We continue to fulfill our obligation to hold educational workshops by posting digital information and virtual presentations. So, ICYMI, below are links to recorded workshops, past events from the DPL/LWVD collaborative series, and information videos regarding the Census and Michigan’s new voting laws.
Detroit Library/Detroit League Forum: Democratic Elections and the Independent State Legislature Theory
[Tuesday, September 12] The Detroit Library/Detroit League March program presenting Dr. Evan Caminker, Dean Emeritus and Branch Rickey Collegiate Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School, was postponed when North Carolina’s Supreme Court re-addressed a controversial legal Independent State Legislature theory after the party balance changed. The US Supreme Court surprised many by deciding the issue on June 27, 2023.
In September, Dr. Caminker joined us to address the original questions and the implications of the court’s decision.
Recording link to come
This event was sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Detroit and the Detroit Public Library, partnering in talks promoting voter education and tools for action.
Photo by Ian Hutchinson on Unsplash.
[July 11, 2023] Ranked-choice voting has been in the news a lot lately. Just what is it, and what are the implications for Michigan elections?
The Detroit Public Library and the Detroit League of Women Voters hosted an informative discussion about ranked-choice voting, which was led by Ron Zimmerman, Executive Director of the Michigan grassroots organization Rank MI Vote; this presentation helped us understand how ranked-choice voting works to elect officials and address the problems of a plurality system, how it could work in the Michigan election process, and how it works in other states that have adopted this approach.
Mr. Zimmerman has spent his career implementing large-scale process improvements in industry. He volunteered for Voters Not Politicians 2018 Independent Re-Districting in the Lansing region. Today he leads another volunteer reform effort: ranked-choice voting.
Image by Edmond Dantes via Pexels.
What’s Next for the Proposals Passed Last November?
[June 13, 2023] The Detroit Public Library and the Detroit League hosted their June forum with a presentation on What’s Next for the Proposals Passed Last November?
Even with three ballot proposals winning the support of Michigan voters, if legislative efforts to implement them stall, there could still be difficulties and roadblocks ahead. This informative presentation and discussion with Eric Walcott of MSU Extension explored the issues from last November’s ballot as the political landscape shifts.
This event was sponsored by the Detroit League and the Detroit Public Library, partnering in talks promoting voter education and tools for action.
Image created by Ruth Koelwyn.
Virtual Panel Discussion: Prison Gerrymandering
[May 9, 2023] The Detroit League, Detroit Public Library, Voting Access for All, and Voters Not Politicians presented PRISON GERRYMANDERING: HOW STOLEN POLITICAL POWER HARMS OUR COMMUNITIES, a panel discussion and community conversation about the issue of prison gerrymandering and a new bill proposed to end the practice.
What is Prison Gerrymandering?
Every 10 years, a national census is taken. Each state uses these numbers to redefine voting districts based on population shifts. Unfortunately, Michigan law currently allows the counting of incarcerated people at their place of confinement rather than in their home communities. This counting method is known as Prison Gerrymandering, and it distorts democracy. Prison gerrymandering siphons political power into less-populated rural areas where prisons are located and away from the urban communities where people would return to.
Sponsored by the League of Women Voters Detroit and the Detroit Public Library, partnering in talks promoting voter education and tools for action.
DPL/LWVD: Voting Rights and Democracy
[April 11, 20923] The Detroit League of Women Voters and the Detroit Public Library presented Voting Rights and Democracy with Dr. Peter J. Hammer, Director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights, who examined some of the current and recent changes to voting rights and democracy, with a particular focus on Michigan.
Dr. Hammer is co-author, with Edward J. Littlejohn, of No Equal Justice: The Legacy of Civil Rights Icon George W. Crockett Jr.
The League of Women Voters of Detroit and the Detroit Public Library are partnering in talks promoting voter education and tools for action.
Watch a recording of this event by clicking the button below:
Women’s History Month & International Women’s Day
[March 8, 2023] In celebration of Women’s History Month, the League of Women Voters of Leelanau County hosted a lecture on the lives of international, national, state, and county women. Please watch the recording by LWV members who gave short presentations about women worldwide.
International Women’s Day began in New York City on March 8, 1857, when female textile workers marched in protest of unfair working conditions. It was one of the first organized strikes by working women, calling for a shorter workday and decent wages. International Women’s Day then developed and is celebrated in the United States and worldwide.
DPL/LWVD Collaborative Series: Erasing the Voting Rights Act
[February 21, 2023] The Detroit Public Library and Detroit League of Women Voters continued their collaborative series ⏤ partnering in talks promoting voter education and tools for action ⏤ with the first forum of 2023 entitled Erasing the Voting Rights Act.
Professor Ellen M. Katz, Ralph W. Aigler Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School, provided an overview of the history of the Act and how judicial decisions, particularly from the Supreme Court, have limited the statute’s impact.
Your Brain and Misinformation: Why People believe Lies and Conspiracy Theories
[January 26, 2023] This virtual discussion is free and open to the public. Our brains do marvelous things but also make us vulnerable to falsehoods. Why? What leads people to fall for misinformation? And why do they share it with others? Is it all a battle between our emotions and our rational faculties? Between our ideological allies and adversaries? Or is there more to the story?
During the fourth annual National News Literacy Week, experts untangled the threads in our heads and hearts that can cause us to accept and spread falsehoods, even when we should know better.
Panelists include Peter Adams, senior vice president of research and design at the News Literacy Project; Dr. Sander van der Linden, professor of social psychology in society at the University of Cambridge, director of the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab and author of “Foolproof: Why We Fall for Misinformation and How to Build Immunity;” and Dr. Seema Yasmin, medical doctor, journalist, director of the Stanford Health Communication Initiative and author of “What the Fact: Finding the Truth in All the Noise.”
To view the recording, click HERE.
Before watching the recording, get up to speed on conspiracy theories and news literacy takeaways with these resources:
- Conspiracy theories fall apart with enough news literacy
- Quiz: Avoid the trap of conspiratorial thinking
- Checkology® lesson “Conspiratorial Thinking”
Presented in partnership with the American Psychological Association and the News Literacy Project as part of National News Literacy Week.
Combatting Election Misinformation (Virtual Webinar)
[Tuesday, November 15, 2022] PEN America disinformation experts presented and discussed how we use psychological science and journalism to work against disinformation, especially in the context of election season. They looked at specific election-related narratives and explored the psychological tendencies of the human brain on which they prey. Then they used that knowledge to create strategies to stop the flow of misleading information. Drawing from a panel discussion with journalists and psychologists that PEN America hosted in September, the presentation featured an interdisciplinary approach to the issue.
Click HERE for a recording of this program.
Hosted by the League of Women Voters Detroit and the Detroit Public Library, partnering in talks promoting voter education and tools for action.
DPL/LWVD Collaborative Series Presents⏤ Ballot Issues: Term Limits, Reproductive Rights & Voting Rights
[October 11, 2022] The Detroit League and Detroit Public Library hosted an educational session regarding the constitutional amendments on the November ballot with Eric Lupher of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan leading the review. This program was designed to inform voters, not to persuade them.
Click HERE for a link to this recorded session.
Brought to you by the Detroit League of Women Voters and the Detroit Public Library, partnering in talks promoting voter education and tools for action.
WONder Woman Awards Banquet
[September 22, 2022] After a two-year hiatus, the Women Officials Network Foundation (WONF) celebrated its 25th anniversary by holding a WONder Woman Awards Banquet Dinner. The event highlighted three phenomenal women and celebrated their accomplishments and extraordinary leadership.
One of the award recipients was our very own Kathleen Straus, former President of the Detroit League of Women Voters and former President, Michigan State Board of Education.
A hearty congratulations to Kathleen Straus, a well-loved and treasured member of our League.
The other recipients were Brenda Lawrence, U.S. Congresswoman, 14th Congressional District, and Shelley Taub, former State Representative and former Oakland County Commissioner.
WONF is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that uplifts and empowers women who aspire to elected and appointed positions in public leadership. Event proceeds went to two major WONF programs:
- Gateway to Leadership (G2L) enables more women to seek and obtain appointments to boards, commissions, and public leadership positions through training, networking, and support.
- Youth Mentoring Partnerships focuses on teens and young adults as they prepare for public leadership through programming, education, and engagement.
LWVD/DPL Collaborative Series County Commissioners and Judges: Weighing Local Government
[September 13, 2022] Elections for federal and state offices seem to take all the attention when people are making decisions in voting. Have you ever gotten to the bottom of the ballot and realized you have no idea how to decide between candidates? Learn about the roles of county commissioners and judges, to make informed choices when voting in the General Election.
Former County Commissioner, Edna Bell, and current County Commission Counsel, Felicia Johnson, shared what role this local governing body has in relation to other local executive offices such as the mayor’s office and city council, what skills to look for in a commissioner, and which issues you might want to contact your commissioner about.
Retiring Judge Deborah Thomas shared information on how the court system functions in our local government, what to consider when reviewing candidates for this non-partisan role, and how to research candidates for this role.
This event was co-sponsored by the Detroit League of Women Voters and the Detroit Public Library, partnering in talks promoting voter education and tools for action.
Election Security Best-Practices: How Do We Know Michigan Elections Are Secure?
[September 20, 2022] This session breaks down Michigan’s election security procedures, including what happens to ballots after polls close, the canvassing & certification process, election audits and election records security. The following are handouts relevant to this session:
Everything You Need to Know for November: Michigan Elections 101
[August 9, 2022] This session discusses how you can prepare your community for November, including your options for voting, how to host a successful voter registration drive, and how to pre-bunk or prevent the spread of misinformation in your community. The following are handouts relevant to this session:
Brought to you by Michigan.gov/SoSPartnersInDemocracy.
Vote SMART: Voting at your Polling Place
[July 19, 2022] This session provides information on voting at your polling place on Election Day, including how to locate your polling place and the process for casting a ballot in person. Learn about who may be inside your polling place, and review Michigan election law & electioneering. This session also discusses voter accessibility and your voting rights at a polling place. The following are handouts relevant to this session:
Brought to you by Michigan.gov/SoSPartnersInDemocracy.
Vote SMART: Absentee Voting Crash Course
[July 12, 2022] This session provides information about how absentee ballots are processed and important dates and deadlines for requesting or submitting your absentee ballot. Learn how to request and return an absentee ballot, review information about changing your vote, and about voter accessibility with absentee ballots. The following are handouts relevant to this session:
Brought to you by Michigan.gov/SoSPartnersInDemocracy.
Vote SMART: Voter Registration Crash Course
[July 8, 2022 ] This crash course is the first in a series of Vote SMART webinars and provides information every registered voter in Michigan should know about getting registered to vote and what to do next. Learn about important dates and deadlines for registering or updating your registration, what happens with your voter registration info, and how you can help members of your community get registered.
Following are handouts and graphics relevant to the informative session:
|Voting fact sheet||Overseas Military Voting flyer|
|Election dates graphic||How to Register one-pager|
|Registration dates graphic||Voter registration drive guidelines|
Brought to you by Michigan.gov/SoSPartnersInDemocracy.
Voting Rights and the Criminal Legal System
[June 14, 2022] This panel discussion brought together representatives of several organizations to address the treatment and voting rights of currently and formerly incarcerated citizens. The panel reviewed the efforts of these organizations to help eligible jailed and formerly incarcerated citizens reenter the political sphere and help them gain trust in the voting system. They also discussed each organization’s work, the current and proposed laws governing these issues, and how the regulations will affect voting rights for these individuals.
CLICK HERE for a recording of this event.
Cosponsored by the League of Women Voters of Detroit and the Detroit Public Library, partnering in talks promoting voter education and tools for action.
Reproductive Rights: Overview and Advocacy
[June 8, 2022] This webinar reviewed of what’s happening around reproductive rights at both the national and state level. Attached is a copy of the slide deck, which has hyperlinks to numerous resources for your advocacy and organizing work. Click here to watch the workshop recording.
Sponsored by LWVUS. For further reading: There is No Equality Without Reproductive Rights.
Inspiring Voters Through Deep Canvassing
[May 10, 2022] Learn about deep canvassing and how this nonpartisan canvassing method works to counteract misinformation that discourages voter participation.
Kathleen Campiosano, Leadership LAB Deputy Director, shared information on deep canvassing, a method where volunteer canvassers root their conversations in a personal story exchange with the voter. By focusing on love rather than political issues, deep canvasses build hope in voters, encouraging participation as voters seek to improve their lives and the lives of their loved ones through engaged and informed voting.
Research shows deep canvassing can turn infrequent voters into regular voters, as well as enthusiastic advocates for voting who share their new practical knowledge with close contact and family members. The technique also raises empathy in canvassers, who report greater curiosity about those different than themselves.
Leadership LAB is currently focusing on Latinx voters and using nonpartisan canvassing to counteract misinformation that discourages voter participation. This information session provides information on canvassing, how deep canvassing differs, and offers a brief demonstration of how deep canvassing works in order to give viewers an introduction to new ways to engage voters.
CLICK HERE for a recording of this event.
Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Detroit and the Detroit Public Library in partnership to promote voter education and tools for action.
Election Certification and Vote Count 101
[May 11, 2022] All Voting Is Local hosted a panel discussion regarding our election certification process.
Our elections are free and fair; however, mis/disinformation not only threaten their integrity but jeopardizes voting and voter rights. Join the League to hear a bipartisan panel* discuss the election process, the fate of its continued safety, and how you can get involved in election administration.
A recording of this event is coming soon.
- Aghogho Edevbie, State Director of All Voting Is Local Michigan
- Christina Schlitt, Co-President of League of Women Voters of Michigan
- Justin Roebuck, Ottawa County Clerk
- Joel Hondorp, Grand Rapids City Clerk
- Jonathan Kinloch, Former Wayne County Canvasser
Click here for more information on All Voting is Local.
Disinformation, Free Speech, and Democracy in a Time of Division
[March 16, 2022] The forces of division have long known that pitting us against each other is a potent way to mobilize us. The internet, social media, and easy connection through our mobile devices are being leveraged to help sow confusion, disruption, disinformation, and polarization. Deception and manipulation of news and information pre-date the internet, but its acceleration, reach and scale are greater on the web.
Mis/disinformation represents a threat to our society and democracy, undermines elections, fractures public trust, and gets in the way of advancing solutions to our pressing issues.
How can communities build resilience to these threats and restore trust in each other to protect our democracy and engage our differences productively while at the same time protecting free speech?
In this session, Jillian Youngblood and Todd Levinson of Civic Genius shared a construct for us to think about the misinformation environment – from who the actors are, to information amplification, moderating and balancing with free speech, who holds the actors accountable, consumer choice, and our individual action. You’ll find a link to the recording, slides, and session worksheet.
Many of you expressed interest in the comments/takeaways that were shared from the breakout room discussions. We’ve themed them in this document, and you’ll see they fall into several areas, including media literacy/critical thinking education, regulations, economic incentives, and individual civic responsibility.
Some additional Civic Genius podcasts or video sessions on this topic that may interest you include:
- Regulating Social Media
- Disinformation, Misinformation & Truth: What’s at Stake?
- Balancing Act: Free Speech & Misinformation
People shared in the chat some different sources they’ve found helpful which are included at the end of this document.
Voting Accessibility: The Disability Experience
[March 8, 2022] Ensuring every voter can participate in an election takes work from many different individuals and organizations. Disability communities, however, face additional barriers that are often overlooked.
Panelists Dessa Cosma, Detroit Disability Power; Tameka Spruce, Warriors on Wheels; and Cathy McAdam, activist and contributor to various League chapters, will address voting access issues, why voting access is important and what others can do to improve it.
Click Here for the Zoom recording.
This event was sponsored by the Detroit League and the Detroit Public Library which are partnering in talks promoting voter education and tools for action.
Women’s History Month: 2022 Panel
[March 3, 2022] It has been 101 years since women won the right to vote in America. Today, women are still powering our democracy.
In the wake of the 2020 Presidential Election, the right to vote is in a vulnerable state, with new barriers popping up every week. Defending our democracy requires renewed investment from individuals and corporations alike.
This panel discussion features voices and perspectives of the League of Women Voters, SuperMajority, LULAC, and Black Voters Matter, organizations working to build more trust in our elections, grow our electorate with equity, and create fairness for voter access. We cover the intersection of gender and race in the voting rights movement, fighting deliberate barriers to voting, and how to build community power, dismantle disinformation, and get out the vote in 2022.
- Virginia Kase Solomón, League of Women Voters CEO
- Amanda Brown Lierman, SuperMajority executive director
- Sindy M. Benavides, LULAC CEO
- LaTosha Brown, Black Voters Matter co-founder
3 Marches, 2 Sisters + 1 Bridge
[February 8, 2022] Giants walk among us still. This presentation is the personal story of two sisters who marched for voting rights in Alabama in 1965.
Since our country’s founding, thousands of Americans have fought for the right to vote, mostly non-violently, though their protests were often met with violence. Given the sacrifices made to extend this right, it is doubly disappointing how low voter turnout has been in recent elections.
Detroit League member Charles Thomas Jr. draws on his family’s 1960s history of fighting for voting rights. The giants are Thomas’ aunts, Alice Moore and Denise Holt. As teenagers, they joined John Lewis and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in three marches that went from Selma to Montgomery. Moore and Holt share their memories of those marches and their reflections on the current state of voter apathy.
Click the link for a recording of this event ⏤
U.S. Election Assistance Commission Presentation to the MI House Elections & Ethics Committee
[January 25, 2022] Following is an engaging presentation by Don Palmer, Commissioner and Chairman of the Election Assistance Commission, to the MI House Elections & Ethics Committee.
The Election Assistance Commission (EAC) plays a fascinating role in Michigan elections: all federal election money goes through the EAC to the state election officials (Secretary of State). The EAC conducts research and testing to promote best practices regarding voting systems. They collect tons of data regarding voters and voting (polling and absentee), including the types of voting machines throughout Michigan. They are a critical link in the MI Voting System Certification.
In this video recording, Mr. Palmer talks about future election equipment and the importance of the state spending money on a good system for voter registration and polling machines.
Click this link to watch the recording: Michigan House TV – ELEC-012522
Michigan Redistricting: A Model for the Nation? Evaluating the State’s New Maps and Process
[January 19, 2022] This webinar analyzed and evaluated Michigan’s new redistricting approach and new maps. The discussion offered a national perspective, comparing Michigan’s new approach of an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission with approaches in other states. Will Michigan’s new model inspire reform in other states? Watch the recording for a lively discussion on these critical topics that will shape elections and decision-making in Michigan for the next decade.
Featuring ⏤ Moderator: Matt Grossmann, Director, Institute for Public Policy and Social Research and Professor of Political Science, Michigan State University. Panelists: David Daley, Senior Fellow, FairVote and author, Unrigged; Jon X. Eguia, Professor of Economics and (by courtesy) of Political Science, Michigan State University; Nancy Wang, Executive Director, Voters Not Politicians; Edward Woods III, Communications and Outreach Director, Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission.
Click the link to view the recording: https://youtu.be/FAAVQqksIS8
This is the final redistricting webinar in a series sponsored by the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy, Voters Not Politicians (VNP), and Michigan State University’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR). Co-sponsors: Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, League of Women Voters of Michigan, University of Michigan’s Program in Practical Policy Engagement, and Detroit Public Television.
The purpose of these webinars is to educate and engage the public in Michigan’s redistricting process. There will be time for questions from the public after brief presentations from the panelists. Please also submit your questions in advance when you register for the webinar here.
For more information contact email@example.com
Update on Voting Rights, Voting Bills + 2 Initiatives
[January 11, 2022] For anyone confused about the Michigan Legislature’s petition initiative (Secure MI Vote) and other drives to expand voting access, this presentation is for you. Included is a thoughtful discussion of what is at stake for MI voting rights.
Sponsored in partnership with the Detroit League and Detroit Public Library.
To view the recording, click the purple button below and use the Access Passcode: D2aPBJ6@
Understanding Misinformation and How to Talk to People Who Believe It
This series of webinars helps participants understand what misinformation is, how people come to believe it, and how to effectively and compassionately communicate and debunk those beliefs. While older adults play a critical role in sorting facts from fiction and helping others to do so, everyone can benefit from resources and support to help prevent harm from misinformation.
In case you missed it, the webinars have been recorded and complemented with additional resources:
- Session 1 ⏤ The Misinformation Landscape discusses how to move beyond the unhelpful term “fake news” to more precisely identify the many types of misleading, inaccurate and false information that we encounter regularly. The session explores how propagators of misinformation use our emotions and cognitive biases to manipulate us. Access the presentation slides here.
- Ssession 2 ⏤ Essential Fact-Checking Skills dives into the tools and skills needed to fact-check and verify the authenticity of information as well as how to source its origins for yourself. Access the presentation slides here.
- Session 3 ⏤ Productive conversations without confrontation shares the skills needed to talk with someone whose beliefs are fueled by misinformation — and still have a productive, non-confrontational conversation. Access the presentation slides here.
- Session 4 ⏤ Understanding news media bias explores the adjacent subject of bias in news coverage and its potential to mislead and misinform the public. This session will help you think more clearly about what causes bias in reporting, what it looks like in coverage and what you can do when you encounter it in your news diet. Access the presentation slides here.
Sponsored by the Fore River Foundation, in partnership with AARP’s OATS/Senior Planet program and the News Literacy Project (NLP).
We the People: January 6 Day of Remembrance and Action
January 6, 2021, was a violent and deadly attack against all Americans ⏤ against our country, our democracy, and our freedom as voters to choose the leaders that represent us so that we have a government of, by, and for the people.
So exactly one year later, Americans across race, place, party, and background held candlelight vigils to say: In America, the voters decide the outcome of elections. The promise of democracy is not a partisan issue but a calling that unites us as Americans. To prevent this kind of attack from happening again, our elected leaders must pass urgent legislation that will protect this country from anti-democratic forces who are continuing their efforts to destroy it.
This toolkit provides messaging guidance, sample emails for host and attendance recruitment, sample social media, information about hosting and movement calls, and source codes.
Sponsored by a coalition of organizations, including the League of Women Voters, to urge Congress and the President to pass federal legislation to protect our right to vote which ultimately protects our democracy. There are vigils being held across the country and positive voter actions we can take where We the People can make a difference ⏤ if we engage to make our voices heard. For a full list of vigils or voter actins in your community, click the red button below. For more general information on We the People, click here.
[January 17, 2022] Celebrations of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. happened across the country. In honoring Dr. King on this National Day of Action, LWV joined the King family and civil rights organizations in an all-out push on Senators to take up HR 5746, the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act.
Although the National Day of Action has passed, we can still call and push our Senators to do all they can to protect our right to vote. In the spirit of Dr. King and generations of LWV women who successfully fought (and continue to fight for the right to vote), let’s show them otherwise.
Dr. King’s family – along with faith leaders, civil rights leaders, and voting rights advocates across the country – have called on us to demand passage of voting rights legislation and access to the ballot box this year on Martin Luther King day.
WE HEEDED THE CALL.
Across the country, we heeded the call by attending MLK Day events on January 17 where we demanded our elected officials pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
Getting Past Partisanship and Polarization: Community Civic Infrastructure⏤RECORDED
[November 17, 2021] From the Ash Center Harvard University ⏤ Driven by hyper-polarization and partisan media, Americans are demonizing and othering their neighbors and peers with different views—breaking down community bonds along the way. To rebuild the civic fabric of our society and strengthen democracy, how can we bring people together and build community trust? Community civic infrastructures: places where people feel safe to explore their differences, aided by facilitative leaders, with access to trusted local media and supported by the necessary resource, are essential to enabling citizens to discover common ground and solve problems together. In this panel discussion, community organizers, leaders, and democracy advocates will explore examples from communities all over the country where this is working today. Then, we’ll discuss the challenge of replicating and expanding community civic infrastructure initiatives across the country.
Featuring: Deborah Ellwood, President + CEO of CFLeads (Community Foundations Leading Change); Elizabeth Green, Co-Founder and CEO of Chalkbeat; Shamichael Hallman, Senior Library Manager, Cossitt Library in Memphis, TN and Teaching Fellow at Center for Social Impact Strategy; John Sarrouf, Co-Executive Director and Director of Program Development at Essential Partners; Martha McCoy, Executive Director, Everyday Democracy; Moderator, Archon Fung, Winthrop Laflin McCormack Professor of Citizenship & Self-Government at the Harvard Kennedy School; Carolyn Lukensmeyer, Founding Executive Director, National Institute for Civil Discourse.
DPL/LWVD Collaborative Series: Detecting Disinformation and “Pink Slime” Sites ⏤ RECORDED
[November 9, 2021] The Detroit Public Library and the League of Women Voters of Detroit hosted a virtual forum on Detecting Disinformation and “Pink Slime” Sites. This was a follow-up to last winter’s webinar (Mis/disinformation … Where to Find It, How to Identify It). We were joined again by Hannah Waltz of Pen America, who delved more deeply into the issues surrounding and identifying those sites with “pink slime.”
To view the recording, click here.
From Pen America: As disinformation campaigns grow more sophisticated, detecting false content online can become more difficult. This can lead to many harmful outcomes including a decline in public trust in the press, polarized communities, and fractured civic dialogue. Fortunately, we can take a proactive approach to media literacy to counter these effects. PEN America believes it is vital to equip the public with the knowledge and skills to become more discerning news consumers, fit to defend themselves against disinformation about voting, public health, and beyond, which includes recognizing “pink slime” websites and other sites promoting false content.
During this session, we discussed the basics of media literacy including terminology, psychology, and a brief history of how disinformation campaigns disenfranchise voters and threaten public health. Then we took a deeper dive into how media literacy skills can be used to spot sites posing as real news sources and foster peaceful dialogue and connections as well as civic engagement. Participants will walk away with concrete strategies for guarding against misleading content online as part of PEN America’s Media Literacy Toolkit, as well as tips on how to source credible information.
Why the Brain Follows: The Science of Us vs. Them ⏤ RECORDED
Why do we look at the world through the lens of Us vs. Them and why is there so much hostility between us? Speaking from insight gained over his 30-year career in neuroscience research, Dr. Terry Wu presented background on the biology of how the brain works, insights into why we look at the world through the lens of Us vs. Them; and how can we bring Us and Them together. Attendees appreciated that Dr. Wu presented complex information in such an understandable way.
You’ll find a recording of Dr. Wu’s presentation here. (NOTE: For those without a minute to spare, his presentation commences at 8:28 into the recording.)
Dr. Wu has also shared this short handout containing actionable ideas (like changing “Us vs. Them” to “Me and You”), books he’s found informative and digestible on this topic, and a couple of short videos. The information slide that we showed at the end is available here.
Whether you attended the ‘live’ presentation or are reviewing the recording afterward, Dr. Wu and the Network planning team are very interested in your feedback after viewing his presentation. We invite you to fill out this very brief evaluation to know what concepts resonated with you, what you’d like to explore further, and what ideas you may have for future topics.
Forum on MI Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission Maps ⏤ RECORDED
[October 18, 2021] The Detroit League and the Detroit Public Library sponsored a virtual forum to discuss the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission draft maps. This was a special opportunity to hear about the maps and how they reflect the communities in Michigan in general and specifically in Wayne County. There are three LWV members who have been monitoring the Committee’s process and who have worked to encourage Communities of Interest to be included:
- Ms. Susan Smith, VP for Advocacy for the League of Women Voters of Michigan, has been actively following the work of the commission since it started its work in September 2020
- Ms. Anqunette Sarfoh, member of the Detroit League of Women Voters, is an official observer of the work of the commission
- Mr. Charles Thomas, member of the Detroit League of Women Voters, has been working with local Communities of Interest, which contributed data for the commission to consider in drafting maps.
To view the recording for this event, click here.
For more information on the Commission and draft maps ⏤ https://www.michigan.gov/micrc.
National Voter Registration Day
National Voter Registration Day is a nonpartisan civic holiday celebrating our democracy. First observed in 2012, it has quickly gained momentum ever since. Nearly 4.5 million voters have registered to vote on the holiday to date.
Celebrated on the fourth Tuesday of September, National Voter Registration Day will next take place on September 28, 2021, when volunteers and organizations from all over the country will “hit the streets” in a single day of coordinated field, technology, and media efforts. National Voter Registration Day seeks to create broad awareness of voter registration opportunities to reach tens of thousands of voters who may not register otherwise.
According to U.S. Census data from 2020, as many as 1 in 4 eligible Americans are not registered to vote. Every year, millions of Americans are unable to vote because they miss a registration deadline, don’t update their registration, or aren’t sure how to register. National Voter Registration Day wants to make sure everyone has the opportunity to vote.
The holiday has been endorsed by the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED), the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), and the National Association of Election Officials (The Election Center).
For more information on National Voter Registration Day, click here.
Redesigning the Detroit Police Commission ⏤ RECORDED
[June 15, 2021] Melanie White, Interim Secretary for the Detroit Police Commission, and Denzel McCampbell, Detroit City Charter Revision Commissioner, were panelists for the forum about the City Charter and the Police Commission. Besides understanding the roles of these commissions, the panel focused on revisions the Charter Revision Commission recommended to change the role of the Police Commission if the Charter revisions are approved via voting on Proposal P in the August 3 primary.
According to the Citizens’ Research Council of Michigan, “the Detroit Charter Revision Commission is an elected body voted on by the citizens of Detroit to construct and revise a document designed to provide the mechanism for accomplishing the myriad of tasks assigned to city officials to govern. Three essential responsibilities of the Charter Revision Commission include:
- Assigning powers and duties to city officials and the branches of government.
- Outlining functions of city operations and the types of services to be provided.
- Determining how citizens interact with their government.”
To view the recording, click the link below: https://zoom.us/rec/share/gDTXqv3l7X5HI7qftxbqnRKFypDfjLN8-wQPeXvjFZj8lVeDAdhBSo1gVK3CVe_N.I_V3uKqNoo-BBElc
Brews & Views ⏤ Election Security: Facts, Myths, and Fixes (RECORDED)
[April 14, 2021] The League of Women Voters Ann Arbor Area hosted another Brews & Views forum on election security, led by J. Alex Halderman, Ph.D., Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and Director for the Center for Computer Security and Society, University of Michigan.
The U.S. election system is the bedrock of our democracy, but disinformation and conspiracy theories have shaken many voters’ confidence. There is no credible evidence the 2020 presidential outcome was affected by fraud, but some individuals and media organizations continue to sow doubts. At the same time, U.S. elections do face real security threats, including increasingly aggressive hacking attempts by hostile governments. After years of underinvestment, some states have recently adopted stronger safeguards, but the nation as a whole remains a patchwork of strength and weakness. Without further action by Congress and the states, future elections will be vulnerable to both real attacks and false accusations of fraud. It is essential that voters are accurately informed about election security to counter disinformation and understand what risks call for urgent action.
Follow this link for a recording of the Brews & Views Election Security forum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hw_a5vmLX5k&list=PLOs_-7id6LaasTVCfKJHeAUpAnPh2ixtk
MI Redistricting Forum ⏤ RECORDED
[April 8, 2021] Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority-Tau Alpha Omega Chapter and the Detroit League of Women Voters hosted the first in a series of 2021 collaborative forums regarding Michigan’s redistricting efforts. The guest speaker was Charles Thomas, Jr., minister for People of Purpose Ministries, a long-standing distinguished member of LWV, a member of several voting rights groups, and a founding member of the Detroit League’s Speakers Bureau.
Click the link below to watch the recorded event:
MI Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission ⏤ RECORDED
[March 9, 2021] The Detroit Public Library and Detroit League of Women Voters offered another virtual presentation in their 2021 collaborative series with the first-ever discussion with the MI Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, who presented a history of the commission as well as where they are in their current deliberations and their timeline to redraw the electoral districts in Michigan. One of our Detroit League members has been monitoring the Commission on behalf of the State League and she reported on how the Commission is functioning.
To review this recorded event, click this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1X6Ah9nav63Va77OQM76Uv77yOhgUbryk/view?ts=604b9fa6
New Detroit’s Town Hall Series: Voter Preparedness and Suppression Part II ⏤ RECORDED
[October 23, 2020] New Detroit’s Town Hall Series, “Content and Conversations on Race” in partnership with Bridge Detroit has a new topic: “Voter Preparedness and Voter Suppression.” Special guests include Hassan Jaber, President & CEO of ACCESS, Rana Elmir, Deputy Director of the ACLU of Michigan, and moderator, Heaster Wheeler, Assistant Secretary of State.
Watch the recording by clicking on the following link: https://www.facebook.com/newdetroit/videos/1530458723814765
Virtual Town Hall: New Voting Rights
Look here for information on new voting laws in the state of Michigan.
Informational Video: Absentee Voting
As part of their Voting 101 series, Get Out The Vote (GOTV) and the City of Southfield, MI, produced a voter informational video about Absentee Voting. Click here to view the video.
Virtual Town Hall: Census 2020
The 2020 Census counts every person living in the United States and five U.S. territories.
● Click here for the link to frequently asked questions about the Census, such as what the census form looks like and what questions it asks.
Virtual Town Hall: Citizens Redistricting Commission ⏤ The Answer to Gerrymandering
Every 10 years following the U.S. Census, district lines for political offices must be redrawn in states across the country to accurately reflect their population. In Michigan, a randomly selected commission of citizens is responsible for drawing U.S. Congressional and Michigan State House and Senate district lines. Voters amended the state constitution in the November 2018 general election to make citizens — not legislators or special interests — responsible for drawing district lines (called “redistricting”). The commission will be composed of 13 randomly selected Michigan registered voters: four who affiliate with the Democratic Party, four who affiliate with the Republican Party, and five who do not affiliate with either major political party.