Making Democracy Work

Community Events

Women's Equality Day 2021

The evening featured table talks, open discussions of many important topics among them women's representation in government led by Leena and Ann Fabiszak Payne from our own League along with Matriots' CEO Emily Shriver. The League had a voter and info table at the event as well.

Jane Seely, Roberta Killam, Leena Jhunjhunwala and Ann Fabiszak Payne all attended from our League. Also included in the pictures are Nina Corder, CEO of Women of Toledo, State Sen. Theresa Fedor, keynote speaker, and Diana R. Patton, Master of Ceremonies for the event.

LWV-TLC Garage Sale Fundraiser

The number everyone was waiting to hear. How much did we make on the May 22 Garage Sale?

$1,850 and counting! With additional proceeds from items League members are selling on eBay and other garage sales, the final total will exceed $2,000, making this year's garage sale's earning the highest ever!

Thanks to the 20+ LWV-TLC members who worked hard to make this year's garage sale a huge success!

Thanks to everyone (including family and friends) who donated items. Special Thanks to Ann Fabiszak Payne for dedicating her garage to this annual fundraising event.

League Helped the Census

Thursday, August 20 many League members helped stuff 250+ swag bags for the Complete Count Committee (Lucas County's Census group). Members who helped were Peggy Clancy (CCC member), Lynne Marshall, Judy Hoelzle, Ann Fabiszak Payne, Leena Jhunjhunwala & Barb Colvin.

On Monday, the Toledo caravan drove between 4 different libraries here in Toledo and gave out the bags to people they met on the street.

Girl Power

GIRL POWER was held at the Imagination Station on Saturday, February 8th. Members of the League of Women Voters of Toledo-Lucas County participated at the event by helping girls make "Votes For Women" sashes, participate in sample voting, sign a sample petition, and vote in a sample poll. We also registered voters who were old enough to vote. Members who helped with the table and the activities were: Diane Friedman, Connie Schall, Marja Lasek-Martin, Jake Zajkowski, Mary Lindquist, Audrey Berning-Matell and Judy Kerhle.

Bowling Green Parade

We marched! We were visible and we made people aware of the 100th anniversaries! Thanks to all 21 of us who marched, including Baby Elliott who slept through the whole adventure. We were cheered! We didn't let the cold stop us. Members from Toledo-Lucas County were Judy Kehrle, Ann Fabiszak Payne & Peggy Clancy. It was wonderful!

Lee McLaird - LWV Bowling Green

New Member Orientation

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.

Toledo Public Schools Report Card

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.

The Land Bank

Our October General Meeting had an informative program on the local Land Bank program. Stephanie Beebe is a Projects Manager for the Lucas County Land Bank. She shared how this program provides a variety of services to the citizens of Lucas County. It helps neighborhoods keep their properties presentable by dealing with vacant or rundown lots and provides technical services to homeowners as they upgrade their homes. A native of Fremont and a graduate of The University of Toledo, Stephanie and her family reside in the Ottawa Park neighborhood. She has been with the Land Bank since 2014 and she manages the Land Bank's demolition efforts and vacant land sales along with her colleagues. She also helps the Land Bank partner with police, fire and safety forces on property matters.

National Voter Registration Day 2019

NVRD (National Voter Registration Day) was Tuesday, September 24th. Annually our local league does Voter Registration starting on NVRD and concluding on Monday, October 7 (deadline for voter registration for the November 5th election). This year the following locations had a variety of people helping with Voter Registration:

  • SANGER LIBRARY:Roberta Killam, Nancy Gurney, Margaret Bretzloff, Kathy Savord, Patt Church, Mary Ann Player, Judy Hoelzle
  • STAUTZENBERGER COLLEGE: Nancy Larson & Paula Gillespie
  • SYLVANIA LIBRARY: Lynne Marshall & John Hofbauer
  • UNIVERSITY OF TOLEDO CAMPUS: Nancy Larson & Sue Lonsway
  • HEATHERDOWNS LIBRARY: Ann Fabiszak Payne, Cathy Carroll, Phyllis Berman, Cynthia Fisher, Paul Lehmann
  • MAIN LIBRARY (downtown): Barb Colvin, Nancy Gurney, Lynne Marshall, Ann Fabiszak Payne, Jarvis Gamble, Bev St Clair, Sharon Michalek

  • Girl Scouts of Western Ohio B.I.G. (Believe in Girls)

    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.

    Maumee Candidate Forum

    Thursday evening, August 29th, the Maumee Chamber of Commerce, the Maumee Uptown Business Association, the Maumee Mirror Newspapers, and the League of Women Voters of Toledo-Lucas County sponsored a candidate forum for the candidates running for City Council and for the Mayor's office.

    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".

    4th of July Naturalization Ceremony

    Every month members of our League go to each Naturalization Ceremony to both welcome new citizens and to register new voters. Every July 4th there is traditionally a Naturalization Ceremony at Sauder's Village in Archbold, OH.

    Thanks to all who attend this monthly event so we can offer a registration opportunity to every new citizen.

    Annual Garage Sale 2019

    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.

    Toledo Correctional Institute 2019 Reentry Fair

    On May 14, Nancy Elzinga, a friend of the League, went to the Toledo Correctional (ToCL) Institution 2019 Reentry Fair. We were asked by Teri Tomesek, one of the counselors there, to participate with some 15 other providers. Most of the other agencies are also involved in the 1st Wednesday program in Toledo.

    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.

    LWVO State Convention, May 11 & 12, 2019

    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.

    Voter Services- Anthony Wayne High School Jobs Expo

    On Thursday, May 9, 2019 League members attended the Anthony Wayne High School (AWHS) Jobs expo from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Groups of AW students circulated through the venue and interacted with businesses about future employment options and we were very pleased that 50 of the students stopped at the League table and registered to vote! Let's hear it for the Youth!

    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!

    Fair Districts = Fair Elections

    Thanks to the hard work of redistricting reformers all over the state, voters approved a historic state constitutional amendment that will institute strong protections against the congressional partisan gerrymandering. Voters were clear that we all deserve fair districts and fair elections. Issue 1 won by 74.85%! Congressional redistricting with the new rules will take place in 2021. Issue 1 includes bipartisan mapmaking, greater transparency and public participation. It curbs gerrymandering or the manipulation of district lines by keeping communities together. ​For more information visit the Fair Districts=Fair Elections Coalition

    October 2018 Topical Thursday Event

    The Toledo-Lucas County Chapter of the League of Women Voters held it's second event on Oct 11. The guest speaker was Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz. Our topic was Issue 15. He explained the reasons it was necessary, and that *issue 15 is not a tax, it's a charter amendment that will allow Toledo and its suburbs to work together. . .without Issue 15, water rates for Toledoans could triple.* The next Topical Thursday will be Nov 8, 7 PM to 8 PM, at West Park Place Senior Living 3501 Executive Parkway, Toledo, OH. The meeting room is accessed through the North Entrance in the rear of the building. The guest speaker will be Attorney Joyce A. Plummer, Esq., who is a family law/ domestic relations attorney in the Lakeside/Marblehead Ohio area. The topic will be "Juvenile Justice - The Rights of Children". Topical Thursdays are informal but informative events designed to educate the community on various subjects. For a complete list of Topical Thursdays, visit The League of Women Voters is a political nonpartisan organization. The League of Women Voters does not support or oppose any political candidate or party. It does take stands on select issues through study. The League of Women Voters of Toledo-Lucas County has be in existence for over 90 years. Please consider joining us.

    National Voter's Registration Day Events 2018

    Women's Equality Day 2018

    As we celebrate today as Women's Equality Day, August 26, 2018, let us remind ourselves of the tremendous work that has been accomplished and that which we still need to carry out to achieve equality. Leagues all over the USA have been a part of celebrations for the past few days. Those of us in LWV-TLC had that opportunity yesterday as part of the Equality Day Celebration held at the UAW Local 12 hosted by several organizations.

    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.