League of Women Voters®
of Lexington, KY
 

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  • 06 Apr 2017 8:10 PM | Tammy Fagley (Administrator)

    League of Women Voters of Lexington, Kentucky

    2016-2017 President/League’s

    Annual Report

    The League of Women Voters of Lexington, KY members attended a naturalization ceremony and registered many new citizens.  (The courthouse has been under renovation so there have not been many ceremonies during this timeframe.)


    We held 4 candidate forums for the fall elections.  These forums included KY Supreme Court, school board and state representative candidate forums.  The forums were televised, published on YouTube and noted in the Lexington Herald Leader.  Several  more candidate forums were scheduled but one or more candidates cancelled so their forum could not be held.


    We updated and distributed blue sheets.


    We maintain a member on the Lexington Ethics Commission as well as the Community Action Council.


    We held a membership wine tasting event.  This gives current League members a chance to socialize and is also an opportunity to obtain new members.

    We participated in Vote411.org voter guide for local Lexington races. We plan to participate in Vote 411 next year but may not include the federal race candidate due to the high cost.


    We started a book club for League members which meets once a month on Tuesdays. Some of the books that have been read and discussed by the book club are Alexander Hamilton, LaFayette in the Somewhat United States, Give Us the Ballot, Believer: My Forty Years in Politics, Hillbilly Elegy, Never Enough, and Chester Alan Arthur.


    We worked with the local Girls Scouts Council to help the scouts with their Promise to Vote badge campaign.  We help the Girls Scouts obtain locations to have tables to get people to sign up and promise to vote.  We also helped them register voters.

    We joined the Kentucky Non-Profit Network and had a member attend their annual conference to obtain information helpful to non-profit organizations.  We also participated in their annual day of giving in May as a fundraiser.


    In November, we held an informational forum for members and the public about immigration.  Isabel Taylor, the Multicultural Affairs Coordinator in Lexington, spoke to the audience, answered questions, and led a lively discussion.


    In January we announced the winners of our annual high school student essay contest which takes place in the Fall of the year.  This year, students were asked to tell their stories as voters and potential voters who had just lived through a divisive election season.  Top honors and $250 went to Hanae Yoshida, a freshman, for “The Election 2016: Do You See What I See?” Sahar Mohammadzadeh was runner-up ($150), and Jons Theodore  Ehrenborg took third place ($100). Special recognition went to ELL student Samwele John of $100.  A $50 honorarium went to the teachers of these students.

     

    On March 15th the League hosted a group during the On the Table conversations.  Our group discussed food deserts, infill and growth as well as tolerance.  League members as well as non-League members attended our discussion group.

    We published nine Voter newsletters to keep our members informed about the issues and advised of the League’s activities. 


    We established a committee who will work on increasing voter participation in the upcoming election.


    We had members attend the League Lobby day at the Capital on February 7th to lobby the legislators regarding our positions.


    We developed a promotional video for our League that is on our website and social media.


    Respectfully Submitted,

    Tamara Fagley

    President

    League of Women Voters of Lexington, KY


  • 07 Feb 2017 9:52 AM | Tammy Fagley (Administrator)

    President Tammy Fagley announced the Lexington League of Women Voters essay contest winners today.  First place with a prize of $250 went to Hanae Yoshida, a 9th grade student at Sayre Upper School. Second place and a prize of $150 went to Sahar Mohammadzadeh, an 11th grade student at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School.  Third place with a prize of $100 went to Jons Theodore Ehrenborg, a 10th grade student at Henry Clay High School.  Samwele John, a 12th grade ELL (English Language Learner) student at Lafayette High School, won a special recognition award of $100.  This award honored the extra effort needed to address complex ideas in a second language.


    Honorariums of $50 each were awarded to recognize teachers cited by writers as mentors. These teachers are: George Bebensee at Sayre; Kristin Studle, counselor at Paul Laurence Dunbar; Scott Brown at Henry Clay; and Tim Mitsumori at Lafayette.


    This year students in public and private Fayette County High Schools were encouraged to submit essays responding to the divisive 2016 presidential election campaign.  Writers were asked to reflect on the experience and explain lessons learned from that experience.

     

    “The League sponsors this essay contest each year to encourage and support student interest in the democratic process,” said Fagley. “We want to encourage students to take responsibility as citizens, vote and, perhaps, run for public office one day.”

     

    Carol O’Reilly, who made the presentations, commended the students on their thoughtful reflections and excellent writing skills.  “I was so honored just to read their work,” she said.


  • 06 Feb 2017 5:19 PM | Tammy Fagley (Administrator)

    The League of Women Voters of Kentucky released a state report today, Felony Disenfranchisement in the Commonwealth of Kentucky showing Kentucky has the third highest rate of citizens and the highest rate of African Americans who have lost their right to vote despite completing their full felony sentence. This report is an updated version of similar studies conducted in 2006 and 2013.

     

    According to the report, Kentucky is one of only four states to enforce lifetime voting bans on all persons with felony convictions resulting in the disenfranchisement of over 312,000 residents. This is an increase of more than 68,000 since the figures reported by the League in 2013 and 126,000 since the 2006 report.

     

    One of every 11 adults in Kentucky is ineligible to vote due to a previous felony conviction, a rate of 9.1 percent, nearly three times the national average of 2.47 percent or one in 40. Among African Americans, almost one in four is disenfranchised, a rate of 26.2 percent, more than triple the national rate of 9.1 percent.  The report also finds that 92 percent of those disenfranchised live in the community and 78 percent have completed their full sentence. 


    In 2001, the Kentucky General Assembly passed legislation to simplify voter restoration for people with previous convictions resulting in an increase in restoration of voting rights, from 831 in 2000 to 1,231 in 2003.  After a 2004 change in gubernatorial policy requiring an essay and three character references, there was a dramatic decline in applications and approvals to 164 in 2006.  Changes in 2008 with a new governor, resulted in an improvement in the numbers, 10,479 between 2008 and 2015.

    In 2015, then-Gov. Steve Beshear issued an order that restored voting rights to individuals with non-violent felony convictions who had completed their sentences and met other criteria. That order also established a process by which qualifying citizens’ voting rights would be restored as they completed their sentences. In late 2015 Gov. Matt Bevin rescinded that order and replaced it with Kentucky’s prior procedure. That procedure requires individuals who have completed their full sentence to submit an application detailing their convictions and sentences served. As of October 2016, no restoration orders had been issued.

    Enactment of House Bill 40 in 2016 allowed persons with certain Class D felony convictions to have those convictions vacated and expunged. Since the law took effect in July, fewer than 389 persons have had their voting rights restored.

    The League has a longstanding belief that “voting is a fundamental expression of citizenship and every citizen of our Commonwealth should be protected in the right to vote,” according to the new report.   Kentucky League co-president, Dr. Terry Naydan said, “When we show felons who have paid their debt to society that they are allowed to vote, we are saying that they are citizens again. Studies show that the rate of recidivism goes down when a felon feels he/she can fully participate in our democracy.” 

    League recommendations include providing:

    ·         A ballot measure to allow Kentucky voters to decide whether people living in the community and who have completed their full sentence have their voting rights restored automatically 

    ·         Increased assistance to eligible persons with the restoration of voting rights application process

    ·         Increasing public education about the process of restoring voting rights and available resources to help those wishing to vote

    ·         Annual release of data on the number of people applying for restoration of voting rights and expungement of felony records and the number approved and denied

    ·         Reduction and/or waiver of the $500 application fee for expungement of felony records.

     

    “The League was created by women who struggled many years seeking the right to vote,” said Nita Smith, co-president of the state League. “We believe citizens who have made a mistake should have that right reinstated once they have completed their full sentence and/or parole. The League of Women Voters believes that our society is stronger when all of our citizens vote.”

    The state League of Women Voters takes positions only after deliberation and consensus from local Leagues across the state.

     

    The report, Felony Disenfranchisement in the Commonwealth of KentuckyA Report of the League of Women Votersof Kentucky, February 2017 along with the 2006 and 2013 reports are available at lwvky.org/about/publications/.


  • 28 Nov 2016 7:15 PM | Tammy Fagley (Administrator)


    Click on this link to print a copy of the Essay Contest Flyer and to see the contest details:

    2016-17 Essay_Flyer.doc






  • 04 Oct 2016 9:15 PM | Tammy Fagley (Administrator)

    All forums air on Time Warner Cable Channel 20 Monday through Saturday until Election Day.   There are no viewings on Channel 20 on Sundays.  Click on the link and watch on YouTube at any time.
    Supreme Court District 5

    Glenn Acree and Larry VanMeter

    Airs 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

    YouTube link: https://youtu.be/Df6iqS845Xw

     

    House District 75

    Kelly Flood (D) and Gary McCollum (R )

    Airs 11:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.

    YouTube link: https://youtu.be/A_Ppr1uFWXc

    School Board District 1

    Airs 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.  

    Melissa Bacon and Samantha Rodarte

    YouTube link: https://youtu.be/zQC4EQbh7R4

    School Board District 5

    Daryl K. Love and Sharon Mofield-Boswell

    Airs 11:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. 

    YouTube link: https://youtu.be/-JoIlAChSDA

  • 28 Sep 2016 7:23 PM | Tammy Fagley (Administrator)
    Please note there will now only be one candidate forum that will occur on Oct. 1st and it will be the 1:00pm forum.  Thank you and hope to see you there.
  • 21 Sep 2016 6:44 PM | Tammy Fagley (Administrator)

    All candidates for contested races for Lexington/Fayette Urban County Council, Lexington area House of Representatives, Supreme Court, 6th Congressional District, and Fayette County Board of Education were invited to participate in forums on Saturday and Sunday, October 1 and 2. The forums will be held at the Farish Theatre, Lexington Public Library, 140 West Main Street in Lexington.

     

    The forums are co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters Education Fund, the Lexington Public Library and The Frankfort/Lexington (KY) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.  

     

    The public is invited to attend to meet the candidates in person and submit questions in writing.  Questions may also be submitted prior to the forum by emailing lexingtonlwv@gmail.com.

     

    The forum will be videotaped and aired on the Library’s Channel 20 and will be available for viewing on the library website after the forum. Citizens should check websites of the League of Women Voters of Lexington, KY (lwvlexington.com) and the Lexington Public Library (lexpublib.org) for a schedule and You Tube links.

     

    “The League is pleased to offer these forums as a way to better inform voters before they go to the polls,” said Tammy Fagley, local president. “We hope voters will submit questions, attend the forum and/or watch before they vote on November 8.”

     

    The forum schedule follows.

    Saturday, October 1, 2016

    10:15-10:45     Council District 4                    Susan Lamb

                                                                           Barry Saturday

    1:00-1:30         House District 75                    Kelly M. Flood

                                                                           Gary McCollum

    Sunday, October 2, 2016

    1:30-2:00         Kentucky Supreme Court       Glenn Acree

                                                                           Larry VanMeter

    2:15-2:45         School Board District 1          Melissa Bacon

                                                                          Samantha Rodarte

    3:00-3:30         School Board District 5          Daryl K. Love

                                                                          Sharon Mofield-Boswell

     

    The following forums were canceled because only one candidate was available.   

     

    Council District 2                    Shevawn Akers DECLINED

                                                   Sasha Love Higgins ACCEPTED

    Council District 12                  Russ Hensley DECLINED

                                                   Kathy Plomin ACCEPTED

    House District 56                   Daniel A. Fister DECLINED

                                                  James Kay ACCEPTED

    6th Congressional District      Andy Barr DECLINED

                                                  Nancy Jo Kemper ACCEPTED

    House District 79                   Ken Kearns DID NOT RESPOND

                                                  Susan Westrom ACCEPTED

    House District 45                   Stan Lee DID NOT RESPOND

                                                  Pam Sigler ACCEPTED

     

    All candidates for local, state and federal offices representing Fayette County have been invited to submit answers to questions posed by the League at VOTE411.org, an online voter guide.  Voters should check VOTE411.org after October 3, to learn more about the candidates.


  • 03 May 2016 10:46 AM | Tammy Fagley (Administrator)

    The League of Women Voters of Lexington is joining Leagues across the nation in providing VOTE411, an online voter guide, to Bluegrass area citizens, offering more information about candidates for the May 17 primary election. This is the first year that the Lexington League is offering this service to area voters.

     

    All candidates for president and Kentucky’s U.S. Senate and Sixth Congressional races have been invited to participate in this guide which can be accessed at www.VOTE411.org.  VOTE411 allows viewers to check their voter registration, learn the location of their polling place and learn about the candidates on the ballot, comparing responses to questions posed by the League about issues important to Kentuckians.

     

    The League is offering VOTE411 as an online voter guide as more voters, and in particular, younger voters, turn to the internet and social media for information. To access this data, citizens can go to www.VOTE411.org and type in their address to get a listing of the candidates on their ballot.

     

    “We encourage voters to learn as much about the candidates as possible before going to the polls on May 17,” said Tammy Fagley, president of the League of Women Voters of Lexington. “And we encourage all registered voters to come out and vote. Every vote counts!”


  • 07 Apr 2016 5:13 PM | Tammy Fagley (Administrator)

    A forum for Sixth Congressional Democratic Primary candidates was held Sunday, April 3rd at the Lexington Public Library.  It is now available for viewing on Cable Channel 20 on the following schedule through May 16:

     

    Sixth Congressional District Candidate Forum

    Every MondayWednesday and Friday at 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

    Cable Channel 20

    The forum may also be viewed at this link [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FO8-pKvGE68 ] .


    The League regrets that it will not host a forum for Republican candidates for the Sixth Congressional Primary.  We are following national League of Women Voters guidelines and state League policy. Also, Federal Communication Commission Rules preclude broadcasting a debate with only one candidate and Federal Elections Commission Rules suggest hosting a debate with only one candidate could be construed as a contribution to that candidate. The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization. Candidate Roger Brill was available but Candidate Andy Barr was not. We see this as a lost opportunity for voters to learn more about the candidates prior to the election. Voters are encouraged to check candidate web sites, look for other media coverage, and check the League’s online Vote411 Voter Guide after May 1st to learn more about the candidates.


    The forum was co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Lexington Education Fund, The Frankfort/Lexington (KY) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and the Lexington Public Library.


  • 24 Mar 2016 2:03 PM | Tammy Fagley (Administrator)

    This spring the League is hosting a flower sale fundraiser.  Purchase your ferns, petunias and begonias from a League member and support our mission to education  and register voters and get out the vote.  Contact the League at 859-494-3203 to order your flowers today.  The deadline to submit your order is April 20th and deliveries will occur on May 14.

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