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!
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:
Image of the Day
Declaration of Candidacy for the 2019 Municipal or Town Elections:
The deadline for declaring as a candidate in the 2019 municipal and town elections is Friday, February 8 at noon. Forms are available in the Voter Registration Office on 7th and Madison, where one would file for this election.
Caucus to Fill Vacant Vice Chair and Treasurer Positions
February date TBD
The Monroe County Democratic Party will be holding a caucus to fill empty slots for Vice Chair and Treasurer. All precinct Chairs are invited to come to fill out the slate of party leadership. If Chairs are not able to attend a proxy can be named to [email protected].
Spread The Vote and Project ID looking to start a Bloomington Chapter:
Amanda Noell, Indiana State Director of Spread The Vote and Project ID, has been diligently working to get active chapters established in communities across Indiana. Currently in the midst of a state tour, STV/PIR launched in Evansville over this past weekend and will be launching in East Chicago, Fort Wayne, and Muncie, next weekend with New Albany and Indianapolis to soon follow.
Now, Amanda has her eye on Bloomington! To start a chapter, a local community organization must partner with Spread The Vote/ProjectID, a volunteer must take on the responsibility of being a Chapter Leader, and a couple of people to become ID volunteers. You can register all the voters you want, but in a voter ID state like Indiana, if voters don't have an ID, being registered doesn't matter. ID volunteers are paired with a person who needs an ID, a client. Volunteers are trained to go through the process of helping clients get their social security card, birth certificate, and then their ID. And Spread The Vote pays all of the associated fees!
If you are interested in becoming a part of Spread The Vote and Project ID here in Bloomington, email [email protected] today!
Media links for Evansville Launch:
February 5th, 6-8 pm
Jean Capler for Bloomington Launch Party
Jean Capler is running for an at large seat on the Bloomington Common Council. Join Jean at her launch party and learn about her vision for our community.
Tuesday, February 5, 2019, 9:30am - 1:00pm
Moms Demand Action Advocacy Day at the Indiana Statehouse
Indiana State Library, 315 W. Ohio St., Indianapolis
The Indiana Legislature is about to return to session and Moms will be there to make sure legislators know from YOU, their constituents, why they should support common sense gun bills in Indiana. After an initial meeting at the Library the group will move to the State House to meet with legislators. RSVP here.
Sunday, February 17, 2019, 3:00pm
NOW Chapter Meeting
Bloomington City Hall
A discussion on gerrymandering and redistricting reform featuring Guest Speaker Julia Vaughn, Common Cause Indiana Policy Director.
Redistricting reform is critical for a reflective democracy and to ensure everyone’s vote counts. They will discuss actions each of us can take to have an impact.
Then stay after Julia speaks to learn what Monroe County NOW committees are up to and how you can get involved.
Watch the President's state of the union address on Tuesday (we know, we know, it will be an exercise in almost unbrearable self-flagellation to sit through it), but here's why you must. Former Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams will be giving the Democratic Party's response! Stacey Abrams is a woman in politics to watch, and this is her biggest platform yet. A not to be missed event that you can experience from your own living room!!
BECOME A DWC MEMBER or RENEW your membership!
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
Do you have news items? Send your items of interest to us at [email protected]
Deadline for MMN is noon on Sunday.
Paid for by DWPAC - Democratic Women's Political Action Committee
Democratic Women's Caucus