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Date: 6/7/2022
Subject: LWVTX Action News! June 2022
From: Joyce LeBombard



June 2022 Action News!
As the new president of the League of Women Voters, I've hit the ground running  in response the shooting in Uvalde. If you are like me, you are still upset, angry, and heartbroken by the senseless murder of 19 children and 2 teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on May 24.  Thinking of all the mass shootings and gun violence prior to and since then, you know we must demand something be done. Gun safety, or should we say the lack thereof, is a national health crisis that Congress and the Texas Legislature must address now. 

After the Robb Elementary tragedy, the League put out a press release calling for two actions:
I’m asking you to take one more action on this critical issue. Make your voice heard in your community by writing a "Letter to the Editor" using our LWVTX Take Action! tool. Remember the letter needs to be from you as an individual as only League presidents may send letters on behalf of the League.

Keep a watch for further League action on this soon. We are in the planning stages for a statewide, maybe national, forum along with other nonpartisan organizations.

Please join me in congratulating and welcoming our 2022-2024 LWVTX Board of Directors (see below) as well as our newest League, LWV Southwest Texas.

I am humbled and honored to serve as the president of the League of Women Voters of Texas. I look forward to standing with you to take action to empower voters and defend democracy. 

Sincerely,

Joyce LeBombard
President, League of Women Voters of Texas

Your Texas League in Action

League of Women Voters of Texas Announces 2022–2024 Board of Directors

At our Biennial Convention in April, local League delegates voted to approve the new LWVTX board members for 2022-2024. Newcomers to the board include Elisabeth MacNamara, Charlotte McKenzie, Julie Espinoza, Pamiel Johnson Gaskin, Diane Gil, and MaryJane Mudd.

“Our new Board is full of intelligent, passionate, dedicated women, and I am both humbled and excited to be working with them,” said Joyce LeBombard, new LWVTX President. “Our previous President, Grace Chimene, and the prior Board did a fantastic job leading us through challenging and divided times in our state, and we are honored to pick up the mantle and continue the important work that LWVTX started back in 1919.”

We would like to thank our outgoing board members for their dedication and service to the state League over the past few years. These advocates who have faithfully championed our mission of empowering voters and defending democracy include Grace Chimene, Susan Schultz, Susan Majors, Janet Imhoff, Meg Scott Johnson, and Yvonne Wade Sanchez. Thank you for all of your hard work!

Additionally, we would like to recognize those board members who are continuing to serve on the LWVTX board including Joyce LeBombard, Janis Richardson, Elaine Wiant, Dorothy Marchand, Deb Treece, Stephanie Swanson, and Linda Vaughn.

“The League was formed more than 100 years ago by courageous women who were willing to stand up for their rights. While the issues have changed, democracy can never be taken for granted,” said LeBombard. “Our Board of Directors is poised and ready to join other leagues across the United States to ensure that everyone’s voice can be heard in fair, free elections.”

Read the full press release here.


LWVTX 2022–2024 Board of Directors:


Joyce LeBombard, President, LWV Austin Area
Janis Richardson, Secretary, LWV South Central Texas
Elaine Wiant, Treasurer, LWV Dallas
Elisabeth MacNamara, Vice President, LWV Collin County
Dorothy Marchand, Vice President, LWV Austin Area
Charlotte McKenzie, Vice President, LWV Collin County
Deb Treece, Vice President, LWV Texas
Julie Espinoza, Director, LWV Collin County
Pamiel Johnson Gaskin, Director, LWV Houston
Diane Gil, Director, LWV Tarrant County
MaryJane Mudd, Director, LWV Houston
Stephanie Swanson, Director, LWV Austin Area
Linda Vaughn, Director, LWV Amarillo



LWVTX Public Statement on SCOTUS Draft Decision Overruling Roe v. Wade

On May 2, 2022, Politico published a leaked draft opinion of the Supreme Court indicating the Court will overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that found that women have a constitutional right to abortion. The proposed 98 page opinion authored by Justice Alito can be found at here. Five Justices, including Alito are shown as joining in the decision. 

This opinion is not final, and it is expected that the official decision will be issued towards the end of the Court’s term in late June. In the meantime, abortion is still legal.

Read more here.

Take Action Today!

Contact your senators to protect our Nation from gun violence!


The House of Representatives has already passed HR 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, which is the first step in transforming gun safety laws in our country. This legislation now sits before the Senate. Tell your senators they must act now and pass the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and save Americans from the terror of gun violence.

Click here to take action and contact your Senators!

Then use the League's Take Action! page to write a letter to the editor.

You can find talking points in the League of Women Voters of Texas' statement about the school shooting in Uvalde,  "A Child’s Life Outweighs Anyone’s Right to Keep and Bear Arms" here. Then, visit the Gun Safety Advocacy page on the LWVTX website here.

Local Leagues in Action

LWV Corpus Christi

Photo credit: Corpus Christi League of Women Voters  Facebook page. The Corpus Christi League of Women Voters registered 32 seniors out of a class of 74 at Banquete High School last month. Yay for new voters! Read more here.
 
LWV Amarillo

Photo credit: Facebook page for Palo Duro Don Center. The Amarillo League of Women Voters registered high school seniors to vote at Palo Duro High School last month. Read more here.
 
LWV Houston

Photo credit: League of Women Voters of Houston Facebook page. More than 200 business and civic leaders turned out for the League of Women Voters of Houston's 19th Repast Luncheon, titled “The Rebirth of Civic Life." Read more here.
LWV San Antonio Area

Photo credit: League of Women Voters of the San Antonio Area Facebook page. Guest Speaker Jacquelyn F. Callanen, Elections Administrator, Bexar County spoke at the San Antonio Annual Board Meeting on Saturday, May 14th. Read more here.
 
FYI

LWVTX Nominated for an LWVUS Innovate Our Power Award!
 

Vote for your League! LWVTX was selected to be one of the Innovate Our Power Award nominees. The voting ends June 17th. Vote here.

"In 2021, LWVTX harnessed technology in two ways to super-charge voting rights and election law legislative advocacy. We paid for a service to create Action Alerts that empowered time-sensitive member engagement with their own State Senators and Representatives on voting rights and election legislation.  It also allowed Letters to the Editor to their own local media. We also used technology to improve our statewide and national network of organizations seeking to achieve common legislative results. Our efforts contributed to delaying passage of the omnibus anti-voter election law SB 1 until the second called special session after the regular legislative session ended May 31."


Graudation 2022
 
Send Your Grads a Register-to-Vote Post Card! 
 
To celebrate your grad and empower them to start their democratic journey, LWVUS designed post cards directing them towards all the tools they'll need to get registered to vote at VOTE411.org. Share them via email, social media, or however you prefer to chat with your loved one! Find the postcards here.
 
Your Texas League in the News!

Texas Court Orders Review Of Black Woman’s Illegal Voting Conviction


(BET) — Texas’ highest criminal court on Wednesday (May 11) ordered a lower appeals court to take another look at its controversial decision to uphold Crystal Mason’s voter fraud conviction, The New York Times reports. The ruling creates the possibility that the lower court will now overturn the conviction.

In 2018, Mason was convicted of illegal voting and sentenced to five years in prison. Her offense was casting a provisional ballot in the 2016 general election while on supervised release from prison on federal tax evasion charges.

“She’s being made an example, and the example is that you don’t want returning citizens, Black people, Black women to vote. That’s an egregious narrative, and we have to push back on that because that’s not how democracy works,” Celina Stewart, chief counsel at the League of Women Voters, told the Times in 2021.

Read more here.



Texas officials and voting groups are trying to limit mail ballot rejections


(KUT) — After thousands of mail-in ballots were rejected in Texas' statewide primaries in March, election officials and voting rights groups are stepping up efforts to make sure voters don't run into the same problems with ballot rejections going forward. Nearly 25,000 mail ballots were rejected for the March 1 primaries — a far higher rate than prior elections.

Read more here.


League of Women Voters of Texas

1212 Guadalupe St. #107
Austin Texas, 78701
(512) 472-1100
lwvtexas@lwvtexas.org
lwvtexas.org