Category: civic

New Podcast Project: What Would Alice Paul Do?

alicepaulI’m proud to announce I am co-hosting a new podcast, What Would Alice Paul Do?, about demystifying what it means to be part of the League of Women Voters.

I’m co-hosting with my good friend, Amy Hjerstedt, who is a board member for the national League of Women Voters. We served together as co-chairs of the LWV’s Young People’s Taskforce from 2012-2014, and we had a blast.  See our toolkit for engaging younger members [PDF]. I’m glad we are partnering up again.

On What Would Alice Paul Do? Podcast, we share stories, tips and how-tos to make sure you have the tools and confidence to actively engage your community.

If you’re interested in listening in, you can find us online at We’re also on iTunes and Stitcher.

Learn about Alice Paul and her contribution to U.S. women’s voting rights.

Connect with What Would Alice Paul Do? Podcast

National Voter Registration Day!

National Voter Registration DayToday is National Voter Registration Day!

Your vote is your voice! Make sure you’re registered to vote and you’ll be able to vote Tuesday, Nov. 3.

In 2008, 6 million Americans didn’t vote because they missed a registration deadline or didn’t know how to register. In 2015, we want to make sure no one is left out. On September 22, 2015, volunteers, celebrities, and organizations from all over the country will “hit the streets” for National Voter Registration Day.

This single day of coordinated field, technology and media efforts will create pervasive awareness of voter registration opportunities–allowing us to reach tens of thousands of voters who we could not reach otherwise.

If you are already registered to vote but have moved within Ohio and/or changed your name, you must update your voter registration. Click here to learn how to update your voter registration.

In Hamilton County, Ohio, you can:

Find out more about National Voter Registration Day!


Voting in Ohio and Hamilton County

Nonpartisan voting information for Ohio is available at, a Web site managed by the League of Women Voters. Here you can get candidate and issue information.  You can also get a sample ballot. Remember you’ll see eight presidential tickets on the Ohio ballot. Here is a list of all presidential tickets, including write-ins.

Other links for voters in Ohio:

Hamilton County is fully participating on SmartVoter with candidate and issue information for county offices and city and village issues.

Highlights on SmartVoter for Hamilton County:

Find more information about voting and elections in Southwest Ohio at the League of Women Voters of the Cincinnati Area.

Why oh why oh, did I ever leave Ohio? A songlist to vote by

Ohio, you’re so fun, especially during election time. I know I’m in the minority, but I have been enjoying the flurry of mostly local campaign ads and direct mailers in this final gasp of the election season.

I can contribute this euphoria to three personal and selfish items:

  1. I’ve been able to avoid all robo-calls…so far.
  2. My volunteer project with the Cincy League of Women Voters’, (the production of the printed and electronic versions of the candidate/issues guides) is complete. I do love the sound of 100,000 copies of the Who & What hitting the pavement around town.
  3. My absentee ballot has returned to its mother ship at the Board of Elections.

So for me, its all over but the shoutin’ and the countin’. In celebration, I’ve created an Ohio playlist to inspire during this final week of election mania (Listed by song, artist and website to listen).

  • Carmen Ohio by Ohio State Marching Band (OSU Mp3)
  • Ohio by Crosby Stills Nash & Young (YouTube with history clips )
  • Down on the Banks of the Ohio by Blue Sky Boys (YouTube)
  • Look at Miss Ohio by Gillian Welch (
  • Cincinnati, Ohio by Connie Smith (YouTube. Ain’t she cute?)
  • South of Cincinnati by Dwight Yoakam (YouTube. This is really about Kentucky but I love any song with Cincinnati in it)
  • Ohio by Over the Rhine (YouTube)
  • Hang On Sloopy by Ohio State Marching Band (OSU Mp3)
  • Ohio from “Wonderful Town” (Passionato)

Any other suggestions?

Fighting Yellow Journalism

ProPublica has been hiring an impressive roster of investigative journalists as of late. ProPublica is a nonprofit “newsroom” whose mission is to produce investigative journalism.

Who they are, directly from their website:

“Our work will focus exclusively on truly important stories, stories with “moral force.” We will do this by producing journalism that shines a light on exploitation of the weak by the strong and on the failures of those with power to vindicate the trust placed in them.”

Ah, Robert’s Rules of Order

You, like me, have probably witnessed many meetings where Robert’s Rules of Order, the popular parliamentary procedure, was used. It’s the go-to guide for deliberative bodies to conduct meetings in the United States.

But is Robert’s still relevant today?

No one gets over his or her first time witnessing Robert’s in action. I was first exposed while watching my college’s student government meeting. Nothing prepared me for seeing thirty 20-years-olds in deliberative furor.

Robert’s can be intimidating. It can be tedious and can be used to bully people who may not understand its intricacies. Maybe there’s a better system. The politicos use Mason’s Manual, the United Kingdom has the Westminster system. I never did crack the spine of Thomas Jefferson’s Manual of Parliamentary Practice, which I bought at a souvenir shop in near Independence Hall. (As to why, I have no idea.)

New York Times tackles the issue of Robert’s in this essay by Rachel Donadio. Robert’s was embraced and later abandoned by the radical movements of the 1960s. “(Robert’s) institutionalizes a win-lose mentality, when often there are close decisions in which both sides need representation” said Tom Hayden, former leader of the Students for a Democratic Society, in the article. That certainly doesn’t sound good.

But, Robert’s does get things done. It can harness the chaos, at least for a while. Personally, I have a new appreciation after attending the League of Women Voters national convention in June. Locked in plenary sessions for four days, nearly 700 delegates debated and deliberated on a whole, whole lot of issues. By using the Rules, all of us got out alive and tons of stuff was decided.

Thanks for the time limits, Major Robert.