Juneau Votes is a non-partisan collaborative community project whose goal is to increase voter registration, voter education, and voter turnout. The project was initiated in the spring of 2014, after concerns about falling voting participation were raised in conversations among League members and staff at the CBJ Library.
The percentage of registered Juneau voters casting ballots in municipal elections has slowly eroded since 2010 and, while the population has gradually increased, the number of registered voters has not. Participation in primaries, state, and national elections follows this trend. Lack of civic engagement is a concern to League members. Juneau Votes seeks to pool the resources of non-partisan civic and media organizations and, through them, to reach all Juneau residents with voting information and encouragement.
The projectís online presence is found on Facebook where a current list of collaborating organizations is maintained. The project is operated under a Charter which describes goals and agreement among the collaborating organizations. A Voting Information Summary for 2014 has been prepared and is available for copying and distribution.
The Elizabeth Peratrovich Project
In April, 2012, the Alaska League of Women Voters received a 3-year grant from the Alaska Humanities Forum to create a DVD documentary about how Alaska Native, Elizabeth Peratrovich, campaigned for 33 years to end discrimination in Alaska. The DVD is entitled: "for the Rights of All - Ending Jim Crow in Alaska." The DVD, along with a Teaching Guide was developed for use in southeast Alaska middle and high schools and public libraries.
A Working Group comprised of League members, AK Department of Education personnel, and SeaAlaska Corporation staff was formed. These included Juneau resident, Marie Olson, a Native Elder; retired teacher and Sitka resident, Brenda Campen who wrote the Teaching Guide; Annie Calkins as Project Evaluator, Marjorie Menzi with extensive Alaska education curricula and guidelines experience; Cheryl Jebe, LWV of Juneau treasurer; and Juneau League members carolyn and George Brown.
A first showing of the DVD was givent to the Southeast School superintendents in Juneau on January 18, 2013, and a first draft of the Teaching Guide was completed soon after. Focus groups at Mt. Edgecombe and Sitka high schools and at the Gustavus school watched the DVD in February.
To date, there have been several showings of the finalized DVD: in April, 2013, to the Sitka ANB/ANS annual convention; in June to Juneau Alaska Native Celebration visitors; and three on the February 16th, 2014, annual Elizabeth Peratrovich day – one each at the Sitka Park, Juneau Alaska State Museum, and ANS/ANB celebration of Elizabeth Peratrovich day. The sixth showing was on February 17th to the student Religious Education class of the Juneau Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Audience responses were insightful. The most recent showing was at the LWVUS biennial Convention in June, 2014, in Dallas where the movie was very well received.