In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday the LWVMT office will be closed on Thursday, November 26th, 2015-Friday, November 27th, 2015. Normal business hours will resume on Monday, November 30th, 2015. LWVMT wishes everyone a safe and fun holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!
Tulsa League members heartily agreed at the June 2015 annual meeting that they want to be able to support future school bond elections. To accomplish this goal, the membership voted to study and work toward the adoption of a school bond position in the 2015-2016 year.
Since then an Education Bond Policy Task Force was convened and new League member, Patti Mullen, graciously accepted the chairmanship. Other task force members are Gloria Caldwell, Ros Elder, Charity Marcus and Julie Gustafson. These members are at work researching and studying the issue. They have formed guiding questions to use in interviews with education professionals. Several weeks ago their first interview took place with Retired Tulsa Superintendent, Dr. Keith Ballard. He was most helpful in giving understanding and direction to this work. Dr. Ballard closed the meeting by saying, “The LWV endorsement of bond issues is worth a lot” and, “This committee should take the time needed to do its job.” When asked, he kindly said he would return in the future to answer questions if needed.
If you would like to join this committee to learn more about the inner workings of school bonds you are most welcome. Please phone or email the League office and let us know of your interest.
The League arrives at policy positions through research, study and a process of member agreement. So in the future, once the school bond criteria has been identified, this topic will go to the Units for discussion, and then a consensus meeting will be called for consideration of the proposed program.
Do follow the process of the School Bond Policy Study in our newsletter/website or join the task force by phoning the League office at 918-747-7933.
Get Involved. Be in the Know.
The Tulsa Program Committee wishes all League members a healthy, happy holiday season. In December we will be completing our study of Money in Politics. Join us as we close the 2015 year with friendship and conversation. The meeting dates and study materials may be found below. The North Tulsa Unit will not be meeting in December.
Reforming Money in Politics
The League is deeply committed to reforming our nation’s campaign finance system to ensure the public’s right to know, combat corruption and undue influence, enable candidates to compete more equitably for public office and allow maximum citizen participation in the political process. The US League says, “We will continue this fight in Congress, with state legislatures, with the executive branch and, where appropriate, the courts.”
At Tulsa’s December Unit Meetings we will finalize our discussion on Money in Politics. This study educates members about this important issue and helps members understand the thinking and work of the National League.
Tulsa will not have a consensus meeting on this subject. We received the materials and resources from National in October and the due date for a Consensus Report is February 1, 2016. The Tulsa Board of Directors found this short time frame too limiting to offer an informed study. Money in Politics is a complex study and placing the short time frame during the holiday season made the task even more difficult.
We did inform the LWVUS of our decision not to participate in the consensus meeting. We strongly suggested that materials and resources for future studies be ready for distribution to local leagues in the summer months prior to the study. A longer time frame for study and report will respect the efforts of local league members to plan and execute an informed study appropriate for their community. With this said, the discussion goes on- Do join us in December to Be in the Know: Learn and share your thoughts on Money in Politics. This controversial subject will continue to be in the news for a long time.
Mid-Day Unit: Tuesday, December 15th, 11:30am-1:00pm. Meetings take place on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at the League office, 3336 E. 32nd Street. Lunch and visitation start at 11:30am (bring your own sandwich). Meeting begins at 12:00pm.
Breakfast Unit: Tuesday, December 15th, 7:00-8:00am. Meetings take place on the 4th Tuesday of the month. Meeting is at New Atlas Grill located in the Courtyard Tulsa Downtown (415 S. Boston Ave.)
Discussion Questions: What is dark money? What funding sources can coordinate with candidates? What types of organizations would fall under the dark money definition? Which type of organization is least regulated?
Discussion Questions: What are the historical concerns for regulating campaign finance? What is quid pro quo? What does “distortion of the political process” mean? Is political equality really important in our society?
Discussion Questions: If you believe that contributions to political candidates and campaigns should be limited, which of the approaches (legislative, regulatory, other) do you think would be most effective? Would your chosen approach present its own difficulties?
Today is the birthday of feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Born on November 12, 1815, in Johnstown, New York, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was an abolitionist and leading figure of the early woman’s movement. An eloquent writer, her Declaration of Sentiments was a revolutionary call for women’s rights across a variety of spectrums. Stanton was the president of the National Woman Suffrage Association for 20 years and worked closely with Susan B. Anthony (Source).
Stanton fought hard for the rights of other and was no stranger to adversity herself. When her brother died, she was allowed to take his place in the Johnstown Academy; previously she hadn’t been admitted. She won honors there, but even so, no college would take her. She studied law in her father’s office, but wasn’t allowed to take the bar exam or practice law. In 1848, the first women’s rights convention in America was held near her home in Seneca Falls, New York. With Susan B. Anthony and Matilda Joslyn Gage, she compiled the first three volumes of The History of Woman Suffrage.
Stanton said: “The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.”
Action starts at the Tulsa Unit Meetings – View the two November study topics below:
- Money in Politics
As adopted by delegates to the 2014 LWVUS Convention, Leagues from across the nation are engaging in a review and update of the national LWV position on campaign finance to consider First Amendment – political speech issues. The League of Women Voters’ Education Fund (LWVEF) Board tasked the Money in Politics Review and Update Committee to:
- Conduct an update of the League’s position on campaign finance
- Evaluate the extent to which political campaigns are protected speech under the First Amendment.
Learn, share your thoughts – be a part of the study on Money in Politics:
Midday Unit: Tuesday, November 17, 11:30am-1 pm. Meetings are on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at the League office, 3336 E. 32nd. Lunch and visitation start at 11:30 (bring your own sandwich). Meeting is at 12:00 pm.
Breakfast Unit: Tuesday, November 24, 7-8 am. Meetings are on the 4th Tuesday of the month. Meeting is at New Atlas Grill located in Courtyard Tulsa Downtown (415 S. Boston Ave.).
The current League position to financing political campaigns takes a collective approach. It focuses on achieving political equality in areas of combating corruption and undue influence, ensuring equitable competition, and protecting the rights of citizens to know and to fully participate. This position has enabled the League to advocate strongly for transparency in campaign finance and against big money and its influence on elections and government.
But, there are still questions to consider and this is why we are studying the issue. What about the First Amendment interest of candidates and donors particularly as compared with equitable competition, preventing corruption and undue influence, enhancing voter participation? These are questions that the position update is considering.
Why Money in Politics Matters to the League of Women Voters?
Money in politics matters because the goal of campaigning is to convince voters, either for or against a candidate or issue. Thus, campaigning is ultimately about communication. In our modern age, this includes speech (the First Amendment) and money. It is very important that one continually keeps combining campaign, communication, free speech and money in their thinking.
Come and join the conversation.
Suggested Readings listed below: Also choose what interests you on the LWVUS web site.
Unit Discussion Questions:
- What should be the goals and purposes of campaign finance regulations?
- Evaluate whether certain activities are types of political corruption. (These activities are listed in the consensus questions on the League website.)
- Re-Entry into Society after Prison
The North Tulsa Unit is conducting a one year study on this important subject. At the November Unit Meeting, the members will discuss the effects of Mental Illness and Drug Abuse Barriers on Re-entry. The unit will meet Monday, November 16, noon to 1:00 pm, at the Rudisill Library, 1520 N. Hartford.
Join us at the LWV — Connect with friends – Make a difference in our democracy.