 2012 election experienced long lines and waits of many hours, President Obama apppointed a ten-member Commission to study and provide recommendations on improving the voter experience. Co-chairs of the Commission were the chief counsels to the 2012 Obama and Romney campaigns. The report and recommendations, which included ways to shorten waiting, expand early voting, and improve technology, were presented to the President after a six-month investigation. Read the report and the news release.
10/2013 Marion Orton Recycling Drop Off Center Grand Opening
Members of the League of Women Voters of Washington County gathered on Oct. 26 for the grand opening of the Marion Orton Recycling Drop Off Center. Marion was a long-time League member, a Fayetteville city director and mayor, and a pioneer in environmental policy. Serving on the Pollution Control Committee of the City of Fayetteville, Marion took the lead in establishing a recycling center, which opened in 1971. She managed that center and encouraged the local, Arkansas, and national Leagues' interest and advocacy in recycling. Mayor Lioneld Jordan, LWVWC President Mary Alice Serafini, and Waste Reduction Coordinator Brian Pugh were speakers. Read Mary Alice's remarks about Marion here. See more photos on Flickr.
6/2012 Joyce Hale Awarded Dragon Slayer Award
The Arkansas Citizens First Congress and Arkansas Public Policy Panel honored Joyce Hale, former President of the League of Voters of Washington County, with the Brownie Ledbetter Dragon Slayer Award on June 23 at the 4H Center in Little Rock. She was honored for working tirelessly through the League of Women Voters, Sierra Club, and other groups to champion a range of issues from fair elections to clean water to make Arkansas a better place. "She was one of the first, and most forceful, in the state to raise concerns about the impacts of natural gas fracking on water quality and landowners." Congratulations to Joyce Hale on this richly-deserved honor!
3/2012 Woman's History Award Honorees
Five women who have made significant contributions to Washington County will be honored at the Women's History Month Banquet at the Clarion Inn on March 26 at 6:00. Congratulations to League of Women Voters of Washington County Second Vice President (and former President) Joyce Hale, to League members Senator Sue Madison, Jane Scroggs, and Bobbie Nell Templeton, and to Lib Horn!
3/2010 Governor Proclaims League Day
In celebration of the 90th anniversary of the League of Women Voters of the United States on Tuesday, March 2, Governor Mike Beebe spoke about the League beneath the rotunda of the Arkansas State Capitol and proclaimed the League of Women Voters Day in Arkansas:
...WHEREAS: In June 1919, the U.S. Congress passed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, and Arkansas became the twelfth state to pass the amendment on July 18, 1919, during a special session of the Arkansas General Assembly; and
WHEREAS: Ninety years ago, women were finally guaranteed the right to vote, moving our Nation forward on the path toward equal civil and political rights for all...
3/2010 President of League of Women Voters of the U.S. at Clinton School
On March 1, Mary Wilson, President of the League of Women Voters of the United States spoke at the Clinton School of Public Service on "2010: A Year of Celebration and Climate Concerns," about the League's 90th anniversary and its efforts to promote public policy responding to the effects of climate change.
Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan presented LWVWC President Joyce Hale with a proclamation in honor of the 90th anniversary of the League of Woman Voters of the United States on Saturday, February 13:
...I, Lioneld Jordan, Mayor of the City of Fayetteville,
Arkansas do hereby proclaim Saturday, February 13, 2010
as "LWV MAKING DEMOCRACY WORK DAY"
in Fayetteville, Arkansas in honor of the League of Women Voters' 90th Anniversary
and urge all residents of Fayetteville to pay tribute and respect to the League of
Women Voters for all they do to make our community healthy, vibrant and strong.
The ceremony was hosted by the Chi Omega Sorority at the University of Arkansas, where a Chi Omega member read a speech given by Little Rock suffragette, Florence Cotnam, to the first LWV Convention in Chicago on Feb. 14, 1920. Ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment granting women the right to vote was completed on August 18, 1920. More photos at Flickr.
11/2009 LWVWC Presents Carson DVD to Public Library
J.P. Peters of the League of Women Voters of Washington County presents Fayetteville Public Library Director Shawna Thorup with the DVD, "A Sense of Wonder," the story of Rachel Carson, whose 1962 book, Silent Spring, helped launch the environmental movement. Filmed at Ms. Carson's cabin in Maine, the documentary focuses on the last year of her life. As she struggles with cancer and with the critical attacks from the chemical industry, the government, and the press, she uses her remaining energy to spread her message to the American people and to Congress. Supplemental materials include discussion of Carson's legacy by leading environmentalists, a visit with former Interior Secretary, Stewart Udall, and interviews with Carson's adopted son, Roger, and with actress/producer, Kaiulani Lee.
4/2009 Genie Donovan and Wanda Stephens in LWVAR Hall of Fame
Genie Donovan and Wanda Stephens were inducted into the League of Women Voters of Arkansas Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 25, at the LWVAR Convention in Fayetteville. Both have served as president of the League of Women Voters of Washington County, and both have made numerous other contributions to the local League and to the community. Donovan currently serves on the LWVWC Board as Voter editor.
3/2009 Women's History Banquet Awards
Five women from the community were honored at the 11th annual Washington County Women's History Month Banquet at the Clarion Inn, Monday, March 23. Honorees include League President and longtime mental-health advocate Elizabeth "Libby" Wheeler and and Bettie Lu Lancaster, League Voter Services Chair and League Board member, whose many other contributions to the community include starting a library for women in the county jail. Also honored were Patsy Brewer, Edith Hawkins, and Gail Segers.
3/2009 Conservation Tax Credit Bill Signed
After LWVAR studied the use of tax incentives for land preservation, hosted a conservation easement forum, and advocated passage of HB1577, a new water protection program became law without a single vote of opposition. Landowners may now receive state tax credits for conservation easements protecting their riparian zones and wetlands. Governer Beebe signs the bill which now becomes Act 351. Bill sponsors, League members, state agency personnel, and conservation organizations were in attendance at the Capitol for the signing ceremony on March 16, 2009.