Making Democracy Work

2018-2019 Priority Issues for Greenville League

LWV of Greenville County 2018-2019 Priority Issues, Committee Work, Focus

LWVGC Priority Issues - Redistricting

Partisan gerrymandering is a real problem in South Carolina, and the League, through its redistricting committee, is taking action to educate voters and to encourage advocacy to reduce partisan and incumbent-protective gerrymandering, so that voters are choosing their representatives and not the other way around.

We are seeking redistricting reform in which district lines are drawn based on appropriate and enforceable criteria that do not favor partisan interests or incumbents, and in which the drawing is done by an independent, nonpartisan commission. A Bill currently in the South Carolina legislature that supports redistricting by an independent commission and with appropriate criteria is House bill H4456. We encourage South Carolinians to contact their representatives and urge support for this bill and for redistricting reform in general.

Redistricting will happen in 2021 based on the 2020 census results, and we are mobilizing now to make the needed changes so that this next round of redistricting prioritizes the interest of voters and not parties or incumbents. Our first step is to focus on educating voters, and, from there, we are encouraging everyone to step in and advocate about this important issue.

We have a Redistricting Explainer that explains the basics about redistricting and the need for reform. Also, we would be happy to come talk to any interested local group about this issue. To pursue this, or to get additional information or ask any questions, please contact us at lwvgreenvilleco@gmail.com.

LWVGC Priority Issues - Education

The LWVGC Education Committee seeks to examine South Carolina public education practices and policy and advocate to support public education in key areas determined by the committee each year. In the 2017/2018 year, we hosted the October general membership meeting in which the Public Policy and Advocacy Director for Public Education Partners of Greenville County ("PEP") presented the primary challenges in the Greenville County School District as well as South Carolina as a whole. Our committee will work to support PEP by advocating in the key areas they have identified that are currently challenging our public school system which include:
  • Teacher shortage and teacher retention
  • School bus funding
  • Public education funding at the state level

In January, we will meet with Representative Rita Allison, Chairperson of the House Education and Public Works Committee, to understand the priorities and workings planned for the 2018 legislative session. Following this meeting, our committee will prioritize our advocacy efforts with respect to legislation developing in the SC House as it pertains to public education.

The LWVGC was recently awarded a $1000 grant to support a Youth Voter Registration project, based on a proposal submitted by our committee. The project aims to engage high school, community college, and/or vocational school students in the electoral process, and in particular work to mitigate the widespread disparities in youth voting among African Americans, Latinos, and young people with no college experience. This $1000 grant will provide funding and materials to support voter registration activities in the Spring of 2018, and the Education Committee will work in conjunction with the LWVGC Voter Registration Committee to promote and facilitate voter registration in high schools in the GCSD.

We meet approximately every two months, with regular email correspondence in between meetings. We encourage any LWVGC members who are interested in public education advocacy to join us! If interested, send an email to lwvgreenvilleco@gmail.com.

LWVGC Priority Issues - Voter Access and the Election Process

The Voter Access and Election Process Committee consists of 12 members. These are Dusty Acosta, Audrie Earl (Board liaison), Melissa Ericksen (Secretary), Linda Hardman, Lucille Herwald, Gayle Hewitt, Genie Murphy, Narayan Naik, Selina Naik, Peggy Schotsch, Ruth Todd (Chair), Ted Volskay (Board liaison)

The aim of this committee is for the members to become experts on voter access and the election process by identifying specific research topics and credible sources of information such as laws and regulations, newspapers and journal articles, internet resources, etc. We will also be exploring governmental and LWV resources on local, state and national levels. The information gathered will enable us to advocate and make presentations to civic groups, governmental entities and elected officials. Letter writing and lobbying will also be an important component.

Our first meeting was held on November 14, 2017. After discussing numerous issues of concern a consensus was reached to explore voter registration practices at the DMV as there have been reports of problems. Our next meeting is scheduled for January 23, 2018 at 6:00p in meeting room "C" at the downtown library (25 Heritage Green Pl.) We will be discussing member responsibilities and assignments and a potential meeting with Conway Belangia (Election Office University Square).We hope to move forward by preparing a large scale presentation to our entire Greenville LWV membership as well as the community.