THE LWVWA VOTER is published 6 times a year. Find out what we’ve been up to!
We had a wonderful new members’ reception and enjoyed getting to know each other better. We hope each member can find an aspect of the League that helps them become more involved in local policy issues!
Anne Smith, LWV-WA and LWV-WA Board Member and Convention Chair
I am excited to tell you about the 39th LWV-VA Convention at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott on May 17-19. We think this will be both an informative and fun session! The location is close and easy to access so you can come for the full Convention or take advantage of the single-day registration.
The League of South Hampton Roads is the host League and has planned activities on Friday evening … a “Dine Around” to take advantage of Norfolk’s fine restaurants or a water ferry to those in Olde Towne Portsmouth. You can register early, beginning at 5:00 pm Friday, May 17, and join the fun. Saturday morning’s plenary session will be League business, primarily reports. Voting will take place during the Sunday morning plenary.
Diversity and Inclusion are major considerations for all levels of the League – National, State, and Local. Saturday’s lunch speaker on Diversity is Christy S. Coleman, a Williamsburg native with extraordinary accomplishments. Named by Time as “One of 31 People Changing the South,” she is the CEO of Richmond’s American Civil War Museum, which encompasses several historic sites. Previously, she was President/CEO of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit and Director of Historic Programs for Colonial Williamsburg.
Let Mary Schilling know of your interest in attending soon.
Registration ends April 25.
We have some truly informative breakout sessions planned for Saturday afternoon. Speakers include Jim Spore, 30+ year Virginia Beach City Manager talking about Infrastructure, Innovation, Transportation issues. Others include Skip Stiles, Executive Director of Wetlands Watch on “What about This Weather?”; Walt Latham, York County Director of Elections/General Registrar and President of the Voter Registrars Association of Virginia; and W&M Law Professor Rebecca Green on Redistricting Reform. Before our Sunday a.m. plenary session, Ron Carlee will speak on “Defending Democracy on All Levels.” A professor at Old Dominium University, Dr. Carlee, past Arlington, VA County Manager and Charlotte, NC City Manager, is a global presenter for the International City Managers Association (ICMA).
Although Convention adjourns at noon Sunday, the South Hampton Roads League has scheduled a “bonus session” for the afternoon focused on THE ENVIRONMENT. It includes knowledgeable speakers on a topic relevant for us all, including combating rising sea levels. LWV-WA can send eleven voting delegates, but absolutely every member is welcome to attend as observers and participate in every way except voting … it is an opportunity to learn, meet others from around the Commonwealth, and also … have fun! I hope many of you will choose to participate as observers.
by Mary Ann Moxon, Publicity/Outreach member
Members of the Williamsburg Area LWV
visited “TENACITY: Women in Jamestown and
Early Virginia” exhibit on opening day
November 10 at Jamestown Settlement.
Women’s roles in early Virginia were rarely
recorded. Historians have gathered facts about a
few of the women who are the subjects of this
yearlong exhibit. The special exhibition is a
legacy project of the 2019 Commemoration,
American Evolution, a national observance of
the 400th anniversary of key historical events
that occurred in Virginia in 1619 and continue to
influence America today.
This story-driven exhibition features
artifacts, images, interactives and primary
sources – some on display in America for the
first time – to examine the struggles women
faced in the New World and their contributions.
The first Englishwoman Anne Burras Laydon
arrived in 1608 at age 14 as a maidservant;
Cockacoeske, a Indian woman recognized by the
colonial government as the “Queen of the
Pamunkey” who ruled until her death in
1686; Angelo, the first documented African
woman in 1619. The exhibit shows the Virginia
Company of London’s effort to encourage the
growth of the Jamestown colony by recruiting
single English women. From women’s roles to
women’s rights, these tenacious women
profoundly influenced the early years of the
Below President Mary Schilling is pictured
with Coline Jenkins, great-great-granddaughter
of suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who came
for the opening of the exhibit. The exhibit
continues until January 5, 2020. Be sure to see it.
by Les Solomon, Membership Co-chair
It’s interesting to converse with friends about the League of Women Voters. Some are still surprised to know that I – a man! – am Membership Co-chair and serve as VicePresident. Indeed, our 30 male members represent 16% of our membership. Friends are even more surprised that our League is the second largest in the state (only Fairfax is larger). We report our official membership count to LWVUS on January 31. Last year, we had 173 members by that date. With a current membership of 174, we are within reach of our target of 200 members this year.
Here are some ways we can reach that goal:
- We communicate principally by email; unfortunately, it’s too easy to overlook renewal notices. Thus, within the last 10 days, those who have not yet renewed received a USPS letter as a reminder. If you received one, please return your membership form and payment ASAP.
- Kudos, especially to our New Town group, for recruiting your neighbors as new members! If you know of a friend or neighbor who wants to Empower Voters and Defend Democracy, please invite them to join this week here.
- I frequently wear a button that reads, LWV– Where Men are In. My guess is that there are more than 30 additional men in Williamsburg who support the great work that the League of Women Voters does. Why not invite them to join? After all, there really isn’t a brother organization called the League of Men Voters. The clock is ticking toward our January 31 reporting deadline, so help us reach our goal of 200 members!
by Phoebe Kent, Voter Co-editor
LWV-VA League Day at the General Assembly is Wednesday, February 6, 2019. We will attend the Women’s Legislative Round Table (WLRT) from 8:30-9:30 a.m. After WLRT, members will visit the offices of key Senators and Delegates to advocate for legislative action.
Williamsburg Leaguers will gather at the Capitol to be seated together in the Senate or House Galleries for the noon recognition ceremonies. It’s a thrill to be introduced and recognized by Lt. Governor Fairfax in the Senate or House Speaker Cox – and we hope to have a good-sized crowd present. Lunch and networking with other League members follows. An Italian buffet lunch will be served at the nearby Berkeley Hotel. Luncheon pre-registration is required by February 1. To register for the lunch, go here.
Linda Rice, Action and Advocacy Coordinator
You can join one (or more!) of these groups!
Become an interest group member to become more engaged with our League mission: Empowering Voters, Defending Democracy.
At its October 3 meeting, the LWV-WA board adopted a policy presented by Action and Advocacy Coordinator Linda Rice to guide interest groups. The policy describes what advocacy efforts members may undertake in support of positions that the League has reached through research, dialogue and consensus. The policy, including guidelines for interest groups, can be accessed here.
Several local League interest groups have formed to focus on League priorities. Each group will meet regularly to conduct research in depth, track relevant legislation introduced in the General Assembly (GA), and advocate, either in support or opposition, with our legislators during the GA session. Interest groups may organize panel discussions on topics of general interest that the group identifies. Fall reception attendees had an opportunity to join individual groups; some committees are complete, others actively seek additional members.
Nine members have joined the Election Integrity Committee; no more are needed. I chaired the recent state study on Behavioral Health that resulted in an expanded state position; our knowledgeable committee will continue its advocacy work.
The Education interest group, Loretta Hannum, Susan Nelson, Laura Tripp, and Sudie Watkins, will select a chair at their first meeting; additional members are welcome.
Christine Payne is the point of contact for advocacy on Gun Safety legislation.
Jo Solomon is our League liaison to the LWV-VA Redistricting Committee. The state League has been an active partner with OneVirginia2021 since its inception in 2013.
The League supports passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, and your involvement in VAratifyERA.org would be welcome.
Contact Linda Rice with questions.
Mary Ann Moxon, Public Relations/Outreach
Why do Americans choose to vote—or choose not to exercise that most basic right? And how do we as League members help to reduce the divide between voters and nonvoters?
Mediocre voter turnout has become the trend in America despite warnings that “democracy is not a spectator sport.” Voter turnout in the U.S. is among the lowest in the world, having declined sharply since 1900. Many people consciously choose to stay on the sidelines of democracy; others find formidable obstacles to exercising their right to vote.
Reasons are many: people say they are too busy, don’t like their choices or don’t know enough to vote. Many are focused on getting to work or paying their rent. In many states voter ID restrictions keep people from voting. Too many do not realize that midterm elections also carry enormous political stakes. For example, governors and state legislators elected this fall will determine redistricting decisions following the 2020 census.
Young first-time voters may show up at the polls on November 6. But many youth are suspicious of politicians and political parties – as are many other citizens. 1914 was the last time that more than half of eligible voters turned out for a midterm election. Only 33 percent of eligible voters voted in the 2014 midterms; among18-29-year-olds about 20 percent cast a ballot. Polls focused on “likely voters” predict that just 37 percent of young voters will vote in the upcoming midterms.
There is a “renaissance of political engagement” among some Americans experiencing a new civic spirit—calling their elected officials more often, marching in opposition to or in support of causes, donating money, running for office and joining organizations such as the League of Women Voters. Partisan and racial gerrymandering has energized many voters in Virginia and other states where voters are demanding that they pick their legislators, rather than legislators picking their voters through gerrymandered district lines.
The League of Women Voters, NAACP, numerous churches, campus groups like Vote21 and political parties have worked to register voters for the fall elections. On National Voter Registration Day, September 25, a record 800,000 new voters registered. But far surpassing that is the number of voters who have been purged from voting rolls in many states or barriers imposed to reduce participation at the polls.
So what can League members do to further our mission to Empower Voters and Defend Democracy? Encourage friends and family to be informed voters by seeking opportunities to hear directly from candidates. Promote the League’s online resource, Vote411.org, where voters can compare candidates’ responses to questions. Offer to assist in getting voters to the polls. Work to reduce onerous ID requirements. Long-term, support making Election Day a national holiday. And to those cynics, who believe that their one vote does not matter, remind them that a tie election in 2017 saw the Virginia House of Delegates majority determined by the drawing of a name.
Every election, the League of Women Voters sends identical questions to candidates for office. See the responses of the Senate candidates for Virginia here. Go to vote411.org for more.
The following formatting is excerpted from The League of Women Voters of Fairfax Voters’ Guide. VOTE411.org’s content is duplicated in this publication.
U.S. Senate for Virginia
The U.S. Senate term is six years. Each state is represented by two Senators who have staggered terms. There is no limit to the number of terms they may serve. Senators serve their constituents as they offer legislation, serve on committees, debate new bills and amendments to previous legislation. They also serve to advise and consent on matters such as ratification of treaties and confirmation of high-level positions, including U.S. Supreme Court Justices. Senators must be at least 30 years old, have been a U.S. citizen for the last nine years or longer, and inhabit the state they seek to represent. A Senator’s salary is $174,000. See the Virginia Department of Elections website for all the races and candidates: vote.virginia.gov
Biographical Info of the Candidates for US Senate:
Tim M. Kaine
Education: University of Missouri – B.A. in Economics; Harvard Law School
Experience: Civil Rights Lawyer; Richmond City Council; Mayor of
Richmond; Virginia Lieutenant Governor; Virginia Governor; Democratic
National Committee Chairman; and US Senator of Virginia on the Senate Armed
Services; Foreign Relations; Budget; and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Education: Juris Doctorate, William Mitchell College of Law; B.S., Foreign
Service, Georgetown University
Experience: Corey Stewart is the at-large elected Chairman of the Prince
William Board of County Supervisors. Previously, he served as the Virginia
Chairman for the Donald J. Trump for President campaign. He is an International Trade Attorney in private practice.
Matt J. Waters
Education: BA George Mason University MS Reformed Theological
Experience: Business owner/entrepreneur, 10 years Vice President
National Non-Profit Organization Senior Officer, Advertising Agency
Questions & Answers
I. What policies and resources do you propose to ensure election integrity and security in the United States?
Tim M. Kaine: The recent Omnibus bill that passed earlier this year included an additional $307 million for the FBI’s work to secure the 2018 U.S. midterm elections and fight against future Russian cyberattacks. The bill also provided $380 million for the Election Assistance Commission to increase cybersecurity for state voting systems and protect elections against foreign interference. We need to ensure that we are doing everything we can to protect our elections systems from cyberattacks. In addition, we need to ensure we are protecting all critical sensitive information from being hacked, such as: health, education, and banking infrastructure. States hold the majority of sensitive information. Virginia has been at the forefront of ensuring that we are taking all steps necessary to protect our infrastructure from any potential attack. I also strongly support states and localities taking the necessary steps to back up their elections with paper ballots.
Corey Stewart: I fully support voter ID laws, which serve to prevent various kinds of election fraud: impersonation fraud; registration under fictitious names; voting in more than one state; and non-citizen voting.
States that have enacted this commonsense reform found no depressing effect on voter turnout.
Matt J. Waters: The Constitution is clear on the issue: 15th & 19th Amendments secure the right of citizens to vote. Congress has the power to enforce this via legislation.
II. What policies, e.g. tariffs, taxes, tax cuts, do you propose to promote economic security for all Americans?
Tim M. Kaine: We must invest in Virginians, value diversity, and grow the talented workforce that makes our economy thrive. I introduced bills to support families, by increasing tax credits to lift families out of poverty, and increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 over a 7-year period. We lost an opportunity to pass a tax reform
bill that would put middle-class families and small businesses first. Instead, Republicans jammed through a bill that will raise taxes on millions of Americans. We must give more of the benefits to the middle class instead of big corporations. I introduced an amendment to this bill to provide long-term middle class tax relief and reduce the amount the bill adds to the deficit. Republicans blocked my amendment. I also have strong concerns with the President imposing tariffs on our major allies, resulting in steep tariffs being imposed on Virginia products. I have urged the President to reverse course and make it clear to our allies that we are honest brokers.
Corey Stewart: President Trump’s tax cuts have already done much to promote economic security for all Americans – with black, Hispanic, Asian and youth unemployment now at all-time lows. I would vote to make these tax cuts permanent. I additionally support President Trump’s efforts to renegotiate unfair trade agreements with other nations, in the best interests of American workers.
Matt J. Waters: One-hundred percent of US taxpayers’ income from January 1 to April 18 goes to local, state and federal government. The government takes 33% of our property on an annual basis–more than most Americans spend on food, clothing and shelter combined. The Libertarian Party believes taxation is theft; that the government’s role is to do three things and three things only: protect our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (or property). Personal federal income taxes were not allowed in the US until 1913 and the passage of the 16th Amendment. As Senator, I propose repealing the 16th Amendment, abolishing the IRS, and giving every American taxpayer a $12,000 pay raise. This ultimate measure will lead to major reforms in the
contract between government and the people.
III. What is your position on using a citizenship question on the 2020 Census survey?
Tim M. Kaine: I am opposed to asking individuals whether or not they are citizens on the 2020 Census survey because it will result in fewer people being counted or participating in the process. The rhetoric coming from this administration is sending fear into communities of color and this could lead to a distortion of who is residing in the U.S. Data collected by the Census is essential in bringing federal dollars and determining the political representation of our communities. The federal funds are distributed to state and local government to support schools, health care, housing, and other vital public benefits. There are about 300 federal programs that use Census data to determine how and where the money is spent. The Census occurs once every ten years and it is critical that we get a complete and accurate count. For these reasons, I oppose including a citizenship question on the 2020 Census survey.
Corey Stewart: I support reinstating the citizenship question on the 2020 Census survey. Electoral seats should be determined according to the population of actual citizens, not total population size.
Matt J. Waters: This is entirely in the purview of the Congress according to Section 1 Article 8 of the Constitution.
IV. What are your proposals for an immigration policy?
Tim M. Kaine: In 2013, the first major bill that I voted on was an immigration reform bill that was bipartisan and included a pathway to citizenship for many individuals living in the U.S. I supported the Senate’s 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill that would reform our visa system, protect Dreamers and TPS recipients, and protect our borders. This country is a nation of immigrants who have played an integral role in our society, have brought the skills and talents to make the U.S. globally competitive. Our immigration system has unfairly kept millions of people who contribute to the United States living in the shadows of our society. I have been a strong and loud critic of this administration’s treatment of Dreamers, proposals to limit legal
immigration, travel bans, and all attempts to separate families. Earlier this year, I worked with my colleagues in the Senate to find a solution to protect Dreamers, create a pathway to citizenship, while protecting our borders.
Corey Stewart: Immigration should be managed in a way that benefits our nation. I would end the Visa lottery in favor of a merit-based system. We should have zero tolerance for illegal alien crime. I favor the prosecution of state and local officials who brazenly flout our nation’s immigration laws by declaring “sanctuaries” for illegal aliens. Finally, I would vote to fund construction and maintenance of a true wall, to stem the flow of migrants and contraband across our southern border.
Matt J. Waters: I support reforming the current Immigration system/laws and review the three major agencies responsible for Immigration: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”); U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”); and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“CIS”). I support DACA. I do not support the
Wall for financial and results oriented reasons (It won’t solve the problem). I believe we need to change the laws on chain migration. 70% of all immigration to US are relatives coming to live here. I would advocate moving to a merit based system based on skills and America’s labor needs. I support E-verify, and tighter border security. I also support renewable work permits for non-US citizens working in the US, as this will raise salaries of non-US citizens such that they would not undercut current worker salaries.
V. What do you propose to ensure high quality, affordable and accessible health care?
Tim M. Kaine: I believe that access to health care is a right for all Virginians and I strongly support the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid Expansion in Virginia. I have fought against “repeal and replace” of the ACA, and threats to Medicaid, Medicare, and CHIP (Virginia’s “FAMIS” program). The ACA prevents individuals from being denied health insurance if they have a pre-existing condition, and provides access to preventive care that will
help reduce the cost and incidence of chronic diseases. Since passage of the ACA, more than 300,000 Virginians have gained access to quality affordable health care through its federally-run exchange. I have supported legislation to continue to expand health care coverage and make important fixes to the ACA. I also introduced the Medicare-X Choice Act which would create an affordable public option, so Americans could choose whether to purchase one of the existing private plans on the exchange or a Medicare-X public plan.
Corey Stewart: Obamacare has failed to deliver on its promises, as too many individuals and families have learned the hard way. I strongly favor health savings accounts, as well as the restoration of short-term and low cost
“no-frills” plans. We should allow insurance plans to be sold across state lines (more competition is healthy). Ultimately, we need a free market, consumer-driven health care system that puts the needs of patients first.
Matt J. Waters: 1. Since Obamacare was passed in 2014, the cost of insurance for self-employed has skyrocketed. I would join with the dozen governors who have sued the Labor Dept to allow small businesses and the self-employed to form association health plans (AHPs). 2. Promote Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) that put consumers in the drivers seat for current and future healthcare costs. HSAs eliminate the gatekeeper that tells the consumer what is allowed or not under their plan. These plans have shown to reduce overall health costs. Generally, I would advocate for the government to get out of the healthcare business. The government track record on health care is easily seen in the VA Hospital and impending bankruptcy of Medicare and
Medicaid. I favor allow companies to compete for consumer business not unlike other businesses, and for customers to choose between multiple health care offerings, or none at all.
VI. What policies do you propose to reduce gun violence?
Tim M. Kaine: I was Governor of Virginia during the shooting that took place at Virginia Tech, killing 32 individuals, and injuring 17. I issued an executive order and signed a law requiring courts to report all involuntary mental health commitments to the database used to check the criminal records of gun buyers. I also signed other mental health reforms and vetoed bills that would have increased the presence of firearms in the public sphere. As a U.S. Senator, I support requiring a completed background check for every gun buyer who purchases a gun from a federally-licensed gun dealer. I am a cosponsor of legislation to close the gun show and private sale loopholes, require private sales go through a federal firearms licensee, and penalize states that fail to make data available to the national background check system. I am also a co-sponsor of the Assault Weapons Ban, which bans the sale, transfer, manufacture and importation of military-style assault weapons
and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
Corey Stewart: Firearms themselves are not the problem, as John Lott has thoroughly documented in his book, More Guns, Less Crime. We can – and we must – do more to reduce gun violence, without trampling on the 2nd
Amendment rights of lawful Americans. I strongly favor attacking the root causes of violence, through education, smarter policing, and improved mental health care. In addition, we should hire armed security
personnel – perhaps retired police officers – to protect our nation’s schools.
Matt J. Waters: For voters concerned about gun violence, I too share this concern. Of the 38,000 gun related deaths in 2016, 25,000+ are suicides by mostly white men, age 25-65. Black on black violence contributes to an
additional 8,000 gun related deaths annually. Combined, these statistics represent over 87% of the gun related deaths in America. If we desire to reduce gun violence in America, we must address medical depression and we
review the War on Drugs policy (DEA) that may be a leading cause of violence in urban areas. As Senator, I will call for an end to the War on Drugs, and the elimination of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). This will help
drive down black on black violence, and ultimately save lives. Regarding depression and other causes of suicide, this is an area that is best left to families, specialized non-profit organizations and the medical profession to
VII. What are your legislative priorities?
Tim M. Kaine: My campaign is focused on access to good paying jobs, education, health care, and true equality for all. Virginia has a strong military presence and as the father of a marine, my priorities in the Senate are to
ensure that the U.S. stays out of unnecessary wars and if we engage that we are successful. I along with Senator Corker are leading an effort to replace the 2001 and 2002 authorization for use of military force with an updated AUMF against al-Qaida, the Taliban and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. I have fought against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and believe that we need to continue to improve access to affordable quality health care. I introduced legislation, Medicare-X, a public plan that would provide another option for low-cost health insurance choices and create more competition in the marketplace. Finally, career and technical education (CTE) has always been a passion of mine and I believe CTE can strengthen the links between the
classroom and the workplace.
Corey Stewart: In the United States Senate, I will fight tirelessly to:
• Lower taxes, grow the economy, and bring back jobs
• Build the wall, end sanctuary cities, and crack down on criminal illegal aliens
• Defend 2nd Amendment rights, while attacking the root causes of violent crime
• Fully repeal and replace Obamacare
•Rebuild our military and support our veterans
Matt J. Waters: We must stop out of control government spending. The $22 trillion debt is the single greatest threat facing this country. We are adding $1 million a minute to the debt. To eliminate it, we must enact 1.Reform Entitlements, 2. Cut Government Spending (military/domestic and foreign programs/agencies) and 3.Eliminate the personal federal income tax (this will force cuts in spending, and return property to the American
Disclaimer: The contact information provided in “Voters’ Guide” was furnished by the campaigns to the League of Women Voters of
the Fairfax Area (LWVFA), obtained from the Fairfax County Office of Elections, or official websites. The LWVFA is not responsible for any
changes or inaccuracies in the listings; the information was current as of October 21, 2018. This is not an official publication for any
campaign or candidate, but information only. The LWVFA can be reached at 703-658-9150, on the web at www.LWV-Fairfax.org, on our
Facebook page, www.facebook.com/lwvfairfax, twitter.com/LWVfairfax, or at LWVUS www.vote411.org.
November elections are familiar, but what’s going on with these spring elections you’ve heard of? Visit the Virginia Department of Elections website for the official source on where and when these elections are held.
The Citizen Portal shows the next election in which you can vote, and which offices, candidates, and issues will be on the ballot. Research information before entering the polling place, since once you’re inside the voting booth it’s hard to get information about the candidates and issues on the ballot.
Most of us have a hard time remembering which congressional district we’re in. Go to vote411.org and enter your address for a quick reminder.
The next election will be the June Primary (June 12, 2018) and both the 1st and 2nd District in Virginia (affecting City of Williamsburg, James City County, and York County) will have Democratic and Republican primaries for the National House of Representatives. Read more about candidates here (links go to vote411.org, a site run by the educational non-profit wing of the League of Women Voters):
Congressional District 1 Republican incumbent Rob Wittman does not have a primary challenger.
Congressional District 1: Democratic Candidates
Congressional District 2: Democratic Candidates
Congressional District 2: Republican Candidates