Volunteer with Heartland Workers Center: Voter-Registration Canvassing Happening Now

Heartland Workers Center is organizing nonpartisan, voter-registration-driven, door-to-door canvassing ahead of the November election. They are looking for volunteers and welcoming volunteers from LWVGO and other organizations.

The Center provides training sessions on Wednesday evenings and asks that all volunteers go through the training before canvassing. Once trained, volunteers are paired up and then given all materials necessary to canvass North and South Omaha as well as Bellevue. Volunteer shifts take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.

For more information, including where to go for training and canvassing, contact Lucia Pedroza-Estrada, Senior Organizer, at lucia@heartlandworkerscenter.org or (402) 933-6095.

Taking Down the Poll Tax: Dine & Discuss with Charlene Butts Ligon

Join us from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24 at Valentino’s at 108th & L streets for Dine & Discuss. This month, our featured speaker is Charlene Butts Ligon, Omaha-area author of Fearless: How a poor Virginia seamstress took on Jim Crow, beat the poll tax and changed her city forever.

If you’d like to eat (you do not have to dine to discuss), the buffet is $14.14. Optional RSVP to office office@omahalwv.org or 402-344-3701.

Money in Politics: Resources

As a follow-up to her July Dine & Discuss presentation on Money in Politics in Nebraska, LWVNE treasurer Kate High provided the following additional resources.

Money in Politics Links

LB839 Crawford

On July 16, 2018, the US Treasury, headed by Steven Mnuchin, said it will no longer require certain tax-exempt organizations to identify their financial donors to IRS authorities. The League of Women Voters (League) and others who support great transparency oppose this move.

There are twenty-nine types of nonprofit corporations in the IRS code, including the well-known 501(c)(3) designation for religious, educational, charitable, etc. organizations. The Treasury’s change in policy is NOT directed at 501(c)(3)s, but at “certain” nonprofit organizations like:

● 501(c)(4): social welfare, civic leagues, and local associations of employees;examples: National Rifle Association and the Sierra Club

● 501(c)(5): Labor, agricultural, and horticultural; examples:  American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) , American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) , Working America

● 501(c)(6): business leagues, chambers of commerce, real estate boards, etc.; examples: The US Chamber of Commerce , The American Medical Association , PhRMA , Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce , Americans for Job Security

This new policy is in stark opposition to LWVUS’s recommendation to strengthen existing rules:

Strengthen and enforce 501(c )4 political activity rules (action by the Internal Revenue Service; IRS). To be tax-exempt as a social welfare organization according to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 501(c)(4), an organization must not be organized for profit and must be operated exclusively to promote social welfare. It is argued that the promotion of social welfare does not include direct or indirect participation or intervention in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. However, under long-standing IRS regulations, a section 501(c)(4) social welfare organization is allowed to engage in some political activities, so long as that is not its primary activity. There is need for strict enforcement of the rules applicable to 501(c)(4)s. The IRS could close loopholes that allow unlimited secret spending in elections by501(c)(4) groups while protecting truly non-partisan voter service activity.

See:MiP Options for Reform

What can you do to combat the corruptive influences of “dark money” in national politics?

1. CALL your elected officials to ask that they support the DISCLOSE Act, reintroduced in both houses of Congress this summer. This legislation proposes amending the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (FECA) to, among other actions, disclose donations from corporations, labor organizations, and other special interests including foreign donors.

2. NEGATIVE ADS? JUST SAY NO. The vast majority of negative ads are “dark money” ads. They’re designed to motivate voters in ways that benefit donors. Russian trolls? Anonymous LLC’s? Friends? Foes? Who can tell? Don’t get sucked in!

3. LEARN ABOUT DARK MONEY at the federal level on the Open Secrets website:

Open Secrets: Dark Money Basics

Open Secrets: Dark Money Reports

4. JOIN the League of Women Voters and other organizations working against the power of dark money. Here are some ideas to start you out:

League Information

5. MOTIVATE OTHERS! We can overcome the influence of big money if we ACT. The enemies of democracy are desertion and complacency.

6. TAKE ACTION! Call, visit, e-mail, and/or write your elected officials. Go to town hall meetings to tell your story and speak your truth. Find and help candidates you support.

7. CONFIRM YOUR REGISTRATION and VOTE!!!!

Meet the League: Join Us for New-Member Orientation & Happy Hour on Sept. 18

LWVGO’s membership directors will be hosting Meet the League, a quarterly social-hour and new-member orientation session, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tues., Sept. 18 at Corkscrew Wine & Cheese in Rockbrook Village (10924 Prairie Brook Road).

Join us to learn more about LWVGO and the work that we do in Omaha, as well as to meet fellow area leaders and voters.

Meet the League serves as a new-member orientation event, but all members and prospective members are welcome.

RSVP on Facebook and/or send any questions about the event to web@omahalwv.org. See you Sept. 18!

 

September Voter Registration Events: Join Us!

Join us — and bring a friend! — at any of our upcoming voter registration events for help getting registered as a voter and/or to find out more about voting and the League of Women Voters. LWVGO’s GOTV teams will be registering voters at the following events:

  • 5:45 to 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24 at 2864 State St. (community event)
  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25 at Bellevue University Student Center

You can see all of our upcoming events on our shared LWVGO calendar, available on our homepage and embedded below. For more information about GOTV/voter-registration efforts, contact gotv@omahalwv.org.

Get Trained to Register Voters on Sept. 26

The Douglas County Election Commission is hosting a voter registration training session at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26 at the Swanson branch of the Omaha Public Library, 9101 W. Dodge Rd.

This short training is required to become a Deputy Registrar and to work on voter registration for LWVGO and other nonpartisan groups.

Deputy Registrar certification lasts three years, so if you were last trained about three years ago or more, consider joining this training session.

You can pre-register for the training at votedouglascounty.com/deputy_registrars.aspx. You must register by no later than the business day prior to the training date. (In this case, that would be Sept. 25.)

As a reminder, here are the full qualifications to be a Deputy Registrar:

  • Must be a registered voter in the State of Nebraska (you may register to vote at the deputy registrar training session, if not already registered to vote in Nebraska).
  • Must sign up for the deputy registrar training session on or before the business day prior to the training date.
  • Must attend a deputy registrar training session conducted by the Election Commission. You need not be a member of the League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha to take advantage of this training.

LWVGO Doc Club Announces First Meeting

LWVGO’s brand-new documentary club will be discussing its first watch, Stealing America: Vote By Vote, at 11 a.m. on Sat., Oct. 6 at Big Mama’s Cafe, 3223 N. 45th St., Building A.

Watch the film for free online before joining the discussion. 

STEALING AMERICA: Vote by Vote brings together behind-the-scenes perspectives from the U.S. presidential election of 2004 – plus startling stories from key races in 1996, 2000, 2002 and 2006. Unbiased and nonpartisan, the film sheds light on a decade of vote counts that don’t match votes cast – uncounted ballots, vote switching, undervotes and many other examples of election totals that warrant serious investigation.
Throughout STEALING AMERICA, we hear from voters who experienced a wide range of problems, including those whose votes flipped from one candidate to another and those whose polls didn’t have enough machines to serve the number of voters. Investigative journalists describe how their reportage on election fraud was sidelined.
First-person citizen testimonies speak of waiting in line nine hours to vote. We hear how polling experts’ requests for essential information – such as precinct voting data necessary to examine irregularities – had been rejected, while ballots were being systematically destroyed, making audits impossible.

Read more on the documentary’s website.

Books After Dark Announces First Book Club Read: The Woman’s Hour

LWVGO’s brand-new book club, Books After Dark, held its first meeting and decided on its first book to read and next meeting time.

Books After Dark will be reading The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine Weiss. 

Anyone is welcome to read the book and join in on the discussion, which will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 2 at Corkscrew Wine & Cheese in Rockbrook Village. Share the event on Facebook, or pass along this post to friends.

The book is available to order online or to check out from the Omaha Public Library.

Please send any questions about Books After Dark to kfox@omahalwv.org.

August Voter Registration Events: Join Us!

Join us — and bring a friend! — at any of our upcoming voter registration events for help getting registered as a voter and/or to find out more about voting and the League of Women Voters. LWVGO’s GOTV teams will be registering voters at the following events:

  • 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17 at MAHA (Aksarben)
  • 12 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18 at MAHA (Aksarben)
  • 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 23 at NE Park Service (naturalization ceremony welcoming new citizens)
  • 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27 at Nite Owl, 3902 Farnam (Omaha World-Herald Senate debate watch party)

You can see all of our upcoming events on our shared LWVGO calendar, available on our homepage and embedded below. For more information about GOTV/voter-registration efforts, contact gotv@omahalwv.org.

Become a Voter Registrar at Training Session Aug. 27

The Douglas County Election Commission is hosting a voter registration training session at 12 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27 at the Election Commission office, 225 North 115th Street.

This short training is required to become a Deputy Registrar and to work on voter registration for LWVGO and other nonpartisan groups.

Deputy Registrar certification lasts three years, so if you were last trained about three years ago or more, consider joining this training session.

You can pre-register for the training at votedouglascounty.com/deputy_registrars.aspx or you can just show up.