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Knox Voter
Citizen EngagementSeptember 2011
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In This Issue
-From the President
-Fall Gathering
-Education Study
-New Voter Guide
-Voice of the Voter Forum
-2011-2012 Yearbook
-Observer Corps Training
-Go to 2033 a Winner
-League Collaborates with Young Professionals
-Women's Equality Day Celebration

LWVKKC Board of Directors 

Jamey Dobbs

1st Vice-president:
Susanne Dupes 

2nd Vice-president: Barbara Nicodemus

Lisa Bogaty

Stephanie Matheny 


Laura Cole
Rynn Dupes
Mary English

Rikki Hall

Mary Headrick 

Kimberly Lauth
Kelly Pemberton 
Casey Self
Tammy Sommers 

Welcome New Members!

Elizabeth Dunne
Kimberly Lauth
Candice Messick
Belinda Price
Donna Stokes


CALENDAR of Meetings and Events



September 7-22:

Early Voting 

September 17:  

Constitution Day

September 20:

Fall Gathering 

September 27:

City Primary 


October 2:

Observer Corps Training

October 10:

Last Day to Register to Vote 

October 11:

Voter Forum

October 19-September 3:

Early Voting 

October 28:

Halloween Happy Hour


November 3:

National Education Study Local Consensus Meeting 

November 8:

City and Special Senate Election  


December 15:

Bill of Rights Day  


January 21: 

Senate Breakfast 


February 6:

Last Day to Register to Vote 

February 14:

League Birthday Party and Priority Setting Meeting 

February 15-28:

Early Voting 


March 6:

Presidential/County Primary 

March 8:

International Women's Day 

March 13-19:

Sunshine Week 


April 10-16:

National Volunteer Week 

April 22:  

Earth Day 


May 15:

Annual Meeting 


June 4:

Happy Hour 


Join a League Committee!

Voter Services 

Contact Kelly Pemberton at


State Action 

Contact Mary Headrick at


Observer Corps

Contact Barbara Nicodemus at


Citizen's Academy

Contact Rynn Dupes at



Contact Lisa Mixon at


Land Use and Environment

Contact Rikki Hall at



Contact Tammy Sommers at


Voter Participation Study

Contact Kelly Pemberton at


Childcare Study

Contact Jamey Dobbs at   

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. 

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. 

  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.

Quick Links

  Did You Know?

Each Voter 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!

Comments or suggestions?
 Contact the editor at
From the President

Jamey 3It's exciting to be a member of the League these days.  Our membership is growing and we're finding new people interested in our work after every event. Because we're reaching out through social media, our events and our opportunities are reaching people like never before.  But making a larger impact on Knoxville issues and elections will require that we grow a larger membership and a bigger presence.  We have 180 members.  How many League members would it take to reach thousands of voters, teach thousands of citizens, inspire thousands of students?  


One thing we do know is that sharing your personal commitment to the League with your friends and colleagues is more important than any paper or online invitation.  Sharing experiences you've had, and what keeps you in the League, is really powerful.  Think about it....Why is the League important to you?  What does the League do that makes you proud?  What is the best experience you've had as a member of the League?   If you'll share these answers with your friends, colleagues or family this month, you can help bring us closer to our goal of more forums, more voter turnout, and BIG IMPACT.


In fact, coming Tuesday, September 20th, we'll have the perfect event for introducing your friends and colleagues to the League.  We are hosting our annual Fall Gathering at Blount Mansion Visitor Center downtown.  We'll share great food and drink and a chance to catch up with friends and meet new ones.  See the details in the story below, and read many more that will make you proud to be a League member.  See you on the 20th!



-- Jamey Dobbs, President  548-0818


Come Join Us at Our Annual Fall Gathering

You are invited to join us on September 20th from 6 to 8 p.m. at Blount Mansion for a chance to kick off our League year with a bang.  

As usual, this event will be a potluck, so come bring an appetizer or dessert if you'd like, take a free tour, and get a taste of what we hope to accomplish this year.


Free parking will be available on-site as well as across the street at the Dwight Kessel parking garage.  


If you plan to attend, please RSVP to to help us plan for the event.    

LWVKKC Education Study Consensus

The LWVKKC Education Committee will bring all members together November 3 (location TBA) to finalize consensus for the LWVUS Education Study.  The Education Study scope is broad and includes the following areas under the role of the federal government in public education (Pre-K through grade 12): the history, funding and equity issues which are addressed under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and the common core standards/assessments which are required for many federal grant programs but are national, not federal. The culminating position will address only those issues delineated in the scope.

Although the study focuses on the federal government, the original intent of the study included the Common Core Standards. These were written and funded by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Historically, we have always had national standards written by the teaching organizations such as the National Council of Teachers of Math and the National Council of Teachers of English. However, the discussion here will focus upon how these new standards, called Common Core State Standards, will be used by the federal government.

By clicking here, you can read The Discussion Points Keyed To Consensus Questions, which provides guidance before our November 3 meeting.
Please contact Tammy Sommers at 865-548-4404 or with any questions.

Check Out Our Voter Guide Online!

Voter Guide  

The League has produced a Voter Guide to inform voters for the 2011 Knoxville Mayoral Election. Follow this link to find it and share it with others, or find it on our website in our Election section.


Voice of the Voter Mayoral Forum a Success 


Voice of the VoterOn Tuesday, September 6th, the League of Women Voters of Knoxville and Knox County co-hosted a Mayoral Candidate Forum along with local television station WATE. Our event was a great success!


It was televised by WATE and broadcast live on 100.3. All five candidates were in attendance, and took questions selected by a panel of League members and representatives of WATE. They also answered questions from citizens on Market Square, which were taped before the broadcast.


Gene Patterson served as moderator. He was joined on stage by the candidates as well as about 30 students from local high schools who sat behind the candidates and listened to their answers.


We were also able to distribute our new Voter Guide, which you can access online by following the link above.

Info for the League's Yearbook 


The League is almost ready to release our new yearbook for 2011-2012. Please review your information from last year's yearbook to make sure it's correct!     


If you need to correct your information, please call our Membership Chair,  

Tammy Sommers, at 865-548-4404 or contact her at

Observer Corps Training Scheduled for October 2nd   

Come Join Us!    


Follow your interest and observe our elected and appointed officials in action. We will train and support you. Our next Observer training is scheduled for Sunday, October 2nd from 3-5pm. Barbara Nicodemus, 2nd Vice President and Observer Corp Chair, will hold the training at her home.   


This informal training is open to members and nonmembers, anyone interested in observing local governmental meetings and our decision makers. If you would like to become a League Observer or just want to know what we do, this training is for you.    


Register by calling Laura Cole at 865-414-3803 or contacting her at

We Have a Winner!  


2033A new school curriculum that teaches planning and design basics to Knox County students, designed for any middle or high schools, has won a national award, thanks to our League. In interactive and very realistic ways, the Go To 2033 curriculum introduces students to concepts of smart growth, urban design, sustainable development, planning and architecture.  Students learn through approaches such as consulting with practicing architects and planners, mapping on large floor maps, building scale models, and playing the roles of developer and planning commissioner in a realistic site review meeting.  Two classes of West Valley Middle School art students piloted the course last year and were observed by LWV members Jamey Dobbs and Laura Cole.


To demonstrate its success as a curriculum, the League sponsored a bus field trip for more than 40 West Valley Middle School students to give a presentation of their work to the Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission in May.  The students did an excellent job of demonstrating their new expertise, and surprised the commissioners with their command of some sophisticated concepts.  It was so enjoyable for the commissioners that one commented: "I felt like I was the one on a field trip!  


We're excited to report that Go To 2033 has now won two awards and is 2033-2nominated for another. In May, the Association of Architecture Organizations (AAO), a national group, awarded Go To 2033 a Special Jury award.  The curriculum's author, Knox teacher Suzanne Wedekind, will receive the award in Philadelphia at the AAO conference in October. In August, the curriculum was awarded an MPC Excellence Award at a Banquet celebrating top local projects.The League has also nominated Go To 2033 for a Tennessee Planning Association award, to be announced in Nashville at the end of September. 


We are partnering to help inspire more teachers to adopt the curriculum.  If you know of art or social studies teachers who might be interested in learning more, please contact Jamey Dobbs with the League or Suzanne Wedekind at West Valley Middle.  The partnership includes Knox County Schools, the Knoxville chapter of the American Institute of Architecture, the Metropolitan Planning Commission, the Knoxville Museum of Art, and the League of Women Voters.  Our partnership on this project is based on our Land Use advocacy position.


-- Jamey Dobbs, President,


League Collaborates on Young Professionals Forum 

 YP Forum

On August 30th, four groups of young adults put aside their political dispositions to work together and host a City of Knoxville mayoral forum. The result was astonishing. The event brought over 150 people to the Knoxville Museum of Art for an evening of education and fun. The Young Professionals of Knoxville, Knoxville Overground, The Young Professional Democrats of East Tennessee and the Knox County Young Republican Federation put on a great forum.

LWVKKC CoYPForum Presentationmmunications Chair Casey Self gave a presentation preceeding the debate on what city government does. Casey served as a nonpartisan consultant to the co-host group, bringing LWVKKC forum knowledge and setting up moderator training for moderator Erin Donovan of WBIR.


All five mayoral candidates attended, as well as most of the candidates for City Council and State Senate, who set up tables outside of the auditorium to mingle with attendants. The mayoral candidates answered questions on topics ranging from red light cameras and semi-pro sports teams to citizen engagement among young professionals and their nonprofit leadership experience. Each candidate was given only one minute to respond to each question, which seemed appropriate for a generation that communicates in Facebook statuses and Twitter feeds.


Knoxivi streamed the debate live on its website and has archived it for future viewing. To replay the forum and Casey's presentation, please go to  


Women's Equality Day Celebration 

W = Day

On August 26th our League once again celebrated the day in 1920 when we women finally got the right to vote. This year our League commemorated the occasion in a new way. Some businesses on Market Square, including  Tomato Head, Cafe 4, Steamboat Subs, and Trio, sold yellow roses purchased by the League, which people could buy and place at our very own Tennessee Woman Suffrage Memorial. We're proud to remember the women who fought so hard for our rights!  


Contact Info
League of Women Voters of Knoxville/Knox County
P.O. Box 31825
Knoxville, TN 37930-1825