The Voter
League of Women Voters of the Midland Area
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Nov 10, 2pm
Consensus Meeting
Amending the Constitution
Strosacker Bldg., Room 107
Nov 16, 2:15pm
Planning Meeting
Library Conference Room A
Dec 2, 4pm
Board Meeting
Rosemary Wilson's (see article)
Dec 2, 6pm
Holiday Gathering
Rosemary Wilson's
see article for details
Jan 7, 9:30am
Board Meeting
Library Conference Room A
Members are invited to all events.
The League of Women Voters of the Midland Area is sponsoring discussions on Eight World issues in the 2016 Great Decisions series. The Great Decisions series uses information developed by the Foreign Policy Association, a national non-profit, non-partisan group. Formed in 1918, the Association promotes public opinion and understanding on U.S. foreign policy and global affairs.
The discussions will focus on Middle East Alliances: ISIS, The Kurds, Migration, The Koreas, The United Nations, Climate Change, Cuba & the U.S.
  Groups set their own pace, but most begin in January when information is available and wrap up in March and April. Great Decisions books, DVDs and materials provide participants with analysis and resources for discussion.
Sign up is underway. Groups meet on Tuesday afternoons, Wednesday mornings or Thursday evenings. Group leaders are: Tuesday - Lynn Walker (989-631-8478); Wednesday - Ghislaine Maurissen (989-636-7145) and Thursday - Jim Falender (989-687-2456). More information can be obtained from Midland Great Decisions Coordinator Sandy Burmester at 989-832-3079.

The Midland League of Women Voters has sponsored the Local Great Decisions program for more than 20 years.



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 - Website

President's Letter

Between September 30 and October 27, our League hosted four events - candidate forum on September 30 for Ward 4 City Council election, Redistricting Town Hall on October 2, booth at Senior Expo on October 14, and program on October 27 on Amending the Constitution featuring SVSU professor Dr. Thomas Lane as speaker. We also arranged for a presentation on Redistricting at a local Rotary meeting on October 27, featuring Kathy Ling of the Mt. Pleasant LWV who spoke at our Town Hall; this was part of a state-wide LWV effort to share the redistricting message to civic organizations. All in all, a big month to kick off the 2015-16 year! Many thanks to those who worked to make these events happen and to those who participated!

Our educational efforts on redistricting reform did not go unnoticed, with the Midland Daily News writing in an editorial that a more balanced approach than the current process may be in order.    

By the time you read this, it's likely to be the eve of our November 10 consensus meeting on the national League study of Amending the US Constitution. Dr. Lane's presentation on the amendment process at our October 27 event stimulated good questions and discussion. Thanks to Judy Donahue for arranging his visit and for organizing our consensus meeting!
I hope you all have a nice Thanksgiving holiday.

Sue McCollister

Poster used at Senior Expo, Oct 14, 2015
Poster at Senior Expo
Our main focus for the October 14 Senior Expo at Midland Mall was a continuation of our education efforts on redistricting in Michigan . We had many 1-on-1 conversations and distributed over 100 handouts. Visitors were able to see the poster showing the Michigan legislative districts.
We also took advantage of the opportunity for some voter service, providing information on the November 3 City Council election. We helped folks find their home ward on the map and provided copies of the Midland Daily News article giving details of the candidates' responses at our September 30 forum for Ward 4 (the only contested race).

Many thanks to board members Judy Donahue, Fran Hamburg, Judy McDowell, Julie Schmidt, Kim Steinke and Sharron Such for greeting and engaging the visitors to our booth.

Social period 6:00, dinner 6:30
Home of Rosemary Wilson, 4113 Cruz Drive
$6, Payable upon arrival  

Plan to attend our annual holiday tradition! This is a time for socializing with old League friends and getting acquainted with our newer members. A lovely meal including chicken cordon bleu, au gratin potatoes, vegetable medley and pastries is planned. Please RSVP to Rosemary Wilson (   or 631-4152 by November 30.
Monday, November 16, 2:15-4:00 pm
(note slight time change)
Grace A. Dow Library Conference Room A

Our plates will still be quite full until the end of January, with the February 1 deadline for consensus results on the Money in Politics Study (see below). At the November 16 planning meeting, we will decide where our focus will be from February to June and would like input from the membership on topics, programs, speakers, social activities that might interest you, so please join us if you have ideas to share or just want to observe the discussion. If participating in the meeting isn't an option, you can send suggestions to me at or give me a call at 631-4180.



Our League is getting organized to undertake our second study of the year, which is an update of the current LWVUS position on Campaign Finance. We'll be getting underway in earnest in January, so stay tuned for more details as they are developed. At this point it's safe to say that this is an intense, critical subject that warrants our attention, and we're looking forward to digging in! Meanwhile, the LWVUS website has an extensive collection of background material for those interested in seeing what is in store.
Consensus - what is it?
When used as a technique for reaching agreement, consensus is a process whereby members participate in a group discussion of an issue. The "consensus" reached by members through group discussion is not a simple majority, nor is it unanimity, but refers to the overall "sense of the group". Member agreement emerges from the give and take that comes from group interaction and the exchange of viewpoints. Listening to and participating in discussion helps to shape the recommendations.

The goal of consensus is to incorporate the interests of all participants in building meaningful agreement. It does not mean that everyone is equally supportive of the agreement, but it does mean that all participants believe they have been heard and that the agreement reflects their concerns. People can consent without agreeing. One individual cannot simply declare a block to consensus. The group must agree that they have not reached consensus.

 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.