Monday Morning News - April 8, 2019

A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO HEAR FROM OUR ENDORSED CANDIDATES! 

At Friday's breakfast, our endorsed candidates were asked to give those in attendance their 3-minute stump speeches, and then to answer two questions about their experience with campaigning. The stump speeches were fun and informative! We have not recreated the speeches here in the interest of space and time, but you know you can find information on them and what they are emphasizing in their races by going to their individual campaign websites. The two questions asked were: 1) What are the top three issues facing women in your districts? and 2) What is the best thing you learned from the endorsement process and the most challenging thing you've encountered in your race?  The candidates and their answers are below, in slightly truncated form...

Sue Sgambelluri (District 2). Question 1: Acknowledging that women are not a single-minded block with universal shared concerns, the need for/concerns about parking; expanded public transportation options; increased affordable and workforce housing for families. Question 2: Best thing learned was help with sifting through and figuring best uses for the tons of helpful advice she's getting; Biggest challenge (other than not being able to slightly relax the personal grooming on the weekends) has been how to address conflicting priorities in District 2, since it has neighborhoods at both extremes of the economic spectrum.

Dorothy Granger (District 2). Question 1: Transportation options, including expanded bus service; good paying jobs; education and information on how our local government works because it doesn't seem to make sense to them. Question 2: Best thing learned was how to frame her campaign; Biggest challenge has been her illness with bronchitis for several weeks and convincing herself (as a person more on the introverted end of the spectrum) to get out and campaign, which she really enjoys once she has gotten started.

Miah Michaelson (District 4). Question 1: Acknowledging that the County, not the City, is in charge of schools but that the City can partner with MCCSC on efforts/programs, supporting our public school system and providing access to a good education for all children; downtown safety; continuing strong support for social services. Question 2: Best thing learned was through the interviews--great questions, feedback, coaching on her stump speech; Biggest challenge has been dealing with the highs of "happy campaign days" and the lows of "sad campaign days" (borrowing those terms from Kate Rosenbarger).  She is learning to push on, following Vi Simpson's advice to "make a plan and a calendar and stick with it".

Jean Capler (At Large) (Penny Githens stood in for Jean who couldn't make the breakfast). Question 1: Helping the homeless; providing living wage jobs; good access to child care for working women; expanded transit options. Question 2: Best thing learned was how to develop a campaign plan and organize a campaign committee; Biggest challenge has been trying to reasonably cover the whole city as an at large candidate, and to balance campaigning with her work, which includes significant travel, as well as service on several volunteer boards.

Kate Rosenbarger (District 1). Question 1: Expanded options for getting around in Bloomington and Monroe County; building a safe community, including emergency phones and additional lighting on the B-Line and lights in dark areas of downtown and neighborhoods; providing living wage jobs. Question 2: Best thing learned has been how fun it is to meet so many people and make new connections, and also a tip she was given to create flashcards with issues that come up and her response on the back so she can be prepared to talk about them; Biggest challenge has been ending conversations, which Penny Githens helped her with ("Well, I've taken up enough of your time, thank you, and please vote for me!")

Isabel Piedmont-Smith (District 5). Question 1: Expanded transit and mobility options; addressing climate change; fixing potholes. Question 2: Best thing learned was how to focus her thoughts on issues and her priorities; Biggest challenge has been getting volunteers when there are so many campaigns and other demands on people's time, and learning not to take things personally.

Thank you to these fabulous and energetic women for putting themselves out there and running such well-organized campaigns. We are proud to be able to offer you help along the way!

OUR ENDORSED CANDIDATE EVENTS:

Thursday, April 11, 2019, 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Sue Sgambelluri For City Council: Idea Forum and Fundraiser
3328 N. Ramble Road Ct. in Blue Ridge
Join your neighbors and meet Sue Sgambelluri, Candidate for Bloomington City Council District 2. Share your ideas, enjoy a lively discussion, and hear more about her priorities for our city. Hosted by Markus & Stephanie Dickinson. 

Friday, April 12, 2019 - 5:30pm-7:00pm
Meet Kate Rosenbarger!
926 W. 4th Street, Bloomington
Come by to meet Kate, learn more about her, share your ideas and concerns, and support her campaign. They’ll have some refreshments to fuel the discussions. Feel free to bring anyone interested in meeting Kate.

CANDIDATE FORUMS:

Saturday, April 13, 2019 3:00pm to 5:00pm
Mayoral, City Clerk, and City Council At-Large Candidate Forum
Lighthouse Community Church located at 850 E. Winslow Rd.
Hosted by the Monroe County Black Democratic Caucus & the Bloomington Black Strategic Alliance
Questions at the forum will focus on issues facing the Black community and the community at-large. Questions: email MCBlackDems@gmail.com

Sunday, April 14, 2019 3:00am to 5:00pm
City Council District Candidate Forum
Lighthouse Community Church located at 850 E. Winslow Rd.
Hosted by the Monroe County Black Democratic Caucus & the Bloomington Black Strategic Alliance
Questions at the forum will focus on issues facing the Black community and the community at-large. Questions: email MCBlackDems@gmail.com

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Special Statement 03/28/19

Democratic Women’s Caucus
Special Statement on the Endorsement of Amanda Barge for Mayor, March 28, 2019

The Democratic Women’s Caucus does not condone sexual harassment in any form and takes all allegations of sexual harassment seriously. While we understand that there is much that we do not know at this time, we are deeply saddened by the recent allegations outlined by the article in the IDS.
The mission of the Caucus is to support progressive, democratic women candidates running for office and we are dedicated to supporting integrity and service in government. The membership of the DWC PAC endorses based on a number of identified criteria: a candidate’s understanding of the duties and obligations of the office for which she is running, her suitability for office, her capacity to run a viable campaign, and the candidate’s alignment with the values and mission of the DWC.
Based on the new information that has arisen since our initial review and membership vote, the Steering Committee of the DWC has made the decision to withdraw the endorsement of Amanda Barge and the Barge for Bloomington campaign and the organization will no longer provide support for her candidacy for Mayor.

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Monday Morning News 03/18/19

We are still looking for a few folks who would like to sit at our tables at the Women’s History Month Lunch on Wednesday… if you’d like to join us please let us know asap at dwcannouncements@gmail.com

We lost a champion of civil rights and women’s rights last week with the passing of Senator Birch Bayh. Many people know that he was the author of two constitutional amendments: the 25th, outlining the orderly transition of power in case of the death of a President or Vice President, and the 26th, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 years.
But Lee Hamilton believes Bayh’s greatest legislative accomplishment was Title IX of the Higher Education Act. Bayh sponsored and co-authored the law prohibiting discrimination in education based on sex.
“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
“It’s only a few words in length, but it was landmark legislation that profoundly changed America,” Hamilton said.
And many people aren’t aware that Birch was also the Senate’s principal sponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment, which would have barred discrimination on the basis of sex. It passed Congress but failed to be ratified by three-fourths of the states.
Birch Bayh was never afraid of strong women…. he met his wife Marvella when she won the national speaking contest in Chicago, becoming the first woman to do so. One of the contestants she bested was Birch himself. They were married for 27 years until her death in 1979…

Overheard at a door while canvassing -- a disparaging comment about the DWC from another canvasser (obviously not a champion of the organization) about how it would support of a candidate JUST because she is a woman.
All PACs have a focus… what would be the point of organizing them if they didn’t? A number of new political PACS have arisen in the area in recent years from the re-energized Ninth District Latino Caucus to the Monroe County Black Democratic Caucus to the latest arrival, the Stonewall Democrats of South Central Indiana, who will have their official roll out this summer. Each groups seeks to augment the voices of their constituent core and to get their candidates elected. If we are all successful in adhering to our missions, and if the voters are truly listening, then we should get a government that reflects it’s citizens.
But there is a major difference between a mission that supports only women candidates and one that supports candidates only because they are women. Several letters to the editor last summer bemoaned the defeat of a popular male candidate and attributed his loss to the nefarious shenanigans of the Democratic Women’s Caucus… but the female candidate in question worked hard to get elected and it’s no secret that half the DWC steering committee was on the male candidate’s campaign committee. The DWC is a diverse group of women (and men) with a diverse set of interests. We would like to think that our membership is more politically aware than average and that we are paying attention.

Which brings us back around to the question of endorsement. The DWC Endorsement Committee is set up to screen candidates who seek endorsement based on a number of identified criteria: do they understand the duties and obligations of the office for which they are running, are there issues that would make an applicant unsuitable for office, are they set up to run a viable campaign for the office in question and finally, do their values reflect the mission of the DWC. Candidates put a lot of work into their applications and many tell us that the process helps them to organize their campaigns and make decisions about planning and strategy. Based on interviews and review of information provided, the committee will then forward their recommendations to the full membership for their consideration and the membership will vote on endorsement for all candidates who have applied.
Not all applicants will be recommended for endorsement by the committee and not all candidates who are recommended for endorsement by the committee will ultimately be endorsed by the membership, and vice versa. A recommendation for endorsement from the committee tells our membership that we think that a candidate meets the criteria that we have established above. What it does not do is make judgements about a candidate’s platform, overall campaign strategy or even make the claim that she is necessarily the best candidate for the office.
Our job as an organization is to give our membership the information they need to make an educated decision about endorsement (and ultimately for the primary and general elections) – by providing them the opportunity to hear candidates speak, providing links to websites, social media, bios, and candidate’s forums and events that will help us understand what they stand for, what their priorities are and whether we think they are the candidate we should support. A work in progress, we hope to provide even more information to you in 2020.

So plan to attend the DWC Special Endorsement Breakfast this coming Friday at 7:30am at the Village Deli. Even if you are not a voting member we hope you’ll find it of value. Look for a special email with full details coming your way tomorrow as well as candidate bios and other information that we will have posted on our website. We will also send out ballots individually to all our voting members so that they can vote even if they can’t make the breakfast – if you are a member and don’t receive one by Wednesday evening, let us know at dwcannouncements@gmail.com and we’ll get it remedied….

 

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Monday Morning News - March 11, 2019

CELEBRATING WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH AND SPRING BREAK!

As we hope you know by now, March is Women's History Month. We were poking around looking for interesting women's history facts and stories for this newsletter when we ran across a fabulous website:

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.

https://womenshistorymonth.gov/about/

Check out this link where you can peruse selected images and curated stories on women in American history from the collections of each of these entities. There are samples from current exhibits and collections, links to audio and video on women's stories and more! Whether you are hanging out at home this week, lounging on a beach, visiting distant family or schussing down snowy hills, find a half hour to page through this amazing resource and tribute to American women. It will be worth your time!

We wish all of you who are on break, or just enjoying the slower pace in Bloomington, a wonderful, restful week before election season kicks into full gear.

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Monday Morning News 03/04/19

Breakfast meeting update!

On this first day of Women's History Month, we heard from 10 (!!) women running for municipal offices. This is such a far cry from the days that precipitated the formation of the DWC, when we found ourselves with NO women on the Bloomington City Council for the first time in years.
Each of the following women spoke, with surrogates filling in as some could not attend the breakfast:

Amanda Barge for Mayor, Nicole Bolden for City Clerk, Kate Rosenbarger and Denise Valkyrie for City Council District 1, Dorothy Granger and Sue Sgambelluri for City Council District 2, Miah Michaelson for City Council District 4, Isabel Piedmont-Smith for City Council District 5, and Jean Capler and Susan Sandberg for City Council At-Large. There was something amazing and inspiring in each of the statements.

This exercise will be repeated at a special breakfast on March 22, Village Deli, 7:30 am. At that time we will also vote on endorsements for this municipal cycle. If you cannot attend, you may vote electronically. More info on that is forthcoming, so watch for it!

The following information is repeated from last week's MMN, just in case you need to review it!!

“The DWC is dedicated to increasing the number of qualified women candidates for public office. The DWC membership may choose to offer formal endorsement to a candidate in some races, but may also choose to support multiple qualified candidates…. As a Political Action Committee (DWC PAC), the DWC is organized for the purpose of raising and spending money to promote its mission and to elect candidates. The DWC aims to foster an atmosphere of collegiality and mutual respect among all candidates, to elevate the level of public political discourse, and to promote informed civic engagement and participation among women more generally. Regardless of their ultimate decision at the ballot box, DWC members are encouraged to support all DWC candidates to become the best candidates they can be and running the best campaign possible.”

Important: you must have paid your dues for 2019 by March 7 in order to vote for Endorsement this spring. If you are unsure as to whether or not you are up to date as a member please email us at dwcannouncements@gmail.com and we will confirm your status for you. You can pay your annual membership dues online using the link at the bottom this news letter - you can also pay your dues by mail using the membership form on our website.

Note: One major change that we have made this year, based on member input and other considerations, is that we will be voting for candidates as individuals and not by race. It has been traditionally difficult when there was more than one qualified candidate in a given race for either of them to achieve the necessary 2/3 votes in order to be endorsed. This has limited the DWC’s ability to support all qualified women running for office and it was felt that this change would resolve that conflict.

As always, the decision as to whether or not a candidate is endorsed by the DWC is made by our membership. In addition to the recommendations presented to the membership by the Endorsement Committee, we encourage all members to become educated voters and to do their own research on all the candidates by checking out their websites, attending meet-and-greets, candidate forums and reading up on or listening to candidates’ interviews, letters, etc. We will try to provide links to candidate’s websites as well as information on events, interviews, forums, etc. via the MMN. All candidates and supporters of the DWC are encouraged to help us in this endeavor by submitting information at dwcannoucements@gmail.com for inclusion.

WOMEN's HISTORY MONTH
After the women candidate speeches, and starting out this month was a feature from Rachel Guglielmo, a Steering Committee member. Rachel suggested that we look into women's history through the eyes of Pauli Murray (1910-1985).

Murray was a Civil Rights activist, lawyer, author and Episcopalian priest. She broke through many, many early barriers for women, and women of color.
When FDR praised an all-white university for its commitment to social issues, Murray, a WPA worker at the time, took exception to his words. She wrote these words, and copied Eleanor, the first lady.

I am a Negro, the most oppressed, misunderstood and most neglected section of your population. You called on Americans to support a liberal philosophy based on democracy. What does this mean for Negro Americans?

Thus began a life-long friendship between these two women. Encouraging you to read more about her, Rachel offers these two books:
The Firebrand and the First Lady, Patricia Bell-Scott
Proud Shoes, Pauli Murray
and for a shorter article:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/04/17/the-many-lives-of-pauli-murray

If you have a favorite woman in history, please think about sharing that story at our March 22nd meeting while ballots for endorsement are being counted! Contact regina.moore@gmail.com.

 

Some other upcoming DWC Events that should be on your radar:
Look for our annual Karaoke Fundraiser coming up at the end of March or in early April - we hope to have the details for you very soon.

In addition, the DWC will have a display table at the Women’s History Month Lunch on March 20 and we plan to reserve at least one table for members and their friends to sit at at the Lunch…. if you’d like to sit with other DWC members please let us know asap…. see details in the Announcements section.


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Monday Morning News 02/25/19

It may be hard to believe but another month has flown past and it’s time for another DWC Breakfast, coming up at 7:30am on March 1 at the Village Deli.

The March 1 DWC Breakfast Meeting will offer an opportunity to hear from all the woman candidates running for the municipal election this year. Voting on endorsements will occur at a special breakfast meeting on March 22, 7:30 at the Village Deli. Those who cannot attend will have the opportunity to vote by email with information and instructions coming out soon.

Our 2019 Municipal Candidates are: Amanda Barge for Mayor, Nicole Bolden for City Clerk, Kate Rosenbarger and Denise Valkyrie for City Council District 1, Dorothy Granger and Sue Sgambelluri for City Council District 2, Miah Michaelson for City Council District 4, Isabel Piedmont-Smith for City Council District 5, and Jean Capler and Susan Sandberg for City Council At-Large.

In reviewing the endorsement policy and practice, the Steering Committee has reviewed the original intend of endorsements. We offer the following statement:

“The DWC is dedicated to increasing the number of qualified women candidates for public office. The DWC membership may choose to offer formal endorsement to a candidate in some races, but may also choose to support multiple qualified candidates…. As a Political Action Committee (DWC PAC), the DWC is organized for the purpose of raising and spending money to promote its mission and to elect candidates. The DWC aims to foster an atmosphere of collegiality and mutual respect among all candidates, to elevate the level of public political discourse, and to promote informed civic engagement and participation among women more generally. Regardless of their ultimate decision at the ballot box, DWC members are encouraged to support all DWC candidates to become the best candidates they can be and running the best campaign possible.”

When the DWC was originally formed, and there was such a dearth of women in office, the steering committee DID ask the question about endorsing if two women would be running for the same office. “We should be so lucky!” was the response. Now we ARE this lucky.

The main change that will be made for this cycle is that membership voting on endorsements will be done by candidate and not individual race. It has been traditionally difficult when there was more than one qualified candidate in a given race for either of them to achieve the necessary 2/3 votes in order to be endorsed. This has limited the DWC’s ability to support all qualified women running for office and it was felt that this change would resolve that conflict. The object is to help women run the best race that they possibly can, and not to select a ‘winner’ for the race at the early stage of the primary process.

The decision as to whether or not a candidate is endorsed by the DWC is made by our membership after candidate vetting and review has taken place. In addition to the recommendations presented to the membership after the work of the Endorsement Committee, we encourage all members to become educated voters and to do their own research on all the candidates by checking out their websites, attending meet-and-greets, candidate forums and reading up on or listening to candidates’ interviews, letters, etc. We will try to provide links to candidate’s websites as well as information on events, interviews, forums, etc. via the MMN. All candidates and supporters of the DWC are encouraged to help us in this endeavor by submitting information at dwcannoucements@gmail.com for inclusion.

The following calendar is offered for chronology:

March 1, DWC Meeting, Village Deli at 7:30 am
Candidates will introduce themselves and speak briefly about why they are running.

March 2, DWC Resource meeting. Dem HQ, 116 S. Madison
Session for candidates seeking endorsements reviewing the process, interviews, questionnaires, campaign plans, and other materials needed for vetting.

March 3-9 candidate’s submission of materials to the Endorsement Committee (the committee itself will determine actual deadlines, etc.)

March 5-15 (Approximately) Endorsement Committee meets individually with candidates according to their schedules and availability. Endorsement Committee meetings pre and post interview to facilitate the report to the Steering Committee and membership (to include recommendations for endorsement).

March 16th Endorsement Committee Report on Recommendations due to Steering Committee

March 18th Monday Morning News will include Endorsement Committee Report and information on candidates for membership to review.

March 20th or 21st, Email Ballots will be sent to PAID MEMBERS with instructions on how to cast that ballot and the deadline for voting.

March 22, DWC Endorsement Meeting, 7:30 Village Deli
Candidates will address the DWC members.
Members vote on endorsements. (Email voting for those who are not able to attend.)

If you are unsure as to whether or not you are up to date as a member please email us at dwcannouncements@gmail.com and we will confirm your status for you. You can pay your annual membership dues online using the link at the bottom this newsletter - you can also pay your dues by mail using the membership form on our website.

 

Some other upcoming DWC Events that should be on your radar:
Look for our annual Karaoke Fundraiser coming up at the end of March or in early April - we hope to have the details for you very soon.
In addition, the DWC will have a display table at the Women’s History Month Lunch on March 20 and we plan to reserve at least one table for members and their friends to sit at at the Lunch…. if you’d like to sit with other DWC members please let us know asap…. see details in the Announcements section.

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Monday Morning News 02/18/19

In his introduction at the MCDP Training this past weekend, past-chair Mark Fraley stated that candidates run for office because they would like to make a measurable improvement or positive change in the lives of their constituents and have a plan to do so. I think we have a great crop of candidates for the municipal elections here in Monroe County, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that that sentiment winds it’s way up the legislative tree to the many of the elected officials at the Indiana State House or on the National political front these days….
Did you see Stacy Abrams give the Democratic response to the State Of The Union Address? It showed why she would have made a great Governor of Georgia and perhaps will make the next great Senator from that state or be considered for the Vice Presidential short list in 2020.
Stacy spoke about the things that affect the lives of all citizens (and non-citizens of this country) and she addressed issues that were not mentioned in the actual State of the Union Address. She talked about the shutdown and it’s effect on government workers, she spoke about education, gun safety laws, health care, civil rights and voter suppression. She talked about coming together as a nation – “In this time of division and crisis, we must come together and stand for, and with, one another” to make a stronger America.
She spoke about her working class up bringing and an America where people and government work to do things for each other: “My family understood firsthand that while success is not guaranteed, we live in a nation where opportunity is possible,” she said. “But we do not succeed alone — in these United States, when times are tough, we can persevere because our friends and neighbors will come for us. Our first responders will come for us.”
She spoke about themes that conservatives used to appreciate and value, but now mock Democrats for… dismissing them as socialist tropes instead of the foundation for a strong social Democracy. These were our family values she said: “faith, service, education & responsibility,”
When a small percentage of the members of one religious faith seek to impose their values to control the lives of the rest of citizens, regardless of their personal faiths, when prisoners are routinely given access to a Christian minister but a Muslim prisoner who is about to die is denied the solace of a visit from his Imam – we lose our soul.
When education is mocked as being elitist, where research is curtailed and information is suppressed to benefit the lives of a select few, where knowledge is no longer appreciated for itself alone – we lose the ability to think.
When service and volunteerism are replaced by self centered greed, when a nation has surrendered it’s commitment to social and economic justice for all, when the privileged few are held up as being somehow deserving while the less fortunate are considered losers and parasites – we lose our humanity.
And when no one is willing to be held to be responsible – we lose our moral compass and our ability to lead.
From the local level to the Presidency we can be better citizens and politicians by working at it every day….
To that effect I leave you with this week with some words that were written by one of my favorite Facebook philosophers - Linda Oblack – she wrote “I have great hope that we've turned a page on that history, and we're entering an era of inclusion and recognition of the value of all folks. Gender, skin color, and sexual orientation aside, we all have value. And no wall, or ban, or strongly held religious belief, or abuse of power will turn the clock back now. It's just beginning to truly look like we're entering the 21st Century. There seems to be a fraction of our population (about 1/3) who can't be dragged, kicking or screaming into the future. Nevertheless, the future will come.
Never stop learning. Never believe you know enough. Never stop reading and gathering knowledge. Be curious about what you weren't taught. Then question why you weren't. We all have to have each other's back. Our future depends on it.”
I hope she’s right.
And if you haven’t seen Stacy Abrams speech, check it out here.


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Monday Morning News - February 11, 2019

The deadline for declaring as a candidate in the 2019 municipal and town elections has come and gone and once again we have a record number of women running for office. Below is the list for Monroe County of all Democratic women who have filed, which office they filed for, and underneath the women's names, their male opponents. All male opponents are Democrats unless otherwise noted. Stay tuned for upcoming events, trainings and endorsements. And as always, please volunteer to help these women run successful campaigns. Even a few hours can be a huge help.

Mayor

  • Amanda Barge
  •  John Hamilton

City Clerk

  • Nicole Bolden

City Council, District 1

  • Kate Rosenbarger          
  • Denise Valkyrie
  • Chris Sturbaum

City Council, District 2

  • Sue Sgambelluri            
  • Dorothy Granger  
  • Daniel Bingham
  • Andrew Guenther (Republican)

City Council, District 4

  • Miah Michaelsen
  • Dave Rollo

City Council, District 5

  • Isabel Piedmont-Smith    
  • Ryan Maloney

At-Large (three seats)

  • Jean Capler                    
  • Susan Sandberg                                                      
  • Matt Flaherty
  • Vauhxx Booker
  • Jim Sims
  • Andy Ruff

     
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Monday Morning News - February 4, 2019

At our monthly breakfast meeting at the Village Deli on Friday, our first order of business was to elect the Vice President of the DWC Steering Committee, a position that was vacated when Jennifer Crossley was elected Chair of the Monroe County Democratic Party. Congratulations to Karen Wrenbeck, who was resoundingly elected by acclamation. Following the election, our featured speaker took the floor. Dana Black, Indiana State Democratic Party Deputy Chair for Engagement and President of the Indiana Stonewall Democrats, gave an inspiring talk about her journey into politics and what prompted her to undertake public service. 

Dana cited the courageous African American women throughout our history who didn't ask permission but stepped up to lead despite facing horrendous prejudice and roadblocks because they happened to be both female and black. Among her personal sheroes are Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman,Shirley Chisholm, Barbara Jordan, Carol Mosely Brown, Kamala Harris, and in Indiana, Pamela Carter and Karen Freeman Wilson. Although she didn't state it as such, her own Mother was clearly a primary role model. She told Dana from a young age "never to allow others to change who you are"--a message for all of us to take to heart. Dana then talked about how even with a long history of African American women and men venturing down this  incredibly difficult path of public service, and despite African American men being granted the right to vote in 1870, and African American women in 1920 along with American women of all colors, we still have legislators nationally and in our state trying to keep "some kinds of people" (primarily people of color) from exercising their right to vote. We have a long long way to go to achieve the just and equitable society that we all want.
    
Her final words were to urge us not to "allow others to diminish who women of color are." She asked that we step up and tell the story of black womens' greatness. Women of all colors need to support each other. After all, we have more in common than we have differences.

During the question and answer period, Dana was asked why she ran--why does she care? She responded that she ran in 2016 against Brian Bosma originally because of RFRA and the aura of discrimination and backwardess that it cast on our state. As she canvassed, she realized that this wasn't the most pressing issue for the constituents she sought to represent, and that is one of the reasons she lost her race. The experience convinced her that the most important thing for a candidate with her profile to do (she is female, black and gay) is to find commonalities with the voters. Soon after her race, she encountered the case of a child in Indiana who had been poisoned by lead from a nearby factory and it was a revelation. All of us, regardless of our color, faith, gender orientation, or economic status, want our children to be healthy and to have a shot at a decent education. We all want a healthy economy so people can make a living that allows them to survive. Dana has an MBA, she is unabashedly pro-business, but she also believes that it is the government's job to make sure businesses don't harm people or the environment. Last session the Indiana legislature dragged our state back a century by eliminating net metering for alternative energy sources, a move supported  by the traditional energy sector and their lobbyists. "So who is the peoples' lobbyist?" Dana asked. "The American dream is that we can all lift ourselves up and be successful, but I can't lift myself up if you are poisoning me! I can't lift myself up if you're not educating me!" Her final, inspiring plea was that we think long and hard about the legacy we are leaving for our children. Our focus should be on how we can make lives better for the 6 million people in Indiana who need us.

Hear, hear, Dana! Thank you for giving us so many reasons to continue in public service!
    
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Monday Morning News 01/28/19

Join us for our monthly breakfast meeting at the Village Deli at 7:30am this coming Friday, February 1, as we kick off Black History Month in the city of Bloomington and at Indiana University. Our featured speaker will be Dana Black, Indiana State Democratic Party Deputy Chair for Engagement and President of the Indiana Stonewall Democrats.
Dana grew up in Indianapolis, where a childhood spent attending Beaulah Missionary Church instilled the values of charity and caring about members of the community. After graduating from North Central High School, she went on to receive a B.S. in Information Systems from Indiana Wesleyan University and an M.B.A. with an Information Technology focus from Southern New Hampshire University. In addition to her work with our state Democratic Party engaging communities, working with candidates and elected officials, and spreading the Democrat message to all 92 counties, Dana has volunteered for Minority Engineering Programs of Indianapolis (MEPI) for 8 years helping to prepare girls and other minority students for post-secondary education in the STEM fields.
She'll speak about her personal journey into political activity, developing and hosting "Turn Left" (Thursdays at 6:00 pm), traveling around the state, and visiting every single county. She has a powerful message about public service, and about women of color. And she'll probably take questions too!
We're fortunate to have Dana Black as our speaker. This is a breakfast not to be missed.

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