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Celebrating the Constitution

September 17, 2007

Dear Editor,

Monday, September 17th marked the 220th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution.

The League of Women Voters of Santa Monica is working to highlight crucial elements of democracy and holds events for students and the community throughout the year.

Constitution Day is celebrated across the country to remind Americans of the importance of voting and understanding major public policy issues. In fact, the Constitution itself stresses the importance of voting through nine amendments dealing directly with the process and outcomes of voting. Nine out of 27 amendments is one-third of the Constitution.

Those nine amendments pertain to rules for electing presidents and vice presidents (12th amendment); voting rights for black men (15); rules for electing two senators from each state (17); voting rights for women (19); establishing two terms of office for the president (22); establishing three Electoral College members from Washington, D.C. (23); eliminating the poll tax (24); voting rights for citizens age 18 and up (26); and prohibiting Congressional pay raises until after an election has been held (27).

Political analysts predict that the 2008 presidential election will be a pivotal election for more than two generations of Americans. With this in mind, the League of Women Voters of Santa Monica Voter Service Director Thea Brodkin is currently working with social studies teachers from John Adams Middle School to bring an elections process curriculum to eighth-grade students this academic year.

On Saturday, September 15th, the League hosted California State Assemblywoman Julia Brownley (D-Santa Monica) at its fall membership luncheon that was free and open to the public. She reviewed the 2006-2007 legislative session, previewed her areas of interest for the next session, and brought guidebooks on the Constitutions of the United States and California.

The local League is actively engaged in bringing an understanding of democracy in action to local residents since 1934. Programs for 2007-2008 include issues addressing civil liberties, electoral reform, immigration, terrorism, voter service, and community development. A library of publications and reports can be furnished upon request by contacting the League at (310) 394-4661 or visiting the Web site at

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Membership in the League is open to men and women of all ages.

Amy Bishop-Dunbar
President, League of Women Voters of Santa Monica

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