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Newsletter - March 18, 2021

LWVIN  | Published on 3/18/2021


STATE AND NATIONAL CONVENTIONS

LWVIN STATE CONVENTION - Saturday, May 1
Please visit the new Convention web page to REGISTER for the Convention and to review the Proposed Budget FY 2022, the Proposed Bylaws Amendments, and the Investment Committee Report.
We will also be posting the agenda, special rules of order, the list of delegates, proposed state program for 2021-22, slate, committee reports, the 2019 Convention minutes, the 2020 Council minutes, and other documents as they are ready.

BUILDING OUR POWER TOGETHER
LWV National Council, virtual - June 24-27


REDISTRICT TO RESPECT DEMOCRACY!
Focus this month has been on the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission public hearings. Local leagues have been publicizing the hearings, a concentrated effort has generated articles and letters to the editor across the state, and some leagues are conducting a postcard campaign for messaging legislators following the hearing in their congressional district. Three hearings remain:

March 18, 6 – 8 p.m. Central Time, Congressional District 8 District 8
March 23, 7 – 9 p.m. Congressional District 4 District 4
March 30, 7 – 9 p.m. Congressional District 2 District 2

If you haven’t participated in one of the hearings, register now to voice your preferences for criteria to be used to draw legislative district maps for the next 10 years. The criteria we'd particularly like to have ranked are compactness, competitiveness, and incumbent blind. If there are communities of interest that should be kept together, that information would be helpful also.

Testimony can be submitted during the virtual hearings or via email to admin@allinfordemocracy.org.

Once hearings are complete, the Commission will compile a report for the legislature articulating what Hoosiers want in the new maps. They will also hold a mapping competition, enabling any Hoosier to draw voter-centered districts. The winning submission will win a cash prize and their maps will be compared publicly with the maps proposed by the legislature.

The ICRC project is all about inviting public participation, soliciting citizens’ input that will be shared with the General Assembly. We expect the project to demonstrate that a diverse group of citizens with no conflict of interests can direct a redistricting process that results in districts that are better for voters and communities than the maps drawn by self-interested legislators.

SAVE THE DATE!
LWVIN-All IN 4 Democracy Virtual Day of Action event

April 29, 7-9 p.m. EDT


We’ll learn from our partner organizations on a citizen action panel and be introduced to mapping by a member of the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission tech team. Phil Goodchild from Friends Committee on Legislation, either Katie Blair or Ashley Toruno from ACLU Indiana, and Bryce Gustafson from Citizen Action Coalition will participate in the citizen action panel. Julia Vaughn from Common Cause Indiana will be introducing the citizen mapping competition.

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAvc-6rqzojGdC385rD3y9Ehtz6kLXY9i4B

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
PUT IT ON YOUR CALENDAR!

We applaud the House for supporting the Equal Rights Amendment by voting to eliminate its arbitrary deadline.

American women need the ERA now more than ever. With the onset of COVID-19, women, particularly women of color, are experiencing disproportionately high rates of job loss. Issues like equal pay, maternal healthcare, and discrimination against LGBTQ+ persons affect millions daily.

We urge our Senators to support this bill and take a stand for sex-based equality this Women's History Month.

Items of note from the LWVIN March Board Meeting
from Secretary Karen Martoglio
The Indianapolis Star published 2 letters from LWVIN Co-PresidentsLinda Hanson and Barb Schilling this month:

"Lawmakers booing a colleague is beneath the office" on March 5

"Education savings accounts, bulked-up vouchers would violate public trust" on March 14
REMINDERS:
All League members are invited to Board meetings. Just contact a Board member for the Zoom link.

We are still looking for volunteers for the publicity committee. Contact Helen Hudson at hudsonh@wabash.edu
Nanette Polk is our new education advocate. Her email address is nanpolk@hotmail.com

LWV of Montgomery County: Who Are We in the 21st Century?
by Helen Hudson, President, LWVMC

The League of Women Voters of Montgomery County was not one of the first Leagues established in Indiana in 1920 butsince l947, the Crawfordsville League, and later renamed, Montgomery County League, has played a respected role in our community. From an early win of getting grade A milk into the schools and on through the decades, spearheading the establishment of the Youth Service Bureau (about 40 years ago), and right up to celebrating LWV’s 100th anniversary last year, League has been active.

Last year’s monthly programs at the CDPL (“The Legend of the Legendary League” and the Well-Read Citizen Book Club), exhibits, festivities of various kinds, and partnerships with our Chamber of Commerce (including a celebratory triple-decker baker’s cake served at last February’s Legislative Breakfast), the LWVMC has informed and partnered with the community. We, along with our local family of radio stations won a statewide communication award for our “League at 100” projects covered by WCVL & WIMC. Two books (one published and one in the works) and one film about local history have also come from our Centennial work.

Now here we are twenty percent of the way into the 21st century and our League, like others, spends most of its time and energy making League’s core mission known: we register voters, circulate a weekly E-blast with news and legislative updates to members; we write a weekly column for our two local newspapers; and, sponsor a monthly Lunch with the League. We also publish an annual Government Directory for Montgomery County, and, every several years, publish a Focus on Montgomery County directory. We advocate for issues in partnership with state and national LWV.

During my presidency, several projects have moved us toward becoming what I call “a 21st century League.” Our League was one of the pioneers for League’s ambitious national and state VOTE411 project (thanks to the efforts of Voters Services chair, Myra Dunn Abbott); we have moved “online” and introduced our members to Club Express. All our advancing technology efforts are under the capable purview of vice president, Tina Osborn. Our Facebook page and webpages are active and now under younger leadership (as are our column writing and Lunch with the League coordination). We’ve moved Lunch with the League to a virtual format and are experimenting with Facebook Live programming even as we explore moving the forum’s presence to different times of the day and month; we’ve shifted its working name to Learn with the League.

In terms of 21st century issues, I draw on the mantra from our 2020 state meeting: “What is the Nineteenth Amendment for the 21st Century?” Two things have stood out and have come to the fore in our county. Last fall I named a Racial Equity Taskforce. Their task has been to work with other groups to provide visibility and League expertise. A second team, calling themselves the Climate Action Team, is pursuing education through letter writing to officials and taking educational advantage of Crawfordsville’s pride at being one of Indiana’s most solarized cities. For Earth Day, this team is partnering with the public library for a youth program centered on Jamie Margolin’s book Youth to Power. They are exploring other solarizing and electrification possibilities, educating as they advocate—about solarizing houses of worship and electric school busses, for instance.

This spring’s local planning meeting will partly concern itself with aligning this innovative work with state and national policies. We are planning for April 29. Both our local planning meeting (April) and our annual meeting (May) will be virtual. Perhaps we will be able to dedicate our new Indiana state historical marker in honor of Dr. Mary Holloway Wilhite in person on Women’s Equality Day in August. One can hope.

*Our greatest pandemic loss: 4 years of Ed Committee work on IN school financing ready to send to LWVIN for adoption was blown to smithereens when all schooling and perception of schooling changed because of pandemic


EMMA BARRETT MOLLOY

Although La Porte County does not claim her, it has been said that she was known by every resident of the county at one time.Emma Barrett Molloy was born in South Bend on July 17, 1839. She was known, among other titles, as an American journalist, lecturer and activist for temperance and women’s rights. Some of her articles appeared in The Women’s Journal and The Revolution, two of the top Women’s Suffrage journals of her time. She spent much of her life traveling the country delivering lectures as a temperance and women’s rights advocate. After attending the Women's Suffrage Convention in Chicago in 1869, she delivered her first of many lectures on the subject in La Porte before taking her talks across the country.

Her husband Edward Molloy, became editor of the La Porte County Chronicle in 1878 and they moved to LaPorte. Her husband had also worked as editor of the South Bend National Union and Elkhart Observer, and when she took the title of co-editor for the LaPorte County Chronicle, Emma Molloy became the first female newspaper editor in northern Indiana.

Biographer Martha M. Pickett states that Molloy used her editorial writing to promote “the advancement of women” and women’s suffrage, as well as self-reliance and increased opportunities for women in education and the workplace.

She did not hesitate to voice her support for the suffragists, and her notoriety in other movements, as well as her female journalist role, provided her additional opportunities to speak at suffrage conventions.

She died on May 14, 1907, in Cedarville, California
This is a new monthly feature. Indiana League 1st VP Sue Webster will be highlighting suffragists throughout the state.

JUST MERCY
by Bryan Stevenson
review by Linda J. Dunn
The League of Women Voters of Hancock County selected this non-fiction book to launch a Community Read project focused upon racial issues and existing problems inherent within the criminal justice system. While several books were considered, this one was the overwhelming favorite because it “reads like a novel” and thus is far more likely to be read by those who need to read it most.

Bryan Stevenson takes the reader by the heart and leads us through a legal system that is focused on convictions, rather than justice. He enthralls, rather than bores us, with the background of how these problems came into existence and shows us the true stories of people whose lives have been upended by a criminal justice system focused upon quick arrests and strict punishments versus true crime-solving and justice.

The story begins as Stevenson goes to Alabama, as part of his education, to represent death-row inmates in the South. There, he meets Walter McMillian, who is sentenced to die despite evidence proving his innocence, and this leads Stevenson to become determined to devote his life to true justice.

Through his powerful written voice, the reader sees racism first hand and its undeniable influence upon our entire society and how it perpetrates everything around us - but most especially our criminal justice system.

You cannot read this book without being affected by this stories and it will compel you to look into the Equal Justice Initiative he founded and all the little pieces of black history that are being slowly but purposefully being reclaimed.

The book is available in both ebook and audio formats. A movie based on the book was released in 2019, also titled JUST MERCY. It is available for streaming free on Amazon Prime.