Monday Morning News - August 5, 2019

Welcome to our newest Steering Committee Member, Michelle Bright!

Headshot_-_Bright__Michelle.jpg

There are currently several openings on the DWC Steering Committee. According to our By-Laws, vacancies on the SC between election cycles are to be filled by appointment from the Steering Committee and subject to ratification by the membership at the next monthly membership meeting.

As there are a couple more vacant seats on the Steering Committee, we invite you to consider this opportunity to serve your fellow DWC members!
If you have an interest in serving please contact the DWC Chair via dwcannouncements@gmail.com.

Michelle started her political career in 2010, when she became enraged when allegations of political corruption involving her local public officials emerged. Not being satisfied unless she was part of the solution, she was caucused into the position of Benton Township Trustee in March 2012. Some of the highlights of her time in office so far has been working with community youth organizations to start a Township Food Pantry and a Little Free Library, restoring two historical cemeteries in Benton Township, and was one of the first Townships in Indiana to partner with the American Red Cross for the Home Fire Campaign. Michelle has always been very grateful to the DWC for helping train and support her over the years, and was endorsed both times she ran for re-election. She is a Business Analyst at Indiana University; and is currently settling in to being an empty-nester with her husband in Unionville.

Friday Breakfast Report
Michelle Bright, Benton Township Trustee, was actually on her way to a meeting with the Department of Local Government Finance regarding her upcoming budget but stopped to explain the process to breakfast attendees. Lee Jones, Cheryl Munson, and Shelli Yoder talked about budgets reflecting priorities of the council, and how they actually go about doing that. Jessica McClelland, County Treasurer, spoke about creating her budget for presentation to the council later in August. When asked what she would differently if she could, she replied that she wished she could give more money to employees rather than stick to the additional percentage allotted to all employees. Isabel Piedmont Smith talked about the city budget presentation process beginning with a meeting of Mayor and city council members to determine priorities for the upcoming year.

One main difference between the city and county budget process that is not widely known is that the mayor creates and presents the budget to the council to vote up or down in its entirety. County government approaches the process differently. Commissioners are responsible for many different budgets in the county, but individual elected officials present the budget for the county council's approval without approval of any other elected official. I think it's safe to say that all work together between the initial presentations and final votes to amend or adjust numbers in all the different funds and department lines to reflect the needs of delivering services to residents of our community.

Member Reports

Steering Committee member Rachel Guglielmo and several other local members of Moms Demand Action for Common Sense Gun Control in Washington DC this past weekend. We know that during that conference two incidents of mass shootings occurred. We can only imagine the heavy hearts, the anger and renewed determination of these women. They responded instantly by demonstrating in front of the White House and marching to the Capitol. Rachel urges us to get involved (see action items below).

 

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Monday Morning News - July 29, 2019

It’s Breakfast Time Again:
The summer is flying by and now it’s time for another DWC Breakfast. We’ll meet at the Village Deli to learn about how our local officials spend our money. Local City and County Council Women will be sharing their experiences with the annual upcoming budgeting process. We’ll send out more detailed information about the breakfast on Wednesday.

“With hope-anything in fact, everything is possible.
Hope is more than simply the possibility of fulfillment.
Hope is dignity and respect, joy and happiness, aspiration and achievement.
Hope never quits.
Through hope, we can aspire to be our best and in turn inspire those around us to reach higher.”
- Laura Farber 2019-2020 President of the Tournament of Roses

The theme of this year’s Tournament of Roses Parade is “The Power of Hope”. In 1915, the new woman rode a bike, wore bloomers, and carried banners about the vote. They made the difference. To win the vote, women had to convince men to give them the vote. No small feat. In 1920 Congress passed a law that granted the right to vote to women. As many have pointed out, that historic vote didn’t grant the right to vote to all women. And to be honest, the fight still continues today with voter suppression efforts, gerrymandering, rigging the census, and intimidation; all efforts that disproportionately target women and people of color. But hope never quits and we can overcome the forces that are working to subvert democracy in this country if we pay attention to the facts, educate ourselves and the voters and work together to achieve our goals, disagree with respect and stand with each other against the common enemy.

New DWC Steering Committee Member Proposed:

Headshot_-_Bright__Michelle.jpg
There are currently several openings on the DWC Steering Committee. According to our By-Laws, vacancies on the SC between election cycles are to be filled by appointment from the Steering Committee and subject to ratification by the membership at the next monthly membership meeting. At our last Steering Committee meeting we invited Michelle Bright to join the committee and we will hold a ratifying vote at our next breakfast this coming Friday. Michelle’s statement is below. She has helped edit the MMN for some time, has served on several committees and has done a terrific job of resolving many of the problems that plagued Benton Township prior to her election as Township Trustee. More details on the vote on Wednesday.
We are also in discussion with several other members who have expressed interest in serving and there will be an annual election this coming December. If you have an interest in serving please contact the DWC Chair via dwcannouncements@gmail.com.

Michelle started her political career in 2010, when she became enraged when allegations of political corruption involving her local public officials emerged. Not being satisfied unless she was part of the solution, she was caucused into the position of Benton Township Trustee in March 2012. Some of the highlights of her time in office so far has been working with community youth organizations to start a Township Food Pantry and a Little Free Library, restoring two historical cemeteries in Benton Township, and was one of the first Townships in Indiana to partner with the American Red Cross for the Home Fire Campaign. Michelle has always been very grateful to the DWC for helping train and support her over the years, and was endorsed both times she ran for re-election. She is a Business Analyst at Indiana University; and is currently settling in to being an empty-nester with her husband in Unionville.

 

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Monday Morning News - July 22, 2019

Sitting down this afternoon to work on the Monday Morning News, I found myself wondering what I could write to follow the beautiful opener of last week’s edition, which emphasized the necessity of a public discourse that reflects the voices of the many and concluded with a call for us to “listen to all the voices out there that work towards diversity and making the world a better place for everyone to live while fighting against those who would extinguish the lights of anyone who doesn't believe as they do.” Perplexed, I was only too happy to be distracted by the "ping!” of an incoming e-mail. Providentially, it turned out to be an announcement for a film that represents one of the very voices we need to hear. On Her Shoulders is an award-winning documentary about an extraordinary young woman, Nadia Murad, who has dedicated her life to saving her people, the Yazidis, and bringing ISIS before the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. In the film, documentary filmmaker Alexandria Bombach follows Nadia as she testifies before the United Nations, visits refugee camps, meets with high-ranking government officials, and again and again relives in interviews the terrifying details of her captivity and sexual enslavement by ISIS. David Ehrlich, senior film critic of Indiewire, has praised On Her Shoulders as “an essential portrait of the strength required to speak up.”

On Her Shoulders airs tonight (Monday, July 22) at 9:00 pm on WTIU.

 

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Monday Morning News - July 15, 2019

While looking through ‘Today in History” for July 15th and reading through the events they highlighted that happened on this date, it was hard not to miss the discrepancy between the number of events featuring women vs those featuring men. Only 13% of the 93 events listed that specified a person referred to an event that highlighted the achievements of a woman.
One of the events listed was an entry for Clara Adams who, in 1939, “was the first woman to fly around the world”. How I asked myself, could I not know about this woman and her achievements. On further investigation I found that while she was indeed the first woman to fly around the world (the trip took sixteen days and nineteen hours and covered 24,609 miles), it was as a commercial passenger and not at the throttle of an airplane. Still, at a time in history that many people of both sexes were fearful of air travel, she did much to popularize air travel and to demonstrate that it was safe. Perhaps she was the inspiration for other women who dared to leave the safety of home to explore the world.
Thinking about this I wondered how many women’s achievements throughout history have gone un-noticed or un-recorded. What were the hardships they faced, what kind of support did they receive, who might they have inspired if someone had just known what they had done.
Watching the young girls (and boys) watch Megan Rapinoe play soccer, seeing Joy Harjo named the the first Native American U.S. Poet Laureate, listening to the six women present their ideas at the Democratic Debate I am reminded how important it is that the voices of the many be reflected in the public discourse, that our lives are diminished if we only pay attention to our “own tribe”. It’s why we should work to make sure that the voices of women are included in all aspects of government but that we should also listen to all the voices out there that work towards diversity and making the world a better place for everyone to live while fighting against those who would extinguish the lights of anyone who doesn't believe as they do.

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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: aliforindy.com

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 dwcannouncements@gmail.com. There's more explanation of what we are grappling with just below in the announcements.

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Monday Morning News 07/01/19

Breakfast this Friday! Discussion on the future of the DWC
and maybe another surprise or two!

DWC future -- Are we done yet??

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.

As we look to evaluate our mission and look to move forward into the next decade, the DWC has held 3 listening sessions in the past couple of weeks. Friday's breakfast will be mainly dedicated to reporting on these findings, and hearing your thoughts on ideas that have been brought forward.

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!

 

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Monday Morning News 06/24/19

Tune in this coming Wednesday and Thursday to the first Democratic debates of the 2020 primary season as a record number of women make the case that they are the candidate best suited to defeat Donald Trump, restore the rule of law, and rebuild governmental infrastructure and our country’s reputation in the international arena. Will Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Marianne Williamson, or Tulsi Gabbard break that till now most resistant of glass ceilings to become the first woman president of the Unites States? How fitting a celebration of the centennial of women’s suffrage! And happily, as the field of candidates better reflects our country’s diversity, so too will the debate moderators: a policy newly adopted by the DNC requires that each debate have at least one female moderator and one moderator who is a person of color. In the words of Barbara Lee, founder and president of a foundation dedicated to increasing women’s equality of representation in American politics, here’s to “a debate in which every candidate gets a fair chance to make their pitch to America, without fear of mansplaining, he-peating or constant interruption. A debate in which voters and the media hold all candidates to the same standards and judge them on style and substance, not stereotypes.”

 

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Monday Morning News 06/17/19

We hope that everyone made it through last weekend’s storms ok, it’s scary to think that this may be only the tip of the iceberg as far as storms and rainfall to come…. Apart from knocking out the internet out where I am dog sitting, I came through unscathed and everything is finally back on line late tonight.

An apology to anyone who might have showed up at Switchyard Brewery on Saturday night… unfortunately it’s easy to miss the email header when composing the Monday Morning News unless you send out a test email which I didn’t do because the email was so brief and time was short. If you did head out to the pub I hope you enjoyed a pint or a glass of cider and found someone with whom to share a story, even if it wasn’t us…

And a big thank you to everyone who came out to one of our listening sessions this week or submitted their thoughts on line… We have a lot to process and think about but some of the big takeaways were a desire for an increased emphasis on training, not only of candidates, but also for campaign managers, workers and precinct committee people. Women also wanted to see more alternative meeting times and types in addition to the breakfasts… lunches, social hours and perhaps an expanded choice of venues that go beyond downtown into different areas of the county.
Our final official listening session (for now) will be at our regular breakfast meeting on July 5th… after which we’ll be looking at all the suggestions and working on putting them into an action plan.

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Monday Morning News - June 10, 2019

Inspiring DWC Breakfast on Friday

Karlee Macer, Indiana State Representative District 92, was our guest speaker at last Friday's breakfast. Karlee was first elected in 2012 and is currently the Assistant Democratic Leader and the Ranking Democrat on the Veterans Affairs and Public Safety Committee. She also serves on the Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development Committee, the Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications Committee and on the Indiana Veterans Affairs Commission. Throughout her time in the legislature, Macer has been recognized as the Indiana Chamber’s Legislative Champion, Indiana Chamber Small Business Champion, Legislator of the Year by the Disabled American Veterans, AARP Capital Caregiver Award, Legislator of the Year by the Indiana Social Work Association, and received the Distinguished Public Service Award from the American Legion.

Karlee spoke about her experiences in the state legislature, women's leadership and the importance of women's presence in the political arena for bringing to the forefront issues that male legislators often don't raise but that affect all Hoosiers and their families. Karlee was articulate and informative and we hope her message inspires many more women to run for office and rock our Indiana world!

Announcements

DWC Listening Sessions

As the DWC evaluates its mission and direction heading into the next decade, we will hold a series of listening sessions to hear from members, candidates, and elected officials who have been supported by the organization. Please register your thoughts on our mission, goals and direction by emailing dwcannouncements@gmail.com. Further details will be forthcoming, especially for members who cannot attend one of these sessions. We especially hope that those who have gone through the endorsement process, and/or have received funding from the DWC  will weigh in.

Tentative Dates: 
June 13 from 5-7pm at Switchyard Brewery, 
June 15* from 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm at Democratic Headquarters 
July 5 - the DWC monthly breakfast.

Volunteers Needed for Democratic Party Booth at the Bloomington Farmer's Market
The Monroe County Democratic Party still needs volunteers at the Saturday Farmers Market this summer! Shifts are available from 8am to 12pm. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Ed at 
edrbtsn@gmail.com.

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Monday Morning News 06/05/19 - Update

1--Don't forget THURSDAY, June 6th

THURSDAY, 6:00pm to 8:30pm
Knock Down The House Documentary
Monroe County Public Library, Room 1B
The DWC is proud to co-sponsor this event, hosted by DFMC, a showing of the new documentary that follows four determined candidates, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, throughout their campaigns in the 2018 election.

Join us for a great film, good company, and a good discussion following the film.
For more information about the film, please view the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wGZc8ZjFY4
Cosponsors: Democracy for Monroe County, College Democrats at Indiana University, Indiana 9th District Latino Caucus & the Democratic Women's Caucus.

 

2--A Fitting Tribute --

Vicky Sorensen, former Indian Creek Trustee, DWC Steering Committee member and current treasurer, is sadly mourning the loss of her husband Clark. In Clark's obituary, the family has asked in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Sycamore Land Trust or Grace Center Food Pantry in Harrodsburg. If you are so inclined please bring any canned, non-perishable food items you wish to donate to the Breakfast meeting on Friday. We'll take them down to the pantry where we know folks will be waiting.
Vicky and Clark have served that community well, in so many ways. Vicky, our hearts are with you now.

Check here for some information on the pantry and some ideas of what they can use: http://gracecenterindiana.org/food.html

Grace Center Food Pantry is always accepting food and money donations to stock the shelves and feed the families in this rural area. Donations are accepted any time the pantry is open (Thursdays 3 pm to 7 pm) or call 812-329-0337 to make special arrangements. If you hold a food drive, Grace Center Food Pantry will be happy to pick up donated items.
Items Needed:
• Canned fruit
• Peanut butter
• Catsup
• Egg noodles
• Rice/rice mixes
• Hamburger/tuna helper type mixes
• Canned milk
• Spaghetti/spaghetti sauce
• Cereal
• Cornbread mix
• Chicken broth
• Eggs
• Toiletries and personal hygene items
Thank you for thinking of Grace Food Pantry!


3--Then, FRIDAY, June 7

Karlee_Macer.jpg

Our special guest ~~ Karlee Macer, Indiana State Representative District 92.
She'll be speaking about her experiences in the state legislature, women's leadership and the importance of women's leadership as our party moves forward. Oh, and have you seen this?!

https://fox59.com/2019/06/02/in-focus-rep-macer-considering-run-for-governor/

Karlee was first elected in 2012 and is currently the Assistant Democratic Leader and the Ranking Democrat on the Veterans Affairs and Public Safety Committee. She also serves on the Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development Committee, as well as the Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications Committee and on the Indiana Veterans Affairs Commission.
Throughout her time in the legislature, Macer has been recognized as the Indiana Chamber’s Legislative Champion, Indiana Chamber Small Business Champion, Legislator of the Year by the Disabled American Veterans, AARP Capital Caregiver Award, Legislator of the Year by the Indiana Social Work Association, and received the Distinguished Public Service Award from the American Legion.
Karlee's official State Representative page: https://indianahousedemocrats.org/members/karlee-macer/full
Karlee's Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/karleeforindiana/

 

An Announcement about a plan for the DWC future -- "Are we done now??"

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 there are three women serving 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. 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 co-ordinators. 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.
-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.

As we look to evaluate our mission and look to move forward into the next decade, the DWC will hold a series of listening sessions to hear from members, candidates, and elected officials who have been supported by the DWC.

Dates are tentatively:
June 13 from 5-7pm at Switchyard Brewery,
June 15* from 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm at Democratic Headquarters
July 5 - the DWC monthly breakfast.

As you think about how you might contribute – think of one thing that we should change about the organization and one thing that should stay the same. Further details will be forthcoming, especially for members who cannot attend one of these sessions.
* Focus on those who have gone through the endorsement process, who have received funding from the DWC, candidates, elected officials who are most familiar with those processes.

 

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