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LWVBC July 2021 Newsletter

Laurie Teal  | Published on 7/27/2021


July 2021 Newsletter

Just a Note….

By Shari Frank, LWVBC President


Did you read the winning Essays in the June LWVBC newsletter answering the prompt: Do current districts and the redistricting process in Indiana reflect democratic principles?  Why or why not?  These students knocked it out of the park. They talked about why Indiana’s current redistricting process does not protect the democratic principle of EQUAL VOTES for every person. When redistricting is controlled by legislators whose conflict of interest is prone to draw maps in their favor, rather than equal voter representation, democratic principles may be lost. 


But some students misunderstood the prompt.  They interpreted democratic (with a small ‘d’) as meaning Democratic (with a capital ‘D’), meaning principles of the Democratic party.  That misunderstanding is the stuff of which misinformation is made.  We need to work against misinformation.  The For The People Act (S1) has been misrepresented as a Power Grab by Democrats.  But it is not.  It is a power grab for the Voters, to protect democratic principles.  


S1 protects voters’ access to the polls, reduces money influences and demands an end to gerrymandering!  

To paraphrase a quote from Sheila Kennedy, “The task for those of us who are terrified by current efforts to win elections by cheating–gerrymandering, vote suppression, placing unethical partisans in positions to oversee elections, etc.–is to work our fannies off to keep them from destroying democracy in the short run.” 


Below are maps of how Brown County’s Congressional District 9 has changed over the last two redistricting cycles.  We don’t know why the district changed after the 2010 census stretching up to include urban suburbs of Indianapolis instead of letting us vote with counties more similar to Brown County.  


Voters should have a say in how our districts are formed.  Districts should be competitive not partisan and safe for incumbents.  Communities with similar interests should be able to vote together not be broken apart.  Every vote should be equal. When Indiana is about 60% Republican and 40% Democratic, how is it that nearly 75% of the State Legislature is Republican?  Gerrymandered districts give unequal power to some voters over others. 


You can take action.  Read more about redistricting in this newsletter, and please join us in the campaign to ask our Senators Todd Young and Mike Braun to Pass S1.  And ask Hoosier State Legislators to:

  • Have public hearings and give us a voice in new voting districts
  • Make criteria for new districts transparent so we know why changes were made
  • Do not gerrymander districts to destroy the democratic principle of Equal Votes.

Together, we can make a difference.  We’re counting on you.  Please join in the actions outlined in this newsletter.


Redistricting: Ask Legislators for Fair Maps


The State League reports the following:The Indiana Legislative Services Agency will format the data for the state’s map-drawing software bySeptember 1, and they anticipate having maps drawn bySeptember 20In a private July 7 meeting ( Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston and Senate Pro Tempore Rodric Bray announced they plan to complete the state’s redrawing of electoral maps byOctober 1. User-friendly census data files will not be released untilSeptember 30—by which time the IN General Assembly will have already formulated redistricting legislation.

This timeline—which has not yet been made transparently available to the public—means we must ramp up our efforts to demand transparency and accountability, using every means available.

 Phone calls
 Letters to the editor
 Social media—posting, sharing, tagging
 Join a lobbying team


You may still volunteer to join one of the Lobbying Teams, led by Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC) members.  Contact Linda Hanson or volunteerHERE.  

Lobbying team leaders (revised) are: 

Northwest Indiana– Chris Brandon and Missie Summers-Kempf
North Central Indiana – Ranjan Rohatgi and Leigh Morris
Fort Wayne area – Marilyn Moran-Townsend and Tom Hayhurst
Hamilton County and CD 5 – Xavier Ramirez and Jack Tharp
Marion County and CD 4—Clara Glaspie, Julia Vaughn w/ help from Marcia Goldstone
8th & 9th CDs – Sonia Leerkamp and Vickie Dacey
East Central Indiana—Chip Taylor and Linda Hanson


Email Recommendation:The legislature has received the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission Report.  We need to make sure the report has an impact.  Please contact your state representative and state representative by email – their contact information follows this article.  Attach a copy of the report to your message; ask your legislators to read it and take the recommendations that it contains seriously.  Tell them you expect them to advocate for fair maps. Here is a sample message from LWVIN Co-President Linda Hanson:


I am a voter concerned about redistricting and I am calling to find out what is going on with that
I know that census data have been delayed and that the legislature will return later this
year to draw new maps. 
But it’s important that the public have a say in this important process and I
would like to see the Elections Committees start holding public hearings around the state as soon as
possible. I want to be involved and I 
want to get others in my community involved too – so we can
ensure that voters are well served by the 
new districts. Letting us know now, instead of at the last
minute, will help the public get engaged and provide 
the legislature with valuable input.


And, add your voice to LWVBC on specific target dates to show more strength by working together.  Target these dates/weeks to send post cards or emails or letters:

  • Women’s Equality Day on August 26 (to demand Fair Maps)
  • Constitution Day on September 17 (the birthday of our U.S. government)

Here are some brief messagessuggested for use on the postcards:

Send us an imageof your post card/email/letter so we can put it on our website! To share your communications, please send to


Your voice matters! Legislators have reported they are receiving lots of contacts!  We are being heard.  Keep up the good work.  


Contact all SEVEN legislators who are responsible for Redistricting by phone, email, postcard, or letter.  If you want to do fewer, focus on the heads of Election committees: Representative Wesco and Senator Ford.  

-- Governor Eric Holcomb
. To email click on:  then select " To contact the governor with questions or comments unrelated to the above, click here."
MailOffice of the Governor, 200 W. Washington St., Rm. 206, Indianapolis, IN 46204

Phone: 317-232-4567.  

The mailing addressfor all Indiana Legislators is 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204.

Senator Eric Koch - Representing Brown County



Phone: 800-382-9467 or 317-232-9400 


-- Representative Chris May – Representing Brown County


Phone: 317-232-9981



-- State Senator Rodric Bray, President Pro Tempore of the Indiana Senate 

Phone: 317-232-9400





-- State Representative Todd Huston, Speaker of the House of Representatives 


Phone: 317-232-9677



-- State Representative Timothy Wesco, Chair, Elections and Apportionment 


Phone: 317-232-9753  



-- Senator Jon Ford, Chair, Senate Elections Committee


Phone: 800-382-9467


Redistricting: What Is It and Why Should Anyone Care?

Submitted by: Sunny Leerkamp, Chair, Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission and Co-Vice President, LWVBC


Editor’s Note: This article, written by Sunny, was offered to several media outlets in the 9th district in a continuing effort to keep Fair Maps and this year’s redistricting top of mind.


Once every 10 years the United States conducts a census and the results of that are used to divide populations into voting districts at the state and national level. This process is mandated to ensure that changes in population can be reflected in creating equal representation in Congress and state legislatures. The process is called “redistricting.” 


There are at least five fundamental reasons why voters need to understand redistricting and why they need to care about it: 


1. Placing voters in districts is at the foundation of the concept of one person/one vote. 

2. The district you are placed in determines who represents you at the state and national


3. Who represents you determines whether or not your voice is actually heard. 

4. How the districts are drawn determines whether you get to pick your representatives

    or the representatives get to pick their voters. 

5. Achieving fair maps is the key to fair elections. 


In many states, including Indiana, state legislators are in charge of drawing the redistricting maps. This creates a clear conflict of interest. Across the nation and throughout our history, this process has allowed the majority party, whether Democrat or Republican, to largely control the redistricting process and has frequently resulted in an abuse of the process called “gerrymandering.” 


Gerrymandering allows legislators to look at partisan information and create safe districts for individuals representing their party and unfavorable to their opposition. Gerrymandering contributed to a result in the last two Indiana congressional elections where Republicans garnered 57% of the vote, but 78% of the seats, while Democrats received 42% of the vote and only 22% of the seats. These numbers fly in the face of the concept of one person/one vote. 


Recently Dr. Christopher Warshaw, a national expert on gerrymandering, was commissioned to analyze why one party in Indiana holds such a disproportionate supermajority in the General Assembly and congressional delegation. After looking at the maps drawn in 2011, his findings showed: 


 Indiana’s current electoral maps are more tilted in favor of one party than 95% of all the maps enacted in the United States over the last 50 years.


 Indiana’s bias is worse than those of its neighboring states of Kentucky, Ohio and Illinois.


 Indiana’s maps dilute minority party votes by packing Democratic voters into a few heavily Democratic districts.


 The maps eliminate many competitive districts that would otherwise elect moderate representatives.


 Indiana’s geography did not cause these unfair maps; Indiana’s redistricting commission did. 


(The full report can be found at


The lack of fair representation through fairly drawn maps in Indiana has resulted in an outcry of individuals who feel unheard and ignored by their representatives. This has been vocally expressed in the 10 public hearings held by the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC), a multi-partisan representative group selected by a coalition of organizations interested in creating fair maps for Indiana. This commission is analyzing why Indiana's voter turnout is in 42nd place out of 50 states, and eight out of nine congressional races were won by more than 16 percentage points. Voter apathy due to the lack of competition is at the heart of the problem and apathy is created by voters not feeling heard. By drawing maps to favor a political party, voting power is diluted and communities are split. In addition, and importantly, fair representation is directly related to talent recruitment and retention of valuable human resources that our state produces. People are choosing to move to other states where they feel their interests can be represented, rather than staying in Indiana. 



…importantly, fair representation is directly related to talent recruitment and retention of valuable human resources that our state produces. People are choosing to move to other states where they feel their interests can be represented, rather than staying in Indiana.



The ICRC invites everyone to take an interest in the redistricting process. Every Hoosier voter has a vested interest in joining the Commission in its efforts to protect the important role of every voter in our democracy. The Commission will be holding an open competition for maps to be submitted for prizes after the census data is available in August of this year. You can go the website at

and practice drawing your own maps and submit them for prizes, later to be announced. The Commission is committed to taking the best maps submitted to the legislature for their consideration. If their own maps do not satisfy tests of fairness and impartiality, we want to be able to ask them why! 


For more information or actions you can take, please email LWVBC:


Redistricting: Want to Know More?


We want voters to pick their legislators, not the other way around! 


Earlier this year, the Indiana Citizen’s Redistricting Commission (ICRC) held 9 public forums targeting the 9 Indiana Congressional Districts and received a LOT of input from the public.  Some of the key requirements voters stated they want in redistricting include:

  • A transparent process that lets the public see how districts are drawn and lets voters weigh in
  • A process that does not favor one party over another, and is not drawn around an incumbent’s place of residence
  • A process that lets people with similar interests vote together to protect communities such as cities, counties, school districts and more

The Brown County League has worked with the Bloomington-Monroe League and many other partners to develop a presentation and resources to share basic information about redistricting, show what is at stake when maps are drawn to favor one party over another, and explain why redistricting should be nonpartisan, transparent, and protect communities and common interests


If you are interested in learning more, or your group or organization would like to learn more, please contact us to request information or to schedule a presentation.  The presentation can be tailored for your time frame, and for the knowledge level of your group: from the basics to more detailed information.  


Please contact LWVBC President Shari Frank at to schedule a presentation or for more information.  


Redistricting: Join LWVBC in an Upcoming Member Meeting

Mark your calendar for Tuesday, August 24, 6 pm


Our local League is planning to host an in-person Member meeting on Tuesday, August 24, 6:00 pm at the Brown County Public Library. The meeting date is subject to any COVID restrictions that may be in place or recommended by CDC. 


Join us to view a PowerPoint presentation about redistricting. Sunny Leerkamp, LWVBC Vice President and Chair of the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC), will be available to answer questions about redistricting and the ongoing efforts of the ICRC to encourage the state legislature to work toward a fair and transparent process. During the meeting we will have pre-addressed post cards for attendees to write a message about Fair Maps to our legislators. More information will follow in the next few weeks.

Join the LWV Campaign to Pass the For the People Act – S1



ASK Senator Young to PASS the For the People Act: S1.  


S1 creates fair redistricting for Congressional districts.  States will still determine how to draw maps for State Senate and House of Representatives, so we need to work for Fair Maps at both the State and Federal levels.  


It is time to ramp up our efforts for the passage of S.1 For the People Act. 


Put Senator Young’s number in your contacts, use speed dial and CALL DAILY:  IN (317) 226-6700 or D.C. (202) 224-5623. If you can’t get through, send an email through his

LWVIN Voter Services committee sent us this message on how important this is:


It is only with a steady drumbeat of phone calls that we are going to be able to impress 

upon Senator Young just how important the passage of this bill is to Hoosiers.  I know 

it might feel odd to call over and over, but please know that your second and third 

calls are just as important as the first one.  Numbers count.  We need to pass this bill 

before the August recess, calling daily is truly crucial.


Remember when you call, you will be asked for your name, address, and possibly your phone or email address.  Always remain polite and thank the person who takes down your message.


WHAT TO SAY:  Sample messages for Senator Young have been provided by LWVIN Voter Services Committee.  Use these as a guide but share why redistricting is important to YOU!  The passage of this bill will improve many voter rights, access to voting and redistricting at the Federal level.  Thank you for whatever you can do to let Senator Young know how you feel.  


Sample messages in support of S1

  • The job of every elected official should be to defend and protect our democracy and every American citizen’s right to vote. That is why I urge Senator Young to pass S.1, the For the People Act. 
  • I am urging Senator Young to support the passage of S.1 to reduce the influence of big money in our politics.  We need transparency and an overhaul of the FEC.
  • I call on Senator Young to support the For the People Act.  All three branches of government need clear ethical standards. S.1 will establish accountability and help to restore the public's trust in ethical leadership.
  • I am calling on Senator Young to vote to pass the For the People Act.  S.1 establishes basic voting standards designed to protect every citizen's access to the ballot box. This bill would prohibit voter purges, end partisan gerrymandering, and expand early voting and absentee voting. The passage of this bill is critical to our democracy.
  • I am asking Senator Young to support the For the People Act.  This bill is NOT a partisan power-grab.  Wanting every eligible voter to have equal access to the ballot box is not partisan. Wanting a robust democracy in which everyone has an equal voice and equal representation is not partisan. It is American.  
  • Polls show the public supports the For the People Act. People in the U.S. overwhelmingly support campaign finance reform, the establishment of ethics rules, and making voting more accessible for all.  
  • Senator Young has a historic opportunity to preserve American democracy by passing S.1.  I urge him to put the protection of the right to vote above party politics and pass the For the People Act.  Every voter deserves to know their right to vote is secure.  

Contact Information: 


Indiana U.S. Senator Todd Young 


Phone:IN (317) 226-6700 or D.C. 202-224-5623


Address: 185 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 

What about contacting Senator Braun?  By all means!  Let Senator Braun know you want him to support S1.  Since Senator Young is up for reelection in 2022, he was selected as the primary contact.  However, it’s important to let Senator Braun hear from you too when you have the time.  Thank you!


Indiana U.S. Senator Mike Braun 


Phone: 202-224-4814 


Address: 374 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 

Volunteers are Ready for Our Booth at the 4-H Fair


As this year’s Brown County 4-H Fair will be in-person, the LWVBC will have a booth during the entire run of the Fair, scheduled for the evenings (6-9:30 pm) of July 26-31. We have already filled our volunteer schedule for the entire run of the Fair! Thanks to all of you who signed up to help!


Board Member JoAnne Himebaugh is creating three amazing displays our Fair booth: a display featuring the winners of the essay contest; a display about Dorothy Stewart, a founding League member and whose name is honored with our League’s scholarship program; and an informational display focused on Fair Maps/Redistricting.


We’ll have giveaways such as Connections, and bubbles and salamander stickers for the kiddos. We will also offer a set of pre-addressed postcards for folks to send a message on Fair Maps to the top seven Indiana legislators involved in redistricting. If you plan to visit the Fair this year, stop by our booth to say hello.


The League had a very successful booth at the June 13 Farmers Market, talking to shoppers about Fair Maps. We plan to have a booth at two more Farmers Markets this season – August 22 and September 19, 11 am to 2 pm.  


League members, can you help with the Farmers Market? If you have some time to spare on August 22 or September 19, please contact League President Shari Frank ( or Co-Vice President Laurie Teal (, and pick your 1½ hour schedule for the Farmers Market. 


Thank you!

DEI Glossary of Terms: Q-Z

Source: League of Women Voters Bloomington-Monroe County


Editor’s Note: Below are the remaining terms in a glossary of commonly used words with detailed definitions and their sources. 


As you read through the information, ask yourself the following: 

  • What definitions surprised you? 
  • What definitions are new to you? 
  • What familiar definitions have you used interchangeably? 

In reviewing them, what differences can you see and why are they important to how and when the words are used?


What role can you play in connecting these definitions to League work and sharing them with your 

League network? 

A social construct that artificially divides people into distinct groups based on characteristics such as physical appearance (particularly color), ancestral heritage, cultural affiliation, cultural history, ethnic classification, and the social, economic, and political needs of a society as a given period of time.Source: W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Maurianne Adams, Lee Anne Bell and Pat Griffin, editors. Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice: A Sourcebook. New York: Routledge. 

[A socially created categorization construct based on arbitrary genetic characteristics designed to create hierarchies of privilege, power, and worth between humans.] 

A system in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms work in various, often reinforcing ways to perpetuate [a certain type of] inequity. It identifies dimensions of our history and culture that have allowed privileges associated with “whiteness” and disadvantages associated with “color” to endure and adapt over time. It is not something a few people or institutions choose to practice. Instead, it has been a feature of the social, economic and political systems in which we all exist. Source: Everyday-Democracy; Aspen Institute 

[Racism involves one group having the power to carry out systematic discrimination of groups deemed racially inferior through the institutional policies and practices of society and by shaping cultural beliefs and values that support those racist policies and practices.] 

The biological classification of people based on the reproductive organs that they possess at birth.

Sexism involves one group having the power to carry out systematic discrimination of groups deemed inferior on the basis of their sex. Sexism is maintained through the institutional policies and practices of society and by shaping cultural beliefs and values that support those racist policies and practices. 

Social Justice
Includes a vision of society in which the distribution of resources is equitable and all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure. Involves social actors who have a sense of their own agency as well as a sense of social responsibility toward and with others and the society as a whole.Source: W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Maurianne Adams, Lee Anne Bell and Pat Griffin, editors. Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice: A Sourcebook. New York: Routledge. 

Social Power
Access to resources that enhance one’s chances of getting what one needs or influencing others in order to lead a safe, productive, fulfilling life.Source: W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Maurianne Adams, Lee Anne Bell and Pat Griffin, editors. Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice: A Sourcebook. New York: Routledge 

Refers to systems of power maintained at the structural level of society. Something is referred to as systemic when it is deeply embedded in a given system such that its presence may be subtle as opposed to explicit. 

White Supremacy
A historically based, institutionally perpetuated system of exploitation and oppression of continents, nations and peoples of color by white peoples and nations of the European continent; for the purpose of maintaining and defending a system of wealth, power and privilege.
Source: Racial Equity Tools; Transforming White Privilege: A 21st Century Leadership Capacity, CAPD, MP Associates, World Trust Educational Services, 2012 

Brown County Library to Host Suffrage Exhibit

Our local library will be hosting Securing the Vote: Suffrage in Indiana from August 1-26. This traveling exhibit, a project of the Indiana Women’s Suffrage Centennial and supported by the Indiana Historical Society, explores the path of women’s right to vote in the state of Indiana.

From the Indiana Historical Society website: “Our latest traveling exhibit,Securing the Vote: Women’s Suffrage in Indiana, explores how women across Indiana passionately labored for suffrage through countless meetings, campaigns and grassroots efforts."


COVID-19 Vaccine Indiana Info

If you are age 12 or older, you can get a vaccine.Please note that anyone younger than 18 must receive the Pfizer vaccine. It is the only vaccine to receive Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA for that age group. Proof of age will be required at the time of vaccination.


Call 2-1-1 to schedule. For more information: go to


Additional resources:  Brown County: COAD Hotline: Call 812-988-0001 for help related to food, medicine, transportation.  Or visit their website:




Remember: Even after you get your vaccine, take precautions. Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth in large groups, continue to wash your hands often, and stay at least 6 feet away from other people you do not live with


This gives you and others the best protection from catching the virus. Right now, experts don’t know how long the vaccine will protect you, so it’s a good idea to continue following the guidelines from CDC and your health department. We also know not everyone is vaccinated, so it’s still important to protect yourself and others. 

Updates from LWVIN

The LWVIN website is

  • QUILTS4DC Challenge: This summer, be part of the great legacy of American quilt-making as a means of patriotic expression! The Quilts4DC Challenge asks quilters everywhere to share their creativity and lift the message of full representation and voting rights for fellow Americans residing in Washington, DC. For more information go to

Updates from LWVUS

The LWVUS website is


From the July 8 email from LWVUS CEO Virginia Kase Solomon:Following the success we saw in the 2020 election, I'm proud to announce the League's new programmatic focus:Women Power Democracy.


“Over the past year, we've seen countless challenges to our democracy in the forms of mis- and disinformation, gerrymandering, and voter suppression.

“Women Power Democracy is four-pronged approach to building trust in our elections, growing our electorate, creating fair voter access, and ensuring community districting reflects our population.


“Its components are: 

  • Democracy Truth ProjectCountering mis- and disinformation in our government and advancing public understanding of the democratic process;
  • Expand the FranchiseIncreasing voter participation, with a focus on underrepresented populations and low-propensity voters;
  • Democracy Defense FundProtecting voting rights and advancing a more equitable democracy through advocacy and voter protection efforts; and 
  • People Powered Fair Maps™Leading with advocacy, public education, and organizing to create transparent, people-powered electoral maps and eliminate gerrymandering during 2021 redistricting. 

“This work will take shape through League activations, trainings, and workshops to support the public and position the League as a continued leader in these areas ahead of the midterm elections next year.


“I can't wait to embark on this new chapter of advocacy with you.”

Government and Board Meeting Calendar





PLEASE NOTEMeetings may be in person and/or virtual.

See links below to check days/times.


Brown County Election BoardFirst Tuesdays of the month, 2 pm

August 3, 2:00 pm (check for possible changes)

September 7, 2:00 pm(check for possible changes)


Brown County CommissionersFirst Wednesday of the month,9 am; third Wednesday of the month, 6 pm

July 21, 6:00 pm (check for possible changes)

August 4, 9:00 am(check for possible changes)

August 18, 6:00 pm (check for possible changes)


Brown County Council:Third Monday of the month, 6:30 pm

July 19,6:30 pm(check for possible changes)

August 16, 6:30 pm(check for possible changes)


Brown County Health Board:Bi-monthly, third Tuesday, 5 pm

July 20, 5:00 pm (check for possible changes)

September 21, 5:00 pm(check for possible changes)


Nashville Town Council:Third Thursday of the month, 6:30 pm

August 19, 6:30 pm(check for possible changes)

September 16, 6:30 pm(check for possible changes)


Note: for all government and advisory board meetings and to verify times, please check the

Brown County government calendar:

or the Brown County Democrat:





August 9, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

September 13, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm


Please Note:

The LWVBC Board voted at the

June Board meeting to begin conducting our board meetings

IN PERSON again!


These meetings will be held

In the lower level of the Brown County Public Library.


Zoom will be available.

To participate in the meeting, contact League President Shari Frank at



LWVBC Board meetings are held the

second Monday of each month


League Members, Friends,

and the public are welcome




Are You a Member Yet?


Join the League of Women Voters of Brown County!


100 years working for a more perfect democracy



Want to volunteer?Help with voter registration?

Advocate for voter rights?Advocate for natural resources, etc.?


We welcome your participation!


Email the League at