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Friday, November 24, 2017
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  • Wednesday, November 22, 2017 4:00 AM
    The League of Women Voters of Montgomery County has studied and supported countywide comprehensive planning for a number of years. Alice Phillips, past president of the LWVMC, presented the following statement at the November 13 meeting of the Montgomery County Board of County Commissioners.
    “On behalf of the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County, a nonpartisan organization of 180 county residents and voters, I am speaking in favor of a planning ordinance.
    The League supports principles of good government. Good governing is EFFICIENT, EFFECTIVE, REPRESENTATIVE and FAIR. A planning ordinance meets all of those goals.
    Efficiency: Unplanned development is costly and wasteful. Planning allows our tax dollars to be used efficiently by concentrating the expensive infrastructure needed by business and industry: roads, utilities, fire protection, and accessibility to interstate or railway. It also assures sufficient distance of industries from homes, schools and medical facilities.
    Effectiveness: Through planning, we can effectively maintain our county as a wonderful place to live. We’ve lived comfortably with land use ordinances for years: building codes, health regulations, speed limits, drainage, and other ordinances protect the beauty, health and economic vitality of our community. They also work to protect individual landowners by anticipating and avoiding problems before they become costly lawsuits.
    Representative: Nearly half of our citizens are governed by the planning and zoning ordinance of the City of Crawfordsville. A county planning ordinance would address this lack of fairness in representation.
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  • Thursday, November 16, 2017 4:00 AM
    For 29 years, Heritage Products Inc. has contributed to the economic vitality of Crawfordsville and Montgomery County. This auto parts manufacturing facility is owned by the Japanese firm Hiruta Kogyo Co., LTD, headquartered in Okayama, Japan. Over those years, executives from the corporate office have visited their facility here several times. Until recently, we have never returned the favor. This all changed when Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton paid them a visit during a trip to Japan last September. 
    In a recent presentation given at the “Lunch With the League”, the Mayor showed how important building relationships is in maintaining our economic vitality. The trip was organized under the auspices of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb led a group of Indiana business and government leaders in order to advance Indiana's economic and cultural partnership with the state's largest foreign investor. Among all U.S. states, Indiana is home to the largest amount of Japanese investment per capita with 280 Japan-based companies that employ more than 58,000 Hoosiers. Japan also supports many locations of Indiana-based firms, including Eli Lilly, Cook Medical, Urschel Laboratories and Zimmer Biomet.
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  • Thursday, November 9, 2017 4:00 AM
    Redistricting Reform is one of the key issues facing the upcoming 2018 General Assembly. Why is this important? The Indiana Bicentennial Visioning Project listed redistricting as one of Indiana’s top policy priorities to increase possibility for competitive elections in our state.
    Unfair redistricting creates “safe districts” which result in uncontested or uncompetitive elections, leading to reduced voter interest and turnout. In 2014, 44 of 100 seats in the Indiana House of Representatives were uncontested in the general election. That year Indiana had the lowest voter turnout in the country!
    The League of Women Voters of Indiana partnered with Common Cause Indiana to create a state wide coalition calling for real redistricting reform in Indiana. Coalition partners include: Hoosier Environmental Council, Citizens Action Coalition, Indiana Farmers Union, Center for Aging and Community, Jobs for Justice, NAACP, Moral Mondays, ACLU, Moms Demand Action, Sierra Club, Lafayette Urban Ministry, Indiana Coalition for Human Services, AAUW, and others.
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  • Thursday, November 2, 2017 4:00 AM
    Founded in 1920 by activists who secured voting rights for women, the League of Women Voters has always worked to promote the values and processes of representative government. Protecting and enhancing voting rights for all Americans, assuring opportunities for citizen participation, working for open, accountable, representative and responsive government at every level—all reflect the deeply held convictions of the League of Women Voters.
    In the 1950’s , the League worked courageously to protect fundamental citizen rights and individual liberties against the threats of the McCarthy era. In the 1960’s, attention turned to securing “one person, one vote” through apportionment of legislative districts based substantially on population. In the 1970s, members worked to reform the legislative process and open it to citizen scrutiny, and to balance congressional and presidential powers.
    The League also sought to reform the campaign finance system to reduce the dominance of special interests, affirmed support for the direction election of the President and fought for full voting rights in Congress for the citizens of the District of Columbia.
    The League has worked to break down the barriers to voting, first through reauthorization of Voting Rights Act and then through a campaign for the passage and implementation of the landmark National Voter Registration Act.
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  • Thursday, October 26, 2017 4:00 AM
    The League of Women Voters of Montgomery County provided a “Registration and Voting” booth at the Business and Professional Women’s annual Reality Store held Monday at the Boys & Girls Club. The BPW’s Reality Store exposes eighth graders in Montgomery County to the realities of adult life with students being assigned a profession, salary, and family situations (single, married, number of children). Southmont, Crawfordsville Middle School, and Northridge students participated in this year’s Reality Store
    Students moved from booth to booth with checkbooks, calendars and clipboards, making decisions based on their scenarios to pay for taxes, housing, utilities, transportation, insurance, clothing, groceries, child care, furniture, medical expenses, charitable gifts, entertainment, pets, etc. Many students were forced to take a “second job” or visit the bank to take out a loan when their funds fell short. It was a very eye-opening experience for the students.
    The League’s Register and Vote Booth was “FREE.” Upon visiting the League’s booth, students were “registered” to vote by locating where they live on a Crawfordsville or Montgomery County map. Once registered, the students were given a ballot and directed to a voting booth in order to cast their opinion on three issues of interest to eighth graders. A total of 413 students voted: Southmont 114, Crawfordsville Middle School 168, and Northridge 131. See the accompanying chart.
    After placing the completed ballot in the ballot box, each student received an “I Voted” sticker, a copy of the FOCUS on Montgomery County: A citizen’s guide to local government and public resources, a 115 page book prepared by the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County, a Voter Registration form to bring to their parents, and “5 Facts about Voting.”
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  • Thursday, October 19, 2017 4:00 AM
    United Nations Day will be celebrated Oct. 24, commemorating the 72nd Anniversary of the ratification of the UN Charter in 1945. The purposes of the United Nations, as set forth in the Charter, are to “maintain international peace and security; to develop friendly relations among nations; to cooperate in solving international economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems and in promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; and to be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations in attaining these ends.”
    The League of Women Voters of the United States, throughout its 98 year history, has included international relations in its program and has been committed to international cooperation as an essential path to world peace.
    The official League position on the United Nations states in part:
    “The League of Women Voters of the United States supports a strong, effective United Nations and endorses the full and active participation of the United States in the UN system. The League supports UN efforts to:
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  • Thursday, October 12, 2017 4:00 AM
    “I just want to say—you know—can we all get along? Can we, can we get along?” Many of you might remember this quote from Rodney King in the aftermath rioting in Los Angeles in 1992.
    In the 25 years since this was said, we seem to be farther apart than ever. The explosion of social media is a real factor in the keeping us from discussing important issues with civility and dignity. In his latest book, “POLARIZED! The Case for Civility in the Time of Trump: An experiment in social discourse,” Jeff Rasley looks at social media (specifically Facebook) as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can be used as a tool for meaningful discussion. On the other, it can be a divisive forum promoting prejudice and division.
    Rasley, an author, attorney and social activist, looked at the causes and effects of this polarization at a recent Lunch with the League program sponsored by the League of Women Voters. He also offered a “modest proposal” for the treatment and symptoms of this toxicity.
    Some of today’s scholars are looking at this divisiveness as resembling mental illness. Camille Paglia refers to it as “post election stress disorder.” Anger is a driving force in much of the alleged discussion of issues. As Rebecca Solnit points out: politicians and the media are engaged in an unholy alliance of “trafficking in outrage dividing the political world into heroes and villains, giving us this day our daily rage.” Have we really gotten that far apart?
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  • Thursday, October 5, 2017 4:00 AM
    The League of Women Voters again had a booth at the 2017 Harvest Hoopla Saturday. The League provided a “Civics Literacy Quiz” and distributed copies of FOCUS on Montgomery County and the 2017 Government Directory. Dozens of men, women and children took the quiz and did very well.
    Check out the quiz—can you correctly answer all the questions?
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  • Thursday, September 28, 2017 4:00 AM
    “Crawfordsville Community Advocacy: Working Together for Change” was a workshop provided for more than two dozen Montgomery County leaders from a wide range of community organizations interested in making our community livable for all.
    Organized by Jennie Todd, Research Association Indiana University Institute on Disability and Community, and assisted by Matt Norris, the workshop was another benefit of the League of Women Voters winning the “Advocates for Livability Community Award” in May.
    Todd provided an introduction to community livability with a brief look at comprehensive planning and the role of an advocate. She noted the many local achievements in Crawfordsville since the original extensive five day Livability Training held in 2013.
    The core components in “Livable for All” include Housing, Health and Support Services, Education, Employment, Civic Engagement, Mobility, Recreation, and Social and Cultural opportunities. Sidewalks and crosswalks, transportation, affordable and accessible housing, access to health care and recreation, economic vitality, access to good and services, and opportunities for connection are all key.
    Livability has benefits for residents, employees, visitors, property values, business activity as well as public health and safety. Our “work” should help create good places in which to grow up and grow old…livable lifetime communities.
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  • Thursday, September 21, 2017 4:00 AM
    Sunday marked the 230th anniversary of the day on which the members of the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in 1787 in Philadelphia. September 17 is now celebrated throughout the United States as Constitution Day. 
    Constitution Day has an interesting history. In 1939, newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst advocated, through his chain of newspapers, for a day to celebrate U.S. Citizenship. In 1940, Congress designated the third Sunday in May as “I am an American Day.” In 1952, President Truman moved the holiday to September 17 and changed the name to “Citizenship Day.” Thirteen years ago in 2004, Congress renamed the holiday “Constitution Day.”
    The 2004 law mandates that all publicly funded educational institutions provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution on September 17, or on an adjacent day should the 17th fall on a weekend.
    The League of Women Voters of Montgomery County encourages voters to gain a better understanding of our Constitution and the rights it affords us. It is essential for Americans to remember the key ideals such as responsive government, individual liberties and the separation of powers, especially an independent judicial branch. It is our responsibility to teach those lessons to future generations, and also to ensure our leaders are actively protecting the basic civil liberties American have fought to obtain.
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  • Thursday, September 14, 2017 4:00 AM
    One in four adults and one in five children suffer from a treatable mental health issue and over 50 percent of those living with a mental health condition never ask for help due to stigma, lack of information, cost, or lack of health care insurance coverage.
    These facts clearly demonstrate the serious need we have for resources that are able to treat these health issues. This was the basis for discussion at a recent Lunch with the League program sponsored by the League of Women Voters. The program was led by Karen Martoglio, Executive Director of Mental Health of America of Putnam County (MHAPC), who summed up the work her organization does in three words: Advocate, Educate and Collaborate.
    Mental Health America (previously known as National Mental Health Association whose origins are from the National Committee for Mental Hygiene) was founded in 1909. The symbolic bell in its logo is based on a bell that was cast in 1953 from the shackles and chains that were used to constrain mentally ill people in asylums throughout the country. This horrible treatment has long ago ceased but, unfortunately, the stigmas related to mental disorders still remains in the minds of too many people.
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  • Thursday, September 7, 2017 4:00 AM
    “Crawfordsville Community Advocacy: Working for Change” will be a free workshop opportunity to be held 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Monday, September 25 in Whitlock Hall of St. John’s Episcopal Church, 212 S. Green Street. The workshop is being provided at no cost to participants by Indiana University’s Insti-tute on Disability and Communities and will be funded by Indiana State Department of Health. 
    This workshop is another benefit of the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County winning the Advocates for Livable Communities award at the Communities for Livability Summit held in early May at Fort Benjamin Harrison Conference Center.
    The workshop is an event for citizens interested in working for change benefitting all ages and abilities in Crawfordsville and Montgomery County. This will involve one day of interactive learning and discus-sions to position participants as more effective advocates while becoming familiar with Crawfordsville community planning around healthy lifestyles.
    A free light breakfast and lunch catered by Allen’s Country Kitchen will be provided.
    This workshop will be an opportunity for older adults, people with disabilities and other interested citi-zens to work together, taking action to improve the livability of Crawfordsville.
    Why should you attend this training?
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  • Thursday, August 31, 2017 4:00 AM
    "Meet the Market Day" will be featured 9a.m. - noon at the new Pike Place Saturday, September 2 in conjunction with Saturday Farmers' Market on Pike Street.
    Sponsored by the City of Crawfordsville, Advocates for Livable Communities, Crawfordsville Main Street, and the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County, three hours of activities will be provided as kick off to "Pike Place" which will be fully developed in 2018 with funds from the Stellar Grant.
    At 9 a.m. there will be ribbon-cutting for the official opening of "Saturday Space at Pike Place."
    Helen Hudson will provide 'Tour the Farmers' Market at 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. showing people how to shop for the freshest ingredients in central Indiana showing both foods and vendors.
    Public is invited then to join Lali Hess in a live cooking demonstration and learn how to turn these ingredients into delicious nutritious dishes.
    Note: attendees to Hudson tour and Hess demonstration will receive $5 or $10 Money Market gift certificate to spend at Farmers' Market participating vendors. 
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  • Thursday, August 24, 2017 4:00 AM
    Saturday will mark the 97th Anniversary of ratification of the constitutional amendment that granted women the right to vote. This achievement on Aug. 26, 1920 was a result of a 72-year effort by visionary and courageous women who lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied and organized demonstrations in support of suffrage for women.
    The fight for woman suffrage had its roots in the 1848 “Declaration of Sentiments” drawn up at the first women’s rights convention held in Seneca Falls, New York. Early suffrage leaders—Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, Myra Bradwell, Zerelda Wallace (stepmother of Lew Wallace) and many more—worked tirelessly for women’s suffrage during the latter half of 19th century. Dr. Mary Holloway Wilhite of Crawfordsville chaired the organizing committee for Woman’s Suffrage Association of Montgomery County.
    In 1890, Wyoming became the first state permitting suffrage for women. By 1900, Utah, Colorado and Idaho also allowed women to vote. Theodore Roosevelt’s Progressive (Bull Moose) Party in 1912 became the first national political party to have a plank supporting women’s suffrage.
    In 1900, Susan B. Anthony handed the leadership of the National American Woman’s Suffrage Association over to Carrie Chapman Catt, who was a talented and interesting individual. Raised in Iowa, Catt was the only woman in her Iowa Agricultural College (now Iowa State) class from which she graduated in three years as the top student. In 1883, she became one of the first women in the nation appointed superintendent of a public school system. Catt was an outstanding speaker and strategist with organizational skills and political savvy.
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  • Thursday, August 17, 2017 4:00 AM
    “Promoting Civic Pride and Competency in Our Schools” was the program presented by Collin K. Gruver, Director of Civic Education Programs for the Indiana Bar Foundation, at a recent League of Women Voters Lunch with the League program. The Indiana Bar Foundation has sponsored the “We the People” program in Indiana for a number of years.
    The We the People program promotes civic competence and responsibility among upper elementary, middle and high school students. We the People printed textbooks and enhanced e-books contain interactive strategies and relevant content, making teaching and learning exciting for both students and teachers.
    Studies have shown that students who have participated in We the People programs are much more likely to: participate in civic life, work collectively rather than individually to improve their community, respect the rule of law, follow and critically consume current events, enjoy talking about government and politics, vote in presidential and local elections, serve on a jury, and be tolerant of those with differing political views.
    Indiana is one of the nation’s leading states in school participation in We the People. There are large clusters of schools involved throughout north, central, east, and southern Indiana but almost none in west central Indiana.
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