Person

Virginia Kase

Nationality:

American

Organization:

League of Women Voters (LWV)

Virginia Kase (also known as Virginia Kase Soloman) is the CEO of the League of Women Voters (LWV), a left-of-center policy and voting rights advocacy group. She was previously the COO of  CASA, a left-of-center immigrant advocacy group.

Early Life

Virginia Kase grew up in Hartford, Connecticut. She has said that she first became interested in election administration after her foster mother, who was born in Puerto Rico and spoke with an accent, was asked for proof of residence by skeptical poll workers while trying to vote. She has said that her interest grew due to the intense gang activity in Hartford, which resulted in many locals being unable to vote due to their felony records. [1]

Career

After graduating from the University of Maryland with a degree in communications, [2] Virginia Kase co-founded a nonprofit dedicated to reducing gang activity in her hometown, Hartford, Connecticut. [3]

Kase then spent eight years as the national technical assistance and training manager at the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, now known as the Woodson Center, a community organizing nonprofit based in Washington D.C. [4]

In 2011, Kase began working at CASA, a left-of-center immigrant advocacy group, as director of education and centers. She managed five centers for new immigrants in Maryland and coordinated federal grants for the group. In 2013, Kase became chief operating officer of CASA. [5]

Kase is on the boards of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Democracy Initiative, and the National Election Task Force on Election Crises. She is a steering committee member of Open the Government. [6]

League of Women Voters

In 2018, Virginia Kase became CEO of the League of Women Voters. [7]

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

On August 8, 2018, Kase and LWV president Chris Carson co-authored a blog post acknowledging the racist history of the LWV. The organization was founded by suffragette Carrie Chapman Catt, whom Kase and Carson stated was racist against African Americans by modern standards. The authors also lamented that the LWV was slow to support black voters during the Civil Rights Movement. Kase and Carson reaffirmed their support for African Americans and stated that the LWV has “embraced a new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policy.” [8]

On May 30, 2020, Kase wrote a message to LWV members promising the organization will “[deepen] our anti-racism work” in response to the murder of George Floyd. The statement says: [9]

The League shall do so not only by speaking out against racism in all forms, but by doing the work required of us to be anti-racist. We are committed to listening to and amplifying Black voices, and educating ourselves and our children on the historic and ongoing systemic racism that plagues this country. The League acknowledges, painfully, that America is a nation founded on racism. Therefore, all who live in this country must contribute to and participate in organizations actively working to achieve full liberation and inclusive freedom. We must all advocate for anti-racist policies at every level of government.

January 6 Attack

Kase and the LWV condemned President Donald Trump and the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Kase referred to the attack as “domestic terrorism” and “the violent tyranny of this president,” and noted the participation of white supremacists. [10]

Opposition to Voting Security Bills

After the 2020 election, Kase focused much of the LWV’s efforts on combatting state-level and federal voter security bills which she accused of restricting voter access. On March 24, 2021, Kase testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration in favor of the For the People Act, a bill which proposes to overhaul voting rules. [11]

On August 24, 2021, Kase led a 150-person protest in front of the White House demanding that President Joe Biden take action to protect voting rights. Kase told the crowd: “Our voting rights are under attack like we have not seen since the days of Jim Crow, but we are not going back. The Biden administration guaranteed to make voting rights a priority, but we have yet to see the full power of the executive branch.” [12]

References

  1. [1] Katz, Celeste. “Virginia Kase’s Midterm Plan: Make It Easier for Women to Vote.” Glamour. July 2, 2018. Accessed March 9, 2022. https://www.glamour.com/story/virginia-kase-ceo-league-women-voters. ^
  2. “Virginia Kase Soloman.” LinkedIn. Accessed March 9, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/virginia-kase-solom%C3%B3n-02531118/?trk=public_profile_browsemap. ^
  3. “Virginia Kase.” League of Women Voters. Accessed March 9, 2022. https://www.congress.gov/116/meeting/house/110060/witnesses/HHRG-116-HA08-Bio-KaseV-20191017-U1.pdf. ^
  4. “Virginia Kase.” League of Women Voters. Accessed March 9, 2022. https://www.congress.gov/116/meeting/house/110060/witnesses/HHRG-116-HA08-Bio-KaseV-20191017-U1.pdf. ^
  5. “Virginia Kase Soloman.” LinkedIn. Accessed March 9, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/virginia-kase-solom%C3%B3n-02531118/?trk=public_profile_browsemap. ^
  6. “Virginia Kase.” National Immigrant Inclusion Conference. Accessed March 9, 2022. https://niic.org/speakers-2020-blog/kase-virginia. ^
  7. “Virginia Kase Soloman.” LinkedIn. Accessed March 9, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/virginia-kase-solom%C3%B3n-02531118/?trk=public_profile_browsemap. ^
  8. Carson, Chris; Kase, Virginia. “Facing Hard Truths About the League’s Origins.” League of Women Voters. August 8, 2018. Accessed March 9, 2022. https://www.lwv.org/blog/facing-hard-truths-about-leagues-origin. ^
  9. “LWV – Message from Virginia Kase, CEO.” League of Women Voters of Newton. May 30, 2020. Accessed March 9, 2022. https://lwvnewton.org/2020/05/lwv-message-from-virginia-kase-ceo/. ^
  10. Stout, Patrick. “LWV condemns Trump.” The McDonough County Voice.” January 8, 2021. Accessed March 9, 2022. https://www.mcdonoughvoice.com/story/news/politics/2021/01/08/national-league-women-voters-condemns-trump/6600246002/. ^
  11. “Virginia Kase Statement For Senate Rule Committee Hearing On S1, The “For the People Act”.” League of Women Voters of Marin County. March 27, 2021. Accessed March 9, 2022. https://www.marinlwv.org/homenews/2021/3/27/virginia-kase-statement-for-senate-rule-committee-hearing-on-s1-the-for-the-people-act. ^
  12. Bass, Randi. “League of Women Voters rallies in front of White House.” WDVM. August 24, 2021. Accessed March 9, 2022. https://www.localdvm.com/news/washington-dc/league-of-women-voters-rallies-in-front-of-white-house/. ^
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