Making Democracy Work

Helping to Make Democracy Work Since 1920!

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy.

2015 State of the State Address

Governor Rick Snyder gave his State of the State address on Tuesday, before President Obama's State of the Union address. Both called for more help for those outside the mainstream. Read the summary of Snyder's proposals issued in conjunction with his address.

Lunch Meeting with Rep. Dave Pagel January 19

District 78 Representative Dave Pagel spoke at a Lunch with the League meeting on liquor, wine and beer distribution in Michigan in a talk titled "A Jug of Wine, a Bottle of Scotch--and the State of Michigan". Watch the video. The picture at the right of Mr. Pagel was taken at Coach's Bar & Grill, the location of the meeting, by John Matuszak of the Herald Palladium.

As a bonus before lunch Pagel also took questions on the roads and the upcoming vote in May on increasing the sales tax from 6% to 7%. Here is the video of that Q & A session.

Pictured with Mr. Pagel is Elizabeth Ennis, left, MC of the event, and Susan Gilbert, right.

Governor Snyder Vetoes Two Bills

This is news because it is always is when a governor vetoes bills approved by the legislature dominated by his own party. One of the bills was a concealed carry gun bill that was supported by the NRA as well as his legislature. That got Snyder articles across the country, including a New York Times editorial. It seems this bill snuck through late at night, somehow part of the deal with the roads funding bills.

The second bill is one that would have limited the ability of the state to set aside forest land for biodiversity protection. The League was very vocal on this one, lobbied the governor and sent out an Action Alert to its members. Read the article that explains more.

Keystone Pipeline Tops GOP Agenda

Congress convened today with both Houses controlled by the Republicans. Their first order of business is "energy policy" aka passing a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

A few things to keep in mind at this point.
1. Is this the agenda item the GOP should take up first? Or even the most important item on the energy agenda?
2. The Keystone is a pipeline being built by Canadians to ship Canadian oil across our country to refineries and ports on the Gulf Coast with no guarantee it will be consumed in the U.S.
3. The number of jobs that will be created by building the pipeline keeps shrinking, from 100,000 down to a few thousand, and these jobs will be temporary.
4. Do the Canadians still want to build the pipeline? Tar sands oil is expensive to extract and of low quality, getting $20-$30 less per barrel than sweet crude. If oil continues at its present $50/barrel plus or minus, oil sands production will no longer be economically viable and fields will shut down.
5.The oil drillers in Alberta are competing with our own domestic energy production companies.

This Keystone vote is political. It has everything to do with skewering the President and little to do with energy policy.

League Members Enjoy Holiday Party!

Scenes from the December LWVBCC Annual Holiday Open House.

Hostess and LWVBCC Board membr Judy Scully with David Pollack, above left, and with Joan Araham and Renee Gardner.

October Candidate Forum Videos Still Available

Judge Donna Howard has been sworn in and the Michigan legislature convenes on January 14 with the new legislator Aaron Miller joining the veterans John Proos, Al Pscholka and Dave Pagel. The October candidate forums are now history, but LWVBCC thinks the video recordings still offer valuable insights into the views and attirudes of those who won, so we continue to offer access to them here.

Senate District 21 & House District 79 Forum video

House District 59 Forum video

5th Judicial District Forum video

LWVBCC Newsletters

View our informative e-newsletter, published almost monthly. The January/February 2015 newsletter is now available. It is a copy of an e-newsletter and does not have the same professional appearance as the original. If you would like to join our mailing list email