League Advocacy Challenge

Try for the prize!  In the right sidebar on our website, you will see the Advocacy Challenge link. 

  • League members use this form to “log their advocacy” every time they’ve had a meeting, called a state legislator, tabled for their issue, or written a letter to the editor. The Local League that logs the most contacts with their lawmakers on the Advocacy Challenge form will win a $650 cash prize at Council in 2020. There are lesser prizes for second and third place, too. Every Local League president I’ve spoken with is hoping their League will win.
  • Friendly competition makes it fun. 
  • Click the link to report in and get counted for the Challenge. 
  • Every League has the ability to win, because we weight the results by the membership size of the League. A big League won’t automatically beat a small League.
  • When we send emailed Action Alerts, the software we use automatically counts your emails to lawmakers, so you won’t need to log your action for those. 

After League Day, we will also want people to submit “after action reports” on their League Day meetings. Those are at the link Submit Meeting Notes.

Redistricting Update: We’re Not There Yet

by Phoebe Kent, Voter editor

Quoted material below from Jackie Rivas, LWV Arlington (from October 2019 Virginia Voter)

“Virginia has an historic opportunity that we can’t let slip away. In the 2019 General Assembly, our legislators passed House Joint Resolution No. 615. HJR 615 is a constitutional amendment to create a citizen-led redistricting commission to draw the voting districts for the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Senate and the House of Delegates of the Virginia General Assembly in 2021, after the 2020 Census. This citizen-led redistricting commission would drag the map-drawing out of the smoke-filled back rooms of Richmond and expose it to the cleansing rays of the sun.”

Eight commissioners will be citizen members appointed by retired circuit court judges; two Delegates and two Senators from each party constitute the other eight. Meetings of the commission will be open to the public. It will hold public hearings across the Commonwealth to receive and consider citizen comments. Its records and documents will be considered public information.

The General Assembly passed the amendment to establish the commission 2019; we had an election on November 5, and now the amendment must be passed – verbatim, with nary a comma change – a second time by the General Assembly in 2020. The League and OneVirginia2021 hope to ensure that that happens. The amendment would be on the ballot on November 3, 2020. A separate enabling bill must also pass that determines how district lines will be drawn that specifically prohibits favoring or disfavoring a party or individual; that keeps intact communities of interest; compactness; other implementation requirements.

After census data is collected in 2020, it will be released in 2021 and redistricting will occur. We are hopeful that a fairer process – a redistricting commission – will be in place by then for drawing legislative districts. Make sure your representatives know that you want this to happen.

LWV-VA Pre-Session Women’s Legislative Roundtable

Prepare for the 2020 General Assembly Session


Get Your Tickets Here


Please join us at the LWV-VA Pre-Session on December 4 to prepare for advocacy and action in the 2020 General Assembly Session and network with Virginia advocacy groups!
This is your opportunity to hear about our legislative priorities and those of our many partners around the Commonwealth. At this Roundtable, advocacy experts from many nonprofit organizations come to speak about their priority issues and legislation, and give their predictions on what may or may not happen during the 2020 General Assembly Session.

Each expert will Predict and Preview where Action will be needed. These experts, 15 to 20 each year, have experience lobbying on the Front Lines in our General Assembly so they provide specific, ready-to-use advocacy/action messages. Not only do advocacy experts preview legislation but one or two Cabinet Secretaries come to describe important issues for the upcoming General Assembly session.
This annual meeting in December prepares us to visit our own legislators at home even before the General Assembly convenes in January.

Virginia Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne will be the first speaker to share his insights on the priorities and challenges of Governor Northam’s administration. After he speaks, about 20 speakers will each have about 5 to 7 minutes each to share their legislative priorities and concerns in the upcoming Session. Some areas that will be covered by the speakers are
elections, voting rights, transparency in government, education, women’s rights, gun violence prevention & public safety, healthcare, juvenile justice, transportation, and environmental issues.

Other Speakers include:
Brian Cannon One VA 2021
Chris Piper Commissioner of Elections
Walt Latham VRAV Voter Registrars Association of Virginia
Andy Goddard VACPS Virginia Center for Public Safety
Megan Rhyne VCOG Virginia Center for Open Government
Ashna Khana ACLU American Civil Liberties Union
Kati Hornung VAratifyERA Campaign
Tarina Keene NARAL – Naral Pro Choice Virginia
Jill Hanken VPLC Virginia Poverty Law Center
Kim Bobo VICPP Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy
Chris Duncombe TCI The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis
Rhonda Thissen NAMI National Alliance of Mental Health of Virginia
Corrina Beall Sierra Club / VA Chapter
Danny Plaugher VTA Virginia Transit Association
Sylvia Rogers AAUW American Association of University Women
Brian Koziol Executive Director of Virginia Housing Alliance

Attend our breakfast and hear speakers from our partner organizations in the morning for $20.

A full day pass that includes breakfast, all day speakers and a plated lunch with a special presenter is $50.
If you wish to pay by check, just select that option and either bring a check for the exact amount made out to League of Women Voters of Virginia Education Fund or mail to

Treasurer, 804 Ridge Place, Falls Church, VA 22046.

This event, in addition to providing a lot of good information, also provides opportunities to meet with and network with others who share similar interests and concerns.

MAKING DEMOCRACY WORK

Virginia General Assembly
Virginia General Assembly


Voting is a start, but advocacy is now needed. And 2 opportunities wait for you.
1) Join Williamsburg Area League members who are going to Richmond on Wednesday, December 4 for the annual “PRE-SESSION” Legislative Round Table, from 9 am-3 pm (or just the morning) at the John Marshall Hotel. Get your tickets here. NON-BOARD MEMBERS are encouraged to go!
Learn more about issues that matter to YOU such as sensible gun safety legislation, election integrity, redistricting, mental health funding, passing the Equal Rights Amendment by hearing from numerous advocates from other organizations.
Carpooling will be available.
Breakfast and am session for $20 or all day with lunch for $40. Join in with fellow LWV members and others from around the commonwealth.


2) Williamsburg Area LWV member Christine Payne was asked to take a lead role in the LWV GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION GROUP and is asking our local League members who are interested in participating in this group to contact her at nursepayne2689@gmail.com so that she can arrange a conference call or meeting soon. Chris says, “The upcoming 2020 General Assembly session will focus heavily on Gun Violence Prevention and as League members, we can impact the legislative process.” Please join Christine to add your voice in reducing gun violence. Learn about the League’s gun violence position and how it aligns with proposed legislation in Virginia.

Register to vote by October 15!

Virginia’s voter registration deadline is Tuesday, October 15, 2019. Go vote.elections.virginia.gov to begin the registration process or make sure you are up-to-date if you are already registered.

If you have a Virginia driver’s license or state ID card, you can register to vote completely online. If you are eligible but don’t have either of those cards, you can complete and print the application online and mail it in to your local or state election office.

Election day is November 5, 2019.

Local Candidate Forums coming mid-October

The League of Women Voters of the Williamsburg Area and the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance Business Council invite the public to “Candidate Meet-and-Greets” for these candidates (listed alphabetically) in contested races.

Prepare for the forums with this list of candidates and offices from the Daily Press.

Wednesday, October 16, 7 pm, Williamsburg Regional Library, Scotland Street

  • Virginia Senate, District 3: Herb Jones (Dem) 
  • Virginia House of Delegates, District 93: Heather Cordasco (Rep) and (Mike Mullin (Dem)
  • Virginia House of Delegates, District 96: Amanda Batten (Rep) and Dr. Mark Downey (Dem)

Thursday, October 17, 7 pm, James City County Board of Supervisors Building F, Mounts Bay Road

  • Virginia Senate, District 3: Tommy Norment (Rep)
  • James City County Board of Supervisors, Roberts District: Trevor Herrin (Rep) and John McGlennon (Dem)
  • Sheriff: Sean Gormus (Ind), David Hardin (Rep) and Gerald Mitchell (Dem)

The first portion of the “Meet & Greet” will give each candidate an opportunity to provide a 3-5 minute statement about their qualifications, goals, priorities, issues of importance and other personal content. Ground rules: the audience will be asked to refrain from applauding or demonstrating support or nonsupport of all candidates during this segment. No campaign materials, buttons, signs, etc. will be allowed inside the building.

Following these statements, members of the public in the audience will have an informal and casual opportunity to speak with the individual candidates.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that never supports or opposes any political party or candidate.

Primary Election: June 11, 2019

If you are in the 96th District, you will have the opportunity to vote in a primary election June 11, 2019. The 96th District includes parts of James City County and York County. If you live in York County, check the Elections Department website to see if you are part of the 96th.

Primaries require you to choose between two members of the same party for who will be on the ballot in the November General election. You will need to choose either a Democratic or Republican party ballot when you vote – you can choose either, but only one.

Scroll down to see a gallery of the ballots for this election.

In James City County, only the following areas will participate in the primary (from the JCC Elections website).

ONLY the following precincts will participate in the June Primary. If your precinct is not listed, you do not have a primary election this year:

PrecinctVoting Location
Berkeley B 0102Clara Byrd Baker Elementary
Berkeley C 0103Matoaka Elementary
Jamestown B 0202JCC Recreation Center
Jamestown C 0203Upward Church
Jamestown D 0204King of Glory Lutheran Church
Powhatan A 0301Hornsby Middle School
Powhatan B 0302Lafayette High School
Powhatan C 0303Toano Middle School
Powhatan D 0304Warhill High School
Stonehouse A 0401Hickory Neck Episcopal Church
Stonehouse B 0402Norge Elementary School
Stonehouse C 0403Stonehouse Elementary School

General Assembly Results and Observations

Excerpted from a Voter Express article by Carol Noggle, Voter Protection Officer, State League of Virginia

Yes, it was a “wild” General Assembly session, as one newspaper headline stated. All sorts of unanticipated drama involving constitutional officers, but the legislative process continued with the LWV-VA and others in attendance. Observers could see during floor sessions some differences in the House and Senate culture, protocol and decorum, including somedebate obstruction. “Will the Gentleman yield?” “No, I will not yield.” Each side of House attempted to “hijack the rules.” Frequent Point of Personal Privilege (PPP) statements were very “pointed” from both sides on various bills including those regarding firearms in churches, ERA ratification, limiting the power of the Governor, changes to long-standing Rules, teaching Bible literature in the schools, and even on which June Tuesday to have the Primary elections. The House, with many subcommittees, affects the disposition of bills differently than the Senate. The House subcommittees have been described as “powerful gatekeepers” because a successful bill in the full Senate will fail in a House subcommittee that has only seven members.

What actually happened? Of 93 election related bills, 24 passed; among them:

• No-excuse absentee voting, though only for seven days.

• Absentee polling places will stay open properly for voters who are in line at 7pm.

• Preventing split precincts and establishing proper boundary lines advanced.

• Yet to be determined is whether or not voters will be considered “provisional” while waiting for verification of Social Security numbers.

• Improved ballot order to list candidates before the ballot questions will ensure that voters see the candidates first.

• Recount procedures for tied elections were clarified.

What didn’t pass?

• Requiring Voter Registration and information in Commonwealth high schools;

• Restoration of voting rights and voter registration information in regional jails; Extending the deadline for receipt of mail-in ballots;

• Allowing the Photo ID of a student enrolled at an out- of-state university;

• Extending the expiration time allowance for a DMV Photo ID;

• Most gun safety legislation including a “Red Flag” or Extreme Risk Protective Order bill;

• Ranked choice voting in local elections.

Environmental bills that passed included one on coal ash mitigation. Legislators prohibited any carbon dioxide cap-and-trade efforts by the Governor or a state agency. Regarding firearm safety, legislators rejected a “red flag” bill or Extreme Risk Protective Order (ERPO) and a bill related to allowing firearms in churches. One successful opioid-related bill expanded who can possess and administer naloxone or other opioid antagonist, after completing training. Below are articles relating on the successful passage of a bipartisan commission on redistricting and inaction on the ERA. The redistricting bill, aimed at limiting gerrymandering, needs additional steps to be added as an amendment to the Constitution.

Come hear local representatives discuss the 2019 General Assembly

Come out and hear from your local representatives, Senators Tommy Norment and Monty Mason along with Delegates Brenda Pogge and Mike Mullin, about the legislature that was passed in the recent General Assembly session.

Coffee and networking will start at 8:30 a.m. on April 26 followed by the forum and a Q & A session at 9 a.m.  The event is free and open to the public, so be sure to register today and we’ll see you at the Williamsburg Library!

  • Date: 4/26/2019 
  • Time: 8:30 AM 
  • Location: Williamsburg Regional Library, 515 Scotland St. Williamsburg, VA 23185