Fall 2007 Edition
Published December 6, 2007
© 2007 League of Women Voters of Alabama

Local League News

Greater Birmingham

A successful candidate forum was held September 18th and was the only forum at which all the candidates for Mayor of Birmingham participated together.  Two hundred and eighty people attended for standing room only status at a local night-time venue that has state of the art technology for audio and video.  For the 90 minute duration of the event, scenes of Birmingham were displayed in the background behind the candidates and the League’s logo was above their heads.  Approximately 18,000 viewers watched the broadcast on CBS 42.  The local NPR station WBHM also broadcast it the next day.  LWVGB initiated the forum and members collaborated with members of two young professionals groups, Catalyst and Rotaract Club of Birmingham, plus 16th Street Baptist Church, Birmingham Black Journalist Association and the local CBS station to make it a successful event.  We had wonderful participation by local members as well as from the participating groups.

Joyce Lanning, a LWVGB member who is interested in climate change, attended the UN Conference for NGOs as part of a LWV group.  Joyce said "Picture yourself sitting in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations.  You are one of the 1726 representatives of Non-Governmental Organizations from 62 countries.  It was sobering and energizing to be there. I’m still awed that the LWV made it possible for me to experience this international event, and to meet others from all over the world addressing in their own ways this unprecedented climate challenge/opportunity."  You may see more of her information on the LWVGB web site.   Joyce completed the workshop in Tennessee offered by the Climate Project after seeing the movie and reading the book An Inconvenient Truth.  She is now presenting the information to local groups.

Three voter service activities have been staffed.  One was at a local event held for ex-felons and families.  Nancy Ekberg was able to help attendees begin the process of applying for voting registration.  Connie Arnwine helped with a local church’s wish to register members and Yvonne Brakefield helped residents of a retirement home with registration, change of registration address and application for absentee ballots.

LWVGB has grown its Observer Corp through the leadership of Ann Smith.  Added to the observers at the Jefferson County Commission meetings and the Birmingham City Council meetings are observers at the Transit Authority and Transit Board meetings, Birmingham Water Works Board meeting and the Jefferson County Personnel Board meetings.  Presence of the League at these meetings has resulted in good press for LWVGB.

For the Immigration Study, Jean Johnson started the LWVGB with a blog.  It is hoped that this means of communication will help in other projects.  The site has all the immigration materials, other related resources and questions and comments by local members.  LWVGB will use this blog for the LWV Program Planning process to solicit member ideas.

East Alabama

The League of East Alabama got off to a good start with Dr. Wayne Flynt speaking to the September Membership meeting on the future of education politics in Alabama. Several new members have joined the League at that and subsequent meetings.

Emphasis this fall has been on the immigration study. We all learned a lot, but still didn't feel competent to recommend solutions to the many problems involved.

The monthly brown bag lunch meeting has been resumed. These mainly address local issues. The December meeting will deal with water problems.

Amy Wright, secretary of the East Alabama League, is hosting a Christmas party December 9, a just–for-fun gathering after a fall of hard work.


The Montgomery League (LWVM) is focusing much of its attention on learning more about immigration. Since September Montgomery Voter articles condensed information in the National Voter study briefs and presented articles focusing on the impacts of immigration on Alabama and the Gulf Coast. These materials will be discussed at the November General meeting. LWVM also continues with its local government study. At the October General Meeting Dr. Bradley Moody discussed city-county consolidation issues and highlighted the empirical research findings on consolidation effectiveness. The study committee chaired by Ruth Ott is writing its study report. Finally, Merlin Newton and Helen Tavish have been named to handle LWVM coverage of the materials related to the state study of Initiative and Referendum.

-- Rosalind Toles and Anne Permaloff, Co-Presidents


See the LWVAL Dirctories for contact information for Charlotte Ward. Or contact Jean Johnson at or 205 871-8194.

small printer icon
Click here
to print
click your browser's "print" command
      For further information about the
      League of Women Voters of Alabama,
      call 205 871-8194 or visit on-line at