Past Activities

See what the LWVTV has been doing over the past few years.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Opportunities on Jan. 18, 19 and 21, 2019


The King Holiday Bill was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on Nov. 2, 1983. It took until 2000 for the last state to sign a bill recognizing Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a holiday. 

Several LWVTV members attended the Community Celebration.



In honor of Martin Luther King Jr, the Alaska  Bar Association answered legal questions for free on MLK Day (1/21/19) in communities across Alaska. These clinics were for low income Alaskans with civil legal needs that include family,  landlord-tenant, and public benefits issues. This clinic is a public service project of the Alaska Bar Association, Alaska Court System, Alaska Legal Services Corporation, and Alaska Public Media in partnership with local bar associations.

JP Jones Community Development Center
2400 Rickert St.
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

November 6, 2018 Alaska state General Election.


LWVTV members offered voting opportunities for folks at the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and Pioneer Home during the Alaska state election.

LWVTV assisted with voters at the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and the Pioneer Home during the October 2 Municipal Election

LWVTV part of Naturalization Ceremony ~ Sept. 28, 2018


We registered 23 new citizens on Sept. 28 at the Morris Thompson Cultural Center following the always moving Naturalizaion Ceremony.


Linda Witt led our group along with Shari George, Sue McHenry and Janna Miller. Thanks to Carol Ann Varner for organizing our participation.


Municipal Candidates Forum


Elections impact every aspect of our lives, and we all need to weigh in. We are all equal at the ballot box, but only if we vote. LWVTV engages our community every year ensuring we offer information that voters need to participate in elections that determine the future of our community.


Wednesday, September 26, 2018

7:00 - 9:00 PM at the

FNSB Assembly Chambers


Book Club ~ Sept. 8, 2018 - July 13, 2019

~September 8, 2018 – The Soul of America: the battle for our better angels by Jon Meacham

~October 13, 2018 – The Road to Character by David Brooks

~November 10, 2018 – The Woman Who Smashed Codes: a true story of love, spies, and the unlikely heroine who outwitted America’s enemies by Jason Fagone

~January 12, 2019 – In the Garden of Beasts: love, terror, and an American family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson

~February 9, 2019 – The Hidden Brain: how our unconscious minds elect presidents, control markets, wage wars, and save our lives by Shankar Vedantan

~March 9, 2019 – Educated: a memoir by Tara Westover

~April 13, 2019 – How to Think: a survival guide for a world at odds by Alan Jacobs

~May 11, 2019 – Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner?: a story about women and economics by Katrine Marcal

~June 8, 2019 – selection of titles for September 2019 – July 2020

~July 13, 2019 – A Cool and Lonely Courage: the untold story of sister spies in occupied France by Susan Ottaway

Primary Candidate Forum

August 17, 2018 ~~ 6:30 - 9:00 PM

FNSB Assembly Chambers


The League of Women Voters of Tanana Valley hosted a candidate forum at 6:30PM on Friday, August 17th in the FNSB Assembly Chambers for the upcoming Alaska Primary Races. Candidates from the US representative race, state house districts 1-6 and state senate seat A were represented.


For more than 50 years, local voters have looked to our League for unbiased, straightforward information about the election. Many voters rely on our forums to learn more about candidates and candidates have come to rely on our forums to get their message out to the electorate.

LWVTV was at the Tanana Valley State Fair.

August 3 - 11, 2018.

Open House ~~ Running for Local Public Office

July 7, 2018 ~~ 10am - Noon ~~ FNSB Assembly Chambers


Thinking of running for FNSB Assemby, FNSB Mayor, North Pole Assembly, North Pole Mayor, School Board, IGU Board?


LWVTV supported the Clerks from FNSB, City of Fairbanks and City of North Pole who were available to answer questions from prospective candidates. 

Juneteenth Citywide Celebration

June 16, 2018

10:00am - 7:00pm

Bernice Allridge Park

2250 Wilson St.


LWVTV registered voters and let participants know about the League's work making democracy work.


Juneteenth or Freedom Day, commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery in the state of Texas. Congress recognized the day through Senate Joint Resolution 11 and House Joint Resolution 56 in 1997.

LWVTV Annual Meeting - May 19, 2018


President - Rebecca Heaton

Vice President - Sue Sherif

Treasurer - Jean James

Secretary - Clare Hill

Past President - Shari George

Board of Directors

Mary Lee Guthrie

Helenmarie Matesi

Gael Murakami

Sylvia Slotnick

A Workshop on How to Run for Public Office was offered on May 16, 2018, at the Fairbanks City Council Chambers. The workshop was a collaboration with the FNSB, City of Fairbanks and City of North Pole clerks and took advantage of material created by the LWV of Juneau. LWVTV members Mary Lee Guthrie, Rebecca Heaton, Sue Sherif and Phyllis Tugman-Alexander led the charge on this event which was well-received and well-attended.

LWVAK Annual Convention ~ April 28-29, 2018

LWVAK Annual Convention ~ April 28-29, 2018

Tanana Valley members Shari George, Mary Lee Guthrie, Rebecca Heaton, Helenmarie Matesi and Phyllis Tugman-Alexander joined others from Anchorage, Juneau and the Kenai Peninsula. Members conducted League business, enjoyed an excellent presentation by the Division of Elections and  learned about climate change on the Kenai. There was also time for reconnecting with League members from across the state at a pre-convention dinner and social evening.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month Walk - April 25, 2018


Several League members joined in the walk that started at Fairbanks Native Association Community Services and ended at Golden Heart Plaza. Outreach tables and community information were at the end of the walk.

March for Our Lives Alaska


A rally at Golden Heart Plaza on March 24, 2018, highlighted the theme:  How Gun Violence affects Our Marginalized Communities. A number of LWVTV members attended the March and Teach-In.

February 14, 2018

League's 98th Anniversary


“Ninety-eight years after the League’s founding, members of the League in the Tanana Valley are proud of the great progress it has made empowering voters and defending our democracy,” said Rebecca George Heaton president of the League of Women Voters of Tanana Valley “The League in Fairbanks has involved thousands of voters in electing government decision makers for our state government and in holding them accountable for their actions.”



Enjoy the complete press release prepared by our president, Rebecca George Heaton.
League of Women Voters of Tanana Valley [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [280.9 KB]

LWVTV is a Golden Heart Meeting Ambassador

Along with 28 other local groups that led events during 2017, LWVTV was honored by Explore Fairbanks as a Golden Heart Meeting Ambassador for hosting last year's LWVAK Annual Convention.  Explore Fairbanks estimates that the Convention brought in more than $10,000 to Fairbanks! Shari George and Mary Lee Guthrie were on-hand to receive the award at a reception and dinner held at Raven Landing on February 7, 2018.

Women's March January 20, 2018 Golden Heart Plaza

About 450 women, men, children and pets marched for an hour in downtown Fairbanks. It was cold and breezy but the crowd kept up their enthusiasm with clever signs, chants and camaraderie. We were treated to Native drummers and protest music from the past. This year's event focussed on continuing to inspire the momentum we've seen in the past year here in Fairbanks politically. The March was followed by a short rally at Golden Heart Plaza at which our local president, Rebecca Heaton, gave an impassioned talk urging us to address the perils to our country of gerrymandering and bolster our democracy by voting.


LWVTV and other groups gathered to educate voters and encourage them to wake up, speak up and get involved. The Hub hosted tables for local nonprofits like ours including AAUW and FAF to share our work and provide participants a place to warm up.  


Empowering Women - Experiences in Burkina Faso with Marilyn Russell and Joy Morrison

Image in Cour Royale a Tiebele by Rita Willaert (Creative Commons, Flickr)

The American Association of University Women and LWVTV hosted a public meeting on November 13, 2017 at the Noel Wien Library Audotorium. The presentation highlighted Marilyn's and Joy's immersion and work in the West African culture.

Peace Corps volunteer, Marilyn Russell, and dissertation researcher, Joy Morrison, both spent time in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Marilyn in 2013 - 15 and  Joy in 1988 - 89.  They are both feminists who focused on strengthening rights of Burkinbe women. They also focused on some family/health issues, and gender equity, Marilyn - through the US Peace Corps and Joy through the Academy of Education Development. Russell and Morrison shared their experiences in West Africa using an interactive presentation, slides, and regalia/materials.

A Public Meeting on DC Statehood - Oct. 28, 2017

Statehood by Aaron Brazell is licensed under CreativeCommons BY 2.0

Caroline Pettit gave a fascinating and informative presentation on, "DC  Statehood - Fixing the Hole in Our Democracy," at the IBEW Conference Room on October 28, 2017. Supported by a grant to LWVUS, Ms. Pettit has been visiting Alaska (Juneau, Anchorage and Fairbanks) providing history and progress and building a nationwide infrastructure in preparation for a positive time to push for DC statehood in Congress. Ms. Petitt and others active in this effort will be visiting many other states over the next months. Special thanks to Phyllis Tugman-Alexander for  spearheading this opportunity.



The League of Women Voters believes that citizens of the District of Columbia should be afforded the same rights of self-government and full voting representation in Congress as are all other citizens of the United States. The LWVUS supports restoration of an annual, predictable federal payment to the District to compensate for revenues denied and expenses incurred because of the federal presence.

October 3, 2017 Election Results

October 2017 Election Results
2017 Unofficial FNSB Election Results.pd[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [311.2 KB]

FNSB Assembly Candidates Forum - Sept. 29, 2017

LWVTV hosted an FNSB Assembly candidates forum on Friday, September 29, 2017, at the FNSB Assembly Chambers. League posed questions covering borough economics, education, air quality and marijuana. A wide range of questions offered by the audience rounded out the 90-minute question-and-answer session. Each candidate was also given the opportunity to explain why citizens should vote for them.


The forum was open to the public and free. Thanks to KUAC for providing online streaming of the forum for those unable to attend in person.

School Board Candidates Forum - Sept. 26, 2017

LWVTV joined with the Young Professionals Council to present a "Get to Know Your Candidates" forum at the FNSB Assembly Chambers on September 26, 2017. Jennifer Imus, supported by LWVTV's Rebecca Heaton and Jennifer Schmidt, posed questions developed by the Young Professionals Council and League to candidates for Seats E, F and G. Questions from the audience were also put to the candidates. KUAC live streamed the forum for those not able to make it in person.


Special thanks to Jennifer Schmidt (once again), Becca Brado (Young Professionals Council) and KUAC.

Book Club \/ \/ July 2017 - July 2018

uly 8 - Abundance:  The Future is Better Than You Think by Peter Diamondis and Steven Kotler


Aug. - No Meeting


Sept. 9 - Thanks for Being Late by Thomas Friedman


Oct. 14 - Dark Money by Jane Mayer


Nov. 11 - Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance or Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie R. Hochschild (Reader's Choice)


Dec.- No Meeting


Jan. 13 - Molly Hootch:  I Remember When:  Growing Up in Alaska on the Kwiguk Pass of the Lower Yukon River by Molly Hootch Hymes and/or Coming into the City by Elise Patkotak (Reader's Choice)

Feb. 10 - The Fix:  How Nations Thrive in a World in Decline by Jonathan Tepperman


Mar. 10 - Viking Economics:  How the Scandinavians Got It Right and We Can Too by George Lakey


Apr. 14 - Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson


May 12 - Alaska's First Millionaire:  The Life and Times of Cap Lathrop by Elizabeth A. Tower


June 9 - Book Selection Meeting


July 14 - Elephant Company:  The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives During World War II by Vicki C. Croke

LWVTV Annual Meeting -  May 20, 2017


President - Rebecca Heaton

Vice President - Sue Sherif

Secretary - Jenifer Cameron

Treasurer - Jean James

Past-President - Shari George

Board of Directors:


Elise Alexander

Mary Lee Guthrie

Clare Hill

Helenmarie Matesi

Karen Parr

Joan Soutar


A great group of members gathered together at Raven Landing to review what the LWVTV has been doing 2016 - 2017, adopt a program and budget for the coming year and hold elections. Members were actively engaged and there were spirited discussions throughout the meeting. We were also lucky to enjoy a lively presentation by Marna Sanford (Tanana Chiefs Conference) discussing their progress, learning experiences and a look forward for the Get Out the Native Vote initiative.


Special thanks to outgoing Board members:  Donna Dinsmore, Emma Marcucci and Matthew Putnam, and, Past-President Phyllis Tugman-Alexander.


Note that Phyllis Tugman-Alexander was elected earlier this year as Vice President of the State League and Mary Lee Guthrie as a State Director; Tanana Valley is well-represented at the State LWVAK.

LWVAK Annual Convention April 22-23, 2017 in Fairbanks

Thanks to IBEW 1547 for sharing their space.


Saturday evening the convention enjoyed the traditional auction and dinner at Pike's Waterfront Lodge. We were treated to a very interesting and thought-provoking talk by Adam Tanner on his in-depth research into privacy concerns and the selling of medical data to private companies. His latest book, Our Bodies, Our Data - How Companies Make Billions Selling Our Medical Records, gives one plenty to think about.

League members from across Alaska gathered at the IBEW for the state's annual convention. The convention was opened by U.S. District Court Senior Judge Ralph Beistline. Following Judge Beistline's remarks, the convention began the formal business meeting. As part of the proceedings, League members were encouraged to participate in the March for Science. Pat Watt (Juneau League) then worked with the group in developing a How to Run for Local Office workshop based on material developed by the Juneau League in collaboration with the Juneau City Clerk's Office, the Juneau Public Libraries and the Juneau School District. LWVTV organized a panel made up of Nadine Winters offering a candidate's perspective, Linda Schandelmeier speaking on the impacts to family and Lachlan Gillespie who has been a campaign manager and legislative staffer.


Sunday the convention concluded with formal business including program adoption and elections.

Pat Pitney budget discussion hosted by League and UAF Students Who Enjoy Economic Thinking (SWEET) Feb. 14, 2017

LWVTV partnered with SWEET to offer the public an opportunity to hear the latest State of Alaska budget updates from Office of Management and Budget Director Pat Pitney. Even though it was late afternoon on Valentine's Day about 85 attended the presentation and question-and-answer session held at Schaible Auditorium. Director Pitney presented facts, figures and a plea to advocate for balancing the budget. She brought the budget to "human" terms by comparing Alaska's to an average family budget.


The event also offered us the opportunity to acknowledge League's 97th birthday and remember Elizabeth Peratrovich for her courageous, unceasing efforts to eliminate discrimination and bring about equal rights in Alaska. Special thanks to UAF economics professors Sherri Wall and Chris Wright and League members Sue Sherif and Mary Lee Guthrie.

Public Domain image from

New School Finance Position Approved by LWV Alaska Board

November 21, 2016

November 8, 2016 General Election

See Alaska's official election results


League members assisted voters at the Pioneer Home and Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. Shirley Gordon, Meg Green, Mary Lee Guthrie, Rebecca Heaton, Dianne Hermann, Clare Hill, Ann Swift and Phyllis Tugman-Alexander worked with the Division of Elections and staff at both facilities to ensure all were able to cast their ballots.

Tanana Chiefs Conference Candidate Mixer

TCC held a candidate mixer at Chief David Salmon Tribal Hall on November 4. Candidates from across the Borough area attended and were available for one-on-one discussions. League joined with this Get Out the Native Vote opportunity.

 Elders and Youth Conf. - Oct. 17 - 19, 2016       Alaska Federation of Natives Conference      Oct. 20 - 22, 2016

The LWVTV joined with Get Out the Native Vote supporters to register voters and provide information at the Elders and Youth Conference hosted by the First Alaskans Institute and at the Alaska Federation of Natives 50th Annual Convention. Both conferences were held at the Carlson Center.


This was a wonderful chance to meet young people and encourage them to be lifelong participants in voting. It also let us show our support for the Get Out the Native Vote project.


Thanks to Linda Witt, Jean James, Caroline Wolf, Phyllis Tugman-Alexander, Ann Swift, Karen Parr, Mary Lee Guthrie, Donna Dinsmore and Shari George.

Oct. 8 -9, 2016 - Go Winter! Expo

Will we see this temperature this winter?

We registered 63 voters at the Go Winter! Expo.


Thanks to Carol Ann Varner, Ann McCann, Caroline Wolf, Jennifer Schmidt, Rebecca George-Heaton, Phyllis Tugman-Alexander, Helenmarie Matesi and Shari George.


A big Thank You to KO Productions for providing booth space.

Alaska Municipal Election Day - Oct 4, 2016

The League hosted a local candidates forum on September 27 at the FNSB Assembly Chambers. Candidates for the Borough Assembly and School Board answered a series of questions posed by the League. Each of the propositions appearing on the ballot was read as well.

Following the forum, the public had the opportunity to speak one-on-one with the candidates. Here, League member Mary Lee Guthrie discusses issues with candidates Matt Cooper and Shaun Tacke.


League members also made sure voters at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and Denali Center were able to cast their ballots.

2016 Fair Booth a Success

Working for democracy, we registered 68 voters and gathered 11 Absentee Ballot appplications!!



Candidates Forum at Fair Attracts a Crowd

We sponsored a candidates forum on August 11 from 6:00 - 8:45 pm.


Candidates for House Districts 1,2,5 and 6 and candidates for Senate District B and House Districts 3 and 4 were asked a series of League-prepared questions.


The forum was webcast and recorded. Links were provided for folks who were unable to attend.


Strawpoll Results - 460 Ballots Cast 8/5/16 - 8/14/16

  Kendall 14
  Lamb 9
  Lochner 13
  Murkowski 109
REP - R    
  Heikes 4
  Tingley 9
  Wright 32
  Young 112
  Blatchford 91
  Metcalfe 145
  Stevens 26
  Hibler 24
  Hinz 23
  Lindbeck 182
  McDermott 22
  Watts 9
  Coghill 48
  Hopkins 131
  Kawasaki 43
  Thompson 20
  Holdaway 11
  Wilson 27
  Sinclair 22
  Guttenberg 108
  Lojewski 22
  Wool 78
  Smith 6
  Talerico 7
  Land 12
  Tacke 162
  Gray 83
  Borges 95
  Cooper 157
SB A    
  Strauch 80
  Bartels 125
SB C    
  Morris 45
  Rhoades 30
  McConnell 135
SB D    
  Burley 40
  Lambert 145

"Wrongful Convictions and Alaska Justice Reform"

UAF Associate Journalism Professor, Fulbright Scholar, and journalist for 30 years; Brian Patrick O'Donoghue addressed the Annual League Meeting, April 2, 2016 held at Raven Landing..

Elizabeth Peratrovich Day Program-Denali Elementary

On Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016,

Alaska Native Education presented a marvelous Elizabeth Peratrovich program at Denali Elementary featuring a composite video of local students reciting Ms Peratrovich's famous speech to the Alaska Territorial Legislature urging passage of the Anti-Discrimination Act in Alaska in 1944.

     ANE Coordinator Yatibaey Evans encouraged the crowd of over 100 Native families  and students to take an active role in government by informing themselves on the issues and to VOTE at each and every election.

     George Freese was the guest speaker who eloquently conveyed how his 18 years of unjust incarceration was only recently ended through the overwhelming commitment and perseverance of activist community members and legal battles waged by the Alaska Innocence Project.  In a very moving speech Mr. Freese thanked those who fought for his freedom for all those years and committed himself to continue their activism to improve representation and justice in Alaska.


Thank you to "Meet & Greet" presenters Carol Ann Varner, Emma Marcucci and Joan Soutar 

Carol Ann Varner describes the many venues for Voter Registrations Dec. 8, 2015. Thank you to IBEW for use of their conference room.
League Members Helenmarie Matesi and Clare Hill were among many League Volunteers who helped over 50 residents register to Vote, or update their Voter Registration at the 2015 Go Winter! Expo

League Volunteers Assist  25 Residents to Vote 

Past president Jennifer Schmidt coordinated assisted voting at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and the Pioneers Home.  She was  joined by Clare Hill, Ginny McDowell and Mary Lee Guthrie on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015,  for our Borough Election. Many thanks to these Volunteers in helping to ensure that all eligible voters have the opportunity to vote. Well done!

Naturalization Ceremony

Volunteer thanks

   League members volunteered at the Naturalization Ceremony, September 17, 2015,  at the Federal Building, and were thrilled to welcome 21 of our newest citizens and register 16 to vote. Thanks to Carol Ann Varner for continuing to coordinate these heartwarming events, and to Clare Hill and Sue Sheriff for volunteering their time.


Forging Alaska's

Fiscal Future Forums ~ ~~ A Huge Success!

     The Last  Forum of the 2015 five part series, "Forging Alaska's Fiscal Future" continued to impart important financial information in a very palatable format.

   Please continue your involvement in fiscal planning by contacting legislators, writing  Letters to the Editor, and opening discussions with friends and family.

     You can continue gathering fiscal information by accessing Governor Walker's proposed Sovereign Wealth Fund, Revenue and Expenditure Model  and Challenge at:


League of Women Voters Fiscal Committee Members Mary Lee Guthrie, Clare Hill, Jean James, Sue Sheriff, and Shari George worked endlessly to coordinate the OLLI class and the five evening Forums.
October 12 Final Forum presenters Joe Paskvan, Richard Fineberg, Dermot Cole and Ken Alper.
Oct. 7th Panel of Interior Representatives Adam Wool, Steve Thompson, Dave Guttenburg, fielded questions presented by Alaska Dispatch columnist Dermot Cole.
September 23, 2015 Forum Sean Holland photo, September 23 Forum with former State Senators Gary Wilken & Joe Paskvan, Randy Hoffbeck Alaska Commissioner of Revenue and League of Women Voters Tanana Valley Chapter moderator Shari George.
Mike Barnhill, Alaska Department of Administration, Sept. 16
September 16, "Forging Alaska's Fiscal Future" Sean Holland, UAF eLearning, photo of panel: City Council Member Jerry Cleworth, FNSBSD CFO Lisa Pearce, Mayor Luke Hopkins, former legislator Steve Frank

The League of Women Voters of the Tanana Valley is a nonpartisan organization whose purpose is to encourage active and informed citizen participation in government. We provide factual information on the structure and function of government, voting procedures and election issues.


We DO NOT support or oppose candidates or political parties, but DO take positions on issues which we have studied and discussed.


Our purpose is to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation in government.


State Board Members

Judy Andree, President
(Juneau) 2020

Sue Sherif, Vice-President
(Tanana Valley) 2020

Carol Dickason, Secretary
(Anchorage) 2020

Shirley Pittz, Treasurer
(Anchorage) 2021
Pat Redmond, Past-President
(Anchorage) 2020


Hetty Barthel
(Juneau) 2020

Mary Lee Guthrie
(Tanana Valley) 2021

Diane Mathisen

(Anchorage) 2020

Marianne Mills

(Juneau) 2020

Cathleen Rolph

(Central Kenai Peninsula) 2021

Local League Presidents

Margaret McDonagh

(President, - LWV of Anchorage) 2020

Lois Pillifant
(President,  Central Kenai Peninsula League of Women Voters) 2020

Sue Sherif & Mary Lee Guthrie
(Co-Presidents, LWV of Tanana Valley) 2020

Karen Crane

(President, LWV of Juneau) 2020

Register to Vote

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Click to Register


Register to Vote now! Make sure you fill out the form completely; then print, sign, and mail it to the address given.

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