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Saturday, April 21, 2018

  • Thursday, April 19, 2018 4:00 AM
    Founding by the activists who secured voting rights for women, the League has always worked to promote the values and processes of representative Government. Over the decades, the League has developed a set of basic principles which guide the study and advocacy of the organization at local, state, and national levels.
    The League of Women Voters believes in representative government and in the individual liberties as established in the Constitution of the United States. The LWV of the United States believes that all powers of the U.S. government should be exercised within the constitutional framework of a balance among the three branches of government: legislative, executive, and judicial.
    The LWV believes that democratic government depends upon informed and active participation in government and requires that governmental bodies protect the citizen’s right to know by giving adequate notice of proposed actions, holding open meetings and making public records accessible.
    The LWV believes that every citizen should be protected in the right to vote; that every person should have access to free public education that provides equal opportunity for all; and that no person or group should suffer legal, economic or administrative discrimination.
    The LWV believes that efficient and economical government requires competent personnel, the clear assignment of responsibilities, adequate financing, and coordination among the different agencies and levels of government.
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  • Thursday, April 12, 2018 4:00 AM
    “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” So said James Madison (Federalist #51, February 8, 1778.)
    Our system of government is unique and daring. In a recent Lunch with the League talk, Robert Leming clearly demonstrated how the understanding the Constitution—its history, its role in shaping American life and politics, and its relevance today—is essential for anyone who wants to be a better-informed voter, leader, or citizen. Leming is National Director of the “We the People Program” for the Center for Civic Education and Professor of Graduate Studies at Kansas State University.
    Leming has put together an adult education program he calls “Constitution 101.” It’s a (once a week for two hours) six- week course in which he leads a group inquiry into a critical look at government and the Constitution. Weekly topics range from “What Are the Philosophical and Historical Foundations of the American Political System?” to “What Challenges Might Face American Constitutional Democracy in the Twenty-first Century?”
    During Leming’s recent LWV presentation, he used excerpts from the Federalist Papers (specifically from James Madison’s Federalist #51) to make his points.
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  • Thursday, April 5, 2018 4:00 AM
    The League of Women Voters of Montgomery County encourages ALL eligible voters to vote in the 2018 Primary Election!
    Final day to register for the Primary Election is Monday, April 9. Registration locations are: Bureau of Motor Vehicles, 1629 Eastway Drive (362-5707); Montgomery County Voter Registration Office, 100 East Main in the Court House- (364-6437); or the Internet: http://www.indianavoters.in.gov.
    Voting on Election Day will take place on Tuesday, May 8 between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. at five Vote Center locations. You can choose to vote at any of these, whichever is most convenient for your schedule.
    * St. Bernard’s Catholic Church-1306 East Main Street
    * North Montgomery High School-480 West 580 North
    * Friendship Baptist Church-1981 West Oak Hill Road
    * Rock Point Church-429 West 150 South
    * Whitesville Church-3603 South Ladoga Road
    For the convenience of voters, there are also EARLY VOTING LOCATIONS and HOURS beginning Tuesday, April 10! Sometimes work schedules or family situations can make the Tuesday Election Day difficult. But now there are six locations in different areas in Montgomery County at which you can vote BEFORE May 8!
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  • Thursday, March 29, 2018 4:00 AM
    The United States Constitution was designed in a way to give the American People effective, elected representation at multiple levels. This can only be fulfilled if citizens actually turn out to vote. Sadly, in 2014 Indiana had the lowest voter turnout in the nation. We can and must do better!
    Important elections will occur in 2018. Hoosiers will elect one member to the U.S. Senate, nine members to United States Congress, 25 of 50 state Senate seats, and 100 state House seats. Locally, Montgomery County voters will be electing County Commissioner District 2, County Council Districts 1,2,3,4, County Assessor, Auditor, Treasurer, and Sheriff.
    In addition the May ballot will include Townships Trustees, Township Trustee Boards, party State Delegates and Precinct Committeemen.
    Voting brings Americans together—it is the one time all are equal. But in order to vote, one must be registered. Are you REGISTERED to vote? Is everyone in your family registered? What about your neighbors, co-workers, and friends?
    Requirements to register in Indiana are that the individual: be a United States citizen, be 18 years old by the day of General Election—November 6, 2018, a resident of the state of Indiana for at least 30 days before the election, and not currently in prison after conviction of a crime. Students who will turn 18 before November 6 can vote in the May Primary!
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  • Thursday, March 22, 2018 4:00 AM
    The League of Women Voters of Montgomery County celebrated 2018 Sunshine Week at a March 15 Dessert with annual reports to the membership by the LWV Observer Corps. Sunshine Week, initiated in 2005 by the American Society of News Editors, is an annual nationwide discussion about access to public information and the important role that we – the public – have in keeping our communities healthy, vibrant and strong. The League of Women Voters joins other organizations in observing Sunshine Week and encouraging open government.
    The United States system of government is based on the premise that government is a creature of the people and is accountable to them. An open and accountable government is the cornerstone of a healthy, vibrant democracy. Since its founding, members of the League of Women Voters have been on the frontlines to promote governmental transparency at the local, state and national levels.
    The League believes it is incredibly important for citizens to know more about their government. Since 1947, members of the LWV of Montgomery County have served as observers at many of the government boards, councils, and commissions in Crawfordsville and Montgomery County.
    The LWV Observers listen and learn how these governmental boards functions and what issues they handle. The League seeks to assist its members and the public to become better educated about local issues. The Observers are the eyes and the ears of the League—a pipeline to what is being thought, said, and done in local government.
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  • Thursday, March 15, 2018 4:00 AM
    The United States Constitution grants citizens a number of inherent rights. There is the right to free speech, the freedom of assemble, the freedom to worship as we please and so on. The one inherent right that appears in the text more times than any others is the right to vote. It appears five times in the original document and four times in the amendments.
    Few people know this and it was one on many things presented by Bonnie Horlander, president of Indiana Vote by Mail, at a recent the Lunch With the League program sponsored by the Montgomery County League of Women Voters. With this right being so fundamental to our democracy, it is a sad fact that Indiana came out dead last in the nation in eligible voter turnout (28 percent) for the 2014 elections.
    There are a number of reasons that can be identified for this bad showing. In many Indiana counties (fortunately, not here in Montgomery County) access to early voting sites is extremely limited. Add this to the fact that Indiana is one of the few states in which the polls close at 6 p.m. The case can also be made that the voter photo ID requirement imposes unjustified burdens on people who are old, poor or members of minority groups and less likely to have driver’s licenses or other acceptable forms of identification. Even the fact that elections are held on Tuesdays is an issue. In Indiana, unlike most states, employers are not required to give workers time off to vote. Elections need to be made simple and convenient for all of our citizens. That is what voting by mail is all about.
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  • Thursday, March 8, 2018 4:00 AM
    March is National Women’s History Month. International Women’s Day was first observed in 1909, but it wasn’t until 1981 that Congress established National Women’s history week to be commemorated the second week of March. In 1987, Congress expanded the week to a month. Every year since, Congress has passed a resolution for Women’s History Month, and the President has issued a proclamation.
    2018 Women’s History Month Proclamation by the President of the United States:
    “Our history is rich with amazing stories of strong, courageous, and brilliant women. Since America’s founding, women have played an integral part in American innovation and productivity, while simultaneously raising generations of lively children and providing leadership in their local communities.
    Time and time again, women have demonstrated resilience in the face of unprecedented challenges. America’s women have readily tackled the disruptive forces and demands of wartime and embraced the technological and industrial advancements of the past 250 years. We have seen the incredible fortitude of women like Mary Katherine Goddard, who in 1775, served as postmaster of the Baltimore post office and printed the second copy of the then-treasonous Declaration of Independence.
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  • Thursday, March 1, 2018 4:00 AM
    Voting is a sacred right. For nearly 100 years, the League of Women Voters has fought to protect the rights of eligible voters and to expand access for those who have been left out of our democratic process.
    League volunteers spearhead efforts to enact common-sense voting reforms and the LWV is the first to fight back when voters’ rights are threatened. Nationwide, the LWV protects millions of voters every year through aggressive advocacy and education efforts and the League has been in the forefront of major voting rights court cases over the last decade.
    Four priorities have been identified: expanding voter access and voter registration, redistricting, money in politics, and fighting voter suppression.
    First, expand voter access by registering voters and increasing early voting. Locally, the LWV registers many voters each year at Candidate Forums, the County Fair, National Night Out at Milligan Park, Lunch with the League, “Meet the Market Day,” National Voter Registration Day at Wabash College, State of City and County Public Meeting, Public Library on the Martin Luther King Day of Service, 24 hour Voter Registration Marathon at Masonic Temple, and LWV Booths at public events such as Harvest Hoopla and the Chamber of Commerce Expo.
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  • Thursday, February 22, 2018 4:00 AM
    GOVERNMENT DIRECTORY: 2018 Crawfordsville and Montgomery County, Indiana published by the League of Women Voters, is a 29 page booklet with a wealth of information on federal, state, and local governmental elected and appointed officials including expiration date of each term.
    A strong democracy depends on the informed and active participation of its citizens. The LWV of Montgomery County is grateful for the nearly 400 elected and appointed citizens who give of their time and talent to serve on 95 local boards, commissions, councils, or precincts.
    Contact information is included for the President of the United States, Indiana’s two United States Senators and Congressman from the 4th District.
    Indiana state officials posted are the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer, Attorney General, and Superintendent of Public Instruction as well as State Senator District for District 23 and House Representatives for Districts 13 and 41. Public Access Counselor is included as well as Indiana Code for the Open Door Law.
    Montgomery County elected judicial officials are judges of Circuit Court, Superior Court 1, and Superior Court. Appointed judicial officials in the Directory are Probation Chief, Prosecutor, Deputy Prosecutors, Child Support Prosecutor, and IVD Administrator.
    Montgomery County elected officials included are: Board of County Commissioners, County Council, Assessor, Auditor, Clerk of the Courts, Coroner, Recorder, Sheriff, Surveyor, and Treasurer.
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  • Thursday, February 15, 2018 4:00 AM
    “I’m tired of people attacking each other behind computer screens and phones.” This is how Deborah Kochert explained her frustration with divisiveness in our community. So she took some action. She wanted to see if there was a way she could make Montgomery County a kinder place. So she called a few friends in November of 2016 and these calls grew into Humans United for Equality (HUE), a grass roots group dedicated to individuals who believe that diversity and equality make our community stronger and our lives richer.
    In a recent “Lunch With the League” program, Deborah showed how we can work together to promote good will and understanding between each other—and have fun doing it. The founders of HUE asked themselves what they could do to show both children and adults that our differences are integral to the vibrancy of our community and that we should all be supporting the diversity that makes life so rich. So they decided to participate in Downtown Party Night, the annual November festival in Crawfordsville.
    Many know Deborah Kochert through the years of wonderful work she has done as owner of Dance by Deborah in downtown Crawfordsville. She is passionate about dance and she sees dance as an integral way to build confidence and a sense of accomplishment in her real passion—children.
    For Downtown Party Night, craft stations were set up in Deborah’s dance studio where kids made Friendship Pins. The inscription on the pins is a perfect example of the message HUE is promoting: “I am your friend. I will not treat you differently because of where you were born, the color of your skin, how your hair feels, how much money you have, what your religious beliefs are or are not, who you love, what you wear, how you learn, what you cannot do, because I respect everyone. I will include everyone and I will speak up when I see something unfair. I am your friend.” The idea is for the kids to share the pins with each other. You should try this activity as well as the many other activities that HUE has sponsored which are free. HUE does not want to put any economic barriers between their mission and the ability for anyone to participate.
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  • Thursday, February 8, 2018 4:00 AM
    The European delegates from the International Visitor Leadership Program to learn about current United States Social, Political and Economic Issues departed from Indianapolis Tuesday after a four day visit to Indiana.
    Prior to coming to Indiana, this group had been part of the larger group of 15 young European leaders who started their tour in Washington, D.C. with a second stop then in San Diego, California. Following the California visit, they were split into three groups to visit Midwestern cities with five travelling to Indianapolis last Thursday evening.
    Friday morning under the leadership of Hannah Day of the International Center in Indianapolis, the five travelling to Crawfordsville were: Josip Bilaver-Croatia, Johannes Peter Holmgaard Henriksen-Denmark, Nikola Pesic-Montenegro, Michal Kajetan Sznajder-Poland, and Leah Kreitzman-United Kingdom.
    Mayor Todd Barton greeted the delegation in the Conference Room of the City Building and presented an excellent overview of the history, current political, social and economic issues facing our community, noted the recently revived Human Rights Commission, and answered many questions asked by the participants.
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  • Thursday, February 1, 2018 4:00 AM
    In 2016-2018, the League of Women Voters of the United States has emphasized a Campaign for “Making Democracy Work” with Leagues throughout the country working on: Voting Rights, Improving Elections, Campaign Finance/Money in Politics, and Redistricting. The Campaign for Making Democracy Work includes ensuring a free, fair and accessible electoral system for all eligible voters.
    Voting Rights--LWVUS continues its core work to expand voting rights by advocating for proactive reforms as expanding early voting and online voter registration, ensuring existing pro-voter laws are being followed and challenging all efforts that limit the ability of voters to exercise this basic right. LWVUS and state Leagues are actively opposing voter photo ID laws, advocating against barriers to the voter registration process, working to prevent last-minute Election Day obstacles and helping millions of voters get the information and any required documentation they need to vote.
    Improving Elections---At all levels, the League of Women Voters is working to modernize our voting systems and make it easier for all eligible voters to become active participants in our electoral process. In efforts to improve the voting experience, the League works to establish permanent and portable voter registration, expand early voting, improve polling place management, expand online voter registration and implement electronic streamlining. In Montgomery County, the League was an active supporter of moving to Vote Centers rather than 27 separate precincts . This allows residents ability to vote in any of the Vote Centers most convenient on Election Day. The League also works to ensure compliance with laws like the Voter Rights Act (VRA) and the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). The LWV of Indiana is among others going to court to get Indiana to comply with NVRA.
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  • Thursday, January 25, 2018 4:00 AM
    State Legislative Redistricting in Indiana took an important step forward Tuesday morning when the Senate Elections Committee, chaired by Republican Senator Greg Walker, voted unanimously in support of SB 326 to create a set of redistricting standards. The bill will now move to the full Senate. The Committee met in the Senate Chambers with a crowd of more than 200 from all parts of Indiana in the balcony.
    Redistricting has been a top priority of the League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to supporting democracy, voter rights and voter projection. The LWV has co-sponsored with Common Cause Indiana a coalition for independent redistricting which has been educating and advocating for redistricting reform.
    The current redistricting process leads to uncompetitive districts, and no competition leads to low voter turnout. In 2014, 54 of the Indiana General races were unopposed in the general election. Indiana had the lowest voter turnout (28%) in America and the worst turnout in 72 years.
    When legislative districts are drawn from a partisan perspective rather than based on communities of interest, like cities and counties, school districts, neighborhoods and minority groups, communities are often divided. Guidelines for the redistricting process lay the groundwork necessary to inform how maps should be drawn.
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  • Thursday, January 18, 2018 4:00 AM
    Important elections will occur in 2018. Hoosiers will elect one member to the U.S. Senate, nine members to United State Congress, 25 of 50 state Senate seats, and 100 state House seats. Locally Montgomery County voters will be electing County Commissioner District 2, County Council Districts 1,2,3,4, County Prosecuting Attorney, Assessor, Auditor, Treasurer, and Sheriff. Crawfordsville voters will be electing Crawfordsville Mayor, Clerk-Treasurer, & seven members of Common Council.
    Voting brings Americans together—it is the one time all are equal. But in order to vote, one must be registered. Are you REGISTERED to Vote? Is everyone in your family registered? What about your neighbors, co-workers, and friends?
    The LWV of Greater Lafayette held a Workshop January 14 on Voter Registration for interested citizens and organizations from a number of counties to help educate all on legal requirements, understanding the registration form, and identifying problems that can arise.
    Requirements to register in Indiana are that the individual: be a United States citizen, be18 years old by day of General Election--November 6, 2018, a resident of the state of Indiana for at least 30 days before the election, and not currently in prison after conviction of a crime. Students who will turn 18 before November 6 can vote in the May Primary!
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  • Thursday, January 11, 2018 4:00 AM
    “In this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” This well-known quote from Benjamin Franklin set the tone for a compelling and poignant presentation at a recent League of Women Voters “Lunch With the League” presentation by Cheryl Furhmann, facilitator with Dawn to Dusk Bereavement Services.
    We all have to deal with the grief in one form or another when anyone close to us dies. Grief is a very normal and expected response to the loss of someone and we need to know that there is no right way or wrong way to grieve. Each of us is unique as is the way we deal with death, yet most people share common experiences. As Cheryl put is, grief has many faces: sadness, anger, fear, fatigue, headaches, lack of focus, not feeling ourselves and so on. Grief can make us literally sick, yet it is not a diagnosed illness. Medicare, Medicaid or most insurance policies do not cover it. We’re more often than not left to deal with it ourselves. That’s why Dawn to Dusk Bereavement Services is such a valuable resource in our community.
    Cheryl is a Certified Thanatologist, a person who studies death and the psychological and social aspects of the grieving process. She explained how grief is much more than an emotional response. It can stress us both mentally and physically. It will often strain relationships, alter behavior and cause financial hardship. The old adage “time heals all wounds” simply does not apply. As Cheryl put it, time only masks the real source of our pain. We might manage to delay or repress it until is appears in some other form but it will never disappear. Only by facing it will we ever be able to feel better.
    As mentioned before, each of us is unique in the way we cope with grief. Many of you have heard of the Kübler-Ross 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Cheryl brought up that Kübler-Ross somewhat regrets the term “stages” and the linearity often implied in terms of her research. All or more of the emotions she describes can affect people and in no particular order. The important thing to keep in mind is to know when you should seek help.
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