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THE VOTER BLOG

  • 29 Jan 2019 3:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our Start By Believing Panel last week was a thought-provoking and interesting event. Special thanks to our speakers who each brought their unique insights to the issue of sexual assault response and prosecution (left to right): 

    • Sarah Colford is a Board Member and Moderator for Break the Silence. She is also a survivor. Break the Silence works to support survivors of sexual violence by striving to end rape culture and hold perpetrators accountable.
    • Jennifer Bjorhus is an Investigative Reporter for The Star Tribune. Originally a business reporter, in recent years Jennifer has begun focusing on criminal justice issues. Her recently published “Denied Justice” series examines how Minnesota’s criminal justice system often fails victims of rape and sexual assault. 
    • Commissioner Paul Schnell has held positions as Carver County Sheriff’s Deputy, in the Saint Paul Police Department, as Police Chief in Hastings and Chief of Police for Inver Grove Heights. His work in the SPPD included patrol officer, patrol sergeant, sex crimes & family violence investigator, public information officer, training officer, and crisis negotiator. From 2014 to June 2017, Paul served on the Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board.
    • Nicole Matthews is Anishinabe from the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, and is the Executive Director for Minnesota Indian Women's Sexual Assault Coalition, where she has been since 2002 and serves as Executive Director. She was one of five researchers who interviewed 105 Native women used in prostitution and trafficking for their report: Garden of Truth: The Prostitution and Trafficking of Native Women in Minnesota.
    • John Choi is the Ramsey County Attorney. Both as Saint Paul City Attorney and in his current role as County Attorney, John's innovative approach to holding abusers accountable, while working collaboratively with advocacy agencies to help victims has transformed the way government intervenes in domestic violence and sex trafficking situations.
    Also, a huge thank you to our volunteers and partners in coordinating the event: League of Women Voters - Dakota County and Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN).

    Watch The Event

    If you missed the live event, there are still opportunities to learn. SPNN will be rebroadcasting the event on Channel 19 on the following dates and times: 

    • Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.
    • Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at 9:00 p.m.
    • Friday, February 1, 2019 at 9:00 p.m.
    • Saturday, February 2, 2019 at 3:00 p.m.
    • Sunday, February 3, 2019 at 10:30 p.m.

    We hope you find the program informative.

    *Photo courtesy of Kathy Defoe.

  • 22 Jan 2019 9:08 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Volunteers from the League of Women Voters can be a welcoming presence at Naturalization Ceremonies as we register new citizens to vote. For the past 20 years, our volunteers (many of whom are new members!) have:

    • Collected forms from nearly 7,000 new citizens in 2017 alone, spread across 80 ceremonies.
    • Carried in over 80,000 registration forms to the Secretary of State’s office since 2007.
    • Increased the percentage of new citizens registering to vote (it is now about 90-95%).

    The schedule of ceremonies for October 2018 - January 2019 is now available.

    If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Judy Stuthman at jastuthman@aol.com.

    See Ceremony Calendar from LWV Minnesota >

  • 06 Jan 2019 11:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Free panel discussion on our community response to sexual assault

    The League of Women Voters – Saint Paul and League of Women Voters – Dakota County are hosting a free community panel in order to bring attention to the issue of sexual assault and how it is investigated and prosecuted. This “Start by Believing” panel will address the prevalence of sexual assault in our community, the current ways in which sexual assault is investigated, and what we as a community can do to improve the criminal prosecution of sexual assault.

    As outlined in the Star Tribune ”Denied Justice” series, there is a lot of work to be done. In a review of over 1,000 sexual assault cases filed around the state in a recent two-year period, the series found:

    • In almost a quarter of the cases, records show, police never assigned an investigator.
    • In about a third of them, the investigator never interviewed the victim. 
    • In half the cases, police failed to interview potential witnesses.
    • Three-quarters of the cases, including those that addressed rape by strangers, were never forwarded to prosecutors for criminal charges.
    • Overall, fewer than 1 in 10 reported sexual assault cases resulted in a conviction.

    These findings generate questions regarding victim’s rights, community safety and police response and authority that deserve a community discussion. The panel will take place at Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) Studios, 550 Vandalia Street #170 Saint Paul, MN 55114 on January 22, 2019 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. There will be a reception with light refreshments starting at 5:30 p.m.

    The panel discussion will be moderated by Mary Rice, President of LWV Bloomington. The panelists include Jennifer Bjorhus, one of the lead journalists working on the Star Tribune's Denied Justice seriesNicole Matthews, Executive Director of the Minnesota Indian Woman’s Sexual Assault Coalition; John Choi, Ramsey County Attorney; and Paul Schnell, Inver Grove Heights Police Chief and future appointee as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Corrections. Questions for the panelists will be accepted in writing at the event, live on Twitter with #StartByBelievingLWV, or in advance via email to lwvdakotacty@lwvmn.org.

    Registration for the event is free, but required. Register on EventBrite now >

  • 06 Jan 2019 10:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Have you thought about what the Met Council does, and how its governance should be structured and be accountable to the people of the metropolitan region?  LWV has a current position on the Met Council governance that will be reviewed and updated this winter. The Council of Metropolitan Leagues (CMAL) is just finishing up a study on Metropolitan Council governance that will be distributed to all metropolitan League members. 

    LWVSP will be holding a program planning meeting in early February to register consensus on the study. If you haven't participated in a consensus before, this will be a great time to learn about this key role of League.  The outcome of the consensus that comes in from all leagues will re-frame our league position.  Stay posted for emails or check our website for the date of the meeting and related information. 

    Interested in getting more actively involved in metropolitan area-related issues?  Contact our president, Amy Mino, to register your interest in getting involved (amy@minofamily.net).

  • 01 Jan 2019 10:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The latest Voter Newsletter is out. Read the full version online.

  • 26 Sep 2018 6:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The League of Women Voters St. Paul is proud to support Lex-Ham Community Theater's upcoming presentation of "First Lady" – a humorous look at the women who wield the power in Washington, D.C. – by Katharine Dayton and George Kaufman. 

    WHEN |  7:30 p.m., September 28, 29, October 4, 5, 6 and at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, September 30

    WHERE | Wellstone Center Auditorium, 179 Robie Street E, Saint Paul

    It's the 1930s and things are gearing up for the next Presidential election.  Lucy Chase Wayne, the granddaughter of a US President and wife of the Secretary of State, and Irene Hibbard, the wife of a Supreme Court Justice, both have their eyes on the prize.  While powerful special interest groups, the media, and speech-making politicians engage in the rough campaign, romance makes an appearance.

    There will be a post-performance discussion with Minnesota State Auditor Rebecca Otto about the role of women in politics after the Sunday, September 30 matinee performance.

    Mary Cutler directs this production.  Ticket prices are $19 for adults and $15 for students.  The Sunday, September 30 performance will be “pay what you want”. If you are a LWVSP member who goes to the show and tells Lex-Ham Community Theater that you heard about the show through LWVSP, Lex.-Ham will make a donation back to LWVSP.   We will also like have a presence at some of the shows.

    You can reserve tickets and find out more information about the production at http://www.lexhamarts.org/theater/shows/201809.

    The League of Women Voters St. Paul is a nonpartisan citizens organization fighting to improve our government and engage all citizens in decisions that impact their lives—and it’s not only for women! 

  • 22 Sep 2018 7:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Access our nonpartisan voter guide to learn about the candidates you will see on November's election. 

    Access the 2018 LWVSP Voter Guide here >

    En Español >

    The voter guide includes information on candidates running for:

    • Minnesota Legislative District 64A
    • Minnesota Legislative District 64B
    • Minnesota Legislative District 65A
    • Minnesota Legislative District 65B
    • Minnesota Legislative District 66A
    • Minnesota Legislative District 66B
    • Minnesota Legislative District 67A
    • Minnesota Legislative District 67B
    • 2nd Judicial District Judges - Judge 2, Judge 11, Judge 14, Judge 20, Judge 28


  • 10 Sep 2018 4:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The latest Voter Newsletter is out! Read the full version online to find:

    • A letter from our President
    • Save the dates for upcoming events,
    • Information about diversity, equity and inclusion
    • A call for volunteers to help with voter registration efforts this fall
    Read the Voter Newsletter now >
  • 09 Sep 2018 12:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    LWVSP is setting up shop in local libraries during the month of September. We are looking for volunteers to register voters in shifts from 2-4 hours. All materials will be at the library ready to go when you arrive. See each library below for specific information and how to register.

    St. Anthony Park Library

    Available shifts are:  9/11, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.; 9/21, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.; 10/6, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.; 10/6, 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Please contact LWVSP board member Heidi Kloempken to register at heidi.kloempken@gmail.com. 

    Rondo Library

    Available shifts are any 2-4 stretch when the library is open, your choice: M-Th 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Sunday 1:00 p.m. -5:00 p.m. Contact LWVSP board member Heidi Kloempken to register at heidi.kloempken@gmail.com. 

    Arlington Hills Library

    Available shifts are any 2-4 hour stretch when the library is open, your choice: M-Th 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., and Sunday 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Contact LWVSP board member Heidi Kloempken to register at heidi.kloempken@gmail.com. 

    We couldn't do our work without our volunteers. Thank you all for your help!

  • 08 Sep 2018 12:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We have so many opportunities to make a difference in the Saint Paul community this fall. If you are interested in any of the events below, please email the contact listed.

    September 22nd, Register Riders to Vote (multiple bus stops around St. Paul in low turnout areas) Two shifts between the hours of 12:45pm and 4:15pm. This multi-stop and multi-route event taking place in Minneapolis and St. Paul. It is organized by the ACLU People Power Campaign and MN Let People Vote in partnership with the LWVSP and several other organizations. Details are still forthcoming, but if you are interested let Amy Perna, know at pernalwvstp@gmail.com and she will stay in touch with you about how to formally register and other details. 

    September 22nd, Marydale Festival (Marydale Park, corner of Dale and Maryland). Two shifts 12:00-2:30pm and 2:30-5pm. This is a community art festival with music and food trucks organized by the District 6 Planning Council, North End Neighborhood Organization. Contact LWVSP board member Amy Perna at pernalwstp@gmail.com  if you are interested. 

    September 25th, National Voter Registration Day. We are still in the planning process on this but if you are interested in volunteering please let Amy Perna know at pernalwvstp@gmail.com  and she will stay in touch with you about the details. 

    October 3rd, Fare for All Food Distribution at United Church of Christ (1831 Minnehaha Ave. E) from 3:30-6:15 pm. Please contact LWVSP board member Joann Ellis to register at eastsidemom16@hotmail.com

    October 6th, Opening Night of The Great Society at the History Theater. Looking for experienced League members to table before the show, during intermission and post show. Please contact LWVSP board member Amy Perna at pernalwstp@gmail.com if you are interested. 

    October 9th, Kellogg Square Apartments (111 East Kellogg Square) Two shifts 7:00-9:00 am and 4:30-6:30 pm. There are 480 residents in this complex and their building manager approached the LWVSP to table during busy times. Reaching out to renters is sometimes difficult due to access issues, so we are really excited by this opportunity! Please contact LWVSP board member Amy Perna at pernalwstp@gmail.com  if you are interested. 

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