Making Democracy Work

Making Democracy Work

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

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2017 LWVIN Convention

The 2017 LWVIN Convention will be held in South Bend Saturday, April 29 & 30 at the Holiday Inn Mishawaka Conference Center, 1208 E. Douglas Road, Mishawaka, IN 46545.

Click here to see the order of business.

Registration: The deadline is April 21 & costs $60 per attendee. Preferred payment is with credit card via PayPal. Leagues may register up to five (5) attendees with this system. Registering for more than five people? Email

RSVP here after determining with local leadership if you are serving as a voting delegate. All members may attend, but not all members may vote. Each League may send their president and one (1) additional member as a voting delegates. Additional delegates may attend -- 1 per 20 members or a major portion thereof -- based on the January 21, 2017 member count.

Lodging: You can make your reservation for lodging with the Holiday Inn. If you enter the conference dates + arrival on April 28 or 29 and departure April 30 -- the group code will automatically be entered. Or, call 1-877-834-3613 and use the Group Code LOW. Rooms are $95.00 per night ($107.35 with taxes and fees) through April 15.

Check-In: Early check-in will occur on Friday night for those arriving before the start of Convention. Saturday morning check-in will occur from 9 to 9:30a.m. EST with the Call to Order at 9:45a.m. EST. Delegates arriving late will not be allowed to vote -- plan your arrival time accordingly!

Silent Auction: The silent auction is an important fund raiser for the League and provides, among other projects, $300 grants to local Leagues for their education projects. We are asking for contributions from all local Leagues. Please bring your items with you to the convention. Please provide this information with each contribution: Your League name, description of item, and estimated value. LWV of the South Bend Area member Sheila Niezgodski is this year's Silent Auction Chair and can be contacted at

Convention Business: We will pass a budget for 2017-18, elect new board officers & directors, amend the bylaws, and, perhaps most significantly, vote to convert the LWVIN into a 501(c)(3) organization. Read more about this process here and why this move will NOT impact our advocacy work here, here and here.

Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting Makes Its Recommendations

Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting Makes Its Recommendations

On September 19, the Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting, of which the LWVIN is a co-founding member, presented its recommendations to the Special Interim Study Committee on Redistricting. Key recommendations include:

  • Indiana should establish a citizen-led redistricting commission every 10 years consisting of 9 members: 3 Republican, 3 Democrat, and 3 unaffiliated.
  • All Hoosiers are eligible, but must apply for service.
  • Qualified candidates should be selected by lottery with efforts made to reflect the racial, ethnic, gender and geographic diversity of the state.
  • Redistricting criteria: Districts must be substantially equal in population, contiguous,comply with the U.S. Voting Rights Act, when possible they should not divide communities of interest, and the home addresses of incumbent elected officials should not be considered.
  • Recommendations by the commission should require an affirmative vote of at least 6 members and are subject to legislative approval.
  • Legislative changes, however, can not exceed 2% of the total population of a district and must be accompanied by a narrative explanation.

2016 LWVUS Convention

2016 LWVUS Convention Summary

Delegate list: Nancy Clement (Greater Lafayette), Nichole Etcheson (Muncie-Delaware Co.), Alice Phillips, Christina Sharp, Gail Pebworth (Montgomery Co.), Erin Kelley, Rhea Cain, Sarah Halter (Indianapolis), Oscar Anderson (Montgomery Co.), Barb Reed (Cass Co.), Judith Kratzner (Knox Co.), and Lisa Plencner (South Bend).

High Impact Visibility Award: The LWV of Montgomery County won!

LWVUS Bylaw Changes:

Article III, Section 2, Types of Membership has been amended to now read (changes in bold):

"A. Voting Members. Persons at least 16 years of age who join the League shall be voting members of local Leagues, state Leagues, and of the LWVUS; (1) THOSE who live within an area of a local League may join that League or any other local League; (2) those who reside outside the area of any local League may join a local League or shall be state members-at-large; (3) those who have been members of the League for 50 years or more shall be life members excused from the payment of dues."

Since all state and local LWVs must share the first three articles in common with the LWVUS, state and local LWVs do not need to vote on these changes. Rather, as an administrative matter, they need to update their bylaws immediately.

LWVUS Concurrences:

Position on Redistricting

The LWVUS has adopted a redistricting position that state Leagues can use to enhance their own redistricting positions. The newly adopted position "does not supersede any existing state League redistricting position" and will greatly help the 10 state LWVs currently lacking a redistricting position. (See page 32 of the convention workbook.)

Behavioral Health

The LWVUS Health Care position has been amended to include the following as the second sentence under Basic Level of Quality Care:

"Every U.S. resident should have access to affordable, quality in- and out- patient behavioral health care, including needed medications and supportive services that is integrated with, and achieves parity with, physical health care."

LWVUS Speaker Highlights YouTube videos of all the major speakers at Convention can be found here:

Speakers included the following and several more: Chris Carson + newly elected LWVUS president Wylecia Wiggs Harris + new LWVUS CEO Celinda Lake + "Messaging for Impact: What Resonates with Voters in 2016" Ari Berman + Keynote address on the history of the Voting Rights Act Jennifer Lawless + "Engaging Millennials in our Elections" Keisha Gaskins + "Understanding and Telling the Story of Impact for Democracy with Data"

Another special highlight is the video submitted by the LWVIN for the Convention's "Roll Call of States." This video highlights the important work our members are doing on redistricting reform. You can view it at our brand new YouTube page!

2016 LWVIN Council

LWVIN Council: Grassroots Advocacy & the League

LWVIN Council was held on Saturday, April 9, 2016 at the Prindle Institute at DePauw University in Greencastle.

LWVIN business, such as the election of new officers and approval of the 2016-17 budget was addressed, and the focus of the day was on grassroots advocacy and how we can work more effectively to make an impact. Featured training included a session with Lisa Marchal, Senior Global Grassroots Associate with RESULTS, on how to craft an effective story, build legislative relationships, and get the most out of our communications. We also spent time reviewing the Indiana General Assembly website and how to track LWV legislative priorities.

The entire Council packet can be accessed here

Historic Women's Rights Leaders Honored

On February 29, 2016, the Indiana General Assembly offered a concurrent resolution honoring three historic Hoosier leaders instrumental in gaining women the right to vote: Helen Gouger, May Wright Sewell, and Zerelda Wallace. The resolution was offered by Rep. Linda Lawson and Sen. Karen Tallian and was originally proposed by the LWVIN.

Thank you to our local members from around the State who were able to represent the League at this event.

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Find Us . . .

Address: 1500 N. Delaware Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202
Phone: 317-241-VOTE (8683)