The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

January 30, 2013

The League of Women Voters

The Daily Southerner

TARBORO — A grassroots organization in Edgecombe and Nash Counties will encourage voter registration and foster an open community dialogue about public policy.

The League of Women Voters of North Carolina (LWV-NC) is hosting an organizational kickoff meeting at 11 a.m. Thursday in the Wiley Room of the Braswell Memorial Library in Rocky Mount.

“We want to try to start a Twin-Counties chapter right here,” said Pat Adams, member-at-large of the LWV-NC. “Our goal is to recruit about 18 to 20 members.”

 “The women who are working to get the local league established felt that there was room for a dialogue beyond who to vote for, and that people who understand the issues are

ultimately stronger voters and citizens,” said T.J. Leavell, administrative director for LWV-NC.

One of the objectives of the league is to bridge the partisan divide and promote voter education.

“I think joining and supporting the League of Women Voters is important because there are critical issues common and important to all of us, regardless of our labels — gender, ethnicity, race, age, socioeconomic status, geography, party affiliation, etcetera, the list is endless,” Adams

stated. “However, we can work collaboratively to increase our knowledge of those issues that impact public policy through education and advocacy. We may not always end up with the same point of view, but issues are explored from various points of view.”

LWV currently has 15 chapters in North Carolina. This would be the first chapter in the Edgecombe/ Nash County area. Although the chapter is just getting started, the organization has already hosted two voter registration events in Edgecombe County and two in Nash County, both prior to the 2012 presidential election. Adams said she would like the league to host a “get to know your elected officials” event, in which the public would be invited to meet their local commissioners and city council members and ask questions.

Leavell sees the need for residents of all communities to be informed about public policy.

“Informed, active citizens ultimately set a good example for young people, and encourage their involvement, as well as to ensure that our communities continue to be a great place,” Leavell said,

“We all benefit from collaboration and listening to various ideas and our community can only be made stronger when all voices are heard,” Adams said. She noted that education and the protection of children’s welfare are two of the policy issues in which female voters have taken an interest over the years,

Braswell Memorial Library is located at 727 North Grace St. in Rocky Mount.