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.

July 9 is Deadline for Reservations for "A Conversation on Poverty"

You can make reservations by calling Fernwood or using PayPal. Go to the Calendar page for all the information you'll need!

The poster and media release on the event are on the News and News Releases page.

Judge Butzbaugh Speaks at June 16 Annual Meeting

Judge Alfred M. Butzbaugh, retired Chief Judge of the Berrien County Court, was the featured speaker at the Annual Meeting & Dinner held the evening of June 16 at Orchard Hills Country Club in Buchanan. The Judge spoke to a full house on "Poverty and Justice". Also attending and speaking briefly were Patti Ceresa Assistant Prosecutor of Berrien County, Mary Drolet of Legal Aid of Western Michigan and Dee Kuelbs, Director of the Self-Help Legal Resource Center.

LWVBCC is studying poverty and decided poverty and the legal system merited a very special speaker like Judge Butzbaugh. While Chief Judge, Butzbaugh instituted the Court's staffed Self-Help Center and the Mental Health Court. He continues to have a strong interest in the plight of those unable to afford a lawyer in both the criminal and civil courts.

Hard copies of the LWVBCC Annual Report for the 2014-15 year were distributed at the meeting. The electronic version of the Report is available here.

"Saving Lake Michigan" Lunch Meeting at Fernwood May 28

Almost 50 members and friends gathered at Fernwood on May 28 to hear the presentation by three members of the LWV of the Lake Michigan Region on the many threats to the lake. These range from excessive nutrients causing algae blooms, to stormwater contamination, to zebra mussels and Asian carp. Besides the big picture issues, the panelists talked about things we can each do to protect our creeks and lakes.

Notable was Jeanette Neagu, the old warrior who for years has fought tirelessly on behalf of Lake Michigan and who says she is too old to beat around the bush. As she spoke, her third grandchild was being born. Clearly on her mind, but it didn't keep her home. Jeanette is on the left in the picture. Also speaking was Cheryl Chapman (far right above next to Chis Zilke) and Henrietta Saunders, president of LWVLMR, substituting ably for Krista Grimm (next to Jeanette).

LWVBCC Sends Large Team to LWVMI Convention

A delegation of seven represented LWVBCC at the LWV of Michigan Convention May 15-17 in Kalamazoo. Pictured left to right are Liz Ennis, Earl Bickett, Susan Gilbert, Pat Lauth, Chris Zilke, Melissa Clapper and John Ripley. Also attending but not as delegates were Carla Ripley, Nancy Calme and Geoff Gilbert.

At the end of the convention, Sue Smith passed the gavel to the new LWVMI President Judy Karandjeff. Judy was formerly VP for Advocacy.

Four LWVBCC members received Belle Ringer Awards (named for the first President of LWVMI Belle Brotherton). Present to accept were Liz Ennis (advocacy) and John Ripley (voter service), pictured here. Others to receive awards were Donna Dutton (membership) and Ginny Washburn (development). A 5th award will be presented at the LWVBCC Annual Meeting. Also, photo at right of President Chris Zilke at the podium.

Lunch with the League at Lakeland April 29

A full house enjoyed lunch provided by Lakeland Hospital and then heard Dr.Lowell Hamel, Andrea Bowman RN and Dr. Chris Strayhorn give presentations on hospitalists and end of life issues. Hospitalists have primary responsibility for a patient's care while in the hospital, replacing the primary care physician in the "old model". Dr. Strayhorn talked about hospice care and palliative care and the importance of having an advanced directive for your end of life care, no matter your age.

A video of the presentation is available for viewing by clicking HERE

Many thanks to Lakeland Hospital and Dr. Hamel for organizing the event and their hospitality.

LWVBCC May 5 Ballot Proposal Meeting with Judy Karandjeff

Judy Karandjeff Vice-President for Advocacy of the League of Women Voters of Michigan made an in-depth presentation on the May 5 Ballot Proposal at a meeting sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties. Here Judy is Pictured with LWVBCC member John Ripley, who handled the technology set up and the video recording.

The video recording of the meeting is now available.

The League of Women Voters of Michigan has also prepared an informative handout on on the ballot proposal. Read the LWVMI handout and print it out if you wish for your friends and family.

LWVBCC Newsletters

View our informative e-newsletter, published almost monthly. The June 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