The Voter
League of Women Voters of the Midland Area
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Board Meetings are held 9:45-11:45 the first Thursday of each month in Conference Room A of the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library. All members are invited to attend.

Feb 8, 1:30pm
State/Local Program Planning
Library Conf Rm A

Feb 21, 10am - 2pm
Govt Finance Study Consensus Mtg
Strosacker Bldg, Rm 107
220 W Main

Mar 2, 9:34am
Board of Directors Meeting
Library Conf Rm A

May 19-21
LWVMI Biennial Convention
Kellog Center
Lansing MI

May 24, 6pm
Annual Meeting
Midland Holiday Inn

June 14
"Just for Fun" Adventure
Sanford Lake

Educational booklet for new voters
Your Elected Officials
See Photo Albums on our Facebook page.
Debbie Ballard
Silvia Adan-Carter
John Carter
June Turley
Ann Wallin
Board of Directors

VP Membership

VP Program


Judy Donahue - Program
Terry Townley - Education
Cathy Heng - Print Media
Katherine Redwine - New Media
Carole Swinehart - Voter Service
Kim Steinke - Voter Service
Fran Hamburg - Director at Large



President's Letter

WOW! What a month.  We participated in the Rise Up! event, hosted a community program on state finance, participated in marches, and held a new member coffee.  These events have stimulated discussion around taking civic action to protect the rights that LWV supports and continues to fight for.  As Judy Karandjeff, League of Women Voters of Michigan President, stated in her January 16 letter:

  "The League knows many programs that the League supports are under siege -- changes to climate change and other environmental issues, access to health care, women's health and public education.  While we may not know the details yet of the proposed changes, we can begin preparing to respond.  Taking action will become increasingly important."

Of course, voting is the first step in making our voices heard. A next step in taking action is contacting your legislator. Our recently revised "Your Elected Officials" (YEO) brochure is in the mail to you. YEO gives contact information for national, state, and local government officials. Who represents you?

Remember, although contacts in the name of LWV should be limited to specific calls to action by the League or for other organized support of League positions, as individuals you are encouraged to make your voices heard on any issues that you believe need your personal advocacy. 

TIPS on contacting legislators:
  1. Phone calls are more effective than emails, IF you can get through
  2. Be sure to provide the information requested, including zip code. You want your legislator to know that you are a constituent.
Our current membership list includes 13 additions since January 2016, for a total of 75 members! While I don't know the deep history on our membership, this is a record for recent years. Several of us welcomed new and prospective members with coffee at Biggby's on February 1. Gratifying to reaffirm that we are not quiet or shy - much good, stimulating conversation.

You should receive your membership list and Your Elected Officials in the mail soon.

Keep up the good work!

Sue McCollister


February 14 is the 97th anniversary of the founding of the League of Women Voters, six months before the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified giving women the right to vote. According to this   reference,   their first effort was for " legislation to improve the quality of life for Americans, including child labor laws, a minimum wage, and equal opportunity for women in government and industry.  One of the first bills the league supported was the Sheppard-Towner Act (1921), which provided federal aid for maternal and child care programs. That was the first federally funded social welfare measure in the United States. The act was designed to reduce high maternal and infant death rates in the United States during the  1920s . Lawmakers opposed the use of federal funds for social welfare programs and felt threatened by such reforms. Nevertheless, the successful campaign to pass the Sheppard-Towner Act was the league's first use of grassroots organization and citizen education to galvanize citizens into action. Unfortunately the  Supreme Court   ruled later that the act was unconstitutional." This and other accounts in the cited article are humbling reminders of the courage and determination of the women and men who preceded us in these struggles - their successes and setbacks.

What have we been doing?

Rise Up! This program on January 9 held at Creative360 was an excellent example of a grassroots effort disseminated via social media. It was an open house networking opportunity with a focus on advocacy. Our League was one of 10 non-profit groups participating, with an estimated crowd of over 100. A representative for Senator Gary Peters spoke on "How to engage your representatives". It was an occasion of optimistic enthusiasm tempered with a sense of urgent concerns about current issues. Judy McDowell, Carole Swinehart, Terry Townley and Sue McCollister greeted new and familiar faces at our booth.

Our Community Program on Government Finance on January 20, co-sponsored with Senior Services and held at their Trailside Center, included over 40 attendees to hear City Manager Jon Lynch,  Cou-
Jon Lynch_ Bridgette Grandsen and Laura Grubaugh
Jon Lynch, Bridgette Grandsen and Laura Grubaugh
nty Administr ator Bridgette Gransden and Jerome Township Treasurer Laura Grubaugh discuss the processes and challenges of funding local government. See this article in The Midland Daily News   for an overview of their discussions. LWV Board Director Judy Donahue did an excellent job as moderator for the panel.  Jon Lynch's response to a question regarding voters' involvement with financia
l issues, starting with "to be a citizen in a democracy, you need to participate", was music to our ears.  He also cautioned that finding reliable, truthful information among the huge amounts of published reporting is a real challenge.

March! A number of Midland Area League members and families participated in the Women's Marches on January 21. At least 9 were spotted in Midland, and we have reports of participants in Lansing. Also, several of our members had daughters, sisters and other relatives marching at various sites around the country. As we have heard, these global events exceeded all expectations and seem to constitute a real movement, triggering serious discussions regarding follow-up. See the website for more information.
League Members at Midland Women_s March
League Members at Women's March in Midland
LWV on Immigration - Letter from Chris Carson
Chris Carson, President/Chair
League of Women Voters of the United States
League of Women Voters Education Fund
The League is opposed to deportation of non-criminal undocumented immigrants.
The LWV supports cities, towns, counties and states that make a decision not to cooperate with federal deportation and enforcement actions that include non-criminal undocumented immigrants.  Moreover, the Trump Administration's orders are of dubious legality. 
It is simply wrong, and a perversion of the American system of justice, for the Executive Branch to refuse to obey federal court orders.  
The LWV is opposed to discrimination, including discrimination in immigration, based on religion.  The Trump Administration's orders appear to be targeted at Muslims and immigrants from majority-Muslims nations.
We would like to remind all our members that we are faced with many challenges to our positions and the League is involved in serious efforts to address them.  Among these, we spent last weekend anticipating the issuance of an Executive Order investigating 'voter fraud'.  We continue to monitor this situation and are ready to issue a statement if that occurs.  We also continue our efforts to lobby on ACA in Congress.  Everybody in the country is scrambling to keep up. 

Government Finance Consensus Meeting
Feb 21, 10-2
Strosacker Building, Rm 107
The consensus meeting will gather our consensus to questions posed by the League of Women Voters of Michigan. LWVMI will use the consensus answers to form a new state position on Government Finance (in Michigan).   

For background information for the study information, go to     Member Resources: Studies

A pizza lunch will be provided. Please, bring your own beverage. Bottled water will be available.
LWVMI Biennial Convention

May 19-21 -- The LWVMI Biennial Convention will be held at the Kellogg Convention Center, East Lansing. All members are welcome; if interested, don't hesitate to contact any board member.  More information will come in next month's newsletter.
Annual Meeting - May 24

The speaker for the 2016-17 annual meeting is Sheriff Scott Stephenson. The dinner and meeting will again be held at the Midland Holiday Inn at 6:00 pm. Check the March newsletter for details.
"Just for Fun" Adventure - June 14

In lieu of a board meeting, we will be taking a pontoon boat ride on Sanford Lake to Sanford Lake Bar & Grill for dinner. Or possibly, a dinner of pizza on the pontoon.  Please join us.
 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.