Welcome to the 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 
LOOKING FOR THE BLACK HAWK OR BREMER COUNTY DIRECTORY OF ELECTED OFFICIALS? IT IS HERE! THE FILES ARE POSTED AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE. YOU ARE WELCOME TO DOWNLOAD AND PRINT. We have already distributed hundreds of copies throughout our two counties at courthouses, libraries, and other public spaces.

All League events are listed on this web's Events Calendar page. We also create events on our Facebook page.

Events Fall 2019

Nov. 12
 Our volunteers  Eduardo and Isaiah with our volunteers

Dates & Topics for 2020 Legislative Forums (All sessions are now cancelled)


We will not be holding any further face to face meetings, due to the Pandemic.  Follow us on Facebook for updates.

Our Legislative Forums will be held at the big Conference Room at Hawkeye Community College's new Van G. Miller Adult Ed Center in downtown Waterloo.  See our Facebook page, Cedar Valley Legislative Forums, for details.


Loss of Two Members
We lost two faithful, long term members during 2019: first, Carol Cooper and now Barbara Brown. Barbara was at our August 12 Board Meeting/Public Meeting and showed us the street banners for 2020. She was devoted to her family, her community, and her League, and will be missed.

Annual Meeting, April 9, 2019
We gathered at the Community Foundation for a lively evening, a great meal, and our Annual meeting. We celebrated the winners of our Annual Essay contest at Hoover Middle School, who wrote about Civility in Politics. Several read their essays out loud. We got an update on both local and state plans for the Centennial of the 19th Amendment.
We welcomed several new Board Members: Yeshi Abebe, Marcia Buttgen, and Susan Vogel.
We thanked several Board members who were leaving the Board for their service: Pat Sass, Doris Kelley, and E. J. Gallagher.
We recognized several of our members who were given an award in the past year. We recognized this year's recipient of the Rachel Fulton Award -- Jo Ann Finkenbinder.

Here is a link to the Google Slideshow that I created for the evening,

A few photos from that evening.



One of the best parts of the evening is chatting with members, new and old. Mike Dargan chats here with Ryan Stevenson. Nearby, Barbara Brown chats with Jane Teaford.
A group of students from Hoover Middle School, along with teachers, parents, and their principal joined us for the first part of the evening, and several students read their essays, about the importance of Civility in Politics.
 Cindy Wells and Jeri Thornsberry take pictures
of the Essay winners with E. J. Gallagher
 Doris Kelley gives us an update on the plans for 2020, 
and the events to commemorate the centennial of the 19th

Naturalization Ceremony at UNI
This year a small group of us attended the ceremony at UNI, welcoming 130 new citizens from a number of countries: the youngest person was 20 and the oldest was in his late 80s. 

Mike Dargan and Gerri Perreault pose with Pat Harper, who registered several new voters.Willie Mae Wright stood down front and greeted each person, handing them a card summarizing changes to Iowa's voting laws.

Cedar Valley Legislative Forums, 2019 at Central Middle School



A recent Forum, with each of our Senators and Representatives giving their updates, and our newest legislator, Eric Giddens.    
The public speaks: members of the audience ask questions.
Mike Dargan with his equipment, set to record the Forum using Facebook Live. Representatives Timi Brown-Powers and Ras Smith.

Senator Eric Giddens, and Representatives Dave Williams, and Bob Kressig.Senators Bill Dotzler and Eric Gliddens, and Representative Dave Williams.

All of our scheduled 2019 Legislative Forums are over. 

We moved to a NEW location this year -- Central Middle School, 1350 Katoski Drive, Waterloo, IA 50701. Thank you to all of the staff who helped us get set up for the sessions: a special thanks to Aaron for your help with the sound system. Thank you to the janitors who set up for each session.

Thank you to Jean Seeland for all of her hard work making these arrangements. Remember that League is ONLY one of several dozen organizations sponsoring the Forum.

Thanks to our Legislators, our Moderators, and Jerry Hageman for serving as Timekeeper--and to those who attended the forums and asked questions.

Follow the Cedar Valley Legislative Forums on Facebook; we post Facebook Live sessions there.


Did you miss the Forum? You can watch it on Facebook Live, posted at this special Facebook page for the Forums. Thanks go to Mike Dargan for doing this!

Holiday Social, 2018

Several times a year, we come together to celebrate, reflect, and update members. This Holiday Social was especially enjoyable because we had an excellent meal and an informative, lively presentation. Many members attended, and we also had a group of UNI students there, as our guests.


We had a wonderful turnout for our Holiday Social on Tuesday, Dec. 11.Our speaker, Cate, with Gerri. 

Another view of our crowd, and the cute centerpieces that our Treasurer, Sandy, brought.Vice President Cindy Wells gives a brief report about our plans for 2020, commemorating 100 years of women getting the right to vote.
We invited a group of UNI students to join us: here are some of them watching the presentation. Cindy Wells captured some great photos, including this one of Gerri, Judy and Jeri chatting before the dinner.

Legislative Priorities for 2020
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.

« Automatic reinstatement of voting rights for people with felony convictions upon release from incarceration. Iowa and Kentucky are the only states to permanently ban all individuals with a felony conviction from voting unless rights are restored by the Governor. Legislators need to take immediate action to begin the process for a constitutional amendment to be presented to the voters in 2022.

« Protect Iowa’s redistricting process. The “Iowa Model” ensures that there is a balanced, fair, and nonpartisan approach to redrawing the political landscape.

« Increase the state sales tax to create a stable, sufficient, and dedicated funding source for water quality. The Legislature needs to ensure REAP is fully funded at no less than $20 million.

« Build on Iowa’s successful bottle redemption law by adding other non-carbonated beverages, doubling the deposit, and increasing handling fees that go to redemption centers. Stores should not be allowed to opt out of the collections; instead the Legislature should use unredeemed deposits to incentivize partnerships with redemption centers.

« Ensure reliable and sufficient funding for the state’s regional mental health and disability services system, including funding for the new core services for those with complex needs and children. « Guarantee access to comprehensive women’s reproductive health services.

« Ensure Medicaid services are comprehensive and accessible throughout the state without unnecessary administrative burdens. « Fully fund all levels of education, including childcare, preschool, K-12 education, community colleges, and Regents institutions.

« Address the income cliff for childcare assistance and ensure quality and safety with better oversight and enforcement of unlicensed and unregulated childcare homes. Working families should not be forced to choose between safety, affordable childcare, and job advancements.

« Provide greater judicial flexibility in sentencing by eliminating mandatory minimum sentencing and penalty enhancements that do not contribute to public safety.

« Protect and support victims of sex and labor trafficking and adopt policies to prevent human trafficking and build public awareness.

« Oppose reinstatement of the death penalty.

« Enact gun safety laws that encourage responsible gun ownership, give law enforcement greater authority to deny licenses, ensure background checks are conducted prior to any purchase, and protect children from gun violence.

« Support the adoption of state strategies to address climate change.

« Make Iowa a welcoming place for immigrants and refugees.


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.

(Note: we are in the process of updating the directories for 2019)
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. Dave Williams, 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.

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

Two Great Resources for Voters

Facts matter!

Last updated April 3, 2020

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