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League of Women Voters of Boulder County
Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy
Serving the People of Boulder County, Colorado
Date: 3/4/2024
Subject: LWVBC Voter Newsletter March 2024
From: Jennifer L Bales

Voter Header

March 2024
Editor Jennifer Bales
In this issue:
Keep up with LWVBC by following our Facebook Page, our Instagram, our Youtube Channel, and our Calendar.

Inspiring Activism: Civic Engagement Fair Inaugural Event
By Pirie Jenson
Civic Engagement Event
Left to Right: Pirie Jensen,  Leader, LWVBC: Energizing Young Voters, Marta Loachman, Boulder County Commissioner, and Professor  Nancy Billica, Ph.D.

The inaugural Civic Engagement Fair was held at the CU Political Science Department. Speakers included Marta Loachman, Boulder County Commissioner, and Molly Fitzpatrick, County Clerk..
I spoke with 25 students, and 16 gave me email addresses to volunteer, primarily for Energizing Young Voters Outreach and social media but also for Legislative Action and Ballot initiatives.
Professors Nancy Billica and Janet Lynn Donavan want to establish an internship program with LWVBC which will provide academic credit for students.

League of Women Voters of Boulder County Spring Activities
It will be a busy spring for LWVBC before we head into election season. Below are a number of activities to attend (left column) and things we need your help with (right column). As always, please check our event calendar for changes, more information, and to register.

Activities to Attend


LWVBC is hosting a community event aimed at addressing the issue of increasing incivility in public discourse. Our upcoming event, titled "Civility Matters: Promoting Respectful Dialogue in a Divided World” will provide an opportunity for community members to come together and explore constructive ways to engage in dialogue, even in the face of disagreement.

Sunday, March 17 at 1:30 pm

Lafayette Public Library

775 W. Baseline Road

Facilitated by Cam Scott

Register here

The Schools Team is presenting a Community Conversation on Monday, April 1st at 6 pm on the St. Vrain Valley School District bond issue to be voted on in November.  SVVSD is considering building three new schools, two elementary schools and a high school, in the eastern part of the district. 

Monday, April 1 at 6 pm

St. Vrain Valley Innovation Center

33 Quail Rd. Longmont

Register here

Annual Fundraiser on mis/disinformation

Save the Date - April 14 - More Information Coming


Our annual fundraiser will showcase Dr. Ian Shapiro, an expert on mis/disinformation. Though election year political misinformation will be unavoidable, Dr. Shapiro will distinguish between mis/dis information, describe where it comes from, who spreads it and why, and who is most susceptible. He will teach us how to defend ourselves and others and present strategies for making progress on voting rights and access.

Dr. Shapiro will highlight the spread of false political beliefs, why people fall for misinformation, and how to defend against it. By recognizing the red flags of misinformation, identity-driven susceptibility to it, and how to talk productively with others we think are misinformed, we can get beyond the noise, find shared values, and ultimately move forward together as informed citizens in a democratic society.
Annual Meeting
Saturday, May 18 at 9:30 am

We Need Your Help!
Volunteers needed!

Doing Democracy Day 
Thursday, April 4 at 9:15 am
Longmont Museum
400 Quail Road, Longmont
Volunteer here

Cinco de Mayo
Saturday, May 4 at 10:30 am
Roosevelt Park
700 Longs Peak Avenue
Volunteer here

Please Fill Out Our Member Survey

As we strive to Empower Voters and Defend Democracy, we, the League of Women Voters Boulder County (LWVBC), are about to embark on a very busy election year with a June primary and the November general election. 
The LWVBC Board and the Nominating Committee are also seeking members to fill leadership vacancies. To assess volunteer and leadership capacity for all upcoming endeavors, this survey intends to gauge your volunteer and/or leadership interests, get a sense of your time commitment parameters, and also find out if the LWVBC organization is meeting your overall interests or expectations as a member.
We welcome your input and responses and thank you for taking the time to complete the survey. Information compiled will help with organizational development and knowing where the LWVBC membership can work best towards the League's mission.
With these goals in mind, please complete the Survey Here

Citizen Observers Pilot Project

The League of Women Voters of Larimer County recently undertook a pilot project with the Citizen Observers program in Colorado that works in partnership with local media, higher education, and community partners to fill critical news gaps and meet community information needs. If anyone is interested in working on this for the LWVBC, please contact Stephanie Hein, LWVBC Operations Coordinator, at If you'd like to learn more about this project, please visit the Citizen Observer website.

How to Engage in the Minimum Wage process
By Peggy Leech

The cities of Boulder, Longmont, Lafayette, Louisville, and Erie are conducting a community survey, providing community engagement opportunities, and waiting for results from an independent economic analysis.


To provide input on the community survey, click on the appropriate link below. The survey closes on April 15. Please share with your friends and neighbors!

Below is a partial list of community engagement events:

  • Tuesday, March 12 from 5:30-7 pm (Zoom) | Cities of Boulder, Lafayette, Louisville 
  • Wednesday, March 13 from 5:30-7 pm (In person, location TBD) |  City of Boulder
  • Thursday, April 4 from 5:30-7 pm (In person, Louisville Recreation & Senior Center) | Cities of Boulder, Lafayette, Louisville 

Next Steps
Results from community engagement and an independent economic analysis will be presented to elected officials in the summer of 2024. If supported by councils, a new wage would become effective on January 1, 2025.   

Visit this webpage on  
Regional Minimum Wage  for more information on this project, and to find more ways to share feedback.

LWVBC is Supporting Initiative 89 on Abortion
By Susan Saunders

The LWVBC's position statement covering healthcare allows us to support the current effort to put a citizens initiative regarding abortion rights onto the November ballot. The initiative and a call for volunteers are explained below. At least three LWVBC members have been collecting signatures and found them easy to obtain, but a large number are needed so we're seeking volunteers through the links provided below by the state office.
The following was provided by Karen Sheek of LWVCO:
NEEDED:  Petition Carriers To Gather Signatures for Initiative 89
The Colorado Constitution currently DOES NOT CONTAIN provisions for protecting abortion.  A YES vote on Initiative 89 fixes that, but it must first get on the ballot.  Citizens throughout Colorado are collecting signatures to get Initiative 89 on the November 2024 ballot.  If passed, this ballot measure would add provisions to the Colorado Constitution prohibiting Colorado state or local governments from denying or impeding the right to an abortion and would allow abortion to be a covered service under health insurance plans.
Signatures from 2% of registered voters in each Senate District are required, and supporters have set a goal of collecting 184,000 signatures to provide a cushion in case some signatures are thrown out.

If you are interested in helping secure signatures, you must go through a brief training and sign a document attesting that you have participated in a training.  The training is about an hour; less if there are only a few participants and minimal questions.  Once completed, petitions will be sent to you.  A number of online Zoom trainings are available.  Choose a date and complete registration using this link:
Ballotpedia has the ballot language here: Initiative 89 Ballot Language
If you are interested in helping secure signatures, you must go through a brief training and sign a document attesting that you have participated in a training.  The training is about an hour; less if there are only a few participants and minimal questions.  Once completed, petitions will be sent to you.  A number of online Zoom trainings are available.  Choose a date and complete registration using this link:
Ballotpedia has the ballot language here: Initiative 89 Ballot Language
Right: LWVBC members signing petitions for Initiative 89
89 petition signing

Legislative Action Committee & Bills
By Holly Monkman
We’re 6 weeks into the 2024 Colorado State Legislative session and 428 bills have been introduced (as of 2/20/24). The LWVCO Legislative Action Committee (LAC) is following 52 bills and there’s over two months to go in this session!

If you are interested in helping follow bills, then consider joining the LAC.  Members read, analyze & write-up summaries of bills, usually working on a team.  The LAC is in particular need of members with an interest or expertise in the following areas:

1. Children
2. Justice, especially Juvenile Justice
3. Stand-alone DEI bills (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion)

Training and support for new members will be provided.  Contact Maud Naroll, Co-Chair for LWVCO Action & Advocacy, for additional information or if you would like to join.
Check out the Legislative Action Report and Master Bill TrackerOur very own Peggy Leech and Celeste Landry have an article on Proportional Representation and bill HB24-1177 regarding County Commissioner Elections.
For more on the bills LAC is tracking please read the rest of the LAC article

2024 Legislative Conference Was Held in January 
Video and Summary Available

In case you missed the 2024 Legislative Conference held on Saturday, January 20th tune into the recording on the LWVCO website. It’s a lengthy recording but worth your time. Our own Neal McBurnett discussed risk-limiting audits.  

A summary of what was discussed is in the LAC 2024 article

A Better Way to Report Election Results:
Part 2 - Single-Winner Contests and Election Integrity
By Neal McBurnett and Celeste Landry

In our previous article, we highlighted the misleading nature of reporting multi-winner city council contests, and advocated for a shift to presenting a candidate’s support as a percentage of ballots rather than a percentage of votes. Continuing this discussion, we delve deeper into how our current reporting approach can hide serious ballot design flaws, which can be responsible for changing the outcomes of elections! These examples underscore the crucial need for consistent and transparent reporting of election results.


The LWVCO Voting Methods Position Statement notes the need to conduct post-election analysis to evaluate voters’ usage of the voting method. This analysis can also reveal ballot design problems. Timely access to data on all the ballots, including undervotes and overvotes, is important for putting election results in context while public interest remains high.

The full article expands on the importance of better reporting for a variety of reasons, including how bad ballot design may have flipped the 2018 US Senate seat in Florida, why up to 20% of voters declined to vote for US Senate in California in 2018, how over 200,000 voters in the 2016 US Senate seat in California had their votes eliminated as overvotes, and how important it is to properly account for ignored and exhausted votes in Instant-runoff voting.
Read the rest of the Single Winner Contest article.

Climate Action
By Jeannette Hillery
About 50 people were present on January 27th for a presentation “Xeriscape: What to Do After the Turf is Removed”.  Patty Rhodes and Katy Bohn from CSU Extension were the presenters and gave a thorough overview of how to approach and address removing turf and planting water wise and arid loving plants  Considerations include ph level of soils, knowing what regions you are in for planting xeriscape, planning your garden which include sun views and any trees and shade available.  It is beneficial to plant species native to the area and are water wise.

So there is a process from planning, to turf removal, plant selection and a water guide for dry and xeric areas.

Here are some resources to look at to get started. 
A good resource for TURF removal: Resource Central which may help pay for some of the removal.

Soil, Water and Plant info: CSU soil testing lab
Info on trees, shrubs, ground cover plants, retrofit your yard, mulch: Plant Select

Happy xeriscaping.

There is a company in Boulder County called Ridwell that takes hard to recycle candy wrappers, chip bags, batteries, lightbulbs and many other items.  This service will come to your home 2 times a month to pick up your items.  Contact information is
xeriscaping event

From Membership
By Susan Curtis 
Membership count: 197
coffee image with laptop

Welcome to these new members who joined in December and January:  Catherine Schwob, Tom O’Banion, Susan Hoy and Lexi Ballou.

Merit Award Nominations Due March 31
Last chance to submit your nominations for LWVBC Merit Awards to be announced at the Annual Meeting Saturday, May 18, 2024 at Rule4, 9:30 a.m. - 12 noon.  We want to honor those members and community partners who have made a major contribution to our work since July 1, 2023.  Think of actions and events that were important and who made them happen.  We want to hear from you!  

We have a new online tool to make it easy to nominate partners and members for recognition and awards.  Here is the link to the Merit Awards Nomination Form.  You may nominate more than one person and in more than one award category.  The tool will ask you to provide the name and information about this person and why they are deserving of the award.  Specific information is very helpful.

The Merit Award categories with definitions are:

LWVBC Community Partner of the year - Boulder County Corporation, organization or individual who advances LWVBC goals and is a true partner to LWVBC. The Community Partner award may be given to a non-league member.

LWVBC Member of the year - In recognition of outstanding service to the LWVBC

LWVBC Team Leader of the year - Issue or operations leader in recognition of outstanding service to the LWVBC

LWVBC Team Member of the year - Issue or operations member In recognition of outstanding contributions to a LWVBC team

LWVBC Emerging Leader of the year - A member who has been with the League less than three years who steps up to an important leadership role in LWBC

LWVBC Student Member Scholarship Applications Due April 1
Please contact Susan Curtis at for an application form to apply for a 2024 LWVBC Student Member $500 Tuition Scholarship.  

By Holly Monkman
Program Planning & Positions for Action Meeting Summary
Every two years, local League chapters across the country meet to review the proposed LWVUS program and their local positions – or guidelines for action & advocacy – and vote to affirm those positions or suggest modifications. Leagues can also recommend research (or “study”) on an issue for which they don't have a position. This process helps ensure that LWV remains a strong, united, grassroots organization.

The LWVBC 2024 Program Planning & Positions For Action meetings were held in-person on Saturday, Feb 3rd at Frasier Meadows and virtually on Wednesday, February 7th. Between the two meetings, there were 33 members in attendance, not counting members at both meetings twice.  
Holly Monkman introduced the purpose of the meeting, reviewed League terminology, and highlighted accomplishments of LWVUS, LWVCO & LWVBC. The proposed program for LWVUS, The Campaign for Making Democracy Work was then discussed. A proposed addition to the program from the LWVUS Climate Interest Group was presented and a number of members weighed-in.  The general consensus was that if humanity doesn’t address climate change then we won’t have a democracy and that LWVUS should allocate some of its resources to push harder for climate action.
Additionally, the LWV Vermont (LWVVT) proposed that local Leagues request a discussion and consensus vote at the upcoming June LWVUS Convention regarding LWVUS adopting the LWVVT privatization position in order to better advocate for single-payer healthcare. After a robust discussion, it was agreed that at least having a discussion at convention would be a good idea.  Members agreed that more details were necessary before deciding on whether or not to adopt the position, but understood that there would be an education period prior to convention.
Celeste Landry suggested asking LWVUS for a caucus at convention on the topic of Compulsory/Mandatory Voting.  She already has some panel speakers in mind.  Members agreed with making the request.  Since the meeting, Celeste has reached out to LWVCO & they are considering making the request & helping organize it.
On the local level, a group of citizens advocating for improvements to the City of Boulder’s On-line Petition system has requested LWVBC input.  Jeanine Pow agreed to attend the group’s first meeting where they will discuss what is wrong with the system, how they would like to improve it, and strategies on how to advocate for those changes.  Jeanine will attend as an observer & report back to the Board before a decision is made on whether or not to join the advocacy effort.
Switching gears to Positions for Action, an overview of the LWVBC positions & on-going studies was given.  At the in-person meeting a modification to the school curriculum position was suggested.  Members felt that “social sciences and government” was too general and that American/U.S. History and Civics should be specified.
The meeting closed with a high-level review of a proposed amendment to the LWVCO Hydraulic Fracturing position.  The Fracking Steering Committee was seeking feedback on the proposed amendment from local Leagues.  At the in-person meeting, Shirley Jin presented her proposed revisions to the amendments.  Anyone wishing to review the proposed amendment & revisions in more detail was invited to contact Holly.  
The meetings resulted in the following:
·       Consensus on the responses to the LWVUS Program Planning Survey
·       Consensus to retain all local positions
·       Consensus to modify an existing LWVBC position, under Social Policy
Watch for your invitation to register for the Annual Meeting & the details on the proposed revision to the Social Policy position.

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