A standing LWVTC Board Agenda item, for the last couple of years, has been Let' Talk About Race. This has also been the period of increased attention at all levels of League about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. With encouragement and direction from LWVUS, our League established a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Committee in October 2020.
Initial focus for this committee was to include more members and allies in conversations around the aspects of our charge. Definitions have been provided by LWVUS for the following three terms.
Diversity includes all of the similarities and differences among people, not limited to: gender, gender identity, ethnicity, race, native or indigenous origin, age, generation, sexual orientation, culture, religion, belief system, marital status, parental status, socioeconomic status, appearance, language, accent, ability status, mental health, education, geography, nationality, work style, work experience, job role function, thinking style, personality type, physical appearance, and political perspective or affiliation.
Diversity refers to population groups that have been historically underrepresented in socially, politically, or economically powerful institutions and organizations. These groups include but are not restricted to populations of color, such as African Americans and Blacks, Latinx, Native Americans and Alaska Natives, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. They may also include lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations, people with disabilities, women, and other groups.
A team can be diverse and so can an organization. A person is not diverse. Diversity is about a collective or a group and can only exist in relationship to others. A candidate is not diverse—they are a unique, individual unit. They may bring diversity to your team, but they in themselves are not diverse. They are a woman; they are a person of color; they are part of the LGBTQ community.
Equity is an approach based in fairness to ensuring everyone is given equal opportunity; this means that resources may be divided and shared unequally to make sure that each person has a fair chance to succeed. Equity takes into account that people have different access to resources because of system of oppression and privilege. Equity seeks to balance that disparity.
Improving equity involves increasing justice and fairness within the procedures and processes of institutions or systems, as well as in their distribution of resources, including professional growth opportunities. Tackling equity issues requires an understanding of the root causes of outcome disparities within our society.
Equity prioritizes efforts to ensure the most underserved and marginalized among us has as much of an opportunity to succeed as the most well-served and advantaged. By taking into account the various advantages and disadvantages that people face, we work to ensure every person has an equal opportunity to succeed.
Inclusion is an ongoing process, not a static state of being.
Inclusion is the dynamic state of operating in which diversity is leveraged to create a healthy, high-performing organization and community.
Inclusion refers to the degree to which diverse individuals are able to participate fully in the decision-making processes within an organization or group.
An inclusive environment ensures equitable access to resources and opportunities for all. It also enables individuals and groups to feel safe, respected, engaged, motivated, and valued for who they are and for their contributions toward organizational and societal goals.
While an inclusive group is by definition diverse, a diverse group is not always inclusive. Being aware of unconscious or implicit bias can help organizations better address issues of inclusivity.
R Peggy Smith published Annual Membership Meeting 2021 in Upcoming League Events 2021-03-18 17:09:59 -0700
Are you interested in influencing the decisions that will shape the work of our League over the next year or so? During this meeting, we will adopt local priorities (Programs); elect officers, directors and nominating committee members; adopt operating and education fund budgets; adopt bylaw amendments; and transact other business. Specific information about issues to be considered will be sent to members at least two weeks prior to the meeting.WHENMay 25, 2021 at 5pmWHERETBD
R Peggy Smith published Working with Local Government in Upcoming League Events 2021-03-18 16:57:59 -0700
Do you want to know how to effectively voice your opinion about:
Thurston County’s handling of new drug possession rules,
Lacey’s response to its drinking water shortage,
Tumwater’s conversion of woodlands to warehouses,
Olympia’s plans for giant shoreline developments, or
Other hometown issues?
This is your chance to hear your local representatives respond to questions about local planning and processes. Save-the-Date and watch for more information about this event which is coordinated by Nathaniel Jones., [email protected]
RSVP and a Zoom link will be e-mailed to you.WHENApril 28, 2021 at 6:30pm
R Peggy Smith published Redistricting 101 in Reports on Programs and Events 2021-03-12 14:00:32 -0800
How is Washington’s Redistricting Commission structured? What does it do? What policies and legal requirements guide its processes? Why should every citizen care about redistricting, and how can we best impact a fair outcome?
At a March 4, 2021 general meeting, 20 League members explored the history of redistricting and its affect on political power dynamics, particularly involving efforts to protect incumbents and suppress competition in elections, practiced by both parties. Our basic education was guided by a fun and interactive program presented by Alison McCaffree, the executive director of the non-partisan Politics of the Possible in Action, and Redistricting Chair of LWVWA. Alison’s expertise and enthusiasm for the subject, and her use of Zoom chat, breakout rooms and polls, helped clarify many of the complexities of redistricting.
Exploring the history of Washington and other states, we learned about the often ludicrous effects of gerrymandering to minimize the voting power of particular communities. We also discussed how other laws, such as the Voting Rights Act, impact how boundaries are redrawn to reflect the change in population. Another consideration is how the “pencil and paper” data gathering of the 1960s that informed the Commission’s mission has been replaced by massive data collection and computational models from myriad sources, including social media. We all agreed that more information is a positive goal, but carries unintended consequences as well.
At the close of the presentation, Alison offered some suggestions about how we can participate in, and possibly testify before, the Redistricting Commission. The Redistricting 101 program is the first episode of the Speak Up School, out of a total of 7 modules. Information on the schools and Commission meetings can be found by clicking here.
If you would like to see some of the specific information from the forum. take a look at the Redistricting Forum Toolkit that is posted on the LWVWA website.
R Peggy Smith published Immigration What’s Next Forum in Reports on Programs and Events 2021-03-12 13:47:43 -0800
On February 25, 2021, the Thurston League held a forum on immigration issues, entitled “Immigration 2021: What Happens Next?” The forum was co-sponsored by Strengthening Sanctuary Alliance (SSA), Mason County League of Women Voters, and Asian Pacific Islanders Coalition, South Puget Sound Chapter (APIC-SPS). Over 70 people participated in the forum, which was held virtually. Our speakers addressed topics on the federal, state, and local levels.
Karen Tvedt, LWVTC President, and Kathy Baros-Friedman, from the Spanish Roundtable, moderated the forum. Steffani Powell, an immigration attorney and member of SSA and Jorge Barón, Executive Director of the Northwest Immigration Rights Project, spoke to the myriad of issues at the federal level: what changes might come with the new administration; and what litigation is currently underway.
The state level perspective was presented by Cariño Barragàn Talancón, with the Washington Immigration Solidarity Network. She spoke about her organization and pending state legislation.
From the local level, we heard from speakers representing three organizations. Anne Fischel and Bob Zeigler informed us on SSA and its activities. Ellen Shortt Sanchez of Elevate Mason County gave a presentation on immigration issues in Mason County. Lin Crowley, Co-Chair of the APIC Chapter provided an enlightening educational history of Asian immigration in the United States. She also spoke about APIC’s activities.
After the presentations, the speakers and attendants moved into breakrooms for more dialog on their respective subjects. Breakroom facilitators, who handled questions and reported back to the group, included Joel LeBel from SSA, Ellen Saunders of SSA, Lola Flores from the Washington State Commission of Hispanic Affairs, and Shari Silverman of the Thurston County League. The forum was a great success, and we received a lot of positive feedback. It will be available for review soon on the LWV of Thurston County’s YouTube channel.
CLICK HERE to see a video of this forum.
R Peggy Smith published Talk About Race Book Group -- May in Upcoming League Events 2021-02-16 17:07:01 -0800
R Peggy Smith commented on Contact Us 2021-01-10 12:35:48 -0800Shelley, I apologize if you are getting lots of these while I try to figure out what gives with my accounts. Peggy
The dates have been set and work has begun for the 2021 LWVWA Convention.
Details will be added to this page as soon as they become available.
Some of the items that will be covered during the Convention are:
Fun Events.WHENJune 23, 2021 at 9am - June 28, 2021 at 9amWHEREVirtual Meeting
R Peggy Smith published Water Study Forum 7 in Water Study Forums -- reports 2020-11-14 15:29:37 -0800
Where’s the Water: Realities of Water Quality and Water Quantity? November 10, 2020
CLICK HERE for the video of this forum.
R Peggy Smith published Water Study Forum 6 in Water Study Forums -- reports 2020-11-14 15:29:00 -0800
Where's the Water: What Are the Impacts of Sea Level Rising in Thurston County? March 5, 2020
Unique circumstances resulted in the presenters scheduled for the first portion of this public meeting being unable to attend. Candice Penn, Climate Specialist, Squaxin Island Tribe, and Brian McTeague, G.I.S. Manager, Squaxin Island Tribe were able to join by electronic means. They provided commentary on The Squaxin Island Tribe Sea Level Rise Story Map video presentation. They also answered questions from the audience.
The second portion of the evening's program shifted from the sea to a river. That was the Chehalis River and the ongoing concerns about the devastating floods that occur in this river's flood plane.
Andrea McNamara Doyle, Director of the Department of Ecology newly established Office of Chehalis Basin spoke about the the innovative and ambitious approach to water management being considered. She talked about the efforts involved in developing information about Flood Control on the Chehalis River. An aspect of this work is the consideration of building a dam that would be used only at critical times.
The second speaker on this topic was Lee First, Representative for Twin Harbors Waterkeeper. Her organization is clearly opposed to using a dam as a method to control Chehalis River flood events. She spoke of the competition between development and natural habitat, with the idea that greater weight should be given to nature.
R Peggy Smith published Water Study Forum 5 in Water Study Forums -- reports 2020-11-14 15:28:31 -0800
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.
NOVA MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS: WATER QUALITY STUDIES
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.
R Peggy Smith published Water Study Forum 3 in Water Study Forums -- reports 2020-11-14 15:27:11 -0800
Where’s the Water: Rural Water Challenges & Solutions – March 19, 2019
The third public meeting on aspects of Thurston County's water supply took a rural turn. An enthusiastic crowd met in Yelm to hear speakers talk about issues unique to rural residents of the county.
Mayor JW Foster talked about water resource planning going on in Yelm. This "center of the universe" has been attracting residents for hundred of years, with no signs of slowing down. Accommodation to population increases demands thoughtful planning.
Mary Verner, Department of Ecology Water Resources Division Program Manager, provided the "nuts and bolts of water rights permits." Again, population growth is a pivotal factor in actions being taken by her Division. The importance of Watershed Plans being developed was stressed by Ms. Verner.
The fact that "farms" come in all sizes and varieties, from house plants to mega-farms and ranches, was the opening point of Glen Schorno. He is a Dairyman from Yelm, and his remarks were related to agriculture water needs. One of his major points is that technology is now a key factor in enabling more efficient use of water.
The final speaker of the evening, Nora White, Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Thurston Conservation District (TCD), provided a range of voluntary and non-regulatory solutions to water management. Land owners are able to get direct education and technical assistance from TCD through their localized and hands-on approaches.
A video containing each of the presentations can be viewed by checking here.
R Peggy Smith published Water Study Forum 2 in Water Study Forums -- reports 2020-11-14 15:26:06 -0800
Where’s the Water: Water for People, Water for Fish – March 5, 2019
Another standing room crowd listened and learned about a range of aspect of Thurston County's water supply.
Speakers George Walter, Environmental Program Supervisor, Nisqually Indian Tribe; Marc Daily, Executive Director, Thurston Regional Planning Council; and Maia Bellon, Director, Department of Ecology talked about history, current circumstances, and prospects for the future.
A video of the evening program is presented here in three parts:
Part 1 is 42 minutes long.
Part 2 is 24 minutes long.
Part 3 is 36 minutes long
And click here for a video: mitigating for permit-exempt wells in the Nisqually watershed
R Peggy Smith published Water Study Forum 1 in Water Study Forums -- reports 2020-11-14 15:24:37 -0800
Where’s the Water: Reality Check – February 5, 2019
Yes, it was a standing only crowd for the 1st of five Water Study public meetings. Certainly the excellent front page article in The Olympian, meeting sponsor, was a draw. The presence of other sponsors contributed to the informative evening.
Moderator, former Senator, Karen Fraser set the stage with eye opening information about the portion of water that is actually available it for human use. Listen to her remarks by clicking here.
Her remarks were followed by presentations by two first-rate presenters, Kevin Hansen, County Hydrogeologist, Thurston County Water Resources, and David Troutt, Natural Resources Director for the Nisqually Indian Tribe.
Mr Hanen explained where Thurston County water comes from and the challenges to maintaining adequate supply. He pointed to the promise of a set of watershed plans for Thurston County Water Resource Inventory Areas (WRIA). Find his remarks here.
Mr. Troutt, who was instrumental in the development of the first approved plan, for the Nisqually watershed, spoke ab out the plan. He also talked about the impact of I-5 crossing the Nisqually in terms of economy, salmon recovery, and national security. Here are his remarks.
R Peggy Smith published Water Study Forum 4 in Water Study Forums -- reports 2020-11-14 15:11:47 -0800
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.