"The League for the Future" was the theme of the 2013 League of Women Voters State Convention held at the Turkey Run State Park Inn last weekend. The Montgomery County League served as host for the two day gathering of League leaders from throughout Indiana.

Julia Vaughn, Policy Director of Common Cause Indiana presented the keynote addressed "Reflections on the 2013 Legislative Session." An area of great importance in years ahead is to have Indiana adopt an Independent Redistricting Commission similar to other states to reduce the partisan districting of the state. Vaughn noted that Indiana ranks 43rd in voter registration and 48th out of the 50 states in voter turnout and yet there was action to further restrict voting and reduce early voting opportunities.

Dr. Robert Steele, Distinguished Professor, Journalism Ethics at DePauw University, addressed "The Values of Civility and the Importance of Civil Dialogue in our Society, including the political arena and the media." As one of nation's foremost experts on journalism ethics, Steele regularly advises journalists and media leaders across the county and is often interviewed by news organizations including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC Nightly News, NPR and CNN.

The Banquet speaker Susanne Gaudin, Brown County and LWVIN President-elect, reported on Tom Brokaw's recent presentation on "Where is the Next Great Generation Coming From and How Do We Engage Them?"

Dr. David J. Hadley, Wabash College Emeritus Professor of Political Science, introduced and led discussion of the documentary "Patriocracy", a non-partisan examination of the current political climate of Washington dysfunction and the way the media shapes public opinion.

Patricia Donath, LWV of United States Secretary/Treasurer who is liaison to the LWV of Indiana, outlined some of the important services the national organization provides local and state Leagues.

Following Sunday's lunch, Dr. Raymond Scheele, Co-Director of Bowen Center for Public Affairs at Ball State University, and Dr. Joseph Losco, Chair of the Ball State University Political Science Department, co-presented the "2012 Hoosier Survey" results of which were distributed to all Indiana state and Congressional representatives and senators.

The Convention featured four workshops. Elections for the Future dealt with Voter Registration, Vote Centers, Poll Worker Training, and Poll Observer program. Other workshops highlighted Membership and Leadership Development, Visibility Opportunities, and Securing Financial Support.

Convention business included: budget adoption, bylaw review, election of 2013-2015 LWVIN board, and debate and adoption of program in areas of representative government, local government, natural resources, health care, education, justice system, and social policies. Former Crawfordsville resident Carrie Sosbe, now living in Indianapolis, was elected Treasurer.

Montgomery County had 18 participants. Gail Pebworth was a delegate from the State Board. Local delegates included: Kathy Brown, Betty Culley, Nancy Doemel, Deanna Durrett, Karen Gunther, Sheridan Hadley, Karen Patton, Nancy Sennett, and Deb Switzer. Assisting with the Convention were Mary Angela Cooley, David Hadley, Ann Hatfield, Cheryl Keim, David and Ginny Maharry, Marie Stocks and Donna Strand.