While COVID-19 disrupted our event schedule, we adapted by holding many events virtually. Here’s the info with links for anyone interested in watching the recordings.
Our League’s unit meeting on March 22 was streamed through YouTube & Facebook. Our panelists were Michael McCorkle, the chair of Bike Walk Wichita Alan Kailer, and the City of Wichita Transit Director Mike Tann. The discussion centered around transportation within our community (i.e., rapid transit, bike and walking paths), changes in the last ten years, cost/financial impact, future plans, and what part does the automobile play in all of this.
Expanding KanCare would bring hundreds of millions of federal tax dollars back home, insure more than 150,000 Kansans, cover unpaid health care costs that are hurting our hospitals, create thousands of jobs, and help stimulate our economy.
On February 10th our League hosted a virtual presentation and Q&A as well as a lesson on civic engagement from Spencer Culver of Alliance for a Healthy Kansas. Watch the recording if you missed it.
Our League’s November unit meeting was held Nov. 30 at 6:30 p.m. through Facebook. Our panelists were:
🔸 Marc Bennett, District Attorney, Sedgwick County
🔸 Jeff Easter, Sheriff, Sedgwick County
🔸 David Gilkey, Co-Founder, Rise Up For Youth
🔸 Dr. Kevin Harrison, Community Engagement Coordinator, WSU
The recorded livestream is available to watch on Facebook.
Our League’s October member meeting was livestreamed on Facebook. Patrick Miller, Ph.D., spoke about possible election outcomes. Dr. Miller is an associate professor of political science at the University of Kansas. Watch the recording now.
Recent events caused protesters throughout the country to call for “defunding the police.” What type of changes are being sought, and is defunding the answer? What would it mean to change the funding structure of the police department, and would that result in better policing? How is the Wichita Police Department addressing community concerns? These questions and more were discussed by a Candid Conversation panel that included Dr. Michael Birzer, Professor in WSU’s School of Criminal Justice; Gwen Grant, President & CEO of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City; and Police Chief Gordon Ramsay of the Wichita Police Department. Watch the recorded program.
Since 2005, the Sedgwick County Commission has served as the Sedgwick County Health Commission and had the final say on public health in the county. Many people in the county would like to see the Health Commission have more coordination with the public health medical community. Pete Meitzner, Sedgwick County Commissioner, and Phillip Brownlee, Executive Director of the Medical Society of Sedgwick County, presented views on how public health might best be served in a more coordinated fashion. Watch the recorded program.
Renewable energy and land use – how can they exist together within the confines of a public policy? Should they both be considered together? How does that impact public policy and protect the environment? Where does citizen input and ex-pert advice enter the picture? These are questions that Sedgwick County asked when writing a public policy on renewable energy. Hear both sides of the story from Kent Rowe of the Sierra Club and Tom Stolz, Sedgwick County Manager. Watch the recorded program.
The world of news reporting has undergone drastic changes in the past 20 years, and even more so in recent years. When you are looking for news, what sources are you using? Learn more about how media outlets have adapted to the changing environment from a panel of experts. Watch the recorded program.
At our Tuesday Topics session on December 1, Dr. Russell Fox, political science professor at Friends University, discussed the results of the General Election held in November & offered insight into what issues may be key during the upcoming term. Watch the recorded program.
Erecting monuments is one way Americans have commemorated significant historical figures and events. Recently, Confederate monuments have been the target of citizens who object to the values they portray as symbols of a racist past. Learn more about the claims made by those who wish to preserve these tributes, as well as those who strive to create a socially just environment for generations to come. Watch the recorded program.
Death with Dignity laws allow terminally ill patients who are mentally competent to request and receive medication that will hasten their death. Nine U.S. jurisdictions have passed Death with Dignity laws, and one state permits the practice by court order. Other states are considering passing a similar law. Watch the recorded program to learn more about how these laws are a benefit to those facing end-of-life issues, and why some citizens oppose such legislation.
Our League’s September unit meeting was livestreamed on Sept. 28. Our speaker, Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay, shared a lot of important information. Watch the recording if you missed it.
One of the reasons for the League’s political effectiveness is its reputation for thorough study before taking a policy position.
➡️ State League’s statement on Criminal Justice
➡️ Links to all of the position statements of the State League
Watch the recording!
There are many legal steps involved when changing your name or gender identification markers on your Driver’s License or other forms of identification.
On August 29, 2020, we invited Tom Witt of Equality Kansas, Delaney Hiegert of The National Center for Lesbian Rights, Meredith Schnug of the KU Law School Legal Aid Clinic, and Ellen Bertels, J.D. Candidate at the University of Kansas Law School and Democracy Intern for the Brennan Center for Justice, for a virtual discussion.
Sign language interpretation was provided during the discussion.
Sign language interpretation was provided during the webcast. The recording includes Spanish and English captions.
Thank you to everyone who joined us. We reached at least 1,000 people for the live discussion and thousands more have watched the recording since then. Kudos to KMUW’s Engage ICT for hosting an informative discussion on how the upcoming elections will continue in Sedgwick County amid the pandemic.
Wichita Public Library created a list of further reading and resources on this topic. Download the PDF: bit.ly/ElectionsCOVIDreading
🔸 Kenya M. Cox, President, Kansas NAACP
🔸 Ron Heminway, incoming freshman, The University of Kansas
🔸 Danielle Johnson, Assistant Director, WSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion
🔸 Tabitha Lehman, Election Commissioner, Sedgwick County Government
🔸 Carole Neal, Voter Service Co-Chair, League of Women Voters – Wichita Metro
Only One Tuesday Topics Remains for Winter/Spring 2021
April 27: Police Reform
Recent events have caused protesters throughout the country to call for “defunding the police.” What type of changes are being sought, and is defunding the answer? What would it mean to change the funding structure of the police department, and would that result in better policing? How is the Wichita Police Department addressing community concerns? Join us in a Candid Conversation panel discussion including: Dr. Michael Birzer, Professor in WSU’s School of Criminal Justice; Gwen Grant, President & CEO of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City; and Wanda Parker-Givens, Deputy Chief of the Wichita Police Department. See event page on Facebook.
Advance registration is required. Call 261-8500 or register online. Tuesday Topics virtual events are held online through Zoom from noon to 1 p.m. on the date noted. Everyone who registers in advance will receive the link by email the day before and the day of the program. If events are held in person, they will take place at the Advanced Learning Library, 711 W. 2nd, in downtown Wichita. All Tuesday Topics events are free and open to the public.
Monday, April 26, at 6:30 p.m.
For our April 26th unit meeting, we will watch the documentary film Line In The Street about the Pennsylvania redistricting reform and then will have a panel including the film’s director Robert Millman and Dr. Brian Amos, Assistant Professor of Political Science at WSU. This meeting is open to the public; everyone is welcome to attend. No registration is required.
The livestream will pop up at bit.ly/LWVyoutube. We will not livestream on our Facebook page so make sure you head over to YouTube. While the discussion will be recorded and available to watch later, the 30-minute documentary can be seen only during the livestream.
Every year we have a meeting where our members vote on a proposed budget for the coming 12 months, a slate of board positions, etc. and then we do fun things like honoring our Citizen of the Year. It’s a great way to cap the previous 12 months and form a vision of how the next year will be.
This year we met virtually on Monday, May 24th. Watch the recording of the public meeting which included:
⭐ DEI Moment of Focus
⭐ Greetings from LWVUS CEO Virginia Kase
⭐ Presentation of our scholarship winners
⭐ Recognition followed by a keynote address from the League of Women Voters Wichita – Metro’s Citizen of the Year, Sedgwick County Health Director Adrienne Byrne
Our League was proud to support a group of Wichita high school and college students who organized a march downtown to Naftzger Park where they held a rally demanding action on the climate crisis on Saturday, July 10. Watch our recap on YouTube.
While the event was hosted by the Kansas Youth Climate Action Coalition, LWV Wichita – Metro and Women for Kansas covered the cost for the rental space.
“We have a very strong position on sustainability and we have to recognize this youth-led group. It’s their future that we’re talking about. We’re the first generation who can feel climate change and we’re the last generation that can do something about it,” said Martha Pint, co-president of League of Women Voters of Wichita and LWV of Kansas, to the Wichita Eagle. “It’s real, it’s there and we have to look to this generation who has their boots on the ground to do something about it.”
The group gathered at 2nd & St. Francis, and then marched to Naftzger Park, where attendees heard youth speakers and visited with organizations and businesses at tables.
We held our High Tea Fundraiser in the Great Room at Cowtown on June 27th. It was wonderful to see so many friends and supporters at our first in-person event since March of 2020. More than 70 tickets were purchased and we were truly fortunate to have 39 donations made to our silent auction by generous benefactors. We raised more than $3,000.
Attendees enjoyed a variety of treats prepared by Carole Neal and the Heminway family as well as entertainment provided by our own Nancy Brown with a reenactment of Susanna Salter, the first female mayor in America. (Watch the recording.) Mrs. Salter presided over Argonia, Kansas just over the border in Sumner County from 1887 to 1888. Nancy’s performance was a taste of our partnership with Cowtown on “Women of the West” – a much anticipated all day event coming up on September 4th. If you’d like to be a re-enactor for the event, contact Carole.
Our gratitude goes to everyone who attended, donated or supported in any way as well as to Becky Weston, Claire Brown, Leanne Chase, Nancy Brown, Carole Neal, Pat Reinhold, Beth Schafers, Sharon Ailslieger, Martha Pint, Elaine Harvey, and the Heminway family who all helped make it possible. And of course, to Cindy Kelly for documenting it.
See all the photos. Watch a recording of co-president Martha Pint honoring recent past presidents Pat Reinhold, Laura Thompson & Jennifer Byers Heminway, and introducing our new co-president Beth Schafers.