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MAY 2010

LWVMI Prison/Jail Restudy Consensus

By Paula Manley

 

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Our local League has spent the past seven months studying the LWVMI Prison/ Jail Restudy material through articles in the Bulletin. The purpose of the study was to look at how and why persons are sent to prison or jail; how individuals are treated while incarcerated; and how, when and why individuals are released to the community. Each League throughout the state has been meeting to answer seven consensus questions.

Eight LWVKA members met on April 14 at Ken and Paula Manley’s home to discuss the consensus questions published in the March Bulletin. Four members mailed in their answers and their information was included. Kay Perry led an informative and thought-provoking discussion of the issues. We will send the results to the LWVMI Board by May 1. After reviewing all the local Leagues’ answers to the consensus questions, the LWVMI Board will use that information to update the present position statement.

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Celebrating Our Past - From the Kalamazoo Gazette, July 20, 1920

 

 

Women Voters’ League Will Meet Wednesday

The Women Voters’ League will hold an important business meeting Wednesday afternoon at 2 o’clock, at the YWCA club rooms, on South Rose Street.

All women of Kalamazoo county who are interested in the exercise of the franchise are invited to attend this meeting. There are many problems now facing women voters, that will be discussed at the League’s meeting and it is urged that a large representation be present. Not only are the women voters of Kalamazoo concerned with national politics, but there are also many local issues, such as the proposed street care agreement, that should deeply interest the voters.

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Follow-up on March 4 Forum

League members can support increased funding for housing vouchers.

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As a follow-up to the March 4 forum on Housing First and Rapid Rehousing, League members have another opportunity to help solve the problem of homelessness in our community and nation. Ellen Kisinger-Rothi, Executive Director of Housing Resources Inc. (HRI) had indicated during the forum that one of the largest problems for those working to end homelessness is the lack of sufficient federal funding for housing vouchers. Leaguers members can assist by lobbying the White House and members of Congress for increase funding for housing vouchers. A simple request would be sufficient but if you wish to say more, the following general statements may help:

• The number of families threatened with or experiencing homelessness has increased greatly since the beginning of the recession due to job losses and home foreclosures.
• Providing housing vouchers is a flexible and cost-effective way to stabilize low-income families keeping them from joining the ranks of the homeless. Adequate funding for housing vouchers is absolutely vital to the process of ending homelessness.
• Housing individuals and families is much less expensive than sheltering them.
• Housing vouchers can be used to rent properties in the private sector which adds to the local economy.
• Homelessness negatively impacts student’s success in school, so keeping families with children from becoming homeless or at least shortening the period of homelessness is very important. Housing vouchers play a big part in protecting children.

More detailed (and statistical) information can be found at http://www.endhomelessness.org/section/policy/legislature.

Key contact information:

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500
Phone: 202-456-1111
Fax: 202-456-2461
Email form at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

Senator Debbie Stabenow
133 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-4822
Fax: 202-228-0325
Email: senator@stabenow.senate.gov

Senator Carl Levin
269 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-6221
Fax: 202-224-1388
Email form at: http://levin.senate.gov/contact/index.cfm

Representative Fred Upton
2183 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-3761
Fax: 202-225-4986
Email: tellupton@mail.house.gov

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League Honored by YWCA of Kalamazoo

By Terry Hluchyj

Join us for the celebration!

From the early days when LWV members met in the club rooms of the YWCA on South Rose Street, our groups have had a close relationship. At the annual YWCA Women of Achievement Award Celebration, we will be given a wonderful honor by our sister organization – the Y’s 2010 Women’s Group Achievement Award.

Join us for the celebration:

• When: May 13 at 5:15 pm for the reception; dinner at 6:00 pm
• Where: Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites, 100 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo
Make your reservation by May 6.

If you would like to be seated with other League members, indicate that preference when you make your reservation and best efforts will be made to accommodate your request.
See the announcement of our and other awards at www.ywcakalamazoo.org

Contact: (269) 345-5595; ask for Kellie Swikoski.

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Census 2010 Outreach Phase Ending

By Michele McGowen

League action boosts Census response.

By the time you read this article, Census staff – called enumerators – will be preparing to knock on the door of every household that did not return a Census form by mail. If you or someone you know never received a Census form in the mail, please call 1-866-872-6868. For a variety of reasons, there are some households who received no mailings and were not in the Census address database.

The LWVKA was very active in the 2010 Census outreach activities. Early last year, Kay Perry and Connie Ferguson partnered with the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission and the Kalamazoo branch of the NAACP and received a grant to purchase large zippered tote bags, posters, and door hangers promoting the Census. You may have seen these posters around the community in a local library, laundry facility, or social service agency. Michele McGowen represented us on the Steering Committee for the Kalamazoo County Complete Count Committee. LWVKA members Diane Worden, Connie Wood, and Michele McGowen teamed up with volunteers from Michigan Citizen Action to walk Census tracts that had low mail participation rates in the 2000 Census. As of the April 16th deadline for this article, we have surpassed the response rate in at least five low-participation rate tracts in the City of Kalamazoo. One targeted Census tract that had a 46% mail participation rate in 2000 has already reached a 60% participation rate in 2010! The LWVKA was a partner in making that happen.

Thank you to everyone who talked to friends, family and neighbors to promote the 2010 Census! Continue to visit www.census2010.gov for updates on Census issues.

Note: In the last edition of the LWVKA Bulletin we reported that League members walked Voting Precinct 23 as part of the Census door-hanging activities. We did not. The author apologizes for that error.