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LWVBC December 2022 Newsletter

Published on 1/4/2023


The Brown County Voter

December 2022

The League of Women Voters of Brown County is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government.

The League works to increase understanding of major public policy issues through education and advocacy. Membership is open to all regardless of gender.

We never support or oppose any political party or candidate.

Educate • Advocate • Empower • Reform

Just a Note

By Shari Frank, LWVBC President

Happy Holidays to all.

“Happy holidays” is meant to be inclusive and respectful.I don’t know what holiday(s) everyone celebrates, and I don’t want to cause discomfort or offense to someone by saying the wrong holiday or forcing my traditions on them.A friend who is a teacher works to be inclusive of all her students.She had all her students tell a little bit about what they celebrate.She was surprised by the variety of responses, including Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and a Wiccan celebration of the winter solstice.It’s a reminder to us all.We shouldn’t assume others celebrate the same thing we do.“Happy Holidays” is a simple greeting to include everyone.See the December Diversity Calendar in this newsletter for more on the variety of celebrations.Let’s all consider what we can do to help the holidays be more inclusive this year.

We hope you can take some time for self-renewal, to be with family or friends or just get some “me” time – whatever gives you peace and strength.

For me, enjoying nature and the “one-ness” of our woods is rejuvenating.Frost flowers are a special treat this time of year.They can only be found on certain plants, only when the conditions are perfect, and they disappear fairly quickly.So, when I am lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time to enjoy these beautiful phenoms of nature, it renews me and my faith in the world!(To learn more, here’s an interesting article.)

Thanks to all of you LWVBC members and interested folks on this newsletter list.We appreciate you and wish you Happy Holidays and a very Happy New Year.

Frost Flower December 2022
Frost flower, Yellowwood Forest. Photo courtesy of Shari Frank


LWVBC Board Activity

Notes from the December 12 LWVBC meeting:

  • The minutes of the November 14, 2022, meeting were passed.
  • “Growing Resiliency:”LWVBC member Melissa Rittenhouse gave a presentation to the group about the recent PACES grant awarded to Brown County. Please see the article in this newsletter for more information.
  • The Board agreed that Melissa Rittenhouse will assume the board position left vacant by Janet Kramer’s passing. Melissa previously served as a board member until resigning her seat to run for political office in Brown County. The Board members welcome Melissa’s experience and thank her for her willingness to return to the Board.
  • Essay Contest Update:Cathy Rountree provided an update to the board about the progress of the next essay contest, which has been named for Janet Kramer. Please see the article in this newsletter for more details.
  • DEI Committee Report:Committee chair Sunny Leerkamp told the group the next committee meeting will be held Monday, December 19, 7pm via Zoom. If interested in attending, email Sunny at
  • League Day:Several LWVBC board members are planning to attend League Day on Wednesday, January 25, in Indianapolis. If any League members are interested in joining the local group, please contact LWVBC President Shari Frank at
  • LWVIN Convention:Shari Frank reminded the group of next year’s LWVIN Convention, set for June 9-10 at Clifty Falls State Park. If interested in attending, more information is available on the LWVIN website.
  • Health Committee Report: Please see co-Chair Cathy Rountree’s report later in this newsletter.
  • Membership Committee Report:Co-Chairs Pam Raider and Laurie Teal reported two new members signed up at the December 10 open house.  And a former member renewed her membership earlier this month. As of this meeting, the League has 35 primary members and 6 additional members (spouses) for a total of 41. We welcomeLinda Lawson, Jane Mitchell, and Rosemary Saurer to the League!
  • Wellness & Heritage Tourism Report: Ruth Reichmann reported Brown County State Park officials are determining the site for a Kin Hubbard memorial marker.
  • Voter Service Committee: Acting chair Shari Frank told group she feels further outreach to the community is necessary going forward to provide voting information to all in Brown County.

The next LWVBC meeting is scheduled for Monday, January 9, 2023, 6:30 pm via Zoom.


Thank You to All LWVBC Members and Volunteers!

An especial thank you to the volunteers who helped with Candidate forums, Legislative Updates, Vote411, Tabling, Essay Contest, Annual Meeting, Member Open Houses, serving as board members, officers, committee members, and more:

Courtney Atak                           Trent Austin                 
Carol Birkemeier                       Laura Blackthorn

Shari Frank                               Cate Hart Hyatt              Janet Kramer                            Joanne Himebaugh       

Sunny Leerkamp                       Emily Lewellen               Taylor Lucas                              Maddison Miller           

Amy Oliver                                Pam Raider                    Ruth Reichmann                       Melissa Rittenhouse      

Cathy Rountree                         Rita Simon                     Gavin Steele                             Rick Stringfellow

Jan Swigert                               Marcia Taylor                Laurie Teal                                Bill Todd

…And six anonymous Essay Contest Judges

And thank you to Tracy Heaton de Martinez, our state League Liaison, for her ongoing support and enthusiasm.

Total volunteer hours: over 780 hours in 2022 were spent on League activitiesfocusing on Making Democracy Work, Environmental Issues, Health Care/Reproductive rights, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and more.


LWVBC Annual Dashboard for 2022

Here is a rundown of the projects LWVBC worked on during 2022:

  • 8 Virtual Candidate and Referendum Forums
  • 14 Letters to the Editor
  • Voter Guides to provide deadlines and voting information for both the primary and general elections
  • Developed Candidate questions for Vote411 and Keys to the Candidates
  • Vote411 Information on Candidate positions on issues
  • 4 Legislative Updates with current lawmakers sharing status of proposed legislation
  • Monthly Newsletters reaching 250 people 
  • Website updates on voting, legislative issues
  • Middle and High School Essay Contest
  • Tabling at events including Child Abuse Prevention Family Fest, County Fair, Nashville Farmers Market 
  • Observation of Elections and Processes
  • Email alerts on pending legislation throughout the Indiana State legislature
  •  Presentation to high school seniors on voting

LWVBC partnered on activities with:

  • Brown County Chamber of Commerce
  • Friends of Lake Monroe
  • LWV Bloomington-Monroe County
  • LWV South Central Indiana
  •  Brown County Democrat Newspaper

LWVBC developed valuable collaborations:

  • Became a member of Health Access and Privacy Advocates (HAPA), an Indiana group whose mission is to “strengthen reproductive health and secure access for reproductive health services while protecting the rights and privacy of individuals”
  • LWVIN State Membership Committee
  • LWVIN and LWV-BMC Redistricting Committees
  •  Health Committee meetings with “Medicare for All” group


“Growing Resiliency” Focus of New Grant Program in Brown County

Submitted by LWVBC Board Member and PACEs Family Support Specialist Melissa Rittenhouse

The Brown County PACEs Initiative will increase community awareness of whyPositive andAdverse Childhood Experiences(PACEs)have so much impact in people's lives and what we all can do to dramatically improve the health and resilience of this and future generations.  We will provide training and workshops, seeking to engage at least 500 Brown County residents. The grant funding will also increase access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment for Brown County residents, including individuals currently incarcerated. We aim to provide at least 5,000 direct services to county residents irrespective of their financial status. 

The PACEs Initiative is made possible by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) Community Catalyst Grant developed through the Brown County Recovery and Wellness Coalition (BCRAWC) and awarded to Centerstone. This grant will allow PACEs to focus on children who have experienced adversity, and on adults who are at risk of, currently experiencing, or have experienced incarceration.

Services offered may include life skills training, mentoring, case management, connecting to partners in the community to meet needs, and increasing access to services for those who are incarcerated.

What are ACEs?The Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) study findings represent a paradigm shift in understanding of the origins of physical, social, mental, and societal health and well-being. We now know that leading causes of disease and disability, learning and productivity problems, and early death have their roots in the cumulative neurodevelopmental impacts of ACEs.Source: ACE Interface

Changes We Hope to See: 

•Increased community understandingof the root causes of struggles- mental health, substance use, incarceration, poverty, and ACEs

•Increased understandingof building resiliency through community resources, trauma-informed care, caring connections, DEI

•Increased community care + capital

•Increased collaboration among systems

•Increased belonging in Brown County

•Reduced ACEs, effects of ACES, system issues, and systems contacts

Please help us spread the word about the PACEs Initiative. Dr. Sandy Washburn, PACEs Community Coordinator, is available to lead educational or 812-345-2596.

For services referrals, contact Amanda Kinnaird, Grant Manger, at Centerstone: or 812-318-3845.


Diversity is a Fact Quote


LWVBC Announces Third Annual Essay Contest

Submitted by LWVBC Board Member Cathy Rountree

The League of Women Voters believes that we should all be informed citizens.  For the third year in a row, the LWVBC is sponsoring an essay contest for Brown County Middle and High School students.  This contest is being offered as an opportunity to think about the issue of voting in our democracy, then through the process of writing an essay develop and explain a position on the topic.  This year and going forward, the contest will be titled The Janet Kramer Essay Contest.  

Janet Kramer was a charter member of the Brown County League of Women Voters, founded May 25, 1971. Janet exemplified the spirit of the League of Women Voters in her dedication to community service and her work to strengthen democracy.

The Essay Contest is open to Brown County students grades 6-8 and grades 9-12. Students in public, private, and home schools are encouraged to participate. Cash prizes will be awarded to the first, second, and third place winners. Essay entries must be received by midnight Thursday March 30, 2023.

The essay contest prompt is for grades 6-8 is:

“George Washington was right – political parties are bad for representative government.” 

Agree or disagree, and defend your argument with reference to American political history, and what we know about how political parties affect political outcomes.

The essay contest prompt for grades 9-12 is:

Voting should be made mandatory, like jury duty, so that every eligible person participates.” 

Agree or disagree, and defend your argument with reference to American political history, what we know about who votes and why.

Cash prizes will be awarded in each grade category: 

$250 for first place

$150 for second place

$75 for third place

To access an essay packet with more information and rules, visit the LWVBC website or email the League at


December 2022 Diversity Calendar


December 1: World AIDS Day: This day helps raise awareness for HIV/AIDs. 

December 3: International Day of Persons with Disabilities: All people, regardless of ability, deserve to be treated with dignity and given rights. 

December 10: International Human Rights Day (United Nations): The UN established International Human Rights Day in 1948 following World War II. 

December 16 to December 24: Las Posadas: The religious festival of Las Posadas is primarily celebrated in Latin American countries, Mexico, and Spain. Some Hispanics in the United States also celebrate this festival. 

December 18 to December 26: Hanukkah: This is an 8-day, 8-night celebration in the Jewish faith.

December 21: Winter Solstice/Yule: The Winter Solstice is known as Yule to those practicing the Pagan and Wiccan faiths. 

December 25: Christmas: This is one of the most important Christian holidays that celebrates the birth of Jesus. 

December 26: Kwanzaa: 

Kwanzaa is an 8-day celebration of life that is inspired by the African harvest celebrations.


LWVBC December Open House A Success

Our second member and friends open house of 2022 was held Saturday, December 10. We enjoyed great food, good conversation, and welcomed two new members to our League! Membership committee co-chairs Pam Raider and Laurie Teal are planning more get-togethers in 2023. If interested in helping us plan these events, contact Pam ( or Laurie (

R Perry, J Swigert Dec 2022

League members Rachel Perry and Jan Swigert.

Photo courtesy of Laurie Teal

R Sauer and P Raider December 2022

New League member Rosemary Saurer and LWVBC Secretary Pam Raider.

Photo courtesy of Laurie Teal

Dec 10 Open House Group

From left: new League member Jane Mitchell, Cathy Rountree, Shari Frank, Amy Oliver.

Photo courtesy of Laurie Teal


LWVBC Health Committee Report

Submitted by Cathy Rountree, LWVBC Board Member and Health Committee Co-Chair

What's next with Women's Health? The next meeting of HAPA (Health Access and Privacy Advocates) which includes LWVIN women’s health advocates is Jan. 20, 2023.

What to follow/advocate for in the 2023 Legislative session? Women’s Health issues will be guided by the HAPA group.Indiana’s high medical costs and hospital profits have been state-wide issues.The effect of ending the national public health emergency that was declared during Covid.

Key points:

  • One-third of Indiana residents are now receiving some form of Medicaid-funded health care.
  • During the public health emergency, fees and other administrative requirements for Medicaid coverage have been waived.  
  • When the Federal public health emergency is ended, Indiana will require all Medicaid recipients to re-enroll in their programs.  Confusion over this process, as well as the penalties that people who miss their fee payments face, will likely result in many people losing access to healthcare in Indiana.

    For more information, refer to the WFHB Prescription for Healthcare podcast.  

    Educational Program on the Concurrenceadopted at the annual League Convention of 2022 updating the LWVUS national healthcare position.

  • Health Committee has received approval from LWVBC Board and State Co-presidents to go ahead with program.  Karen Green-Stone, a member of the Health Committee, is working with LWV Bloomington-Monroe County.
  • Save the Date:The LWV Health Care forum will be held via Zoom on Monday, Feb. 20 at 7- 7:30. The Zoom link will be provided closer to the forum date.
  • Program details: Zoom Program 1.5 hours.  Three Speakers: Barbara Pearson from HCR4US (Health Care Reform for the U.S.) group to explain concurrence; Dr. Rob Stone of PHNP (Physicians for a National Health Plan) to discuss Single-Payer model; Joey Ballard, a Medical Student from the Student branch of PNHP, to discuss recent developments in Indiana.
  • Further planning once dates and finalized.  Karen and Cathy will stay in touch with committee and the Bloomington-Monroe County and Brown County Leagues.


If You Have a Few Extra Donation Dollars to Spend This Year…

Please consider a donation to the Dorothy Stewart Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship, managed by the Brown County Community Foundation (BCCF), was established by LWVBC to honor Dorothy Stewart, a founding member of our local league.


Dorothy Cagle Stewart was an active person with many interests, including a love for other cultures as well as nature.  An avid gardener, she cultivated both flowers and vegetables, and adopted strays tame and wild.  She worked in such mediums as drawing, painting, and quilting and loved cooking - especially ethnic dishes.  Later in life she also took a course in wood working.  She was also a lifelong student who received her master’s degree as an adult and was working on her Doctorate in Education at the time of her death.


LWVBC Secretary Pam Raider wrote a biography of Dorothy a few years ago. You can read Pam's words and learn more about Dorothy’s legacy of giving back to the community.


The purpose of the scholarship isto encourage interest in public or environmental affairs by providing an annual scholarship to any college or university accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges to a graduate of Brown County High School or Brown County resident who has earned a G.E.D. and exhibited an exceptional level of citizenship, community involvement and stewardship.


LWVBC is proud to help high school graduates with scholarship dollars to help them with their first year of secondary study. Your contribution will help by increasing the scholarship amount for a deserving student. To make an online donation,visit the BCCF website.


Other options for donation to benefit LWVBC include:

  • Donate to the LWV Brown County Education Fund, a tax deductible 501(c )(3) entity which can only be used for educational purposes such as the annual LWVBC Janet Kramer Essay contest, school or student activities such as We the People, the History Contest, or similar educational endeavors.  You can send a check payable to LWVIN with a  memo (LWVBC Education fund) and mail to LWVBC at PO Box 74, Nashville, IN, 47448.


  • Donate to the LWVBC general fund by sending a check or using a credit card to donate on the LWVBC website:  Your donation will support ongoing activities including supporting student activities, outreach, Vote411 and operating expenses. Thank you!


Suggested Books for Your Reading Pleasure

From LWVBC Secretary Pam RaiderThe Hidden History of the War on Voting: Who Stole Your Vote and How to Get it Backby Thom Hartmann. "Hartmann's history of voter suppression in America is necessary information given current news about voter registration purges and redistricting...a particularly timely topic for an election year, and anyone who is seriously concerned about the survival of American democracy will want to read this book and apply its lessons."--Booklist

From LWVBC Board Member Melissa Rittenhouse: The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. “In The Body Keeps the Score, (van der Kolk) uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. He explores innovative treatments—from neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga—that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity.”

From LWVBC Treasurer Laurie TealTecumseh and the Prophet: The Heroic Struggle for America’s Heartland by Peter Cozzens. “The first biography of the great Shawnee leader to make clear that his misunderstood younger brother, Tenskwatawa, was an equal partner in the last great pan-Indian alliance against the United States.”


Updates from LWVIN

Source: December LWVIN Voter email 12/15/2022

Important Upcoming Dates:

  • Indiana Legislature Reconvenes on January 9, 1:30 pm

  • State of the Judiciary Address to the General Assembly on January 11, 2 pm

  • Indiana Supreme Court Hears First ACLU Abortion Case on January 19
    (this trial has not yet been posted to the Courts docket)

Since the Indiana Legislature reconvenes soon, click here for a reminder of how a bill becomes law.


Updates from LWVUS


“Last week, hundreds of League members from dozens of states and the District of Columbia stood together in community in front of the Supreme Court as justices heard oral arguments for
Moore v. Harper.Moore v. Harper is a case that originated from the North Carolina legislature around redistricting but could have implications for every state. It revolves around the independent state legislature theory (ISLT), a fringe theory that could alter democratic checks and balances and grant state legislatures nearly unrestricted authority to run federal elections. The League has been a leading voice in conversations around this case and its implications on voters and our elections. AlthoughMoore v. Harperwill not be decided well into spring 2023, our work is far from done.


“Virginia Kase Solomón, CEO of the League of Women Voters of the United States, talks about the potential impact ofMoore v. Harperon our elections. 


Watch the clip:  Supreme Court hears case to determine who controls elections

ISLT Graphic


Here’s How to Contact Your State and Federal Legislators

New representatives from the 2022 Midterm elections will be in place soon.Changes for Brown County include:

  • Our Indiana State Representative.Formerly in District 65, Brown County is redistricted into District 62 which now includes portions of Monroe County and Jackson County.Out of 25,940 votes, Dave Hall earned 40 more votes than Penny Githens and was declared the winner.Indiana has no policy to trigger an automatic recount; it is up to the candidate to request a recount.With a difference of one and a half TENTHS of a percent difference, Penny Githens’ campaign requested a recount.The recount was conducted in all three counties and the results will be reviewed by the State Election Division on December 20.

  • Brown County’s new 9thUS Congressional district representative is Erin Houchin, who won with 63.6% of the vote. Contact information for Erin Houchin and the winner of the District 65 recount will be provided in next month’s newsletter.

  • All Indiana Federal, State, and local election results may be viewed online:

State Senator Eric Koch 


Phone: 800-382-9467 or 317-232-9400
Address: Indiana State Senate, 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis IN 46204 


U.S. Senator Mike Braun 

Phone: 202-224-4814

Address: 374 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 


U.S. Senator Todd Young 

Phone: 202-224-5623

Address: 185 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 


Governor Eric Holcomb 


Phone: 317-232-4567
Address: Office of the Governor, Statehouse, Indianapolis IN 46204-2797 


Making Democracy Work

Grassroots Leadership since 1920

Educate • Advocate • Empower • Reform

We cordially invite you to join us.

We encourage you to learn more about the League by attending our meetings and other events, 

including legislator forums and Meet the Candidates. 

Membership is not required to attend these meetings and events.


Annual Membership Dues*:

$50/Individual         $85/Couple              $20/Friend of the League (non-voting)

Your dues include membership in the national, state, and local leagues.

*Membership Scholarships available. Email us for more information:

To join or to send a donation, mail your check payable to LWVBC, PO Box 74, Nashville IN 47448

Please include your name, address, phone, and email

Visit our website:


Government Meetings

PLEASE NOTE:Meetings may be in person and/or virtual.

See links below to check days/times.


Brown County Election Board:

First Tuesdays of the month, 2 pm, Salmon Room

• January 3, 2023,2:00 pm(check for possible changes)

• February 7, 2023,2:00 pm(check for possible changes)


Brown County Commissioners:

First and Third Wednesdays, 2 pm, Salmon Room (check website for zoom link)

• December 21, 2:00 pm(check for possible changes)

• January 4, 2:00 pm(check for possible changes)


Brown County Council:

ThirdMondayof the month, 6:30 pm, Salmon Room

• December 19, 6:30 pm(check for possible changes)

• January 16, 6:30 pm(check for possible changes)


Brown County Health Board:

Bi-monthly, third Tuesday, 5 pm

• January 17, 2023,5:00 pm(check for possible changes)


Nashville Town Council:

Third Thursday of the month, 6:30 pm

• January 19, 6:30 pm(check for possible changes)


Note: for all government and advisory board meetings and to verify times, please check the Brown County government calendar:

or the Brown County


LWVBC Meetings

LWVBC meetings are held the

second Monday of each month


January 9, 2023, 6:30 pm (via Zoom)

February 13, 6:30 pm (via Zoom)


League Members, Friends,

and the public are welcome


To participate in the meeting, contact League President Shari Frankatbrowncountylwv@gmail.comto receive the zoom link.


THE BROWN COUNTY VOTER is published monthly. The editor is Laurie Teal. Please send your articles and/or suggestions to LWVBC at