December 15, 2020 News Update
2020 – Quite the Election Year
And the Voter Services Committee Was All In
All four of the 2020 elections in La Crosse County had increased turnouts over previous comparable elections. In the November General Election, the turnout in La Crosse County was an historically high 88.63% of registered voters. The number of registered voters also increased by 6,271 between the February and November elections. How did the Voter Services Committee play a role in these numbers while at the same time figuring out how to realign during a pandemic? There are multiple ways that this happened, but three stand out.
We focused on students. Prior to the closing of high schools in the spring, we had assemblies of seniors at Central, Logan, Holmen and Onalaska High Schools. Once COVID hit, we turned our entire presentation into one that we sent virtually to area principals and social studies teachers. We are very proud of our resulting YouTube “Every Student Vote! Everything You Need to Know.” It can be viewed here.
This work was the result of a partnership with the Driftless Voter Coalition and the Central High School Feminist Club.
We also formed a postsecondary committee of members Anita Evans, Jan Gallagher, Barb Roberts and Paul Schoenfeld who were designated contacts with UWL, Viterbo and WTC. This resulted in our creating flyers specific to each school, holding outdoor registrations and posting Facebook, Instagram and Twitter GOTV messages that we created and shared with them for use on their schools’ media. Take a look at our Instagram site
for a history of our posts. (We’re always looking for new followers.) This work was the result of our on-going partnership with these schools.
In 2020 we also reached out to lower-voting populations. We distributed voting information door-to-door in the wards with historically low voting percentages and higher levels of poverty. On a crisp fall day 30 volunteers hung 3, 800 door hangers, created by us. The remaining 1,200 door hangers were distributed to minority owned businesses, Head Start, and The Hunger Task Force. Our partners in this endeavor were the Driftless Voter Coalition and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
A collaboration with La Crosse County and Driftless Voter Coalition allowed us to reach all of our target populations. Together we contracted with Elevate Media to create animated, still, and voice ads used in social media, radio, television and on billboards. You can view the animations here.
The Voter Services Committee worked tirelessly and joyfully in 2020. We are aware that much of what we accomplished could not happen without our partners and the generous grant funding from the Bob and Jean Marck Family Fund and the La Crosse Community Foundation.
In Memory Of
Patricia Roslansky was poised and stunning, both in appearance and, sometimes, in comments. You knew where you stood with Pat.
She collected old, silver serving utensils and friends, many friends. When someone needed help, she was there. Whether it was driving a friend to and from Madison for weekly cancer treatments or becoming a trained advocate for victims of domestic abuse and accompanying them to court appearances.
Pat joined League at the invitation of her neighbor and League activist, Lois Riley. Ten years later, she served as co-president with Mary Bakalars (1975-1976).
In the latter half of her life, Pat sought ways to overcome a serious hearing impairment in order to stay engaged with the community. She enrolled at UW-L to earn a degree in history and anthropology even though it was extremely difficult to hear her professors. She was a pioneer who asked them to wear a tiny amplifier around their necks so that the receiver she wore would carry their words to her. She also convinced the La Crosse Community Theatre to install an enhanced hearing system for theatre-goers to plug into and enjoy the show. Once she got things going in the right direction locally, she moved on to state and national action to benefit people with impaired hearing.
True to form for her time (1935-2020), Pat joined the League while raising three children, moved up the ranks to serve as president, and went on to accomplish much more.
--based on memories of Rachel Gundersen, Sheila Garrity and Margaret Larson
Upcoming League Events...
the who, what, where, when, and how to attend LWVLA events
January Lunch & Learn
Tuesday, January 12
11:30 AM - 1 PM
Democracy Found: Nonpartisan Political Innovation in Wisconsin
Sara Eskrich, Executive Director of Democracy Found
Washington is broken. Nothing ever gets done. So, how can we fix our politics?
Many Americans are horrified about the dysfunction and abysmal results from Washington, D.C., but feel hopeless and disengaged. Democracy Found takes a unique approach—using the Gehl Porter Politics Industry Theory, which applies traditional tools of business analysis to politics and highlights the unhealthy system of political competition—to create a diverse, nonpartisan coalition of leaders committed to reinvigorating our democracy through open, top-five primaries and ranked choice voting in the general election (Final-Five Voting).
This presentation raises awareness of the underlying analysis and provides a nonpartisan call to action in Wisconsin, for the sake of our democracy. The talk is about politics, but it is not political.
Democracy Found is a Wisconsin-based initiative committed to revitalizing democracy. The organization is nonpartisan, with cross-partisan supporters.
By implementing a system wherein the top five candidates are selected from the primary ballot and ranked choice voting is used in the general election, we will ensure politicians are held accountable for delivering results. This, in turn, will renew each other’s belief that every vote counts and every voice is heard.
Register for our virtual Lunch & Learn through our new calendar system by clicking on the button. You will receive an email confirmation that includes the Zoom link for our meeting.
Speaking of Democracy
Join the Conversation
LWVLA Book Club
Monday, December 21
6:30 - 8:00 pm
ALL ARE WELCOME!
Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World
by Fareed Zakaria
"In the form of ten straightforward “lessons,” covering topics from globalization and threat-preparedness to inequality and technological advancement, Zakaria creates a structure for readers to begin thinking beyond the immediate impacts of COVID-19. Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World speaks to past, present, and future, and, while urgent and timely, is sure to become an enduring staple."
Book Club is meeting virtually. The link below will take you to our Events calendar. Click on the Book Club entry for registration on the Event page. A Zoom link will be sent to you in your confirmation email.
The next book will be "Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps that Explain Everything About the World" by Tim Marshall. The Book Club will meet on Monday, January 25.
Check Us Out...
in each of the next few Updates, we'll focus on explaining or demonstrating some of the features of our new website and the Club Express system.
This week we'd like to draw your attention to the features in the second row of our homepage. On the left of this row is our calendar of upcoming events. When you click on each event, you will be taken to a page with more details and a link for event registration if one is needed. If you click on the Calendar tab in the menu at the top of the page, you will see a month-view calendar. Clicking on events in that view will also take you to the same event detail page.
On the right is a "widget" that displays our League's Facebook page. The most current posts are displayed, and you can scroll down to view earlier posts. If you click on the title of our page at the top of the widget, another window will open for the entire Facebook page. We'd really appreciate your "Liking" our Facebook page and sharing posts that will interest your FB friends.
For Your Consideration...
local events, virtual events, viewing and reading suggestions that reflect the League's mission and priorities. Please send us your recommendations.
The La Crosse School Board will meet to make an informed decision about whether to continue, modify, or terminate the SRO program when the current Memorandum of Agreement ends in June 2021. The Superintendent's SRO Program Evaluation Report, recordings of the Community Forum, copies of community comments and other materials are available here
Help us defend democracy and empower voters.
PO Box 363
La Crosse, WI 54602