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OK Voter Newsletter, December 2016

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The OK Voter is sent monthly to League members and friends to share the good work of the League and build our statewide network. Look for the next issue in January.

Happy Holidays

From the League of Women Voters of Oklahoma

Your Contribution Can Help the League GROW

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As you think about year-end gifts, please consider a gift to the League to support increased community outreach and voter education.

We are poised for growth in Oklahoma, and want to respond to the calls we get from communities around the state.

Your gift of any size will support League outreach, facilitate community participation and increase voter engagement..
 

Donate to the League's tax-deductible Education Fund to support Voter Education Outreach.

Donate to the League to support an Advocacy & Action Campaign (not tax-deductible).

Scrabble Money

LWVOK Fiscal Policy Study

Update and Reminders


Leagues around the state have been working on the study of Oklahoma's fiscal policy to understand how our state finances work and to help update the LWVOK position on state fiscal policy.

League leaders may want to refer to the LWVOK Programs and Studies page to prepare for consensus meetings and, as needed, learn more about the study.

Study materials are available here.

Consensus Meetings

The League has a long tradition of deliberative study and making decisions and recommendations by consensus.  The state League has compiled some good tips on holding a consensus meeting for helping with this process. The consensus questions for the meetings are online here. Meeting leaders should take careful notes to use when filling out the Response Form (see below).

Response Form

Responses are due no later than February 15.  Responses will be accepted by submitting an online response form, which may be found here.

What's Next?

Program Chair,Karen Cárdenas, will work with her study team to compile responses and recommend an updated fiscal policy position at the March LWVOK Board meeting, and that position will be presented at the 2017 LWVOK Convention.

It's a perfect time to join the League!


Here's a bonus for those who have been thinking about joining or renewing their membership in the League.

Get an extra six months membership if you join now through the end of January.  Membership in the League expires on June 30. If you join now, or any time until the end of January, we'll extend your membership through June 30, 2018.  

Join now or give the gift of membership!
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Coming Up in 2017 

Building Phone Lobby Teams 

Cell Phone Lobby Team
 
League members across the state have said they are ready to take action on issues. One of the most effective ways League members can have an impact on issues is to call their legislators, as outlined in "Here's Why You Should Call, Not Email, Your Legislators" from the New York Times.

LWVOK Action Chair, Susan Garzon of Stillwater, led a successful phone lobbying demonstration project in 2016. She's now ready to support phone lobby teams in League chapters around the state. 

Phone lobbying actions will be selected by researching bills filed for the 2017 Oklahoma legislative session and, when appropriate, bills in the U.S. Congress. Actions will be recommended to address issues of concern identified at the statewide advocacy meeting in November. All action will be consistent with League positions at the state or national level. We think there will be a lot to do this session.

All Members and Friends are Invited to Participate

Phone lobby team members will given talking points and will call their own legislators as constituents. Because this is something that all members and friends can do from home (or on a lunch break at work), everyone is invited to participate, even those who don't have a local League chapter at present.

Interested?  Contact Action team leader Susan Garzon via email at action@lwvok.org no later than January 15, 2017.  And look for an update in the January newsletter.
ADVOCACY AGENDA

Oklahoma State CapitolLeague members from around the state joined the LWVOK Board of Directors on November 19 to discuss issues and advocacy. 

Vice President Sandy Bahan led the issues session, which began with a listing of concerns surfacing in participants' communities, and ended with a surprising conclusion.


The following issues emerged as top priorities:
  1. Providing adequate funding for public education
  2. Problems caused by inadequate state revenue and budget gaps
  3. Transportation, roads and infrastructure
  4. Services for seniors in communities
  5. Water access and quality; stormwater management
A Bold Goal

When asked to identify the link tying these issues together, making it difficult to support core government services, the participants identified the passage of State Question 640, which limits the ability of the legislature to raise taxes and revenue. After discussion, the group agreed that this should be the top advocacy priority for the League over the next few years.

The LWVOK Board of Directors will take up  this recommendatio at its January meeting. It's an ambitious goal, one that will require a commitment to a long-term campaign ,with a clear recognition that an initiative of this magnitude would require building a coalition of partner organizations, undertaking a statewide petition drive, and quickly ramping up our organizing capacity.

League members and friends who would like to share thoughts about this bold goal can email league@lwvok.org. The Board would welcome your thoughts on this issue.

Watch for advocacy updates in upcoming OK Voter newsletters.
Copyright © 2016 League of Women Voters of Oklahoma, All rights reserved.


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