An update for League friends and subscribers.
Please note: This is an unusually long newsletter. We promise not to make a habit of it. But there's a lot going on! - Ann Birch
|March Is Womens' History Month! |
Women's Suffrage Parade, May 1914, Washington DC
Question: Is law enforcement there to protect the "ladies" from spectators or the spectators from the ladies?
Moore v. Harper Rally, July 7, 2022,
Founded in 1914 by Carrie Chapman Catt, the League of Women Voters is active in a wide range of political and social issues.
For many, women's history is summed up by white women in white dresses and white hats marching for votes. Although this is an important and well researched part of the picture, it is only one part. The whole picture and the ongoing reality is much more complicated and intriguing. Consider two major figures:
Abigail Adams, who wrote to her husband in 1776: “...And, by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”
Ida Wells-Barnett, who was born into slavery and later became a prominent journalist in the 1890s and early 1900s, was known for exposing the evils of lynching. She balanced a family with a life spent fight against racism and for women's rights, even though she was not welcomed by established suffrage organizations. Very outspoken, she was often threatened for her views. In a 1900 speech in Chicago, she made them very plain: "Our country’s national crime is lynching. It is not the creature of an hour, the sudden outburst of uncontrolled fury, or the unspeakable brutality of an insane mob. It represents the cool, calculating deliberation of intelligent people."
Just two examples out of the men and women who have fought for and continue to fight for women's rights since this country began. The list of websites, resources, and literature is extensive, but below are several references that may prove unusual and interesting. (Any suggestions for relevant films, books, short stories, or websites? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, 1792
Made in Dagenham (film), 2010
Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins, The Untold Story of Women of Color in the League of Women Voters, 2020
Ellen Carol Dubois, Suffrage: Women's Long Battle for the Vote, 2020
|February Legislative Update Digs into Progress of Bills in the IGA |
|Sen. Shelli Yoder and Rep. Matt Pierce participated in the Legislative Update on Saturday, February 11. Sen. Yoder reported that two bills she sponsored are scheduled for hearings: SB252 on long-acting reversible contraceptives and SB334, simplified application for SNAP benefits. She encouraged support for SB335, climate solutions task force, and SB250, sales tax exemption for feminine hygiene products. |
Representative Pierce noted that to move to the other house, a bill must have passed its third reading by February 27. He has focused on energy-related bills, notably HB1417 and HB1421, which address whether utility shareholders or rate payers should pay for unanticipated costs, and HB1420 on competitive bidding for installing new infrastructure for the power grid. At the conclusion of the meeting, he also reported on SB354, which requires reports to parents if students question their gender identity or expression; HB1407, which limits medical services to change a child’s “biological sex;” and HB1569, which prohibits state payment for sexual reassignment surgery for prisoners.
Ten people posed questions to the legislators. Topics included: How the $150 electric vehicle tax was decided; SB4 on the public health commission and reactions to how increased funding would be shared; HB1224 pharmacist contraceptive prescriptions; a bill to make it more difficult to pass school referenda; a bill giving political affiliation for candidates for school board; SB486, which would change bargaining and discussion between school boards and employees; SB37 on food and beverage taxes and the implications for the Monroe County convention center; SB254 to allow water and wastewater utilities to set up customer assistance programs as other utilities do; HB1005 funding infrastructure for new housing development; and HB1008 on whether state retirement fund investing should consider a company’s environmental, social, and governmental practices.
Find up-to-date information on these and other bills at https://iga.in.gov/. Legislative Updates are co-sponsored by the Leagues of Women Voters of Bloomington-Monroe County and Brown County and the Chambers of Commerce of Bloomington and Brown County. The next update will be Saturday, March 11. You can register at https://lwv-bmc.org/legis-update, where you can also watch the CATS recording of the February 11 meeting. - Ralf Shaw
|Sign Up for Voter Registration Training |
| Karen Wheeler, former Monroe County Election Supervisor, will conduct a "How to Register Voters" training session at Election Central, 401 W 7th Street Suite 100, Bloomington IN, on March 13, 2023, from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. This training is appropriate for both League members and nonmembers wishing to assist citizens with registering to vote. Click here to sign up for the training session. - Monica Clemons |
|VOTE411 Now Live for Local Primary! |
| VOTE411 (https://www.vote411.org) is now live for local candidates! Launched by the League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF) in October of 2006, VOTE411.org is a "one-stop-shop" for election-related information. An important component of VOTE411.org is the polling place locator, which enables users to type in their address and retrieve the poll location for the voting precinct in which that address is located. The League has found that this is among the most sought-after information in the immediate days leading up to, and on, Election Day. Be sure to visit this site to determine your candidates' views on the issues in their own words. - Ralf Shaw |
The site provides nonpartisan information to the public with both general and state-specific information on the following aspects of the election process:
- Absentee ballot information
- Ballot measure information (where applicable)
- Early voting options (where applicable)
- Election dates
- Factual data on candidates in various federal, state and local races
- General information on such topics as how to watch debates with a critical eye
- ID requirements
- Polling place locations
- Registration deadlines
- Voter qualifications
- Voter registration forms
- Voting machines
|Candidate Forums and Other Events Scheduled for March and April |
|Citizens' Climate Lobby Featured in Podcast |
| In February 2023, Civics Conversations welcomed Marcia Veldman, the Indiana State Co-Coordinator for the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Veldman shared the origin story of the organization, which has 450 U.S. chapters and 150 international chapters. The Lobby is a strong advocate for the carbon tax dividend, in which fees are collected for the cost of burning fossil fuel and the money is returned to Americans. When asked if Congress could create an effective carbon tax, Veldman said that they should in fact pursue it, but it is unlikely that they would. In a recent conversation she had with Senator Todd Young, Young said that a carbon tax is necessary, but politically not feasible. However, Veldman is seeing some changes on the climate front, especially the Inflation Reduction Act, which was the single biggest climate change legislation to pass in recent years. Click here to listen to the podcast. - Becky Hill |
|Contact Rep. Houchin, Express Support for Climate Action |
| |Now is a great time to introduce yourself to Erin Houchin, our new Indiana District 9 representative in the U.S. House, and let her know that climate solutions are an important issue for you. Our partner organization, http://citizensclimatelobby.org/, which is featured in this month’s Civics Conversations article, has a link in which you can introduce yourself to Rep. Houchin on the CCL website. Or, if you prefer, you can contact her directly at (202)225-5315 or RepErinHouchin@mail.house.gov. Here are a few suggestions for talking points:
- Urge her to support bills that will help America lead the world in the renewable energy transition and ensure that American households have affordable and abundant clean energy.
- Share that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in their 2019 statement, stated that “there is much common ground on which all sides of this discussion could come together to address climate change with policies that are practical, flexible, predictable, and durable.” The statement concludes very succinctly that “inaction is not an option.”
- Share the League’s nonpartisan position that “climate change is a serious threat facing our nation and planet,” and the League’s support for climate policies “that will ensure a stable climate system for future generations.”
Thanks for your action in helping to build Rep. Houchin’s awareness of climate issues. (And, by the way, you can read the complete Chamber of Commerce statement here.) Be sure to contact the Climate Change Unit at email@example.com if you have any comments or suggestions for our work. We would love to hear from you. - Kristina Lindborg
|Local Leagues Present Healthcare Reform Forum |
LWV Bloomington-Monroe County and LWV Brown County presented League of Women Voters healthcare update forum with 42 participants on February 20. The event featured Barbara Pearson, LWV Amherst, MA; Dr. Rob Stone, LWV Bloomington-Monroe County, IN; and Joey Ballard, LWV Indianapolis, IN. The forum provided League members with information on the LWVUS position on healthcare update passed by delegates at the LWVUS convention in July 2022 and on Medicare for all/single payer. Also discussed was the ongoing crisis in healthcare and how medical students across the country are working on policy and advocacy.
Click here for the healthcare reform toolkit. Click here to see the Community Access Television Services (CATS) recording of the event. Slides from the forum and from a presentation on navigating the healthcare system are also available. - Karen Green Stone
|Women's History Month Luncheon on March 23 |
| The City of Bloomington Commission on the Status of Women announces the 2023 Women’s History Month Luncheon, which will take place on Thursday, March 23, 2023 at the Monroe Convention Center, located at 302 S. College Ave. in Bloomington. The doors open at 11:15 am; the program runs from 12:15 pm to 1:45 pm. The League will have an exhibit table at the event. |
The theme of this year’s event is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories,” which encourages the recognition of women, past and present, who have been active in all forms of media and storytelling including print, radio, TV, stage, screen, blogs, podcasts, news, and social media.
| |This timely theme honors women in every community who have devoted their lives and talents to producing art and news, pursuing truth and reflecting society decade after decade. Click here for more information and to order tickets or reserve a table. - Ralf Shaw
|Monroe County Branch NAACP Announces Scholarship |
|The Monroe County Branch of the NAACP, with substantial funding from the IU Credit Union, is offering two scholarships in 2023. Announcements of these scholarships have already been sent to local high schools and various groups on the IU campus and Ivy Tech. But we would like to cast our net more widely and would greatly appreciate it if you could disseminate this information to groups where you have particular affiliation. Click here for more information. - Vickie Dacey |
|Watch "Freedom Summer" Documentary |
|The film "Freedom Summer" looks at the summer of 1964, when more than 700 student volunteers from around the country joined organizers and local African Americans in a historic effort to shatter the foundations of white supremacy in Mississippi. You can watch the film for free here. - Ralf Shaw |
|Resilience Productions Presents New Play |
| Resilience Productions presents “Remarkable Women: Writing the Wrongs” written by Gladys DeVane in collaboration with and directed by Danielle Bruce. The show runs from March 17-19 at the Monroe County History Center. Show times are 6:00 pm on March 17 and 18, 3:00 pm on March 19. |
The year is 1892. Three Black women are on personal journeys to hold the nation accountable to its promise of a more perfect union and to right the wrongs of society. The lives of Lillian Thomas Fox, Ida B. Wells, and Frances Harper will converge through their writing, and we will discover the strength of the pen in influencing and shaping opinions. Click here for tickets. - Ralf Shaw