Making Democracy Work

Because Democracy is not a Spectator Sport

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging the informed and active participation of citizens in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy.
Redistricting Update:

The South Bend Common Council voted 8-0 to ADOPT the Redistricting Reform Resolution proposed by the League! (One member was not present at the meeting.) Please thank Council members for their support.

LWVSBA President Geri Pawelski traveled to Indianapolis on May 5 with LWV Indiana co-president Lisa Plencner to attend the 2nd meeting of the Special Interim Study committee on Redistricting.

Lisa delivered testimony in support of a citizens-led committee and did a wonderful job representing the League and advocating for reform. Minutes for the May 5 meeting and future meeting announcements will be posted here: https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2016/committees/redistricting_special_interim_study_committee_on

Lunch with the League - May 13 ,2016

Lunch with the League Welcomes Marc Belanger, Ph.D., Saint Mary's College

Dr. Belanger will speak on the Syrian refugee crisis.

Come as early as 11:30 to purchase lunch. Free and open to the public.

South Bend Chocolate Cafe 122 S. Michigan St. South Bend, IN 46601

Member Event at Parisi's! - May 17 at 5:30pm

You are cordially invited to join League members for a casual gathering at

Parisi's Ristorante Italiano, 1412 South Bend Avenue South Bend, IN

May 17, 2016 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. Appetizers will be served, beverages will be available for purchase, and if the weather cooperates, we'll have access to the patio! This is a great opportunity for new and veteran members to get to know each other, share the mission of the League and engage in an exchange of ideas that will further enhance our local League. We hope you will join us for this social event! Cost: Your $5.00 donation at the door will fund League programs and initiatives. Attendees will purchase their own beverages. No RSVP is necessary.

Gerrymandering: The Movie - May 18

May 18 at 6:00 p.m. Civil Rights Heritage Center of IU South Bend 1040 W. Washington St., South Bend

Please mark your calendars to see this important film, followed by a discussion moderated by Dr. Elizabeth Bennion. In partnership with IUSB and the American Democracy Project

Nominations for Making Democracy Work Award Due May 28.

The Making Democracy Work Award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to our community through the advancement of democracy and civic engagement.

The award is open to women and men at least 18 years of age residing in the League's membership area, which includes St. Joseph and Marshall Counties.

Nominees may apply themselves or be nominated by a friend or colleague. The award will be presented at the League's Fall Friend-Raiser. To make a nomination, please use the online form you will find at this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/83PDZTQ.

If you have difficulty completing the online form, please contact me to make other arrangements.

All nominations must be received by May 28, 2016 at midnight.

Please feel free to share information about the Making Democracy Work award with members of your organization and others in the community. As always, if have questions or would like additional information, please contact me at gpawelski@comcast.net.

LWV South Bend Area Annual Business Meeting and Dinner

Come and hear what your league has been up to over the last year!

June 8 at 6:00pm Papa Vino's 5110 Edison Lakes Pkwy, Mishawaka, IN 46545

New member discussion session

July 13 5:30pm (Wednesday) -- New member discussion session (lots more fun than an "orientation!)

Watch here for details!

Celebrating Michiana Women Leaders - 2016

An exhibit honoring women who have made contributions to the Michiana Area
Women's Equality Day + August 26, 2016
Civil Rights Heritage Center
1040 W. Washington Street, South Bend

Redistricting Reform for Indiana

This brochure, created by LWV South Bend Area, explains redistricting, gerrymandering and the need for reform. Please read and share.

Redistricting Reform for Indiana

If printing in black and white, please print this version: Redistricting Reform for Indiana

About Redistricting Reform - Time to Take Back Elections

In 2014, 44 out of 100 candidates for the Indiana House and 10 of 25 candidates for the Indiana Senate had no opponents.

Why? Because the General Assembly draws the district maps every 10 years after the federal census and legislatures draw maps for political advantage -- creating unfair electoral advantage for the majority party. The result? No competition and dismal voter turnout.

It's time to fix this sick system and put elections back in the hand of the voters.

The Indiana General Assembly has created a Special Study Committee on Redistricting that will work until December 2016 to create a reform recommendation for the legislature. We have a real opportunity to effect redistricting reform in our State but we must act now to educate and advocate for an independent redistricting process.

Join the Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting email alerts by sending an email to jvaughn@commoncause.org.

More resources on the Redistricting Reform Page

Below you will find a link to the Special Committee's webpage and other to LWV resources.

https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2015/committees/redistricting_special_interim_study_committee_on

Redistricting resources from LWVUS

2016 Legislative Action

For great information on Indiana legislation of interest to the League of Women Voters, please visit the League of Women Voters of Indiana website

The handy reference below shows which South Bend Area legislators sit on which 2016 Indiana General Assembly committees. Use it to write local legislators about important issues.

Legislative Contacts with Committees

Volunteers Needed! - chose an opportunity that is right for you...

On-Call Rabble-Rousers! LWV Indiana is looking for interested local members willing to be "on deck" to attend important Indiana General Assembly committee hearings and votes either to simply be eyes and ears in the audience or to read prepared testimony on behalf of an issue advocate who cannot attend. This session there will be a special focus on redistricting reform and other voter-related legislation, but we also have advocates focused on the environment, reproductive rights, gun control, human services, and education who may need assistance. Please let me know if you would like me to submit your name to the LWV Indiana Advocacy committee.

Half-Price Student Membership

Join the League! LWV South Bend Area now offers a student membership rate of $25.00! A student is defined as an individual who is enrolled either full or part-time in an accredited institution.

Consider a gift student membership - you will be opening the door to lifetime of Making Democracy Work.

Did you know . . . The LWV South Bend Area

★ Visits area high schools to register voters - 1077 in 2012!
★ Registers new voters at schools and local events
★ Sponsors candidate debates and forums before every election
★ Organized and cosponsored B Green to Save Green, an environmental education program for low-income families
★ Hosts Lunch with the League, a monthly public event featuring a talk by local leaders, followed by discussion
★ Provides voter information at the community events such as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration and Michiana Monologues
★ Sponsors public forums on topics of community interest such as the Property Tax Cap Constitutional Amendment, Redistricting, and Economic Development in our area

Want to learn more? Contact us at league@lwvsouthbend.org today.

Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month at 5:30 pm at St Joseph County Public Library, Main Street, Downtown South Bend. Free Parking. Guests are welcome.