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Newsletter - January 14, 2021

LWVIN  | Published on 1/14/2021
CALL TO ACTION FROM LWVUS
REMOVE PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP AND PROTECT THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

This week we saw President Donald Trump instigate an insurrection against his own government in a last-ditch attempt to maintain power that turned fatal. On Wednesday, January 6th, our country’s capital came under attack by radical insurrectionists intent on disrupting the transition of power. It was a coordinated attack on our democracy. As advocates who fight for a free and fair democracy, we have no choice but to call for the removal of Donald Trump by impeachment and disqualify him from ever holding federal office again.

We must remove Donald Trump from office in order to protect the integrity of the office of the President. Call your senator at (202)-224-3121 or send your senator a letter and ask them to support impeachment. CLICK HERE TO SEND A MESSAGE

Donald Trump breached his oath of office as president the moment he posed a clear and imminent threat to national security, compromising the security of the American public, and taking our democracy to the brink. It is now the duty of the Congress to proceed with the impeachment of Donald J. Trump for acting seditiously in a flagrant violation of his oath. Our Constitution must be maintained and upheld, and that can longer be done under the sitting President.

Make your voice heard: contact your senator and tell them to support impeachment and removal.
CLICK HERE TO SEND A MESSAGE

Donald Trump’s seditious actions have left us with no choice but to swear in Vice President Mike Pence to fulfill the duration of this presidential term. We must hold the president accountable for his reckless actions that have jeopardized the safety of our elected officials, and led to the loss of human life.

Yours in the fight,
Virginia Kase, LWVCEO
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Celebrate the League's Birthday and Presidents Day on February 14!
"Celebrating our Past, Recognizing our Present, Looking to our Future"

When: Sunday, Feb 14, 1:30-4:30 pm (EST)
Register in advance for this meeting After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Two of our featured speakers:

Melissa Gentrywill present"Mapping Indiana Suffragists."Melissa Gentry is the Map Collection Supervisor at the Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection.

Ruth Greenwoodwill speak on"Redistricting, Partisan Gerrymandering, and Proportional Representation."Ruth Greenwood is Co-Director, Voting Rights and Redistricting for the Campaign Legal Center

WATCH FOR AN UPCOMING ANNOUNCEMENT WITH ADDITIONAL INFORMATION!

INDIANA CITIZEN REDISTRICTING COMMISSION UPDATE

All IN 4 Democracy received nearly 300 applications for the 9 positions on the Indiana Citizen Redistricting Commission—a gratifying show of public interest in making the reapportionment process fair to all Hoosier voters. Interviews will be conducted over the next couple weeks with the goal of announcing the Commission by February 1, 2021. The ICRC will then hold virtual public hearings in each congressional district to gather public input about mapping criteria and the process.

The LWVIN Redistricting Committee met on Tuesday, January 12, 2021, to firm plans for screening voter suppression/redistricting documentaries, creating a sharable redistricting presentation and social media posts, and establishing both a speaker’s bureau as well as a database of local and targeted groups that would be invited to attend ICRC public hearings and civic engagement events. Every local league is represented on the Committee, but if you would like to be involved either in creating or sharing social media posts, please email Linda Hanson at lhanson43@gmail.com

Looking for resources about redistricting?
Explore the Indiana League website, Resources: Redistricting


VOTER SERVICES COORDINATING COMMITTEE CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS

Happy New Year! Are you ready to tackle the cold winter days with some League activities?

In 2021, we will not have elections to cover. There are a number of good opportunities for all our local members to become involved for whatever activity and time commitment you would like to provide.

The major areas needing support are:

1) Bill Watch 2021 General Assembly, focus Lead is Co-Chair Patrice Waidner
This will be a very busy period from Jan 4 through April 2021. Those with Election Committee Legislators or those with direct caucusing experience to teach us newbies would be very helpful. All Bills are web accessible and the observation of Legislative meetings can be done via live or archive videos. Bill watch will also need to be done via local media and public input.

2) Advocacy Messaging and Communications, focus Lead is Co-Chair Jorgena Watson
This is for those who enjoy writing communication materials; working with print/tv/radio media; and working social media. This will involve advocating for bills, fair districting maps, and other election issues to be kept in the public mind throughout 2021.

3) Get Ready for Elections 2022, focus Lead is Co-Chair Ken Jones
* Post 2020 election research and issue identification. Poll workers would be of great help here and those of you with County Elections Office communication and working relationships. Or, for those wanting to develop those Election Office relationships.
* Training Design / Development (the offering of statewide voter and election trainings/certifications)
* I'm sure everyone could offer information on how the election process worked, or not, for you. What should we advocate for in regard to change? How is the election process not providing full voter rights? How can we better educate the general voting public? What other questions should we be asking?

Please let us know how you would like to participate during 2021. We look forward to your participation, feedback and questions. Contact your local League Voter Services contact or me.

Thank you for participating in LWV IN activities in support of Voter Services 2021!

Patrice Waidner - voterserviceslwvin@gmail.com
LWVIN Board, Voter Services Committee Co-Chair


LOCAL LEAGUE SPOTLIGHT
SOUTH BEND LEAGUE
This is a new feature. Each month we will be featuring a different local League.

This article was submitted byJudy Bradford, Director of Administration of the South Bend League.

Recently, while volunteering at a voter registration table, another local Leaguer told me why she became a member: “When I retired, I took care of myself. Now, I know that’s important, but it seemed like that was all I was doing. Being in the League gives me something very important to do for others.”
If you asked me what I like most about the LWV of the South Bend Area, my answer would be that its members feel the organization adds special meaning and purpose to their lives.We are a diverse group of about 130 that includes people of various faiths, racial groups, gender orientation, men, retired folk as well as working people, and people of all ages -- with our oldest member being 98.They maintain their membership because they prioritize voting and voting rights, and feel strongly that their participation in democracy adds value to their own lives as well as to their community.

The seven words “I am a member of the League” packs weight in the South Bend area.Those words stand for integrity, fairness and truth, and they draw attention in any casual conversation. Our presence is felt through voter registration efforts, election-time forums and debates, and voter education through events like Lunch With the League, just to name a few things.
"I am a member of the League” also means that we are learning new things together. Last fall, for example, our voter registration teams participated in 17 different community events and took us to places in the city where we have never gone before. Places like the Kennedy Park area, where we were able to see for ourselves the numerous vacant lots left when deteriorated homes were torn down. These vacant lots remain a sore spot for our city. We also registered new or newly-franchised voters at expungement clinics which offer people a fresh start in so many aspects of life.

And at election forums and debates, questions are asked not just by sponsoring organizations, such as us, but also by individual voters who attend the events. Our town-hall style attracts people, I believe, who might otherwise stay home because they think the election has nothing to do with them. (We screen questions -- but only for readability, respectfulness and relevance.)
Regular events like our monthly Lunch With the League bring local and state issues to the forefront; these presentations, with guest speakers, are open to the public and we do not turn away from controversial subjects or ones for which answers are very complex – such as homelessness, racism, or poverty.

The year 2020, and the first month of 2021, challenged us. We learned how to do League business and events in new ways, due to the pandemic, and how to keep our friendships alive online. We learned how hard it can be to remain nonpartisan. And learning is so important – because when learning stops, listening stops.
“We’re here for a reason,” says Whoopi Goldberg, award-winning actress, comedian and author. “I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark.”

Check out our INTERACTIVE SUFFRAGE MAP by clickingHERE(we are sorry that we gave you the wrong link in the last newsletter) We want to fill the entire map with information on local suffragists.

The 100th Anniversary Committeewas formed to celebrate the League’s 100th Anniversary. but 2020 brought many challenges. So this committee is still working on the Anniversary, and the Interactive Suffragist Map is one of their projects. The committee's plan is to hopefully transition to focus on issues important to women.

For now, please send your local suffragist material to Barb Schilling at bartim@att.net

WE NEED A KNOWLEDGE RESOURCE PLATFORM FOR LWVWIN
Ann Birch had requested in November that League leaders submit questions to her for a state-wide survey. An insufficient number of questions were submitted to warrant such a survey, but the State Board is looking at a way for leaders and members throughout the state to share knowledge and resources. It can only help us work more efficiently!
Watch for updates on such a platform!

READ THIS: BECOMING A DEMOCRACY
a book review by Indiana League co-president Linda Hanson

Kristin Eberhard's Becoming a Democracy: How We Can Fix the Electoral College, Gerrymandering, and Our Elections offers a post-election roadmap.

Eberhard writes “The United States wasn’t built as a democracy. The Senate doesn’t represent people. Both sides hate gerrymandering and the courts refuse to fix it. Our right to be heard is defeated by voter suppression and an Electoral College system that concentrates power in a handful of states and too often reverses the popular vote. But within our flawed system, we have the tools to tackle our most stubborn election problems by flexing state and local power (no constitutional amendments or courts required)."

A field guide to better elections for both sides of the aisleBecoming a Democracy illuminates the meaningful, concrete actions that we can take to transform our elections and make sure everyone’s vote counts (and that we all get to vote in the first place). You can read more about the book here.

Kristin Eberhard is Director of Democracy at Sightline Institute, Seattle, WA. From the LWV Oregon President: "Kristin was the committee member who unerringly made complex legal and statistical concepts interesting and readily understandable, for the LWV Oregon 2016 Election Methods Update. She’s modest, so I was unaware of her academic status which certainly reflects in this engaging read, a comfortable balance between accessible Civics Education and anecdotal illustration. I bought an e-reader copy and really appreciate direct access to the sources cited. This should be recommended reading to League members!"

Any League member can use the coupon code LWV25 to get 25% off a copy of the book at the links below:
Black and white paperback
Deluxe full color paperback
Ebook

Or they can buy it on Amazon.

Do you have a book you would like to share with League members? Please contact Barb Schilling,bartim@att.net.