Making Democracy Work

MAKING DEMOCRACY WORK

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy.

COME TO THE ORGANIZING MEETING TO PROMOTE THE VOTE

WHEN? Feb 21 meeting, 6:00 pm
WHERE? Unitarian Church, 4001 Ann Arbor Saline Rd, Ann Arbor
WHAT? We're putting an election reform proposal on the November 2018 ballot that will have
  • no reason absentee voting
  • give military members more time to vote
  • voter registration closer to Election Day
  • allow straight party voting
  • automatically register citizens when they do business at the Secretary of State's office
  • protect a secret ballot
  • add audits for election results.

At this meeting we will organize to circulate petitions with the goal of gathering over 400,000 signatures by June 20. It's a big job, but working with groups like the ACLU, NAACP, Michigan League for Public Policy and many others, we can do it.

It's not a requirement, but to help us plan, please SIGNUP if you plan to come. But don't hesitate to come if you have not signed up.

If you are not able to come on Feb 21st, contact PromotetheVote@lwvannarbor.org, tell us you want to help circulate the petition and we'll keep you posted on how to join in with League teams.

For more information, go to https://promotethevotemi.com/

We're Making the News about Promote the Vote and expanding voter rights

Jack Lessenberry says it's about time.

New York Times: David Leonhardt's opinion piece in the Feb. 7 edition of the Times "Democracy on the March" talks about our Promote the Vote campaign to improve voter access to the polls.

Detroit News: Jonathan Oosting wrote a Feb. 5 piece explaining the proposal and saying organizers will face a tight deadline and high hurdle to make the ballot.

Video of Carbon Pricing Talk is now available

If you missed it, the Carbon Pricing panel discussion is now available to stream on-line. This is an excellent overview of possibilities and problems associated with how we can reduce carbon emissions.

Click HERE to be connected to the Ann Arbor District Library site.

For panel bio's and reading resources click RESOURCES

UPDATE: LWV-AAA REDISTRICTING EDUCATION PROJECT

Thanks to our dozens of trained speakers, we have now presented to over 1,124 people since last spring. We've covered Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Tecumseh, Pontiac, southern Livingston County and more... GREAT, but we need to educate thousands more.
If you know of a group that would like to learn about redistricting and why it is important to our electoral process, contact Redistricting@lwvannarbor.org to request a presentation by an LWV-AAA representative. You provide the people and place, we'll provide the speaker, slideshow, equipment, and handouts. EDUCATION COMES FIRST.

FEBRUARY & MARCH EVENTS FOR THE ANN ARBOR AREA


PROMOTE THE VOTE - help expand voter access to the ballot Come to a Feb 21 meeting, 6:00 pm, at the Unitarian Church, 4001 Ann Arbor Saline Rd, Ann Arbor to organize for circulating petitions to put an election reform proposal on the November ballot. It's not a requirement, but to help us plan, please SIGNUP if you plan to come. Don't hesitate to come if you have not signed up.


Lunch & Learn Friday, February 23, noon-2 pm Cedars of Dexter Club house, 411 Cedars Lane, Dexter RESERVATIONS REQUIRED

Topic: From Founding to Suffrage: Voting Rights in America An interactive presentation offering an eye-opening look at who could vote and when as we prepare for this year's League focus on voting.

Sandwiches & salad - $6 cash or feel free to bring your own.


Brews & Views Community-Guided Voter Registration Planning Wednesday, February 28th at 7:30 pm HOMES Brewery, 2321 Jackson Rd, Ann Arbor We will hear from Nation Outside representatives about their experiences returning from prison and the kinds of support they need from the community, especially regarding access to voting. Following this presentation we will discuss voter registration efforts for the underserved in Washtenaw County and collaborate on a path forward. This event is open to the public (but must be over 21 to buy/drink alcohol.) League members are encouraged to invite non-members to attend.


Orientation to the League of Women Voters Monday, March 19, 7:00 pm at AALibrary Westgate Branch,2503 Jackson Ave, Ann Arbor (in Westgate shopping center). Get a coffee at Sweetwaters and join us to learn how the League promotes good government. Open to members and non-members alike.


Immigrant Prisons Series Film. Film produced and distributed by Brave New Films followed by speakers from area organizations Wednesday, March 21, 2018 7:00 - 9:00 pm Washtenaw County Learning Resource Center,4135 Washtenaw Ave, Ann Arbor 48108

The US has the largest immigrant prison system in the world, 380,000 - 420,000 persons a year. Join us to learn more about the immigrant prison industry; how immigration and private prisons participate in a $5 billion dollar a year industry. Learn from our community groups how we are engaged to help immigrants in our community.

WELCOME TO TWO NEW LEAGUES FORMING UNDER THE SPONSORSHIP OF LWVAAA

A new League has formed in the Brighton-Howell Area, joining the Tecumseh League formed in 2017. These small, but enthusiastic units will operate for two years under the sponsorship of the Ann Arbor Area League, after which they can become separate organizations. Their events are included in the LWVAAA Calendar.

To learn more about LWV Tecumseh, you can email lwvtecumseh@gmail.com Their website is under development.

To learn more about LWV Brighton/Howell Area, contact info@LWVBrightonHowellArea.org They have a website and a Facebook page

Powerpoint from Voter Registration Training

The LWVAAA training for registering voters has been a great success with registration over-subscribed and requests for another session. There may be one at some point, but none are planned at this time.

Responding to many requests, a copy of the PowerPoint presentation from the training is available HERE

JANUARY 2018 NEWSLETTER IS HERE

MICHIGAN LEAGUE FILES FEDERAL LAWSUIT TO END GERRYMANDERING

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NEWS FLASH - Feb 20: League of Women Voters gerrymandering lawsuit in Pennsylvania results in PA Supreme Court redrawing voting boundaries.
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On December 22, 2017, The League of Women Voters of Michigan and 11 individual voters filed a lawsuit against the State of Michigan in federal court in Detroit to end unfair, partisan gerrymandering of Michigan's Congressional, state senate and state house districts.

"The Michigan League of Women Voters today filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of voters throughout Michigan to end the practice of unfair, partisan gerrymandering," said Judy Karandjeff, president of the Michigan League of Women Voters. "Michigan's State House, Senate and Congressional districts are among the worst in the nation when it comes to partisan gerrymandering, and today's lawsuit aims to fix the problem and restore voters' rights to choose who best represents them. Ending partisan gerrymandering is critical to preserve our democracy and ensure every vote counts," said Sue Smith, director of the League's Redistricting Program.

The lawsuit asks the federal court to declare the current districts to be unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders and to ensure that the districts are redrawn in a fair fashion. Click here for the complete Press Release. Click here to read the Complaint.

LWVMI VOTES TO SUPPORT VNP REDISTRICTING BALLOT PROPOSAL

Over the past several months, the LWVMI Board has stated it would consider supporting the proposal once VNP had collected the requisite number of signatures and had submitted them to the Secretary of State's office.

At a special LWVMI Board meeting on December 17, the state Board voted to support the VNP ballot proposal.

As many of you know, local Leagues participated in a state redistricting study in 2011-12 which resulted in our state redistricting position. The language of the VNP ballot proposal conforms with that position.

This Board decision will be published on our LWVMI website, as well as in "League Links." We are mindful of the Campaign Finance Law requirement that restricts our spending in support of the proposal to less than $500 in direct or indirect expenditures.

Coalition Efforts Continue: For almost a year, the League has worked to form a redistricting reform coalition with other organizations that represent the diversity in our state. While we haven't been successful yet, we will continue these efforts in the coming months. We believe such a coalition is necessary for a successful ballot campaign.

WE VOTED ON NOVEMBER 7


Or at least about 19% of the registered voters in Washtenaw County voted. Candidates were chosen, most (but not all) millage proposals passed and we can relax until the next election, right? WRONG.
Good government does not happen once or twice a year when a few registered voters turn up to vote. Good government requires citizen participation all year long. We protect our democracy by being informed and paying attention.

YOU CAN HAVE YOUR OWN SUPER LWV T-SHIRT

For order form, go to FORM

More volunteers at LWV art fair booth July 2012

YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS has been updated (printable brochure)

YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS 2018-2019 shows the results of the November 2017 election and also upcoming election dates for 2018 and 2019. The printable brochure gives names and contact information for elected officials for this area including local, state and national.

WHO'S WHO IN LANSING

And how to contact them. See 2015-2016 Citizen's Guide to Government issued by the Michigan Legislature; includes state agencies.