Monday Morning News - July 8, 2019

Friday Breakfast Guest, Ali Brown, Tells It Like It Is!

The guest speaker at Friday's breakfast was Ali Brown, candid and energetic candidate for Indianapolis City-County Council District 5. Ali's district has affluent voters who live in Geist, and voters who can barely pay their rent. It spans parts of both Bosma's and Merritt's districts, and she KNOWS that when she wins, Bosma will lose. Ali has nailed the essential question a candidate must answer before she should run--WHY AM I RUNNING?--she has a district with all kinds of room for improvement and the best ideas for how to make it great.

When Indianapolis and Marion County adopted a unified government structure in 1969, Ali's city, Lawrence, was one of four “excluded cities” and therefore it retains its own municipal government. Its citizens vote not only for the mayor and council of Lawrence, but also for the Mayor of Indianapolis and representatives on the Indianapolis City-County Council. One of Ali's reasons for running is to make it easier for Lawrence and the City of Indianapolis to work together. Right now they're not so good at that. For instance, they can't make up their minds who is responsible for helping a resident who has an accident at the intersection of a state or county road and a city street. In addition, there is not a single bus stop in the entirety of Ali's district, there are no bike lanes, and virtually no sidewalks. That means no one can commute by public transit, or safely by cycling or walking, which most distressingly affects people who need good paying jobs but can't afford to buy a car and also pay their rent and utilities.

Ali is also running because we need to get more Democrats in local office in Indianapolis, and more Democrats in the state and national legislatures. But as we in the DWC know, it starts at the local level. Ali commented that "If you flip city districts, you flip state districts and beyond, and we've got to make a flip happen in 2020." Ali also said we need more women in office at ALL levels. It was incredibly gratifying to hear her say that the DWC has been a big influence on her decision to run. During her time working on Jill Long Thompson's staff, Jill encouraged Ali to meet a few DWC leaders. Ali was amazed the more she learned about the DWC at how big an impression our organization has made across the state. As she put it, "If we had a DWC in every county in Indiana, the Dems would never lose!" The DWC inspired her to run and has supported her with encouragement and individual contributions.

Ali used a favorite quote from Dr. Who--"I am and always will be the optimist, the hoper of far-flung hopes and the dreamer of impossible dreams." She followed that with, "I have to be. I'm a Democratic in Indiana!" Well, Ali, we down here in Bloomington are optimistic about your campaign too! Ali estimates she needs to raise about $100,000 to beat her opponent, a Republican with deep family pockets. Let's help her raise some of that funding and get a talented, committed, savvy and progressive woman elected in Indianapolis City-County Council District 5! You can donate to Ali's campaign and read about her at her website:

Ali's conversation with us was so engaging that we ended up running over the hour meeting time and could only manage a truncated discussion of the DWC's future. As we hope many of you know, we had three listening sessions over the past few weeks and have gotten emails from many of you with your thoughts. But we need more people to weigh in with the diversity of opinions and the great ideas we know you have. So please do so by emailing [email protected]. There's more explanation of what we are grappling with just below in the announcements.


Image of the Day
Action Items


DWC future 

During the election of 2003, there was one woman running for the Bloomington City Council. Today, there are four women running, and seven participated in the primary for the Democratic nomination for City Council this May. 
Back in 2004 there were a scattering of women in county elected offices, many of them from the Republican Party. Today three women serve as county commissioners (the first all woman board in the state!), six elected women serving county government, and all but one judicial seat are held by women. 

As the DWC was being formed and planned, by-laws created, much thought was given to the real purpose of the group. Simply stated from those by-laws:

The purpose of the organization is to inspire, recruit, train, support, and fund progressive, pro-choice Democratic women to increase the numbers of women in the electoral process and in elected and appointed positions.

Over these 15 years, the DWC has raised and funded women to the tune of over $100,000 and helped over twenty women win their races, some twice! In addition to those PAC contributions, many more women from outside of Monroe County have visited our breakfast and lunch meetings, and we have come to their aid financially, too. These contributions, from statewide, to general assembly candidates have amounted to over $10,000 from individual donations. Having enough women candidates is not actually a problem these days, in fact, we have women running against other women -- something that in the beginning we addressed with the statement: "We should be so lucky!" We've trained women to be campaign managers, financial directors, communications directors, and volunteer coordinators. Now these women are out helping other women learn these skills. 

And so we come to the place of evaluating our organization in terms of the original mission, the activities of raising money for women, encouragement of new candidates, and getting more women into places where they can help other women become involved to a greater extent in the political process.

Suggestions have been made from time to time:
-Endorse men!
-Do away with the endorsement process.
-Only endorse ONE woman per office.
-Have meetings at a more reasonable time than 7:30am!
-Do more trainings.
-Do more social service work.
-Have men speak at breakfast and other meetings.... not just women.

Please share your thoughts on this organization as we move forward, in our community and our state. 
Opportunities for feedback will also be available in an online form. Watch for more information on that.... for those brilliant ideas that come in the middle of the night! Email [email protected]


Indiana Commission for Women Soliciting Nominations

The Indiana Commission for Women is soliciting nominations for the 2019 Torchbearer Awards. The Torchbearer Awards are the State’s official, annual recognition of Indiana women who have contributed or sacrificed greatly for the betterment of Indiana's communities. Nomination packets are due by 5PM on July 12, 2019 and can be found below and attached: Please feel free to contact the ICW directly at (317)-232-6720 or at [email protected] for questions or additional assistance. The  Torchbearer Awards Ceremony on September 25, 2019 at the Indiana Historical Society.

Citizen's Academy:
Only FOUR spots left in the best free civic session in the city! You'll want one! The 2019 Citizens' Academy class will provide participants with an interactive learning experience about municipal government services, programs and departmental responsibilities. This year's Citizens' Academy session begins Thursday, August 29 and runs through October 24, the classes are from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. You can apply online at or contact Vickie Provine, [email protected] or call 812.349.3505.

Board and Commission Openings:

Clerk Nicole Bolden has noted for us that the following bodies have vacancies at this time. Check to see the nature of the board or commission, recent minutes and actions and how that particular vacancy is filled.

Animal Control Commission
Bloomington Industrial Development Advisory Commission
Bloomington Arts Commission
Board of Public Safety
Commission on Aging
Commission on Sustainability
Commission on the Status of Children and Youth
Environmental Commission
Human Rights Commission
Parking Commission
Plan Commission
Traffic Commission
Tree Commission
Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association

The Monroe County Board of Commissioners invites you to apply to serve on a Board or Commission! There are immediate openings on a number of these bodies, including: Animal Management, Environmental Commission, and the Human Rights Commission. For information on each of them, see
The application is available here:
If you have any questions, please contact Julie Thomas ([email protected]). 


Thursday, July 11, 2019, 7:45-9:00am
Wake Up! With United Way: "Unteachable and Difficult"—Understanding Childhood Trauma
The Mill, 642 N. Madison Street
When a child is labeled "difficult" or deemed unable to learn or socialize properly, what might lie beneath the expressed behaviors? What referral and treatment options exist in our community, and where are the gaps? Join United Way and IU PACE for breakfast, along with Jeff Baldwin, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington; Kaitlyn King, Senior Clinical Therapist from Catholic Charities of Bloomington; and Dr. Jerry M. Jesseph, Clinical Professor with the IU School of Medicine, who will help us unpack these questions and share a hopeful message of the possibilities for intervention and treatment. The session encourages audience participation through a moderated Q&A format. Your $10 ticket will cover the cost of breakfast, with the remaining proceeds supporting United Way of Monroe County's efforts to address our community's critical needs today, while reducing those needs tomorrow. See the facebook event page for more info:

Friday July 12, 2019, 7-10pm
Monroe County Courthouse
Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Detention Camps, will bring thousands of Americans to detention camps across the country, into the streets and into their own front yards, to protest the inhumane conditions faced by refugees. Beginning at 7 p.m. on July 12th, advocates, activists and impacted persons will speak on the issue of human detention camps in the United States. At 9 p.m., around the country and around the world, participants will light candles in a silent vigil for all those held in US detention camps to bring light to the darkness of the Trump administration’s horrific policies. 
The Facebook event page has more information here:

Friday, July 12, 2019, 9:30-11:00am
All-Options Drop-in Volunteer Action Hours
All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center, 1014 S. Walnut Street
Have you ever wanted to get involved with All-Options, but aren't sure about making a long-term commitment? Would you like to do some hands-on work in a judgment-free, supportive environment? Join All-Options for drop-in volunteer time—usually the first Friday of every month. They will have projects available for you to jump right in. All ages welcome!

Thursday, July 18, 2019, 6-7 pm
All-Monroe County Black Democratic Caucus Monthly Meeting
MCDP Headquarters, 116 S. Madison St.
All are welcome. Learn what the MCBDC is doing and how you can get involved.

Thursday, July 18, 2019, 6-8 pm
2019 SMART Girls, STRONG Women
Boys and Girls Club, 311 S. Lincoln St.
Join Boys and Girls Club for a fundraising event featuring dinner, dessert, a live auction and a discussion about helping young women reach their full potential in today’s challenging world. Their esteemed panelists will share their stories on facing challenges while rising to success and will also offer advice to the next generation of female superstars. This promises to be an unforgettable night! All proceeds benefit vital programming at the Club. More details and the link to buy tickets is on the Facebook event page:

July 17-20, 2019
2019 Young Democrats of America National Convention
Crowne Plaza, 123 W. Louisiana St, Indianapolis
Visit for all details and convention matters.

Sunday, July 28, 2019, 3-5 pm
Monroe County NOW July Chapter Meeting and Potluck Picnic
Southeast YMCA, 2125 S. Highland Ave. 
Join Monroe County NOW for their next chapter meeting at the Southeast Monroe County YMCA! They will have a potluck and have board, members, and friends present to socialize. If you're not currently a member, you will have the opportunity to become one. NOW will meet at the shelter by the lower playground. This event is accessible and open to all. Bring a food or beverage item to share! Let them know what you're bringing by filling out this Google sheet:

Sunday, July 28, 2019, 2-4 pm
2019 Stonewall Demoscrats of South Central Indiana (SD-SCI) General Meeting 
CMCDP Headquarters, 116 S. Madison St.
Be part of this community conversation to help the Stonewall Democrats of South Central Indiana establish their initial priorities and goals for the near future! We need everyone's voice at the table to make informed choices about where to focus our attention at the local and state levels for the coming months. We hope to see you there!  Questions can be sent to [email protected].

August 22-24, 2019
Annual Indiana Democratic Editorial Association (IDEA) Convention in French Lick
French Lick Resort, 8670 West Road 56
The convention is still months away but hotel rooms are going QUICKLY, so if you plan to attend you are encouraged to make your hotel reservations NOW. More information on that can be found here:

Saturday September 8, 2019
5th Annual Hamilton Family Picnic
Bryan Park


Please chime in on the future plans of the DWC. Let us know where we've done well and what we should do better. Send your ideas to [email protected] at any time.

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:

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