monday morning news August 7, 2017

In December 2007 the Kernan-Shepard Commission came out and as part of their recommendations on local government reform, proposed that Indiana’s township governments be eliminated and that all township government- responsibilities, including assessment, poor relief, fire, EMS and cemeteries, be transferred to the county executive and county council. In a Nuvo article the following February, Perry Township (Marion County) trustee Gary Coons stated “If you eliminate the redundant layers it means you’re going to eliminate politicians’ jobs. It doesn’t mean that you’re going to eliminate those services … The way I see it, you can act locally, but manage regionally.” A former firefighter, Coons went on to suggest that most of his township trustee colleagues were unhappy about the recommendation. “They want to keep their jobs.” he stated in the article, “I grew up in a conservative family. As a conservative I was always taught that entitlements weren’t a good thing. No one is ‘entitled’ to their position.”

Our Breakfast Meeting last Friday showed why these statements should be taken with a large grain of salt. Lillian Henegar, Michelle Bright, Mary McInery, Pam Cook, Amy Swain, Vicky Sorenson, and Susie Hamilton showed that they are passionate, dedicated public servants who are best situated to provide the many services with which the Township Boards and Trustees are entrusted. None of these women are getting rich in the position (in fact one Township Board member stated that she was surprised to find out - after she’d won election - that she would be paid!). Moving township responsibilities to the County Commissioners and Councils would likely mean that additional staff would need to be hired and services would still need to be paid for. Each township has it’s own unique populations and needs, and trustees and board members, who must live in their districts, are in the best position to know their neighbors, know their options and to respond quickly and flexibly to the situations that arise.

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t issues with township government. Fire and Emergency services create one major headache for our Trustees and options to streamline these services should continue to be explored. And there have been instances where, to quote Nuvo again, “individuals (were) able to live outside expected standards of accountability, or even law-abiding behavior.” Here in Monroe County we’ve had a few of those… but we’ve also seen that politicians who act badly aren’t restricted to Township Trustees and Board Members. Proper rules and regulations and oversight (yes citizens, that means us) would go far towards solving those issues.
Monroe County has eleven townships… there are one trustee and three board members for each township. That means there are forty-four slots on the ballot up for election or re-election in 2018 and looking for dedicated and compassionate people looking to serve their communities. Maybe one of them is you….

WHAT’S UP WITH THE DWC: we have a lot of things coming up!

DWC To Host Candidate Forum for City Council At-Large Seat
Sunday, Aug. 13 3:30 - 5:30pm
Democratic Headquarters, 116 S. Madison St.
Here is your chance to ask the candidates the questions you'd like answered....
Jean Capler, Sierra Reed, Gabe Coleman, Jim Simms, Darryl Neher and Sean Starowitz have declared their candidacies to fill the City Council At-Large seat left vacant by the retirement of Tim Mayer.
Even if you can’t vote in the caucus, you can learn more about the people who might be representing you on the city council (or in another future position) and talk to your precinct chair (who will be voting)
Note: if you can’t be there, this event will be live streamed and archived by the Monroe County Democratic Party on their website and Facebook pages (as are the previous events).

Kick Up Our Heels! Annual Women’s Event
French Lick Winery & Vintage Cafe, 8145 W Sinclair St, West Baden Springs, IN 47469
Thursday Aug. 24 5:00pm Featuring: Jill Donnelly, State Representative Karlee Macer, & the Democratic Women’s Caucus of Bloomington

TWO SHOWS: 5:30pm and 8:00pm
The Comedy Attic, corner of 4th and Walnut
Join us as we welcome Nicole Byer to The Comedy Attic for a fun night to help raise funds for the Democratic Women’s Caucus. Other local female comedians will also perform.
A fan favorite on MTV’s Girl Code, Nicole is quickly becoming one of the most sought after young comedians and actors in the comedy world. As producer and star of the scripted MTV comedy series "Loosely Exactly Nicole," she will make history when the show becomes the first ever content exclusive to Facebook.
To purchase tickets, go HERE. 100% of the ticket price benefits the DWC!
Contact Amy Swain if you'd like to be a sponsor for this event! [email protected]
More information? Just email [email protected].
For more information check out our Facebook Events Page.

Action Item


Liz Watson Launched Her Campaign for the IN 9th Congressional District with a rousing speech at her meet and greet on Sunday.
If you missed the event, the campaign has posted the speechifying on Facebook:
Sign up to volunteer for her campaign, make a donation, and air your concerns about politics in Indiana and beyond. Check out Liz Watson, candidate for Indiana's 9th Congressional District!
Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @LizforIndiana.

Democratic Party Caucus for City Council At-Large Seat
Tim Mayer has resigned from his City Council At-Large seat. It is now the duty of the Democratic Party Precinct Committeepersons to replace Tim. A Call to Caucus has been sent to those persons by the Monroe County Democratic Party Chair to request their presence to take care of this party responsibility. The Caucus will be held on Monday, August 21 at 5:30pm in the Council Chambers at City Hall. Anyone is invited to watch the proceedings, but only precinct chairs (or their proxies) can ask questions of the candidates and vote. Within that Call to Caucus, Chairman Mark Fraley noted eligibility and requirements for any interested candidates. The last day to file for this seat is August 18th at 5:30pm.
Additionally, the MCDP has been hosting events over the course of the month to give the candidates an opportunity to meet the voting precinct chairs and to give all of us a voice as part of the process. The final event will be:
    •    Sunday, August 13, 3:30 - 5:30 pm - hosted by the DWC
 If you’re interested in running, or for more information about this special caucus, contact MCDP Chair Mark Fraley for more information and next steps.

Judy O'Bannon to receive Lee H. Hamilton Public Service Award
The Indiana Democratic Party today named the recipient of this year’s Lee H. Hamilton Public Service Award - former Indiana First Lady Judy O'Bannon!  
Named in honor of our former Congressman, this annual award was established to recognize individuals who make a significant and lasting contribution to public service and our party.
As our 2017 recipient, many of us are familiar with Judy's political service as our State's First Lady, as the Indiana Co-Chair for Hillary Clinton in her 2008 Presidential campaign, as a campaign surrogate, and as a party fundraiser. But Judy's service goes much further.
Dedicated to building communities and their leadership, she has led initiatives in community development, historic preservation, education, and the arts.  In November of 2016 she was honored by the Indiana Association for Community Economic Development for "a lifetime of moving communities forward."  Her commitment to public service and encouragement of civic participation has built the foundation for community growth across Indiana. The award will be presented at the Lee. H. Hamilton Dinner in French Lick on August 26th (see below for details)

City & County Boards & Commissions:
Boards and Commissions are a great way to get involved with City and County Government and to make a change in your community. Boards and Commissions are citizen staffed and operated, and serve to advise government entities on issues affecting Bloomington and Monroe County. Meetings are free and open to the public, potential applicants are urged to attend a meeting of their desired board or commission prior to applying.
To learn more about each board and commission, including mission statements, membership requirements, current membership listings and term lengths, or for online applications:
Bloomington: the online City system for board and commission information can be accessed here, or by clicking on the “Boards and Commissions” button on the City’s home web page at  
For more information, please contact: Stephen Lucas, Deputy City Clerk, [email protected], 812-349-3408.
Monroe County: Information on County Boards and Commissions can be found on the County website:


Saturday, August 12 and Wednesday August 16
MCDP ‘Your Voice Matters’ Canvass and Listening Tour
Help reach out to members of our community to ask “What do you want from your government?”  We’ll go door to door to lend an ear to voters who want to express concerns about local, state, and national issues. Volunteers will first be trained on how to engage with voters, get a walk packet, and then return to debrief. You do not have to have canvassing experience to attend. If you are new to canvassing, you will be paired up with an experienced canvasser. If you have questions or would like to sign up to help, contact Teri Bleuel or sign up here.
Saturday, August 12th - 2 shifts:  11am-2pm & noon-3pm
Meet and Canvass in Ellettsville
Wednesday, August 16th - 6-8:30pm
Meet at Monroe Co Democratic HQ, 4th & Madison - Canvassing in Perry Township

Sunday August 13, 2017 2:00pm - 3:30pm
League Of Women Voters Monthly Meeting
Monroe County Public Library, Room 2A
more information here:

Sunday August 13, 2017 3:30-5:30pm
DWC Hosts a Candidate Forum for the City Council At-Large Seat
Democratic Headquarters, 116 S. Madison St.
see above for details

Tuesday, August 15, 11:30am
Monroe County Democrats’ Club Meeting
DeAngelo’s Restaurant (Eastland Plaza) 2620 E. Third St.  (Note new location!)
Rob Stone, Hoosiers for Common Sense Health Care, will be the guest speaker

Thursday August 17, 2017 6:00pm
Monroe County Black Democratic Caucus Monthly Meeting
City Hall, Hooker Room

Friday August 18 11:30am - 12:30am
The State Of Girls In Indiana Forum
City Council Chambers, 401 N. Morton Street
Join the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana’s CEO Deborah Hearn Smith and Mayor John Hamilton for an important discussion regarding the State Of Girls in Indiana
RSVP: [email protected] by Monday August 14

Monday August 21, 5:30pm
Democratic Party Caucus for City Council At-Large Seat
City Council Chambers, City Hall
The Monroe County Democratic Party will hold a caucus to fill the at-large seat that Tim Mayer is leaving behind after 34 years of tremendous service. We encourage anyone who wants to compete in the caucus to do so and will give them the tools and guidance they need to make this a productive experience. If you’re interested in running, email MCDP Chair Mark Fraley for more information and next steps.

Aug. 24-27, 2017
137th Annual IDEA Convention
French Lick Hotel & Resort, French Lick, Indiana
for details:

Saturday, August 26, 6:00 pm
Lee Hamilton Dinner
8670 West Highway, French Lick, Indiana
Join your fellow Ninth District Democrats for the annual dinner fundraiser and candidate showcase named in honor of our former Ninth District congressman Lee Hamilton, to be held as part of the annual Indiana Democratic Editorial Association (IDEA) conference in historic French Lick. Keynote Speaker: former US Senator Mark Begich (D) Alaska.
For more information, contact District Party Headquarters at 812.725.2020 or [email protected].
$50 per person, $40 for Ninth District Torchbearers To purchase tickets, click here!

Saturday, August 26, 3:00 - 11:00 pm
2017 Pridefest
Kirkwood Avenue
Bloomington Pride-sponsored Summerfest, Bloomington's annual celebration of LGBTQ+ life and culture, now has a new name: Pridefest. This year's festival takes place August 26 on Kirkwood Ave (between Walnut & Lincoln Streets). We'll have live performers, music, family-friendly activities, educational booths, and local food trucks. Performers: Interested in joining us? Visit our website to submit an application. Local and regional acts preferred. Information at

Thursday September 7th 5 pm-7 pm
Tour the Bloomington Health Center! (tours starting at 5:15, 5:45, and 6:15)
421 S College Ave, Bloomington, IN 47403
Deborah Meader and Nan McKinley (Co-chairs of the Reproductive Justice Task Force of the UU) along with Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK), invite you to tour the Bloomington Health Center and learn about the organization and services provided.
Reservations are required. Please RSVP by September 1, 2017 to Alayna Lerner at [email protected] or 317-637-4170.
PPINK appreciates your support and hopes to see you there!

Sunday, September 10  4:00-7:00pm
The Third Annual Hamilton Friends & Family Picnic
Bryan Park
Save the date, more details to come...

Thursday, September 28, 9:00 am
First Annual Monroe County Government Opioid and Prescription Drug Summit
Monroe County Convention Center
Commissioner Amanda Barge, Councilwoman Shelli Yoder and Monroe County Government officials are teaming up to provide leadership on this issue for this region. This event is for anyone who has an interest in this issue and being part of the solution. CEU's will be offered.
Tickets are going fast, so reserve yours now: click here for tickets

If your organization wants to sponsor this event, please email Shelli at: [email protected]
If you are interested in presenting at the event, or having a booth, please email Amanda at: [email protected]



Buy tickets and invite all your friends to the DWC COMEDY FUNDRAISER on Sunday, Sept. 3 at the Comedy Attic
All the proceeds will help fund, inspire, recruit, support and train progressive, pro-choice women candidates

Check out your local township office, find out when the next meeting is and see what's up.
Consider a run for township board or trustee...

Women's Equality Day is Saturday, August 26. According to the National Women's History Project, the date for Women's Equality Day "was selected to commemorate the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. This was the culmination of a massive, peaceful civil rights movement by women that had its formal beginnings in 1848 at the world’s first women’s rights convention, in Seneca Falls, New York."
Visit the NWHP Women's Equality Day web site for more information on the day and ways to celebrate.

Keep these numbers on speed dial! Keep a watchful eye on what your government is doing!

Representative Trey Hollingsworth
Washington, D.C. Office: 202-225-5315
Greenwood Office:  317-851-8710
Jeffersonville, IN office: 812-288-3999
720 Executive Park Dr., Suite 3000B

Senator Joe Donnelly
Washington D.C. Office: (202) 224-4814
Indianapolis Office:  (317) 226-5555     
115 N. Pennsylvania St., Suite 100     

Senator Todd Young
Washington D.C. Office:  202-224-5623
Indianapolis Office: 317-226-6700                       
46 East Ohio Street, Suite 462  

Join the DWC.  Renew your membership today.
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