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Loud & Clear
June 2022
Women’s Voices Members Elect 2022-2023 Board of Directors
Women’s Voices held a virtual vote of members to elect the 2022-2023 Women’s Voices Board of Directors. In addition to the elected members, the board appointed members to fill unelected seats on the board. Thank you to those willing to serve on this year’s board!
 
Liz Sondhaus, President
Anne Litwin, Secretary
Ruth Ehresman, Treasurer
Andrea Bauman, Appointed Member
Karen Cloyd, Campaign for Common Sense Gun Solutions Director
Karen Francis, Advocacy Director
Barbara Harris, Racial Justice Director
Michele Steinberg, Membership Director
Ellen Wentz, Program Director
Susan Glassman, Past President
 
We are grateful to these outgoing board members: Lise Bernstein, Jenny Birgé, Susan (Tonie) FitzGibbon, Laura Newman, Linda Zazove!
Rock the Vote: Voter Registration, Election Info, & More!
NEW DATE & TIME!
Weds., June 8, 10-11 a.m.
Virtual Event
To register, please call 314-733-9813, email skemppainen@mirowitzcenter.org, or visit http://bit.ly/Register_MirowitzCenter.
Speaker: Denise Lieberman, director and general counsel for Missouri Voter Protection Coalition (MOVPC), Washington University faculty director of the Voter Access and Engagement Initiative, and adjunct professor of law and political science.

Make a difference in your community by voting! Your vote impacts issues directly affecting your well-being, like housing and healthcare. Now is the time to get prepared to vote in the August 2 primary elections, which will determine the candidates appearing in the November general elections for seats in the U.S. House and Senate and the state legislation! Changes will be coming, so join this discussion about the election process – voter registration, critical deadlines, ID requirements, accommodations for disabilities, in-person voting, and absentee voting.

This program is co-sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis (JCRC), the National Council of Jewish Women St. Louis (NCJWSTL), Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice and Mirowitz Center.
Tell Gov. Parson: Veto HB 1878 to Protect Missouri Elections
On the last day of the session, the Missouri Senate passed HB 1878, and it currently awaits Gov. Parson’s signature. What began as a 7-page photo ID bill has become a more than 80-page model voter sabotage bill, incorporating some of the most restrictive provisions seen in states around the country that disparately impact voters of color.

Unencumbered access to the ballot box is critical to our democracy. HB 1878 is an unconstitutional bill that creates unnecessary barriers to Missourians’ right to vote. The photo ID provision will burden more than 200,000 voters, disproportionately affecting voters of color, seniors, voters with disabilities, young voters, and low-wage workers. But, in addition, HB 1878 makes it more difficult for people with disabilities to vote independently, prevents local election authorities from receiving grant funds to improve their outreach to the citizenry, allows the secretary of state to order voters removed from the rolls, and hinders voter registration drives.

Many provisions of HB 1878 are rooted in disinformation surrounding the integrity of elections and use that same disinformation as a pretext for passing this unconstitutional and burdensome bill.

A functioning democracy depends on every citizen having equal access to the right to vote. Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice will continue to counter disinformation about the election process and ensure that every Missourian will have their voice heard at the ballot box.

What can you do? Contact Gov. Parson to urge him to VETO HB 1878 and protect elections in Missouri:

Help Create a Cuture of Voting
Help create a culture of voting by addressing and mailing voter registration packets. It only takes 20 stamps and your time! We supply everything else. Packets available by porch pick up in Webster Groves. Address provided at sign up. Please pick up packets by June 5 and mail packets by June 12. Request packets here. Contact Michele Steinberg with questions at voting@womensvoicesraised.org.
Fund Our Voter Engagement Activities
Community Watch Event: January 6 Select Committee
Thurs., June 9, 6:30-8 p.m.
First Congregational Church
10 W. Lockwood
Webster Groves, MO 63119
Ample parking is available on the east and west sides of the church. Enter from either Elm, Lockwood, or Gore.
Churches Together for Justice, the Alliance for Interracial Dignity, the St. Louis Area Voter Protection Coalition and Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice invite you to a nonpartisan community Watch Party for the first of eight public hearings of the January 6 Select Committee.
Jennifer Slavik Lohman, co-founder of the St. Louis Area Voter Protection Coalition, In Every Generation Inc., and Indivisible St. Louis will speak about “Disinformation, January 6, and Our Democracy”

This even will bring together people in our community who are committed to protecting our democracy and to raise public awareness around the hearings to prevent another January 6th attack from ever happening again.

Masking is highly recommended. Hand sanitizers available and social distancing will be in place.

For more information, contact Julie Burchett at Burchett.juliekay@gmail.com.
No Summer Vacation for Advocacy
Throughout the summer the Advocacy Committee will continue to update you on many national and state issues, especially the SCOTUS decision on Roe v. Wade and what YOU can do to protect voting rights as we head into the fall elections. Make sure you're registered to vote by July 6 to vote in the August primaries.

Here's a brief Missouri legislative update:

  • GOOD legislation that passed: Missouri's Medicaid program was fully funded, as was funding to encourage districts to pay teachers at least $38,000.
  • BAD bills that did not pass: HJR 79--voter initiative and referendum changes to make it harder, if not impossible, to amend the constitution using the initiative petition process. HB 1858--censored history by prohibiting public schools from teaching curricula that highlight traditionally overlooked aspects of American history, including the impact of slavery and racism. HJR 110—sought to put a proposed constitutional amendment on the November 8 ballot to create a “parents bill of rights” restricting how race and racism were taught in public schools.
  • BAD bills that did pass: HB 1878--requires voters to possess an unexpired government-issued photo identification to cast a ballot. Missouri already has an ID requirement, but this bill places significant barriers between voters and the ballot box. We urge you to call Gov. Parson at 573-751-3222 and urge him to VETO HB 1878 and PROTECT ELECTIONS IN MISSOURI!

The issues we follow don't take a summer vacation and neither does this committee. If you enjoy being informed about issues and want to work with a dynamic committee, consider this a personal “ask” to join us! Contact Karen Francis, advocacy chair, to learn more!
Wear Orange: We Can Prevent Gun Violence
June 3 is National Gun Violence Awareness Day and the beginning of Wear Orange Weekend. Events across the country will remember lives lost to gun violence and raise awareness of this public health crisis. An easy way to participate is through social media. Post a picture of yourself wearing something orange and tag it with something like “I wear orange to honor St. Louis children lost to gun violence.”

The Lock It for Love program will be promoting gun violence awareness and the importance of safely storing firearms on June 3 at Urban Sprouts Gun Safety Day and throughout the summer. We have already been invited to participate in eight other community events and know that more requests are on the way. We continue to provide locks to our community partners, including the city and county libraries and organizations such as The Urban League, Better Family Life, and Fathers and Families Support Center. We welcome donations to help fund the locks than can help keep our community safe. You can donate here.
Showing Up
Members and friends of the Racial Justice Committee of Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice joined in solidarity with the New Northside Missionary Baptist Church for their morning services on Sunday, May 29. 

We look forward to transforming this symbolic act of solidarity into real solidarity to undermine racism. Many thanks to the congregation and Pastor Roderick Burton for hosting us.
Reckoning with Enslavement's Legacy: Moral Responses
At the May Women's Voices program, we heard from Rev. Jeffrey Harrison, SJ, project coordinator for the Slavery, History, Memory and Reconciliation Project of St. Louis University and the Jesuit Central and Southern Province. Fr. Harrison described the work of this group to uncover the stories of the people enslaved by the Jesuits and to honor their memory. Using sacramental and census records and other sources, the researchers have identified about 70 people the Jesuits enslaved in the St. Louis region between 1823 and 1865. The project works to locate descendants to provide them with the discovered information, learn from their family stories, and chart a course moving forward. Read the summary and link to the recorded program here.
Women's Voices Members Respond to Injustice!
Don Crozier, in his letter to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, writes that banning books is never a good choice. 

Pamella Gronemeyer, in her letter to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, praises the St. Louis Board of Aldermen for approving a resolution supporting Medicare for all.

Laura Rose, in her letter to the Webster Kirkwood Times, urges the Webster School District to keep natural grass for district athletic fields due to the environmental and health risks from synthetic turf.

Mary Schuman, in her letter to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, writes that the formerly incarcerated should be given the opportunity to find housing and employment.

Nancy Siteman, in her letter to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, warns that the Supreme Court draft ruling inserts government into the private decisions of women of child-bearing age.

Susan Witte, in her letter to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, writes that Missouri legislators need to prioritize children's lives over their own interests.
Have something to submit for Loud & Clear?

Loud & Clear is the official monthly e-newsletter of Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice and is usually distributed on the first Monday or Tuesday of the month. The general deadline for article submission is the Wednesday prior to publication. Click here to contact editor Laura Rose.
Membership Info
Even if you can’t come to meetings or become personally involved, your membership is important…and greatly appreciated.

Benefits of Membership
When you join Women’s Voices you:
  • Make our voice stronger when we advocate with elected officials.
  • Provide support to the organization by adding your name to our advocacy efforts.
  • Provide ideas and suggestions to help determine how to define our positions and choose our causes.
  • Participate in advocacy activities in any way that you want or is possible for you.
  • Take pride in your affiliation with a strong, progressive group of women working for social justice.
  • Help cover our administrative and outreach costs through your dues.
Annual Dues:

$60 (Regular Membership)
$100 (Silver Level)
$150 (Gold Level)
$20 (Student Membership)
Send a check (payable to Women's Voices) to: 

Women's Voices
7401 Delmar Blvd. 
University City, MO 63130