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OF THE GRAND TRAVERSE AREA
         And News Items
               And What Happened in September

Our August Newsletter had 55.9% of us opening It.
Please open!
"No man who continues to add something to the material, intellectual, and moral well-being of the place in which he lives is long left without a proper reward.  This is a great human law which cannot be permanently nullified."
Booker T. Washington
  
Jan Warren Presented with the Distinguished Service Award
"Traverse Connect on Wednesday (9/22/21) presented longtime commuity volunteer Jan Warren with the 2020 Distinguished Service Award. The award is among the region's oldest civic awards and has been presented annually since 1929." Record Eagle, September 23, 2021.
Previous winners had familiar local names such as R.F. Clinch, Con Foster, Dr. E.L. Thrilby, Helen Osterlin and Elnora Milliken.
Jan volunteered her service to the community for 50 years including positions on the City Planning Commission, the Joint Planning Commission for Grand Traverse Commons, past president of the National Cherry Festival, Women's Resource Center, Grand Traverse Community Collaborative and a past president of the League of Women Voters of the Grand Traverse Area.
A humble Jan told the audience, "I learned to do my homework, I learned to listen thoughtfully, put my ego aside, and always try to find common ground."
LWVGTA is privileged to continue to have Jan as a consultant.
Source: Record Eagle 9/23/21, Article by Dan Nielsen

 
 OCTOBER 19, 2021 PROGRAM – CHANGES TO VOTING: SUPPRESSION OR REFORM?
 
Michigan’s state legislators have introduced 39 bills  - most of which restrict citizens’ voting rights, harm election administration and demonstrate a lack of knowledge of existing election procedure and law.
 
Christina Schlitt, President of the League of Women Voters/Michigan said “The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy and something that state lawmakers should be working to protect instead of attack."
 
On October 19, 2021, from noon to 1:30 via zoom, Judy Karandjeff, member and past president of the Michigan League who is closely following these bills as they are introduced and make their way through the legislative process, will update us on these bills and tell us what we can do to prevent them from becoming law.  Only two states in the US have a Constitutional provision that prohibits the governor from vetoing resident-initiated legislation.

This League of Women Voters of the Grand Traverse Area broadcast can be viewed on the Traverse Area Community Media Facebook page, on Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85998590430 or on Community TV Channel 189 (with Spectrum cable). Questions can be asked on Zoom or in the Facebook comments.  For those that are unable to tune into the live event, a recording will be available at the TACM website (www. TACM.tv)

Tip:  It's so easy to watch our programs live on our Facebook Page.  If you're not on Facebook, you can sign-up and only "Friend" LWVGTA.  You will not ever need to post anything or see what is posted by anyone other than LWVGTA.
 

 
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Here's a report from Cheryl Naperala, LWVGTA Program Chair:
on the September 21st program, PROPOSED LOCAL REDISTRICTING MAPS 

 
On September 21, 2021, the LWVGTA hosted Noelle Moeggenberg, Grand Traverse County Prosecuting Attorney, and member of the Grand Traverse County Apportionment Commission, who updated the audience on the process of redrawing districts in Grand Traverse County.
 
By law, this process occurs every 10 years following the census and must be completed within 60 days after the publication of the census.  Law determines members of the Apportionment Commission.
 
The process began in Grand Traverse County on July 15, 2021.  The Commission has increased the number of districts from 7 to 9. Proposed maps have been submitted.
 
Proposed maps can be seen on the county website at www.gtcountymi.gov/ApportionmentCommission.  On 9/30/2021 the Commission will narrow the number to four.  On 10/7/2021 the Commission will vote on one map. The County Clerk will submit the map to the State.  Citizens have 30 days to view the map and make any appeals if it is felt the maps are gerrymandered or there are other concerns.
 
This LWVGTA program can be viewed on Traverse Area Community Media Facebook, on LWVGTA Facebook page or on Community TV Channel 189 (with Spectrum cable) Check www.tacm.org website for the schedule.

UPDATE FROM RECORD EAGLE, October 1, 2021, article by Patti Brandt Burgess:
"Four maps that outline nine new districts for Grand Traverse County's Board of Commissioners are now in the running to become the final map.
The maps are posted on the 5-member Apportionment Commission's website, where county residents can also submit comments via email and township clerks can weigh in.
The final district map will be chosen by the commission on October 7, and reaffirmed with another vote on October 21; the same plan will be sent to the Secretary of State for approval after each vote.  Both meetings are at 2PM at the County Governmental Center (Building)."
 
Report from Peg Townsend on the 9/14/21
LWVGTA Mayor and City Commission Forum:

As part of the League of Women Voters mission to provide candidate information to voters before the November 2nd election, LWVGTA held a virtual Mayor and City Commissioner Candidate Forum on September 14, 2021.  Traverse City Area Community Media partnered with the League to present the forum virtually.  Members of the League and the public could view the forum through a Zoom link, on the LWVGTA Facebook page, or by watching TACM's Cable Channel 189.  The forum can still be viewed on the League's Facebook page or by checking the Channel 189 program guide.

Seven candidates filed to run for election to become either Traverse City Mayor or a Traverse City Commissioner.  Richard Lewis is the uncontested candidate running to be Mayor of Traverse City which is a two year term.  Mi Stanley, Tim Werner, and Mark L. Wilson will be on the ballot to fill a four year term on the Commission.  Tim Pulliam, Merek Roman and Mitchell Treadwell filed to run for the Commission's partial two year term.  All but Mark L. Wilson and Tim Pulliam, who were unable to attend, participated in the forum.  Anne Magoun, a member of LWVGTA and a past president of the League of Women Voters Michigan, served as moderator.

Questions for the candidates came from the public through the League Facebook page and the LWVGTA website.  A wide variety of topics were covered during the forum including quality of life in Traverse City, housing and homelessness, parking and other infrastructure issues, and working with Traverse City businesses, along with questions about what the candidates hoped to accomplish during their tenures as  Mayor or City Commissioner.  LWVGTA hopes that this forum gave information that voters can use as they decide which candidates to vote for on Tuesday, November 2nd.

Be sure to check if you are registered to vote in the November 2, 2021 election either by absentee ballot or in person.  The last date to register online for this election is Monday, October 18, 2021.  If later, it is necessary to register in person.

Absentee ballots were mailed to those registered voters who asked for them by September 18th.  If you haven't requested an absentee ballot (no reason needs to be given), contact the your local clerk's office or the Michigan Secretary of State's website.

"Democracy is not a spectator sport."
 
 National and State Action Alerts -  

1. Governor Whitmer is asking Michigan citizens to request our legislators to repeal the 1930's law criminalizing abortion.  
"In Michigan, abortion is safe and legal, but we have an outdated and dangerous law on the books from the 1930s banning abortion and criminalizing healthcare providers who offer reproductive services.  If the Supreme Court overturns Roe, this Michigan law - which is more extreme than Texas' abortion ban - may go back into effect."

2. The US Senate Introduced the Freedom to Vote Act which would protect and expand the right to vote, lessen the influence of money in politics and stop gerrymandering.  LWVUS strongly supports this legislation and a vote on it is expected soon.  Please contact your US Senator to support this bill.
Source, September 30, 2021, LWVUS September Highlights 
NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION DAY
September 28 was National Voter Registration Day and LWVGTA held two voter registration events; one at NMC and the other at Traverse Area District Library.  In the photo are Anne Rogers (LWVLeelanu Volunteer) and Anne Montgomery and Peg Townsend (LWVGTA).  NMC had the most registrations completed, a total of 13 online registrations and 6 mailed applications.  Thanks to Anne Montgomery, Mary Beeker and Nancy Quinlan for organizing and running the registrations.
September LWVGTA Observer Corps Report:
Local meetings attended by our members in September included, Grand Traverse County Reapportionment Committee, TCAPS, County Commission, Traverse City Commission, NMC and TADL Boards,Traverse City Planning Commission, Benzie County, and Peninsula Township.  Much valuable information is coming out of these meetings.
Volunteer Section 
1. More volunteers are needed for the
Program Committee.  The member can be responsible for a program or just assist in the process of choosing a program.  
Please contact Cheryl Naperala at napperch@yahoo.com or 231-223-7903 to find our what you might be able to do to help out with our very successful programs.

 2.  Our Observer Corps, chaired by Donna Moore, aims to observe meetings of the County and City Commissions as well as other local governing entities.  There are 14 volunteers and they welcome more.
Please contact Donna Moore at donnabmooreusa@gmail.com



3. A Natural Resources contact person or committee is needed to help our group keep up with local and state environmental issues.  Please contact Anne Montgomery if you are interested or would like more information.

A committee could be as few as 2 people.  If you are interested or have questions about any of these topics, please contact Anne Montgomery, annemontgomerytc@gmail.com 

 
Remembering Ronnie Alff
Ronnie Alff, age 86, died on November 2nd, 2020.  She was a teacher in Boyne City Schools, and a Peace Corps member in Malawi where she met her husband Paul.  They married in Japan where Ronnie worked with the Department of Defense Dependent Schools until 1998.  After Paul died, she retired to Traverse City where she worked as a substitute librarian in TADL's Youth Services.  In 2000 she began a quilting group, the Piecemakers.  She was an active member of the LWVGTA and then of LWVLeelenau.
Save Olesons Receipts
One way we raise money is to collect Olesons receipts.  Please send your receipts to: Jan Warren, 600 Cottage View Dr. Unit 242, Traverse City, MI 49684.
The League of Women Voters of the Grand Traverse Area
www.lwvgta.org
Serving Antrim, Benzie, Crawford, Grand Traverse and Kalkaska Counties
Facebook and Twitter: Search for LWVGTA or League of Women Voters Grand Traverse Area 

Directors - 2021-2022:
Mary Beeker - Webmaster
Ingrid Brophy - Treasurer
Linda Crandall - Publicity
Marcia Koppa - Crawford County Unit
Anne Montgomery - New Member Orientation
Donna Moore - Observer Corps
Cheryl Naperala - Programs
Nancy Nordfjord - Membership and Newsletter, The Voter
Robin Stott - Media
Ann Swaney - Secretary
Peg Townsend - Voter Services

Advisors:
Barb Berry, Jane Watts, Mary Grover and Jan Warren



Nominating Committee:
Linda Crandall and Jane Watts

Social Media Committee:
Robin Stott - Facebook
Kathy Tuckerman - Twitter
Cheryl Naperala - Instagram

If you have content for this newsletter please contact Nancy Nordfjord at: njnordfjord@gmail.com.
LWVGTA Membership renewal for the fiscal year of 2021-2022 (July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022) began in May.  To pay dues by Paypal or print a membership application go to: https://www.lwvgta.org/join.html.

 
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