New Knox Voter banner
Knox Voter
Citizen EngagementMarch 2011
League logo

Find us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter

In This Issue
-From the President
-Irwin Wins
-Come to the State Convention
-Help Set the League's Direction
-Donate to the Ed Fund
-Meeting with McElroy
-Suggest a Hot Topic
-What We've Been Up To

What's Your League Story?
The League is building the
 LWV Storybank.  Go to the online form ( and share why you joined or what you've learned or why you love the League.  They will send your story to us at the Knoxville/Knox County League. 

LWVKKC Board of Directors 

Jamey Dobbs

1st Vice-president:
Laura Cole

2nd Vice-president: Barabara Nicodemus

Mary Headrick


Robin Brown
Lisa Carroll
Rynn Dupes
Susanne Dupes
Kelly Pemberton
Lee Ann Rodgers
Casey Self

Quick Links

Comments or suggestions?
 Contact the editor at
From the President

Jamey 2122100

What would Alice Paul and Eleanor Roosevelt do with thirty days today?  Well, I'm sure our League channeled them this past month.  In that time we sponsored a breakfast attended by our highest ranking Senator, Jamie Woodson, personally welcomed over 250 new citizens, friends and family, led a workshop to help 65 laypeople and officials understand the Redistricting process, lobbied in support of the Hillside-Ridgetop Plan, observed 10 public meetings, and held our first fundraising event with Kate Campbell Stevenson attended by over 150 people.


During her performance, Kate gave us a dramatic taste of the lives of Alice Paul and Eleanor Roosevelt and three others, and portrayed the reward of moving beyond our comfort zones.  By living that example this year, our League has strengthened the democratic process in our city and we now have the resources to reach many of our goals for the upcoming year.  


I want to thank everyone who made our fundraising event a terrific success beginning with our dedicated board members--and with enormous gratitude to members Susanne Dupes and Lee Ann Rogers for their extraordinary commitment.  I also want to thank all of our members who bought tickets or shared the word.  You are absolutely the best!  And I hope you will share your business with our major sponsors, the Hilton Knoxville, the Knoxville News Sentinel, B97.5 radio, and 1Source Printing.  Lastly, I don't want you to miss reading about the nominees for our Making Democracy Work award below.  So cheers to all and let's keep Eleanor's "fun" in our hearts!


-- Jamey Dobbs, President  548-0818


Irwin Wins Making Democracy Work Award  

By Rynn Dupes 


"I was stunned and honored," said Chris Irwin after winning our League's Making Democracy Work Award. "It was an honor just to be nominated when I read the work of of my co-nominees," he added.


For those of you who were unable to attend our recent event, Petticoats in Politics, you missed the announcement of Chris Irwin as our Making Democracy Work Award winner. Chris was one of four nominees, including Bee DeSelm, Stephanie Matheny, and Hubert Smith. Chris is a lawyer and an activist for the environment and social justice.   


When asked what our award meant to him, Chris said, "Democracy is a verb. It is an act. It works by people using their rights and organizing and mobilizing for change." These sentiments obviously reflect exactly what our award represents.


Irwin has founded groups such as Appalachian Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, East Forest Justice League, Knoxville Anti-Racist Action, Knoxville First Amendment Radio, Knoxville Food Not Bombs, Mount Justice, Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, Shaconage Greens, Three Rivers Earth First!, and United Mountain Defense.  


We asked Chris what motivated him to devote so much time and energy to his advocacy. He told us, "The beauty of this region.  It is one of the most biodiverse in the world. It deserves defense and does not deserve the damage being done to it."  


The League was proud to present this award to him. We congratulate Mr. Irwin and the other three nominees as well.


Come to the State Convention!

April 30 - May 1

Cookeville, TN

For more information or to make reservations, go to 



Help Set the League's Direction on March 15th 

 By Jamey Dobbs


Every spring, every local League asks its members to contribute ideas for study and action in the coming year.  Our "year" begins  July 1 and culminates at the Annual Meeting the next May.  It is the essence of League culture to gather and have a dialogue about issues our community is facing, and to suggest appropriate action.   


Members may suggest any issue that involves local concerns or local government.  The may also suggest issues that can be recommended to the state or national League for study and action.  Actions may involve a new study, advocacy with elected officials, letters to the editor, or group letter writing campaign among many other options.  We invite you to join the dialogue this Tuesday, March 15 from 5:30-7:00 pm.  If you can't make it that evening, we welcome you to send your input to us by email or mail.   


We will gather at a new location for us: the new KAT Transit Station on Church St.  For directions, see the League website, and go to "Calendar" or call Jamey Dobbs at 548-0818. 


  Donate to the Ed Fund!

Want to make a donation to the League that is totally tax deductible?   


We use the Ed Fund to help  

inform and educate our members and the public.  


 Make your checks out to LWVTN Ed Fund.


SUNSHINE WEEK:  March 13-19, 2011  

Sunshine Week editorial cartoon
Cartoon by Deb Milbrath, Freelance


League Representatives Meet with Sentinel's McElroy 

By Susanne Dupes 


Redistricting, transparency, petticoats, and a joint voter guide were all topics League representatives covered in an early morning meeting with Knoxville News Sentinel Editor Jack McElroy in February.  President Jamey Dobbs, along with Barbara Nicodemus and Susanne Dupes, second vice president and communications director, respectively, talked with McElroy about the goals of the Knoxville/Knox County League and presented opportunities for the League and the News Sentinel to work in partnership.


The meeting was extremely productive and came at a very opportune time.  The News Sentinel was already a sponsor of our Petticoats in Politics fundraiser.  But as we talked through our goals-the Observer Corps, the Citizens Academy, increasing voter education services, advocating for civility and open government, his interest in supporting us and the event intensified.


 In the coming months, we will be exploring the best way to partner with the News Sentinel on a Voter Guide and possibly a forum for the Knoxville mayoral race.  In addition, we anticipate that representatives from the newspaper will work with us in the Citizens Academy that is under development.

  Suggest a HOT TOPIC for the April Meeting!


If you have an issue you'd like us to organize our April

meeting around, let us know NOW. 


To suggest a Hot Topic, send an email to

or call Jamey Dobbs at 548-0818. 

 The deadline for meeting suggestions is Friday, March 11th



What We've Been Up To  

By Casey Self 


Our League chapter has been incredibly busy this past month putting on three outstanding, educational events open to the public.  


 February brought two very well attended public events- the "Legislative Breakfast" with state Senator Jamie Woodson and "Redistricting 101" with Knoxville's top experts on redistricting. We had a good turnout for our Legislative Breakfast at Blount Mansion on Saturday, February 12th. Although Senator Stacey Campfield couldn't make it, Senator Woodson fielded questions from the audience on everything from the budget to the education and the environment.


About 65 people from the community came to "Redistricting 101" on Redistricting shotSaturday, February 19th at the City County Building. We had some outstanding presentations from a wide variety of experts. Tim Kuhn, the Metropolitan Planning Commission's GIS Manager, gave an informative presentation on how districts are drawn. Knox County Election Commission Administrator Greg Mackay and Knoxville's Urban Grown Manager Rick Emmett talked about what Knox County will do this year to ensure an open and fair process, something League President Jamey Dobbs and Second Vice President Barbara Nicodemus stressed in their presentation. Harry Tindell, our state representative from the 13th district, touched on how redistricting is done at the state level, while former County Commissioner Wanda Moody talked about her experience helping redraw the districts 10 years ago.


On March 4th, the League held a fundraiser- "Petticoats in Politics." Kate Campbell Stevenson put on an outstanding performance portraying several pioneers who helped women win the right to vote. The performance was well attended, including appearances by City Mayor Daniel Brown and mayoral candidate Madeline Rogero. The money raised by "Petticoats in Politics" will go to several League initiatives including increasing voter services and developing a Citizens Academy to educate the community about local government.


We hope to continue to bring you more fun, educational and successful events such as these in the near future. We would like to thank all the members that came out in support of the League!


CALENDAR of Meetings and Events





Mar. 15:  Membership Meeting. Open Discussion to Set League Priorities

Mar. 22:  Board Meeting

Apr. 19:  Membership Meeting. Hot Topic suggested by members

Apr. 26:  Board Meeting

May 17:  Annual Membership Meeting

June 18:  LWVUS Council. National Council - all members invited

Did You Know?
Each Voter snail mailed to a member costs $1.34 + labor.  You can stretch your membership dollar by receiving the Voter by email.  If you agree to receive the Voter by email, contact any board member.  But if that would stop your Voter perusal, don't do it! 
Contact Info
League of Women Voters of Knoxville/Knox County
P.O. Box 31825
Knoxville, TN 37930-1825