Welcome to our new website for the League of Women Voters of Black Hawk/Bremer Counties

The League of Women Voters of Black Hawk-Bremer Counties 

  • promotes active and informed participation through voter registration and voter education
  • provides leadership for legislative public forums when the state legislature is in session
  • provides leadership for non-partisan public forums for candidates for local and state office
  • researches and studies issues
  • discusses findings to reach consensus in open, constructive and stimulating settings 
  • observes and monitors public meetings
  • takes action - for or against issues which the membership has studied and reached consensus 
All League events are listed on this web's Events Calendar page. Please notice that our bookmarks for 2017/2018 are done; you can download it as a PDF at the bottom of this page. We gave out print bookmarks at Forums.

August  and September Events

Tuesday, September 11 -- September Board Meeting, 6-8:30.

Monday, September 17 -- Hawkeye asked us to come register students for Constitution Day, so we will be there from 11 to 1 at the Brock Student Center.

The Cedar Falls Public Library wants help registering voters in September. They are holding a series of meetings on political literacy and would like us to register voters on Wed., September 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th. Meetings will take place in the big second floor meeting room from 7 to 8:30. We will set up by 6:30 at a table right outside the room.

Looking for the Black Hawk Directory of Elected Officials? It has been updated, to reflect changes in names and laws. A copy of it is posted at the bottom of this page, as an easy to download attachment.  We are working on the updates to the Bremer County Directory next.

Are you Registered to Vote?
Midterm Elections -- on November 6, 2018 -- are only a couple of months away. As the President of the local League of Women Voters, I am getting numerous requests for Voter Registration events. As we go out into the community, we get lots of questions about voting eligibility and voter registration. 
Are you eligible to vote in Iowa? According to Iowa’s Secretary of State, you need to be a U. S. citizen, a resident of Iowa, and 18 years old by Election day. Oh – and you need to be registered to vote!
Do you need to update your Voter Registration? Most of us know that we need to update the Voter Registration if we move or get married, but did you know that you also need to update it if you decide to switch political parties? How can you check to see if your Voter Registration is accurate? You don’t have to guess. Just go to the link on the Secretary of State’s website and search at the following link.
Are you registered to Vote? Fill in the form and click to see.

What if you need to update your Voter Registration? You have three options:
·        Go to a Voter Registration Drive—your local League of Women voters is having a number throughout the next couple of months. As time gets closer, I will post the dates. However, we are doing one on Monday, July 23 at an office for EPI on University Avenue in Waterloo, 4 to 7 pm.
·        Download a paper copy to fill out and turn it in to the County Auditor at the Courthouse.
·        Complete the Voter Registration form online – you must have an Iowa Driver’s License or ID number to use this method.
Online Form and a place to download a paper form.
Pay attention when you are filling out the form! Rock the Vote says that people make these three common errors:
1.      forgetting to sign the form at the bottom, with today’s date
2.      entering today’s date and the registrant’s birthday in the wrong place
3.      failing to provide a full driver’s license or the last four digits of a Social Security number.

The League of Women Voters identifies other common problems when people forget to do the following things:
1.             Check the box affirming they are over 18 (unless pre-registering).
2.             Check the box affirming they are a US citizen.
3.             Provide any required identification number, usually their driver’s license number or some or all digits of their social security number.
4.             Sign and date the form.

Remember, your vote counts! Amazingly, some elections have been decided by a handful of votes, as Adam D’Arpino describes in his article, “10 Elections Decided by One Vote (Or Less).”

In the 1994 Wyoming’s House of Representatives race, Republican Randall Luthi and Independent Larry Call each finished with 1,941 votes. Following a recount that produced the same results, Governor Mike Sullivan settled the election in a most unconventional (although state-appropriate) fashion: drawing a ping pong ball out of his cowboy hat to determine a winner. Luthi’s name was drawn, and history may well have proven him the right man for the job: He served the Jackson Hole-area district until 2007, ultimately becoming Speaker of the House

So, there are only 107 days until the Mid-Term Elections—are you registered to vote?

Cherie Dargan, LWV-BHB President
Originally posted at my blog.
Naturalization Ceremony at UNI
What an amazing afternoon it was to watch 107 people from 40+ countries become U. S. citizens. Three of our members registered or personally greeted new citizens (Pat, Willie Mae, and Marcia) while more members observed and shared their excitement. It was wonderful to chat with a few people there, including a lovely young woman captured for the Waterloo Courier's home page, who was dressed in red, white and blue. I also chatted with a group of 14 extended family members who came to support their son-in-law/grandson-in-law: everyone waved paper plates that had been decorated in red, white and blue and featured slogans welcoming him to the family afresh as a new citizen.
 Marcia and Pat at table 2018 Naturalization 
 Marcia and Pat ready to register voters Marcia, Willie Mae, and Pat
A beautiful young woman with her daughters; they are all wearing red, white and blueA family of 14 with the son-in-law who had just become a citizen!

Facebook Live Experiment -- History in the Making!

Forum for Gubernatorial Candidates, Saturday, April 21

We gathered at the Community Foundation of North East Iowa to view the forum, being held at Kirkwood Community College, via Facebook Live. Ten local Leagues scattered around the state will participate. The Forum took place from 10 am to 12 pm. 
Participants at the Community Foundation viewed the forum in real time and could ask questions via the internet through Facebook. The live feed originated from Ballantyne Auditorium at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids.

All candidates have been invited. Democrats Nate Boulton, Cathy Glasson, Dr. Andy McGuire, John Norris, Fred Hubbell, and Ross Wilburn and Libertarians Marco Battaglia and Jake Porter attended. 

Since the Forum, 2,900 people have viewed the Facebook video; it has been shared to 77 Facebook pages. The Forum went over a few minutes, which was not a problem, since we were not bumping up against the next television show. Most of our viewers were impressed with the quality of the video and commented on the value of seeing candidates side by side. We only wished that the Governor could have been there, so that the citizens of Iowa could see ALL of the candidates.

Legislative Forums for 2018

Feb 2018 forum
line of speakers
We had good crowds for almost every Forum, and enjoyed the facilities at the Central Rivers AEA in Cedar Falls.When it was time for the public to ask questions, people were lining up. 

We had our last scheduled forum on Friday, March 23, 2018, focusing on the Environment, 4:30-6:30. 

We had a smaller crowd than usual, due to the weather. However, if you are on Facebook, and follow Mike Dargan (and why wouldn't you?), you can watch the forum with his Facebook Live video. It has had 1021 views since the Forum!


This post card was designed by League member Tessa Heeren, and the Voter ID Task Force of the LWVIA. We will be giving these away at events! (I am also posting a copy of the document as a PDF at the bottom of the page. Please share but do not make print copies).

 Side 1 Side 2

Legislative Priorities for 2018
What issues are we going to focus on this year? You can download a PDF at the bottom of this page that includes the details for each of the following topics.
  • Voting Rights
  • Water Quality and Environment
  • Justice Reforms
  • Mental Health 

Copies of our Directories of Elected Officials for Black Hawk and Bremer County are at the bottom of the page. Feel free to download and print for yourself. Otherwise, we will have copies at Forums and events, and copies have been distributed throughout the two Counties.
Who is invited to our Forums? ALL Area Legislators are welcome--letters are sent to them, inviting them to participate.   Senator Jeff Danielson, Senator Bill Dix, Senator Bill Dotzler, Senator Craig Johnson, and Senator Jeff Edler. Rep. Pat Grassley, Rep. Sandy Salmon, Rep. Bob Kressig, Rep. Timi Brown-Powers, Rep. Walt Rogers, Rep. Ras Smith, Rep. Bruce Bearinger, and Rep. Dean Fisher.  
Who Sponsors the Legislative Forums? 

AAUW-Cedar Falls, AAUW-Waterloo, AFSCME, ARC, American Democracy Project, Black Hawk Area Assembly, Black Hawk County Democrats, Black Hawk County Farm Bureau, Black Hawk County Board of Health, Black Hawk County ISU Extension & Outreach, Cedar Falls Education Association, Cedar Falls Educational Support Professionals, Cedar Valley Jaycees, Cedar Valley United Nations Association, Cedar Prairie Group—Sierra Club, CWA Local 7108, Department of Correctional Services, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, Hawkeye Community College, Hawkeye UniServe Unit/ISEA, International Brotherhood Electrical Workers Local Union 288, Northeast Iowa Area Agencies on Aging, League of Women Voters of Black Hawk and Bremer Counties, Main Street Cedar Falls, NAACP-Black Hawk County Branch,

Waterloo Education Association, Waterloo Educational Support Personnel, and YWCA--Black Hawk County.

Who Coordinates the Forums?  It takes a lot of work to put together all of the details. Thank you to Jean Seeland for her hard work! Others, such as Pat Harper, have also helped.

Holiday Social, December 5

Mary Rae Bragg, the President of the League of Women Voters in Iowa, was our special guest.We met at the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, and enjoyed a buffet catered by Dee Jordan.
Members enjoyed the meal, conversation, and decorations provided by one of our new Board members, Sandra Benedett.Members also appreciated the opportunity to interact with Mary Rae, and we had a lively discussion.

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Want to know what's happening in Your local league? Check the Calendar!

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS, Black Hawk/Bremer County

Two Great Resources for Voters

Facts matter!

The Unity Project
President Cherie Dargan participated in the first Workshop for the Unity Project on Sunday, October 1, at the Waterloo Center for the Arts. She  addressed the benefits and limits of local government. The power point is attached below.

Last updated September 11, 2018

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