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Published On 7/8/2022
Dear County Commissioners:

The League of Women Voters of Montgomery County recommends that we do not increase setbacks for solar development.
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Published On 6/14/2022
Group recounts Lincoln School history; seeks public’s help in gathering information
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Published On 1/25/2022
New article about local League members Myra Dunn Abbot and Maria Reynolds-Weir
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Published On 8/28/2021
Coverage of the Dr. Mary Holloway Wilhite historical marker dedication on August 25, 2021
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Published On 7/31/2021
Descendants retrace pioneering woman physician’s steps
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Published On 7/30/2021
Envision a democracy where every person has the desire, the right, the knowledge and the confidence to participate” challenges the League of Women Voters
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Published On 7/28/2021
"Envision a democracy where every person has the desire, the right, the knowledge and the confidence to participate” challenges the League of Women Voters
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Published On 8/26/2020
We commemorated Women's Equality Day by launching two special projects.
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Published On 5/29/2020
The LWV of the US issued a statement in reference to the murder of George Floyd
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Columns

Published On 2/17/2024
In “Origin,” viewers follow Isabel Wilkerson as she wrestles with her questions, even as her husband dies suddenly, her elderly mother passes away and finally, her cousin dies. It’s as much a study of her grief as how “grief brain” intersects with her work, shaping how she frames the answers she’s seeking.
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Published On 2/10/2024
Black History Month is a dedicated period to promote history that is (or should be) fully integrated in our life-long education, one that affirms the right of people to thrive here in the U.S.
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Published On 2/3/2024
During the January Lunch with the League, Diamond Justus shared that MCHD was able to opt-in for state “Health First” funding allowing them to expand services this year
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Published On 1/27/2024
Our climate team’s leading voice, John Smilie, has been posting on social media about agrivoltaics, and if you’ve never heard the term, you can figure out its part science, part agriculture. If you’re curious or nerdy enough, you might fall into a research rabbit hole to find out what it is and why it matters.
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Published On 1/20/2024
We need to let our representatives know what matters most to us before and during the legislative sessions, and with Indiana’s Legislative Session is in full swing from January 8 to March 14, now is the time to monitor the agenda.
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Published On 1/13/2024
“Breast is best,” midwives and OBGYNs began to say in the 1990s. Infant formula had for decades been touted as the way to nourish newborns, but new evidence supported nature’s tried and true method.
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Published On 1/6/2024
Happy New Year! This may be an election year with more high drama than most years.
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Published On 12/30/2023
The League invites diverse volunteers and welcomes you.
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Published On 12/23/2023
Volunteering transforms us.
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Published On 12/16/2023
Giving is as much fun as getting, and giving yourself and others a wiser food experience will season your holidays with an extra dash of satisfaction
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Published On 12/9/2023
The LWV provides citizens opportunities to inform one another on the workings of the government - the observer corps. The observer corps works with the legal requirements for local, state and federal government to increase transparency and accountability. The observer corps works when average citizens commit themselves to one to two hours a month attending a board or committee meeting, taking notes, and providing their notes to the League which posts it for anyone to read.
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Published On 12/2/2023
In 2016, the science podcast Radiolab ran an episode called “From Tree to Shining Tree” about the mysterious, secret world of trees. With a jeweler’s magnifying glass, Roy Halling, a plant researcher at the New York Botanical Garden, who specializes in fungi showed reporter Jennifer Frazier thin white threads stringing out from the roots of trees. These strings are actually hollow tubes, a complex network of fungi that break down items in the soil, converting them into usable minerals that feed trees the nitrogen, phosphorous, calcium, potassium, lignen, and copper that trees need to thrive. In return, the trees give the fungi sugar, but when tree times are tough, the fungi release sugar back to trees. These long tubes link into a vast networking system that connects tree roots to tree roots.
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Published On 11/25/2023
Thanksgiving marks the official start of Christmas anticipation. The national narrative behind it insists we give it respect in its own right, but the old myth has “tolled farther and farther away from the facts of what we have done” to quote Kentucky farmer and writer Wendell Berry. In The Hidden Wound, Berry calls attention to the romanticization of our history and “the wishful insinuation that we have done no harm” specifically against Black and Indigenous Americans.
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Published On 11/18/2023
At the helm of the judicial branch of the U.S. government, which is supposed to interpret the laws written by the legislative branch and enforced by the executive branch, sits the Supreme Court...In his book "The Shadow Docket: How the Supreme Court Uses Stealth Rulings to Amass Power and Undermine the Republic", historian Stephen Vladeck calls attention to a potential imbalance in the role of the judicial branch.
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Published On 11/11/2023
As noted in the first LWVMC column of October, the petroleum industry knew in 1959 that oil and coal were radically altering the environment.
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Published On 11/4/2023
Though we speak of healthcare in the U.S. as a system, it’s less a system, per se, more a situation.
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Published On 10/28/2023
This is part two of a series testing the claim that the LWV 2023 stances have remained stable for decades as evidenced by comparing to the GOP and Dem Party Platforms in 1972.
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Published On 10/21/2023
On September 30th, our local League of Women Voters of Montgomery County hosted presidents from other Leagues statewide, during which one president shared that some non-League people believe the League of Women Voters is left-leaning. Her response? The current platform for the LWV looks awfully similar to the GOP platform of 1972.
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Published On 10/14/2023
Summary of Nickee Sillery, medical director for the Animal Welfare League (AWL), speaking at LWVMC Lunch with the League
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Published On 10/7/2023
John Smilie remembers learning in the fourth grade that most of the world’s energy came from non-renewable sources and one day they’d run out. Yet as he grew up reading science and tech news, most of it seemed optimistic. There was always an innovation on the horizon, except when it came to the rise in the earth’s temps. As the years passed, the news grew more grim.
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Published On 9/30/2023
Ever had a season of life that you thought might break you? Chances are, you were living through multiple life stressors, any of which strain a person but when piled up can max out emotional and physical resources on households.
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Published On 9/23/2023
Housing and job “shortages are two sides of the same coin,” wrote Ben Winck and Andy Kiersz for Business Insider in 2021. “Cities with the most job openings don't have the affordable housing needed by many workers. And areas with cheaper housing don't have the promising labor markets to make them attractive.”
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Published On 9/16/2023
Indiana Youth Group’s Journey Reabe faces a fun, but tough challenge trying to pin down what the youth she’s serving like, as in, like to do, like to eat, like to learn about. Reabe facilitates the Indiana Youth Group’s Drop-In Tuesdays, a weekly event for LGBTQ+ youth in Montgomery County.
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Published On 9/9/2023
It’s the week after Labor Day. Did you a) buy a mattress or appliance? b) get snarled on busy highways or in airports? c) relax from your labors? And d) hear or read about the state of labor and unions in the U.S.?
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Published On 9/2/2023
When was the last time you gazed at the night sky and could identify more than three constellations? There are 88 of them, thirty-six in the northern sky, fifty-two in the southern hemisphere. They’re almost impossible to see in Crawfordsville, many are difficult to see in the country these days, even if you have a keen eye to spot them. Such is light pollution, the topic of one out of two short films that wrapped up the Green Series film discussion season of 2023.
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Published On 8/26/2023
As the League of Women Voters prepares to celebrate Women’s Equality Day on Friday August 25 (5-7 pm in Mural Alley), it’s worth reflecting on the state of equality in 2023.
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Published On 8/19/2023
Todd Barton said two questions follow him when he’s on the town. When are we going to get another grocery store? And what about housing?
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Published On 8/12/2023
Since the development of birth control, like that of sanitary napkins, women have been able to participate in work, pursue education, and compete in sports, using their unique talents and gifts as engineers, teachers, nurses, managers, or they just helped their family survive by working the line at our local manufacturer.
Now is not the time to take for granted that women can and will be able to continue accessing what they need so they can best contribute to their households and communities. Now is the time to continue to let our leadership know all we need.
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Published On 8/5/2023
In June, scientists released findings that the axis of the earth has tilted recently, which it does from time to time, but this time for surprising new reasons that are all about water. For decades now, we’ve observed that melting ice caps have redistributed the mass of our planet, which tips the axis. But humans have measured another tilt, and this one from “water transfer.”
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Published On 7/29/2023
1 million plastic bottles are sold every second around the world. Most are used once and discarded - unless they get a less lucky second life holding tobacco spit or a more virtuous second life as a pen, shoe or other recycled item. That’s what the “plastic pirates” who compete in Eastern Europe’s annual Tisza River Plastic Cup aim to accomplish.
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Published On 7/22/2023
Some homeowners and landlords were really smart, really ahead of the times when they solarized houses 20 years ago–or even 40–years ago. Very early in the 21st century, a couple originally from Montgomery County solarized a house outside of San Francisco. “People wondered what I was doing, but it’s been low cost power all the way.”
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Published On 7/15/2023
The case called Moore V. Harper, which pressed for a fringe reading of the Constitution to give unchecked authority to state legislatures when redistricting and writing election procedures, was hailed a success for the American election system. If you’ve been busy and missed why it matters, here’s why the League thinks it’s worth understanding.
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Published On 7/8/2023
Last tax year, Indiana went past go with a tax surplus. The state is now set to collect a $1.5 billion surplus, part of which legislators earmarked for the teacher retirement fund, a blessing. Yet it hardly offsets educators’ concerns about an enormous expansion of the voucher program.
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Published On 7/1/2023
Several members of the community gathered on June 21 to watch the League of Women Voters/Wabash College Green Issues movie Reflection: A Walk with Water (Bullfrog Films). The narrative of the film was a group of people walking the 200-mile length of the Los Angeles aqueduct, from Owens Valley east of the Sierra Nevada mountains to LA. Interludes about water conservation, rain generation, soil health, and water ecosystems tutor viewers to be able to see and reflect on the fragility and centrality of rainfall and water retention in all of our lives.
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Published On 6/24/2023
The little blue booklet looks so modest and so unassuming. It is anything but. What you hold in your hand is a powerhouse of Montgomery County and City of Crawfordsville governance. This little 25-page booklet is a "hive mind" for public information.
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Published On 6/17/2023
The League of Women Voters invites you to the summer Green Issues film discussion series to learn more about our weather and climate, and other environmental issues. Upcoming are the films and dates for viewings and discussions that will take place at Wabash College in Korb Classroom at 7pm.
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Published On 6/10/2023
Curiosity is a gift. Pausing long enough to observe a common symbol, trope, or even pattern and asking, “Why?” or “How?” marks a keen mind, one willing to learn. One might notice that birds riot at sun up, and that squirrels disappear in the evening, and ask why? Or consider the month of June’s burst of color and ask, why so many rainbow flags this month? Also, why a rainbow flag?
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Published On 6/3/2023
The LWVMC are hosting a themed discussion over three books. Participants are encouraged to read one or more of the books: 'Bad Feminist' by Roxanne Gay, 'We Should All Be Feminists' by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and 'Of Boys and Men' by Richard Reeves.
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Published On 5/27/2023
This week, the LWVMC is on the road, traveling to the Equal Justice Initiative’s Peace and Justice Memorial.
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Published On 5/20/2023
Story has a way of worming sideways into a situation, its insights unfold and illuminate what had been confusing or unresolved. Story can unify people, literally. When doctors scanned brains of people listening to the same story simultaneously, the same centers in the brain lit up as the story progressed.
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Published On 5/13/2023
With all of the Inflation Reduction Act incentives, now is the time for budget-conscious locals to plan their updates.
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Published On 5/6/2023
This year, the LWVMC and the City of Crawfordsville, among others, are excited to partner with Solar United Neighbors Co-op, which will be open for just three months, through August to give businesses, non-profits and individuals the opportunity to leverage bulk buying power and purchase solar panels and battery panels for their homes and buildings.
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Published On 4/29/2023
When hazardous waste from the East Palestine train derailment ended up in Roachdale, locals turned to the League of Women Voters for some insight on the decision to import the waste.
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Published On 4/22/2023
Each year local Leagues around the country define their focus for the upcoming year at a formal Local Planning meeting. At this meeting, the gathered League members review current positions and vote on whether to retain the same position going forward. The positions came into being as the result of nomination, study, and adoption at earlier Local Planning meetings.
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Published On 4/15/2023
Some stories are so precious and painful that their caretakers shield them. Even after several years of research, Shannon Hudson and Vicke Swisher-Hudson could not unearth most of the stories about students who attended the Lincoln School for Colored Children to include in their soon-to-be-published book, To Remember the Forgotten School.
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Published On 4/8/2023
Last week’s column reported information about economic development concerns in Montgomery County and the significant impact these policies are having on Indiana’s medical care, especially for women of child-bearing age. This week we report on business and economic repercussion by professionals in those fields.
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Published On 4/1/2023
A diverse crowd of more than 60 people gathered at the Crawfordsville District Public Library last week to learn about Indiana’s new reproductive health policies. How are last summer’s Supreme Court Dobbs Decision and the passage of Indiana’s Senate Bill 1 affecting the economic and public health profile of our state and our community?
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Published On 3/25/2023
With the markets shaky, let’s celebrate Women’s History Month through the stories of three women, outliers and trailblazers, whose financial savvy may hold some lessons for the present. Hetty Green, Maggie Lena Walker, and Elinor Ostrom, lend us insights into value investing, community building, and community-centered solutions when resources are limited.
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Published On 3/18/2023
Presently deputies need twenty-four hours of training annually and can pursue more in their areas of interest. Needham said his deputies pursue SWAT, cyber-crime, polygraph testing, interviewing and canine unit training. Around the country, other departments are implementing Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), Deescalation, Non-stress-based training, and procedural justice policing -where officers begin with a focus on giving dignity, respect, and voice, as well as being trustworthy, neutral and transparent. It jives with what Sheriff Needham considers the cornerstone of his philosophy.
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Published On 3/11/2023
In the midst of the pandemic of 2020, Emmett Bowman took his initials, EB, and created a philanthropic clothing line calling out EveryBody Stand for Unity and Everybody Unite. His efforts stood out that year for the message, for his age - he was only seventeen - and because Crawfordsville had only a handful of Black-owned businesses.
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Published On 3/4/2023
If the algorithm were benevolent, it would post those friends of ours who enrich the world with delightful, lesser-known but amazing stories from Black History. If the algorithm favored wonks and nerds who love learning something new, Black History Month would be a blast because some of the most amazing stories were negotiated out of the history curriculum to placate parents with enough influence and money to throw around like weights.
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Published On 2/25/2023
Rachel Christensen always knew she wanted to be in a helping profession and discovered she loved her psychology courses at Olivet Nazarene University.
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Published On 2/18/2023
It’s the nature of many Midwesterners to be healthy skeptics of jargon and buzz phrases. Being pragmatic and skeptical, we hear a phrase like “social determinants of health” about three times and wonder what is being cloaked behind jargon. What is being foisted upon hardworking taxpayers?
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Published On 2/11/2023
Numbers are not political. “Data is just data,” said Advi, an economics senior from Oman, who was talking about the course that most impacted her, the Economics of Racial and Gender Discrimination. The data demonstrates clear patterns that systems of law and culture have significantly impacted the economic health of minorities in the United States.
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Published On 2/4/2023
Crawfordsville is one of many small towns struggling with the housing crisis. Our League of Women Voters Economic Health team members keep asking, “What about housing?” because we have almost no options for homeless men, a shortage of affordable rental units for low-income earners, too few options for first-time home buyers, a struggle to draw developers for new builds, and affordable housing for seniors. 2022’s Federal Spending Bill set aside millions to expand non-profit, supportive housing for seniors, a HUD program called Section 202 Housing.
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Published On 1/28/2023
Nothing about the guest speaker suggested power or prestige. She was the quintessential teacher, comfortable and ready to engage in a crushed velvet smock, black leggings, and comfortable shoes. She’d pulled her long hair up into a ponytail. Yet Dr. Jennifer McCormick was the last elected Superintendent of Education in Indiana, and she knew her stuff.
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Published On 1/21/2023
The services that Crawfordsville’s Quick Response Team (QRT) provides, and what distinguishes them from hundreds of other QRTs around the country, most of which developed in as communities grappled with skyrocketing substance use disorders (SUD) in the Opioid Crisis.
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Published On 1/14/2023
High winds, flooding, tornadoes, and bomb cyclones are just some of the natural hazards that Montgomery County’s Emergency Management and Homeland Security Department prepares for annually. The department maintains protocols for over twenty natural and man-made disasters, all identified during regular hazards and threats assessments meetings held with each incorporated and unincorporated area of the county. These could include events like the fire that altered an entire downtown block in 2007, or God forbid, a disaster like last year’s shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
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Published On 1/7/2023
How about a David Letterman-style top ten list about Montgomery County’s year-long Bicentennial efforts. It’s a humorous recap of the hard work of the Bicentennial Planning Team and will be almost as good as celebrating over tacos in January, which Tom Klein, County Administrator said the team plans to do. The list is based on highlights for Tom and the team.
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Published On 12/31/2022
“When people come to court, other than lawyers, I mean, it’s usually a new experience for them,” said Judge Harry Siamas, as we sat across from each other at the defense and prosecutor’s tables in Montgomery’s Circuit Court Room.
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Published On 12/24/2022
Happy Holidays! Tis the season for end-of-year giving, “best of” lists, reflections, goal setting, and... the flip of the calendar into 2023 means the ticker on EVs that qualify for $7500 incentive resets.
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Published On 12/17/2022
Let’s hear it for the sun, the source of light that warms the planet, cheers hearts, and provides one of the cheapest sources of energy. These days, harnessing solar power is proving to be “the cheapest fuel in history,” according to International Energy Agency.
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Published On 12/10/2022
This column could be part three of “Why I Love My Town.” Recently we have hailed the upgrade to Frances Wooden Park and Oak Hill Cemetery’s natural burial options. This week, the League spotlights a surprising technology partnership that will promote economic development in Crawfordsville and Montgomery County.
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Published On 12/3/2022
With Indiana’s new law restricting abortion, women are questioning other rights they thought they had.
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Published On 11/26/2022
What is a nation? How we answer the question ripples all the way to our borders, north, south, west, east and influences immigration and border policy.
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Published On 11/19/2022
Last week, the League of Women Voter’s column celebrated Crawfordsville for its new park, and this week, we can tootle our trumpets for another fabulous feature of Montgomery County. For a minute, though, let’s hold the suspense.
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Published On 11/12/2022
Frances Wooden Park: Another reason to love calling Crawfordsville home
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Published On 11/5/2022
Let me begin with a nod to a network television show worth a watch. Abbot Elementary. In this seasons first episode, a young teacher sits in his classroom staring forlornly at his notepad. His seasoned mentor pops her head in to the room. “Everything alright?” She asks though she knows it’s not.
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Published On 10/29/2022
Early voting is open in Indiana. Wouldn’t it be nice to skip the election day crunch, to stop into the courthouse and cast your ballot? It’s part of a solid voting plan. Before you go, here’s what to know:
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Published On 10/22/2022
It’s election season. Early voting in Montgomery County started on Oct. 12. Voters can vote any weekday between now and Nov. 4 on the first floor of the Montgomery County courthouse from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There are also a few weekend and evening opportunities for early voting. Visit the LWVMC website (lwvmontcoin.org) and go to the Voter Information tab for a complete schedule.
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Published On 10/15/2022
If you’ve ever walked up to the ballot box, read the names of school board candidates and thought "Should I vote for any of these people? I don’t know enough", this column is for you. Early voting begins October 12, and there are five of the candidates, all independents, competing for three spots on CCSC’s school board. (Don’t vote straight ticket if you want to vote for school board candidates!)
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Published On 10/8/2022
There’s a lyric by The National that reads, “I still owe money to the money I owe,” a nod to the slog of ditching debt. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could save serious coin on our monthly bills? Even nicer, to save money on the changes required to shave hundreds of our heating, cooling, and transportation bills. The Inflation Reduction Act aims to help Americans electrify their lives by offering quite a few rebates and tax breaks- up to $14,000, depending on your income. It sounds nice, but is it doable, especially for the households making only eighty percent of the state’s median income (about $53,500 dollars)?
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Published On 10/1/2022
Rarely does an exchange on social media measure up, but League Climate Team member John Smilie’s posts usually educate, prompt thoughtful discussion, and aim toward the common good. His recent post was worthy of a wider audience so we’ve brought the conversation here.
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Published On 9/24/2022
Tom Nichols, staff writer for The Atlantic, penned the piece we at the League should have thought of: “The Joy of Voting.” This leads to the question, have you noticed self-satisfaction when you vote? Or joy?
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Published On 9/17/2022
If you follow regional news, you may have read that nearly 1,1000 Indianapolis households faced eviction when their property owners failed to pay $1.9 million in water bills. In a settlement that came in three weeks before the residents would have to move, JPC Affordable Housing Foundation agreed to sell the rental units and leave Indiana.
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Published On 9/10/2022
As with anything that is single-use or easily disposed of, like fast fashion, we should be skeptical, not only of the industry but our own demand for convenience. The most eco-friendly trash still releases carbon and requires resources to compost or recycle. We might be bamboozling ourselves if we think one product is the perfect replacement for another.
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Published On 9/3/2022
Who deserves the right to go down into the Grand Canyon?
Isn’t everyone entitled?
We are providing a solution to a need.
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Published On 8/27/2022
This will be an unusual column, in the first person at parts, to reflect upon what traveling this year has taught this writer about our democracy.
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Published On 8/20/2022
What do wine, cheese, and women’s equality have in common? A) August 26, B) democracy, C) the League of Women Voters, or D) all of the above.
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Published On 8/6/2022
Last week members of the community gathered to watch Nausicaa, Staging the Oceans’ Biodiversity, sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County and Wabash College. The film presents the creation of Europe’s largest aquarium tank, in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France.
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Published On 7/30/2022
Every person in the world needs and wants clean water. Most of us think of this as a universal human right: without water every living creature dies. Here in Indiana, safe urban and rural drinking water have been the norm — with some notable exceptions.
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Published On 7/23/2022
Through the words of residents, scientists, and the mayor of a small Oregon town ravaged by wildfire, “Built to Burn” helps viewers understand more about wildfires, their causes, consequences and possible mitigation. It’s a complex scenario.
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Published On 7/16/2022
Who do you talk to on a typical day? Depending on your job and your personality, you might go through the day without talking to anyone you don’t know well. You should, though. Conversations with acquaintances and strangers have benefits for you individually, and for our community.
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Published On 7/9/2022
In the opening scenes of the documentary “Kiss the Ground,” actor Woody Harrelson says he’s “given up” on climate change solutions. As he narrates this, we are shown all too familiar scenes of belching factory pipes, oil refineries, and melting glaciers. As one climate disaster after another hits the news, he says he feels despair. Harrison is not alone.
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Published On 6/25/2022
After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Green Issues film series, co-sponsored by Montgomery County League of Women Voters and Wabash College Library, return this summer with four engaging documentaries about issues affecting our natural world.
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Published On 6/18/2022
On Saturday, everyone reading this column is invited to our Carnegie Musueum in downtown Crawfordsville from 1-4 p.m. to celebrate nothing less than the natural world. To top it off, visitors will be treated to one of the great products and delights of our natural world — ice cream! This event is part of a summer-long museum program tied to the Indiana Humanities One State/One Story program. If you have the chance, read the beautiful little book World of Wonders (which is available at our Crawfordsville Public Library) that serves as the centering One Story for Indiana this summer.
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Published On 6/4/2022
On the economy, there’s good news, and there’s bad news.
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Published On 5/28/2022
“I was expecting to hear stories of isolation, alienation, tokenism, loneliness. I’m really troubled by the number of stories about threats to personal safety and the sense of not being safe in town or on the campus,” said one man in the back of the audience. An hour into the show, the stage manager came out to explain that the cast would use improvisation to “playback” the audience’s reactions because the “Where is our Beloved Community?” included such intense real-life experiences from Wabash and Crawfordsville’s minority residents.
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Published On 5/21/2022
We Americans tend to think our democracy is exceptional, it’s a bulwark, it’s resilient, and perhaps indestructible. But a democracy is an enormous institution based on human interdependence. Like any healthy relationship, its internal strength increases when it works hard at maintaining its core values. It’s more likely to thrives when it shares company with like-minded friends. For this reason, we might benefit by checking in on our democracy. How well is it holding up to the stress test it’s undergoing in a period of polarization, trauma after the pandemic, and the erosion of democracy world-wide.
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Published On 5/14/2022
While sniffing about for story ideas recently, this writer dug up a gem on the Montgomery County website, a listing names of famous natives.
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Published On 5/7/2022
Tied to a board and put on a human back, laid in a box, locked in a parked car, left to run the docks with a warning “to stay away from the water!”- these were just a few childcare solutions of the past. Long a need for the working class, most actual care of children was a luxury for the well-off.
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Published On 4/30/2022
The May primary is here and if national and local trends predict anything, too few people eligible to vote will go to the polls, especially to the primaries in non-Presidential election years.
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Published On 4/23/2022
Polls are open in Montgomery County for early voting, and once again it’s time to educate ourselves about voting in the primaries and choosing among the candidates.
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Published On 4/16/2022
Everyone wants to belong, and after two years of the pandemic, HUE (Humans United for Equality) plans to bring together the community with the Celebration of Unity after a two-year hiatus.
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Published On 4/9/2022
On one of those rare, warm and sunny afternoons in mid-March a small group of people stood in a circle peering intently down at the ground. At the center of the group was Marian Rodriguez-Soto. She was kneeling beside some simple tools and pouring water onto lumps of soil from two different locations into two different sieves set on top of clear cups. Marian was demonstrating how to do a simple “slump test” designed to determine how well soil can absorb water. Healthy soil will absorb water quickly leaving the water in the cup quite clear. The healthy soil itself will have texture something like a brownie. In contrast, over-tilled soil runs right through the sieve indicating weakened soil structure that can readily be blown by the wind or suffer excess run-off from heavy rains such as the more frequent and heavier rains the Midwest is now getting.
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Published On 4/2/2022
Do you remember being in school and lamenting that history is so boring? While we were all looking for it to come to life, for someone to rediscover a local hero, uncover an untold story, or answer a nagging question, local historians have always been indulging their curiosity.
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Published On 3/26/2022
Who says a science fair project can’t change the world? When middle-schooler Holly Thorpe tested carbon dioxide fumes in Miami-Dade school buses, she found the rates were ten times higher than the EPA recommends, far higher than OSHA allows for work sites. Air pollution reduces test scores, slows cognition, creates nausea and headaches, as well as increases cancer and asthma. The evidence makes it hard for school districts to look away. In February 2021, the Miami-Dade school district became one of many around the nation committing to zero-emissions bus fleets.
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Published On 3/19/2022
It’s 6 a.m., your shift starts in an hour, and your one-year-old has a fever. You scroll through your contacts wondering who can watch your baby. Why, you wonder, is life never smooth, never calm? You’ll ponder that question again that night when your childcare provider calls to say she’s closing her home daycare in a few weeks. Now you have the added stress of finding a new provider.
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Published On 3/12/2022
Since 2020, a number of columnists and pundits have been saying democracy is under siege in the US. Perhaps it is, or maybe this generation is learning for itself the reality of US self-governance. Our democracy is a wild, delightful, developing experiment, and it’s messy. It’s not just a democracy (one person, one vote by popular rule). It’s also a republic, where representatives mitigate the will of the “public,” aka the “vulgar” and “common” masses. Don’t shoot the messenger, that’s part of the etymology of the word.
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Published On 3/5/2022
What if Bobby Knight’s 1988 words to Connie Chung — “I think that if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it” — had been uttered in 2018? Would they have killed his career and his legacy? Those words provide a lens into misconceptions about rape. It is not often violent. It has little to do with sexual pleasure, and everything to do with power or control, and it happens far too often, more often than is reported.
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Published On 2/26/2022
The Civil Rights Acts of 1964 might be something of a miracle even with the dynamism of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the energy of Rev. Ralph Abernathy and the Southern Leadership Conference. Making law out of the dream, required...wait for it, lobbyists.
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Published On 2/19/2022
Disclosure: I try to keep my persona out of most League columns, but as an educator for the past eighteen years, I cannot.
Like most educators, I have stories of students chronically absent students who present with clear signs of neglect and abuse - wearing the same dirty clothes, turtling into shells, telling a teacher “I’m not sure I can go on,” having a parent interfere and speak in place of their high schoolers. The parents refuse services; the student complies. A team of guidance counselors, administrators and teachers convenes and is flummoxed about how to proceed. When the administrator to whom I report brought up HB 1134 last week, each story, each student flashed before me.
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Published On 2/12/2022
The League of Black Women is not in the Marvel-verse, but you will marvel. These women helped save the world through poetry, advocacy, ministry, activism, and flight. One even escaped the atmosphere.
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Published On 1/29/2022
“Buildings can teach us if we pay attention,” Ray Wilson told a room of pastors and church leaders in early December. He described crawling onto the roof of his church building to check a radar system they use to keep raccoons from burrowing into the roof of their building. Nelson’s church had discovered the problem during the energy audit to begin working with Energy Stewards, a program to help faith communities reduce energy consumption and improve creation care. The rascally mammals had created a large hole and the building was leaking heat.
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Published On 1/22/2022
“Everybody has business they need to unload and spill,” said Erika Frazier. For her, it’s grief, the end of her marriage, the stress of being her parents’ caregivers, and the worry she wasn’t present for her two children during all those events. When Frazier’s mom died last October, she helped prepare the body for burial. Before that final act of love, Frazier had been running a kind of one-family nursing home for decades. When her dad died in 1996, her mother shut down. Frazier began mothering for her mother along with her children.
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Published On 1/15/2022
Now is always a good time to join the League of Women Voters. If you are like me, you’ve waited, maybe because of young kids, a career, school, a bevy of commitments to your church or other community organization. I want to say that after two years of involvement, it’s worth the small amount of time to participate.
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Published On 1/8/2022
“Imagine a combat vet in his small town where there’s low crime and a high military population. He should fit into the community, but he’s unhomed. He has a disability and complex trauma.” Ted Brinegar, founder of Foxhole Homes, began explaining his objectives by focusing on the challenges that result in homelessness. Brinegar, who has decades of experience working with active duty and retired military vets, founded his non-profit in 2015 with the primary goal of providing sustainable housing and community for vets.
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Published On 1/1/2022
When the street department announced it would put a four-way stop just around the corner from Dari-Licious at Oak and Market streets, a Facebook acquaintance lamented that he’d not attended city meetings. He wasn’t enthused about the change to traffic there. When the county divided over wind farms, those who opposed them attended more meetings and made their voices louder than supporters. Whether it’s traffic flow or how we’ll power our community, local politics affect our daily lives far more than national politics does. Speaking up and trusting our leaders to find working compromises matters.
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Published On 12/25/2021
Though Indiana means “Land of the Indians,” most residents aren’t Native Americans. We don’t call ourselves Indians or Indianaians. Rather we are Hoosiers, a muddied moniker, apropos of our state’s muddier history when it comes to its Native people. How did the Land of the Indians come to have only far less than one percent of its peoples with Native American ancestry? How are so few tribes established in Indiana at present?
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Published On 12/18/2021
“When do you open your Christmas presents?”
When David Sedaris asks in an essay about international Saint Nicholas traditions, he links when families open gifts with how many gifts they give and get. Some families prioritize other traditions- meals and church services, for instance- trending towards restraint in gifting.
“It’s nothing I’d want for myself, but I suppose it’s fine for those who prefer food and family to things of real value,” he jests.
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Published On 12/11/2021
“A good man is hard to find,” wrote Flannery O’Connor. The League of Women voters would reword this: A good human is hard to find, especially one who wants to run for office and serve the public. And, in recent weeks Mayor Barton has put out a call for public servants.
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Published On 12/4/2021
The carbon monoxide detector screeched again. The monitor screen read above four hundred parts per million (PPM) so she opened the backdoor. As she ran upstairs to grab an industrial fan, she shouted to her mother-in-law, “Don’t worry, I’m going to circulate air. I will figure out why this keeps happening.”
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Published On 11/27/2021
Before the Indiana legislative branch received census data to redraw districts for the next decade, this League of Women Voters member sat down with Senator Phil Boots to discuss how to empower voters with more competitive district maps.
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Published On 11/20/2021
Imagine there’s enough affordable daycare for all ages. It’s easier right now through March 2022, if we give it a try. Thanks to pandemic era funding, both parents and providers can find scholarships and grants regardless of income.
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Published On 11/13/2021
New jobs. Millions saved in energy costs. Cleaner communities. A smoother transition to electric vehicles. That’s why the REV Midwest Agreement is great news for all of us.
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Published On 11/6/2021
Meet ALICE — she needs help with childcare.

She’s Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed or she was employed until the pandemic shutdown. She’s heard the headlines about people who need to get back to work, but for her to go back to do so, she’ll need child care, something affordable, maybe with flexible hours, depending who hired her.
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Published On 10/30/2021
Question: how is zoning affecting Crawfordsville’s housing and diversity?
All good columns begin with a question, and one on Crawfordsville’s growth, as it intersects with our housing shortage, population growth, and diversity. Mayor Barton has noted in interviews and on podcasts that Montgomery County and Crawfordsville have a housing shortage in spite of our stagnant population growth.
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Published On 10/23/2021
In the spring of 2018, crowds gathered around the Montgomery County courthouse in downtown Crawfordsville to see a 22-year effort come to fruition. On May 17, an enormous crane lifted the 86-foot, four-sided, restored clock tower with its five-foot clock faces into place atop the historic building. It had been nearly 80 years since a clock tower tower had crowned the courthouse.
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Published On 10/16/2021
Our Montgomery County Administrator Tom Klein is quick to remind citizens that the new Montgomery County Government Center (currently under construction) is not simply a “courthouse annex” designed to store the overflow of records. To understand this important distinction that accompanies the relocation of many county departments, let’s take a quick glance at county government’s function.
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Published On 10/9/2021
Eviction is humiliating, frightening, and stigma-bearing. Sometimes, it’s a slow process of utilities shut off by authorities, belongings shoveled onto the street for all to see, hastily renting
storage that a person may not be able to pay for, having those belongings auctioned off as a lot. Sometimes, it means a parent divides her children, sending some to live with this or that
relative. The personal experience ripples to children, family, and beyond. It’s why eviction-prevention became a rallying point during the shutdown.
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Published On 10/2/2021
Is it possible to help too much? When it comes to shelter and other basic needs, the question is worth wrestling with. Stacey Doty, who is Crawfordsville Housing Authority’s director, has borne witness to the need both in Montgomery County and Parke County, where she previously served.
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Published On 9/25/2021
Who are you going to call if your road needs a sign or a bridge seems to need an inspection? Where can you find court forms asking for a settlement with your landlord? Where are child support numbers? Which government- city or county- in charge of these services? We may not know because county government is complex and more collaborative than most of us realize.
For this reason, County Administrator Tom Klein presented County Government 101 to the Chamber of Commerce and the public on Monday, Sept. 13th. The League of Women Voters cosponsored the forum where Klein mapped the many departments of county government.
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Published On 9/18/2021
The League of Women Voters in Montgomery County concluded a housing study in 2017. Their data affirmed the call for more options for seniors, options that focus on affordability, dignity, and capacity for all stages of aging.
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Published On 9/11/2021
What a surprise, locals might have thought when the Census Bureau confirmed in August that there is a shortage of housing units in Crawfordsville.
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Published On 9/4/2021
In August, Indiana’s legislature received the US Census data, which green lighted the drawing of the district maps for the next decade. Maps will be drawn for national, state, and county voting districts.
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Published On 8/28/2021
For the ninety-five years between the 15th Amendment and the 1965 Voting Rights Act, it seemed reasonable and right to many Americans to enact “poll taxes, literacy tests, and other bureaucratic obstacles” (ourdocuments.gov) to prevent Black, Native and other races from voting.
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Published On 8/21/2021
Historical markers. It’s easy to pass them by without stopping to read the words that unassumingly anchor our city to its story. On the corner of Wabash and Grant, where the colonnade for Wabash College stands reads one of the city’s newest markers: “Dr. Mary Holloway Wilhite..."
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Published On 8/14/2021
Wendell Berry wrote 'The Hidden Wound' in the year of Dr. King’s assassination, when another piece of the shrapnel, buried in us
all, broke to the surface.
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Published On 8/4/2021
On Aug. 18, 1920, the ratification of the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote. Not all women, though, because the history of voting rights is not equal to voting access. Nevertheless, it was a start and had a context of its own, a context that rhymes with the present.
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Published On 7/19/2021
What is the simplest, most patriotic act one can do for their nation? Vote. Voting is the central act of self-governance, and it should be accessible to all citizens.
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