We sponsor meetings and events for the public and League members
|Date & Time||Place||Description|
|Thursday, June 14, 2018
|Buchanan Art Center
117 W Front St
Buchanan, MI 49107
|LWVBCC Annual Meeting. Annual Business Meeting and Social|
|Tuesday, May 15, 2018
|Lawrence Room, Lincoln Township Library
2099 W. John Beers Rd.
Stevensville, MI 49127
|Christopher Thomas Presentation on State and National Issues Related to Elections.
Christopher Thomas retired from the Michigan Department of State on June 30, 2017 after 40 years of election administration service, which included 36 years as Director of Elections.
While remaining active in the world of elections, he is first and foremost retired, living in St. Joseph, MI with his wife, Kristin. His election related activities include working as a Fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center and serving on the Boards of two distinguished election organizations: MIT Election Data and Science Lab and U.S. Vote Foundation.
While employed by the Michigan Secretary of State, he administered the Michigan election law, campaign finance act and lobbyist disclosure law. He began his election administration career in 1974 in Washington, D.C. with the U.S. House of Representatives and the Federal Election Commission.
In 2013, he was appointed by President Barack Obama as a Commissioner on the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, which made recommendations to improve the election day experience of America's voters. Chris earned a B.A. in Political Science from Michigan State University, a M.A. in Urban Affairs from St. Louis University in St. Louis, MO, and a J.D. from Thomas Cooley Law School in Lansing.
He is currently a member of the Michigan State Bar Association and was an Adjunct Professor at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, teaching Election Law between 2001 and 2013. Chris is a founding member of the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) and was elected NASED's President in 1997 and again in 2013. He represented NASED on the Board of Advisors to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission from 2004 to 2017 and served as the Board Chair from 2006 + 2008.
At the NASED Summer Conference in 2012 he was honored to receive NASED's Distinguished Service Award.
Topics for discussion include:
Michigan's decentralized election administration system.
Statewide Petition Canvass and Certification Process: Two election related proposal + Voters Not Politicians (reapportionment) and Promote the Vote (Voter registration and absentee voting, etc)
Bipartisan Policy Center + Democracy Project Bipartisanpolicy.org + implementation for President's Commission on Election Administration + Online Voter Registration, Line management in polling places, Interstate data sharing to keep voter registration files accurate, best practices for recruiting, training and managing election day workers.
Security of Election Administration programs + voter registration & ballot tabulation + Nationally and in Michigan. What can citizens do enhance ballot security?
What to expect in November 2018 Turnout and issues that are likely to be on the ballot. Voter information on the Bureau of Elections' website.
$10; rsvp by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by text or phone to 269-362-1871).
|Wednesday, April 25, 2018
|Berrien Regional Education Service Agency
711 St. Joseph Avenue
P.O. Box 364
Berrien Springs, MI 49103
|SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS' FORUM AND DISCUSSION OF MAJOR ISSUES FACING LOCAL PUBLIC EDUCATION TODAY. The League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties will host a public forum among local school superintendents, April 25, which will target the major issues facing public education in Berrien and Cass County today. The 6:30 p.m. meeting is open to the public and will be held at the Berrien RESA Conference Center in Berrien Springs, Mich. The superintendents will share their views with each other and with the public. Questions will also be solicited from the audience. Moderating the session will be League member Elizabeth Ennis. Shane Peters, Superintendent, Bridgman Public Schools, is currently assembling a panel of top school administrators from Berrien and Cass Counties aimed at reviewing and discussing the concerns and strengths of the schools they lead. Few institutions are of greater importance to communities than their schools. All too frequently, education remains the province of the professionals-- the administrators, teachers, and support staff-- who make the system work. Yet, no matter how good a job they do, they want and welcome input from the public. This forum will target that situation. This event has been scheduled with two other important dates in mind: May 8 and July 24. May 8 is the date on which voters in Berrien County school districts in Berrien Springs, Coloma, Lakeshore, Watervliet, and Dowagiac school districts and Cass County school districts in Cassopolis, Dowagiac, Edwardsburg, and White Pigeon will cast ballots to approve or reject millage or bonding measures. And July 24 is the date by which candidates who wish to run for school boards in November need to file an Affidavit of Identity and a nonpartisan nominating petition.|
|Monday, April 23, 2018
|Book Group. "The Women's Hour: The Great Fight To Win The Vote" by Elaine Weiss (released on March 6) will be our April Book Group selection. Please call the hostess Chris Zilke at (269) 449-2225 to RSVP|
|Thursday, March 29, 2018
|The Women's Hour.
"Anyone interested in the history of our country's ongoing fight to put its founding values into practice--as well as those seeking the roots of current political fault lines--would be well-served by picking up Elaine Weiss's The Woman's Hour." -- Margot Lee Shetterly, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller "Hidden Figures."
Elaine Weiss tells the incredible story of one of the greatest political battles in American history: the fight to ratify the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving women the right to vote.
"The Woman's Hour:The Great Fight To Win The Vote" will be our April Book Group selection.
|Wednesday, March 21, 2018
|Niles District Library
620 E. Main St
Niles, Michigan 49129
|LEAGUE ANNOUNCES EXAMINATION AND CONSENSUS MEETING ON AGRICULTURAL AND SEASONAL WORKER DRIVER'S LICENSES AND ID CARDS.
The League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties will host a public forum and
discussion on the issue of allowing seasonal and agricultural workers to apply for or secure
and renew a driver's license or obtain an identification card regardless of immigration
The meeting is open to the public and will be held on Wednesday, March 21, at 1:00 p.m. in
the Community Room at the Niles District Library in Niles, Michigan. The public is invited to
bring questions and be ready for an opportunity to express viewpoints as members of the
League discuss this issue from the inside and out.
The League will welcome 78 th House District Dave Pagel who will participate from Lansing by
telephone due to Michigan legislature being in session later in the day. Rep. Pagel is the
author of Michigan HB-4795 which is directly concerned with the means for providing "for an
official personal Identification card" to undocumented persons under
Also on the program will be Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey; Theresa
Hendricks, Executive Director of Migrant Legal Aid in Grand Rapids; and
a representative from the Berrien County Farm Bureau, to provide other
perspectives on this multi-faceted issue.
Following this public session, a League member panel will analyze the
consensus responses from League members, and look for areas of
member understanding and agreement. Then using this information, along with information
from other Michigan Leagues, at the state level the League of Women Voters of Michigan,
Lansing, Michigan, will create a revised position statement for its members which could change
the Michigan League's position from Michigan "Should allow a lawfully present, qualifying
person to apply for or secure and renew a driver's license or obtain identification
card" to "Should allow a person to apply for or secure and renew a driver's license or
obtain an identification card regardless of immigration status."
Location: Niles District Library: 620 E. Main St., Niles, Michigan, (269) 683-8545
March 21, 2018 at Niles District Library, 1:00 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.
More information is available on the LWVBCC website at http://www.lwvbcc.org.
The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.
|Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Niles District Library
620 E. Main St.
Niles, Michigan 49120
|General Consensus Meeting Studying Seasonal Workers and Drivers' Licenses. We are conducting a study to possibly update our League of Women Voters of Michigan's position on Agricultural/Seasonal Workers in Michigan. The main question we will discuss is whether the position should be changed from "...allow a lawfully present, qualifying person to apply for or secure and renew a driver's license or obtain identification card" to "...should allow a person to apply for or secure and renew a driver's license or obtain an identification card regardless of immigration status."|
|Wednesday, February 21, 2018
12 noon - 1PM
|Berrien County Health Department
2149 East Napier, Benton Harbor
(just east of I-94 exit 30)
|LEAGUE TO HOST PUBLIC MEETING ON HUNGER IN SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN. Food on the table three times a day--at least if we want it. That's a choice most Americans take for granted. But some--even in such a bountiful agricultural area as Berrien and Cass Counties--don't always have a choice about what to eat. The consequences can be dire. At noon on February 21, League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties (LWVBCC) member Linda Strohl will focus on hunger in our area, whom it impacts, what those impacts are, how it is being addressed now, and current funding issues (including governmental sources). Strohl is Executive Director of Senior Nutrition Services / Meals on Wheels of Southwest Michigan and a member of the Berrien County Board of Health. All members of LWVBCC and interested people who are not members, as well, are encouraged to attend. Public Invited.|