|Major Mandy Lambert, Director of Support Services at the Regional Adult Detention Center with President Carol Noggle|
Our Annual meeting Sunday had some great moments and great results! Thank you to all attendees and contributors.
The new dues structure was approved. Not only do we have new members, renewed members and sponsored members but we have some members at the "Champion for Suffrage" level. The Champions are eligible for the new badge with purple, white and gold ribbons.
Welcome, welcome to new members: Sandy Dunlap, Barbara Barter, and Genie Nguyen.
Our Treasurer's news since Sunday: Linda Larsen has sponsored THREE more members. They are Elizabeth Schwitz, Amber Mallery, and Judy Musa. Thank you Linda!!! And welcome Elizabeth, Amber, and Judy. Sponsoring a new member includes mentoring the new member, inviting her/him to meetings and events. The purpose of sponsoring a new member is to further increase membership of the League of Women Voters, a desire of our founding member, Sheila School. Most of you know that Sheila passed away this past spring. Sheila's desire to increase membership made a big impression on Linda.
New Officers and Directors were elected for the biennium:
1st Vice-President: Carol Noggle
2nd Vice-President: Judy Anderson
Secretary/Membership: Jessie Barringer
Treasurer: Carol Proven
Directors: Co-Chairs for Program: Linda Larsen and Helen Stackhouse
Director: Voter Services (High School Registration): Rima Vesilind
We also approved the budget for 2015-2016. Major items for funding will be our Top Ten Voter Education cards for use before the November election and the publication of the "They Represent You" brochure, a joint effort with the Prince William County Library System, that provides the best comprehensive list of our elected officials for the public.
Members have a copy of a proposed new Virginia Voter Registration form that is expected to be ready for use after public comments and implemented by July 1st. Cards with Photo ID requirements for Voters will be prepared for distribution again.
There were lucky winners of the door prizes provided by Linda Larsen: Zinnias, Pink Begonia and two terraria. Thank you, LInda!
We were very pleased to have Lois Page and Linda Garvelink attend. Lois is the Co-President-elect of the Virginia League and Linda is a Director-elect for Membership of the Virginia League.
All the staff members at the Pub were very helpful and went beyond what is generally expected at some sites. We very much appreciate the extra efforts provided.
Major Mandy Lambert, Director of Support Services at the Regional Adult Detention Center provided information on really good programs for inmates but also challenges to overcome. The jail will be expanded to better accommodate the 1,000 inmates. With many inmates with drug convictions and mental health issues more personnel and funds are needed for rehabilitation and services.
Major Lambert has invited us to come to the jail for a tour.
Our members shared some thoughts about highlights from the Annual meeting:
J.S. I really enjoyed the speaker; she was forthright and honest about the challenges of running a detention center. I was amazed at the high percentage of inmates (I think about 90%) who are incarcerated for drug or mental illness issues. There is much to be done to deal with these issues in our community as we work to lower the numbers of inmates in our jails. I think she gave a good example of Miami-Dade putting more resources into mental health and drug rehab. The number of inmates declined so that they were able to close one of their detention centers. Some food for thought!
H.S. The highlight of the meeting for me was the presentation by Major Mandy Lambert. I am extremely interested in the work that she and others do at the Prince William-Manasas Regional Adult Detention Center to prepare former inmates for reentry to society. Without such assistance, many inmates are doomed to repeat incarceration. It is a herculean task, and it was heartwarming to see the dedication and commitment of someone like Mandy who, despite the huge challenges that she and her team face, continues to gladly do this work.