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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Gun Control—Searching for Safety in Rhode Island 

There has been a lot of press recently about gun control and gun safety in Rhode Island. In October the Providence Journal ran a week-long series on the cost of gun violence in the state (http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20131012-the-cost-of-a-bullet-price-of-gun-violence-takes-widespread-toll-in-rhode-island-1.ece). 

Two more recent articles are of particular interest. One published on Wednesday was a survey conducted by the Providence Journal and WPRI ( http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20131119-journalwpri-12-poll-nearly-half-of-rhode-islanders-polled-say-states-gun-laws-dont-go-far-enough.ece); the other, in today's paper, discusses  where Rhode Island stand as far as reporting mental health records to a national gun check database. (http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20131120-report-ri-still-not-contributing-mental-health-records-to-national-gun-check-database.ece). Mayors Against Illegal Guns rates Rhode Island among the worse as far as gun control (http://www.demandaction.org/fatalgaps).

Both Pro Jo articles are worth a read, but you might also like to check out this podcast from Backstory Radio with the American History Guys (http://backstoryradio.org/shows/straight-shot-guns-in-america-rebroadcast/). This particular episode brings an historical (and some times surprising) perspective to the issue of gun control. Backstory is a great podcast, by the way; check out the one on domestic spying.

You can check out the League's position on gun control on our website www.lwvri.org.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Is there a relationship between party politics and Voter ID? Two good reads and a bit of Jon Stewart.

The League has been following Voter ID laws both here in RI and on the national level. There was a great piece in Sunday's NY TImes by Richard Hasen showing the link between Voter ID, voter suppression, and party politics.

A related article by Alexander Keyssar of Harvard that was published in the Times in February in 2012 (http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/12/the-strange-career-of-voter-suppression/) and reprinted by the League in the RI Voter, is worth reading again in context with Hasen's article.

In the Hasen piece, a mention is given about a piece on the Daily Show. It's worth taking the five minutes to watch it. http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-october-23-2013/suppressing-the-vote.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Members to select Advocacy priorities for 2014
The League of Women Voters of RI's annual Advocacy Committee meeting to organize our efforts for 2014 will be held November 11, 10:00 am – 12:00 Noon at Susan Escherich’s house, 133 Terrace Avenue, Riverside, RI.

The LWVRI is partnering with organizations such as Common Cause, ACCESS RI, the Coalition for Reproductive Justice, and ACLU to act on bills of mutual interest to our organizations. So far, our members have indicated interest in the following areas of advocacy. They will form subcommittees to track legislation introduced in their areas of interest, and work with the Advocacy committee to determine which hearings need to be monitored and which bills need response from us.
The meeting is open to members only.

We are excited that so many of you have already volunteered, and hope that others of you will contact us to join one of these subcommittees or to propose another area of interest to the League in which you would like to volunteer. Remember that we can only take action on issues on which we or the national LWV have a position.  You can see these positions on our web site at www.lwvri.org.

Please contact Derry Riding at 209-5091 or Susan Escherich at 433-4896 to tell us your ideas and how you would like to help.  If you cannot make this meeting, please email Susan Escherich at sescherich@verizon.net to tell us which of these subcommittees you would like to help.

Advocacy Subcommittees

1. Accountable Government, open records, ethics

2. Women’s Issues/Reproductive Justice

3. School Funding Issues

4. Election Procedures – voter id, early voting, removal of master lever

5. Environmental Issues

6. Gun Control

7. Civil Liberties