Making Democracy Work

LWVLC Monthly News & Information


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February 25, 2014 Mini Energy Fair and Forum

February 5, 2014 Farm Labor Task Force - Panel Discussion

November 13, 2013 Freedom Riders Program

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October 15, 2013 Justice Marilyn Kelly Program

October 2, 2013 Monthly Program

September 4, 2013 Monthly Program

The League of Women Voters Leelanau County Early Childhood Needs and Services Study Group is pleased to WELCOME YOU

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May 22nd, 2014 Annual Meeting Press Release

Press Release from League of Women Voters Leelanau County for Immediate Release May 5, 2014

Contact: Marian Kromkowski 231-271-5600, Vina Mikesell 231-386-5106 The League of Women Voters Leelanau County announces its Annual Meeting and Dinner to be held Thursday, May 22, 2014 at the Leland Lodge in Leland. The guest speaker this year will be Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bridget Mary McCormack who will speak about her first 18 months on the bench of the highest court in Michigan.

Justice McCormack joined the Michigan Supreme Court in January 2013. Before her election to the Court in November 2012, she was a law professor and dean at the University of Michigan Law School. As dean she created a Domestic Violence Clinic, a Pediatric Health Advocacy Mediation Clinic, a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, an International Transactions Clinic, a Human Trafficking Clinic, a Juvenile Justice Clinic, and an Entrepreneurship Clinic. Due in part to her efforts the University of Michigan Law School's clinical programs are now recognized nationally as one of the best places to be trained as a lawyer. Since joining the Court, Justice McCormack continues to teach at the Law School as a Lecturer.

Justice McCormack currently chairs the Supreme Court's Limited English Proficiency Implementation Advisory Committee and participates with a number of professional organizations including the American Bar Association Access to Justice committee, the American Bar Association Working Group on Pro Bono and Public Service, the advisory board of the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts, the judicial elections committee of the National Association of Women Judges, and serves as a board member of the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification. In 2013, Justice McCormack was elected to The American Law Institute, the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and improve the law and in 2014, she was appointed by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology to a newly-created National Commission on Forensic Science, working to improve the practice of forensic science by developing guidance concerning the intersections between forensic science and the criminal justice system.

Justice McCormack has won numerous awards, including the "Justice for All" Award, the "Patriot Award, "Distinguished Brief Award", the Millie Jeffrey Award. the Mary Foster Award and the Hon. Kaye Tertzag Purple Sport Court Award.

Tickets for the dinner and Justice McCormack's presentation are $30. Reservations are required. The public is invited. The evening begins at 5:30 PM. There will be a cash bar. A buffet dinner will be served at 6:00 PM At 8:15 pm there will be the League's Annual Business meeting. Tickets and more information may be obtained by calling 231-386-5106 or 231-386-9049.

Public Relations

Leelanau Enterprise 9/26/13

Leelanau League of Women Voters committed to helping people vote By Vina Mikesell Fifth St., Northport All over the country, Leagues of Women Voters joined with volunteers from many organizations to promote National Voter Registration Day on Sept. 24.

The goal was to make people who aren't registered aware of how to join the rest of us in exercising the most fundamental right and privilege of citizenship in our great country -- the vote.

The percentage of people voting here in the last few elections has been huge -- way above the national average. Leelanau residents take voting very seriously. In the 2012 election, more than 65 percent of registered voters cast ballots. Promoting registration in Leelanau County may seem unnecessary. Why worry here?

First, several races were won by less than 20 votes. If you don't think every vote counts, think again. Eight or nine votes could have changed the outcome of one of the commissioner races. In township or village races, sometimes only two or three votes separate the winner and loser.

Second, there are groups of people in our county who do not turn out at a high rate -- most notably younger people. According to data obtained from the Leelanau County Clerk's Office, in the 2012 General Election, two-thirds of eligible voters cast ballots. In contrast, however, only about half of 18-21 year-olds voted. In the coming months, our Voters Service Committee will be formulating a plan to reach out and assist these and other citizens with voter registration.


The last day to register for the November General Election is Wednesday, Oct. 9.

You may register or change your voting address at the County Clerk's Office, your Township Office or at a Secretary of State Office (the license bureau).

First-time voters who register by mail may be required to vote in person.

If you want to vote by absentee ballot the first time you vote, you must register in person.

College students may vote in their home county or at college, if properly registered.

A valid ID is required at the polls or, if you don't have one, you may sign an affidavit on the back of the application to vote.

Valid state IDs may be obtained at a Secretary of State Office.

There is no fee for registering to vote.

League efforts on Voters Registration Day and throughout the year are an important part of our commitment to helping people vote. The League of Women Voters believes that democratic government depends upon the informed and active participation of its citizens. It also believes that every citizen should be protected in the right to vote.

To find if you are registered and where you may vote, go to Michigan. gov/vote. For more information about registering or elections, contact or visit Michigan. gov/elections.

-- Author is the president of the League of Women Voters Leelanau County.

August 12, 2013 Cheers & Jeers: 08/12/2013 Traverse City Record-Eagle


- To the League of Women Voters Leelanau County, which was formally recognized by the national League last month. The Leelanau League previously existed as a unit of the League of Women Voters of the Grand Traverse Area. The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that fosters informed political participation through education. The Leelanau League has 80 members

Grand Traverse Insider 8/5/13

LWV gains independent status

Published: Monday, August 05, 2013

By KRISTINE MORRIS Contributing Writer

The League of Women Voters Leelanau County (LWVLC), a recently-independent League, now has over 80 members. The 2013-2014 board includes (from left): Marian Kromkowski, Barbara Reinert, Mary Tonneberger, Ann McInnis, Vina Mikesell, Sharon Golm, Martha Shaver, Jo Ellen Walker, Suzanne Hoff and BJ Christensen. Photo courtesy Marian Kromkowski

View and purchase photos Celebration potluck picnic planned for Aug. 25

LEELANAU + On June 17, the League of Women Voters United States (LWVUS) welcomed three new local leagues, among them the League of Women Voters Leelanau County (LWVLC).

The LWVUS declared that each of the now independent leagues "has shown its dedication to protecting and strengthening our democracy."

"From its modest beginnings in the 1990s to its current vibrant 80-plus member organization, the LWV Leelanau County strives to live up to its charter as a `nonpartisan political organization, encouraging the informed and active participation in government, working to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influencing public policy through education and advocacy,'" said LWVLC Board Member and Publicity Chair Marian Kromkowski.

The League will celebrate its independence with a potluck picnic at Northport's Marina Park from 4-6 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 25, and all members and their families are invited.

Robin Long and Chava Bahle will provide music for the event, and a logo design for the LWVLC will be selected from members' entries brought to the picnic.

The group began in the 1990s, when Leelanau resident Kathy Turner organized the Leelanau County Issues Discussion Group (CIDG), an energetic and committed group of women that tackled many topics at monthly meetings and devoted several years to the study of farmland preservation in Leelanau.

In 2008, the CDIG's members advocated for becoming a unit of the League of Women Voters Grand Traverse Area, and 15 Leelanau women joined. A four-member board was elected to conduct the business of the new Leelanau Unit, with Kathy Turner as president. By 2010, 35 people had joined the Leelanau Unit, the board grew to six and Vina Mikesell was elected president.

In 2012, the Leelanau Unit hosted six countywide candidate forums and one ballot initiative presentation and took on two studies: one on Energy, chaired by Ann McInnis of Northport, and another on Agricultural Migrant Worker Visas, chaired by Suzanne Hoff, from Suttons Bay.

By the spring of 2012, membership had swelled to 60, and it was time to consider becoming an independent League. In April 2013, the Michigan State League Board unanimously voted to grant Leelanau's request for independence.

The LWVLC now has a 10-member board and has added studies of Early Childhood Issues and Changes in Leelanau for this year.

LWVLC membership is open to both women and men at least 18 years of age who are U.S. citizens. Associate membership is available for noncitizens and those under 18. Annual dues are $60 per individual and $90 per household (two members at the same address), and provides membership in the League of Women Voters Leelanau County, the League of Women Voters Michigan and the League of Women Voters United States.

The LWVLC meets at noon on the first Wednesday of the month, September through June, at the Leelanau County Government Center.

"The Sept. 4 meeting will host Dave Barrons speaking on climate change," said Kromkowski. "In addition to its monthly presentations on current issues, the LWVLC will host retired Michigan Supreme Court Justice Marilyn Kelly at 7 p.m. on Oct. 15 at the Old Art Building in Leland, and current Justice Bridget McCormack at its Annual Dinner on May 22, 2014. Both will speak on developments in the Michigan Supreme Court."

Jack Lessenberry, in his Michigan Radio commentary said, "...the League of Women Voters is, more than any group I can think of, everything good about democracy in action," noting that, while they are strictly nonpartisan and never endorse candidates nor recommend that anybody vote against a candidate ... "they know what they stand for + clean, open and responsive government at home, world peace, and protection of both the public and the environment through policies promoting clean air, water and unpolluted land."

The LWVLC membership now stands at 81, with new members joining at every meeting. For more information, please visit

Traverse City Record-Eagle 8/4/13

August 4, 2013 Leelanau League recognized

BY MICHAEL WALTON Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- -- TRAVERSE CITY -- There's a new league of women voters in the Grand Traverse region.

The League of Women Voters Leelanau County was formally recognized by the national League last month. The Leelanau League previously existed as a unit of the League of Women Voters of the Grand Traverse Area.

"We are very different geographically from Grand Traverse County and we have different elected representatives," said Vina Mikesell, president of the Leelanau County League. "We have different issues than that league did."

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that fosters informed political participation through education about candidates and public policy issues.

The new Leelanau County League's 80 members represent about one-half of the group that comprised the Grand Traverse Area League. Mary Grover, a member and spokeswoman for the Grand Traverse Area League, said there's no ill-will over the split.

"We're delighted," Grover said. "They have been so successful in recruiting members from Leelanau County."

Leelanau County League members will hold a celebratory potluck picnic at Northport's Marina Park on Aug. 25 from 4 to 6 p.m. The Leelanau County League will hold monthly meetings at noon on the first Wednesday of each month from September through June at the Leelanau County Government Center.

This November's election falls on an off-year with few candidates and initiates expected on the ballot, but Mikesell said League members will be ready to go for the 2014 mid-term election cycle.

"By next summer we will be in full swing providing candidate forums and issues forums," she said.

The Big Picture Society

LWVLC Big Picture Society Begins January 13

The League of Women Voters Leelanau County will host a monthly Big Picture Society film presentation at the Old Art Building at 111 Main Street in Leland with its first film on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 3:00 PM. All subsequent films will also be on the 2nd Monday of the month at 3:00 PM. The Big Picture Society will feature films on issues of public interest on current political/environmental and/or social justice topics.

The first film is based on a true story from the late 1960s. It tells of a group of English women, employed at the Ford Motor Factory, who took on management and their own union by going out on strike, insisting on equal pay for equal work.

There is no fee for the movie but good will donations to the LWVLC will be accepted.