Welcome to the LWVK Observer Corps. Our mission is to provide objective, transparent, and easily accessible reports on local government public meetings. A nonpartisan political group, LWVK encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government through education and advocacy and does not support or oppose political candidates or parties.
What is an Observer Corps?
Observer programs (or Observer Corps) are a structured way for individuals to exercise their right to know and provide a valuable service to the community. They help ensure that citizens are aware of the decisions that impact their lives and they promote government transparency and accountability. An observer is an individual who attends a public governmental meeting, notes what happens at the meeting, and reports back to the League and the community. By attending public meetings of local governmental bodies/agencies, observers learn more about what their government is doing. They learn about the issues facing their community and empower others to take action. They also learn how issues are being addressed. Observers keep elected and appointed officials on notice; they let them know that someone is watching what decisions are being made and how they are being made. They help ensure that the issues facing their community are being handled “in the sunshine,” in the open.
What does the LWVK Observer do?
- Attends public governmental meetings (County Board meetings, City Council meetings, Board of Education meetings, Board of Elections, etc.).
- Takes notes on meeting facts such as elected official participation, compliance with Ohio Sunshine Laws, and issues discussed.
- Does not participate in meetings as a speaker or advocate for League - is simply there to listen and note what happens.
- Reports meeting notes to League of Women Voters of Kent for publishing on this website.
What government meetings does the LWVK Observer Corps report on?
While we welcome LWVK members to report on any local government public meeting, these aare the primary meetings we focus on. The government bodies are linked to their official websites.
- Portage County Board of Elections
- Kent City Council
- Kent CIty Schools Board of Education
- Brimfield Township Board of Trustees
- Franklin Township Board of Trustees
- Portage County Commissioners
- Portage County Mental Health and Recovery Board
- Ravenna Board of Education
- Rootstown Board of Education
- Streetsboro Board of Education
Resources for LWVK Observers
What happens to LWVK Observer Corps reports?
Reports from LWVK observers will be published here on this website for public access in a timely manner after submission. Reports will also be shared with the LWVK board if further action is needed by the League based on our National, State, or Local positions. Issues of importance may be shared in LWVK VOTER email newsletters.
Can I become an LWVK Observer?
We are always welcoming new observers. To become an observer, you must be an LWVK member and attend virtual training before attending meetings.
What do you actually have to do?
- Attend public governmental meetings either virtually or in person.
- Observe compliance with Ohio Sunshine Laws (meeting notice given, minutes from previous meetings available, agenda available, etc).
- Do not speak or ask questions during the meeting. You are the eyes and ears of the League, not the voice. Authorization to speak for the League is limited to the Board President or designee.
- Board reports will be submitted through an online League of Women Voters of Kent Meeting Observer form. This makes it simple to publish your report on the LWVK website.
- Some government bodies may meet more than once a month. Coverage of those meetings may be shared by several observers.
Sound like you might want to become an observer?
Contact us at LWVKObserverCorps [at] gmail.com