Are you disgusted by the rancor in political life? Are you sick of watching smart, hard-working, dedicated candidates work their tails off only to be defeated by business-as-usual nonentities beholden to special interests and big money? Are you tired of politicians who don’t listen to their constituents? Do you ever feel like your vote doesn’t count? Blame the gerrymander!
By law, the maps of congressional and state legislative districts must be redrawn after each US census in order to account for population shifts and preserve the principle of "one person = one vote” that is the foundation of our democracy. In some states redistricting is carried out by an independent commission, but in most states—including ours—the party in control of the state legislature at the time of the census gets to redraw the maps. Human nature being what it is, both Republicans and Democrats have surrendered to the temptation to game the system, redrawing the maps to advantage their party or even particular incumbents. This partisan “legislative cartography” is known as gerrymandering, and it’s at least partially responsible for political polarization, voter apathy, and representatives who can’t be bothered to represent.
Although gerrymandered Indiana is the Frankenstein creation of the Republican Party, in other states the partisan mapmakers have been Democrats. At its base, redistricting reform is neither a Republican nor a Democratic issue but a matter of good government. By rigging the system to dilute the votes of one party’s supporters, gerrymandering undermines the democratic principle of “one person = one vote.” To put it bluntly, support for partisan gerrymandering is unpatriotic.
Here in Indiana, All IN for Democracy, a coalition of civic organizations and good government groups including Common Cause, the League of Women Voters, the NAACP, and the Indiana Farmers Union, has been working to persuade our legislators to create an independent, non-partisan redistricting commission. Legislation introduced during the 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions failed to gain the needed support, but advocates of redistricting reform are not going to give up and go away. 2019 is a critical year. The census will be held in 2020, and the maps drawn in 2021 will be in effect for the next ten years.
So, what can you do? First, take a few minutes to send holiday cards to your representatives, key legislators, and Governor Holcomb, who has voiced his support for redistricting reform. (See action items below.) Second, consider scheduling an appointment with your representatives during League Day at the Indiana Statehouse. Third, stay informed. An excellent source of information on redistricting reform and other good government issues is the web site of the Brennan Center for Justice, http://www.brennancenter.org/. Finally, if you can, donate to the organizations that are fighting gerrymandering in the courts.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:
Are you a writer, editor, social media guru or just happily creative???
The Monday Morning News Crew is seeking women to assist in the production of our weekly Newsletter and to keep our Social Media up to date. If you are a frustrated writer, like to work with the grammar police or socialize on social media, we’re looking for you. For more information send a note with MMN Crew in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bloomington Commission on the Status of Women Seeks Nominations for Annual Awards
The City of Bloomington Commission on the Status of Women is seeking nominees for the 2019 Woman of the Year, Emerging Leader and Toby Strout Lifetime Contribution awards. Although nominations are accepted on a rolling basis, the deadline for nominations for the 2019 awards is January 18, 2019.
Nomination forms for all the awards are available online or in the City of Bloomington’s Community and Family Resources Department (401 N. Morton St., Suite 260) or by email from email@example.com. Completed nomination forms may be sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to: The Commission on the Status of Women, P.O. Box 100, Bloomington, IN 47402.
The League of Women Voters announces Legislative Updates. The League is once again sponsoring updates with our state legislators. They are held once a month during the current legislative session on Saturdays from 9:30-11:30 am in the Council Chambers at City Hall. The dates are as follows: January 12, February 2, March 2, and April 6.
Thursday December 20, 2018 6:00 pm
Monroe County Black Democratic Caucus Monthly Meeting & Holiday Pitch-in
Griffin Realty, 735 S. College Ave., Bloomington
*Please note the change of venue
The December meeting of the MCBDC will be held on December 20 at 6:00 pm. The meeting will also serve as a Christmas dinner (of the pitch-in variety). If you want to contribute to the pitch-in contact Nicole at email@example.com to coordinate food items.
The meeting will also feature biennial elections (postponed from the November meeting) for the offices of President, Vice President and Treasurer. Each member of record in good standing is entitled to vote with the exception of associate and honorary members. A member is considered to be in good standing immediately upon payment of membership dues. A member must be in good standing for a period of at least one year in order to be considered as a candidate for office.
Tuesday, January 1, 2019, 12:00 pm
Swearing In Ceremony for Elected Officials
Monroe County Courthouse, Nat U. Hill Room
You are invited to attend the swearing in ceremony for our recently elected officials. This is a bi-partisan event, open to the public. We are very pleased to congratulate all Democrats and Republicans on their hard-earned victories and thank them for answering the call to public service. We will also extend our deepest gratitude to those whose campaigns were not successful.
Friday January 4, 2019 7:30am - 9:00am
Democratic Women’s Caucus Monthly Breakfast
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Democracy For Monroe County Monthly Link-Up
Will include voting for 2019 Officer and Board of Directors
Saturday, January 12, 2019, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
IN Dems Municipal Candidate Training
Ivy Tech Conference Center, 2820 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208
Ready to make a difference in your community? Do you want to build a better quality of life for your fellow Hoosiers? Are you ready to run for public office?
The Indiana Democratic Party is organizing a municipal Candidate Training on January 12 at the Ivy Tech Conference Center (2820 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208). At this training, you will learn all the tools and tips you need to launch a successful campaign. More women, first-time candidates, and young people have stepped up to move Indiana forward. If you're ready to do the work, let us help you get started. Sign up for the training by clicking on the following link: https://secure.ngpvan.com/EzO5QpFB_U--xU4pNtO3bA2
Saturday, January 12, 2019, 9:30 - 11:30 am
League of Women Voters Legislative Update
Council Chambers, City Hall, 401 N. Morton St.
Sunday, January 13, 2019, 1:00 - 4:00 pm
Democratic Party Caucus for County Council and MCDP Chair
Monroe County Courthouse, Nat U. Hill Room
With Lee Jones’ victory in the County Commissioner race there will be a caucus to fill her position on the Monroe County Council. In addition, Mark Fraley has announced that he will be stepping down as Party Chair. You may find his statement of resignation here. On January 13, 2019, at 1:00 pm there will be a Party Caucus to select replacements for these two positions. If you have any interest in these positions or would like more information, please contact Mark Fraley at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to put your name in for consideration is January 10 at 1:00 pm.
Wednesday, January 16, 2019, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
League Day at the Indiana Statehouse
Indiana State Library, 315 W. Ohio St., Indianapolis
Before you go, set up appointments with your Indiana representatives at the Statehouse and advocate for issues that affect your League and your community. Redistricting reform is the top priority but they encourage you to bring to them all your concerns including women's health, education, natural resources, and gun safety. LWVIN State Advocates will be on hand at the Indiana State Library to give you support and answer any questions you may have. More details to follow.
Saturday, January 19, 2019, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Advocacy IN Action
Hosted by Indianapolis All-Options and Planned Parenthood, Advocacy IN Action is the OFFICIAL, FREE pre-Women’s March Institute.
At Advocacy IN Action, you'll:
•Learn the state of reproductive freedom in Indiana, including current challenges in the Supreme Court.
•Refine your personal values on reproductive rights and care.
•Practice ways to take action against bills that restrict access to reproductive health care.
•Learn organizing best practices to get your community to take action.
After Advocacy IN Action, we'll join the 3rd Annual Indiana Women's March!
Facebook Event and Sign Up Form: https://www.facebook.com/events/557705551342402/
Saturday, January 19, 2019, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Women's March Anniversary Event
American Legion Mall, Indianapolis
From the Women's March: Women brought our PowerToThePolls this November and elected a record number of women and the most diverse Congress in our nation's history. But we know there is more to be done—especially here in Indiana. We must demand concrete policy changes that reflect the values we first marched for two years ago. The WomensWave will carry us into 2019 and beyond, as we build the world we want to live in. Join us! Check out their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/247581145914315/. Sign up to receive updates here: https://actionnetwork.org/events/wmw2019indy
Sunday, January 27, 2019, 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Monroe County NOW January Chapter Meeting
Room 1B, Monroe County Public Library, 303 E. Kirkwood Ave.
1. Renew your DWC membership. Dues are $20 for the year and you can renew online at https://democraticwomenscaucus.nationbuilder.com/membership.
2. Send holiday cards to your representatives, the chairs of the House Committee on Elections and Apportionment (Tim Wesco) and the Senate Elections Committee (Greg Walker), and Governor Holcomb. All you need to write is “All I want for Christmas [or “the holiday”] is redistricting reform,” address and stamp the envelope, and drop it in the mailbox. If you’re lucky enough to have representatives who already support redistricting reform, thank them. When you're done, get in touch with friends and family around the state—Democrats and Republicans alike—talk to them about redistricting reform and encourage them to send holiday greetings to THEIR legislators.
Address for members of the Indiana General Assembly: 200 W. Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204
Address for Governor Holcomb: Office of the Governor. Statehouse. Indianapolis, Indiana 46204-2797.
BECOME A DWC MEMBER: The DWC is dedicated to inspiring, recruiting, training, supporting and funding women to increase the number of progressive, pro-choice women in the political arena. We ALL help with this mission, together, collectively. Make sure you have full rights and privileges of membership.
Only $20 for one year’s membership.
Join online here: https://democraticwomenscaucus.nationbuilder.com/membership
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Deadline for MMN is noon on Sunday.
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Democratic Women's Caucus