The Clemson Area

The Clemson Area

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

LWV of the Clemson Area is an organization fully committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in principle and in practice. There shall be no barriers to full participation in this organization on the basis of gender, gender identity, ethnicity, race, age, education, sexual orientation, culture, religion, political perspective, and/or any other characteristic that can be identified as recognizing or illustrating diversity. 

We commit to making deliberate efforts to ensure LWV Clemson Area is a place where differences are welcomed, different perspectives are respectfully heard, and every individual feels a sense of belonging and inclusion. We commit to working actively to challenge and respond to bias, harassment, and discrimination. 

The League of Women Voters of South Carolina joins the world in mourning the death of George Floyd; we profoundly deplore the continued brutality against unarmed people of color in this country, and the protection from accountability that complicit officials provide to the police officers who are responsible. We see this failure in our system of criminal justice as intrinsically related to many other aspects of injustice and racial inequities— access to education, employment, housing, health care, and many other resources needed to lead the full and rewarding lives that should be available to all South Carolinians.

The League understands that the roots of these problems run deep in America’s culture, but we believe that there are governmental actions that can help.  Among other things, including support for criminal justice reforms, we will work for legislative action to address educational inequities, to provide broadband availability throughout the state, and to ensure health care access to our citizens.

Most importantly, the League will continue its efforts to “empower voters and defend democracy” in South Carolina. Voting is at the heart of this work. We applaud the message of Terrence Floyd, George Floyd’s brother, when he said. “Let’s stop thinking that our voice don’t matter and vote. . . Not just vote for the president, vote for the preliminaries, vote for everybody. . . Educate yourself. Don’t wait for somebody else to tell you who’s who. Educate yourself and know who you’re voting for.” 

Our ultimate tool for change is the ballot box.  Our voter registration drives, citizen education initiatives, get-out-the-vote projects have never been more critically important.

Our efforts to make voting more meaningful through redistricting reform, and to obtain the complete count for the 2020 Census that underlies redistricting, continue; our efforts to work for fair and accessible elections, to prevent unnecessary obstructions to the ballot box for our citizens, continue.

We will continue to speak out against injustice; we will continue our efforts to strengthen our democratic processes and the accountability and transparency of our government; we will continue to insist on fair access to the vote.  We will continue our work.

NEWS RELEASE MARCH 5, 2020

.Important Issues Facing Americans
Actions of the League of Women Voters
Making Democracy Work is the mission of the League of Women Voters of the Clemson Area (LWVCA). League members met at OLLI in Clemson February 29 to consider changes to its national and local priorities and policy positions for 2020-2022 that would further the organization's mission. These proposed changes will be voted on this spring at the National Convention of the League of Women Voters US (LWVUS) and the Annual Meeting of our Clemson Area League.

The first policy position recommended for adoption at the LWVUS convention is to "Support electoral systems at each level of government that encourage participation, are verifiable and auditable and enhance representation for all voters." This proposal supports electoral methods that encourage those with minority opinions to participate, including under-represented communities and that require the winner to receive the majority of votes for executive and single-seat offices.

Local League members also endorsed an addition to the Arms Control section of International Relations relating to cyberwar which will be considered at the National Convention. After the current phrase "the US government shall give the highest level of importance to arms control efforts that ..." the following be added:
.....provide international agreement on limits to the use of cyber weapons to attack critical infrastructure (including electrical grids, water supplies and other essential services).

Along with this addition, Clemson Area members agreed that the LWVUS Convention be asked to approve a study of cyber weapons and cyberwar, including artificial intelligence, to better educate League members and the public on this poorly understood reality and threat.

Other priorities approved for consideration at the National Convention include greater LWVUS action on environmental issues and universal health care.

All policy positions approved at the National Convention are automatically accepted as positions of state and local Leagues. State and local Leagues decide the extent to which they work on issues, with guidance from the National League.

Clemson Area members also recommended a policy relating to the size of the Pickens County Council for acceptance at its May Annual Meeting. It states that Council membership be increased to seven members, elected from the same single-member districts as School Board members. Having fewer ballot types results in an election that is easier to administer. Simplification of the election process should save election costs.

The League of Women Voters promotes political responsibility through informed and active participation in government. It does not support or oppose any political party or candidate. Its strength is in its diversity, welcoming all people regardless of gender, race or creed. 

 

GENERAL MEETING MARCH 24 -- WILL BE RESCHEDULED

Hunger and Food Insecurity in Pickens County: 2019
Abstract

Ensuring the availability of healthy, affordable food is an essential component of a community's quality of life. While food security rate>>s have improved since the 2008 recession, food insecurity remains a concern among certain subpopulations and in some areas of the country.

To better understand the extent and character of food insecurity and hunger in Pickens County, SC, the research team conducted a mixed-method study of these issues in Summer 2019. The study was commissioned by the United Way of Pickens County as a follow-up to an earlier study conducted in 2011. This study aimed to:

1) Assess state of food insecurity in Pickens County in 2019 and the community assets available to address the issue; 2) Document, through maps and a transportation study, the extent of the needs and gaps in services; and 3) Recommend steps for harnessing community assets to address the needs individuals facing hunger and food insecurity.

The research team's presentation will focus on the initial study results, focusing on the survey results and a model for addressing the broaders systemic causes of hunger and food insecurity in the county and beyond.

 

Biographical Sketches

Catherine Mobley is a Professor of Sociology at Clemson University. She has extensive experience in community-based research and program evaluation, addressing a variety of issues, including, STEM education, environmental sustainability, and hunger and food insecurity. She has been involved in several community organizations, including serving on the boards of the LWVCA, the United Way of Pickens County, and the Upstate Homeless Coalition.

Cassius Hossfeld is an MS degree candidate in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice at Clemson University. He holds a BA degree with Honors in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Hossfeld has experience with diverse qualitative and quantitative research methods, including surveys, in-depth interviews and focus groups. He will apply these skills to a broader study of food access, to be conducted in Summer 2020.

Michelle Eichinger is a PhD candidate in Planning, Design and Built Environment at Clemson University. She has over 15 years of experience in public health programs development and management; and policy analysis related to chronic disease prevention and health promotion, with a focus on equity, food security, and active living in the built environment.

Leslie Hossfeld is the Dean of the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences at Clemson University. As a rural sociologist, she focuses on multi-disciplinary strategies and collaborative partnerships to understand and alleviate persistent poverty in the Southeast, particularly around local food systems development, food access and food insecurity. She works to link U.S. local food systems research and initiatives to nutrition, malnutrition (obesity), and health outcomes and health disparities to develop policy coherence linking health and agriculture policy.

The public is invited. See the calendar for more information.

 

VOTE411 -- THE ONLINE CANDIDATE FORUMS

This November we hope to make our online candidate forums available to all the municipalities that are holding elections. In Pickens County, Central, Easley, Liberty, Norris, Pickens and Six Mile are holding elections. In Anderson County, Belton, Honea Path, Iva, Pelzer, Pendleton and West Pelzer are holding elections. In Oconee County, Salem, Wahalla, Wesrminster and West Union are holding elections.

Alice Flower (Anderson County), Kathy Bargeron (Oconee County) and Eleanor Hare (Pickens County) are collecting candidate information and entering it in the computer. Invitations to participate are being sent to candidates by email. Letters will be mailed to those who do not reply.

We need volunteers in two areas: (1) to phone candidates who do not reply and (2) to take Vote411 flyers and business cards to each council having an election.

This outreach, to the edges of our three counties, is a huge task, but it is a major benefit to voters. If we can reach all these elections, candidate participation in future candidate forums should increase. Contact any of the county co-ordinators if you can help.