E-Catalyst January 2020

January 2020

Greetings all,

Welcome to the new year! We have lots of ways for you to get involved in the League and learn more about our events in our upcoming year. If you have made a new year’s resolution to be more involved, we are happy to help you succeed in your goal. If you just want to learn more about how to be an active citizen in this year of the 2020 Census and a presidential election, we are gearing up for that as well.

For those of you who have renewed your membership this past year, thank you! If you have questions or thoughts about what the Northfield Cannon Falls League is doing, please contact us.

Adrienne Falcon and Pat Johnson, co-presidents

Upcoming events and opportunities:


Caucus & Primary Training 101
January 28, 2020
7:00 – 8:00 PM
Weitz Center for Creativity, Rm 236

Click here for details of the event.  The event is free and open to the public. Bring a friend.


Northfield Human Rights Commission is organizing the City’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration on Monday, January 20, 7:00 PM at Emmaus Church. The theme is: “Every One Counts.” The League of Women Voters and the Northfield Complete Count Committee have both been invited to table at the event in the lobby of the church. After the celebration there will be treats and an opportunity to mingle and talk about the work of the LWV and to register voters. If you can help table, see the information from Melanie Freeze in the Voter Services below.

Voter Services

Would you like to help register voters? We have two upcoming events (Monday, Jan. 20, 2020 at 7 pm and Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020 at 7pm) that need volunteers to help staff voter registration tables. Click on the following link for more information and to sign-up.


We are also looking for someone to serve as the co-chair of the Voter Services committee. If you would be interested in helping organize voter registration efforts, please let Melanie Freeze know at melsue2@gmail.com.

Legislative Interviews

Think about joining high school students for legislative interviews with our representatives. We will be completing these before the legislative session begins on February 11. If you are interested, please contact Kathleen Doran-Norton at kdorannorton@gmail.com.

LWV Minnesota has a guide with suggested questions for these interviews at https://www.lwvmn.org/member-resources Under Guidance & Best Practices. Think about joining us!


Serena Zabin is the new chair of the membership committee. If you would like to help with this important work or have questions about your membership, please contact her at srzabin@gmail.com.

New Members of the Board

We are excited to have two new members join the LWVNCF board.
John Haberman will lead the communications committee. If you are interested in working with him on this committee, contact him at jpah1966@gmail.com.

He writes: “Thanks to the Northfield/Cannon Falls League of Women Voters for the opportunity to join this local chapter and become a member of the board. I moved to Northfield this past June and live with my partner Lynne Wilmot on Union Street. I returned to Northfield (my first stay was as part of the Carleton College class of 1989) following a career practicing law, first in private practice in Minneapolis and then the last 14 years in eastern Wisconsin where I worked for a large multinational company as Associate General Counsel focusing on Labor/Employee Relations and managing the organization’s global litigation. I am in the midst of taking a gap year (or more) to explore other interests, including joining this and other local organizations where I look forward to becoming more involved in the community and sharing perspectives gained over my career. With respect to the Northfield-Cannon Falls chapter of the LWV, I am looking forward to leading the communication committee. In my free time, I enjoy sailing, running, reading, and, of course, spending time with family and friends.”

Ellie Hall-Holt is a youth representative.
She writes that she “is a sophomore at Northfield High School. She is very passionate about voter rights, climate justice, and LGBTQ+ rights. In her free time, she likes to ski, run, throw pottery, and pet her cats.”

Education and Letter-Writing:

Our next education and letter-writing event is January 17, 2020.

We continue to have monthly information and letter-writing on the third Saturday of each month. Come to the Hideaway between 9:00 and 10:30 AM. This is an opportunity to discuss issues with other League members and friends; enjoy coffee, tea, scones, etc.; and to take time to write letters. Come and bring a friend.

In November, we discussed the For the People Act, which is supported by the LWVUS, and wrote letters to our Senators encouraging them to work to pass S. 949.

In December, we read about the history of the ERA and had a great discussion. Unlike many constitutional amendments, the ERA had a deadline for ratification. We wrote our federal House and Senate Representatives encouraging them to support joint resolutions that eliminate the deadline for ratification (S. J. 6 and H. J. 79). On January 17 we will continue this topic by looking at the proposed amendment to the State Constitution.

If you are interested in organizing a letter-writing session on a topic of interest to you, contact Pat Johnson at pjohnson2@udayton.edu

Northfield Reads 2019-20: A collaboration of Human Rights Commission, LWVNCF, Library, Carleton Humanities

Northfield Reads is continuing in its partnership with the city to explore issues associated with climate change. In November, we invited people to read Barbara Kingsolver’s book Flight Behavior, which offered a fictional perspective on the consequences of climate change on the migration and survival of monarch butterflies. The discussion of the book was followed by presentations on monarchs and the milkweed plant that is vital for its survival.

In February, we will be examining the issue of climate change from the perspective of scientists. “Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to ‘tell it like it is’”. This is the opening of a brief, recently published paper, “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency”. The statement has more than 11,000 scientists from around the world as signatories. It can be found at: https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/advance-article/doi/10.1093/biosci/biz088/5610806

Northfield Reads invites the community to read the article and join in a discussion of it with a panel of local experts. We will be discussing the article and the issues it raises regarding energy usage and conservation, the impact of climate change on nature, and concerns regarding food consumption and production. Join us February 27, 7:00-8:30, at Northfield Public Library.

State LWV update

You are invited to join the state lobby corps or observer corps that will be involved at the state legislature if you are interested in statewide advocacy. This year for the first time there will be an on-line training that will be available in January.

The League also has specific days when they are planning to be doing activities at the Capitol. Save the Dates for Legislative Session (events open to all members)

Day of Action – Friday, February 14
Day at the Capitol – Monday, March 16
Rally Day (in the Rotunda) – Wednesday, March 25

If you do get involved in the lobby or observer corps or are interested in attending the League events, please let us know so that we can connect you with others from Northfield who are also involved. Please email president@lwvnorthfieldmn.org

Also if you want to see what is going on at the state level on a monthly basis, read the All Member News (here is the a link to the December edition: http://www3.thedatabank.com/dpg/601/pm.asp?ID=16069&nav=1

You can find these at the bottom of the Member Resources page of the LWV of MN (https://www.lwvmn.org/member-resources).

Announcement from League of Women Voters/Upper Mississippi River Region

Owatonna Workshop on Jan. 25 to Help Farmers/Landowners Counter Floods, Fish Kills
Farmers, landowners, and anglers can learn how to buck the damage to soil and water during a program Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020 being hosted by the Izaak Walton League’s (Ikes) Owatonna chapter and Upper Mississippi River Initiative (UMRI). The workshop begins with registration at 9 a.m. at the Albert F. Reding Environmental Education Center (1546 58th St. SW, Owatonna) and runs until 1:30 p.m. Please RSVP for lunch to Gary Schwartz, presike1@live.com. A $5 donation will help offset the cost of the meal. Confirmed speakers include Minnesota cover crop farmer-experts Tom Cotter and Myron Sylling, and George Boody of the Land Stewardship Project (LSP), also a co-sponsor. Additional co-sponsors include University of Minnesota Extension, League of Women Voters/Upper Mississippi River Region, and the Cannon River Watershed Partnership.For more information on the Izaak Walton League’s UMRI, please see http://umrinitiative.org/about/.

From the Board

We plan to send the newsletter 4-6 times each year. If you have thoughts about the newsletter or contributions you would like to offer, please contact Pat Johnson pjohnson2@udayton.edu

If you would like to become more involved in the League, we are looking for a co-chair for Voter Services as well as people to join the membership committee, the communications committee, or the letter-writing group – in other words, we offer lots of opportunities to be involved.

If you are interested in attending a Board Meeting, they are listed on the calendar https://lwvnorthfieldmn.org/league-events/upcoming/ .

Dues: The Board has approved making the calendar year and our fiscal year the same beginning in 2020. This will help us align better with when payments are due to LWVMN and LWVUS. Information about dues and a brand-new online payment portal are at https://lwvnorthfieldmn.org/become-a-member/
You can also mail a check to LWV Treasurer, P.O. Box 527, Northfield MN