The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.
Core Values Statement
Diversity shall be integrated into every aspect of the League of Women Voters of Greater Lafayette with the outcome to be the inclusion of all women and men, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability or gender identity in its entire operation. (Approved November 2015)
Congratulations to the Voters Services Committee for spearheading a cooperative effort between area public high schools, Tippecanoe County Election Board and Registration and LWVGL to register eligible high school students, provide a curriculum on the process of voting, and actually have the opportunity to vote in school at an early vote center.
SB326 Answers Half the Reform Question Senator Greg Walker's bill to create a set of redistricting standards that legislators would have to follow when they draw districts passed unanimously out of the Senate Elections Committee on January 22nd and is now on 3rd reading. On 2nd reading there was an attempt by Democratic Senator Tim Lanane to amend SB326 with language that would have created a citizens redistricting commission based on the language from the study committee but that amendment failed on a party line vote. Unfortunately but not surprisingly the Senate Republicans have taken a caucus position on redistricting reform and even those Republican Senators who support a redistricting commission opposed the Lanane amendment.
While we are disappointed that SB159, Senator Ruckelsahus' bill to create both a redistricting commission and put redistricting standards in statute did not receive a hearing, we have listened closely to Senator Walker and believe his advice on taking an incremental approach to reform is the right path.. Because of all the work by activists across the state, we have built more support for redistricting reform inside the State House. But, we probably don't have a majority in each chamber on our side yet. If we can get SB326 passed this year, we can come back in 2019 and finish the job by passing legislation to create a redistricting commission. We are also expecting the Supreme Court to hand down the decision in the Wisconsin partisan gerrymandering case by mid-February. If the Wisconsin districts are thrown out as unconstitutional gerrymanders we could get a nice boost of momentum for strengthening the bill in the House. We'll see what the weeks ahead bring - stay tuned.,/p>
Another Summer Study? Senator Walker is also carrying SCR30 which calls for a summer study of redistricting issues and in particular, objective methods that have been developed to identify partisan gerrymandering. We welcome the opportunity to further discuss redistricting issues under the auspices of a legislative study committee.
Here's How You Can Help If you haven't contacted your Senator yet, do so asap. Tell them that SB326 is a good start on redistricting reform and you want them to support it. Let them know that this discussion must continue next year and include answering the question of who draws the maps. Go to http://www.allinfordemocracy.org/ for easy links to contact your Senator.
We also need letters to the editor about SB326. Let readers know this bill is a step in the right direction but that the General Assembly must continue working on redistricting reform. Let's continue building support for a citizens redistricting commission to draw maps in 2021.
And finally, don't miss any opportunities to ask your legislators in public whether or not they support redistricting reform. Here's a list of Third House meetings around the state. http://files.constantcontact.com/a03e9e18001/c8ebc991-7265-4cc8-99d1-60c9a527bc4e.pdf
Thanks for all you are doing.
The program airs Sundays at 2:00pm and Mondays at 3:00pm (EDT). Programs are archived online a few days after the original broadcast.
DIRECTORY OF GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS
The Greater Lafayette League of Women Voters 2017 Directory of Government Officials is available online. This publication contains contact information for elected and appointed officials and commissions for Tippecanoe County, Lafayette, West Lafayette, Battle Ground, Clarks Hill, Dayton and Shadeland. Copies of the directory are available in many community locations.