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.

March 2019 NEWSLETTER IS HERE

Implementing Election Reform in Michigan

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced Feb. 20 the formation of an Election Modernization Advisory Committee to advise her administration and the Department of State's Bureau of Elections on the implementation of Proposal 3 and further election reforms.

Members of the committee include county, city and township clerks from across the state, Michigan-based voting rights advocates, and local and national election experts.

Ann Arbor City Clerk Jackie Beaudry, who represented the United States on multiple international election observation missions in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, has been appointed to this committee.

Also appointed is Livingston County Clerk Elizabeth Hundley who will be guest speaker at the April 11 LWV-Brighton/Howell public forum (see LWVAAA calendar for details). Ms Hundley is a member of the Michigan Association of County Clerks Election Officials Committee and Legislative Committee (co-chair).

(from 2/20/19 news release by SOS office)

Planning for Centennial Celebration is Underway

League members and Individuals and organizations interested in celebrating in their own way are welcome to attend the next meeting of the Planning Committee
Monday, April 15, 3:00 p.m.
Ann Arbor District Library - Pittsfield Branch
2359 Oak Valley Dr, Ann Arbor

For more information, or to join the Planning Committee, contact Nancy Schewe at celebration@lwvannarbor.org

Centennial Resources

BUILDING A MORE PERFECT DEMOCRACY is the theme for celebrating the passage of the 19th Amendment of the US Constitution in 1920 after more than 70 years of effort. The Amendment simply states :The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. We'll also celebrate the 1920 founding of The League of Women Voters to support the new women suffrage rights.

Not everyone had voting rights after the 19th Amendment:

  • Many African Americans were denied the right to vote until the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1964.
  • Asians were denied citizenship and therefore could not vote until 1952.
  • Native Americans were not considered citizens until 1924 but did not gain the right to vote until 1947
  • And even today some people are denied the right to vote. For example, felons who have already paid their debt to society are denied the right to vote in some states.
  • Residents of Washington D.C. can vote for the President, but do not have a representative in Congress

Our work is not done. That is why the anniversary is relevant.

Brews & Views hears about money in MI politics

At February's Brews & Views at Pointless Brewery and Theater an attentive crowd braved the cold, snowy night to hear Craig Mauger, Michigan Campaign Finance Network, describe the growing influence of money in Michigan politics.

MCFN's work to assist the public in understanding the role that contributions to politicians play is critical to the healthy operation of a democratic system of governance. The primary tools of this effort are transparent, timely and fact-based research and analysis made available to the general public, voters, policy makers and those people and organizations who are attempting to shape public policy.

Gerrymandering Lawsuit Trial

FROM LWV MI newsletter:

"We went to court!

LWVMI v Benson was heard by a panel of three federal judges at the US District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division. We were in court February 5 - 7th. Final documents have to be submitted by February 22. A ruling will come later.

We especially thank the lawyers for their dedicated work on our behalf, the many League members who testified, provided depositions and attended the hearings and all of the donors who made this possible!

If you want to read more details, please go to the Brennan Center website.

And there are stories about the trial in Bridge Magazine:
Expert testifies gerrymandering in Michigan is worse than almost anywhere
Ex-Democratic chief says Michigan gerrymandering scared off candidates
Redistricting guru: Michigan's maps are legal, even if process was political

In The Public Interest: LWV-AAA takes to the airwaves at WEMU

March 11, 2019 League member Mary Seelhorst explained House of Representatives bill HR 1 - 'For The People' - A Comprehensive Set Of Protections For Voters. The bill is supported by the League.

WEMU interview kicks off our support for the 2020 Census

On Feb 22, 2019, Lisa Barry talked with League member and attorney Margaret Leary about the upcoming 2020 Census and some of the controversy surrounding it this time. Click HERE to listen.

Because the Census is such an important activity of our government, the League is planning events and publicity to inform people about its importance and why they should be sure to participate.

LWV MI adopts LWV US statement

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy LWV is an organization fully committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in principle and in practice. There shall be no barriers to full participation in this organization on the basis of gender, gender identity, ethnicity, race, native or indigenous origin, age, generation, sexual orientation, culture, religion, belief system, marital status, parental status, socioeconomic status, language, accent, ability status, mental health, educational level or background, geography, nationality, work style, work experience, job role function, thinking style, personality type, physical appearance, political perspective or affiliation and/or any other characteristic that can be identified as recognizing or illustrating diversity. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are central to the organization's current and future success in engaging all individuals, households, communities, and policy makers in creating a more perfect democracy.

Two New Leagues are sponsored by LWV-AAA

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

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.