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Civic Conversations (2022)

The League of Women Voters of Bloomington-Monroe County would like to thank WFHB Community Radio for broadcasting these podcasts. In addition to the audio files below, you can access all of these broadcasts at The WFHB news director is Kade Young. The current producer for the podcasts is Becky Hill (, LWV-BMC. Podcasts are presented in reverse chronological order. This is the archive for 2022. Podcasts from other years can be accessed at Podcasts (current year), Podcasts 2023, and Podcasts 2019-2021.


A Discussion of the 26th Amendment

Guest: Kate Cruikshank

Host: Jim Allison, LWV-BMC

December 13, 2022


This month on Civics Conversations, Kate Cruikshank, political papers specialist for the University Archives at the Herman B Wells Library, joined us to talk about the 26th Amendment. The 26th Amendment lowered the voting age from 21 to 18 for all elections, state and federal. Ms. Cruikshank shared that the amendment was created after a long debate about lowering the voting age in response to those men returning from World War II, continuing through the Vietnam War.   Drawing from Indiana Senator Birch Bayh's archival papers, Ms. Cruikshank tells how Bayh was instrumental in the passage of the 26th Amendment. According to Ms. Cruikshank, maintaining these political paper archives is one way to show how democracy keeps going.  


Loss of Local News

Guest: Steve Hinnefeld

Host: Jim Allison, LWV-BMC

November 21, 2022


This month, LWV-BMC Civics Conversation podcast host, Jim Allison, talked to Steve Hinnefeld about the impact on a community when local news sources die out. Mr. Hinnefeld has worked for over thirty years as a reporter and is a former reporter for the Herald Times. Approximately 2500 local, state, and national news sources have been lost. According to Mr. Hinnefeld, the loss of local news sources can lead to increased polarization, increased government taxes, decreased voter interactions, and many other situations. He also shared information about the growing influence of nonprofit news sources.  


Lake Monroe's Impact on Bloomington

Guests: Maggie Sullivan, Friends of Lake Monroe, and Michelle Cohen,  Lake Monroe Water Fund

Host: Jim Allison, LWV-BMC

October 20, 2022


For October 2022, Civic Conversations welcomed Maggie Sullivan of the Friends of Lake Monroe and Michelle Cohen of the Lake Monroe Water Fund.  Maggie and Michelle shared information about Lake Monroe, water quality, and the impact on the Bloomington economy. Did you know that Lake Monroe produces Bloomington's 15 million gallons per day of drinking water? Or that 1.5 million visitors use Lake Monroe for recreation, fishing, and boating each year?  They talked about how their organizations monitor Lake Monroe and work with other stakeholders. 


Immigration: Policies and Societal Attitudes

Guest: Shruti Rana, professor at Indiana University's Department of International Studies 

Host: Jim Allison, LWV-BMC

September 20, 2022


In the September 2022 Civic Conversations podcast, we welcome Professor Shruti Rana, a professor at Indiana University's Department of International Studies specializing in international law. She holds a degree from Columbia Law School, the London School of Economics and Politics, and UC Berkley. Professor Rana discusses the issues facing our immigration systems today. She responds to the recent shipping of immigrants to Martha's Vineyard, Washington DC, Chicago, and New York City by Texas, Arizona, and Florida governors. She shares how the constant changing of laws and policy impacts the backlog of separation and asylum cases and addresses the issue of how we as a society treat immigrants and how it ultimately reflects upon our community.  


A Student's Perspective of Voting

Guest: Annika Evenson, winner of Brown County student essay contest.

Host: Jim Allison, LWV-BMC

August 24, 2022


In this podcast, we welcome Annika Evenson of Brown County. Annika is the winner of the League of Women Voters Brown County 2022 voter turnout essay contest. Annika placed first in the high school category of the contest. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Brown County High School. She is currently enrolled at the University of Evansville in exercise science with direct admission to their physical therapy program. In the podcast, she talks about the biggest roadblocks to voting, how to encourage more people to vote, and why voters are disconnected from the voting process.  Click here to read Annika's essay.  


Refugees in Bloomington

Guest: Diane Legomsky, founder of the Bloomington Refugee Support Network

Host: Jim Allison, LWV-BMC

July 14, 2022


Diane Legomsky, founder of the Bloomington Refugee Support Network and a member of LWV-BMC, joins Civic Conversations to discuss the issue of refugee support in Bloomington and nationally. In the podcast, we talk to Diane about the mission of Bloomington Refugee Support Network and how it interacts with other refugee resettlement organizations like Exodus Refugee Immigration. Diane breaks down for our audience the differences between being a refugee and asylum seeker as well as a humanitarian parolee. According to Diane, most Afghans settling in Indianapolis are refugees, but those resettled in Bloomington are mostly humanitarian parolees.  


Status of Abortion Rights in the U.S.

Guest: Jody Madeira, Professor of Law, IU Mauer School of Law, and Louis F. Niezer Faculty Fellow, Co-Director for the Center for Law, Society & Culture

Host: Jim Allison, LWV-BMC

June 21, 2022


In the June 2022 Civics Conversation podcast, our host, Jim Allison, talks to Jody Madeira. She is a professor of law with the IU Mauer School of Law and is a Louis F. Niezer faculty fellow as well as co-director for the Center for Law, Society, and Culture. Jody discusses the current status of abortion rights in the United States, especially in light of the recent leak of Justice Alito's draft on the Dodd v. Jackson Supreme Court case overturning Roe V. Wade, an almost fifty-year precedent on abortion rights in the U.S. Jody shares what she expects will happen if Roe is nullified and what those immediate effects on women's rights will be. She further discusses the controversial aspects of the initial Roe ruling and Alito's interpretation under Dodd and the expected impact of overruling Roe on gay rights, interracial marriage rights, and birth control.  


Note: On June 24, 2022, three days after this podcast, Roe v Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. Click here to read the League of Women Voters statement on this decision.


The Story Behind the Graphic Novel Forgiveness

Guest: Joe Lee, graphic novelist and political cartoonist 

Host: Jim Allison, LWV-BMC

May 17, 2022


Joe Lee is the author of the graphic novel, Forgiveness: The Story of Eva Kor, Survivor of the Auschwitz Twin Experiments. Joe talks about creating his graphic novel and working with Eva Kor. He shares what it was like to visit Auschwitz II-Birkenau and how those visits informed his novel. He also shares how his father's experiences in World War II and the liberation of the Nordhausen work camp influenced his decision to create the novel.  


Perspectives on Gerrymandering

Guest: Professor Ranjan Rohatgi, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, St. Mary's College 

Host: Jim Allison, LWV-BMC

April 17, 2022


Professor Rohatgi was a member of the Indiana Citizen's Redistricting Commission. In this podcast, he discusses how gerrymandering works in Indiana, our past and present political culture, and his experience with the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission. He shares that gerrymandering has two adverse outcomes: (1) voters becoming disengaged from the voting process and being less inclined to vote and (2) polarization. He also shares how he would draw maps and how he teaches his math and computer science students about redistricting and fair maps.   


Examining Indiana's Civic Health

Guests: Lisa-Marie Napoli, Director and Senior Lecturer of IU PACE (Political and Civic Engagement) 

Host: Jim Allison, LWV-BMC

March 10, 2022


Lisa-Marie Napoli talks to our host about the most recent release of the fifth edition of the Indiana Civic Health Index. She shares why it is critical, in a state that rates so low on voting turnout, that citizens need to be more involved in the voting process. Napoli talks about the increases in college student voting for the last election and explains some of the recommendations provided in the Index for school civics education improvements.  

Community Voices for Health

Guests: Liz Grenat and Terry Amsler, Community Voices for Health 

Host: Jim Allison, LWV-BMC

February 15, 2022


In this podcast, Jim Allison talked to Liz Grenat and Terry Amsler. Liz is the Executive Director of the Community Justice and Mediation Center and Project Lead for Community Voices for Health. Terry Amsler is the Program Director Emeritus of the Institute for Local Government’s Public Engagement Program and adjunct professor at IU's O'Neill School. Both Liz and Terry serve on the steering committee with the Community Voices for Health, a three-year grant-funded project that addresses the inequities in community decision-making about issues that affect health. The project is funded by the Robert Wood Foundation, and Bloomington was one of six sites selected. In the podcast, Liz and Terry talk about how Community Voices for Health has been progressing in our community by gathering feedback from a diverse selection of people and where that information will be used in the future.