LWV of Falls Church in the News

News/Blog

Blogs, videos, and articles on issues we're following

Would you like to share an issue you care about that's related to voting rights, redistricting, money in politics, election reform, or voter education? Be a guest on this page! Share your democracy issue here! Contact us to get it on the LWV of Falls Church website: lwvfallschurchva [at] gmail.com

Articles to read

Guest Commentary in the Falls Church News-Press by Johannah Barry (2/14/2019)

On Feb. 17, the League of Women Voters of Falls Church will be commemorating the National League of Women Voter’s 99th birthday. We invite all members of the Falls Church community to join us in a lively celebration of this important anniversary, remembering above all the power of engagement and the basic and sacred right to vote. The core values of the League, education and engagement, are increasingly important in our contentious political world.

Voters want information on candidate positions, local referenda, and broader issues of national and international importance and look to the League as the reliable source for balanced, credible material on which to base their decisions at the ballot box. At the same time, the League is an activist, grassroots organization that believes citizens should play a critical role in advocacy and engagement. Is it possible to advocate a position while maintaining an apolitical stance? The League has almost 100 years of experience at creating and maintaining this very important balance and values its role as honest broker.

The League’s presence in Falls Church began on May 1, 1951, and since that time, members have been extraordinarily active in a range of issues surrounding the City and its residents. A League bulletin published in June 1951 proudly reported, “Since the April meeting, the League has sent out a candidates’ questionnaire, run a candidates’ meeting, held a Finance Drive, published a pamphlet on the Bond issues, attended the State Convention, sent a representative to the Citizen’ Advisory Committee on the Budget and put out numerous types of publicity.” Later that year, the League sponsored a four-session workshop on the School Budget.

“We bring local elections and community and national issues to the public arena.” **Read more of Johannah's commentary here. 

 

Guest Commentary in the Falls Church News-Press by Amy Hjerstedt (12/6/2018)

The League of Women Voters of Falls Church is hosting a community forum and training Sunday, Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. at the City of Falls Church Community Center in the Art Room. With assistance from OneVirginia2021, there is a lot of new information to share with regard to redistricting in Virginia. This event is open to anyone who is interested in learning more about what gerrymandering is, why now is the time to advocate to lawmakers about voting for a state constitutional amendment that provides for an independent redistricting commission, and what actions community members can do before the 2019 General Assembly begins its next session.

Now is a critical time in Virginia’s future for fair districts and representation. The 2020 Census officially starts in just over twelve months. As directed by the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 2, every 10 years the people in our communities across the country are counted so that we know how to distribute resources and representation. The Virginia state constitution gives the authority to redistrict our state and congressional district maps to the General Assembly after data is reported from the Census Bureau. **Read more of Amy's commentary here. 

 

"Your Help Is Needed Now for Redistricting Reform" LWV of Falls Church Newsletter article by Sara Fitzgerald (11/12/2018) 

In the November elections, voters across the United States came out strongly in support of new approaches to address partisan gerrymandering, and now is the time for Virginia citizens to do the same.
 
Voters in Colorado and Michigan overwhelmingly supported referenda to create independent commissions to draw legislative and congressional district boundaries in those states. Missouri voters approved the appointment of a state demographer and using a statistical, non-partisan model to draw the lines. In Utah, a referendum to create an independent commission was holding to a narrow margin of approval as votes continued to be counted.
 
In Virginia, a constitutional amendment to create an independent redistricting commission must be approved on first reading by the General Assembly in the 2019 legislative session in order for it to be approved in time for the round of redistricting that will follow the 2020 census. (If approved, the constitutional amendment would have to be approved by the 2020 General Assembly session and the voters in November 2020.)
 
A bipartisan committee organized by OneVirginia2021 is expected to release its proposed language for a constitutional amendment by the end of November.
 
In the meantime, the organization has launched an ambitious initiative to reach out to 200,000 households in the districts of key Virginia legislators between now and the end of the year. These “door hangers” will feature a postcard preaddressed to the legislators that residents can send to express their support for an independent redistricting commission.  
 
If you could contribute a few hours to pick up and distribute materials in a designated neighborhood, please check out the opportunities in Northern Virginia at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080d4faaa623a7fe3-onevirginia20211. Although the distribution is scheduled for particular times, volunteers can visit the designated neighborhoods on their own schedule.
 
The Falls Church League will be providing an update and action meeting on redistricting reform at 3 p.m. on Sunday December 9 at the Falls Church Community Center. The meeting will update members about redistricting reform and provide information on how they can actively support the drive for the constitutional amendment. League member Sara Fitzgerald will address the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce on this issue on January 15.  

 

Recorded Forums to Watch

Education Forum, 11/2/2018: 

Watch the Sunday, December 2nd Falls Church Public Schools, City of Falls Church government, and League of Women Voters of Falls Church School Safety and Security

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