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Newsletter - February 18, 2021

LWVIN  | Published on 2/18/2021


Celebrating our Past, Recognizing our Present, Looking to our Future

A BIG THANK YOU to the League members who made our Celebration/Presidents Day a success:Tom Gardiner, State Board; Rachel Pollack, Calumet Area; Amy Miller, Indianapolis Area; Gail Pebworth, Montgomery Co.; Judy Bradford, South Bend Area; and the 100th Anniversary Committee.
If you missed our Celebration, you canaccess the packet and watch the video on our website.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission Public Hearings
Hearings will be held virtually for each of the nine U.S. Congressional districts:
CLICK HEREfor more information and links to register for the public hearings.

Feb. 24, 7 – 9 p.m. Congressional District 7
March 3, 7 – 9 p.m. Congressional District 5
March 6, 2 – 4 p.m. Central Time, Congressional District 1
March 10, 7 – 9 p.m. Congressional District 9
March 13, 3 – 5 p.m. Congressional District 3
March 16, 7 – 9 p.m., Congressional District 6
March 18, 6 – 8 p.m. Central Time, Congressional District 8
March 23, 7 – 9 p.m. Congressional District 4
March 30, 7 – 9 p.m. Congressional District 2

LWVIN State Convention, virtual - May 1

More details will be included in next month's newsletter

LWV National Council, virtual - June 24-27

REDISTRICTING FILM SERIES WELL ATTENDED!

LWVIN sponsored a virtual documentary film series as part of our larger effort this legislative session to focus on Indiana's redistricting process--and to push for greater transparency. The series of documentaries was designed to engage participants in the issues impacted by redistricting—to educate and encourage advocacy for Fair Maps. Our panelists helped to highlight the broad impact of gerrymandering as the ultimate voter suppression tool. You may view the films and discussions here:LWVIN.orgRedistricting Resources

There were 493 individual registrants for the series on zoom; of those, 205 attended Suppressed, 252 attended UnCivil War, and 185 attended Line in the Street. The programs were also livestreamed on our Facebook event, reaching several hundred more each time. The first two films, Suppressed and UnCivil War, highlight voter suppression and efforts to use redistricting to gain and keep political power. The third, Line in the Street, looks to possibilities for fair maps and fair voter representation. We hope the film series will encourage participants to attend the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission ICRC public hearings, to spread the word to friends and neighbors, and become more involved in advocating for Fair Maps for Indiana.

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REDISTRICTING SPOTLIGHT:LWV Bloomington-Monroe County, LWV Brown County, and LWV South Central Indiana
Three Indiana leagues have teamed up to tackle the issue of redistricting in the 9th U.S. Congressional District. “This was a natural choice for us because we are all located in the same district; two of us share the same state senator and a representative.” Partnering has been very beneficial in the past because of opportunities to lobby together and attend legislative updates to hear from our shared legislators.

The LWV Bloomington-Monroe County, LWV Brown County, and LWV South Central Indiana hold weekly zoom meetings hosted by the Bloomington group. We are developing a PowerPoint presentation on redistricting that will be shared, along with presenters and technical support. Scheduling will be done using a folder located on the google drive. Teaming up has many advantages, because smaller leagues may lack some of the resources of larger leagues.
Communication with the media has also benefited. One media outlet interviewed members from two of the leagues for an article written about an upcoming event. “We can write one press release and submit it to media sources in all three areas.” Right now, we are adapting alert notices and action steps to fit our local groups. We are encouraging attendance at the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC) hearing scheduled for March 10th in District 9, because we want as many people as possible to contribute to the conversation about redistricting criteria that should be used to draw fair maps in 2021.

According to a member of the LWV-Brown County, “We are all in the 9th district so it makes sense to work together by going outside of our usual group to learn and support one another in this work.” In addition to the partnership among the leagues,other partners include the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the National Organization for Women (NOW). Working together we have more to share, can pitch in where needed and hopefully our accomplishments will be much greater than if we did this work alone.

Items of note from the LWVIN February Board Meeting
from Secretary Karen Martoglio
Financial:A new increase in functionality of our LWVIN State Zoom account now enables us to support 500 participants per event ($50 per month fee). LWVIN events impacted by this new expansion includes the recent Redistricting film series, President’s Day and Convention. Overall, LWVIN’s financial position remains sound. All Indiana Leagues may use the Zoom account, so if you still need help, contact your liaison!

Budget: The State Board unanimously approved a proposed 2021-2022 budget as presented by the Budget Committee. Our Treasurer, Tom Gardiner, cited the funding of Vote411 and ClubExpress monthly expenses for local leagues have been funded at the State level. He also highlighted that the budget proposes a withdrawal of approximately 3% of the Investment portfolio. (The Investment Policy permits up to 5% yearly as guidance.) Thus, the Board adopted budget will be presented to all LWVIN members ahead of, and as stated in our by-laws for approval at, the Bi-annual Convention, to be held in May.

Grants: Approved grants this month comprised of four, from Brown, Hancock and Porter Counties. Totaling $1600, these funds will be/have been used for projects including a Redistricting Campaign, Fair Maps Redistricting Advocacy, Just Mercy - Further funding from Ed Fund, and a Redistricting - Community Education project.

By-laws: Proposed changes to the LWVIN State By-laws included adding the DEI language required by national, an article authorizing electronic meetings, clarification and staggering of Nominating Committee terms, and minor formatting changes to improve clarity. This was passed unanimously, and thus the Board will recommend them to the membership at Convention.

Speaking of Convention
, here is a timeline for alerts prior to our convening:
•Call to Convention - 3 months
•Program proposals - 2 months
•Nominating slate & budget 6 weeks in advance
•By-laws 1 month in advance
Email Convention Chairperson Sue Webster atsweb10368@gmail.comwith any questions.

A State-level Publicity Committeewas just activated, Helen Hudson, LWV of Montgomery County, will chair the committee, with state newsletter editor Pam assistingThis group is looking for members - please let Barb Schilling know if interested in joining.

Other workthe LWVIN State board is doing includes strengthening our liaison work (to/from the state to all local leagues). Tom will prepare information to share to the local leagues on 990 tax filing. We all need to ensure that our local leagues are filing!!! Also, the information exchange to and from the liaisons to the local leagues is essential to our work.

REMINDERS:
If you’ve not done so, pleasesign up for email updates from LWVUS.

Jail Door lapel pins for sale!

The correct email address for the Voter Services Committee isvoterservicelwvin@gmail.com.The wrong email address was printed in the January newsletter.
To receive advocacy alerts about the following issues, please contact the advocate listed below.If you are willing to serve as an education advocateand send alerts to members, please contact Linda Hanson,lhanson43@gmail.com

Jorgena Watson, Voter Servicesjkwatson138@gmail.com
Pam Locker, Women's Healthalandscaper@hotmail.com
Liz Solberg, Environment/Natural Resourcesjlsolberg@earthlink.net
Judy Kapoun, Gun Safetyforkan1@yahoo.com
Meg Connolly, Redistricting Reformmeg.r.connolly@gmail.com


ZEOLA HERSHEY MISENER, LaPorte County Suffragist

Mary Zeola Hershey Misener (1878 - 1966) was an Indiana suffragist and politician. She was the first woman elected to the state legislature from her district and one of the first in the state. Hershey Misener helped organize Indiana's League of Women Voters and for several years served as vice-president.[2] She spoke at the League's 1926 regional convention.[5]

She was elected to the Indiana General Assembly in 1928, the first woman to be elected from her district and one of the first in the state. She was one of three women in the Indiana State House in the 1928—1930 term. Charles Roll in his 1931 history of Indiana called her "one of the prominent Republican women of the state." While in the legislature, Hershey Misener "was a leader in several stirring political battles.”

She first achieved notoriety in March 1929 when, as a freshman member of the General Assembly, she sponsored Indiana's first voter registration law[3] and blocked a Senate effort to kill it.[9] She appeared uninvited on the floor of the Indiana Senate during a "midnight session" while some senators were claiming the governor had requested they recall the bill.[10] She asked on whose authority members of the Senate had stated that the governor had asked for reconsideration of the bill, saying, "I have just come from the governor's office, and I am informed that he has not asked this move." Then-Lieutenant Governor Edgar D. Bush ruled her out of order. She said, "That's all right. I've said everything I want to say anyhow," and left the floor to applause.[11][12] After her departure, when the lieutenant governor refused to address her comments, a group of senators staged a walkout. When the Senate requested the General Assembly to recall the bill, Hershey Misener told the General Assembly, "You can kill this bill if you want to, but if you do the Republican party will be to blame."[13]

Hershey Misener married Michigan City News publisher Herbert Roy Misener in Chicago on February 6, 1906. She lived with her husband and family in Michigan City, Indiana;[2]she and her husband later moved to St. Petersburg, Florida. She was widowed in 1945.[14] She died October 30, 1966 in St. Petersburg[1] at age 88 and is buried in Greenwood cemetery in LaPorte County, Indiana.
This is a new monthly feature. League Board member Sue Webster will be highlighting suffragists throughout the state.
To see references for this article click here.

LIFTING AS WE CLIMB: BLACK WOMEN'S BATTLE FOR THE BALLOT BOX
by Evette Dionne

As a Black woman in America, this book spoke to me. Although the League of Women Voters recently celebrated 100 years since the passing of the 19th amendment, I am fully aware that this centennial was not a celebration for Black women. Black women could not fully exercise their right to vote until the passing of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Considering this fact, Lifting as We Climb: Black Women's Battle for the Ballot Box is amust read for anyone seeking to understand the role of Black women in the suffrage movement.

The author provides insight into the ways Black women suffragists dissented from white womenincluding Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony who are commonly identified as the faces of the women’s suffragist movement. It is far past time that the role of Black women in this movement is highlighted. The work of Black women such as Mary Church Terrell and Ida B. Wells as well as organizations including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated provided the blueprint for contemporary political organizers such as Stacy Abrams.

As we move forward in our fractured country,this book forces us to acknowledge that we must not only focus on voter registration but also pay greater attention to voter empowermentto ensure a fair political process for voters of all racial/ethnic backgrounds.The first step in this process would be to ensure that, as a National Organization, the membership of the League of Women Voters becomes more diverse.

Reviewed by Natasha R. Brown, Ph.D.
Member, League of Women Voters of the Calumet Area

To Natasha’s point, the League of Women Voters of the United States acknowledges its past and the need to become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. At Convention last summer, following our Transformation Roadmap highlighted in 2018, the bylaws were revised to place our DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) parallel to our non-partisan policy:

Article II:Purposes and Policies
Sec. 2. Policies. The policies of the LWVUS are
1.Political Policy. The League shall not support or oppose any political party or any candidate.
2.Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Policy. The League is fully committed to ensure compliance - in principle and in practice - with LWVUS' Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy.

The full policy as well as resources and training videos may be found here: LWV.ORG
We still have a long ways to go to meet our aspirations!
Linda Hanson and Barb Schilling, Co-Presidents, LWVIN