Dear Supporter,Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965, a case which will ultimately decide whether millions of voters could face new barriers when trying to exercise their right to vote. The Voting Rights Act is an essential part of American democracy. It ensures that every American citizen, regardless of race, has an equal right to vote.
If the Justices overturn the Voting Rights Act, it would be the single biggest setback for voting rights in history. Join with us in pledging to protect the Voting Rights Act and the right to vote.
The VRA is indispensable to the League’s work. The League protects and defends voting rights across the country in order to ensure that our elections are fair, free and accessible to all eligible citizens. The VRA has helped the League work to defeat restrictive state voter photo identification laws, block such laws where they have already been passed, and fight laws designed to curb organizations like ours from registering voters.
The thought that the Supreme Court might take away voting rights should send a chill down the spine of every American. We’re working with our partners to ensure that the justices of the Supreme Court understand what is truly at risk if the VRA is overturned – join us and take a stand to support the Voting Rights Act.
Rooted in the movement that secured the right to vote for women, the League of Women Voters has always been committed to registering and turning out voters, and we’re not stopping now. The VRA remains critical to ensuring that every American can cast a ballot and have it count. Join us in defending the VRA and ensuring all Americans have the right to vote!
Thank you for helping make our democracy work.
President, League of Women Voters
P.S. This morning, while the oral arguments are taking place inside, we’ll be outside on the steps of the Supreme Court rallying with our partner organizations in support of the Voting Rights Act. Follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates!
League of Women Voters
1730 M Street NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20036
Kathy Stoltz and Helen Gibbins represented the state League at a meeting that Secretary of State Natalie Tennant held with various organizations on February 11 to discuss ways to combat voter id legislation that is being introduced in the legislature. Her office is adamantly opposed to the legislation and released this press release the following day.
Tennant Press Release.pdf
The League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia County is sponsoring a Local Government Workshop on March 13 from 7 – 9 pm, at the Aull Center at 351 Spruce St. The Purpose of the workshop is to provide League members and other interested persons an opportunity to increase their awareness of how our local government works and to consider current issues relating to both City and County government. Some topics that will be discussed are, Home Rule, A Downtown for All, and the City Charter. Refreshments will be served.
Thomas E. Lovejoy, a conservation biologist, presented a lecture on climate change in January at the West Virginia University College of Law. Lovejoy explored the past and present impacts of climate change on nature and biodiversity as well as how managing ecosystems could reduce the amount of climate change that will occur. In 2012, Lovejoy received the Blue Planet Prize for his lifetime in conservation. He developed the “debt-for-nature” swap program for environmental protection projects. It is one of the largest sources of financing for international conservation, resulting in more than $1 billion in funding since 1987.
Lovejoy is an environmental science and policy professor at George Mason University. He founded the TV series NATURE on PBS, and was the first to use the term “biological diversity” in 1980. He holds B,S. and PhD degrees from Yale University.
“It is no exaggeration to say that Tom Lovejoy has devoted himself most dedicatedly, and single-mindedly, to the welfare of this earth,” said law professor Michael Blumenthal. “For almost a quarter century, he has worked on the interaction between climate change and biodiversity. Lovejoy has been a major force in saving the Amazon from total deforestation. Having him here at WVU to discuss these issues provides us with a rare opportunity to have a major thinker and activist provide examples of ways in which we can assure that there will indeed be a planet for our descendants to inhabit and to celebrate.”
The WV Legislature 2013 Regular Session is open. Please remind your representatives that we have not forgotten that the Horizontal Well Act still has many problems, and needs to be strengthened.
For many of us, Charleston is far away, but that should not deter us from contacting our representatives by phone, mail, or email.
However, if you do decide to go to Charleston to lobby in person, Chuck Wyrostock, Outreach Coordinator for the WVSC is happy to provide you free support and this is his advice,
Visiting the capitol might seem a bit daunting at first, but I’ll be there along with other environmental lobbyists to help you navigate the halls to meet with your representatives. We must make them understand that we’re facing a life-changing scenario in our hills and hollows. And there’s nothing like a personal visit from constituents to put across the idea that current regulations for drilling are woefully inadequate.
On December 1, 2012, the State Board of the West Virginia League of Women Voters voted unanimously in favor of signing on to the “Call for a Moratorium on New Permits for Natural Gas Wells”. We agree with Chuck Wyrostock when he says ”Most legislators think they’ve done their best with Marcellus. They don’t want to hear anymore about the gaping holes in the law or the dysfunction in the DEP”, but “it is incomprehensible how they can keep giving permission to drill, drill, drill when there’s virtually no inspection, no enforcement and no accountability.”
How to get free lobbying support from Chuck Wyrostock:
Call ahead and make an appointment with your representatives. This could avoid disappointment and wasted time.
Email or Call Chuck at 877 252 0257 to make arrangements.
Call Chuck’s cell phone at 304 545 6325 when you arrive at the capitol so we can hook up.
To stay informed about Shale Gas legislation and related news, please ask Chuck to add you to his mailing list.
Dear League Members in Morgantown-Monongalia County
Your Board would like you to be part of a calling/mailing/e-mailing to Governor Tomblin and encouraging him to ACCEPT MEDICAID EXPANSION AS PART OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT IN WEST VIRGINIA.
Medicaid expansion means putting 125,000-130,000 more WV low income people on Medicaid as their way of having health insurance under the ACA. If a family or individual earns 138% of the federal poverty level, or less, they may qualify.
The Federal Government is going to support the expansion in the states with a high Federal matching rate for the new Medicaid recipients. They will pay 100% for 2014 through 2016, 95% in 2017, 94% in 2018, 93% in 2019, and 90% in 2020 and beyond. Current Federal matching rates for regular Medicaid and Chip are well below these rates.
The states can choose not to include Medicaid expansion in their Healthcare reform. Governor Tomblin has been studying the costs before he decides.
Please get in touch with him by phone, e-mail or mail. Use the points in the letter below as you see fit.
Dear Governor Tomblin:
Please include Medicaid Expansion as part of West Virginia’s Affordable Care Act reform.
1) Having healthy people will improve every aspect of life in West Virginia including the economy.
2) It will put large amounts of Federal money into our economy.
3) Our rural hospitals will have more support.
4) The business community is encouraging you to do this because it will be good for them
5) For lower income working people with uncertain job stability, this is the most efficient and cost effective way to insure their health.
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin phone: 304-558-2000 e-mail: Governor@wv.gov
State Capitol Complex Toll Free: 1-888-438-2731 www.wvgov.org
1900 Kanawha Blvd. E.
Charleston, WV 25305
Read Jessica Jones of LWWUS blog post, Join the League for the Largest Climate Change Rally in History! Then purchase a $20 round-trip bus ticket at the WV Sierra Club Store. I heard the first bus sold out, so a second one has been charted. This is going to be a large rally!