The Voter - March 2017
 
 
 
 
IN THIS ISSUE 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
OFFICERS & DIRECTORS
 
 
 
 
President 
Roxanna Deane
VP-Organization
Darlene Hicks
VP-Program
Connie Born
VP - Voters Service
Robin Engel & Susan Herr
Secretary
Charlsie Hays
Treasurer
Gloria Suarez-Sasser
Director, Publicity
Jensie Madden
 Membership Chair
Bonnie Leitch
Chair, Nominating Committee
Fran Hargrove
 
 
 
 
LWV NON-PARTISAN POSITION
 
 
 
 
LWV is a non partisan political organization which encourages informed and active participation in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy. LWV never supports or opposes candidates for office, or political parties, but does take positions on issues based on member study
and consensus.
 
 
 
 
LWV Public Policy Positions
 
 
 
 
Impact on Issues - LWV-US public policy positions

Program Perspectives - LWV-Texas policy positions
 
 
Fatima Menendez Esq., staff attorney for RACIES, Refugee and Immigration Center for Education and Legal Services
Rev. Helen Boursier, PhD with a display of art “cards” created by women & children detained at Karnes & Dilley.
 
Mark your Calendars
 
 
 
WHAT: Volunteer Deputy Registrar Training
WHEN: Tuesday, March 21-  10 a.m.
WHEREComal County Elections Office
178 E. Mill Street, Suite 100, New Braunfels, TX 78130

WHAT: The Future of Transportation and Air Quality in Comal County
WHEN: Thursday, March 23 -  7-8:15 pm
WHERE: Tye Preston Memorial Library
16311 South Access Road, Canyon Lake

WHAT: Kara Bliss and Austin Haller Concert
WHEN: Sunday, April 2 - 7 pm
WHERE: Unitarian Universalist of New Braunfels
135 Alves Lane, New Braunfels

Click CALENDAR in the bar above for a complete list of activities for 2016-2017 and mark your calendars now. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
First I want to thank Jerrie Chapman, a new member this year, for taking the photographs of League events.  They certainly enliven the newsletter.

Sometime in the past year, each member should have received a Membership Interest Survey.  This was a paper copy which we asked you to complete and mail back to Bonnie Leitch, membership chair.  This was a cumbersome process and returns weren't great.  Please click on this link to open, fill in, and save to your computer the interest survey.  You can then attach it to an email and send to membership@lwvcomal.org.  Please take a moment to do this.  It will help the Board improve communications and match you with activities.

In the right column you will see an image of the heading for the Capitol Action email that all members should be receiving from LWV-Texas.  This comes out each Monday during the Legislative session.  It is an easy way for members to stay abreast of all the issues that LWV-TX is following.  If you do not receive this email, please email me l at roxanna@gvtc.com so I can be sure you are added. Here is the LWV-TX advocacy page with links to the two alerts that have already been emailed.

I appreciate the Herald-Zeitung for running two long articles, written by Robin Blackburn, on the information provide in our program on women and children in detention centers.


Then to top it off the newspaper gave us the following kudos on Feb. 25.

"To the League of Women Voters, attorney Fatima Menendez and the Rev. Helen Boursier for informing the public about the struggles of Central American women and children seeking asylum in the United States and the complexities of immigration law."

Roxanna Deane
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WHAT: The Future of Transportation and Air Quality in Comal County Public Forum
WHEN: Thursday, March 23 -  7-8:15 pm
WHERE: Tye Preston Memorial Library
16311 South Access Road, Canyon Lake

All LWV-Comal Area members are encouraged to attend this meeting as part of our study to update our position: Land Use Planning in Comal County.  Rapid growth is affecting all parts of our county, and most of us experience the growth as congestion when attempting to drive on our roadways. We know that many roads are being widened, but do we know the plan? What about increased air pollution resulting from increased traffic?


Two speakers will help us answer these questions and more.


Kevin Webb, Comal County Commissioner, Precinct 3, will explain the work of the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (AAMPO). Webb is appointed to the Executive Committee of AAMPO, a regional agency that oversees over $200 million in state and federal transportation funding. He will be explaining the decision-making process regarding transportation planning in the region and what transportation plans are being made for Comal County.


Richard Dixon, Ph.D., professor of geography at Texas State University, has been researching air quality issues in our region. He will describe our most common air pollutants, their effects, and suggestions for reducing levels of pollution. Dixon will also explain the work of the Air Improvement Resources (AIR) committee of the Alamo Area Council of Governments, which creates region-wide strategies to improve air quality.


Information from this meeting will be incorporated by the LWV-CA Land Use Committee into a revised Facts & Issues: Land Use Planning in Comal County, which will published in fall 2017. Members will use the revised Facts & Issues to assess our current position. Attending this meeting will give members useful information for these upcoming fall activities.  


Please invite friends and neighbors to join us at this public forum. Complaints about traffic congestion are usually at the top of anyone’s list when discussing growth in Comal County. Our speakers have been invited to explain planning that is being done to reduce congestion and to reduce the air pollution that accompanies it.


Jensie Madden

 
 
 
 
 
 
WHAT: Kara Bliss and Austin Haller Concert
WHEN: Sunday, April 2 - 7 pm
WHERE: Unitarian Universalist of New Braunfels
135 Alves Lane, New Braunfels


Welcome Spring by joining us for an evening of entertainment. Once again, we have the pleasure of spending an evening and listening to great sounds with Kara, Austin and their bassist, Pat Harris.

Enhance your listening pleasure with a glass of wine, cheese and crackers or a cup of coffee with a dessert.


Invite your family and friends. Make it a fun evening.


Admission is $20.00 at the door.

You may pay online now at Spring Forward Concert.


Support the League of Women Voters-Comal Area.

Connie Born

 
 
 
 
 
 

Voters in the May 6 elections will decide two contested school board races and whether to approve a significant school bond package. Uncontested races dominate the rest of the local election season, with cities in the county opting out of holding elections.


Here’s what to look for if you vote in the Comal Independent School District:

A $263.5 million bond package aims to address overcrowding in two high schools and anticipated growth in the county.

In District 3, Jason York challenges incumbent Laurie Schley.

In District 4, Incumbent Denise Kern runs unopposed.


If you vote in the New Braunfels Independent School District in District 2, there is a race between Joe Terrones and Michael Calta. Matthew Sargent is running unopposed for the District 4 seat currently occupied by Joe Hassmann.


With no contested races, elections have been cancelled in the cities of Bulverde, Garden Ridge, New Braunfels and Spring Branch.


LWV-CA will be posting candidate replies to questions and pros and cons for the Comal ISD bond measure on VOTE411.org.  Watch for notification when the site goes "Live".


The spring election calendar:


March 8 - League of Women Voters-Comal Area will be registering new voters in the three CISD high schools during the lunch break. Students turning 18 by May 6 are eligible to vote in the spring elections. The high schools are Canyon, Canyon Lake and Smithson Valley.


April 6 – Last day to register for the May 6 election.

April 24 – Early voting begins.

May 2 – Early voting ends.

May 6 – Election Day

Robin Engel


 
 
 
 
 
 

The League's May Annual Meeting is approaching and with that comes the election of our new Board Members for 2017/2018. The Nominating Committee will soon begin the task of filling positions. If you are a League member seeking to learn more about this great organization; to help set board policy and direction; to educate yourself about important issues, voter service, and community involvement; and to get to know other active, interested (and interesting) people, then this is your time to be involved.


Also, if the phone rings with a request that you serve, be thoughtful with your response. There is always a position, slot, or Committee that can use your talent!!!


Please contact Fran Hargrove, chair of the nominating committee. You can email  fhargrove1@satx.rr.com or call 830.620.0080 or text 210.988.3889.


Positions to be filled (two year term)

    President

    Vice President for Voter Service

    Secretary

    Director for Publicity

    Director


Positions to be filled (one year term)

    Vice President for Program (fill unexpired term)

    Nominating Committee Chair

    Nominating Committee Member

Fran Hargrove

 
 
 
 
 
 

They leave their homes in their native land, walk for days across Mexico, and finally crossing into the United States trying to escape the violence and terror that is prevalent in their country.  The women and children are escaping gangs, abusive partners or family members, and their country’s violence, seeking a safe place to live without fear.  


On Wednesday, February 22nd at the Westside Community Center, LWV-Comal Area hosted an informational forum “Women and Children in the U.S. Customs and Enforcement Detention Centers in Texas” to a full house of 68 attendees.    Fatima Menendez, staff attorney for RACIES, Refugee and Immigration Center for Education and Legal Services, a nonprofit immigration service that helps immigrants with offices in San Antonio and Austin, presented the process that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) uses when an undocumented person is picked up or released from a detention center.   Ms. Menendez also explained the different visas available for victims of abuse or human trafficking and discussed the process of seeking asylum for refugees.  Ms. Menendez, stated that we need to understand that the refugees are not here to work; but rather to survive.


Rev. Dr. Helen Boursier, a Presbyterian minister, who worked with detained women and children in Karnes City and Dilley related her experiences with the refugees. The refugees come from different South and Central American countries she explained and are escaping hostile and dangerous conditions.       Rev. Dr. Boursier displayed examples of the art work done by the detainees and spoke on the art therapy program she and fellow religious workers conducted at the detention centers.


 The struggle and sadness of the plight of the refugees as described by the speakers left an impression on those who attended.  Many inquired as to what they could do to help and signed up to stuff backpacks with the Refugee Network, these backpacks will be filled with grooming essentials, clean clothing, and snacks for the next leg of their journey.


READ MORE from Rev. Boursier and get links to organizations that work with refugees.

Gloria Suarez Sasser

 
 
 
 
 
 

Each year, the League plans two fundraisers to meet our budgeted expenses. We plan events that hopefully will provide an evening of enjoyment as well as a means to support the League. Our first fundraiser for the year was the play the “Drowsy Chaperone” at the Circle Arts Theater. Circle Arts provides a League night in which the League receives the proceeds from the League ticket sales.


Our next fundraiser will be our “Spring Forward” Concert as described below. Next year, 2018 will be a busy year for the League as the State League Convention will be held in Kerrville and it will be another election year for US senators and State government officials. As you know, elections involve the League so there will be Voter Registration and Voter Guides to prepare which is our largest expense.


This year we are not offering pre-concert tickets, so you may pay at the door. This is Kara and Austin’s third year to provide an enjoyable evening for us. We do hope you will invite your family and friends and help support the League. 

Connie Born

 
 
 
 
Contact our President:
Roxanna Deane, 830-935-4635 or roxanna@gvtc.com

Send dues of $50 per person or $75 per household to:
LWV-Comal Area, P.O. Box 311324, New Braunfels, TX 78131-1324.
Or pay with a credit card at lwvcomal.org.
 
 
 
 
League of Women Voters of the Comal Area | PO Box 311324 | New Braunfels| Texas | 78131
 
 
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