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.

Apr 25
Equal Pay Legislative Day
Lansing MI

Apr 26, 7pm
Redistricting with Judy Karandjeff
United Church of Christ

May 4, 9:45-11:45
Board Meeting
Grace A. Dow Library  Conf Rm A

May 19-21, 2017
State Convention
Lansing, MI

May 24, 6 p.m. 
Annual meeting
Holiday Inn
Midland County Sheriff Scott Stephenson is the speaker.

June 1

June 14
"Just for Fun" adventure
Details to come 

Educational booklet for new voters
Your Elected Officials
See Photo Albums on our Facebook page.
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



MARCH 2017
President's Letter

This month we're finalizing budgets, local Program and the slate of Board nominees, all for approval by the membership at the Annual Meeting.  We're also preparing for state convention and planning special events for April. 

New members - Welcome to Jim Crissman & Jill Haver-Crissman, Lisa Moore, Ellie Schroeder, Jennifer Dear & James Donahue, Cindy LeVasseur, and Celia Young-Wenkel! We're looking forward to getting to know you and to working with you on the many challenges facing us. These new additions bring our membership total to 84!
On March 2, Terry Townley, Judy Frock and I spoke to about 120 members of the W.O.M.A.N. (Women of Michigan Action Network) group on various aspects of "Participating in Democracy". I gave an overview of LWV, Judy talked about Redistricting, and Terry presented information on Contacting Legislators and Monitoring Legislation. The group had good questions, and it was enlightening to observe their energy for political action.
LWV State Convention will be held May 19-21, Kellogg Center, East Lansing. If you think you may be interested in attending, let me know! It's a good way to learn more about League and get acquainted with other League members in the state. It promises to be inspiring and energizing. Details will be available soon regarding scheduling, workshop and speakers.
March is Women's History Month . League will be highlighting and celebrating important stories of women throughout the month.
Sue McCollister

Redistricting continues to be an issue of significant concern. At a forum held in East Lansing in February, LWV of Michigan president Judy Karandjeff and Michigan Election Reform Alliance speakers spoke to a crowd of nearly 600 . (WKAR coverage) The League of Women Voters of Michigan will continue to educate the public on the issue.  Judy Karandjeff will be in Midland on April 26 to present such a program. (Details below)

LWV of Michigan supports an independent commission as a solution to the problems with Michigan's current redistricting process.  LWVMI is aware that other groups are thinking about a ballot proposal campaign.  At this time, the League has not endorsed a ballot proposal or joined a coalition to do so.  The LWVMI Board will evaluate the possibility of joining a ballot campaign based on the proposal and the probability of the campaign's success.

Advocating with the LWV - What can you do?
 1. Join the LWV
    a. Connect with people who share your democratic values
    b. Share in decision making and work 
    c. Know you are a part of bigger coalitions
2. Learn About Issues 
    a. Improve your general knowledge of issues - learn from others
    b. Focus on issues important to you - Share your knowledge 
    c. View issues from a broader perspective - respect people's right to different viewpoints
3. Strengthen our Voice & Establish Relationships 
    a. Engage 
    b. Mentor 
    c. Demonstrate 
    d. Advocate
4. Be Realistic - build bridges, not walls
    a. Compromise
    b. Non-partisan solutions
5. Stay Positive 
    a. Hard work needs positivity - remember to have some fun
    b. Avoid burnout - take time for yourself & your loved ones

When representing the LWV, advocacy must be based on an official position, But you are free to express your own opinion any way you see fit.
Government Finance Study Wrap-Up

Fourteen League members met on February 21 for good discussion of the consensus questions. The State League is now in the process of aggregating all the Local League results in order to update the LWVMI position on Government Finance. Many thanks to Katherine Redwine for coordinating and leading us in  the process.

Equal Pay Legislative Day - April 25
Equal Pay Day

Midland Branch of American Association of University Women (AAUW), is calling on all AAUW area branches and other women's groups such as LWV, Zonta, and W.O.M.A.N. to join us in a rally in Lansing for Equal Pay Legislative Day, April 25, 2017, on the steps of the Capitol. We urge as many women as possible to carpool or drive to Lansing to raise our voices for Equal Pay. Starting at 8:30 am there will be a light breakfast and orientation at the United Methodist Church, 215 N Capital Ave, Lansing across from the Capitol.

If you are working, have a daughter(s), granddaughter(s), nieces, all women, come and raise your voice. 
We have been fighting for a long time for pay equal to that which men receive, and if and when women's pay rises, it comes to only a penny or pennies. Government can and must help make the business environment more conducive to women to earn equal pay for the same jobs by creating policies that move businesses in the direction of equality. Come and be heard.

Timeline for the 4/25 Rally by Michigan Equal Pay Day Coalition
8:30 - 9:30 Registration and Breakfast
9:30 - 12:15 Issues Briefing and Luncheon
12:15 - 12:30 Walk to the Capitol
12:30 - 1:30 Rally on the Capitol Steps.
1:30 - 2:30 Conversation with legislators

Please contact Judy Donahue or Kim Steinke if  you or your group is interested in more information.  

Common Core Repeal Proposed in 
State Legislature
The Common Core State Standards Initiative, introduced in 2010, details the standards that K-12 students should achieve in English language arts and mathematics at the end of each grade. Michigan was one of 45 states to initially adopt Common Core in 2010, and is currently one of 42 states that have Common Core fully implemented.

The League of Women Voters supports Common Core.
Both the Michigan House and Senate are attempting to repeal and replace Common Core. The two bills are:

These Bills call for the termination of "all plans, programs, activities, efforts and expenditures relating to the implementation of Michigan K-12 science standards and the educational initiative known as Common Core."


Both bills are currently in committee. If approved, Michigan would be the fourth state to repeal Common Core and replace it with something else, joining Indiana, Oklahoma, and South Carolina.

We will be tracking these bills and respond to our legislators as appropriate. For more information, see the Legislative Analysis by the House Fiscal Agency.

Mark Your Calendar
Wednesday, April 26, 7:00 pm
United Church of Christ
4100 Chestnut Hill Dr., Midland
May 19-21
Kellogg Center, East Lansing
Details coming soon, meanwhile check

May 24, 6:00 pm
Holiday Inn of Midland
Midland County Sheriff
Watch for information packet 
in your mail the week of Apr. 24
 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.