Monthly newsletter for members of the League of Women Voters Northfield - Cannon Falls
Oct / Nov 2015 (November 3, 2015)
Hello from your League Board president!
Happy fall, fellow League members and supporters. Read on for a few highlights, both past and upcoming.
Have you signed up for alerts yet through our website? If not, now is the time.
The Membership Committee is pleased to report that both of our most recent events—the “Meet and Greet” in August and the “Kick-off” in October—have resulted in new memberships to our local League. I know you join us in welcoming Jane Moline, Kathy Cooper, Evelyn Burry, and David Hvistendahl/Valerie Enflejian to our local League.
Thanks to the generous donation of time and talent from Secretary of State Steve Simon and Minnesota Second Chance Coalition founder Sarah Walker, our Fall Kick-off on October 3rd was a great success. Addressing the topic of the restoration of voting rights for felons, our speakers provided background information that brought greater understanding to the question at hand. The Q and A moderated by our president, Mary Hahn, allowed our speakers to effectively address questions and further clarify their positions on this important issue affecting an estimated 47,000 Minnesotans.
I want to thank you for the privilege of representing our local League at the LWVMN State Convention in Duluth in June 2015. Entitled “Innovation & Inclusion,” in addition to the plenary sessions, the convention offered a wide range of caucuses and workshops across an array of critical topics. The Banquet speaker, MayKao Hang, CEO of the Wilder Foundation, shared her personal story, beginning with her escape from Laos to a refugee camp in Thailand and, ultimately, her arrival in Minnesota. She also addressed some of the challenges she has faced as a woman of color and the accomplishments she is able to achieve in her new position at the Wilder Foundation.
The death of longtime League of Women Voters member Phyllis Jokela this past summer brought poignant reminders of the amazing group of people who comprised the Cannon Falls League of Women Voters for many years. The following is my recollection of my introduction to this local League and their impact on the community and beyond. This was the last of the big projects tackled before time took its toll on the members. Their thorough research, presentations and public forum resulted in the removal of a dam on the Little Cannon River in downtown Cannon Falls in 2001.
I talked with Bonnie Jean this month and asked her how she became a Leaguer. To the best of her recollection, she joined in the late 1980s. She had been hired to teach at Longfellow School in 1980, and was introduced to the school board as a new teacher. There in the front row in the audience was the League of Women Voters observer! She was very impressed with the respect accorded to the League observer and joined a number of years later. While teaching and raising her family, she was a dues-paying but quite inactive member.
Northfield Reads is a community sharing created by the Northfield Human Rights Commission to engage all of us in talking together about a book. A group of representatives from several organizations is now planning for winter and spring events to bring together a wide variety of people to share their perspectives. This year the topic is income inequality.
This year the committee has just chosen to have readers in Northfield share their responses to $2 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America.
- LWV Board Meeting
- Friends Meetinghouse, 512 Washington St
- 7 pm
January 30, 2016
- Program Planning
- Location TBD
- Time TBD