Making Democracy Work

Making Democracy Work

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting Makes Its Recommendations

Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting Makes Its Recommendations

On September 19, the Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting, of which the LWVIN is a co-founding member, presented its recommendations to the Special Interim Study Committee on Redistricting. Key recommendations include:

  • Indiana should establish a citizen-led redistricting commission every 10 years consisting of 9 members: 3 Republican, 3 Democrat, and 3 unaffiliated.
  • All Hoosiers are eligible, but must apply for service.
  • Qualified candidates should be selected by lottery with efforts made to reflect the racial, ethnic, gender and geographic diversity of the state.
  • Redistricting criteria: Districts must be substantially equal in population, contiguous,comply with the U.S. Voting Rights Act, when possible they should not divide communities of interest, and the home addresses of incumbent elected officials should not be considered.
  • Recommendations by the commission should require an affirmative vote of at least 6 members and are subject to legislative approval.
  • Legislative changes, however, can not exceed 2% of the total population of a district and must be accompanied by a narrative explanation.

2016 LWVUS Convention

2016 LWVUS Convention Summary

Delegate list: Nancy Clement (Greater Lafayette), Nichole Etcheson (Muncie-Delaware Co.), Alice Phillips, Christina Sharp, Gail Pebworth (Montgomery Co.), Erin Kelley, Rhea Cain, Sarah Halter (Indianapolis), Oscar Anderson (Montgomery Co.), Barb Reed (Cass Co.), Judith Kratzner (Knox Co.), and Lisa Plencner (South Bend).

High Impact Visibility Award: The LWV of Montgomery County won!

LWVUS Bylaw Changes:

Article III, Section 2, Types of Membership has been amended to now read (changes in bold):

"A. Voting Members. Persons at least 16 years of age who join the League shall be voting members of local Leagues, state Leagues, and of the LWVUS; (1) THOSE who live within an area of a local League may join that League or any other local League; (2) those who reside outside the area of any local League may join a local League or shall be state members-at-large; (3) those who have been members of the League for 50 years or more shall be life members excused from the payment of dues."

Since all state and local LWVs must share the first three articles in common with the LWVUS, state and local LWVs do not need to vote on these changes. Rather, as an administrative matter, they need to update their bylaws immediately.

LWVUS Concurrences:

Position on Redistricting

The LWVUS has adopted a redistricting position that state Leagues can use to enhance their own redistricting positions. The newly adopted position "does not supersede any existing state League redistricting position" and will greatly help the 10 state LWVs currently lacking a redistricting position. (See page 32 of the convention workbook.)

Behavioral Health

The LWVUS Health Care position has been amended to include the following as the second sentence under Basic Level of Quality Care:

"Every U.S. resident should have access to affordable, quality in- and out- patient behavioral health care, including needed medications and supportive services that is integrated with, and achieves parity with, physical health care."

LWVUS Speaker Highlights YouTube videos of all the major speakers at Convention can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/user/LeagueofWomenVoters

Speakers included the following and several more: Chris Carson + newly elected LWVUS president Wylecia Wiggs Harris + new LWVUS CEO Celinda Lake + "Messaging for Impact: What Resonates with Voters in 2016" Ari Berman + Keynote address on the history of the Voting Rights Act Jennifer Lawless + "Engaging Millennials in our Elections" Keisha Gaskins + "Understanding and Telling the Story of Impact for Democracy with Data"

Another special highlight is the video submitted by the LWVIN for the Convention's "Roll Call of States." This video highlights the important work our members are doing on redistricting reform. You can view it at our brand new YouTube page!

2016 LWVIN Council

LWVIN Council: Grassroots Advocacy & the League

LWVIN Council was held on Saturday, April 9, 2016 at the Prindle Institute at DePauw University in Greencastle.

LWVIN business, such as the election of new officers and approval of the 2016-17 budget was addressed, and the focus of the day was on grassroots advocacy and how we can work more effectively to make an impact. Featured training included a session with Lisa Marchal, Senior Global Grassroots Associate with RESULTS, on how to craft an effective story, build legislative relationships, and get the most out of our communications. We also spent time reviewing the Indiana General Assembly website and how to track LWV legislative priorities.

The entire Council packet can be accessed here

Historic Women's Rights Leaders Honored

On February 29, 2016, the Indiana General Assembly offered a concurrent resolution honoring three historic Hoosier leaders instrumental in gaining women the right to vote: Helen Gouger, May Wright Sewell, and Zerelda Wallace. The resolution was offered by Rep. Linda Lawson and Sen. Karen Tallian and was originally proposed by the LWVIN.

Thank you to our local members from around the State who were able to represent the League at this event.

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Address: 1500 N. Delaware Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202
Phone: 317-241-VOTE (8683)