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Date: 6/2/2023
Subject: The Voter June 2023
From: League of Women Voters - Bloomington-Monroe County

An update for League friends and subscribers.
June 2023

Celebrating Pride Month!
During June, we focus on Pride Month, which honors the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals, and those with other sexual identities (LGBTQ+) and celebrates LGBTQ+ culture. The gay rights movement began in the early 1900s. Gays and lesbians were regularly denied basic civil rights and were often arrested and mistreated. Nevertheless, they began to form organizations for education, support, and protection. After a long struggle, a watershed was reached in June 1969 after the Stonewall Riots, a series of gay liberation protests, which brought the issue of gay rights to the forefront. Since then, progress has been made in ensuring civil rights to members of the LGBTQ+ community, but much remains to be done. 
For more information on the Bloomington LGBTQ+ community and any summer activities, click Another good site is PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), which offers resources for people with questions.

Events and News Sources

LWV-BMC Public Events
No public events scheduled
Other Public Events
Community News Sources


Monroe County Uses VOTE411 a LOT!
Statistics for use of the online voter guide, VOTE411, in Indiana rank Bloomington third (behind only Indianapolis and Fort Wayne) in the number of users. The city had 971 users and 1,210 sessions; Ellettsville had 38 users and 56 sessions. The session length for Bloomington voters, 2 minutes and 50 seconds, was in the top 2% for the state. Congratulations to the informed voters and to everyone who encouraged them to check
We'd also like to thank the candidates who provided answers to the questions we posed. Several of them thanked the League for our efforts in the primary:
  • Andy Ruff: The bigger thanks go to you and LWV for the work you do towards voter education, information, and participation.
  • Jenny Stevens: Thanks for sharing [usage stats]. The numbers are interesting and show the value of the survey too!!
  • Matt Flaherty: Thank you so much for your work in developing, aggregating, and sharing candidate information. It's an important service for Bloomington voters! 
  • Shruti Rana: Thank you so much for all of your dedication to the election and voter information. I really enjoyed the forum and appreciated the voter guide, which I shared with everyone I could!
And, of course, we couldn't have done it without the suggested questions from members. Definitely a community-wide success! - Ralf Shaw

Supreme Court's Shelby Co. Decision on Voting Rights Marks 10 Years
The Supreme Court's Shelby County ruling on June 25, 2013, was a landmark decision that gutted Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the most powerful civil rights legislation ever passed. Following the ruling, many of the previously covered jurisdictions, including Alabama, enacted anti-voter bills that would have been struck down under the earlier preclearance system. The ruling is widely cited by voting rights activists and experts as one of the largest setbacks for voting rights in modern history. Click here for more information. - LWVUS

Latest Podcast Focuses on Jail System
For the May podcast, we welcomed Miriam Northcutt-Bohmert, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Indiana University. Professor Northcutt-Bohmert shared information from her research on racial, ethnic, and gender disparities in our legal system. She talked about how our jail system has become the default repository for those with mental illness and substance abuse. She also shared how our Monroe County jails are coping with these issues and the various pretrial options and diversion available to those facing the correctional system. Finally, she provided her insight on the new Monroe County proposed jail. - Becky Hill

June 24 Is Anniversary of Dobbs Decision on Reproductive Choice
On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Below is a statement from the National League on issues of reproductive justice:
The League of Women Voters believes every US resident should have access to affordable, quality health care, including birth control and the privacy to make reproductive choices. As an ally of reproductive rights organizations, we know that safe access to health care, including abortion, is essential to our democracy.  

Democracy depends on equal rights for all people. Losing our right to reproductive choice opens the door to the loss of other freedoms like marriage equality, contraception, and the right to engage in private, consensual intimacy. The attack we have seen on voting rights is an attack on democracy. The attack on reproductive choice is a continuation of silencing people in this country.

Not only is the right to a safe and legal abortion a matter of personal freedom, it’s also a major factor in the movements for racial and economic equality. Black women and all underserved communities already experience inequitable barriers and limited access to adequate health care services. Many of the communities targeted with voter suppression are the same ones who will be most impacted if reproductive freedom is also taken away. 

The League of Women Voters stands in solidarity with women and individuals who may become pregnant in the fight to protect reproductive freedom. - LWVUS

Community News

City of Bloomington Offers Opportunities to Community
The city of Bloomington has publicized a number of ways that area residents can participate in community activities:
The City of Bloomington Department of Housing and Neighborhood Development (HAND) invites residents to apply for the 2023 Residents Academy, to be held on ten consecutive Thursday evenings from August 24th to October 26th, from 6-8 p.m. Sessions include presentations by City staff, as well as demonstrations and tours of City facilities.
The City of Bloomington is accepting applications from community members who would like to serve on boards or commissions. There are currently more than 45 boards and commissions that advise the mayor and city council on a vast array of issues.
The City of Bloomington is excited to announce the launch of NextRequest, a public records management system designed to improve transparency, efficiency, and consistency in responding to public records requests. The public and media can make requests and view completed requests through the City’s Public Records Request web page at -  Ann Birch