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.

ANNUAL MEETING ELECTS NEW OFFICERS & DIRECTORS

President - Sue Smith, Vice President - Joan Sampieri, Secretary - Sue Smereck, Treasurer - Betty Bishop, Director Advocacy - Carolyn Madden, Director Program - Barbara Billings, Director Voter Service - Donna Crudder, Director Membership - Barb Brown, Director Communications - Susan Wooley, Director At Large - Sally Allen, Representative Tecumseh - Jan Salsberry, Representative Brighton/Howell - Ellen Lafferty, Nominating Committee (2019) - Dee Dishon and Gwynne Fisher

Poetry slam from the Neutral Zone LtoR Serena Varner, Julius Houston, Kyndall Flowers.

Retiring President Nancy Schewe handed over to incoming President Sue Smith


===New Board member for Program, Barb Billings, invites members and friends to join the League team and march in the Fourth of July parade in Ann Arbor.

MAY AND JUNE EVENTS (see Calendar for additional details)

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VOTER REGISTRATION TRAINING Thursday, May 31, 7:8:30 p.m. AADL Downtown RSVP

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FUND RAISER AT ALLEY BAR FOR POSTER CONTEST Thursday June 7, 7:00 p.m. 112 W Liberty, Ann Arbor Come at 8 p.m. to hear local musician Judy Banker

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ANOTHER VOTER REGISTRATION TRAINING Saturday, June 9, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m., Ann Arbor Library - Pittsfield Branch, 2359 Oak Valley Dr, Ann Arbor, 48103 RSVP

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TECUMSEH EVENT . Wed. June 13, 6:30 p.m. Tecumseh District Library, 215 N. Ottawa St. Tecumseh, MI 49286 Campaign Finance in Michigan Elections. Craig Mauger, of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, will detail how the role of money in Michigan politics has changed over the last decade. This event is open to the public.

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FUND RAISER AT ALLEY BAR FOR POSTER CONTEST Thursday June 14, 7:00 p.m. 112 W Liberty, Ann Arbor

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Brews & Views Wed. June 20, 7:30 pm Pointless Brewery & Theater, 3014 Packard, Ann Arbor

Gerrymandering: An Update We will connect with Voters Not Politicians for this session to get an update on the ballot initiative to amend the MI constitution to create an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission and end gerrymandering in Michigan. For those who aren't familiar with the initiative, we will briefly review its content and background. We will also hear about how Voters Not Politicians is planning to continue their work between now and November. What is the status of the legal challenge to the ballot initiative? How can we as a community support this proposal and make sure that we end gerrymandering in our state? Voters Not Politicians will answer all of these questions and the presentation will be followed by group discussion.

This event is open to the public (but must be over 21 to buy/drink alcohol.)

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FUND RAISER AT ALLEY BAR FOR POSTER CONTEST Thursday June 21, 7:00 p.m. 112 W Liberty, Ann Arbor

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4th FRIDAY LUNCH & LEARN Friday, June 22, 2018, Cedars of Dexter Clubhouse, 411 Cedars Lane, Dexter : We'll discuss the book, The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine Weiss, a stirring, definitive, and engrossing treatment of winning suffrage in America.

Nicola's Books will give a book club discount to purchasers who identify themselves as League Lunch & Learn participants. Get your book now so you are ready for a stimulating discussion.

Seating is limited to 30, so Reservations Required

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POSTER CONTEST AWARDS CEREMONY Saturday, June 23, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm, AA District Library - Pittsfield Branch 2359 Oak Valley Dr,Ann Arbor 48108
Everyone invited to meet the winning artists, see all the posters and applaud this fabulous venture.

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SIGN-MAKING PARTY Saturday, June 23, 2-4 p.m. at 1734 Sanford Place, Ann Arbor. We will make signs to carry when we march in the Fourth of July parade Come join the fun and show off your artistic skills

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CANDIDATE FORUMS FOR AUGUST 7 PRIMARY June 25, 26, 27 and July 9. See Calendar for details

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FUND RAISER AT ALLEY BAR FOR POSTER CONTEST Thursday June 28, 7:00 p.m. 112 W Liberty, Ann Arbor

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

For our fifth interview, Ginny Rogers and Susan Wooley talked about League public information events and the February panel on Carbon Pricing with WEMU host Lisa Barry on May 21, during All Things Considered on station 89.1 FM.
You can listen to the podcast at WEMU
Look for bi-weekly interviews on topics related to League activities.

POSTER CONTEST JUDGING IS IN PROCESS

Winners will be announced at June 23 celebration. Come one, come all to applaud all the contestants. Saturday, June 23, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at the Ann Arbor Library Pittsfield Branch, 2359 Oak Valley Dr, Ann Arbor, 48103


High School Voter Registration Project is in full swing

Students who will turn 18 years of age by the time of the November election can register to vote now so that they are on the rolls when it's time to vote. LWV-AAA members have been visiting area high school senior classes to explain registration and help eligible students to register on the spot. Over 700 students have registered as of April 9 and we have more schools to visit.

LWV-AAA Members are circulating the PROMOTE THE VOTE PETITION

This amendment to the Michigan Constitution provides a common-sense approach to safeguarding our elections, puts voters first, and removes barriers for working families by:
  • Protecting the right to vote a secret ballot
  • Ensuring military service members and overseas voters get their ballots in time for their votes to count
  • Providing voters with the option to vote straight party
  • Automatically registering citizens to vote at the Secretary of State's office unless the citizen declines
  • Allowing a citizen to register to vote until 15 days before an election by mail or in person. After that, citizens may register to vote in person with proof of residency up to and on Election Day.
  • Providing all registered voters access to an absentee ballot for any reason
  • Ensuring the accuracy and integrity of elections by auditing election results

We Made 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.

WANT TO BE A POLL WORKER?

Here's a way to support the democratic process and ensure good elections - sign up to be an Election Inspector.

Cities and Townships in Washtenaw County are recruiting registered voters and also youth age 16 to 18 to serve as Election Inspectors during the upcoming August 7 State Primary and November 6 General Election this year.

For additional information from the Michigan Secretary of State, click HERE

LWV MI ISSUES STATEMENT ON GUN VIOLENCE

Click HERE to see the League's position and call for action.

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.

MAY 2018 NEWSLETTER IS HERE

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

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.

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.