For this Primary only, the Indiana Election Commission has waived requirements for Absentee-By-Mail voting. Therefore all registered Indiana voters can vote by mail in the 2020 primary. All voters are encouraged to use this option as we don’t know what the situation will be over the next few weeks and months. This will protect not only the voters in the county, but our county workers as well.
Print out the form, fill it out and sign it. Then scan the form and return it by email to[email protected] or mail it to Voter Registration, 401 W 7th Street, Suite 100, Bloomington, IN 47404.
Note that the application to vote absentee-by-mail does require a valid signature but does not require the applicant to upload a voter id.
After the office receives your application it will be verified and a ballot will be sent out by mail with a pre-printed, postage-paid envelope to return the ballot. Ballots must be received in the office by noon on June 2 (Primary Day) so don’t wait until the last minute to mail it back in case the mail is delayed.
Questions may be directed to the voter registration office by calling 812-349-2690 but be aware that the office may not be open all the time.
If you are staying at home and are unable to print out an application form - email us at[email protected] with your name and address and we will work with the MCDP to get you an application asap.
Stay safe, learn something new every day, stay politically active and let’s get ready to come out of the lockdown with sleeves rolled up and ready to work for Dems up and down the ballot!
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:
Candidate & Political Trainings
Events of Interest to our Membership
Like everyone else the DWC is under lockdown, our regular meeting place is closed to inside diners and our members are social distancing and taking care of themselves and our community. There will not be a monthly breakfast in April... we hope to be back in business by May but given that the peak is not supposed to hit Indiana until middle to late April there are no guarantees. But the election is still going on, so in the meantime, please stay connected via social media, check out the MMN each week and we will try to help keep you informed.....
As this issue of the Monday Morning News was going to press, the news came in that COVID 19 cases in Monroe County doubled from 8 on Friday to 16 on Saturday to 22 on Sunday. We’re clearly on the upward slope of the curve with no end in sight, distressing news for all of us, but especially for our most medically vulnerable community members, for healthcare providers bracing for the onslaught of patients, for workers who’ve lost their jobs as businesses and restaurants shut down, and for parents struggling to work from home while homeschooling their restless, cooped-up children. If there’s any good news, it’s to be found in the myriad of ways, small and large, that people have found to help: creating and supplying an isolation shelter, sewing face masks, delivering food, even putting teddy bears in their windows for a children’s “bear hunt.” Let’s continue to look for ways to serve our fellow Hoosiers (see Action Items). And if you can, get outside and enjoy the lovely spring: go for a walk or hike, work in the garden, plant the seeds that will be August’s tomatoes. And let’s get ready to come out of the lockdown with sleeves rolled up and ready to work for Dems up and down the ballot!
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:
Updated Primary and Campaign Finance Reports Calendar
Candidate News & Events
Events of Interest to our Membership
INDIANA PRIMARY POSTPONED TO JUNE 2: As many of you have probably already heard, the Indiana Primary has been delayed until June 2, subject to confirmation by the Indiana Election Commission (which we assume will be forthcoming or the Governor wouldn’t have announced it) at their meeting on the 25th. Once confirmed, all the previous deadlines will reset… including the last day to register to vote, deadlines to apply for absentee-by-mail balloting, absentee-in-person voting, etc..
The Secretary of State has also recommended that, for the upcoming primary election only, the State go to no-excuse absentee-by-mail voting, opening this option for all voters in Indiana. Again this is subject to confirmation by the IEC, but, given that there is no guarantee that things will be back to “normal” by June 2 or that it will be any safer to gather in groups by that time… voting by mail is probably a good option for many of us.
You can download an application from the Secretary of State’s website here: However, because the Monroe County Election Office is currently closed as our workers shelter and home and stay safe, applications won’t be processed until it reopens. So it’s probably not a bad idea to hold onto your application until the office reopens and, once it does, remember that there will likely be a backlog of applications to process so be patient if your ballot doesn’t arrive for a few days. More information after the IEC meeting and when we know the office is back in service.
On the Covid-19 Front: Like me, you have probably been inundated with information about the current situation, some true and a lot of it false. My email has been flooded with fake cures and offers to purchase masks and other supplies, most of them dubious and overpriced. You’ve seen the rants on social media about returning to the streets, gathering in restaurants and on the beaches, and ignoring the “hoax” that is coronavirus. A recent email I received addressed to “Dear Freedom Loving Patriot” touted the Ultimate Guide to Surviving Coronavirus: packed with ways that I could turn my home into a decontaminated fortress. Bob Gorrell’s latest political cartoon was a picture of the Chinese flag, substituting coronavirus logos for the stars, and with the subtitle “Thanks China” and we won’t even discuss what’s coming out of the White House. And the misinformation isn’t limited to the right… there is misinformation, if less so, coming out of the left as well. So fact check before you believe or share anything.
But amidst all the bad there is a lot of good. If the measure of our society is how we treat the most vulnerable among us, many of us have met the task. The Hoosier Hills Food Bank has set up a pickup service for the food insecure and the Monroe County School Corporation is continuing to provide meals for children who rely on public schools for nutrition, one such school bus will be parked at Democratic Headquarters for pickup. Black Lives Matter Bloomington has set up a Covid 19 Necessity Drive. One World Catering has set up a “Family Meal” project to help food workers laid off by restaurant closures. The Shalom Center, Wheeler Mission, MiddleWay House and New Hope Family Shelter are working to establish an isolation shelter for homeless persons in our community affected by the virus. Area grocery stores are working tirelessly to restock shelves and some have set up special hours for the most at risk members of the community and for first responders to shop. The Community Foundation is partnering with the United Way of Monroe County and Bloomington Health Foundation to deploy the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to address basic needs for shelter, food, and medical care and made an initial $25,000 grant to support this effort. Many of our non-profits have answered the call but need our help with donations and volunteers, so there may be ways you can help while remaining safe.
And finally, please take care of yourself. Just because we’re stuck at home in isolation doesn’t mean that we should be isolated. There are many ways to connect to the world without being in it. The best thing I did this weekend was attend a Facebook live concert by Seattle singer songwriter Lisa Koch… for an hour and a half I forgot about problems, mine and the world’s. I laughed, cried, and connected with friends from all over the country.
Sleep, eat well, get outside even if it’s only in your own back yard, phone a family member or a friend, help out a local restaurant or arts organization that you love, learn something new every day.
And yes… there’s still an election going on and our government is going to need good leaders more than ever, so let’s get them in office to help rebuild a better world.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:
We are living in difficult times… juggling all of the plates that have been tossed in the air by the Covid-19 virus crisis has put stress on everyone’s lives and the political scene is no different. Our candidates, particularly non-incumbent candidates, are struggling to find ways to get their message out in a world where personal contact, the most effective means of doing so, is being restricted.
Candidates will need to work with alternative methods such as social media, mailings, and other ways to message, rather than the in-person canvassing and meet & greets that have been the traditional backbone of campaigning in past years.
While we’re still brainstorming ideas… there are things you can do to help out… Donate to candidate's campaigns to help them deal with the increased costs of campaigning, contact our endorsed candidates and see how you can help them in their campaigns, got a good idea on how to conduct a virtual meet and greet or social media campaign, volunteer to help phone bank from home, retweet/repost their social media messages and get the message out to your family, friends and acquaintances.
Our Endorsed Candidate page is now on-line. Over the next couple of days we hope to have full contact information up for all the candidates and we will update their pages with press releases, needs and other information as they send it to us, so continue to check back for any updates. We also welcome your suggestions and ideas at [email protected].
Voters will also have to make tough decisions in the next month and a half leading up to the Indiana Primary on May 5 - at a time when voting has never been more critical. The slow response from the White House and from our own Indiana Legislature has shown that we must replace certain members of our government in this next cycle.
Start by checking your voter registration status at indianavoters.com. Even if you voted in the last election it’s a good idea to make sure. Then make sure all your friends are registered and ready to vote. The deadline to register to vote in the primary is April 6 at 11:59pm (online), 4:00pm at the voter registration office, but don’t wait until the last minute; you and they will want to make sure that any new registrations go through properly prior to the deadline.
Then decide how to vote: as it now stands all options for voting are still in place for this year’s primary. However, we strongly encourage all voters who qualify to vote by mail to do so and to request their ballot as soon as possible. Information about applying for absentee-by-mail ballots, the qualifications to do so, and the application to request a ballot-by-mail can be found here. This morning we received updated information from the Indiana Election Division that stated that the county does not have the authority to allow anyone who wants to to vote-by-mail. If you think you qualify to vote-by-mail want to do so, we encourage you to review the options and make your own decisions to check the box that you believe to be true or will be true on election day, one that might conceivably include your decision to quarantine in place at that time. The safety of our members and their families is paramount.
Be advised that the last day to submit an application for absentee-by-mail ballot is April 23 (4:00pm in the office, 11:59 for fax or email) but don’t wait until the last minute, given that mail (and email and fax delivery times) can be fickle and that we anticipate an increased number of applications being filed, getting your application in in a timely fashion will help out everyone.
There are messages out there to pressure the Indiana Election Division to add no-reason absentee-by-mail voting for this election cycle. Please remember that, like the IRS, the IED is a regulatory body, designed to enforce the Indiana Code, not make changes to it. The people who could have taken the lead in ensuring that all Indiana residents were able to vote, and vote safely, were our legislators, but they were apparently too busy saving obsolete coal plants and sabotaging local government regulations to take up that matter…. So contact your elected "representatives" in the Indiana Statehouse and Legislature and let them know you want that to happen - and let’s get those responsible for not doing their best for all Indiana voters replaced in 2020 with someone who will!
Stay safe out there, stay home when you can, take precautions when you can’t, binge Netflix if you must, but if you have the opportunity, find a minute to think about how you might help change the world (as someone pointed out the other day, Newton made some of his most important discoveries while sheltering at home from the plague).
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:
Friday's DWC breakfast meeting allowed us to get to know the 11 women who were recommended for DWC endorsement in this Spring's primary election. Each candidate made a short statement and then the members in attendance voted on the endorsements. Those votes were combined with any electronic ballots received earlier. We are very pleased to report that each candidate received the requisite 2/3 vote of the membership. So... your 2020 DWC endorsed candidates are...DRUM ROLL...
Shelli Yoder - State Senate District 40
Tiffany Grant - State Rep. District 60
Alyssa Bailey - State Rep. District 62
Paula Staley - State Rep. District 65
Julie Thomas - County Commissioner, District 2
Penny Githens - County Commissioner, District 3
Cheryl Munson - County Council At-Large
Jessica McClellan - County Treasurer
Valeri Haughton - Circuit Court Judge, Division 2, Seat 6
Kara Krothe - Circuit Court Judge, Division 8, Seat 5
Joani Shields - County Coroner
Congratulations to all our candidates! Remember, DWC members--early voting starts on April 6--that's less than a month away! Volunteer for a campaign TODAY and help our endorsed women get elected!!!
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:
CANDIDATES RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT BY THE DWC STEERING COMMITTEE:
The DWC Endorsement Committee has been hard at work reviewing applications, vetting information and interviewing progressive, prochoice women candidates from Monroe County who have filed for the 2020 Election. Now we’re ready to introduce you to the candidates that your Steering Committee has recommended to present to the membership for an endorsement vote. We will be voting at tomorrow’s breakfast. If you are a DWC member in good standing as of February 26, 2020 you are entitled to vote for Endorsement; because we know that not everyone can be at the breakfast, we will also be sending out ballots to all members who qualify so that they can vote by email or by proxy. Even if you cannot vote in this round, we hope you’ll check out these candidates, learn about their campaigns and the issues and consider them as you vote in the Primary on May 5.
Here are head shots and statements from all the candidates recommended for Endorsement:
PENNY GITHENS - COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 3
I grew up in Richmond, Indiana. After receiving my bachelor’s degree in chemistry and math education, I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya. I later held faculty research appointments at both Yale and Vanderbilt Universities, and participated in the creation of an international business program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. It was my experiences as the mother of a child with autism that drew me into the political arena.
My involvement with the local and state autism groups led to my many years as a volunteer educational advocate. Building on my background in health policy, I led the movement to mandate health insurance coverage for those with autism in the state of Indiana.
In my tenure as Monroe County Commissioner for District 3, I have focused on solid waste management, fire protection, storm water management, county parks and trails, community corrections, and the Substance Use Disorder Commission. I plan to focus on these projects, plus rural transit, in my next term.
I recently retired from the IU School of Education and continue to volunteer with special needs students through the Monroe County YMCA, as well as volunteering with IN*SOURCE. My husband, Ed Buffie, and I have two adult sons, Nathan and Nick.
JULIE THOMAS - COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 2
It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve our community since 2013. Two issues of focus in my 2012 and 2016 campaigns for County Commissioner still hold true in 2020 – environmental sustainability and encouraging civic engagement. It’s not because goals were not achieved. They are principles that reflect my perspective and approach to the many tasks performed by the Board of Commissioners. The Board works as a team – and I am grateful for my colleagues and I am proud of what we have accomplished. During my tenure as a Commissioner, we instituted a Guaranteed Energy Savings program and solar arrays are installed or planned for five county buildings. This includes the County Employee parking garage which also features plug-in receptacles for vehicles and a green wall. I worked extensively on the Bicentennial programming in 2018. There were a series of events throughout the year – both formal and informal – designed to appeal to children, families and adults. It was an opportunity to educate the public about the importance of country government and it fostered community connections with local government. The process for townships to join the Monroe Fire District has been crafted to ensure public information sessions occur and public input is incorporated.
New and ongoing projects include Criminal Justice Reform. I will work with county elected officials, staff, and residents to help create a justice system that is fair and equitable for everyone. The Convention and Civic Center project has occupied months of time and attention. We are working to ensure that County taxpayers are treated fairly in the process to develop a center that serves everyone. In Planning, the County’s Development Ordinance will require significant effort. The Quarries is the Uplands is a proposed 100-acre limestone heritage museum, music venue and park that we are developing to benefit county residents.
I have listed a number of important projects – past, present and future. In addition, the Monroe County Board of Commissioners provides the day-to-day administrative, executive and legislative leadership that county residents require. It’s not always glamorous, but it is always interesting. It requires time, attention to detail, and on-going conversations with residents, elected officials, employees, and community stakeholders. And it requires consideration of the limited budgets we face every year. I enjoy the role of public servant and I hope to continue to serve the residents of Monroe County.
CHERYL MUNSON - COUNTY COUNCIL AT-LARGE
I am Cheryl Munson, candidate for re-election to an At-Large seat on the Monroe County Council. I am currently in my second term and am honored to have been serving you. I am running for re-election because I love Monroe County – our beautiful setting and our diverse and vibrant community. I came here 49 years ago with my husband. We have a farm in Indian Creek Township where we raised two children and uncounted animals, and now greatly enjoy our four grandgirls, gardens, and Labrador retrievers. In my professional work, I am an archaeologist and Research Scientist in the Department of Anthropology at Indiana University. Developing and managing detailed budgets for large excavation projects, and collecting and analyzing information, have proven to be particularly helpful preparation for the Council’s work. So too has been the experience of my four terms on the Indian Creek Township Board. Most of all, what prepared me for representing County residents was my decades of experience as an active volunteer in our community: Planned Parenthood, MCCSC committees, PTO, Girl Scouts, 4-H, youth theater and sports, Bloomington Restorations, Grace Center Food Pantry, County boards and committees — the same kind of volunteer work many of you carry out. This work has connected me to people and the issues that concern them throughout the County. I continue to be a volunteer and serve on the boards of the Friends of Lake Monroe, the Monroe County History Center, and my neighborhood association in Indian Creek Township.
I take great pride in the collaborative accomplishments made during my work on the Council. Highlights include developing secure financing for juvenile services, setting up a structure to adequately fund elections year to year, increasing support for housing and food provided by our not-for-profits, working with City and County officials on expanded public safety, tourism, and recycling, serving two years as Council President and passing fiscally responsible budgets each year. In my next four years I will focus on three important areas: our Responsibilities, our Resources, and our Resilience. The Council’s primary responsibility of setting the budget and employee compensation is an exercise in knowing community values and weighing obligations and priorities. Preserving our valuable resources means striving to protect the natural, cultural, and governmental resources that residents value and depend on. Building resilience requires County plans for both current needs and future changes, which I think should include expanding affordable housing, decreasing food insecurity, and improving our justice and mental health care systems. As a member of the DWC, I hope you will vote to endorse my candidacy. To help my campaign or get more info, please visit www.cherylmunson.us, or just send me an email - [email protected] or call (812-325-3407).
JESSICA MCCLELLAN - TREASURER
As Treasurer, I would be honored to continue my service to the taxpayers of Monroe County. I will continue to provide the gold standard in customer service, policies that help the taxpayer, and a positive working relationship to support all of county government. I dedicate the office to individualized attention to customers, responding to customer needs and providing easy access to information. The Auditor and I jointly oversee the county’s $200 million accounting system, both banking and budgets. I administer property tax billing and collection, disburse payments, and as well as manage a staff dedicated employees with over 50 years of combined experience. I've worked hard to strengthen the collaboration between the Auditor and Treasurer. I pledge to listen to our citizens, give diligent oversight to all fiscal matters, and provide the best service to the county.
I am honored to have the opportunity to ask for endorsement from the DWC. I ask you to consider my strengths and weaknesses, give me feedback and criticism, and hold me accountable for my decisions. This guidance from my mentors and peers makes us all better at our jobs and more in tune with our community needs. The endorsement committee asked difficult questions, as usual, and I have some things to think about. I appreciate the thorough endorsement process and look forward to seeing everyone on Friday morning.
JOANI SHIELDS - CORONER
My name is Joani Shields and I am running for re-election as the Monroe County Coroner.
A little about myself:
I am a single mother of 2 adult men who have families of their own now. My oldest, Bradley is 32, a journeyman electrician and a member of the IBEW Local 725 in Terre Haute, married and has 2 fur babies. My youngest, Brennan, is 27, a concrete finisher/laborer and father of my only human grandchild, my 6 year old granddaughter Lily.
I am a certified Emergency Medical Technician and have been since 1999. Currently I work for IU Health Bloomington Hospital Emergency Transport Services and I am the Medical Records Coordinator at Centerstone. I have worked as a Deputy/Chief Deputy and now Coroner for the past 14 years.
As Coroner, I have made great strides to correct some internal office issues that had been there from previous coroners and feel I have gotten the most of them taken care. We no longer have gaps on the schedule and scene response times have been shortened from what they were previously. I have gotten my deputies a raise and I am working toward getting a transport unit, which we desperately need. Our case load has increased over the last few years however I have managed to utilize resources to help absorb the costs of the increase without having to increase my budget.
I am running for re-election because there are still a few things I would like to accomplish before I leave this position. I want to continue to pursue to get a transport vehicle, look towards acquiring a morgue and eventually get the position of Coroner recognized and compensated appropriately as a full time position.
Four years ago, I was honored and privileged to have the DWC endorsement. Having such a powerful group of women show support for your campaign is truly an honor. The passion each one of these women have for what they believe in, what we all believe in and the fight for women’s equality blows me away. I am proud to say I am a member of the Democratic Women’s Caucus.
VALERI HAUGHTON - CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE, DIVISION 2, SEAT 6
Valeri Haughton is in her twelfth year as a Monroe Circuit Court Judge. She stresses the importance of listening compassionately and ruling fairly when presiding over legal cases.
Judge Haughton has presided over family law, small claims and protective order cases. Her current caseload consists of criminal cases, including most of the domestic violence and sexual assault cases in Monroe County. She served as Presiding Judge of the Monroe County Board of Judges from 2014 through 2016. Val was a Deputy Prosecutor for fourteen years and an attorney in the Office of the Deputy Public Defender for eighteen months prior to her first election in 2008.
Haughton is a member and former chair of the Bloomington Human Rights Commission and serves on the board of directors for the Monroe County Community Kitchen, the Bloomington Playwrights Project, and My Sister’s Closet. In addition to her membership in the Democratic Women’s Caucus, she is a member of the NAACP, the Elks, the Monroe County Bar Association and the National Bar Association.
In 2015, Haughton was named City of Bloomington Woman of the Year and in 2018, she and her husband - Frank Motley - received the Living Legends award at that year’s Black History Month Gala. They have five children and nineteen grandchildren.
KARA KROTHE - CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE, DIVISION 8, SEAT 5
Lifelong Democrat Kara Krothe is seeking the nomination of the Democratic Party for judge in Monroe Circuit Court Seat V left vacant when Judge Kenneth Todd retired in 2018. Kara grew up in Bloomington attending our local schools. Kara is running for judge because she believes her experience and integrity lend themselves to upholding the law in a fair and impartial manner.
Kara has been a public defender for 16 years and has represented indigent clients in felony, misdemeanor, juvenile and civil cases (CHINS). Directing all aspects of the clients’ cases, she has attended court hearings with clients, assessed the strength of their legal arguments and apprised them of their legal options. Handling large caseloads, she strives to treat all clients fairly and with compassion. Kara is a seven year veteran of the Monroe County Drug Treatment Court team. She believes in the positive impact problem solving courts can have on its participants and our community.
Kara believes that her 19 years of courtroom experience will translate into making the courtroom less intimidating and more responsive for the victims of crime, the accused, participants, attorneys and staff involved in the cases coming before her. Kara Krothe is asking for your Democratic primary vote on May 5th.
SHELLI YODER - STATE SENATOR, DISTRICT 40
I’m Shelli Yoder, and I’m running to ensure that our voice in the Indiana State Senate is unflinchingly progressive and pro-choice. I’m running to combat the climate crisis, end gun violence, grow the economy inclusively, fight for public education, and repair the damage done to our democracy by gerrymandered district lines. I’m running because I believe in pursuing equity for members of the LGBTQ+, Black, and Brown communities. I’m running because I believe that government has a moral responsibility to provide public health and wellness services to all, and I believe that an unjust criminal justice system must be reformed. I also believe the time to decriminalize cannabis is now. You can find all 9 of my public policy priorities and more about my values at www.shelliyoder.com.
I have spent my life investing in the lives of others— as an activist for decades, a nonprofit executive, a teacher at IU, a mother of 3, and a member of the Monroe County Council for the past 6 years, where I served two years as President and led as a collaborative, careful, and compassionate steward of our fiscal resources. I am proud of past accomplishments in our community’s struggle against the opioid epidemic and for increasing access to mental health services; increasing services to veterans and youth; and enhancing our emergency 911 system and infrastructure. And, of course I am proud of every opportunity I had to stand alongside our local Planned Parenthood provider and take tough votes to help fund their provision of reproductive healthcare options in our community.
I am grateful for your continuing commitment to the DWC and support of pro-choice, progressive women to be involved in the electoral process. I am asking for your support to receive the DWC endorsement. Thank you, Shelli Yoder
TIFFANY GRANT - STATE REP., DISTRICT 60
As a teacher, I work hard every day to positively impact the lives of about 100 students. As a school building leader, I could positively impact about 1,500 people during the school year. As a State House Representative, I have the opportunity to positively impact over 60,000 Morgan County and Monroe County Hoosiers. And, my work in the Indiana State House would potentially positively impact nearly 7 million people across the state of Indiana.
As your State Representative, I will work to keep the citizens of District 60 better informed about their state government. I will listen to you and bring your voice to the State House. As a teacher, I am well-qualified to learn about all of the issues facing our district, understand the impact of legislation on issues, find solutions to issues, work with my colleagues to get the job done, and along the way, educate my constituents about each of those steps.
My goals as a state representative include working to:
● Support public education services (including providing better wages for teachers and better services for students),
● Expand access to wellness programs (including emotional health care and appropriate reproductive rights for women), and
● Promote living wage job opportunities (including creating pathways for adults to seek training in trade careers and increasing the minimum wage for all jobs in Indiana). And the foundation for each of those goals and all of my work (currently and as a State Representative) is a knowledge that each of us is created equal (no matter gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.) and that we all are worthy of quality representation that works for equal opportunities for all people in the state of Indiana. When the needs listed above are being met for every single person, only then can we work together to build better communities for everyone.
ALYSSA BAILEY - STATE REP., DISTRICT 62
Good afternoon! First off, I want to thank the DWC for your consideration of endorsing me. I am sorry that I cannot be there in person, but I am currently on military orders at Grissom Air Base, north of Kokomo. My name is Alyssa Bailey and I am running for state representative for district 62. I am a wife, mother, Army Veteran, current member of the Air Force Reserves and native Hoosier. I am a public school teacher at WRV Elementary and a union leader. My husband and I both work in the area and we have laid our family roots here. It is important to us and our family that district 62 not just survives, but thrives!
I attended the red for ed rally in November to support public education and while there, ran into Melanie Wright, who is both the state rep for district 35 and a fellow teacher. To say I was inspired is an understatement. Representative Wright planted a seed that has led me to give district 62 a better option for state Representative. As a teacher, I want to focus on how important it is to READ: Revitalize our district through Education, Accessible & Affordable Healthcare, and developing our economy.
I will do this by giving local control back to our communities. I will hold voucher and charter schools more accountable, while ensuring public schools are appropriately funded and able to prepare students to succeed upon graduation. I will ensure that our citizens are able to access and afford quality health care, including mental health providers and services, while supporting price transparency and holding insurance companies accountable to patients and providers. I will boost our economy by working to bring industries to our district and investing into economic, workforce, and career development.
I will continue to support initiatives that strengthen our district while looking for solutions on issues that are important to our neighbors, our families...to us. I WILL be a voice that represents the needs of district 62, but I cannot do this alone. This campaign NEEDS your support, whether volunteering, donating, or helping to spread the word. YOUR voice will be heard, but to do this, I need your vote at the polls in November! Please vote Alyssa Bailey for State Representative for District 62. Thank you!
PAULA STALEY - STATE REP., DISTRICT 65
Hoosier born and raised, in a family of nine. after high school, I became a nurse because I wanted to help people and be part of a mission greater than myself. This led ultimately to a career in public health.
I am running for State Representative, District 65 because I see policies that support Hoosier families are non-existent, and the super-majority Republican legislature is captured by big-moneyed interests. I will fight for affordable, accessible healthcare, and policies that support our families and protect our environment.
I know what it’s like to struggle to provide a home and put food on the table for 3 children, while both working and going to school full-time, as a single parent. I know what it’s like to suffer in an abusive relationship. I know what it’s like to be down to my last $20. And I know what it’s like to not go to the doctor because of a $10 co-pay. These experiences made me who I am and gave me a deep understanding for the struggle of working families.
I earned undergraduate degrees in nursing and public health from Indiana University and a master’s degree in public administration from University of Louisville. Working in environmental health and policy development at a local health department and at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, I created sound public health and environmental policy that made a difference in the lives of children and families.
I live in the beautiful town of Nashville with my husband and great lab, Rosie. I have ten beautiful grandchildren whose parents are teaching them to be caring, loving humans.
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
Are you attending the Women's History Month Lunch and would you like to sit with fellow DWC members at a reserved table? Email us at [email protected]. See DWC Announcements for full details....
It's Breakfast Time Again!!!! At our breakfast meeting this month we will visit with candidates who applied for endorsement by the DWC and were recommended by the Endorsement Committee for the 2020 Primary/General Election. Candidates will have time for a short statement after which the members will vote on the endorsements. Our Endorsement Committee was hard at work all weekend reviewing documents, running back ground checks and interviewing our candidates. We have a jam packed schedule with 11 candidates recommended – Shelli Yoder - State Senate District 40, Tiffany Grant - State Rep. District 60, Alyssa Bailey - State Rep. District 62, Paula Staley - State Rep. District 65, Julie Thomas - County Commissioner, District 2, Penny Githens - County Commissioner, District 3, Cheryl Munson - County Council At-Large, Jessica McClellan - Treasurer, Valeri Haughton - Circuit Court Judge, Division 2, Seat 6, Kara Krothe - Circuit Court Judge, Division 8, Seat 5, & Joani Shields - Coroner – so come on time and be ready to listen. To help you make your decision and for those who can’t attend the breakfast we will be sending out a special MMN with candidate statements. In addition, all members who were paid up by the deadline will receive a ballot by email along with instructions on how to vote. As previously, you will be able to vote in person, by email or provide a written signed proxy for someone else to vote for you. See you at the Village Deli on Friday morning - 7:30am sharp!!
Apologies for the late MMN - our regular writer for this week is out of town and it really was a jam packed weekend! Did we mention we're looking for women to help us out?
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They’re baaaack…. No, we’re not talking about the ghosts from the 1982 horror flick Poltergeist but about Russian bots, trolls, and hackers already busy interfering in our election. And to no one’s surprise, their efforts to undermine the foundations of our democracy are being aided and abetted by the Republican Party, from the president, who fired Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire for outing Russian meddling, to the spineless congressmen whose interest in national security fell short of holding a lawless Trump accountable for soliciting Ukrainian “assistance” in an investigation designed to smear Democratic candidate Joe Biden. Closer to home, Republicans in the state legislature continue their efforts to disenfranchise Hoosier voters. Voting rights advocates for the Indiana League of Women Voters report:
“SB334 passed out of the House Elections and Apportionment committee Thursday by a vote of 6-4. As written, SB334 allows the state to remove voters from the voter registration list without notifying them that they have been removed. Without language requiring voter notification, SB334 will be in violation of the National Voter Registration Act. It will end up in court just as the unconstitutional Cross-Check program did, costing the citizens of Indiana even more tax dollars.
There is a strong possibility of at least one amendment adding the necessary notification language being introduced this week during the Bill’s second reading. Call or write your Representative today and tell them to support any Second Reading amendment that adds notification language to SB334.”
Even if you’ve already called, call again ASAP. Democracy depends on it.
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The DWC held a training last Saturday (2/15) and during her presentation on messaging, Dee Owens quoted the third paragraph of the following excerpt from an article by Dr. George Lakoff on 9/11/11 entitled “The use of 9/11 to consolidate conservative power: Intimidation via framing”
“Democracy is defined by a simple morality: We Americans care about our fellow citizens, we act on that care and build trust, and we do our best not just for ourselves, our families, and our friends and neighbors, but for our country. Americans are called upon to share an equal responsibility to work together to secure a safe and prosperous future for their families and nations.
“The conservative consolidation of power violates this most basic of democratic principles. It replaces social and personal responsibility with personal responsibility alone. It approves of the government over our lives by corporations for their own profit, and hence sees government by, of, and for the people as immoral and to be eliminated.
“The conservative move to defund government is a means, not an end. What conservatives really want is to run the country and the world on conservative principles: to control reproduction (no abortion); to control what is taught (no public education); to control religion (conservative Christianity); to control race and language (mass deportation of Hispanics immigrants); to guarantee cheap labor (no unions); to continue white domination (no affirmative action); to continue straight domination (no gay marriage); to control markets (eliminate regulation, taxation, unions, worker rights, and tort cases); to control transportation (privatize freeways); to control elections (institute bars to voting).”
The loss of “democracy,” of the shared responsibility of citizens to and for each other and the damage that is currently being done to the value, reputation and infrastructure of our governmental institutions is going to be a lasting legacy of many of the people who currently “represent us” in the State House and on the National scene. It is going to be difficult to repair this damage and to institute change but it can be done.
The 2020 Election cycle is now in full swing both nationally and here in Monroe County. There are several contested democratic primary races this year but even in uncontested races candidates will benefit from starting early to get their messages out to voters. Now is the time for all of us to engage in our civic responsibilities which include not only the act of voting, but also ensuring that our friends are registered and able to vote, and that we are getting the education to make an informed decision about the candidates we support and vote for.
Over the next few weeks the DWC will be interviewing candidates who seek endorsement this year and we hope to bring those recommendation to the membership to vote on at the March 6 breakfast. We will also endeavor to keep you abreast of political happenings through this newsletter and social media and encourage you to take a look at all the candidates, attend meet & greets, forums and other events that will let you know who is running for office and whether or not they are willing to share an equal responsibility to work together to secure a safe and prosperous future for all of us. See you all out there….
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The DWC had a busy day on Friday, February 6….
At our monthly breakfast we were visited by Cathy Fuentes-Rohwer and Jenny Robinson from the Indiana Coalition For Public Education. They spoke about the difficulties facing our Public Education System in the state. From the replacement of our elected State Superintendent with a superintendent appointed by the governor, to the pressures of flawed mandatory tests that replace educational time with learning to the test, to the squeeze placed on public school budgets and the loss of financial stability created by the diversion of funds to voucher and Charter programs, and the devaluation of our public school teachers, public education is under attack from all sides.
Jenny and Cathy spoke to us of the value of public schools where students of different races, ideologies, religions and economic status meet and interact on a daily basis, teaching kids some of the basic tenets of living in a democracy. While they were quick to admit that public schools have not always fulfilled their promise and obligations to all students, the stretching of finite educational resources over ever greater numbers of schools is setting our schools up to deteriorate further. Loss of local control over curricula and lack of transparency in the use of financial resources have separated us from what our children are learning and has led to the devaluation and loss of opportunity for students whose passions take them in directions that aren’t “valued” by those making the decisions. Consolidation and closure of our public schools are causing the loss of community ties, especially in rural areas, and public-private partnerships can close schools mid-semester leaving students scrambling to find alternatives. The premise of “choice” is touted as a benefit of alternatives to public schools but in truth 99.4% of voucher funding in Indiana goes to religious schools who are allowed to discriminate.
20,000 people showed up for Red For Ed day at the Indiana State House and legislators did pay attention. They have made certain gestures to meet some of the concerns expressed by those who spoke during the day; for example they voted to hold schools harmless from the recent test score debacle and have made some efforts to separate those results from teacher evaluations, but there is much yet to be done and some bills will continue to hurt public schools. You can find a list of education bills that made it through half-time in the Indiana Legislature here. And you can find out what ICPE is doing to try to keep education public and how you can join that effort at https://www.indianacoalitionforpubliced.org
Later that evening DWC supporters gathered at The Fields for our Roaring-Twenties Murder Mystery. Our thanks especially to Steering Committee member Olivia Reed and her helpers who coordinated the event. The guests got into the spirit of things with some wonderful roaring twenties outfits. Catering from One World, tasty goodies from Baked! & the Rainbow Bakery as well as drinks from Cardinal Spirits filled our stomachs. A great list of silent auction donations from spa treatments to champagne, pet services and comedy tickets helped us to raise funds for the upcoming political season and Josh Johnson of Mid by Midwest Murder Mysteries kept our brains occupied as we met in dark alleys and under the flickering light, pondered clues and investigated suspicious characters. As with all good whodunits the culprits were unmasked at the end and a good time was had by all. We’ll put photos up on our DWC Facebook page soon.
And now we’re gearing up for the primary season. The filing period has ended so watch this space for information on candidates, endorsement information, trainings, meet & greets, forums and debates over the next few months - all the things that will help us to elect pro-choice, progressive women candidates in 2020. Confirm that all your information is up to date on-line at https://indianavoters.in.gov/ and get ready to vote -early voting starts on April 6, the Indiana Primary is on May 5.
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