We’ll be presenting three Making Democracy Work® - For All awards at our National Convention, held in Washington, DC later this spring. The awards seek to highlight the work of state and local Leagues in our quest to make a more perfect democracy across the country and at all levels of government.
Every day, all across the country, Leagues are engaging their community on local issues that matter! The Effective Community Engagement award will reward innovative democracy-building programs that prioritized successful recruitment and engagement of strategic partners and/or new volunteers, particularly those focused on better serving key underrepresented groups such as young voters and new citizens.
While there are countless examples of Leagues successfully doing this incredible work in their communities, we’ve identified four local Leagues as finalists: the League of Women Voters of Jo Daviess County (IL), the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County (MD), the League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha and the League of Women Voters of the Piedmont Triad (NC).
In Illinois, the League of Women Voters of Jo Daviess County has spearheaded a two-year Water Resource Management Planning Project that sought to reach a consensus about sustainable water management, improve storm water quality, protect general water quality and conserve groundwater resources in their community. In doing this, the Jo Daviess County League worked in cooperation with the Jo Daviess County Health Department and the Jo Daviess County Soil and Water Conservation District to hold 39 meetings in 23 different townships and engaged over 20 different stakeholders on the issue of water management. The League is currently to finalize recommendations and a timeline for implementation of the proposed solutions.
The League of Women Voters of Montgomery County, Maryland watched as the results of the 2014 Maryland primary election came in and were dismayed by the low voter turnout. Instead of waiting for the low voter turnout to happen again, they launched Roundtables on Civic Engagement. A series of roundtable discussions followed featuring other community groups, leaders and activists to discuss how to reverse this trend and to improve civic education and engagement. By working with new partners, the League has increased its outreach to diverse communities, including often neglected immigrant communities.
The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha in Nebraska has developed a multi-pronged campaign entitled “Go Vote Omaha!” to increase voter participation. This campaign targets areas identified as having low voter turnout by reaching out to community groups, high schools and community colleges. The Greater Omaha League has also launched a weekly 30 minute television show, also called Go Vote Omaha, which features different issues important to voters to further their reach and impact. Finally, election days were declared Celebrate Democracy days where schools and businesses were encouraged to distribute voter information toolkits to make voting fun and to reach voters where they are!
In North Carolina, the League of Women Voters of Piedmont Triad used a Youth Voter Registration Grant to register 3,200 high school and college students in advance of the North Carolina primary election. The Piedmont Triad League worked with a variety of diverse community groups to train new volunteers for their voter registration teams. In addition to bringing an ice cream truck to college campuses, the League made sure to go to where underrepresented voters are, including homeless shelters, naturalization ceremonies, bus depots and soup kitchens.
Looking at all these amazing projects, it can be hard to choose just one! Help us decide by voting for the project that you think did the best job at effectively engaging their community below! Anyone can vote and the polls will close on May 31.
This poll is not accepting any additional submissions at this time.