Making Democracy Work

Shine a Light for Voting Rights Vigil on Aug. 6

WHY WE’RE TAKING ACTION

The Voting Rights Act of August 6, 1965, has been referred to as the most effective piece of legislation in our nation’s history. Born out of the March on Selma, this civil rights era amendment protects the rights to vote of all U.S. citizens by requiring states that have a history of voter discrimination to submit any changes to voting laws through the federal government before enacting the laws in their states.

The Voting Rights Act was effective for years - until it was gutted as a result of the Supreme Court Ruling in Shelby County v. Holder on June 25, 2013. The ruling stripped federal authorities of the ability to enforce the VRA, therefore rendering it ineffective. Since the decision, we’ve seen some states implement laws that disenfranchise voters and disproportionately impact young people and communities of color - including voter ID laws, gerrymandering and voter purges.

This
year, Congress has introduced legislation to restore voting rights protections
in the VRA - in a new piece of legislation called the Voting Rights Advancement
Act (HR 4). If passed, this would once again provide teeth to the voting rights
protections designed to ensure every person has a voice and equal access to the
polls.

On Tuesday, August 6, Democracy activists are hitting the streets to show their support for the Voting Rights Advancement Act. Voting Rights advocates around the country will hold candlelight vigils to shed light on the impact of the Shelby decision, and demand that Congress restore the voting rights protections in the Voting Rights Act.

We will be having our vigil at 8 PM in front of the Ames City Hall.

In anticipation of the vigil, we will have a “Sign-in” for League members on Friday, August 2, [...]

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    Hard Won/Not Done: Centennial Commemoration of Ratification of the 19th Amendment

Hard Won/Not Done: Centennial Commemoration of Ratification of the 19th Amendment

The 19th Amendment Centennial Commemoration Project is actively working on a variety of projects to celebrate the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920, and particularly of the many notable connections and contribution of Iowans to the suffrage movement and the eventual ratification of the Amendment. The Iowa League of Women Voters is one of the four organizations leading this effort.

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    LWV of Ames and Story County to Host 2019 State LWV Convention

LWV of Ames and Story County to Host 2019 State LWV Convention

The 2019 State Convention of the Iowa League of Women Voters will be held on June 7 and 8 in Ames. The conference venue is the Iowa State University Alumni Center at 429 Alumni Lane.

Making Democracy Work Award, 2019

The winner of the third annual Making Democracy Work Award is Bev Kruempel. The letter nominating Bev for the award stated that “Bev Kruempel volunteers quietly in endeavors that are so crucial to often forgotten individuals in our community.” Through her work, she has fulfilled all the criteria for this award in many and varied ways. Bev is a consistent supporter and a tireless advocate for the disenfranchised, those less fortunate, and the youth of the community. The award was presented at the League of Women Voters of Ames and Story County annual meeting on April 13 by Edna Clinton, who, along with her husband, Wayne Clinton, was the winner of the second Making Democracy Work award, presented last year.

2019 Carrie Chapman Catt Award Winner

This year the Award Committee names Carolyn Klaus as the Carrie Chapman Catt Award Winner for 2019.

As quoted in her nomination letter: “I worked with Carolyn at many registration sites over the years. We registered voters with the help of student volunteers under the covering of the restaurant near Friley, outdoors, with rain pelting down. Another year Carolyn went from Greek house to Greek house to register voters. Incredible. I know of no one else for whom the adjective that fits is so clearly ‘Indomitable.’”

As Membership Chair, Carolyn significantly increased outreach efforts. She also worked to get new members involved in the work of the League, so they would become valuable League members.

Since 2012 Carolyn has led the League’s voter registration activities and expanded them throughout Story County. She recruits, trains, and schedules League members to staff voter registration drives. Last fall the League registered over 300 ISU students on campus in one day. The Story County Auditor has credited these efforts with helping increase the number of students voting. Carolyn has also presented information about voting in the high schools in Story County.

In 2017 Carolyn agreed to serve as Treasurer of the LWV of Ames and Story County while continuing her voter registration efforts.

In addition to her work with the League, Carolyn has served in leadership positions in several community endeavors - the Ames Foundation, Ames Public Library Friends Foundation, Ames International Partner Cities Association, and others. She also helps organize an annual MLK Day Bridge Benefit.