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MESSAGE FROM LWVMI PRESIDENT
The election is over. We have elected a new President/Vice President, members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Michigan House of Representatives and numerous other elected officials at all levels. The League worked diligently at every level to register and inform voters. We were visible in all of our communities. Some of our local Leagues worked as poll watchers and we look forward to getting their reports.

At the state League office, I was acutely aware of the need of some voters who were seeking information on candidates, the location of polling places and voting laws. I was proud of the information we provided on www.VOTE411.org. our website, facebook, and our Voter Guides. Thank you to all the Michigan League members for all of their work!

Local Leagues are seeing much interest from the public to become involved in the political process. Social media is encouraging engagement (financial or volunteering) in a myriad of organizations. The League is one of those organizations. We hope more men and women will join the League to help make our nation, our state and our communities strong, safe, just and vibrant. Join us!

In the coming months, League members will be prepared to advocate, if the opportunities arise, for the implementation of stronger voting rights laws, reforms in campaign finance, and changes in redistricting and the selection of judges. Redistricting continues to be an especially challenging concern of the League, and we will continue to work towards a redistricting process that results in more competitive districts that reflect the diverse values of the constituents. (Click here to read this Metro Times post-election article on Michigan redistricting.)


Judy Karandjeff, President
LWVMI President

LWVMI CONVENTION: MAY 19-21, 2017

This year’s Convention at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing promises to be informative, productive and fun. State Convention provides an opportunity to conduct important business of the state League as well as an opportunity to participate in workshops, learn more about the League and renew friendships with League members across the state.

 

Delegates will:

  • Adopt the 2017 - 2019 state program, including any state studies

  • Adopt the LWVMI budgets for the next two years, including the per-member-payment

  • Elect LWVMI Officers and members of the Board of Directors

  • Consider Amendments to the LWVMI Bylaws, if proposed

A detailed schedule of events, a registration packet and other Convention documents will be sent to all Leagues via future e-mailings and will be available on the website.  Click here to view the First Call to Convention, local League delegate determination and instructions on submitting a proposed bylaw change.  Click here to view the descriptions and nomination instructions for the Convention Awards.

ADVOCATING WITH THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS:  WHAT CAN YOU DO?

1. Join the LWV
    a. Connect with people who share your democratic values
    b. Share in decision making and work
    c. Know you are a part of bigger coalitions

2. Learn About Issues
    a. Improve your general knowledge of issues – learn from others
    b. Focus on issues important to you – Share your knowledge
    c. View issues from a broader perspective – respect people’s right to different viewpoints

3. Strengthen our Voice & Establish Relationships
    a. Engage
    b. Mentor
    c. Demonstrate
    d. Advocate

4. Be Realistic – build bridges, not walls
    a. Compromise
    b. Non-partisan solutions

5. Stay Positive
    a. Hard work needs positivity – remember to have some fun
    b. Avoid burnout - take time for yourself & your loved ones

THE LEAGUE ADVOCATES FOR GOOD GOVERNMENT
The advocacy arm of the League of Women Voters of Michigan is hard at work. We monitor legislation as it is introduced and makes its way through the legislature. We also review proposed regulations which may impact environmental or public policies. Using state or national League positions, the Michigan League takes action when possible. Letters to the governor, legislators and other decision makers are routinely sent by President Judy Karandjeff, and when allowed, the League also delivers testimony at public hearings. This year, the League's advocacy has been focused on legislation concerning voting rights, environmental issues and the Flint water crisis. Check out our coverage of recent advocacy by reviewing a list of letters, press releases and testimony here.
THE GOAL: BECOMING A TOP TEN EDUCATION STATE
The Education Trust- Midwest, a nonpartisan research and advocacy organization, has published their 2016 Michigan State of Eduction Report. Titled, "Michigan’s Talent Crisis:The Economic Case for Rebuilding Michigan's Broken Public Education System."  The report deals with steps to reach the goal of becoming a top ten education state. Today, Michigan's K-12 system is among the weakest in the country and getting worse. In a little more than a decade, Michigan has gone from being a fairly average state in elementary reading and math achievement to the bottom 10 states. This is a devestating fall. Read the annual report here.
REDISTRICTING IN MICHIGAN:  SHOULD POLITICIANS CHOOSE THEIR VOTERS?

The League of Women Voters supports an Independent Commission as a solution to the problems with Michigan's current redistricting process. LWVMI is aware that other groups are thinking about a ballot proposal campaign. At this time, the League has not endorsed a ballot proposal or joined a coalition to do so. The LWVMI Board will evaluate the possibility of joining a ballot campaign based on the proposal and the probability of the campaign's success.

The League of Women Voters of Michigan hosted over 30 Town Halls across the state of Michigan in late 2015 to educate voters on the importance of redistricting. The events were free and open to the public.

The Town Hall presentation explored how legislative lines are drawn in Michigan, who draws them, and why it is a critically important question for those who care about fair representation.

In Michigan the district lines are drawn by the legislature, effectively allowing politicians to choose their voters, rather than the voters choosing their legislators. This system gives the political party in power at the time a tremendous advantage, but is this the best system for the voters? Our Town Halls will explore central questions, such as: What are the consequences of partisan drawn districts that favor one party over another? Is there a better and fairer way to do this? What are the alternatives?


For more information about redistricting, check out the Issues Page on our website.

SORTING OUT MICHIGAN'S ENERGY BILLS AND THE LEAGUE'S POSITION
Current Michigan energy law is set to expire at the end of 2015. We currently have PA 295, enacted in 2008, which provided that our utility companies diversify energy production to include 10% renewable energy by 2015. They have reached those goals. Renewable energy was defined as energy that is derived from sources such as solar, wind or water power. The House and Senate have been working on energy bills for some time. This would include HB 4297 and SB 437-438. These bills redefine renewable energy and call it “clean energy”. Clean Energy would include the burning of municipal wastes and coal if it does not violate any state or federal air emissions regulations. Read more about Michigan's energy dilemma and the League's position on legislative bills by clicking here.
CURRENT LWVMI NEWSLETTER
Click here to read the October, 2016 LWVMI Voter.