Making Democracy Work

Because Democracy is not a Spectator Sport

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging the informed and active participation of citizens in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy.
Lunch with the League September 11 - details below. FacebookTwitter

LWV Friend-Raiser - October 14 6:00-8:00pm

Lunch with the League - September 11, 2015 at Noon

Laura Baker, Executive Direct of Reading for Life: "Changing Perspectives: The Counter Culture of Reading for Life.

South Bend Chocolate Cafe 122 S. Michigan st. South bend, IN 46601

Event begins at noon. Come as early as 11:30 to order lunch. This event is free and open to the public.

School to Prison Pipeline Forum - September 12

Don't miss this -- A COMMUNITY FORUM: BREAK THE SCHOOL TO PRISON PIPELINE, Saturday, September 12, 2015 -- IU South Bend, Wiekamp Hall

For more info or to volunteer, please write to or contact Linda Wolfson 574-234-7235 or Regina Williams-Preston 514-9327.

She's Beautiful When She's Angry - September 23 at The Brick

Prepare to be inspired as you view this extraordinary documentary highlighting the women's liberation movement. "She's Beautiful When She's Angry" tells the story of one of the most important social movements of the 20th century featuring never-before-seen archival footage and new interviews.

Doors will open at 6pm and the film begins at 7pm. Admission is a $5 donation to the YWCA collected at the door to help pay for the film. There will be free popcorn and a cash bar on site.

1145 Northside Blvd., South Bend

Fall 2015 Candidate Events

South Bend Mayoral Candidates

Incumbent: Pete Buttigieg (D)
Challenger: Kelly Jones (R)

Sponsored by the American Democracy Project and Political Science Club of IU South Bend and the League of Women Voters of the South Bend Area. Moderator: Dr. Elizabeth Bennion, Professor of Political Science, IU South Bend.

Opening and closing statements. Audience may submit questions on note cards during the debate and/or email questions in advance to with the subject line of: SOUTH BEND mayoral QUESTION.

When: Tuesday, October 6, 2015- 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Where: Indiana University South Bend Wiekamp Hall Auditorium (Room 1001)
1700 Mishawaka Avenue, South Bend, Indiana 46634
Reception follows.

Redistricting Reform - Time to Take Back Elections

In 2014, 44 out of 100 candidates for the Indiana House and 10 of 25 candidates for the Indiana Senate had no opponents.

Why? Because the General Assembly draws the district maps every 10 years after the federal census and legislatures draw maps for political advantage -- creating unfair electoral advantage for the majority party. The result? No competition and dismal voter turnout.

It's time to fix this sick system and put elections back in the hand of the voters.

The Indiana General Assembly has created a Special Study Committee on Redistricting that will work until December 2016 to create a reform recommendation for the legislature. We have a real opportunity to effect redistricting reform in our State but we must act now to educate and advocate for an independent redistricting process.

Join the Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting email alerts by sending an email to

Below you will find a link to the Special Committee's webpage and another to LWV resources.

Redistricting resources from LWVUS

LWV Indiana 95th Anniversary Celebration - September 26, 2015

LWVIN invites us to attend this celebration, which includes an address by Professor Sheila Seuss Kennedy, recognition of LWV Indiana Lifetime Members, commemorative displays, League stories, review of League work.

Time: Noon - 2:30 p.m. Location: The Athenaeum in Indianapolis

Register before September 18! (contact Geri Pawelski for registration form:

Cost: $26 includes buffet meal and parking in Anthenaeum lot.

If you are interested in a carpooling to Indianapolis for this special event, please contact Lisa Plencner (

LWV Indiana Education Study

In 2015 local Leagues will participate in the LWV Indiana Education study by considering concurrence with the single position statement:

League of Women Voters of Indiana supports a free, publicly-funded, non-sectarian system of schools serving all the state's children from pre-school through 12th grade.

LWV South Bend Area will complete its discussion in time to meet a January 2016 deadline. Following that, there will be a consensus study for 2016, with reporting at the start of 2017.

Visit for suggested reading materials. If you would be willing to moderate a local discussion, please write to

National Studies on Constitutional Amendments and Money in Politics

The two-year LWVUS program adopted in 2014 includes two studies, one on Constitutional Amendments (a new study) and one on Money in Politics (a review of the existing position).

A brief description of of each study appears below, along with links to resources that you can use right now to begin your personal reading.

Constitutional Amendment Study

During 2015, the LWVUS Constitutional Amendment Committee will conduct a study and member agreement process on amending our nation's Constitution. In addition to other topics, our League study will explore what constitutes an appropriate and well-crafted amendment.

Consensus questions and reading materials are located here. LWV South Bend will conduct consensus discussions this fall to meet a December 1 deadline.

Money In Politics

The Money in Politics Committee will conduct an update of the League's position on campaign finance for the purpose of addressing the lack of member understanding and agreement as to whether financing a political campaign is protected speech under the First Amendment. The campaign finance position will be updated through a study and consensus process to consider: (1) the rights of individuals and organizations, under the First Amendment, to express their political views through independent expenditures and the finance of election campaign activities; and (2) how those rights, if any, should be protected and reconciled with the interests set out in the current position.

Resources are here and LWV South Bend will hold consensus discussions in early 2016.

Half-Price Student Membership

Join the League! LWV South Bend Area now offers a student membership rate of $25.00! A student is defined as an individual who is enrolled either full or part-time in an accredited institution.

Consider a gift student membership - you will be opening the door to lifetime of Making Democracy Work.

Did you know . . . The LWV South Bend Area

★ Visits area high schools to register voters - 1077 in 2012!
★ Registers new voters at local events - at least 40 events since 2008
★ Sponsors candidate debates and forums before every election
★ Organized and cosponsored B Green to Save Green, an environmental education program for low-income families
★ Hosts Lunch with the League, a monthly public event featuring a talk by local leaders, followed by discussion
★ Provides voter information at the community events such as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration and Michiana Monologues
★ Hosts Evening with the League, a monthly gathering of members and friends
★ Sponsors public forums on topics of community interest such as the Property Tax Cap Constitutional Amendment, Redistricting, and Economic Development in our area

Want to learn more? Contact us at today.

Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month at 5:30 pm at St Joseph County Public Library, Main Street, Downtown South Bend. Free Parking. Guests are welcome.