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 email@example.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.
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.
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.
Thanks to our speaker, Lori Haas, the Virginia State Director for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, for a thorough and heartfelt rundown of her organization’s common-sense goals for General Assembly legislation for the next sessions. Key goals include reintroducing the one-handgun-a-month purchase limit to address handgun trafficking, achieving universal background checks, and achieving Extreme Risk Protective Order laws in Virginia. The goals of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence are adapted to be appropriate to Virginia but are similar to the National League’s position on Gun Violence, which is included below. Thanks to Christine Payne and Mary Schilling for organizing this talk on a very current issue in our state.
League Sends Letter to U.S. Senate on Need to Reduce Gun Violence
The League sent a letter to the U.S. Senate outlining the policies needed to curb gun violence. The League believes it is time for Congress to adopt legislation that will close the gun show loophole, increase penalties for straw purchases of guns, ban assault weapons, place limits on high capacity ammunition magazine size, and fund research and reporting on gun violence in America. Members of the LWVUS Lobby Corps will be visiting with Senate offices regarding this important issue.
March 22, 2018
To: Members of the U.S. Senate
From: Chris Carson, President
Re: Reducing Gun Violence
On behalf of our 300,000 members and supporters, as well as the millions of Americans at risk every day, the League of Women Voters strongly urges you to pass common sense solutions to the gun violence that is plaguing our nation.
It is time for Congress to adopt legislation that will close the gun show loophole, increase penalties for straw purchases of guns, ban assault weapons, place limits on high capacity ammunition magazine size, and fund research and reporting on gun violence in America. Curbing gun violence is a critical matter of public safety, public health, and public confidence.
Along with the majority of American citizens, the League supports closing the gun show loophole and providing for universal background checks. Currently, background checks are not required for the 40 percent of gun sales that take place at gun shows, person-to-person sales or other private transactions. A recent Quinnipiac poll found that support for background checks is almost universal with 97 percent of voters in favor of background checks on all gun purchasers. This is the highest level of support ever measured by the independent poll. In addition, Congress should pass legislation to increase the penalties for straw purchases in which individuals who do not have criminal records buy guns and pass them on to individuals who are not eligible to purchase a firearm, including felons and domestic abusers.
The League also believes that the 115th Congress should pass legislation to ban all military-style semi-automatic assault weapons along with high capacity ammunition magazines. The Quinnipiac poll found that 67 percent of registered voters nationwide support a ban on the sale of assault weapons. Placing limits on magazine size is a common-sense solution to shootings that kill many people at once. This limit should include magazines and other ammunition feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. These devices allow shooters to fire numerous rounds in rapid succession without having to stop and reload, and they have been a central part of the mass killings of recent years.
Throughout the country, local and state Leagues have been holding meetings with their fellow citizens to discuss the crisis of gun violence. They have testified before state legislatures and met with their neighbors in community meetings to come together, air their differences and work to find common ground and solve some of the difficult problems presented in the gun debate, including mental health issues and the problem of domestic violence. Congress should follow suit and start to act on common sense solutions to curb gun violence.
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!
Time: 8:30 AM
Location: Williamsburg Regional Library, 515 Scotland St. Williamsburg, VA 23185
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 Virginia colony.
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.
Our votes affect health care policies, but what information are we missing to make solid decisions? The Virginia General Assembly just last year accepted the expanded Medicaid coverage offered by the Affordable Care Act; what is happening in our area to prepare for implementation, and how will this affect recipients of Medicaid and health care providers in our area? Come learn from an experienced panel of health care practitioners.
This event is on January 24, 2019, 7pm at the Williamsburg Library Theater.
• Jennifer Mellor, Ph.D, Professor of Economics and Public Policy, William and Mary
• Fran Castellow, President of Operations, Patient Advocate Foundation
• Dr. William J. Mann, Executive Medical Director, Old Towne Medical & Dental Center
• Donna Briggs, Regional Sales Manager, Optima Health
Local League president, Mary Schilling, says, “Since the Virginia General Assembly voted to expand Medicaid in their last session, Virginians have a particular interest in this topic, plus health care’s continuing high cost was the top issue for many voters in the 2018 midterm elections. Our elected officials also make decisions on health care costs, particularly in regard to Medicaid. We hope that our panel experts who know the situation firsthand can help us be better informed voters.”
There is no cost to attend. The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan, political organization that never endorses candidates or political parties at any level of government. Its mission statement encourages “active participation in government.”