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Media Release for Ochoa Movie at the Vickers September 19

The 6 o'clock movie on Friday, September 19 will be co-sponsored by the Vickers Theatre in Three Oaks and the League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties. The movie is "There is Nothing Else" (Otra Cosa No Hay) and it will be followed by a Q & A with the director and producer Christiana Ochoa.

Movie Poster

Christiana Ochoa is an unlikely filmmaker: a Michigan girl, Harvard Law School graduate, New York corporate lawyer and currently a University of Indiana law school professor in the field of international law and human rights. Professor Ochoa also realizes a picture is worth a thousand words and the story she wants to tell is about gold mining in a water critical area of Colombia. For centuries local miners extracted gold sustainably, but now foreign, large scale mining companies have moved in. The delicate balance may be upset forever.

The usual Vickers prices will be charged, with half of the proceeds from the showing on September 19 going to Professor Ochoa for future films.

For more information on the League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties go to

Book Group Selection for October 2014

The book selected for the Ocotber 21 meeting is "On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City" by Alice Goffman. This book will give another view of life in black America, similar to what we have learned recently about life in Ferguson, Missouri. Alice Goffman lived for 6 years in a neighborhood in central Philadelphia where she learned "the pernicious effects of pervasive policing".

The meeting will be held in Buchanan.

Consider coming to a book group meeting. Usually about 15 members gather in a member home for a lively discussion. The books are chosen by the group. Shown is part of the group from the July meeting held on the summer porch of Ana Vincenti's home in the Prairie Club in Harbert

"The League and Nonpartisanship" by Susan Gilbert

This article appeared in the December 2010 LWVBCC newsletter and has been circulated by LWVMI and the LWVUS leaders. Numerous local Leagues have asked for permission to reprint it in their newsletters.

It is not uncommon for outsiders, and even some members, to question how the League can be nonpartisan yet advocate on positions that, in the slice of time that is now, appear to be partisan. In the highly partisan climate that has developed in recent years, the League is one of the very few political organizations that is not in either the liberal/Democratic camp or the conservative/Republican camp. And we have members of all political persuasions and encourage them to get involved in politics. So members may be partisan but the organization is not. All this is hard for many to wrap their minds around.

The League is nonpartisan in that we do not endorse or support any political party or candidate for office. We don't rate legislators, we don't track their votes and we don't threaten them if they don't vote our way. Voter service is one of our main missions and we publish nonpartisan voter guides and hold candidate forums to help voters educate themselves beyond TV ads. Education is an important League function, and we try in our meetings and in this newsletter to inform our attendees/readers and stimulate them to think about issues in our world.

However, the League is also an advocacy group, and we have positions on issues that have been developed over the years since our founding in 1920 and are the result of study and consensus of the local Leagues nationwide. These positions are updated from time to time, but are basically consistent. The positions and platforms of the political parties, on the other hand, do change and at times they resemble our League positions, or not. But the League doesn't change or drop it's positions because they are currently those of one party or the other. And we do speak out!

An example is health care. The League has a position on comprehensive health care for all Americans. President Truman liked that idea too and President Eisenhower delivered a special message to Congress on January 31, 1955 recommending a comprehensive health program for Americans. Lyndon Johnson got Medicare passed and that took the pressure off for awhile. But President Nixon encouraged HMOs as a way to rein in costs and provide health care for more people. Then President Reagan came along and decided the free market was the best way to manage health care and the Republicans have basically supported this idea since. But clearly both parties have been on both sides of the issue.

The key is not to confuse politics with position advocacy.