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League of Women Voters
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 13, 2005
12:13 PM
CONTACT: League of Women Voters  
Sara Conrath, 2005 202-263-1332
sconrath@lwv.org
 
Ten Communities Named to Host Civil Liberties Dialouges
League’s ‘Local Voices’ Project Will Be Nationwide
 

WASHINGTON -- April 13 -- The League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF) is pleased to announce the 10 communities that will host dialogues as part of “Local Voices: Citizen Conversations on Civil Liberties and Secure Communities.”

Local Voices is an initiative to foster public dialogue about the balance between civil liberties and homeland security through broad community conversations. The outcomes of these League-led forums, which will take place this June, will be gathered, analyzed, and compared with larger national trends. A report will be released in the fall to coincide with the debate about the sunset provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act.

Each dialogue will be hosted by a League (LWV) or partnership of Leagues. The host Leagues are: the LWV of Baltimore City and the LWV of Baltimore County, Maryland; the LWV of Black Hawk-Bremer Counties, Iowa; the LWV of Brookhaven, New York; the LWV of Columbia-Boone County, Missouri; the LWV of Dallas, Texas; the LWV of Lexington, Kentucky; the LWV of Los Angeles, California; the LWV of Miami-Dade County, Florida; LWV of North Pinellas County, Florida along with the LWVs of Hillsborough County, Manatee County, and St. Petersburg Area; and the LWV of Seattle, Washington.

These 10 communities were selected from numerous applicants and they represent a geographically, ethnically and economically diverse cross-section of the country. League facilitators in each community will be professionally trained by the Study Circles Resource Center to best engage broad public participation in these dialogues.

“In this post-September 11th world, it is important to understand the relationship between our civil liberties and the security of our nation at the federal and local levels,” said Kay J. Maxwell, LWVEF Chair. “Preliminary focus groups for this project have shown a need for discussions like Local Voices, as many people do not have a full understanding of these topics. We believe that Local Voices will help people learn about and discuss these issues and understand the ways in which citizen voices can be heard.”

LWVEF is receiving funding for Local Voices through a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The MacArthur Foundation, with headquarters in Chicago, is a private, independent grant-making institution dedicated to helping groups and individuals foster lasting improvement in the human condition. Other partners in the project are Lake, Snell, Perry & Associates and the Constitution Project.

For more information about Local Voices or the 10 communities selected, please contact Sara Conrath at 202-263-1332 or sconrath@lwv.org.

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