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LWVBC Newsletter January 2023

Laurie Teal | Published on 2/7/2023


The Brown County Voter

January 2023 


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 2023 to all!  

I’m not particularly good at New Year’s resolutions, but I just read a mom blogger post that provoked some good resolutions to consider (  It started with a quote by author Morgan Matson: 

A thousand moments that I had just taken for granted – 

mostly because I had assumed that there would be a thousand more.”

The post reminds us that we should appreciate the time we have, the time with loved ones, fun moments, good times.  The writing went deeper though, to remind us that some things we take for granted, others may never have.  It’s about recognizing our privilege.  So, when I feel grumpy about doing laundry or dishes, those thoughts are quickly replaced with a knowledge of my privilege when I think of migrants fleeing for months who have no food, let alone dishes; or the homeless with no change of clothes or place to shower; and the fragility of many people whose life can be thrust into poverty with one catastrophic event beyond their control. Extend this awareness of our privilege to so many aspects of daily life, and my new year’s resolutions become a commitment to understand and to work to share my privileges with others. 

To me, that is what LWV is about.  Applying this lens to our work educating ourselves and sharing this education with each other and the community so we can work toward equity to create a better world.  

And, much of the framework that determines equity comes from law and policy.  The 2023 legislative session has begun.  Our state legislators are busy at work.  The first 4 months of this year will determine what gets put in Indiana’s budget, and what laws are passed that affect our daily lives and impact the equity of who can share in privileges.  

Governor Holcomb has proposed budget priorities to improve Hoosier health, education and much more. Legislators have already proposed numerous bills regarding education, the environment, infrastructure (wastewater, nuclear power), taxes, criminal justice, and so much more. 

Please join us to learn more about what the 2023 legislative session will bring.  Sign up for virtual town hall sessions with our representatives starting Saturday January 21, 9:30 am to 11:00 am.  See details in this newsletter regarding “Four Legislative Updates Planned” or go to the LWVBC website to register for the meetings. 

LWVBC Board Activity

Notes from the January 9 LWVBC meeting:

  • The minutes of the December 12, 2022, meeting were passed.
  • Legislative Updates: LWVBC President Shari Frank discussed the four upcoming legislative update sessions being planned in cooperation with the Bloomington League as well as the Bloomington and Brown County Chambers of Commerce. Please see the article later in this newsletter.
  • DEI: Please refer to the DEI Committee article later in this newsletter.
  • Health Committee: Please refer to the Health Committee article later in this newsletter.
  • The next LWVBC meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 13, 2023, 6:30 pm via Zoom.

Four Legislative Updates Planned During General Assembly

Four upcoming 2023 nonpartisan legislative updates have been planned, co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters Brown County, League of Women Voters Bloomington-Monroe County, Brown County Chamber of Commerce, and the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce.

At the updates, state legislators will be asked to provide introductory remarks on their priorities for the current session of the Indiana General Assembly.  Each legislator will have 10 minutes for these opening statements. Then audience questions are posed, rotating the order of legislator responses. These updates are intended to be informative, not debates.

Please join the conversation. All state legislators who represent a portion of Brown County and Monroe County are invited, including:

  • Indiana State Representatives: 
  • D46, Bob Heaton
  • D60, Peggy Mayfield
  • D61, Matt Pierce
  • D62, Dave Hall
  • Indiana State Senators: 
  • D44, Eric Koch
  • D40, Shelli Yoder

Please register online for each virtual event:

January 21 Update, 9:30 AM Zoom Meeting

February 11 Update, 9:30 AM Zoom Meeting

March 11 Update, 9:30 AM Zoom Meeting 

April 8 Update, 9:30 AM Zoom Meeting

Proposed Bills Need Your Support

Source: Common Cause Indiana


“Creating a Citizens Redistricting Commission:HB1131, sponsored by Rep. Carey Hamilton (D-Indianapolis) would create a citizens redistricting commission for congressional and state legislative redistricting. This bill was first introduced in the Senate in 2018 and was written with substantial input from Common Cause Indiana and the All IN for Democracy coalition (which includes the League of Women Voters Indiana).


“Eliminating Straight Ticket Voting:HB1183, sponsored by Rep. Rita Fleming (D-Jeffersonville) would eliminate straight ticket voting in Indiana. Removing straight ticket voting will help prevent drop-off in nonpartisan races and help encourage voters to take the time to research their candidates. Our state is one of just six states that allows the practice of straight ticket voting – it’s time for Indiana to join the majority of states and get rid of the straight ticket option.


“As Chairman of the House Elections and Apportionment Committee, Rep. Wesco decides which bills his committee will consider. It’s important that he hears from Hoosiers who want a fair redistricting process and who want candidates elected based on more than which party they align with. You can email Rep. Wesco here.”

LWVBC Submits Media Watcher Report on November Election

Submitted by LWVBC President Shari Frank

LWVBC recently submitted to the Brown County Election Board a report of observations made by League members who served as media watchers during the November 2022 general election. That report also provided recommendations to the Election Board to consider implementing ahead of the 2024 election cycle. The full report can be read here.

  • Continue to improve inspector and poll worker training
  • Review the guidelines for checking in voters during early in person voting to seek ways to reduce the wait time
  • Clarify election worker guidelines for voters who go to the wrong precinct to vote
  • Clarify the poll worker requirements for mail in ballot management during early voting and election day, including surrendering mail in ballots to vote in person, or turning in a family members absentee ballot 
  • Provide sample ballots to all candidates on the ballots prior to printing to help catch errors such as name spelling or party affiliation
  • Train inspectors in the process if multiple tape tallies must be printed e.g., with/without public questions  

District 62 Recount Update

Submitted by LWVBC President Shari Frank


The District 62 race for State representative between Dave Hall and Penny Githens was initially decided by a 40 vote margin.  Votes were recounted in the three counties covered by District 62 and Dave Hall was confirmed as winning the race to represent Brown County and portions of Monroe and Jackson Counties. 


The recount uncovered some issues in the election process, though none were significant enough to change the outcome of the race.  These issues will be discussed in next week’s issue of the Brown County Democratnewspaper.  There is also a website that discussed the recount process in detail. 


The State Board of Accounts recount report summarized some Brown County-specific issues, including: “in Brown County, we were unable to locate seventeen (17) ballots in the Van Buren precinct and three (3) ballots in the Washington 1 precinct. However, in that same county, we located ten (10) ballots outside of those precincts not previously reported.”  Other issues included ballots missing one of the two required clerk initials.


The Brown County Election Board will be working with the newly elected County Clerk to address the issues uncovered during the recount via improved training, process, and procedures.  LWVBC looks forward to following this endeavor.


“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

  • Martin Luther King Jr.

Civics Podcast Features 26th Amendment Discussion

Source: LWVBMC January 2023 Newsletter


“For the December Civics Conversations podcast, Kate Cruikshank, political papers specialist for the University Archives at the Herman B Wells Library, talked about the 26th Amendment. The 26th Amendment lowered the voting age from 21 to 18 for all elections, state and federal. Ms. Cruikshank shared that the amendment was created after a long debate about lowering the voting age in response to those men returning from World War II, continuing through the Vietnam War.    


“Drawing from Indiana Senator Birch Bayh's archival papers, Ms. Cruikshank tells how Bayh was instrumental in the passage of the 26th Amendment. According to Ms. Cruikshank, maintaining these political paper archives is one way to show how democracy keeps going.


“Looking ahead to January 2023, we will welcome Dr. Laura Merrifield Wilson, co-director of the Gender Center and Assistant Professor of History and Political Science from the University of Indianapolis. Dr. Wilson will discuss the increasing numbers of women in the Indiana legislature and their impact on upcoming legislation.  For the 2023 schedule, the podcast will address public health, criminal justice, homelessness, climate, and many other issues.”

Frost Book Discusses 26th Amendment

Source: LWVBC January 2023 Newsletter


“In the December podcast, Kate Cruikshank recommended the book Let Us Vote! by Jennifer Frost on the topic of the 26th Amendment. From Amazon: ‘Let Us Vote! tells the story of the multifaceted endeavor to achieve youth voting rights in the United States. Over a thirty-year period starting during World War II, 

Americans, old and young, Democrat and Republican, in politics 

and culture, built a movement for the 26th Amendment to the US Constitution, which lowered the voting age from twenty-one to eighteen in 1971. This was the last time that the United States significantly expanded voting rights.’"

General Assembly Guide Offered by Indiana Chamber

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce offers its 2023 Indiana General Assembly Legislative Directory for purchase. Available as both a mobile app and printed handbook, this guide contains up-to-date contact information for all 150 state legislators. 

2023 directory highlights include the following:

  • Legislator biographies, photos, contact information and office locations
  • Committee assignments
  • Updated seating charts
  • Cross index by county and district number

Extra features with the app range from the ability to “favorite” legislators and committees for quick reference and interaction to downloading legislators into your mobile phone contact list. The mobile app is available now, and the print version is coming soon. 

LWVBC DEI Committee Report

Submitted by DEI Committee Chair Sunny Leerkamp


Happy New Year to my DEI Friends. In lieu of a DEI Committee meeting on Monday, January 16, I am going to encourage all of you to attend the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration in person or by streaming on CATS at 7:00 PM on Monday, the 16th.  There will be a keynote speaker, Rep. Park Cannon, a Georgia State Representative, who is one of two openly queer State lawmakers in the Georgia General Assembly.  There will also be a performance by the Indiana University African American Choral Ensemble, Jacobs School of Music Ballet Department and Fairview World Music.  


If you go to the website for Bloomington, IN - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - the information will pop up, including a link for the CATS streaming service.  


This seems to be an appropriate way to celebrate the memory of Dr. King and our DEI commitment.  It will also provide additional time for us to continue our next read -Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown - a tough book!  


Also, on January 26th, at 11:00 AM I would like to encourage everyone to try to tune in to the LWV Bloomington-Monroe County DEI presentation that will be taking place with a guest speaker on issues surrounding evictions and poverty.  Their DEI group had an interesting discussion recently on the Pulitzer Prize-winning bookEvictedby an Matthew Desmond, who did the first known study of the link between evictions and poverty.  The book is also a good read if you have the chance to pick it up. 


Looking forward to engaging with all of you this year.  Keep me posted if you see something you might believe to be of interest to this group - a book, activity, event,


“People fail to get along because they fear each other;

they fear each other because they don’t know each other;

they don’t know each other because

they have not communicated with each other.”

  • Martin Luther King Jr.

Join Us: Health Care Policy and the League of Women Voters

Submitted by Cathy Rountree, Health Committee Co-Chair

What is the League of Women Voters' position on healthcare?

What do League members need to know to guide advocacy on healthcare issues?

Please join us for a virtual meeting on February 20 to discuss the updated League Healthcare position and its significance, to explain the single payer health care model, and to give an example of health care advocacy in Indiana.  We hope to build connections and alliances throughout Indiana with League members and others interested in health care.

Program detailsZoom Program, 1.5 hours, February 20, 2023, 7:00 pm. You must register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Target Audience:League Members and those interested in health care policy and advocacy.

Speakers include:

  • Barbara Pearson is a member of the League of Women Voters of Amherst, MA and the National LWV networking group Healthcare Reform for the US (HCR4US).  She  will discuss the updated National League's Healthcare position, adopted through Concurrence at the 2022 National League Convention.  
  • Dr. Rob Stone is a physician, a member of the LWV Bloomington-Monroe County, and a member of Physicians for a National Health Plan (PNHP), a National League partner.  Dr. Stone will discuss the single-payer health care model, a key feature of the updated Healthcare position.
  • Joey Ballard is an Indiana LWV member, an Indiana University School of Medicine student, and a member of Students for a National Health Program (SNaHP).  He will discuss SNaHP health care advocacy in Indiana.

News from Bloomington NAACP

Submitted by LWVBC Board Member Cathy Rountree

Indiana University Social Justice Conference on Monday, January 16

This panel discussion introduces a unique partnership between the local NAACP Monroe County chapter, Monroe County Prosecutor's Office, and Indiana University to examine the use of prosecutorial discretion at charging, bail, diversion, plea agreement, and sentencing for traffic and misdemeanor cases. The study, which began in July 2022, will document racial and ethnic disparities across decision-making points, assess diversion policy and practice, and leverage the state prosecutor case management system to provide public-facing data to the community to improve prosecution transparency and accountability. The discussion will inform the community about our goals and our approach to navigating community partnerships.Panelists: Dr. Tri Keah Henry, Dr. Eric Grommon, Prosecutor Erika Oliphant; Co-Panelist: Carmen Diaz, Marshall Allen; Moderator: Maqubè Reese

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Kappa Tau Omega chapterwill be hosting an appreciation luncheon for veterans of color on January 16 from 11:30a-1:30p at Second Baptist Church annex. Email Gloria if you or someone you know would like to attend. (

The City of Bloomington MLK Celebration will take place at the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre on January 16, 6:00 pm. Representative Park Cannon of Georgia will be the special guest speaker. The African American Choral Ensembleand Fairview Elementary students will perform. The NAACP will table at the event. Jim Sims and Jimmie Torey have volunteered to represent us at the table. If one or two more members would like to volunteer, please contact President Reese (


Branch is co-hosting a screening of Summer of Soulin collaboration with the Black Film Center and ArchiveNeal-Marshall Black Culture Center, and IU NAACP on Saturday, January 21, 1:45 pm. Due to limited space, no more tickets are available at this time.  However, a panel discussion afterwards is open virtually to all and will also be available via recording after the event.  To join the live panel discussion, visit this link. The film can be viewed online. 


Black History MonthThe City of Bloomington and the IU Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center will host several events and activities in February. While some events are still being finalized, mark your calendars for the kickoff celebrations in late January:

A Night on the Soul Train at the NMBCC Grand Hall on Friday, January 27, 6:00 pm. Other event information will be posted on the NMBCC website

City of Bloomington Kickoffin the City Hall Chambers on Monday, January 30, 6:00 pm. Visit this website for more event information.

Interview with Branch President Maqubè Reese. Listen to an interview with Branch President Maqubè Reese that aired January 2, 2023, on WFHB Community Radio's Bring it On!  program.


Branch information:



Membership information:

January 2023 Diversity Calendar


January 1: Emancipation Proclamation. On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln declared all individuals held in slavery to be free. This was the start of slaves being freed in the U.S.; however, it wasn’t until June 19, 1865 (now celebrated as Juneteenth) that slavery was ended across the Confederacy.

January 4: Louis Braille’s Birthday. Louis Braille created the popular tactile reading and writing system known as “braille.” The system has stood the test of time, and it has increased accessibility to the visually impaired. 

January 6: Feast of the Epiphany. On the 12th day of Christmas, Christians celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany. They believe this is when the three wise men arrived to visit baby Jesus after following the star. Around the world, countries celebrate this by dressing up like the three wise men and decorating floats.

January 15: Makar Sankranti. This Hindu festival dedicated to Surya, the god of the sun. Hindus celebrate this day by having morning prayer and then engaging in kite competitions. 

January 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In the United States, January 16 is a federal holiday to celebrate one of the best-known American civil rights leaders. 

January 22: Lunar New Year. The Lunar New Year is the beginning of a calendar year whose months are moon cycles. In East Asia and Southeast Asia, the Lunar New Year is a festival that marks this time. You may also hear it called the Chinese New Year in China. This multicultural celebration is celebrated by offering gifts to others in red envelopes, lighting fireworks and firecrackers, and putting up decorations.

January 27: International Day of Commemoration in Memory of Victims of the Holocaust.  The United Nations established this global holiday to remember the approximately 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust. 


“If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

Updates from LWVIN



January 16, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day:Join LWVIN in celebrating the birthday and the life of a legend! We are grateful for Dr. King's wisdom and activism, and we take this opportunity to renew our commitment to racial justice. 

On January 16, 1920,Indiana ratified the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. They were one of the 36 original states to ratify the Amendment.

The State of Indiana overlaid with the purple, white and gold suffrage flag, indicating that it was one of the original 36 states to ratify the 19th Amendment. 

Student-Led Climate Action Rally at the Statehouse

Wednesday,  February 1, 11am – 1 pm ET

The LWVIN is partnering with the statewide youth-led organization Confront the Climate Crisis for this event, in which a bipartisan coalition of youth, advocacy organizations, and legislators will call on the Indiana General Assembly to take common-sense action on climate change.And, you’ll have a chance to meet with your legislators to urge them to support climate legislation!  Read more and RSVP here.

If you’d like a recent previewof what will be happening in the 2023 Indiana General Assembly on the environmental front, check out this article from the Indiana Capital Chronicle,

Five environmental issues to watch for in Indiana's 2023 legislative session.


Did you know thatLWVIN has a Facebook page? You can use this link to access their information.

Updates from LWVUS



“Last week we welcomed the 118th Congressafter a historic delay in electing a Speaker of the House. As we look forward to working with this new Congress, we urge both chambers to work together to put people over politics and prioritize voting rights. Read the statement from our CEO, Virginia Kase Solomón, on” 


On January 10,Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) introduced a DC statehood bill. The League is a proud supporter of this bill.Read the press release.


Here’s How to Contact Your State and Federal Legislators 

State Senator Eric Koch 


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


State Representative District 62 Dave Hall


Email:  (press liaison)
Phone: 317-232-9863
Address: Indiana House of Representatives, 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis IN 46204 


9th Congressional District U.S. Representative Erin Houchin 

Phone: 202-225-5315
Address: 1632 Longworth House Office Building, Washington DC 20515 


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 



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


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

• March 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)


• January 18, 2:00 pm (check for possible changes)

• February 1, 2:00 pm (check for possible changes)

• February 15, 2:00 pm (check for possible changes)


Brown County Council:

Third Monday of the month, 6:30 pm, Salmon Room


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

• February 20, 6:30 pm (check for possible changes)


Brown County Health Board

Bi-monthly, third Tuesday, 5 pm


• March 16, 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)

• February 16, 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 Democrat:



LWVBC meetings are held the 

second Monday of each month


February 13, 6:30 pm (via Zoom)



League Members, Friends, 

and the public are welcome



To participate in the meeting, contact League President Shari Frankat

to receive the zoom link.

The deadline for submission of articles for the February newsletter is 5:00 pm Friday, February 17.


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