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

Megan Burnett as  Suffragist Mattie Griffith Browne
Hooray!  It's almost time to celebrate 100 years of women's right to vote by attending "Conversations with a Suffragist" starring Megan Burnett. 
     We want you to join us at the Vickers Theatre, 6 North Elm Street, Three Oaks on Wednesday September 18  at 3:00 p.m.   or at the Box Factory for the Arts, 1101 Broad Street, St. Joseph on Thursday, September 19
at 7:30 p.m.
     Let's have fun and pretend we are back in 1919, marching for the right of women to vote. Get into the spirit of the suffragettes -- men and women -- by wearing a white shirt and black skirt or trousers. Stay after the performance for a Q & A with Megan Burnett. For those attending the performances, take time to enjoy complimentary light snacks and fine conversation with your fellow suffragists. 
    Get your tickets now -- $10 adults, $5 students -- by calling Judy Scully at 773-677-2528. This fun event is not to be missed!                                         -- Judy Scully
CENSUS 2020:
Possible Outcomes for Michigan

     The Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR) extends this invitation to a forum planned for September 11 in downtown Lansing from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The forum features a discussion of Census 2020 and its implications for Michigan.
    The Census Bureau is preparing to surpass previous participation records in order to get an accurate snapshot of people living in the United States. The push for participation has stirred discussion of what census outcomes could mean to Michigan, especially to marginalized communities, in terms of federal dollars for social services and big ticket items like infrastructure and economic development projects. Census data will also contribute to Michigan's redistricting process, how school districts are defined, and state representation to our nation's capital. This forum will explain: how census data may impact Michigan; challenges for data gathering in stressed communities; and best practices for ensuring participation.
    The forum is free of charge and open to the public. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged online (click here) as open seats and lunch is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Reserve a seat now!
    Sign in and lunch will begin at 11:30 a.m. in the 5th floor Mackinac Room, Anderson House Office Building, at 124 N. Capitol Ave., across from the Michigan Capitol in downtown Lansing. The discussion will begin at approximately 11:45 a.m. and run through the 1:30 p.m. closing.
Seeking Volunteers
The League of Women Voters of Michigan: Education Fund has received a Making Democracy Work (MDW) grant to provide educational presentations this fall or next spring about the statewide ballot proposals passed in 2018. LWVMI will provide $400 to each local League that schedules one Town Hall on the topics mentioned below and also distributes printed handout material.
    The state League will provide training for our selected members to be speakers, as well as provide PowerPoint presentations and handouts. An additional allowance of up to $100 may be requested for reimbursement of printing costs.
    We are seeking volunteers who are interested in advancing our efforts on voter education! Since the timeline to apply for the grant is very short, we'll need committed volunteers who can get right to work.
    Please respond with your interest in helping by September 5 to Anita Rutlin  by clicking here.
    There will be a training held by phone/video conference provided by the state League on Monday, September 9, at 7:00 p.m.
    Possible Topics for Town Hall Meetings:
1. Education on a complete count for the statewide 2020 Census
2. Education on the implementation of Ballot proposal 2, the Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC)
3. Education on the implementation of Proposal 3, Voting Rights                                        -- Laura Odenwald
National Voter Registration Day
     National Voter Registration Day is a national holiday dedicated to making sure all eligible citizens are registered to vote. 
    Last year up to 10,000 volunteers registered more than 800,000 voters. Perhaps not coincidentally, voter turnout in the 2018 midterm elections went up 11% among all voting age and major racial and ethnic groups as compared to the 2014 midterm elections. 
    Recent changes to Michigan election law will make it easier than ever to register and vote; but one thing will not change: the fact that citizens need to register in order to vote. Failure to register is a common reason a citizen is unable to vote. Therefore, on Tuesday, September 24, the League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties will be having a voter registration drive at Lake Michigan College from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
    Along with the opportunity to register at the site, we will be providing education about the registration process, how to check registration status online, obtain absentee ballots, and more. 
    If you or someone you know is not registered to vote, please join us for the event and register.   If you can help register voters on September 24, please contact LWVBCC voter services coordinator Mike McCaffrey. Just click here: mike@michaelmccaffrey.com .
Proposal 3 Town Hall Meeting
    On November 6, 2018, Michigan electors passed Proposal 3, a Constitutional Amendment that affects when voters can register to vote, how they're registered, and who can vote by mail. 
    The Office of the County Clerk will hold a public presentation at the Berrien County Conference Room, Berrien County Health Department, 2149 E. Napier Ave., Benton Harbor, on Monday, October 7, at 5:30 p.m.
    The public is invited to this informational session covering topics such as automatic voter registration, registration by mail up to 15 days before election, in-person registration extended to Election Day with proof of residency, and no-reason absentee voting. 
    For more information, contact the Elections Department, 269.983.7111, x8264 or by email by sending a message to elections@berriencounty.org.
BOOK GROUP:  Bridges Theme
      Since racism is still a hot-button issue in American society, you will be reading so that we can talk about discrimination and then share ideas on the Bridges to connect the races.
     Please select a book from the following list and come prepared to discuss it with other League members on October 14th:

   Feldman, Larry and Sandy. Building Bridges Across the Racial
Divide. Peter Long Publishing, Inc. 2019. 
   Kotlowitz, Alex. The Other Side of the River: A Story of Two Towns, A Death and America's Dilemma Nan A. Talese an imprint of Doubleday, 1999.
   Lewis, John. Across That BridgeA Vision for Change and the Future of America. Hachette Book Group, Inc. 2012. 

     When we meet on Monday, October 14, at 10:00 a.m. at Chris Zilke's home we will be exchanging the various ideas of the authors and the bridges we can build. Please call Chris at (269) 449-225 to let her know that you plan to attend.
League of Women Voters
Lake Michigan Region

     Information and registration for the annual meeting is now up and running on the LWVLMR website:  https://www.lwvlmr.org
    As a member of LWVBCC, you are a member of the Lake Michigan Region group and can register for the dinner with speaker to be held Friday, October 25. Dining space at The Lakeside Inn is limited.  Therefore, attendance for the dinner and guest speaker will also be limited. You might also like to register with The Lakeside Inn to spend the night.
    Three field trips are being offered Friday afternoon -- all water-related and all in the Lakeside/New Buffalo area. Out of consideration for people travelling to this meeting from Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and points in far northern Michigan, recommended field trips farther afield from Lakeside and New Buffalo could not be planned.
     As water becomes more scarce throughout the world, as fires in the Amazon rainforest and elsewhere affect our environment, the waters of the Great Lakes are increasingly more precious and coveted.
     "Groundwater: The 6th Great Lake" is the theme. The Lakeside Inn in Lakeside, Michigan, is the place. Why not register today?                                    -- Christiana Zilke
    In searching for some really good news for the environment, I was happy to find on the web "Environmental Archives." These are some good news stories:
    Swiss eMining's eDumper, an electric-dump-truck, produces its own energy. Here's how it works. The eDumper is loaded with 65 tons of rock on top of the hill. When braking, the loaded 123 ton eDumper gains energy instead of releasing it to the environment in the form of heat via the brake discs. When the eDumper drives up empty, it uses the stored power from its batteries for the electric drive. The eDumper, operating at a quarry in Biel, Switzerland, never uses more energy than it produces. Through regenerative braking, the truck saves 50,000 L of diesel a year which equates to around 130 ton of carbon emissions a year.
    Korea's Hyundai Motor is launching its first car with a solar roof charging system that makes its debut on the New Sonata Hybrid. The system supports the vehicle's electric power source, improving efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions. Being able to charge even while driving, the solar roof system can charge 30 to 60% of the battery per day.
Twelve Canadian students from the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec have invented a special type of vacuum that can remove microplastics from sand without irreparably damaging beaches. The students became inspired after learning about Hawaii's Kamilo Beach, which has the nickname 'Trash Beach'. Their vacuum, called the Hoola One, is already being put to work on Hawaiian beaches.
    An exciting American startup is making clean energy by vaporizing heaps of trash without any waste or emissions. Sierra Energy aims to tackle all of the non-recyclable garbage that ends up in landfills -- from hazardous wastes and plastics to everyday trash and tires. The blast furnace uses FastOx gasification technology to heat all of the trash to 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The fuel made from the FastOx technology is reported to be 20 times cleaner than California fuel standards. All of the gases generated by the chemical process are captured for reuse, e.g., to replace fossil fuels that power airplanes. Sierra Energy will further develop and commercialize its technology for municipalities and landfills, so that they can convert waste into clean, renewable energy and fuels.
    When you consider all the environmental tragedies affecting our world these days, you may want to get more good news on a regular basis from "Environmental Archives."                                                                                                                                   --  Christiana Zilke

LWVBCC: Contact Us

P.O. Box 1032
Niles, MI 49120

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September 10
6:00 p.m.
LWVBCC Board Meeting
Lincoln Township Library

September 11
 Census 2020
Lansing Forum
(story at left)

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
LWVBCC will be at 
Lake Michigan College

October 7
Promote the Vote
Town Hall
at Berrien County Health Department

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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Membership  in LWVBCC!
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.