Monday Morning News March 7, 2016

At our monthly breakfast meeting on Friday, March 4th, DWC members were treated to brief stump speeches from each of the candidates recommended for DWC endorsement. Each candidate was also asked a question designed to inform the group about an important perspective related to the office she is seeking. The membership then voted on which candidates to officially endorse. Endorsed candidates are eligible for funding from the DWC, supported candidates are not, but both categories can list their endorsement or support on their campaign materials, and can list their campaign events in the Monday Morning News.  The MMN was started, in fact, to keep every one informed about women's campaigns and list their campaign events.

Sixty-six votes were cast by breakfast attendees and email. Forty-four votes, or 2/3 of the votes cast, were needed to gain an endorsement. Candidates who did not receive a 2/3 vote but were recommended by the endorsement committee are considered to be "supported" by the caucus. All the recommended candidates are wonderful, strong, capable women and we are so proud to have them running and to be able to recommend, endorse and support them. The results are as follows:

Amanda Barge for County Commissioner 3
Julie Thomas for County Commissioner 2
Lee Jones for County Council at Large
Cheryl Munson County Council at Large
Jessica McClellan for County Treasurer
Joani Shields for County Coroner
Terri Porter for County Auditor
Penny Githens for House District 60

Darcie Fawcett for Judge Division 1
Holly Harvey for Judge Division 1

NOTE: Someone or someones left a glass serving dish, a zippered, “grayish" bike or lunch bag, and a water bottle at the Village Deli after the breakfast meeting. Please email Lorraine Merriman Farrell at [email protected] and you can make arrangements for their return.

March is Women's History Month!
March is national Women's History Month and this year's theme is, “Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government.” Let's take every opportunity to celebrate the amazing women who have gone before and who continue to shape our future. For more information about the theme and honorees see Or for a full-color downloadable brochure see

National Women's History Project
730 Second Street #469
Santa Rosa, CA 95402
(707) 636-2888
[email protected]

Caucus for Monroe County Clerk
Monday, March 21, 5:00 p.m. at the Nat U. Hill Room, Monroe County Courthouse

There will be a caucus to fill the vacancy for Monroe County Clerk of the Courts, following the recent resignation of Clerk Linda Robbins. Eligible residents of Monroe County who are interested in filling the position are encouraged to contact Monroe County Democratic Party Chair, Mark Fraley. All precinct committee chairs are eligible to vote, and vice-chairs can vote as proxy for precinct chairs provided a written proxy is delivered to the Party Chair prior to or at the caucus meeting.  Emailed proxies will be considered valid. Interested candidates must also file a form CEB-5 with the Party Chair 72 hours before the caucus time, i.e. by 5 p.m. on March 18th. Mark Fraley can be reached at [email protected].

Yard Sign Hosts
Julie Thomas, candidate for re-election as County Commissioner (District 2) is looking for yard sign hosts for the Primary and General Elections. Please send your address to [email protected]. Thank you for your support!

Op-Ed by Vi Simpson // Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
The Journal Gazette recently published the following op ed by our own Vi Simpson. Well said, Vi!

This week, as our nation kicks off Women’s History Month, Indiana made history of a different kind. The third woman to hold the position of lieutenant governor stepped down. A man, who is lockstep with Gov. Mike Pence on his ideological world view, takes her place. Somehow, I don’t think this transition will be highlighted in our state’s coming bicentennial celebrations.
Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann brought a diverse background in manufacturing, academics and consulting to state government, where she also served in the General Assembly. She continued the good work of former Lt. Govs. Kathy Davis and Becky Skillman in revitalizing Indiana communities, and was a strong surrogate for Gov. Pence. While she and I have had our political differences, I respect the work she has done while in office. There has been much speculation as to why Lt. Gov. Ellspermann decided to leave Gov. Pence’s administration before the end of her term. Regardless of the reason, Gov. Pence’s decision to replace the able and accomplished Sue Ellspermann with Eric Holcomb speaks volumes about what he values in the person who is literally a heartbeat away from the governor’s office.

Eric Holcomb has a well-deserved reputation in my part of the state for running divisive campaigns. And following Richard Mourdock’s infamous remarks that pregnancy caused by rape was “something that God intended,” Holcomb said that he thought Mourdock’s position “covered it,” and that fundraising efforts for Mourdock would continue “full steam ahead.” Today, he is standing firm with Gov. Pence on his support of the economically disastrous Religious Freedom Restoration Act. I am not surprised by Holcomb’s selection because his positions seem to be in line with Gov. Pence’s stands on issues affecting women and families. Gov. Pence has opposed funding for women’s health care and contraceptives while in Washington, D.C., and Indiana. In Congress, he voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act twice, and against the Paycheck Fairness Act of 2009.

How can women in Indiana get ahead if the message from the top is that their work doesn’t hold the same financial value as that of their male counterparts? The gap between what men and women are paid is wider in Indiana than in 41 other states. Single mothers also face an uphill climb in providing their children with financial stability. Consider this: Seven in 10 children who live with a single mother are low income or live in poverty, compared with fewer than a third of children who live in other types of families.

Women’s History Month and our state’s bicentennial offer us the collective opportunity to learn from our past and apply those lessons to our future. What lesson we can learn from Lt. Gov. Ellspermann’s early departure is clear. We still have a great deal of work ahead to move women forward in our state, and we need positive leadership at the Statehouse, not obstructionism, to achieve our goals.

Women's Leadership Development Event: "Leadership for Social Action"
Thursday, March 10, 5 pm at City Hall

This year's program includes an award presentation to the 2016 Emerging Leader, Laura Ingram; a panel discussion about social activism regarding public education, gun control and racial justice; and an information session about local not-for-profits. Leadership scholarship award recipients will also share information about their leadership development experiences. A reception will follow at 7:30 p.m. where participants can enjoy refreshments, network and learn more about getting involved with City of Bloomington Boards and Commissions as well as other local agencies.

The 2016 Emerging Leader, Laura Ingram, is a therapist in private practice, a foster/adoptive mother of two teenage girls, and the youth program director for Prism Youth Community.  In 2014, Laura took on the task of starting Prism Youth Community, an inclusive social group for youth celebrating all sexual orientations and gender identity expressions for youth ages 12-20.  Laura has helped scores of area youth have a safe place to be themselves and contribute to their community while inspiring both youth and adult leaders along the way.

Co-sponsors of this event include the City of Bloomington Commission on the Status of Women and the City of Bloomington Community & Family Resources Department. This is an inspiring event, and it's free! Please come and bring a friend! For more information contact Sue Owens at [email protected]

Women's History Month Luncheon
Wednesday, March 23, Convention Center

You REALLY don't want to miss this!  Gladys DeVane has created another theatrical production in keeping with the National Women's History Project 2016 theme. DeVane's production, Making the Union More Perfect: Indiana's Remarkable Women, will be presented during the luncheon.  The Commission on the Status of Women will be awarding Jean Capler the Woman of the Year Award. Flo Davis will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Doors open at 11:15, Buffet is at noon and the program ends at 1:30. Tickets are $22.50 per person or $250 for a table of eight.
NOTE: Tickets for this year’s luncheon MUST be purchased through the Buskirk-Chumley Theater box office at 114 E. Kirkwood Avenue, NOT through the Commission on the Status of Women or at the door as in the past.  BCT box office hours are 11-6 Monday through Friday and 12-5 Saturday and Sunday.  Telephone is 812-323-3020.  Purchase tickets online at

This luncheon was sold out last year. Don't be turned away! Get tickets now!

FDR Gala
Thursday, March 31, 6-8 p.m., Fountain Square Ballroom
This fundraiser is a great way to meet candidates and fellow Democrats and learn about the party organization. It is an opportunity to support the party organization, as it works on behalf of candidates and office holders, and in the pursuit of advancing Democratic ideals and good governance at all levels. Admission to this evening of food, beverage, and GREAT company is by suggested donation, but no one will be turned away if unable to contribute. RSVP here, by e-mail, to [email protected] today! RSVP on Facebook.

DWC Karaoke Fundraiser
Sunday, April 24, 2016 6:00pm-8:30pm at Player's Pub
(note: change of date!)

You loved it last year! We had such a good time!  Will there be a challenger to last year's winner Mayor Hamilton? Put it on your calendars now and be there!

Action Item

Our crack state legislators are at it again, putting Indiana's reputation for backwardness on the front page of the national consciousness. This time it's for an anti-choice measure, House Bill 1337.  The myriad onerous and insulting burdens this bill would place on women's ability to choose are detailed in the attached petition. Click on the link below to SIGN NOW and tell our statehouse we want to preserve choice for Indiana women and families!!

Do you have news items? Send your items of interest to us at [email protected].

Deadline for MMN is noon on Sunday.

Democratic Women's Caucus