2019 Benefit Luncheon

The Education Fund Benefit Luncheon, held at the Indian Summers Country Club on October 26, 2019, was a great success.  

This is our annual fundraising event, as well as an opportunity to hear inspiring words from a government or community leader, present awards to individuals or organizations who make a difference in our community, and generally celebrate our work.

League members and friends attending the Luncheon were able to mingle and visit during check-in and lunch,, as well as while checking out Silent Auction items. While a portion of the registration for lunch, and donations that were so kindly provided, are for the benefit of the Education Fund, the bargain filled Silent Auction was held again this year to raise funds for our League’s operating account.   

We took a new approach to awarding our Citizenship Awards this year.  Rather than giving this award to an individual, two separate organizations were recognized for their contributions to our community.  They are:  CIELO, an Immigrant Support Organization, and Cascadia Research Collective, founded by John Calambokidis, a Marine Mammal Biology and Marine Ecology research group.  Click Here, or click on the ABOUT/Awards & Honors page to learn more about the award recipients.

We were honored to have Michelle Gonzalez serve as our keynote speaker.  Michelle is the inaugural director of the Washington State Women’s Commission, which was established slightly over a year ago. She spoke about the purpose of the Commission, which is to improve the well-being of women, by enabling them to participate fully in all fields of endeavor, assisting them in obtaining governmental services, and promoting equal compensation and fairness in employment for women.  It is also the purpose of the Women’s Commission to address issues relevant to the problems and needs of women, such as domestic violence, childcare, child support, sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, equal compensation and job pathways opportunities in employment, and the specific needs of women of color.  

Given the limited resources of the Commission, Michelle has called on her extensive experience in both public and private settings to work with the 13 Commissioners to make sure they focus their efforts on a limited number of priorities.  She told us this is being done through a committee structure related to Economic Opportunity, Economic Security, and Safety.  These are the areas where they were active in advocacy during the last legislative session.  In addition to looking for opportunities to influence policy related to their priorities,  Joint Taskforce for a Centennial Celebration will also be busy in the coming year. 

MC Kelsey May Crane presents Keynote Speaker Michelle Gonzalez a copy of the League of Women Voters' textbook, The State We're In: Washington.


A big thank-you for their GOOD WORK goes to the Luncheon Planning Committee, who once again did a fantastic job.  Special thanks also go to our Ambassador for the Education Fund, Jill Severn, and the Master of Ceremonies, Kelsey Mae Crane.



Port of Olympia Candidate Forum

On Monday, September 30, 2019, the Thurston County League of Women Voters hosted a public forum for the candidates for Port of Olympia Commissioner.  Although we were not able to video tape this event, we are providing links to the websites of the two candidates who will be on the November 5, 2019 General Election ballot.

Joe Downing -- click here

Helen Wheatley -- click here

Suffragists of Color

"Women Vote NOW: Suffragists of Color Who Made a Difference" 

One August 26, LWVTC co-sponsored this program with the Olympia chapters of NOW and Zonta. Click here to see the TCM videotape.  

2019 Summer Picnic

It was a grand day for LWVTC to have a picnic in the Percival Park Rose Garden.  Not only were we able to acknowledge and thank several of our long-time members, we enjoyed good company and fine food.

And, thank you Rita for these fun pictures.




In-Person Candidate Forum -- Olympia Mayor

On July 12, 2019, an in-person forum for the office of Mayor of Olympia was co-hosted by the Thurston County League of Women Voters and The Olympian.  The four candidates were asked a series of questions predetermined by the LWVTC, as well as questions from the audience.  

A video-tape recording of the forum can be viewed if you check here. 


The candidates are, from left to right in this picture: Cheryl L. Shelby, Brenden Clerget, David Ross, Nathaniel Jones.



Streams, Salmon, and Orcas


Where’s the Water: Streams, Salmon & Orcas 

The final community meeting to explore this topic and collect information for the update of the LWVTC Water Study was held on May 7, 2019.   Click here to see a Video of this meeting.

Paula Holroyde, Water Study Committee Chair, welcome folks to the Olympia Center and thanks all who have made the Water Study Public Meetings such a success. 




ANN MARIE PEARCE, Education Outreach Specialist, Thurston County Planning Water Division: “HOW CLEAN IS YOUR STREAM?

GABE MADEL, Fish Biologist, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife: “WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH SALMON IN THURSTON COUNTY?”


 KIRSTEN HARMA, Lead Entity Coordinator, Chehalis Basin Partnership, Department of Natural Resources, Chehalis Tribe:  “CURRENT STRATEGIES TO ENHANCE SALMON HABITAT RESTORATION”

CINDY HANSON, Education Coordinator, Orca Network, Whidbey Island, Washington: “WHAT ARE WE DOING TO PROTECT OUR ENDANGERED ORCAS?”


To find out more about the Thurston League's involvement in Thurston County water issues, please take a look at our water study page by clicking here.              



Storm Water and Toxic Runoff

Water Study Public Meeting 4

Where's The Water: Storm Water and Toxic Runoff  ---  April 2, 2019

This meeting drew a somewhat different crowd, with its focus on storm water, watersheds, and permitting processes.  A video recording of this meeting can be viewed HERE.

Here are pictures of the speakers, as well as co-sponsors who were available to give information and answer questions.


Chris Wilke, Executive Director, Puget Soundkeeper, and Art Starry, R.S., Environmental Health Division, Thurston County Public Health and Social Services, listen while waiting to present.


Jana Ratcliff, Program Manager, Stormwater and Watersheds, WA Dept. of Transportation, talks about the need for permitting of new roadways or retrofitting existing pavement.



Abbey Stockwell, Senior Stormwater Planner, WA Dept of speaks on the impact of Municipal Permitting.  


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