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Nomination Criteria for the Helen Fluker Open and Accessible Government Award: It is important that citizen involvement in government be encouraged and recognized. Each year the League of Women Voters of Lawrence-Douglas County seeks nominations for the Helen Fluker Open and Accessible Government Award.
Any Douglas County resident can nominate another resident for the Helen Fluker Open and Accessible Government Award. If you represent an organization, your nominee does not need to be a member but may simply be someone of whom you are aware. If you nominated someone in the past who was not an award recipient, they will be considered again if the nomination was submitted within the last two years; however, we encourage you to submit updated nomination forms. Please feel free to nominate another person as well if you so desire.
The nominee should be a Douglas County resident over age 18, whose efforts may have promoted improvement in government. Although a nominee may draw upon professional experience in these efforts, the activities for which he or she are nominated must be volunteer and not an extension or responsibility of a regular job position.
The nominee could have accomplished improvement in government in a variety of ways, such as:
• attempting to increase citizen participation in government,
• educating the public about an issue, • working toward more “open” government, • being involved in the community in ways that lead to better political decision-making.
Tips for Nominations for the Helen Fluker Open and Accessible Government Award: • Up to three pages may be added to the nomination form. Please limit your additional text to no more than three pages. • Explain in as much detail why your nominee is eligible for this award. How did they contribute? What kinds of activities did they engage in? When did they participate in these activities? What leadership role did they play in the efforts? What new effort or organization did they spearhead? • Describe how far-reaching and community-wide the activities were. Did the activities or efforts of this individual reach or serve a large cross-section of the community or public? • Although one activity or effort may have led you to nominate an individual, it is helpful to indicate all of the activities an individual has engaged in that strove for more open and accessible government. Sometimes longevity of efforts gives an edge over the other most worthy nominees. • Did the nominee’s efforts result in a policy change, new program, or other change within the government or community?
If you have any further questions or would like to have an application, ,please contact Carrie Lindsey at 843-9216 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Helen Fluker Open and Accessible Government Award Recipient List:
2000—Mary Michener Mary Michener served as chair of Citizens for Public Transportation. As Chair, Mary organized public forums, invited experts on public transit from other cities to educate city officials and the public, prepared and compiled research, presented petitions to the Lawrence City Commission, staffed booths at public events, worked with KU on Wheels, helped produce and mail letters and flyers to major employers and service organizations, and gave numerous interviews. As a result of her and the committee’s efforts, Lawrence now has a public transit system. With public transit in place, all meetings of public governmental bodies are more accessible to the public.
2001—Hilda Enoch For every public issue dealing with human needs in the community—housing, transportation, mental health, education, homelessness, equal rights, health care—Hilda Enoch has either formed a citizen’s committee herself or has joined an existing one to help educate her fellow citizens and to encourage them to participate in the resolution of the problem. She works both within and outside the structure of government with the goal to increase citizen participation and bring about more responsible and accessible government.
2002—Larry Kipp Larry Kipp is the founding force, and at the time of his nomination, Chair of Friends of Douglas County, a civic group promoting “smart” growth. In May 2000, FODC and the League of Women Voters cosponsored SmartGrowth Conference to educate the public on planning issues in Lawrence. Dr. Kipp coupled his background in science with an interest in planning, and became a member of the American Planning Association and a board member of the Douglas County Property Owner’s Association. He has also served as a Palmyra Township Trustee. He pursues his conservation efforts through such positions as the Chair of the Conservation Committee of the Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City. Dr. Kipp regularly testifies before elected bodies on issues of planning.
2003—Betty Lichtwardt Betty Lichtwardt has been active in land-use issues and urban planning for over thirty years. She has thorough knowledge of local land use regulations and the recent history of Lawrence’s growth and has been instrumental in educating League members and the public on planning matters. She keeps meticulous archives of planning documents and land use data and has written a number of papers on land use and neighborhood planning. She has served on the League’s Land Use Committee since the 1970s and at the time of her nomination began serving as the League representative to the Zoning Codes Advisory Committee.
2004—Allan and Louise Hanson Allan and Louise Hanson have an ongoing commitment to a range of civic activities, including the Lawrence Coalition for Peace and Justice. They have demonstrated the importance of citizen involvement by co-founding the Kaw Valley Living Wage Alliance that lobbied and educated for a living wage for any employees of companies receiving a tax abatement from Lawrence City taxes.
2005—Mary Davidson Mary Davidson was instrumental in re-activating the Douglas County Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union in 2002. During her tenure as president from 2003 to 2005, she helped organize several public forums on such important civil liberties issues as the USAPATRIOT Act and the Freedom of Information Act. In 2004, she organized the ACLU’s first Freedom Fair, which allowed Lawrence citizens and organizations to exchange information about their political activities. She worked locally to protect the freedom of speech in Lawrence City Commission meetings and to ensure the separation of church and state in Douglas County schools. She promotes open and accessible government through the League, the National Organization for Women, and the Lawrence Coalition for Peace and Justice.
2006—Forrest Swall Forrest’s list of efforts and accomplishments toward open government is long, but for his work to inform local citizens about legislative issues through candidate forums for city and county commissioner, state legislature, and gubernatorial candidates. He also created and chaired the Penal Reform Committee, initiated through the City Commission under then-Mayor Nancy Hambleton, in which the Douglas County Mental Health Association, the League of Women Voters, and various other interested organizations and citizens participated. The group devised a plan for Douglas County that outlined alternatives to incarceration, and Forrest and other Kansas Mental Health Association members traveled throughout the state to hold workshops and forums to educate the public about the Community Corrections concept. These activities eventually led to the adoption of Kansas Community Corrections Act of 1977, making Kansas the third state in the union to adopt such a plan.
2007—Jessie Branson Jessie’s extensive volunteer efforts which contributed to more open and accessible government include her service in the 1960s on Governor Bob Docking’s Commission on Mental Health and Mental Retardation and on the Kansas Council on Health Planning. In the 1970s, Jessie and Petey Cerf co-founded Kansans for Improvement of Nursing Homes (KINH). They traveled the state as volunteers, monitoring and assessing nursing homes. They documented their findings and presented them to State Legislative committees, citing woefully inadequate conditions and inappropriate placements with no prior training or services for individuals with developmental disabilities. In 1977, Governor Bennett appointed Jessie and Petey to the Governor’s Committee on Nursing Homes. In 1999, Jessie received a citation for 25 years on the Board of Directors of KINH, now known as Kansas Advocates for Better Care.
2008--marci francisco League member and former chapter President, marci francisco has been a leader in Lawrence and in her neighborhood for decades. She is adept at acquiring the necessary resources to get jobs done and goals accomplished. marci has a high energy level and a special ability to do at least 5 tasks at once. She has the patience of a skilled mediator and is not vested in any one way to solve a problem. She is a good listener and welcomes input. marci has been actively involved in the Lawrence community since the 1970s when she served on the City Commission and one term as mayor. marci had to step down from our local board of directors when she was elected to be Senator for the 2nd District of Kansas.