Democracy Forum 1/20/23: Comprehensive Planning: Why Bother?

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

The mostly volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Martha Dickinson, Starr Gilmartin,
Maggie Harling, Lisa Leaverton, Ann Luther, Rick Lyles, Judith Lyles, Wendilee O’Brien, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Lane Sturtevant, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

Democracy Forum: Participatory Democracy, encouraging citizens to take an active role in government and politics

This month:
A number of towns in Hancock County are doing, have done, or are thinking of doing comprehensive planning. So, what is comprehensive planning, why do Maine towns do it?
Why should they do it and how often?
What comprises a comprehensive plan?
What difference does it make in a community, why should people care?

Guest/s:
Susan Lessard, Bucksport Town Manager
Noel Musson, Principal/Planner with the Musson Group
Evan Richert, Former director of the State Planning Office

To learn more about this topic:
Comprehensive Plans: Municipal Planning Assistance Program: Maine DACF
Comprehensive Planning: A Manual for Maine Communities
Land Use Planning | National Working Waterfront Network
Comprehensive Plan | Town of Orland, December, 2022
Priority Strategy: Increasing Physical Activity Through Community Design | CDC, December, 2022.
The Future of the Comprehensive Plan | Journal of Comparative Urban Law and Policy May, 2022
A New Era of Equity-Based Comprehensive Planning…Finally | GreenLaw, September, 2021

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.

Democracy Forum 11/18/22: Election Reflections: What Just Happened Here?

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

The mostly volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Martha Dickinson, Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Lisa Leaverton, Ann Luther, Judith Lyles, Wendilee O’Brien, Lane Sturtevant, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

Democracy Forum: Participatory Democracy, encouraging citizens to take an active role in government and politics

This month: Election Reflections: What Just Happened Here?
-A conversation about the election.
-Less about how the parties and the candidates performed; more about how democracy performed.
-How did the election machinery hold up?
-How did our voters and our instituions hold up?
-Have our citizens embraced or rejected the legitimacy of the outcomes?
-What does it all mean in the context of a bigger conversation about the future of western democracy?

Guest/s:
Maya Eichorn, Liberal Studies Student York County Community College, and fellow with Maine Students Vote, and affiliate of the League of Women Voters of Maine
Elaine Kamarck, Founding Director at the Center for Effective Public Management and Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at Brookings
Steve Mistler, Chief Political Correspondent and State House Bureau Chief, Maine Public

To learn more about this topic:
Turnout among young voters was the second highest for a midterm in past 30 years | NPR, November 2022
LePage’s loss leaves Maine Republicans at a crossroads – Portland Press Herald, November 2022
Midterms pose fresh test for American democracy after two years under fire | Washington Post, November 2022
‘We’re watching you’: incidents of voter intimidation rise as midterm elections near | The Guardian, November 2022
Gen Z voter turnout will show just how influential influencers really are | Washington Post, November 2022
State courts are fielding sky-high numbers of lawsuits ahead of the midterms – including challenges to voting restrictions and to how elections are run | The Conversation, October 2022
The end of the debate? Republicans draw the curtain on political theater | US politics | The Guardian, September, 2022
Can the abortion issue save Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections? | Brookings, Elaine Kamarck, August 2022

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.

Democracy Forum 10/21/22: What’s At Stake in Moore v. Harper? Gerrymandering and More

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine
The mostly volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Martha Dickinson, Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Lisa Leaverton, Ann Luther, Judith Lyles, Wendilee O’Brien, Pam Person, Lane Sturtevant, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn
Panel moderator: John Brautigam, an attorney and consultant with over 25 years of experience in campaign finance and election law, public policy, advocacy, and legal representation. From 2004 to 2008 he served in the Maine legislature and was House Chairman of the Insurance and Financial Services Committee. Prior to his tenure in the legislature Mr. Brautigam served as Assistant Attorney General. He previously served as legal counsel successfully defending the constitutionality of the 1996 reforms to Maine campaign finance laws, including the Maine Clean Election Act. Brautigam is counsel for the League of Women Voters of Maine.

Democracy Forum: Participatory Democracy, encouraging citizens to take an active role in government and politics

This month:
Many legal scholars say that the Supreme Court’s decision in Moore v Harper, involving the Independent State Legislature Theory, could be one of the most important election law cases for the future of federal elections.
If adopted by the Court, the most extreme versions of the theory could destabilize elections.
But the Court could adopt a more limited, less disruptive version. Or the Court could decide not to adopt any version.
We’ll introduce this issue and some of the potential implications of the case Moore v. Harper to be decided in 2023.

Guest/s:
Derek T. Muller, holds Ben V. Willie Professorship in Excellence at the University of Iowa College of Law
Eliza Sweren-Becker, counsel in the Voting Rights & Elections Program at the Brennan Center for Justice

To learn more about this topic:
There Is Absolutely Nothing to Support the ‘Independent State Legislature’ Theory | The Atlantic, October, 2022
Moore v. Harper, Explained | Brennan Center for Justice, August 2022
State Legislature Seeks Unchecked Power over Elections in Moore v. Harper | League of Women Voters, League of Women Voters blog, August 2022
Unpacking the Left’s Disinformation Campaign about Moore v. Harper | National Review, August, 2022
The Next Big Threat to American Democracy Is Headed to the Supreme Court | The New Republic, August 2022
Is Democracy Constitutional? | The Atlantic, July 2022
Richard Pildes’ on Election Law Blog, July 2022
Derek Muller on Moore v. Harper and Independent State Legislature Doctrine | The Lawfare Podcast: July, 2022

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.

Democracy Forum 9/16/22: Checks and Balances: What are They? Are They Working?

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine
The mostly volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Martha Dickinson, Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Judith Lyles, Wendilee O’Brien, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Lane Sturtevant, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

Democracy Forum: Participatory Democracy, encouraging citizens to take an active role in government and politics

This month:
Checks and Balances: What are They? Are They Working?
How the three branches of government check each other: executive, judicial, legislative. \
Why did it matter to the Framers, and why does it matter to us?
Of what importance is mutual and self-regard among the branches: each branch protecting its own institution and backing up the other branches?
Is the public one of the checks — with political consequences creating a limit on extremism?
Does it seem to be working right now? Why or why not?

Guest/s:
Andrew Rudalevige, Chair of the Department of Government and Legal Studies, Thomas Brackett Reed Professor of Government, Bowdoin College
Kim Lane Scheppele, Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Sociology and International Affairs in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and the University Center for Human Values

To learn more about this topic:
Post-ROE, the Supreme Court is on a collision course with Democracy | Vanity Fair August 25, 2022
Opinion | The Supreme Court Has Too Much Power and Liberals Are to Blame – POLITICO, July 27, 2022
Most in new poll say US government needs major reforms, complete overhaul | The Hill, July 13, 2022
The Supreme Court’s Role in the Degradation of U.S. Democracy | CLC, July 13, 2022
Opinion | How the Founders Intended to Check the Supreme Court’s Power – POLITICO, July 3, 2022
How Viktor Orbán Wins | Journal of Democracy, July 2022
Abuses of executive privilege reveal our system of checks and balances is on life support | The Hill October 24, 2021
Executive privilege is killing checks and balances | MichaelLeppert.com October 15, 2021
Checks and balances on war powers — Defense Priorities, April 2, 2021
By Executive Order | Princeton University Press, April 2021
Checks and Balances in a Trump-Era Supreme Court | Brennan Center for Justice, July 10, 2020
Congress Has Lost Its Power Over Trump | The Atlantic, February 4, 2020
The Unconstrained Presidency: Checks and Balances Eroded Long Before Trump | Council on Foreign Relations, August 14, 2018
Congress’s Power over Courts: Jurisdiction Stripping and the Rule of Klein | CSR, August 9, 2018

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.

Democracy Forum 8/19/22: Libraries: Defenders of Democracy (Originally aired April 15 2022)

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine
The mostly volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Martha Dickinson, Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Judith Lyles, Wendilee O’Brien, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Lane Sturtevant, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

Democracy Forum: Participatory Democracy, encouraging citizens to take an active role in government and politics

Description, guests and links FMI can be found here

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.

Democracy Forum 7/15/22: Taxation without Representation: Should DC be a State?

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

Democracy Forum: Participatory Democracy, encouraging citizens to take an active role in government and politics

Taxation without Representation: Should DC be a State?

What rights of self-determination do DC residents now enjoy?
How are their rights now constrained?
What are the obstacles to DC statehood?
What is the history?
What is the racial justice aspect to this issue?
Against the backdrop of Maine’s own struggle for statehood and the Missouri Compromise, why should Maine people care?

Anne Anderson, Chair of the League of Women Voters DC Full Rights Committee
Chris Myers Asch, Visiting Instructor of History, Colby College, and co-author of the book, Chocolate City, A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital

To learn more about this topic:

League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia – YouTube
With Liberty and Justice for All (Except DC) | League of Women Voters, May 2022
The Case for Statehood – DC History Center, with links to other great resources
DC Statehood Explained | Brennan Center for Justice, March, 2022
epublicans Used to Back DC Statehood. What Changed? – The Atlantic, David Graham, June, 2021
The Long Fight for DC Statehood – JSTOR Daily, Livia Gershon, February, 2021
When Adding New States Helped the Republicans – The Atlantic, Heather Cox Richardson, September, 2019
Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital by Chris Myers Asch and George Derek Musgrove, 2019
On the Road with the DC Statehood Toolkit, League of Women Voters of DC, November 2017

The mostly volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Martha Dickinson, Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Judith Lyles, Wendilee O’Brien, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Lane Sturtevant, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.

Democracy Forum 6/17/22: The Supreme Court and Democracy

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

Democracy Forum: Participatory Democracy, encouraging citizens to take an active role in government and politics

Issue: Participatory Democracy, encouraging citizens to take an active role in government and politics

Key Discussion Points:
The courts as protectors of democracy
Judicial philosophy and constitutional interpretation
The authority and power of the court
The peril of the court being political or even perceived as such

Guests:
Richard H. Pildes, Sudler Family Professor of Constitutional Law, New York University School of Law
Maron Sorenson, Assistant Professor of Government, Dept. Government and Legal Studies, Bowdoin College

To learn more about this topic:

Decade-long study shows Supreme Court is now further to the ideological right than most Americans | Ash Center, June, 2022
The Supreme Court Is on the Verge of Expanding Second Amendment Gun Rights | Brennan Center for Justice May, 2022
5 justices, all confirmed by senators representing a minority of voters, appear willing to overturn Roe v. Wade | The Conversation, May 2022
The Court and Its Procedures – Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court (2020) : Throughline : NPR, September, 2021
The Authority of the Court and the Peril of Politics, Stephen Breyer, 2021
Nine Reasons that “Originalism” Isn’t Really a Thing for Supreme Court Justices, October, 2020
The Law of Democracy: Legal Structure of the Political Process. Samuel Issacharoff, Pamela S. Karlan, Richard H. Pildes, Nathaniel Persily. ” 5th Edition, 2016.
Is the Supreme Court a ‘Majoritarian’ Institution?, Richard Pildes, December, 2010

The mostly volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Martha Dickinson, Laurie Fogleman, Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Judith Lyles, Wendilee O’Brien, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Lane Sturtevant, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.

Democracy Forum 5/20/22: The Demise of Local News: What Are We Losing?

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

Democracy Forum: Participatory Democracy, encouraging citizens to take an active role in government and politics

Key Discussion Points:
Local news and local democracy.
What is a “news desert”? Does Maine have them?
What happens in towns that have no institutional news coverage? Does it affect self-governance at the local level?
Can citizen or grass-roots journalism fill the gap?
Even if we have plenty of citizen journalists, do we lose cohesion without an institutional resource that provides a collective understanding?

Guests:
Penelope Abernathy, visiting professor at the Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University
Dan MacLeod, Managing Editor, Bangor Daily News
Lincoln Millstein, blogs local news at The Quietside Journal

To learn more about this topic:

Survival of the Fittest: Can Independent News Media Endure in These Times? | Global Engagement at Georgetown University, April, 2022
New Report On The State Of Our Democracy | League of Women Voters 2021
Local news deserts are expanding: Here’s what we’ll lose | Washington Post, November, 2021
Exploiting the local news desert | Editor and Publisher, November 2021
Islander celebrates 20 years of community journalism – Mount Desert Islander, Faith D’Ambroise, November, 2021
Trends and Facts on Newspapers | State of the News Media | Pew Research Center. June, 2021

The mostly volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Martha Dickinson, Laurie Fogleman, Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Judith Lyles, Wendilee O’Brien, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Lane Sturtevant, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.