Where she’s from
Born in Nebraska, Jeannine moved to the Kansas City area in middle school, lived in Prairie Village and graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas High School. She attended Colorado College and the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities for undergraduate studies, and then the University of Illinois at Springfield for a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting and later Master of Library and Information Science from the Emporia State University.
About her family
Jeannine’s husband works for Johnson County Developmental Supports. They have two children, a 6-year-old who is in kindergarten and a daughter who is 3 ½.
Why she joined the League
Prior to joining the JoCo League of Women Voters, Jeannine worked for 10 years as a newspaper reporter, first in Eastern Oregon and Washington then as the Statehouse Bureau Chief for the Wichita Eagle. Later, she served as the Communications Director for the Kansas Department of Revenue in Topeka. Through her work in Topeka, she became familiar with the LWV of Kansas. As a reporter, Jeannine saw the importance of voting rights protection and advocacy and felt that membership in the LWV would enable her to continue and expand her efforts in that area.
What she thinks the League does well
Jeannine feels that the League does a good job in making voting access and rights information more visible throughout the community. The League’s focus on a variety of topics of civic concern not only helps better inform the citizenry but on many issues serves to operate as a voice for the voiceless.
Where she would you like to see the League focus in the future
Together with Kay Heley, Jeannine serves as a co-chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee for LWVJoCo. She and Kay look forward to building on the DEI work accomplished in Phase 1. Efforts planned for Phase 2 include emphasizing monthly racism awareness and anti-racism activity through all League committees and programs including a DEI Moments that have focused on medical inequality, cultural appropriation and other issues.
What does to strengthen our democracy
As a State House Bureau Chief and Reporter for the Wichita Eagle, Jeannine feels that she served as a kind of representative for the voters. She worked to inform voters about the work and decisions of their state and county government and local school boards. Informing voters about their rights, the work of government, “what is said and not said and what is real” serves to strengthen our democracy.
Although Jeannine grew up in Kansas, not an ice hockey state, she grew up playing ice hockey and continues to play in multiple leagues around the city. Not only that, she taught her husband – who grew up in Pittsburgh, PA - to skate and play hockey after they met.