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Newsletter - November 19, 2020

LWVIN  | Published on 11/19/2020


Dear League members,

As we move forward from this tumultuous election, we must celebrate the unprecedented turnout of voters, the unrelenting effort of league members to educate voters and to get out the vote, and the patience required to witness the vote count.
  • The unprecedented turnout of voters. Through this pandemic, amid shifts in voting procedures, disinformation campaigns, and multiple other hurdles to voting, Hoosier voters made their voices heard. The League and our Voting Rights Coalition fought several battles to increase Hoosiers’ options to safely cast their ballot in this unique election year, only to have multiple wins overturned in federal court (7th Circuit). An estimated 68% of the U.S. electorate cast ballots ; 62% of Hoosier voters managed to work around the remaining hurdles and vote.
  • League members, particularly the Voter Services Committee, were unrelenting in efforts to educate voters and to get out the vote.Keeping voters informed as voting options and procedures changed was crucial to turnout. Thank you all for contacting candidates and getting their information onto VOTE411, for conducting registration drives, candidate forums, and GOTV efforts in the midst of a pandemic.
  • The patience required to witness the vote count. We know democracy is messy, but the high number of absentee ballots cast in this election have brought that truth home. Unlike states that have systems in place for Vote by Mail, Indiana has not invested in the technology that would allow a smoothly run, secure election with voter verified paper ballots available for audits.
Not least, we owe huge gratitude to the people who made elections run:the poll workers, election officials, election observers, postal workers, and volunteers. Thank you for all your dedicated work to power our elections this year!
Celebrate Democracy!
Linda Hanson and Barb Schilling, LWVIN co-Presidents

2/15/2020 legislative update
LOCAL LEAGUE SPOTLIGHT
BLOOMINGTON-MONROE COUNTY
This is a new feature. Each month we will be featuring a different local League.
This article was submitted byAnn Birch, President of the Bloomington League. (The photo is from their 2/15/20 legislative update).Below is a list of our main projects in 2020 in addition to our program!
  • Two in-person legislative update public events with area legislators in collaboration with the local chamber of commerce. The third event was cancelled due to COVID-19.
  • Collaboration with IU’s Jason Peifer on “Making the News: A Community Conversation”
  • Two virtual public screenings of voter suppression documentaries with Q&A.
  • A virtual public climate solutions forum with guest experts and lots of audience participation
  • Development of webpages and materials on the centennial of the 19thAmendment and the League.
  • Collaboration with local history center on centennial activities.
  • Supporting voter registration by two church groups and a local social service group to participate in National Voter Registration Day.
  • Development of voter information flyers in English and Spanish and a special flyer for the homeless and evicted.
  • Preparation and distribution of 150 “Check Your Registration/Vote Early” yard signs.
  • Participation in vote411.org for the second year; this time using the platform to communicate with candidates.
  • “Keys to the Candidates” published as a pullout section in the Bloomington Herald-Times and widely publicized, with special delivery to 50 senior citizen residences and extra copies available at local library branches.
  • Participation by invitation by the president and voter service co-chairs in more than eight community public events.
  • Collaboration with Indiana University’s Political and Civic Engagement program and the Big Ten Voting Challenge.
  • Numerous guest columns, letters, and press releases in local media.
  • League observers who covered 16 government entities.
  • Development of podcasts featured on WFHB radio.
  • Significant increase in Facebook presence with almost daily posts and an increase of 30% in followers.
  • Establishment of ClubExpress account and upload of membership.
Complete Bloomington report

SOLICITING QUESTIONS FOR AN INDIANA LEAGUE SURVEY

There are many ways that Indiana Leagues can help each other and draw from each other’s experiences. Maybe you’d like to know how other Indiana Leagues participate in primaries. Or maybe if someone has a certain procedure documented.We’d like to put together a survey for Indiana Leagues, using questions you submit. Then we can get the answers out to you so you can start the conversations you’d like to have.Note that we will do our best to coordinate this with the LWVUS survey so that we don’t duplicate questions.

If you have questions you’d like to submit, please go toTHIS SITE.You’ll need to make some basic entries, then you can list your questions.Please respond by December 12.This will give everyone enough time to bring this up at a board meeting if desired.Contact Ann Birch, LWV-BMC,president1@lwv-bmc.if you have questions. Thanks!

THE LOCAL SUFFRAGE CHALLENGE IS HERE!

The State 100th Anniversary Committee is challenging all local Leagues to research suffragists in your community. Give your local suffragists their well deserved visibility and appreciation and then offer an educational vehicle for your community.We are asking members of your League to send us a name and a short biography of each of your local suffragists.The challenge starts December 1, 2020 and ends April 1, 2021.

If you haven’t started researching yet, a good place to visit is your local library and historical society, theIndiana State Library,and theIndiana Historical Society. The State League website also hasresource lists.
We will be using an interactive map of Indiana, where visitors can click on a county and the names of suffragists come up. Many of you have already have done some research, so please send us your information as soon as possible. We will start posting the interactive map in the December newsletter.
Please send names and biographies (and any questions) toBarb Schilling.

FORGOTTEN FOREMOTHERS:Profiles of lesser-known heroines in the fight for women’s rights

Anna Murray Douglass
Kathryn S Gardiner | Published on 10/22/2020
Read about Anna and other prominent suffragists on theForgotten Foremotherssection of the Indiana League website.

VANGUARD: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All
a book review

One might think that what started in Seneca Falls and ended in 1920 with the ratification of the nineteenth amendment sums up the suffrage crusade. But the majority white women’s movement did not secure the vote for African American women.

The book Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All, written by Martha S. Jones, shares her thoughts and observations on the political lives of black and brown women in America and their ability to fight for the ballot, despite sexism and racism. Brave women displayed political power in the fight to obtain dignity and equality for themselves and others-with little to no credit.

One cannot deny the fact that 2019-2020 have turned into great years for African-American women in politics. Yet, many fail to know about the hundreds of years of history that set the stage for the Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams, Keisha Bottoms generation. Jones’ extensive research tells the stories of African American women who, for years, fought for political rights during a time that black women also fought patriarchy and systemic, deep-seated racism.

Jones shares stories of her great-great grandmother, who was born a slave, and her grandmother who fought for African American women’s political rights through churches, organizations, schools, and community.
In the end, the book displays family history as it reveals the black women vanguard obtaining political power beyond the ballot box.

A great book and history lesson—I recommend you carve out time to read it!

WaTasha Barnes Griffin--League member & community activist

NEWS FROM THE STATE BOARD
GRANTS AVAILABLE FOR LOCALS TO DO YOUR WORK

The grant application form is available on LWVIN.org underResources-Treasurers.

100TH CELEBRATION
Since COVID has played havoc with 100th celebrations, the Board has extended the deadline for $100 grants for the 100th celebrations through August 2021

FAIR MAPS - VOTER SUPPRESSION/REDISTRICTING
Fair Maps funding comes to LWVIN from the LWVUS grant
Eligible expenses: social media marketing, flyers, a brochure to be mailed, postage, screening fees (if any), and $50/league to host a zoom showing.

PROGRAM GRANTS
The annual $300 grant is available to each local league to conduct your work.
LWVIN VIRTUAL WORKSHOPS

The topical workshops were well received and we have heard a few requests to continue this format, either using Zoom or, once meeting in person is a viable option, employing a hybrid model with both in-person and remote attendees. The Board would like your feedback!CONTACT US throughLWVIN.ORG

Did you like the topical workshops (as a change from the multi-topic regional ones)?
What about the virtual format?
Scheduling (time of year, time of day)?
What topics would you like for future workshops?

INVITATION TO ATTEND STATE BOARD MEETINGS

All members are invited to attend the LWVIN Board Meetings. They are currently being held by Zoom the second Saturday of each month, 10:30am-12:00pm EDT. If you wish to attend, please contact us through the website,LWVIN.ORG.
The LWVUS Semi-Annual Survey is DUE DECEMBER 5!
Your league will have received information about this from Linda Hanson and Voter Services. Please respond and submit your data viaTHIS LINK.

NOVEMBER STATE BOARD MEETING SUMMARY
from Secretary Karen Martoglio


Because our meeting was so close to the last election, the large majority of our meeting focused on voter education and voting places and procedures. Both when we were discussing the subject of future workshops -- and again when we were heard from the Voter Services committee --lengthy discussions ensued, with great ideas about what had been observed during the 2020 General Election. On the subject of future workshops, there was interest in the topic of “Medicare for All.” If others have more ideas, please share with Barb and Linda.

Club Express, the new technology tool for Local League's websites and member management, has gotten a boost from a $2,000 donation to offset Club Express startup costs. Seven sites are live (including lwvin.org), five sites are in development, and discussions are being held with two others. We also started a discussion of Copyright Infringement Demands. Tom Gardiner shared an email from national stating that some leagues around the country have been receiving demand letters for legitimate claims of copyright infringement. This stems from the unlicensed use of copyrighted images in newsletter, presentations, and websites. More detailed information will be forthcoming to all our local Indiana LWV leagues.

Kimber Sorenson-Brugh, State League Membership Chairperson, reported to she visited Joh
nson County to assist with an event that will help facilitate the creation of a new League there.

Complete summary of November Board meeting

INCREASING WEBSITE TRAFFIC

As webmaster and Facebook administrator for the Southwestern Indiana local, I made it a priority this fall to constantly update our local website and Facebook page with facts and details on voting in our area.As a result, the General Election drew many more visitors to our local website. According to Google Analytics, in the seven days ending November 8 we saw 3,000 users and 3,300 sessions, andin 28 days we saw 7,400 users and 8,400 sessions. In those 28 days, we also reached over 6,000 people, with 628 post engagements, through our Facebook page. I made a point of linking to our website from Facebook posts.

Election Day is over! And we know that very few events generate the excitement caused by a Presidential election. Since, due to COVID, we won’t be holding our regular Meet Your Legislators sessions in 2021,I will be working to make our website the go-to place for information about the legislative calendar, how to keep up with bills, etc.

Pam Locker