The Marquette County League undertook a number of important activities during their heyday. One of their first major projects was voter registration. Over the next 38 years, the Marquette County LWV held candidate forums, compiled voter guides in concert with the local paper, The Mining Journal, and in 1969, shortly after the chapter began functioning, held a fund drive for the "Know Your County" booklet project, which outlined the functions and operation of governmental units throughout the county. In 1994, the Marquette County LWV hosted a well-received exhibit at the Historical Society Museum entitled "Remember the Ladies" celebrating the struggle for women's rights, the founding of the League, and the passage of the 19th Amendment, as well as honoring some of the pioneers who had been instrumental in getting the League up and running in the U.P.
By its tenth anniversary, the unit had grown to over 100 members. At its peak, the Marquette County Unit boasted 120 members, but the numbers dwindled as more and more women joined the work force, leaving less time for volunteering in the community. And with fewer and fewer young women participating in the League, it became more difficult to carry out the group's mission and goals. The decision was made + reluctantly + to disband the Marquette County LWV in August, 2006. As one member of the earlier incarnation ruefully noted, "People are just not particularly concerned with this kind of stuff anymore," then added wistfully: "Maybe it will arise that they'll need us one more time, and hopefully someone else can jump in."
And so the occasion did arise. There was a small but growing group that were ready to be the "someone else" who jumped in and provided the spark that ignited the revival of a Marquette County LWV. On April 26, 2017 five women and one man met with representatives from LWVMI and LWV of Delta County to begin a mentoring relationship and to officially begin the LWV of Delta County, Marquette County Unit. During the Spring of 2017, the emerging collective met in small groups in local restaurants and members' homes. Three members from the previous LWV in Marquette joined the ranks and provided a valuable link to the past and to the League's mission and principles. These women were an important source of support and encouragement for the newly developing group. With help from Delta County mentors, the Marquette County geographical unit held its first public information meeting in July 2017 at the local Peter White Library. Due in part to the stellar reputation of the former LWV group in the area and in part to the ongoing organizing activities, the Marquette County Unit was receiving and benefiting from strong community support and media interest. The local organization was well on its way and was appreciating and capitalizing on the guidance from original members, Delta County mentors and newly assigned mentors from LWVMI. The Marquette County Unit is approaching its 2 year anniversary in April 2019 and in the process of applying for Membership-At-Large status which is the next step towards becoming an independent local League. There is a strong core group of members who are dedicated to providing voter education and services to the community.
Check out this LINK to see what the Marquette County Unit has been up to. If any of the projects look interesting to you join the Marquette County Unit soon.
To learn more about the Marquette County League's organizing efforts listen to The 8th Day Show on 101.9-Sunny FM as host Todd Pazz interviews Darlene Allen, League Unit Leader.
Voter Registration and Education League members are trained in current voter registration information so that they can help citizens who are eligible to vote to become registered. Volunteers attend community events and activities, go to local high schools and participate in NMU campus events to register new voters and to share information about voting, voting rights and upcoming elections. This has been one of the most popular volunteer activities that has attracted many of our members.
Observer Corps The Observer Corps volunteers attend local governmental meetings to observe, summarize and report back to the League and the community. This project strengthens citizens right to know what their local governmental officials are working on and what kind of decisions they are making. It is a valuable opportunity to learn about county, city and township governments. It helps the League to build relationships with local officials and be prepared to ask good and topical questions for the voter guides and the candidate forums. If you are interested in preserving open government and freedom of information for citizens, becoming a LWV Observer Corps volunteer is the opportunity for you.
Community Education, Events and Marches League volunteers participating in these projects can have fun building floats, creating signs, walking in parades and marching at events. It helps raise awareness about the League and provides avenues to share important voter service information. Community Education can range from visiting local civic clubs and groups to talk about the LWV to presenting on more in-depth voting and election topics. Extensive training and support is provided. The local Leagues benefit from professionally designed presentation materials from the state League but creative and knowledgeable volunteers can also design their own. Many League members also enjoy volunteering to set up event venues, coordinate the publicity and greet and welcome people at the events.
Celebrations and Fun Events This is where League volunteers relax, have fun and get to know one another. Enjoy a movie, celebrate an accomplishment or share a pizza and get to know your local League members.
In 2018, 21 volunteers were trained for 40 community events to register and educate the public for the primary and general elections. On National Voter Registration Day, we visited 5 area schools, 292 students were educated and 98 students completed voter registration applications.
If you are interested in learning more about our Voter Registration Education programs and activities or would like to volunteer, Contact Us
LWV Volunteers talked with students at NMU Fall Fest. Registered several students and had some great conversations despite the wind, heat and humidity.
Ishpeming Festival of Treasurers
We currently have 10 LWV members in our Observer Corps, and we are following 11 local governmental entities. Our goals are to provide the LWV and the public with information about their local government and to ensure that local government is aware of public interest and scrutiny regarding their efforts on our behalf.
For more information on Observer Programs see the Observing Your Government in Action Protecting Your Right to Know A Resource Guide
To learn more about Observer Corps activities or to volunteer, Contact Us
This quarterly newsletter is one of the avenues by which we hope to accomplish our goals. Here, we will provide a calendar of upcoming governmental meetings for the coming quarter, and brief summaries of the highlights of the meetings that we have followed in the previous quarter.
View the current and past issues of the newsletter HERE
Sunshine Week 2018 Sunshine Week is designed to highlight open government and freedom of information at the local, state and federal levels.
March 11-17, 2018 was Sunshine Week!
"The League of Women Voters of Delta County, Marquette County Unit is celebrating Sunshine Week during March 11-17," said David Allen of the Marquette Unit. The League has supported Sunshine Week since its inception in 2005 as a way to highlight the importance of open government and freedom of information.
Allen added, "When I managed environmental litigation for the federal government, I was responsible for classifying documents and maintaining a public reading room, which is how I learned about the critical need for government transparency and an engaged public. As the coordinator of the League's Observer Corps in Marquette, I'm thrilled to continue striving for an informed public that engages local government thoughtfully and effectively."
"Sunshine," or openness in government, refers to two distinct areas: access to public records and access to public meetings. Every day, people have the right to know what actions their government is taking by attending public meetings and accessing public documents.
Marquette Marches LWV members participate in the March for Our Lives and the March for Science and the 4th of July parade in Marquette. Registering new voters and getting signatures for the Promote the Vote Campaign.
Women's March 2018 ~ Marquette
The Women's March this year was again an amazing and empowering event. It was estimated that over 2,000 gathered this year in Marquette. The League of Women Voters had an information table where 30 new people signed up for more information. We saw at least 20 League Members at the March and several of us walked together carrying signs advocating for Women's Rights, Human Rights and the Power and Importance of the Vote.
Women's History Month LWV members present an original Women's History program for the Hiawatha National Forest Women's History Month "Brown Bag Lunch" series. Thank you members for your terrific creativity and hard work. We can't wait for you to share it again.
The Marquette County Unit held a Public Meeting at the Peter White Library on July 8th. Thirty-seven people were in attendance. Information was shared with the audience about the past history of the League in Marquette County. The LWV of Marquette County began as a provisional League in 1968 and provided voter services to the community for almost 40 years. Three of the former members have joined again as members with the new group currently forming. Delta County League Mentors Sue Scheeneman, Ann Bissell and Pat Rudden presented information on League basics and shared their experiences with the audience. Ten new members joined the Marquette Unit as a result of this public meeting. The Unit is now 33 members strong!
A group of League Members gathered to watch the Movie "Iron Jawed Angels". This movie takes a fresh and contemporary look at a pivotal event in American history. Iron Jawed Angels tells the true story of how defiant and brilliant young activists Alice Paul, played by Hilary Swank and Lucy Burns, played by Frances O'Connor took the women's suffrage movement by storm, putting their lives at risk to help American women win the right to vote. We learned about this movie when listening to a podcast from What Would Alice Paul Do Podcast. Check out their podcasts. They are perfect for any LWV aficionado.
Voter Registration at NMU Fall Fest 2017
4th of July Parade in Marquette
Women's History Month