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OF THE GRAND TRAVERSE AREA
"Here we stand looking out on the great Mall where Dr. King spoke of his dream.  Here we stand where 108 years ago at another inaugural, thousands of protestors tried to block brave women marching for the right to vote.  And today we marked the swearing-in of the first woman in American history elected to national office: Vice President Kamala Harris.  Don't tell me things can't change"
From President Joe Biden's Inaugural Address 1/20/2021
         And News Items
NEWS FROM THE PROGRAM COMMITTEE 
The LWVGTA Program Committee announces four more virtual programs for 2021.  The programs will be held the 3rd Tuesday of the month from noon to 1:30 PM.  They will be accessed via Traverse Area Community Media Facebook page and www.TACM.org, as well as the LWVGTA Facebook page, or several days after the program on YouTube.
The programs planned are:

February -TRUST, INFORMATION and PUBLIC OPINION IN A FRACTURED MEDIA LANDSCAPE with Nicco Pandolfi, NMC Instructional Librarian
March - DARK MONEY IN POLITICS with Simon Schuster from the Michigan Campaign Finance Network
April - INDEPENDENT CITIZENS REDISTRICTING COMMISSION (ANTI-GERRYMANDERING COMMISSION) with Donna Hornberger who is on the committee to observe the Commission's work
May - A program on the ELECTORAL COLLEGE.  

Watch for more details in each LWVGTA Newsletter and in e-mail blasts.

For more information or to join this committee, contact Cheryl Naperala at napperch@yahoo.com or 231-223-7903 (land line).
January's Program Report
    Dave Dempsey, from For Love of Water, presented: How We Failed to Protect Our Health and Our Water From Toxic Chemicals.  He discussed how Michigan's ground water should be consided our 6th Great Lake, as there is much water underground and it flows to many locations where it can pick up toxins and carry them underground wherever it goes.  He emphasized that unchecked septic systems, toxic run-offs and anything we put on the ground can leach into our ground water.  Municiple drinking water is safe, but rural residents who drink water from wells need to be made aware of this.  He answered numerous listener questions.
    Dave's worthwhile presentation can be watched on the Facebook pages of LWVGTA or www.TACM.tv, Spectrum Cable channel 189 (check schedule) or on YouTube through TACM-TV.
    Two hundred eleven viewers tuned into our Facebook page to see the presentation live and 66 viewers watched on Zoom, 17 of those being LWVGTA members.  Hopefully many more were able to watch after the program was aired on Facebook, www.TACM.tv or on YouTube.
    Thank you to everyone who participated, and especially to our Event Manager,  Cheryl Naperala, Program Coordinator Linda Wagner, Moderator Anne Magoun, Linda Crandall, Publicity and Matt Kern, Traverse Area Community Media.
 
February Program News Release

THE TRUTH OF FEELING: TRUST, INFORMATION AND PUBLIC OPINION IN A FRACTURED MEDIA LANDSCAPE

 On Tuesday, February 16, from noon to 1:30, the League of Women Voters Grand Traverse Area will present Nicco Pandolfi, who will explore emerging problems of trust and information in the public sphere. Trust is at the root of how we come to know things about our world.  There is only so much we can observe and experience ourselves, so we rely on others for much of the information that shapes our perspectives and actions.  The age of networked information systems (i.e., the internet) has ushered in staggering new possibilities and problems when it comes to sharing, finding, receiving and evaluating information.  This presentation will discuss a few strategies for navigating our increasingly complex news and information landscape.
 
Nicco Pandolfi is a librarian, writer and educator based in Lake Leelanau, Michigan.  He has worked in both public and academic libraries and is currently an instruction librarian at Northwestern Michigan College.  He also serves on the board of directors of Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology.
 
This League of Women Voters/Grand Traverse Area broadcast can be viewed on LWVGTA's Facebook page, on Zoom at www.zoom.us/j/86359089084 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 TACM website (www.TACM.tv).  More information can be found on the League of Women Voters Grand Traverse Area website: LWVGTA.org. 
 
Frustrating delays have caused a slow-down of the COVID-19 vaccination in our area and elsewhere.  Please make an appointment to get yours as soon as appointments become available.  To register with the health department's appointment website, call 211.
LWVMI STATE CONVENTION
The League of Women Voters' state convention will be held virtually on May 21 and 22, 2021.  Conventions are a great way to learn more about the League of Women Voters and this year you can attend in the comfort of your own home.  The convention is highly recommended and will be Zoomed from 6:30PM on Friday, May 21st until 5:00PM on Saturday, May 22nd.  The $50 registration fee will be paid by LWVGTA.  Three LWVGTA attendees can be delegates with voting privileges or it can be attended as an observer.  There will be formal sessions regarding LWVMI issues and positions, educational sessions and keynote speakers.  A list of educational classes offered will be in the Voter as it becomes available.  Newer members are especially encouraged to attend.
NOW THAT WE'VE GOTTEN PAST THE INAUGURATION,
TRY  BALANCED BREATHING TO RELIEVE STRESS

It might take some practice, but balance the duration of your inhalations and exhalations.  Breathe in through your nose to a slow count of 4 or 5, and then out through your nose counting again to 4 or 5.  This can put you in an even state of mind and stabilize your heart rhythm patterns, helping your heart bounce back from stress.  Just 15 minutes of balanced breathing can lower blood pressure and improve your mood.  It can help you stay focused and calm when you encounter anxiety or stress.
Source: oprahmag.com, December, 2020
LWVUS
Arizona Voting Restrictions Affecting Minority Voters Violate the Voting Rights Act

    As an example of LWVUS's work, they have recently joined the Voting Rights Supreme Court Case "in support of plaintiffs in Brnovich v. DVC, a consolidated set of cases that addresses the collection of ballots by third parties and the counting of provisional ballots cast outside of a voter's designated precinct.
    "At issue in Brnovich v. DNC is Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits voting practices and procedures that discriminate based on race, color, or membership in language minority groups.  Both the practices and procedures outside of one's precinct and the practice of third-party ballot collection are used disproportionately by racial minority voters in Arizona, especially Latinx, Black, and Native voters.  Two Arizona election policies prohibit these practices, disproportionalely harming the voting rights of racial minorities in the state.
    "'Arizona voters who live on Indian reservations rely on trusted volunteers to collect and deliver their ballots because they have limited and severely delayed access to the mail system,' said Pinny Sheoran, advocacy chair of the League of Women Voters of Arizona.  'Once again, Native voting rights are under attack in Arizona.  It is long past time that our state's voting laws account for the reality of reservation life and ensure that Native residents have equal access to the ballot.'"

https://www.lwv.org/newsroom/press-releases
 Carol Hale, past president of LWVGTA from 1973 - 1975 has recently died.  Our own Peg Siciliano wrote a beautiful tribue to her in the Record Eagle that referred to her as an educator, government official, civic activist and historian.  Peg wrote further that Carol had a "deep sense of history and a passion for civic improvement."
Save Oleson's Receipts
One way we raise money is to collect Oleson's receipts.  Please send your receipts to: Jan Warren, 12055 S. Woodwinds Circle, #15, Traverse City, MI 49684.
The League of Women Voters of the Grand Traverse Area
www.lwvgta.org
Facebook: Search for LWVGTA or League of Women Voters Grand Traverse Area 
Serving Antrim, Benzie, Crawford, Grand Traverse and Kalkaska Counties
President:
1st Vice President:
Mary Grover
2nd Vice President: Linda Crandall
Treasurer: Ingrid Brophy (Liz Messing)
Secretary: Ann Swaney
Board of Directors:
Mary Beeker, Web Master
Ingrid Brophy
Marcia Koppa, Crawford
Peg Townsend and Anne Montgomery, Voter Services Co-Chairs
Nancy Nordfjord, Membership
Cheryl Naperala, Programs
Natural Resources, unfilled


If you have content for this newsletter please contact Nancy Nordfjord at: njnordfjord@gmail.com.

LWVGTA Membership renewal for the fiscal year of 2020-2021 (July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021 begins in May.  To pay dues by Paypal or print a membership application go to: https://www.lwvgta.org/join.html.

 
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