Making Democracy Work

Making Democracy Work

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy. It neither opposes nor endorses candidates or political parties.
Birthday Party Invitation ALL MEMBERS - Please join us for our 50th Birthday Party on Tuesday, February 12 at 7pm. The party will include entertainment, songs, and a champagne toast. RSVP required! RSVP to Judy Donahue, 486-9416 or judydonahue57@gmail.com.

In November, Michigan elected a new governor, secretary of state and attorney general, all Democrats (and all women)! Michigan passed ballot amendments, to end gerrymandering, make voting easier and legalize marijuana.

Our outgoing Michigan legislature, dominated by Republicans, passed bills aimed at limiting the power of the new governor and/or weakening the three ballot proposals. They also voted on measures to weaken two earlier bills raising minimum wage and granting paid sick leave to employees. Outgoing governor Rick Snyder vetoed two bills passed by the legislature; one which would give the Michigan Legislature authority to intervene in state lawsuits and another that would add new restrictions to help keep campaign donations secret.

Read about those bills in Bridge magazine here and here.

Here's one issue we are hard at work on: On November 29 a three-judge panel ruled to allow a federal lawsuit filed by the League of Women Voters of Michigan and 11 individual voters in December 2017 against the State of Michigan to go forward. The lawsuit takes aim at gerrymandering of Michigan's Congressional, state senate and state house districts. The suit has survived other attempts for dismissal and will go to trial in February. The judges said that gerrymandering efforts allow Republicans to win a "majority of seats" in Congress "despite never winning more than 50.5% of the statewide vote."

Why does this matter now? Didn't we pass Proposition 2, doing away with gerrymandering in Michigan? Yes we did, but Prop 2 will not take effect until after the 2020 election. If the state LWV wins its suit, gerrymandering will have to be addressed immediately, ending the practice before 2020. So this lawsuit matters! Go for it LWV of Michigan!

Our League is honored to receive the Rosemarie Byers Community Voice Award from MCTV and Friends of MCTV. President Katherine Redwine and Voter Service Chair Sue McCollister accepted the award at a ceremony Nov 15.

Great Decisions 2019. A great way to spend a cold winter is to join a great decisions group and discuss important world issues. There are eight topics for the new year; you do not have to be an expert to participate . Discussion booklets and video tapes will be provided. Click on "Great Decisions" below to learn the new topics and find out how you can join a group.

Dedication

Our original website was created in 1998 with gifts made in memory of Mary Dee Rieke, a founding member of the LWV of the Midland Area, our second president, and an active participant in League throughout her life. We remember her with gratitude.