Democracy Forum 3/18/22: Communities on Edge: Threats and Intimidation in the Public Sphere

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

We’ll talk about anger and intimidation in the public sphere, especially in local politics.
Where is this coming from?
What is it that puts schools and elections in the bull’s eye?
What measures should officials take?
What can ordinary people do?
Can we still have deliberative democracy?

Patti Dubois, Waterville City Clerk and the Legislative Policy Chair for the Maine Town and City Clerks Association.
Jordan LaBouff, Associate Professor of Psychology and Honors at the University of Maine.
Paul Markosian, an Ellsworth business owner and member of the Ellsworth School board.

To learn more about this topic:

Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower, Brittney Cooper, 2018.
Local election officials are exhausted, under threat and thinking about quitting, Politico, March 2022
Whitmer plot underlines growing abuse of women officials | AP News, March 2022
Bill to make interfering with election workers a crime OK’d | AP News, February 2022
Maine teachers and school board members seek legal protection as they face harassment, February 2022
The Role of Racial Resentment in Our Politics | Brennan Center for Justice, February 2022
The Five Minute Fix, Washington Post, January 2022
City School Board threatened with lawsuits over masking policies, January, 2022

Prerecorded on 3/10/2022 using Zoom technology.

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:

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.