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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Monday Morning News 01/21/19

News from the DWC --
Congratulations again to former DWC Steering Committee member Jennifer Crossley on her election to the role of Monroe County Democratic Party Chair. Jennifer has resigned from the Steering Committee, and in accordance with the bylaws, the Steering Committee will select a member to step in for the remainder of her term. This selection will be ratified by the membership at the earliest breakfast meeting date after that selection. Stay tuned for more news on that front.

One of the very best ways to prepare for running for office and SERVING in that office is to become involved in government affairs by way of Boards and Commissions. There are openings at the beginning of every year, and Monroe County Commissioner Julie Thomas (drjuliethomas@gmail.com) invites you to email her about openings for county boards or commissions.

Be inspired on this MLK Birthday at the 2019 City of Bloomington Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Birthday Celebration.
Buskirk-Chumley Theater, January 21 -- TODAY -- at 7 pm. There is also a reception that starts at 6 pm.
Keynote speaker is Janai S. Nelson, who is the Associate Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. This is bound to be a most inspiring presentation.

Deepest sympathies to Charlotte Zietlow and family as they mourn the passing of her grandson, Henry, last week. May your memories of him sustain you in these times, Charlotte.

 

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Monday Morning News - January 14, 2018

The Monroe County Democratic Party held a caucus yesterday afternoon with two tasks before it. The first was electing a replacement for Lee Jones, who was sworn in this January as a County Commissioner, leaving her seat on the Monroe County Council vacant. Task two was to elect a replacement for Mark Fraley, who has stepped down as Party Chair after several years of incredible effort that has made the MCDP stronger than ever. The candidates for County Council were Trent Deckard, Richard Martin and Sam Ujdak. And two of the DWC's own Steering Committee members, Jennifer Crossley and Penny Githens, were the candidates for Party Chair (so proud of both of them for rising to this crucial occasion!!). Trent Deckard was elected to fill the vacancy on the County Council, and Jennifer Crossley was elected Party Chair. Huge congratulations to our two new office holders, and we thank all of the candidates for putting their hats in the ring. We are grateful for their willingness to serve the public. And to Mark Fraley, you have provided a steady hand and a clear head through elections, caucuses, training sessions, social events, and more and we can't thank you enough for your superb service.

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Monday Morning News 01/07/19

Congratulations are extended to those who were elected at the breakfast on Friday.

Carolyn VandeWiele was elected Chair for the next two years. We're proud of the fact that Carolyn is the first LGBTQ+ member to serve as Chair of this organization, certainly a milestone to be noted!

Karen Wrenbeck was re-elected Secretary after the shortest campaign speech ever as she was unopposed.

Steering Committee members elected were Amanda Barge, Penny Githens, Philippa Guthrie, Olivia Reed and Emily Salzmann.

Jillian Kinzie, Steering Committee member, reported on the progress of the Endorsement Policy review and revision. She noted that the committee was still taking comments and if you'd like to have your thoughts included, please answer these questions in an email to the dwcannouncements@gmail.com.

BIG QUESTIONS!: Should DWC PAC continue to endorse?
If so, what should we improve?
If not, should we redirect efforts to training, or create a new way to support candidates?
_____Yes, with some improvements
_____Yes, with major changes
_____No, it's not effective
_____No, we should try something new
_____I don't know, but I'm intrigued

1. Reflect on why we endorse. Why have we endorsed candidates in the past? To what purpose? Does that purpose continue to have relevance today? If so, how do you think our endorsement process should change to reflect the current situation?

2. If we decide to continue to offer endorsements, on what basis/criteria should we do so?

3. How, or on what basis should we distribute funding to candidates?

Finally, Regina Moore noted that Nancy Pelosi was (for the SECOND TIME!) elected Speaker of the House of Representatives the day before. She told the group that Pelosi spoke at a Monroe County party dinner in the late 90s and for a second time in 2003, after she became the House Minority Leader. At that dinner Pelosi, who came to Bloomington at the invitation of her former congressional colleague and party chair, Frank McCloskey, talked about her new role and her personal "Aha!" moment.
Regina said that this point in women's history had been marked with a portion of the WomenSpeak Reader's Theater, written and produced by Susan Sandberg, performed by various DWC members, in the mid 2000's. Regina was proud to read the words of Nancy Pelosi.
You can read the passage here: https://www.oprah.com/spirit/nancy-pelosis-aha-moment

If you missed the Town Hall with Pelosi and Joy Reid, here's a clip! It was the most relaxing, hopeful hour of political talk in several years.
Pelosi Town Hall with Joy Reed Clip

Pelosi_Rosie_Capital.png

And, while our local women did not prevail in their races, the Indiana House Democrats has tweeted:
We are excited to start session with a caucus that is more than 50% female!
This is the first time in the history of #Indiana that women have made up the majority of a state caucus.
#INlegis #HERstory

House_Democrats.jpg

and.....

Making History Right Here in Monroe County
For the first time in Indiana's 200 year history, a county Board of Commissioners is comprised of three women!
We plan to celebrate this moment as Lee Jones takes her seat at the dais next to Commissioners Amanda Barge and Julie Thomas. Won't you join us if you can for this momentous occasion on Wednesday, January 9th at 10:00 am in the Nat U Hill Room, Courthouse.

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