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Welcome to the League of Women Voters of La Plata County

LPC Forum Sept 2022

Meet the candidates for La Plata County Commissioner Brad Blake, Clyde Church and Jack Turner along with La Plata County Treasurer candidates Allison Aichele and Erin Hutchins in a public forum to be held on September 28, 2022 from 5:00 - 7:00 pm.  This forum will be moderated by LWV Member and former Mayor of Durango, Leigh Meigs. 

This is a hybrid event with both in person and online attendance options.  If you wish to attend in person, advance registration is required; please register here:  I Wish to Attend in Person.

The in-person event will be held at the Fort Lewis College Innovation Center, located at 835 Main Ave. (Main Mall, 2nd Floor) in Durango.  Please plan to arrive 10 minutes prior to the start to avoid interrupting the forum.

To attend online, please use the link or QR code listed on the flier. 

A recording will be available on the LWV website the following day for those who miss the live forum.

La Plata County Fun Fact:  According to the 2020 U.S. Census, the population of La Plata County is 56,183.

Election Day is November 8!

Hear what the candidates have to say about the issues important to our District , CO and the country. What do you want to know from them? Email us at League of Women Voters La Plata with questions you want asked!
CD3 Forum Save the Date October 2022


We Know You Care About Your Health Care

Many of us who reside in La Plata County have experienced and heard about the difficulty of finding a provider practice who accepts new patients (regardless of insurance status), maintaining continuity of care from providers and being able to make an appointment with a provider or specialist in a reasonable length of time. 

We aren’t alone in these concerns. A group of retired physicians, retired health care management consultants, community leaders and local politicians came together to discern our current standing with provider adequacy for our population, as well as, recruitment and retention of medical providers in La Plata County. 

This document contains their robust research compiled in an interim report as they worked in conjunction with Mercy Hospital. Their next steps will include working with other groups such as Animas Surgical Hospital, Integrated Health Care, La Plata Family Medicine, and others. Click here to read the report: Durangoans for Improved Health Care Report June 2022

Please take the time to read their report and know that there is a workgroup of “Durangoans for Improved Healthcare” working diligently toward improving the availability and retention of healthcare providers in La Plata County.

We also encourage you to take this brief health care survey if you haven't already done so and please pass the link along to other La Plata County residents who would like to weigh in on their health care needs and experiences. Click here for the survey (available in English and Spanish: Health Care Survey


Unaffiliated candidates to appear on November ballot in La Plata County


For first time, three make it in one election cycle

La Plata County’s three unaffiliated candidates secured their place on the November ballot this week.

Jack Turner, Tiffany Lee and Erin Hutchins each collected enough signatures to earn their way onto the ballot, marking the first time La Plata County has had three independent candidates in an election cycle.

Unaffiliated candidates must petition onto November’s ballot and must meet a 2% threshold based on total number of votes cast for the office during the previous election cycle.

Turner, who is running for county commissioner in District 1, had 966 accepted signatures when 555 were needed. Lee, who is running unopposed for county clerk and recorder, had 593 accepted signatures when 415 were needed; and Hutchins, who is running for county treasurer, accrued a total of 771 accepted signatures when 551 were needed.

Candidates often have some of their collected signatures rejected as a result of address and name inaccuracies.

“I would love to see positions like mine, assessor, treasurer, surveyor, coroner or sheriff, become where we’re not having to run by party,” said Lee, who is the current county clerk. “... You just are strictly reading off your resume.”

Hutchins, who is running against Democratic incumbent Allison Aichele, relayed the same message and is hoping her candidacy can pave the way for more unaffiliated candidates in the future.

Her plan is to commit to community outreach in the upcoming weeks and listen to the concerns of the people. From what she’s heard, customer service has been a recurring issue with the county treasurer’s office.

“We get a lot of complaints in our office about the responsiveness of that office, and then also dealing with the office when there are issues,” said Hutchins, who currently works as an election administrator in the clerk’s office. “So there are just a lot of concerns about the customer service, and as elected officials, we’re here to serve the public.”

Hutchins said people are ready to elect officials based on resume, experiences and the values upheld by the candidate regardless of political affiliation.

Turner ran for county commissioner in District 2 in 2020 and lost to Democrat Marsha Porter-Norton by 166 votes. Turner learned from his previous campaign that hard work is necessary to be successful.

“Quite honestly, I’ve not run a successful campaign yet. We did really well. We got 16,000 votes last time and nearly won,” he said. “But we lost to a really qualified competitor. And she’s doing a great job.”

Turner is not against party affiliations but would like to see more citizens involved in seeking office and realize they don’t need a political party to do so.

“I’m not knocking the parties. I mean, they serve a function, and there’s lots of good people,” he said. “The question I’m challenging is why should they have a monopoly on all elected offices?”

Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events

League of Women Voters Responds to SCOTUS Decision


Court signals threat to marriage equality, contraception, and private intimacy 

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The League of Women Voters of the United States President Dr. Deborah Turner and CEO Virginia Kase Solomón issued the following joint statement in response to the 6 – 3 Supreme Court decision of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturns the constitutional right to abortion as recognized for nearly 50 years in the landmark cases of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey:  

“The Supreme Court's ruling strips women and those who may become pregnant of their bodily autonomy and will have devastating — and immediate — consequences across the country. While the Court’s opinion was expected, its harm is extreme and real. When women and those who can become pregnant can no longer make reproductive decisions for their own bodies, they are no longer equal individuals in our democracy. This harm will exacerbate societal inequalities and fall disproportionately on people of color and low-income communities already facing egregious obstacles to health care.  

"The decision foreshadows the erosion of other well-established Constitutional rights including marriage equality, access to contraception, and the right to engage in private, consensual intimate conduct. 

"The dissenting Justices get it exactly right: today’s majority opinion is an assault on the constitutional guarantee to equal protection of the laws and the right to due process. With this decision, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and other historically marginalized communities have no guarantees that their civil rights will be protected.  

"The League of Women Voters stands in our power with our reproductive partners and all persons who fear the dangerous consequences of this decision. We will use our anger to fight in the legislatures, in the courts, and in the streets. We call on our elected leaders at the state and federal levels to act swiftly to restore bodily autonomy to all people.  

"Women hold the power to create a more perfect democracy. We will not stand by as constitutional rights are stripped away, one by one. Women’s rights are human rights, and we will continue to fight until the right to abortion is restored. Our lives depend on it.” 


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Do you believe we have more in common than what divides us? Have a conversation, and see for yourself. 


Join in community conversations sponsored by our local NPR station, KSUT – and their new project “One Small Step”. 

One Small Step conversations are not to debate or convince. They’re simply a chance to break the ice: to talk about who we are as people, what we care about, and our dreams for the future.

Ask and answer questions like:

“Who has been the most influential person in your life? What did they teach you?”

“Is there someone you disagree with but still love or respect?”

“What are your fears or concerns about the future of our country?”

One Small Step helps us move beyond labels like "Democrat" and "Republican" and into the life experiences that shaped how each of us sees our world.

KSUT is teaming up with civic organizations, churches, and other community groups and leaders to spread the word and connect Four Corners residents from all backgrounds who are ready to take One Small Step.

Do you want to get your group or organization involved in the effort? Contact Adam Burke at for more details.  KSUT will be matching participants and hosting recorded conversations throughout 2022.

Click here to learn more and sign up for a conversation



League Advocacy and Action

A Voting Rights Rollercoaster

After escalating actions demanding that President Biden do all within his power to promote voting rights legislation, the League was thrilled to see POTUS stand for the freedom to vote and call for the end of the filibuster. His shift was a direct result of all the work activists undertook in 2021.

January also saw disappointments, such as the Senate's failure to pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act. During this time, we're reminded of the many obstacles that the Voting Rights Act faced before passing; we know that our current fight, though no less challenging, will be successful.

Tackling Gerrymandered Maps

State Leagues and partners across the US are taking legal action to counter gerrymandered maps. The League has joined cases in Baltimore County, MD, and the state of Georgiaopposing racial gerrymandering.

To stay up to date on this work, sign up for our People Powered Fair Mapsnewsletter.

New Staff and Digital Design in 2022

The League kicked off the new year by welcoming several new team members to the national office, including Press Secretary Shannon Augustus and Senior Director for Voting and Elections Adam Ambrogi. The recruitment process isn't over, either—the League is currently searching for organizers, analysts, marketers, and more to join our team.

We also launched a fresh new website design to better showcase the League's priorities and promote resources like VOTE411 and our legal cases. This is just the first in a series of digital enhancements, so stay tuned!

About Us - LWVLPC Leadership Team

The League is nonpartisan, neither supporting nor opposing candidates or political parties at any level of government, but always working on vital issues of concern to members and the public.  We encourage informed and active participation in government, and work to increase understanding of major public policy issues.  We influence public policy through education and advocacy based on policy positions that are adopted by our members following studies and agreement.

The League of Women Voters of La Plata County has restated its goals
for Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion -

The League of Women Voters of La Plata County works for a stronger democracy, rooted in principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. Our JEDI working group is committed to ensuring that every voice is heard, every individual is counted, and every person has a seat at the table. 2/22/2021

Leadership Team 021722

Our LWVLPC Leadership Team for 2021-2022

Board of Directors

Laurie Meininger, President

Diane Goodchild, Vice President

Siggy Palmer, Treasurer

Martha Mason, Secretary (not pictured)

Trish Pegram, Director at Large (not pictured)

Alex Lemmel, Director at Large

Jean Aaro, Immediate Past President

Committee Leaders

Karen McManus– Voter Services Team * (looking of a new team leader)

Diane Goodchild - Membership Team

Alex Lemmel - JEDI Team

Jan Phillips - Health Care Advocacy and Action Team

Gale Zander-Barlow - Climate Advocacy and Action Team (not pictured)

Vacant – Communications & Technology Team, Webmaster

Contact us via Our Contact Page