League of Women Voters hopes to increase RGV presence

BROWNSVILLE — The League of Women Voters at-large unit for the Rio Grande Valley is hoping a boost to membership will strengthen its voter registration and education efforts this year.

The nonpartisan organization will hold a meeting at noon Monday for active and potential members at Antonio’s Restaurant, 840 Paredes Line Rd. in Brownsville.

Madeline Sandefur, who has been active in the unit since it was founded in 2011, said there are 10 active members. The group distributes about 500 voter guides to libraries in Port Isabel, Los Fresnos and Brownsville.

“I want people to realize their vote does make a difference,” she said. “We want them to be educated about the candidates when they go into the voting booth.”

Members also have taken on the labor-intensive task of compiling candidate platform information for the League of Women Voters’ website, Vote411.org, she said.

With more members, she hopes the group can improve on the 50 percent response rate it got from local candidates ahead of the November 2016 election.

Members conduct voter registration at schools, libraries and events in the area, she added, and sometimes are invited to speak to high school students about civic participation.

Also, the group will have a table at the Women’s March on Jan. 20 at Washington Park in Brownsville.

Sandefur said the Valley’s League of Women Voters at-large unit is open to anyone across the region and hopes people outside the Brownsville-Port Isabel area will join.

During Monday’s meeting, the group will accept donations to offset the cost of membership dues for students.

Those interested in attending can contact Kathy Bussert-Webb at kathy.bussertwebb@gmail.com, or search “League of Women Voters — Rio Grande Valley” on Facebook for more information.

GET INVOLVED

The League of Women Voters will be holding a meeting this week.

WHEN: Noon, Monday

WHERE: Antonio’s Restaurant, 840 Paredes Line Road in Brownsville