The Voter
League of Women Voters of the Midland Area
IN THIS ISSUE
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CALENDAR
Members are invited to all events.
Jan 7, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Board Meeting
Library Conference Room A

Jan 8, 11:45-1 pm
Money in Politics in Michigan
Senior Services Trailside Center
4700 Dublin

Jan 14, 2-4 pm
Jan 21, 9:30-11:30 am
Money in Politics Consensus Meetings
Strosacker Center
220 W. Main
Conference Room 107

Jan 25, 2-4 pm
LWV Planning
Grace A. Dow Library
Conference Room A
REDISTRICTING RECAP
Our statewide project sponsored by LWVMI to help educate citizens about redistricting is wrapping up. Across the state the League reached over 2400 people, and about 500 individuals signed up for more information or to help spread the word. The state LWV will continue efforts to educate on the issue and raise public awareness.  
JUNE YEAR END SPECIAL PROGRAM
We're working with the owner of the Sanford Dam to arrange a tour of the facility. The dam is important to our area, and we thought it would be interesting to learn more about it. We'll let you know the date as soon as it's confirmed.
PUBLICATIONS
Educational booklet for new voters
Your Elected Officials
Board of Directors
President

VP Membership

VP Program

Secretary

Treasurer
Directors
Judy Donahue - Program
Terry Townley - Education
Cathy Heng - Print Media
Katherine Redwine - New Media
Carole Swinehart - Voter Service
Kim Steinke - Voter Service

CONNECTIONS

  
  
  
  
  
  

DECEMBER 2015
President's Letter
happy-holidays-header4.jpg
Holiday Party 2015
Sandy Burmester, Maureen Pillepich, Cathy Heng

Our holiday party at Rosemary Wilson's home on December 2 was really special! Twenty League members gathered for a delicious dinner and socializing, made all the more enjoyable with the presence of several of our newer members. As always, Rosemary's gracious hospitality set the stage for a delightful event. We are so grateful to her!
Holiday Party 2015
Diane Brown-Wilhelm, Terry Townley

See our Facebook page for more photos.

Money in Politics is about to dominate our attention starting after the holidays, as we dig into learning about this important topic in preparation for consensus meetings. See article below for details, including dates for key events. 
 
Our membership renewal responses have been excellent! Thanks to all of you for your commitment to the League. You'll receive a paper copy of the updated membership roster in January. Most of our dues go to the state and national Leagues, so we really appreciate your additional contributions to help fund our programs and projects.

Speaking of funding - Radio Days, our annual fundraiser, is coming up in January when we contact local businesses and organizations to ask for their support. See Karen Sherwood's article below for more information including opportunities to participate.

Happy Holidays to You and Your Families.

Sue McCollister

MONEY IN POLITICS
Big Money Dominates Michigan Politics
Presented by Rich Robinson,
Executive Director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network
Friday, January 8, 2016, 11:45am - 1:00pm
Senior Services Trailside Center,
4700 Dublin Ave., Midland
Co-sponsored by Midland County Senior Services
Get Money out of Politics
Mr. Robinson will focus on Money in Politics in Michigan, which has its own track record regarding campaign finance.
Mr. Robinson has worked in local, state and federal government, and more than 18 years in the nonprofit sector. He has served as Executive Director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network for 15 years. 
 
To register for the program, call 633-3700 by 9am Friday, January 8. Attendees planning to have lunch need to arrive by 11:30am at Trailside. Space is limited in the room, so please call ahead to reserve a spot. Feel free to invite a friend. Lunches are by donation to those over 60, or $5 for those under 60. Feel free to invite a friend.

Are Political Contributions Free Speech?
Are Corporations People?
The Money in Politics Study

In the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case, the Supreme Court Found that "political spending is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment, and the government may not keep corporations or unions from spending money to support or denounce individual candidates in elections." 

The LWV position on campaign finance dates back to the 1970s and predates Supreme Court decisions that significantly changed campaign finance law. The current position has enabled the League to advocate strongly for transparency in campaign finance and against big money and its influence on elections and government. However, it does not address the extent to which financing a political campaign is protected speech under the First Amendment. The campaign finance issues that the Supreme Court focused on largely involve free speech. The LWV position needs to be updated to address First Amendment considerations.
Consensus Meetings
There will be two consensus meetings. The study materials have been divided into four sections, A-D. Each section will be led by a board member who has read and studied the materials for their assigned section. Group discussion will decide the consensus to be submitted to the LWVUS. All members are invited to take part in discussions.

Meeting Details
Thursday, January 14, 2-4 p.m.
Thursday, January 21, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Strosacker Center
220 West Main St. (corner of Gordon)
Conference Room 107 (on main floor)

How to prepare
The background materials can be found at forum.lwv.org, OUR WORK, MONEY IN POLITICS REVIEW. Of this collection of materials, we are suggesting that participants review at least the following prior to the meetings:
 
Impact on Issues.
WHAT ISSUES WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THE NATIONAL LWV SUPPORT?
In January, the LWV-Midland Area will consider what issues the National LWV will support or study.  All members are invited to participate. Each year Local Leagues participate in program planning for the state or national League, alternating between the two, to give input on priority topics for study during the upcoming two years. This year's planning for the 2016-18 biennium will be for the National League. The document that outlines the LWVUS program is Impact on Issues.

 
The meeting is  January 25th, 2 - 4 p.m. at the Grace A. Dow Library.
RADIO DAYS FUNDRAISER GOAL - $2,000
Sunshine Week 2016 will be March 13-19. Our emphasis that week is celebration of transparency and openness in our government. It's the week the Radio Days ads we sell are aired on WMPX/ WMRX.
  Sunshine Week Logo
This month of December is for preparation; January and February are sales months; March is for final collection of payments, recording of ads, and listening to the ads on air.
 
Radio Days is the major fundraiser for our local League. Our goal is $2,000. Last year we fell short by $190. This year we hope to reach our goal. To do that, we need two things: more representatives selling ads and more business contacts.
 
Last year we contacted 36 local businesses.  All but 6 of the businesses purchased ads.  If we add a few more businesses to our contact list, we will likely reach our goal.  We like to contact businesses that you, our members, use.  Please look at the list of businesses  that contributed last year.  Consider giving us the name of local businesses (not already on the list) where you make purchases or receive personal services.  It might be your bank, credit union, grocery, drug store, beauty parlor, restaurant, dentist, doctor, lawn care provider, garage, etc.
 
Each member is encouraged to participate in some way.
  • Suggest a business or two that we can contact.
  • Volunteer to participate as a sales representative.
Send us names of business contacts and/or to volunteer as a sales representative by

 

Mail: League of Women Voters of the Midland Area

PO Box 1203, Midland, MI 48641

 

Phone: Karen Sherwood, 989-832-3533

 

e-mail: karsherwood@att.net

Membership
 If you are interested in joining, please fill out the form below, and send it in. If you have questions, please email Judy McDowell, VP Membership. 
 
mail to: LWV - Midland Area
P.O. Box 1203
Midland, MI 48641-1203
 
Any other questions or problems, email Katherine Redwine, e-newsletter editor.