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OF THE GRAND TRAVERSE AREA
      And News Items For
              July, 2022
           
Report from Newsletter app:
78 members opened the June newsletter with a total of 154 opens. 
                           
Reading time is approximately fifteen minutes.

 
"Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed.
If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth."


William Faulkner
Notes on LWVGTA's Fall Programs from Cheryl Naperala, Program Chair: 

Watch the September Voter for information about the 2022/23 programs. Our first program will be  on September 20th from noon to 1:30 -  in person -  at the Traverse City Public Library. And- thanks to Matt Kern at Traverse Area Community Media and Aaron Olson at TADL - the program will also be on Facebook and channel 189 with Spectrum TV.
 
 Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Voting - But Were Afraid to Ask!  is the title of the program.  Mr. Sam Gedman - Deputy Clerk of Grand Traverse County - will answer your questions and those of two special voters who will be asking  questions about their personal situations. This should be a fun program! 

Cheryl Naperala, napperch@yahoo.com
 
November 8th Election Board of Canvassers News and Volunteer Search

Volunteers are needed for the Board of Canvassers (BOC) review that is done in each county when they meet to review the paper work submitted in each of the counties and certify the election results.  According to Steve Horne, member of the Grand Traverse Board of Canvassers and a member of LWVGTA, the BOC's responsibilities include: completing the canvass and certification of primaries and elections, conducting recounts, resolving claims involving malfunctioning voting equipment and defective ballots, and inspecting ballot containers.

Grand Traverse, Antrim, Kalkaska and Benzie all need more volunteers.  To sign up to volunteer beginning on the first Tuesday after the election, please call your county clerk.  Work days are M-F from 9am to 5pm, with volunteers working a 4 hour shift from 9-1 or 1-5.  The job should be completed in one to five days depending on the population of the county and the number of ballots.  LWVGTA volunteers wear name tags and are observers only, being asked not to talk during the process. LWVGTA volunteers are asked to write a brief report on the process.

Training for volunteers is on August 1st at 7:00pm via Zoom.  An election attorney will conduct the training which can also be viewed later if you miss the live recording.

Please send an email or phone Alice Schuman
schuman.alice@gmail.com or 917-664-4358 if you have questions or are interested in volunteering for the Board of Canvassers in one of the counties needing help.
August 2nd, 2022 Primary Election Information

Please vote and tell everyone you know to vote in the August 2nd Primary Election.  It's not too late to get an absentee voter ballot from your precinct clerk.  Ballots may also be picked up and voted on the day of the primary.

A number of precincts have changed, so ask the clerk if you are unsure of your correct precinct.  Secure drop boxes at the county, city or township clerks' offices are available for no-contact ballot drop offs.  Ballots must be in a drop box by 8pm on August 2nd.

To get more information on candidates, visit http://www.vote411.org, a non-partisan website sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Michigan.

REMEMBER that ballots can be marked only in the political party of one's choice.  Ballots with marks under both political parties won't be counted.  Some ballots will also contain non-partisan ballot proposals to be voted on.
Senior Center Building News:

"Celebration, then back to work on senior center.

"Building plans need finalizing, city
manager says.
 

"TRAVERSE CITY - Amid all the jubilation after state lawmakers passed a budget granting $7 million for a new Traverse City Senior Center, there's still work to do.

"But the glow of knowing that most if not all of the needed funding is in hand was still apparent in Friends of the Senior Center member Bob Steadman's voice Friday, even as he agreed the plans are not yet finalized.

"'We're ecstatic, of course, about the fact that there are funds available to get started with the project,' he said."

Source: Record Eagle, July 10, 2022 page 1
 
 
"Jan. 6 hearings could spur update of 19th century law

"For six months, a bipartisan group in congress has been quietly working to overhaul the Electoral Count Act, the 1887 law that Donald Trump and his allies tried to exploit on Jan. 6, 2021 to overturn the presidential election.  Advocates are hopeful that momentum is now on their side, after the House committee investigating the Capitol attack shone a spotlight on the little-known statute.

"Congress passed the Electoral Count Act after the contentious 1876 election, when Republican Rutherford B. Hayes defeated Democrat Samuel Tilden.  Several states had submitted competing slates of electors, and congress went weeks before resolving the conflict, partly because there were no rules for how to handle such a crisis.

"The Electoral Count Act provided those rules, but in language that is vague and archaic.  Lawmakers who support updating the law believe it is one of the few measures that can make it through a hyperpartisan Congress.  'There's broad consensus,' Thom Tillis, a Republican Senator for North Carolina, tells TIME.

"But if legislators intend to change the law before the next presidential election, the window may be closing fast.  Waiting until after the hearings conclude would give lawmakers a few weeks at most before Congress begins its summer recess, and legislation rarely passes in the fall of an election year.  It may become far more difficult to update the law if Republicans gain control of one or both chambers of Congress.

"Still, the committee vows to press the issue forward.  Representative Stephanie Murphy, a Florida Democrat and a member of the Jan. 6 panel, argues that too much is at stake.  'We should want to make sure,' she says, 'that no one has the ability to overthrow the will of the American people."


Source: TIME July 4/July 11, 2022, p. 20, written by Eric Cortellessa
 
LWVUS Position on the Electoral College

The June, 2022 LWVUS Convention delegates approved adding "'election of the president by popular vote', meaning both the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact and the Abolishment of the Electoral College by Constitutional Amendment.  This addition fit with the announcement by LWVUS President Dr. Deborah Turner that the League's next long-term goal is abolition of the Electoral College."
This will be pursued for the next 2 years.

Source: LWVMI League Links, July 2022, by Denise Hartsough, LWVMI Treasurer and Convention Delegate
 
Suzy Connor's Report on a Close Vote at the June LWVUS Convention
 
This article relates to the bylaw amendment which was passed by a narrow margin at the LWVUS convention last month.  It was opposed and subsequently challenged by the LWVMI because it will alter the membership and dues process beginning in 2024.  As a vintage League member only recently reactivated after retiring, it was invigorating to attend the conference in person and I would like to share my perspective on the change in structure.
 
Cliff Albright, the presenter from Black Voters Matter, was compelling in his focus on coalition-building and leaning into conflict in order to achieve common goals; providing examples from the broad array of activists now collaborating to oppose voter suppression across the nation.  His advice came to mind as LWV members debated the controversial bylaw change.  Whether our “side” “won" or “lost”, we should now set aside our difference of opinion and participate eagerly in the implementation of the upcoming change in order to maximize its positive potential.
 
Personally, I joined the League because my mother, aunt, and grandmother were active so the legacy runs deep; however, relevance and inclusion is a struggle that was discussed openly at the conference.  Some of our weakness was plain when we  (the in-person attendees) joined thousands of protesters around the Colorado state capital building the night of the momentous Supreme Court decision.  It was a chance to chat with numerous like-minded women of diverse age and ethnicity; many of whom were only vaguely aware of LWV.  To engage  more broadly with potential new members like this, we should be able to offer:
 
a)  A secure website where dues and donations can be processed via credit/debit  card;
b)  A content-rich website  with live links to a variety of resources and videos of past programs;
c)  Frequent and engaging social media accounts that drive traffic to reliable sources of information;
d)  Collaborative events that promote teamwork;
e)  Accessible hybrid programs that accommodate parents, shift workers, and persons with disabilities.
 
LWVGTA is blessed with remarkable and dedicated volunteers who are doing all they can, so the above list will undoubtedly seem overwhelming.  I would suggest that we add to and refine this list and use it as a basis for negotiating  the proposed new structure in a way that shares the responsibilities/costs  among the local, state, and national LWV,  relying on organizations with paid staff to expand technology infrastructure, along with branding/marketing/PR.   Benchmarks and evaluation would also be an appropriate aspect of the transition.
 
There's so much to do and we can't let disagreements further limit our strained capacity.  So, in my opinion, it's time to make lemonade!   
Election Worker and Challenger Recruitment

Election workers and challengers are needed for the November General Election. 

"LWVMI's coalition partners are working together to recruit and train nonpartisan poll challengers.  The purpose of these challengers is to preserve the integrity of our elections and guard against any abuse of the election process.  The training is very comprehensive and all challengers must attend training before they can be placed at a polling location or absentee ballot counting board.  Rather than intervene, if the challenger observes inappropriate or disturbing behavior, they are instructed to refer the issues to the Election Protection Hotline for resolution."

Source: LWVMI League Links, June, 2022, Judy Florian, LWVMI VP of Voter Services,
jflo@comcast.net

Please call a local city or township clerk for more information.
Report from LWVGTA Observer Corps
Donna Moore, Chair

NMC Board, Nancy Schulte  
6/27/22  After much study and discussion a tuition increase of 5% was passed by the Board, including an increase for marketing to boost enrollment.  Technical fields and water studies will be emphasized in the marketing.

Benzie County Commission, Nancy Cotcamp
7/13/22  A new director of Juvenile Court Serveces was introduced.  The program features information on anger management, boundaries, meaning of consensus, etc.  A report was given abut the Corrective Action Plan for Benzie County.  The State of Michigan Tax division reviewed the county's equality department and property services group and found problems; failure to meet tax deadlines, lack of follow-up, and accountability.  The State Tax Commission has offered help and resourcces, but the BOC has not yet responded.  The county's Treasurer reported a need to correct payroll discrepencies and cost of living increases.  The Administrator is revisiting the Master Plan for the county which has not been revised since 2016, needing to be updated because grant monies depend on a well drafted plan. 

Antrim County Board of Commissioners, Ann Mc Phail
7/7/22  Elk Rapids will be the first marina to offer a charging station for electric boats.  Report on Veterans services stressed the need to reach out to the 2,200 vets in Antrim.   Only 635 have asked for services.  Capital Investment Plan was submitted for approval; after a discussion there was no agreement on a long-term plan.  Infrastructure maintenance divides the BOC.  County has to decide whether to sell a property by auction or real estate agent.   Some felt that an auction would open the county to people who "would not fit" versus using a real estate agent who would "help facilitate" what the county wants.

Crawford County Commission, Marcia Koppa
6/14/22 Meeting concerns: getting broad band to underserved areas, public hearings on a block grant for repairs for low income housing emergencies, and a presentation from Consumers Energy Foundation discussing eliminating coal as a source of electricity and going to gas and solar.  Other departments reported about Environmental Health Services, a tentative agreement with Traverse City concerning sharing Community Mental Health services, and a need for a Sheriff's Department budget.   Recycling Task Force presented a study that reported a possible saving of $84,000 if customers recycled instead of paying for depositing their trash at sites.  All seven trash sites could combine their collections to be transported to one processing station.

TCAPS, Robbin Stott
6/22/22  Budgets and school safety were discussed, as well as increased mental health services, with money coming from the Federal Gun Bill.  A full time school safety representative will be hired to replace the 6-7 people who are presently handling the job.  The budget based on 120 fewer students is still under consideration.
7/18/22 There has been a significant increase in bullying and harassment this past year - 43 incidents with 83 targets.  The budget will be affected with the possible loss of 140 students.  Legislatively, the Federal Gun Bill has health and infrastructure conponents, but may go to Title 1 first.  Parents are concerned that four elementary schools are polling places and have asked the Board to consider whether those buildings should switch to virtual learning on Election Day.  The Board unanimously accepted the new Sex Education Program after two public hearings.  A contract was signed with Secure Education Consultants to perform a safety assessment of TCAPS facilities.

 
Petition Status Reports

The PTV2022 petition effort collected and sent in to the Bureau of Elections (BOE) 669,972 signatures on July 11th.  Volunteer organizations collected 225,000 signatures with a 80% validity rate.  LWVMI PTV petition signature organizers and their teams collected 18,000 signatures for the Promote the Vote petition.  The PTV petition is expected to be on the November ballot and a SAY YES! Campaign is being planned.
Source: LWVMI League Links, July, 2022

The MI Right to Vote, a voter suppression petition, did not collect enough signatures to make the ballot, but will try again in 2024 according to their campaign.
Source: Bridge Michigan, July 20, 2022, by Lauren Gibbons

The Reproductive Freedom for All, a "measure to amend the state Constitution to make Reproductive freedom a right, submitted 753,759 signatures, the most in state history."
Source: Bridge Michigan, July 20, 2022, by Lauren Gibbons
Fpr more information please see https://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-government/2022-michigan-ballot-issues-tracker-what-to-know-about-election-proposals

A note about absentee ballots: "Michigan Absentee Applications nearly doubled from 2018 so far, but don't expect this year's mid-term primaries to top 2020's record high turnout."
Source: Bridge Michigan, July 20, 2022 by Lauren Gibbons

 
NATIONAL, STATE and LOCAL ACTION ALERTS
 
1. Please continue to contact U.S. Senators to encourage the passage of laws to expand and protect voters' rights nationwide.  The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (S.4263) and the For the People Act (S.1)) are stalled in the Senate. Democracy demands that all voices are heard and all votes are counted.

2. Before the U.S. Senate is the Women's Health Protection Act (S.1975) which would give everyone the constitutional right to make decisions regarding their reproductive health.  Please contact Senators in support of this bill.

3.  Please keep gun control and statehood for Washington, D.C. (H.R. 51) in mind when contacting your legislators.

4. Please contact your legislators to encourage the fast passage of an updated Electoral Count Act.
Get to Know Our LWVGTA Members

Beginning this month, there will be a section of the Voter where individual members can write briefly to introduce themselves to the rest of the membership.  If contacted, please consider letting the membership know some of your interests, anything notable about you or your family, what interested you in becoming a member or anything else you'd like to share.  
Introductions should be a paragraph or two long. A  photo can be added at your discression.

July, 2022 Introductions:

Cheryl Naperala is on the LWVGTA Board of Directors and since we currently don't have a president, she serves as our Convenor to write up the agendas for the board meetings and guide the Board through the agendas during the meetings.  She is also the Program Committee Chair.

"I remember sometime in the 1950’s watching a political convention on TV and thinking how amazing it was that each state had an opportunity to declare their electoral votes for each candidate! Democracy in action! Even as a little girl – I loved the idea that everyone in America has a vote and every vote counts! Of course, as I matured, I realized the right to vote wasn’t so simple, but it wasn’t until I retired that I joined the League and hoped, in my little tiny way, to work towards the goal of truly ensuring voting rights for everyone.
 
"In 1968, I graduated from Central Michigan University, received a degree in sociology, married and moved to Traverse City.  I became a social worker – working at the old Traverse City State Hospital prior to its closing and later at the local Community Mental Health. After retiring from CMH I became Executive Director of Northwest Michigan Supportive Housing and after that Coordinator of the Continuum of Care. 
 
"The focus of much of my work was with those who are homeless and have mental health challenges. As a social worker with CMH, I helped people move from the TC State Hospital into independent living and/or foster care. As Executive Director of NMSH, I oversaw housing and support services for our tenants/clients and administered HUD and MSHDA grants that funded the housing and provided case management services.  As Coordinator of the Continuum of Care, I worked with many organizations focusing on housing for all homeless populations and was responsible - through collaboration with these agencies - for bringing millions of dollars of HUD and MSHDA money into our community.  
 
"My husband and I have two adult children and four grandchildren – age 17 – 23. We have fun with them and enjoy watching them grow and spread their wings.
"I enjoy the enthusiasm of League members and the commitment to making democracy work."

Dawn Ferran is a relatively new member who joined our chapter after seeking ways to increase her civic engagement during the tumultuous election year of 2016. She relocated to Traverse City from downstate when she realized that she could live where she loved to vacation. She had been coming up north with her family since childhood, and continued the tradition with her two children, Alex and Hillary. Alex now lives in Southern California with his wife, and Dawn spends much of her winter there in order to maintain their close ties. Her daughter has been living and working in London, UK for the past 6 years, and is in the process of returning to live and work in the US. Location to be determined! Dawn is hoping for Michigan or California…
 
Dawn works part time as a psychotherapist in private practice. Since covid, her sessions have been conducted remotely, allowing her to maintain an ability to travel. Traveling is her favorite hobby, and in May she completed a hiking tour of five National Parks in Utah. Closer to home, she loves to kayak, bike the TART Trail and hike at Sleeping Bear. She is an active volunteer with the Traverse City Film Fest and loves to read and debate/discuss politics.

 

Latest on the Enbridge Line 5 Situation:
Environmental Issues Column by Ann Swaney, LWVGTA Liaison to LWV Lake Michigan Region

FLOW (For Love of Water) hosted a webinar on July 28 regarding the Enbridge tunnel situation. Speakers were from the Mackinac Island Community Foundation, the Bay Mills Indian Community, and Oil & Water Don’t Mix, as well as from FLOW. The two 69-year-old pipelines, located in the Straits of Mackinac just west of the Mackinac Bridge, are being propped up off the lakebed by over 200 structures, several added within the last 15 years but most of them very old.
The latest information released concerns the results of the July 7, 2022 hearing held by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) regarding Enbridge’s 2013 application for the “Straits Line 5 Tunnel Project.” This current hearing on July 7th was in response to a May, 2021 request by the Bay Mills Tribe asking for a “rehearing “ because of new information. After reviewing this information, the MPSC voted at the July 7th hearing to reopen the record, review the tunnel safety and guidelines, and request more information from Enbridge on the routing and engineering safety. The follow-up hearing is scheduled for April, 2023.  If the Enbridge plan is approved next April by the MPSC, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would still have to issue permits, and this could take another 1-2 years. Meanwhile Enbridge is continuing to enjoy profits from the pipeline as it is now. Stay tuned …

Ann Swaney,
aswaney@acegroup.cc

 
LWVGTA New Members Since September, 2021

Karen Baker                              karensuebaker@hotmail.com
John and Cindi DeSpelder        birchwood@chartermi.net
Deb Drake                                 ddrake@nycap.rr.com
Mickey Grooters                        mickeylarrygrooters@gmail.com
Pat Haber                                  pathaber@gmail.com
Cathyrn Harold                          ckgharold19@yahoo.com
Jane Hayes                               seton@charter.net
Jaffray and Susan Kessler        perkins90@hotmail.com
Dee and Gerald Klocko             deenjer614@gmail.com   
Linda Koebert                            lkoebert@gmail.com
Ruth Ann Leppala                      rajleppala@gmail.com
Patricia Mallon                           mallonatricia@yahoo.com
Ann McPhail                              grtlakesluvr@yahoo,com
Marj Middel                                mmiddel@charter.net
Mary Pat Randall                       marypat13@charter.net
Karen Rieser                              krieser19@att.net
Ann Rogers                                a-rogers@charter.net
Laurie Schnell                            lrschnell28@gmail.com
Julie Schumaker                        schumakerjulie@gmail.com
Teresa Scollon                           tjscollon@gmail.com 
Brenda Smith                             bsmith9500@gmail.com
Shelley Smithson                       sbsmithson@gmail.com
Michele Westcott                       michelewk@gmail.com
Jessica Willis                             danialoberski@gmail.com
 
From Robbin Stott, LWVGTA Media Chair,
You can find our League on:
Instagram - LWVGTA
Twitter - @LWVGTA 
Facebook - LWVGTA
To Look up Candidate Information:

Sponsored by the non-partisan LWVMI, the website http://www.vote411.org
is available to all voters.  It contains statements made by the candidates. Vote 411.org was used by hundreds of thousands of Michigan voters in the 2020 election.
 
LWVGTA Summer Social Gathering - An Early Invitation

On Sunday, August 28 from 5-7PM the LWVGTA will have a summer social event hosted by Jean Howard.  Wine and refreshments will be served.
Please feel free to bring a friend!
Invitations will be mailed August 12th.
What Michigan 3rd Graders Will Now Learn About Their State

..."today's third graders will learn more than just the date Michigan attained statehood (1836).  They will learn that, in that year, the Anishinaabek ceded over 14 million acres - nearly 40 percent of the current land area of Michigan - in exchange for permanent Anishinaabek access to reservation lands and natural resources, including hunting and fishing rights.

"They also will learn that the U.S. Congress altered the terms of the treaty after the Odawa and Ojibwe representatives left Washington, and the final version stated that the U.S. Government could forceably remove Anishinaabek people from Northern Michigan after just a few years.

"That altered treaty gave Michigan its statehood.

"Since 2019, changed social studies standards granted a more comprehensive approach to Michigan history by including Anishinaabek contributions - adding facts.

"Finally, we're adding facts to a story that truly needs telling, a story from our history that started long before our 'founding fathers'."

Source: Record Eagle Editorial, July 10, 2022
Looking for Something to Celebrate?
The 102nd anniversary of the passage of Women's Right to Vote is August 26th.  Let's find a way to have fun with it!

LWVGTA Board

Directors - 2022-2023

Please know this is a year of transition for the leadership of the LWVGTA. Because we have not found a president, we have been managing the organization with a Board of Directors working on a Leadership Model recommended by the LWVMI.

President - Unfilled
1st Vice President - Anne Montgomery
 2nd Vice President - Unfilled
Secretary - Margaret Goeman
Treasurer - Ingrid Brophy
Web Master - Mary Beeker
Publicity - Linda Crandall
Crawford County Unit - Marcia Koppa
New Member Orientation - Anne Montgomery
Observer Corps - Donna Moore
Program Committee Chair and Convener of Board of Directors - Cheryl Naperala
Membership Chair - Alice Schuman
Voter Services Chair - Peg Townsend
Natural Resources Chair - Ann Swaney
Social Media Chair - Robbin Stott
Voter Newsletter Editor - Nancy Nordfjord
Historian - Barb Berry
LWVMI State Board Liaison - Jan Warren
Liaison to LWV Lake Michigan Region - Ann Swaney
Nominating Committee - Jane Watts, Linda Crandall, Unfilled
LWVGTA Letters to the Editor/Forum Articles - Jan Warren, Mary Grover, authorized members
Consultants - Jan Warren, Jane Watts, Barb Berry, Mary Grover
Authorized Signatories - Mary Grover, Anne Montgomery, Ingrid Brophy

 
Save Oleson's Receipts

One way we raise funds is by turning in receipts from Oleson's grocery stores.  Oleson's have stores on both the East and West sides of Traverse City.

Please send receipts to Jan Warren, 600 Cottage View Dr., Unit 242, Traverse City, MI 49674.
 
LWVGTA Membership for the fiscal year of 2022-2023 (July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023 will begin after our Annual Meeting on June 4, 2022.  To renew your membership,or join, go to www.lwvgta.org to access the form.  From there you can pay online with PayPal or print the form and mail it to LWVGTA, PO Box 671, Traverse City, MI 49685.
Copyright © 2022 League of Women Voters of the Grand Traverse Area, All rights reserved.
Monthly membership newsletter from the League of Women Voters of the Grand Traverse Area.

Our mailing address is:
League of Women Voters of the Grand Traverse Area
P.O. Box 671
Traverse City, MI 49685

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