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   League of Women 
  Voters of Berrien 
   & Cass Counties
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"The Voter"
August, 2019

Meet a Peaceful Suffragist
September 18 & 19
      You will be able to have "Conversations with a Suffragist" next month. The event will be held at the Vickers Theatre, 611 Elm Street, Three Oaks, on Wednesday, September 18, at 3:00 p.m. and at the Box Factory for the Arts, 1101 Broad Street, St. Joseph, on Thursday, September 19, at 7:30 p.m. 
Megan Burnett as  Suffragist Mattie Griffith Browne
    The message of this live performance by Megan Burnett is as relevant today as it was in the 19th century period that Megan shares with us in her one-woman play. Megan brings to life Mattie Griffith Browne, a woman whose name has largely been forgotten in the suffragist and abolitionist movements.
    As League members, we have long heard of the historic gathering in July 1848 of hundreds of women and about 40 men who met in Seneca Falls, New York for the first women's rights convention in the United States. This event launched the women's suffrage movement. Thanks to the leadership of visionary women, seven decades later the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibited states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex. We have learned that women of color were not only excluded from the convention in Seneca Falls, but also from voting in some states on the basis of their color. We know that the work set in motion in 1848 remains unfinished today. Will you, your family and friends join us to experience a step back in time to meet and have "conversations" with Mattie Griffith Browne?
    Tickets are now on sale at vickerstheatre.com and boxfactoryforthearts.org or call Judy Scully (773-677-2528) to have tickets mailed to you. The tickets are $10.00 for adults,
$5.00 for students, and limited $15.00 VIP seating at the Box Factory. As members of the LWVBCC, we definitely need your help to spread the word about this exciting League event.
                                                           -- Judy Scully
Building Bridges

    T o celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2017, LWVBCC honored Sandy and Larry Feldman for the decades-long efforts to eradicate stereotypes and cultivate meaningful relationships among people of different races. All of us who were at that annual dinner remember the energy, joy, and delight of the performance by All God's Children Community Choir. The choir is just one of the Feldman's many successful efforts to foster cross-racial friendships and harmony.
    Now Larry and Sandy have written a book setting out the theory underlying their efforts and the approaches they have found to work. The book, Building Bridges Across the Racial Divide, describes programs and bridge-building activities not only for children, teens, and families but also for college students and adults. The Feldmans bring breadth of experience as psychotherapists (Larry MD and Sandy MSW), educators, and consultants.
    Their reason for writing the book is clear -- to make what they have learned available to the larger community so that their work to "bridge the racial divide" will expand and continue beyond their own efforts. The book draws from a deep pool of understanding and experience and points the way ahead clearly and engagingly. Thanks, Larry and Sandy. You are great guides along the road we need to follow.
    Note: The Feldmans will be presenting discussions of their book on Monday, August 19th, 7 to 8:30 pm, at the Phoenix Coffeeshop, 124 Water St., Benton Harbor and on Tuesday, August 27th, 7 to 8:30 pm, at Forever Books, 312 State St., St. Joseph. Reservations may be required for those who wish to attend a discussion.                      -- Marilyn Klawiter
LWVBCC Book Group Meeting
      The meeting of the LWVBCC book group will be at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, August 12, at the home of Emelie Shroder. This will be a planning session with focus on selecting books for the coming months.
      Please put the date on your calendar and by Thursday, August 8, either text (773-612-7411) or email Emelie (emelieshroder@comcast.net) to let her know you plan to attend.
About National Voter Registration Day
     Since 2012, National Voter Registration Day has been a declared national holiday every fourth Tuesday in September.  Its purpose is to celebrate our democracy and to publicize registering to vote.  In 2019, the holiday is September 24.
    Currently there are 126, 231 registered voters in Berrien County and 41,285 registered voters in Cass County. To create a broad awareness of voter registration opportunities, LWVBCC volunteers will join with other community organi-zations in Berrien and Cass Counties to help more citizens become registered voters.
    If you can help register voters on September 24, please contact LWVBCC voter services coordinator Mike McCaffrey: mike@michaelmccaffrey.com.
2020 Census Information
Take a look at 2020 Census information for Berrien County on a website hosted by the Berrien Community Foundation in association with BE COUNTED MICHIGAN 2020. The site includes but is not limited to:

  • Census Tract Maps for Berrien County
  • "Census 2020 Complete Count Guide"
  • "Census 2020 and Confidentiality"
    For more information: https://www.berriencommunity.org/census
                                                    --  Christiana Zilke

LWVBCC: Contact Us

P.O. Box 1032
Niles, MI 49120

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August 12
 10:00 a.m.
book group
Emelie Shroder's home

August 13
5:45 p.m.
LWVBCC Board Meeting
Niles District Library

September 18
3:00 p.m.
live performance
"Conversations with a Suffragist"
Vickers Theater

September 19
7:30 p.m.
live performance
"Conversations with a Suffragist"
Box Factory for the Arts

September 24
National Voter
Registration Day

October 25
LWVLMR Lake Mich. Region
Annual Meeting
Lakeside Inn

Board of Directors
Anita Rutlin, President
Laura Odenwald,  Vice President
Michael McCaffrey, Secretary
& Voter Svc.
John Ripley, Treasurer & Communications Coord.
Linda Cheek
Sharon King
Jane Raymond
Amy Scrima
Christiana Zilke

Quick Links

Joe Jilek
Insurance Agent
(269) 695-2200

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Please  Encourage 
Membership  in LWVBCC!
League of Women Voters
Lake Michigan Region

     Information and registration for the annual meeting on October 25 will be up and running soon on the LWVLMR website:  https://www.lwvlmr.org
The annual meeting of LWVLMR will be held on October 25/26 at the Lakeside Inn in Lakeside Michigan -- just a short drive for all of us --  whether you live in Berrien or Cass.
     As a member of LWVBCC, you are a member of the Lake Michigan Region group and will be able to register for the Friday, October 25, dinner and keynote speaker. Dining space at The Lakeside Inn is limited.  Therefore, attendance for the dinner and guest speaker will also be limited.
    The topic of this year's annual meeting is "Groundwater: The 6th Great Lake." Groundwater extends far beyond the perimeters of the lakes, forming the Great Lakes basin. Aquifers within this vast Basin include those described as: sedentary carbonate and shale; carbonate and sandstone; carbonate; and sandstone. In addition, there are areas of mostly shale and some granite. So much to learn!
    The guest speaker is with the organization known as FLOW - For Love of Water.      
                                                                                        -- Christiana Zilke
Environmental News
     On July 1, Senator Debbie Stabenow led a bipartisan Michigan Congressional Delegation to the Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Illinois. This facility is located 27 miles southwest of Chicago and is considered the most critically important choke point in efforts to prevent Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan.
    For several years, the Army Corps of Engineers has been using electric shock and bubbles in the Des Plaines River as preventive measures. In May, the Corps sent Congress a compre-hensive $778 million plan to fortify the Illinois waterway with noisemakers, electric barriers, and other devices to repel or flush away Asian carp. This plan is currently under consideration by our U.S. Congress.
    It is estimated that the introduction of Asian carp into Lake Michigan (and soon after into all of the Great Lakes) would result in billions of dollars in lost revenue as a result of damage not only to fishing, recreational boating, tourism, and other activities, but also to wetlands, rivers, and streams.
    Time seems to be "running out". Please encourage your U.S. Representative to authorize the Army Corps of Engineers plan and provide all of the funding.
                                                                                      -- Christiana Zilke
Non-Partisan Policy

The League as an organization does not support or oppose any political party, candidate for elected office, or any group that supports candidates. As individuals, though, but not as representatives of the League, members are encouraged to participate in political activity and to run for office.  Our non-partisan policy does require two Board members--the President and the Voter Service Chair--to totally abstain from partisan political activity.  

The League:  Helping to Make Democracy Work Since 1920!
And Celebrating our 100th Anniversary!
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy.

Interested in joining the League?  
Please go to our website or 
click here to email us.