Oscar Anderson of the Montgomery County League of Women Voters was re-elected co-president of the League of Women Voters of Indiana on Saturday at the 2019 State Convention held April 27-28 at the Lafayette Holiday Inn. Linda Hanson, LWV of Muncie/Delaware, was elected to serve as his co-president. Men have been active members of the LWV for many years, but Anderson became the first Indiana male state president when he was elected in 2017 and now has been re-elected for another two-year term.

Montgomery County had seven delegates attend the 2019 LWVIN Convention — Linda Airey, Nancy Bennett, Nick Hedrick, Helen Hudson, Vicke-Hudson Swisher, Tina Osborn and Gail Pebworth in addition to Anderson.

Welcoming convention delegates were the two Tippecanoe County mayors — Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski and West Lafayette Mayor John R. Dennis. Keynote speakers included: Andy Downs, director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Purdue University; and the Honorary Loretta Rush, Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court.

Adopting state governmental programs for study and action is a key role at state conventions. Program planning by local Leagues is a valuable tool for identifying issues for focus and for ensuring that League resources — human and financial — are engaged where they have the most impact.

The LWV of Indiana will continue to emphasize the Making Democracy Work campaign which includes ensuring a free, fair and accessible electoral system for all eligible voters by focusing on voting rights, improving election procedures, campaign finance/money and politics and redistricting. In addition, the LWVIN program continues advocacy in support of natural resources, women’s health, equal pay for women, education and gun safety.

The year 2020 will mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the LWV on Feb. 14, 1920, six months before the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote was ratified by the needed 36th state when Tennessee State Legislature on Aug. 26, 1920, voted to support by just one vote.

Saturday evening’s presentation by Sally Perkins who performed in costume “Digging in Their Heels” the story of a Hoosier woman’s fight for the right to vote was delightful and well received.

To help educate, inspire and prepare for 2020 celebrations, the LWV of Indiana is sponsoring a “Go See Seneca Falls” road trip June 25-28 to visit the birthplace of women’s right to vote. On the way, the group will tour Zoar Village, Ohio, where women were actually allowed to vote locally in 1819. The group then has reservations to see home and museum of early suffrage leader Susan B. Anthony in Rochester, New York, and on to Seneca Falls where the Leaguers will visit Women’s Rights National Historical Park, Wesleyan Chapel-site of the 1848 convention, Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s home, the National Women’s Hall of Fame and more.

LWV believes government can work if people are informed and engaged. The convention always serves as motivation to strive to work even more effectively to assure that government is indeed working for the people.

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