THE VOTER
 LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF THE MIDLAND AREA
December 2019
Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.

The League of Women Voters is a national, political organization that encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in their government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.  The League is non-partisan and as an organization does not endorse or oppose candidates or political parties.
Annual Membership Renewal

If you haven't sent in your renewal, please do so now! People like you are our League's most valuable asset. Members give the League visibility and credibility.

You should have received a membership renewal letter in your mail. If you don't have it, print this form. If you have questions, please contact Carol McPherson, carol.j.mcpherson@gmail.com.
Speakers at Holiday Lunch 2019
Maureen Pillepich, Rosemary Wilson, Fran Hamburg and Judy Donahue
Happy Holidays!

Our Holiday Luncheon was held Dec 5. We had a lovely salad buffet from Shirlene's. Maureen Pillepich, Rosemary Wilson and Fran Hamburg told us about the early days of the LWV of the Midland Area. Much Fun & Fellowship.
Sue Smith_ LWVMI VP for Advocacy
Sue Smith, LWVMI VP for Advocacy
"Making Democracy Work: What's Ahead for 2020?" 

Advocacy has expanded beyond testifying at the Legislature to also include ballot proposals and lawsuits. What does this mean for local Leagues? Sue Smith, LWV of Michigan Vice President for Advocacy, will speak January 14, 2-4pm at Creative 360
LWVMI & the Redistricting Commission
There were questions at our last board meeting about what the Commissioners would be doing . Here is a summary by LWVMI Advocacy VP Sue Smith.

The LWVMI Board has adopted a plan for monitoring the selection and work of the Citizens Redistricting Commission which was created by the passage of Proposal 2 in fall of 2018.

Commission Selection

Any Michigan registered voter, except for those expressly excluded in the Constitution, may apply to be on the Commission. Applications are available from the Secretary of State website at  RedistrictingMichigan.org and are due June 1, 2020. The 13 member Commission consisting of 4 self-identified Democrats, 4 self-identified Republicans and 5 self-identified unaffiliated independents must be seated by October 15, 2020. 

League members are encouraged to apply(printable application)

Commission's Work

The Commission is required by the Constitution to:
  1. Hold at least 15 public hearings across the state.
  2. Provide opportunities for members of the public to submit maps for the Michigan State House and Senate Districts, and U.S. Congressional districts.
  3. Draw and adopt maps that meet the criteria outlined in the Michigan Constitution by November 1, 2021. The maps will take effect for the 2022 elections.
League Monitoring of Commission's Work

LWVMI will:
  1. Select and train a team of League members who will attend and testify at public hearings
  2. Hire experts to
    1. Evaluate submitted maps' compliance with stated criteria
    2. Develop and submit League's maps
  3. Lobby the legislature, when needed
  4. Consult with our Legal team and take action when necessary
 
The  League has been working for an Independent Redistricting Commission since 2012 when we adopted our Redistricting position calling for an Independent Redistricting Commission. Since then, the  League has educated voters all over the state, giving over 100 presentations to Town Halls and service groups across the state. In 2018, the  League supported Proposal 2 to amend the Michigan Constitution by creating a Citizens Redistricting Commission.
 
The  League intends to see this through to a successful conclusion by monitoring the selection and work of the Citizens Redistricting Commission. (League Links, Nov 2019)


Making Democracy Work logo
Making Democracy Work Programs

We received a grant to provide Town Hall programs on three educational topics: Census 2020, Voter Rights, and the  Citizens Redistricting Commission. 

Schedule of Programs
 - 
Mon, Feb 3, 7pm, Voter Rights & Election 2020 Preparations, County Clerk Ann Manary, City Council Chambers  
-
Wed, Mar 4, 1:30pm, Census 2020 - How to Count Every Person, Grace A Dow Library Community Room
-  
Fri, Mar 13 - The Citizens Redistricting Commission -  Trailside Senior Center

Stay up to date by checking the Upcoming Events section below or the web page calendar.

These educational programs are free and open to the public. They are   made possible by a grant from the League of Women Voters Education Fund.  The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization whose mission is to Empower Voters and Defend Democracy.

LWV Lake Michigan Region

Interested in protecting our Lakes? The LWV of the Lake Michigan Region is  an Inter-League Organization operating under the Natural Resources Position of the LWVUS. Our League is a member. They advocate and educate for issues concerning Lake Michigan.
Explore their webpage to see the important work they are doing.
LWV of Michigan Advocacy Committee
The LWVMI has created an Advocacy Committee. The committee is chaired by Judy Karandjeff. Members of the committee are:
  • Marty Couretas: Gun Violence Prevention
  • Tricia Denton: Healing our Waters, Line 5
  • Shelly Hoffman - Executive Director: Reproductive Rights
  • Judy Karandjeff- Chair of Advocacy Committee: Election Law and Voting Rights
  • Carolyn Madden: Criminal Justice
  • Karen Sherwood: Education
  • Sue Smith - VP for Advocacy: Campaign Finance, Fair Courts and Redistricting
  • Christina Schlitt - President LWVMI, Ex Officio
  • Maria Woloson: Environment - Climate Issues
  • Chris Zilke: League of Women Voters Lake Michigan Region (LWVLMR)
The primary purpose is to review legislation and recommend action to the LWVMI Board of Directors. The committee will also work with the board to recommend when action is needed and assist with background information, testimony and action alerts.


Upcoming Events
Jan 14, 2pm - Understanding LWVMI Advocacy Positions. Speaker: LWVMI VP Advocacy. Creative 360.

Feb 3, 7-8pm - Voter Rights & Election 2020 Preparations, County Clerk Ann Manary, Midland City Council Chambers, 333 West Ellsworth Street, Midland

Fri, Mar 13, 11:45 - 1:00 MI Redistricting Commission,  Trailside Senior Center

Wed, Mar 4, 1:30pm - Grace A. Dow Library Community Room, 1710 West St Andrews, Midland

May 20, 2pm - Annual Meeting and Tea (no dinner)

LWV logo
Board Members
The board meets the First Thursday of each month at Creative360, 9:30-11:30. No meeting in June or July. All members are welcome. 

President -  Kim Steinke
Treasurer - Karen Sherwood
Secretary - Judy McDowell
VP Membership - Carol McPherson
VP Program -  Judy Donahue
Director, Voter Service - Sue McCollister
Director, Natural Resources - Carole Swinehart
Director, Natural Resources - Sandy Collinson
Director, Sandy Haughton
Director, Webpage - Katherine Redwine
Director, New Media - Katherine Redwine
Director, Sharron Such
Director, Terry Townley
Director, Kathryn (Kathy) Miller
Director, Cindy LeVasseur
Quick Links
LWV League Management
LWV-Bay County  (geographical unit of LWV Midland Area)
LWV-Lake Michigan Region
City of Midland
Midland County
Grace A Dow Memorial Library 
Midland Public Schools
Vote411.org link
In This Issue
Membership Form
Our Sponsors
When you visit our sponsors, please identify yourself as a LWV Member
Circle Travel
Everett Carpet logo
business card for Partners in Change
Shirlene_s Cuisine
Michigan Advocacy
Know Your Rights: Voting
Michigan Owners Manual - Michigan League for Public Policy
Michigan Talent Crisis - The Education Trust - Midwest
Local Advocacy
National Advocacy
LWV Census Action Kit
Donations
The LWV of the Midland Area can always make good use of donations.

You can make unrestricted donations to the LWV of the Midland Area. These are not tax deductible.

You can make tax deductible donations to the LWV - Education Fund. These funds are used for educational activities.

You can also donate to special projects such as the Voters Guide or 100th Anniversary celebration.

Checks should be made out to LWV - Midland Area or LWV - Education Fund. Send to Karen Sherwood, Treasurer
6005 Millbrook, Midland, 48640

Thank-you.

Membership
Interested in Joining? 
Use this form  here or email   Carol McPherson

League of Women Voters of the Midland Area
KatherineTaylorRedwine@gmail.com  
P.O. Box 1203
Midland, MI 48641-1203