Lee McLaird - LWV Bowling Green
Our recent Orientation was arranged by the membership committee on Saturday, November 2, 2019 at Washington Library from 2 - 4 pm. 6 new members were able to attend.
Also present were current League members / Leaders: Leena Jhunjhunwala, Jane Seely, Jeanny Amidon, Barb Colvin from Membership committee; Michelle MacFarlane, Treasurer. Judy Kehrle, League Member and Leader for 2020, the 100th Anniversary event. Judy was our hostess and arranged a fabulous affair with a variety of tasty treats to enjoy.
Everyone introduced themselves and shared how they came to join the League. Current members gave brief but detailed information about the various League activities - what we do and how it is functioning. New members were asked to fill out an Interest form if they heard something they would like to become involved with. After a few questions and answers were exchanged, the function ended at 4pm. It was a good start to get new members involved.
At the November 4th Membership meeting, our speakers were Dr. Romules Durant, Superintendent of the Toledo Public School System (TPS) and James Gault, the Executive Transformational Leader of Curriculum, who offered a tag-team presentation on "The Toledo Public Schools Report Card". Along with a highly-informative power point presentation, audience members provided a constant stream of questions in an attempt to understand the very complex and controversial grading system established and required by the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio State Legislature to order to assess the Public School Systems in Ohio.
While, we, the public, see the report as a "Letter Grade" as A thru F, the means by which the State arrives at the grades is often not understand. The speakers' presentation walked the audience through the levels of the grading system which included the State standards, and compared TPS with statewide public schools. It was such a welcome and enlightening evening that cleared up many misconceptions about the TPS Report Card Grade.
One example is the grading scale. While many of us assume that an "A" is equal to 90 + 100% and "B" is 80% - 90%, etc., the new scale has an "A" equal to 93% - 100%, a "B" at 87% - 93%, a "C" (average) at 81% - 87%, a "D" at 75% - 81%. Those below fail. In the past, the percent graduating was determined on the entering senior year and the number graduating. Now, that percent is determined by the number entering 9th grade and those graduating in 4 years. If, for example, a school has a significant population of children with special needs or are homeless or even moving around the foster system, the school is penalized if that particular student does not graduate within that school system in a four-year time period. Other factors that come into play are transfer students, a school's ability to access the new student's credits at a prior school, and students who move out of state.
There is a long list of other categories and requirements used to measure the total when arriving at the Report Card Grade. Each has their own specific requirements, which make the entire process complicated and often inaccurate due to various "unknown" data. For example: students moving out of TPS (to another district, city, country) without notifying TPS, thus still being counted in the data with no "proof" of having left. Are you confused how this happens? Yes, most certainly, and you are not the only one.
If you have the opportunity to hear Dr. Durant speak about TPS, it is well worth your effort to go. Follow him on Facebook and Social Media for his timely reports to the public in his effort to keep everyone informed.
On Saturday, September 14, members from the three northwest Ohio LWV participated in the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio B.I.G. (Believe in Girls) event at Seagate Center. The members were Debra Gorman, Ann Fabiszak-Payne, Lee Hakel, Nancy Gurney, Phyllis Berman, Jeanny Amidon, Jane Seely, Judy Kehrle, and three youth members/volunteer (Olivia, Eric, Ashlyn).
This is an annual event at which organizations must offer at least one activity that engages the scouts. It was fun! It was busy! Attendance has been as high as 1,200 scouts, leaders and parents in some years.
In addition to a voter registration/information/membership table, LWV offered three "civic" participation activities: a ballot to cast, an opinion poll to monitor, and a petition/pledge on clean water to sign.
The girls also made white, "Votes for Women" sashes. It was quite impressive to see nearly 350 sashes being worn during the afternoon.
Thank you's go to: Mary Karazim for moderating; Roberta Killam & Janet Lyon for being timers; Janet's husband Jim & Nancy Larson & Eleanor Kostecki for collecting questions; Eleanor for sorting questions and making sense of them; Leena Jhunjhunwala & Jane Seely for managing the League table and keeping an eye on the crowd; Jake Zajkowski for doing our live Facebook streaming which made the program available to more people and Ann Fabiszak Payne for being the League's Forum Leader.
Ann said "It went off without a hitch (that I could see). And we'll be ready to do it again for the General Election with fewer candidates".
Thanks to all who attend this monthly event so we can offer a registration opportunity to every new citizen.
The 5th Annual Garage Sale happened on Saturday, May 18th. We had a table for Membership and for voluntary contributions. On that day there were 3 people who registered to vote. We received some donations but it was suggested next year to put the donation bin on the "cash out" table and encourage people to give their change.
We surpassed our goal of $1,250. Nice work! Thanks to all who donated; to all who helped setup; to all who worked the day; and to those who are helping to remove the items so Ann can have her garage back. IT WAS TRULY A SUCCESSFUL SALE!!!
Here are 6 members who helped clean up at the end of the day: Jennifer Nagel, Leena Jhunjhunwala, Eleanor Kostecki, Ann Fabiszak Payne, Roberta Killam, Kathy Chamberlain. They look pleased with how the day went.
ToCL is a level 3 security prison on 40+ acres in Lucas County at the end of Central Ave. It was my first visit to the prison and I found it to be a very emotional experience. There are over 700 inmates and 400 staff. We filled out security forms ahead of time and were told what we could and could not bring in -- including no cell phones or electronics. Everything we brought in was subject to search but they did not search us physically. You do go through a metal detector. We arrived before 8:30 a.m. for the event to start at 9 a.m. We finished just before 2 p.m. We were provided a nice lunch during the break at 11 a.m.
I set up the League table in the gym with the other representatives. They brought the inmates in in groups of 25-30 for 20-30 minutes-- a total of 8 groups. Most of the participants were due to be released in a few days to a year. We had some who still had a little longer to serve. Since we could not register the inmates, I talked with them about registering as soon as they were released and told them where they could register.
They were eager for information to read. I gave out the Secretary of State's "Guide to Voting in Ohio", the "Reclaim Your Right To Vote" handout and the ACLU card on voting rights after a criminal conviction. Inmates were courteous and friendly. Many of them said "I'm a felon-- I can't vote." And then were surprised when informed otherwise. They asked good questions, many watch and read the news and were well informed.
I felt very good about the event. They are literally a "captive audience" but they seemed genuinely receptive and eager. Reported by Nancy Elzinga.
6 of our local members traveled to Columbus, OH for the State Convention. Audrey Berning-Matell, Nancy Gurney, Barb Colvin, Ann Fabiszak Payne, Leena Jhunjhunwala and Nancy Larson (not pictured) attended many of the timely workshops held over a 2-day period. Over the next several weeks you will see reports they will share (from the workshops they attended). It was an exciting weekend.
LWV-TLC was contacted by Kevin Herman, Assistant Superintendent of AWHS, requesting that the League participate in the expo to give eligible students an opportunity to register to vote. Mr. Herman welcomed us and provided a space with a table and chairs to set up.
Members present were Theresa Mills Lynne Marshall & Ann Fabiszak Payne. Thanks ladies. Good work!
Many women spoke including our President, Audrey Berning-Matell. Covering such topics as Women in Business, Anti-Human Trafficking, Women in the Military, Women in Unions, Women in Politics, Women and Diversity, to name a few. Those speakers included: Nicole Duhart, Margie Chambers, Glenita Kinney, Marcia Young, Laticia Holmes, Theresa Fedor, Lisa Sobecki, Sandy Spang, Audrey Johnson, and many others. Local artists, authors and other female entrepreneurs had tables highlighting their businesses. Several members of LWV-TLC were present sharing information about the League ready to answer questions and register voters. Every attendee received a copy of our LWV-TLC publication "They Represent You" (TRY), which lists the local, state and federal government officials including their contact information.
We look forward to the 100th Anniversary in 2020 and hope that each of you will join us in our celebration.