LWV Convention 2016

The League of Women Voters National Convention 2016 Summary

The LWVUS 2016 National Convention, June 16-19 2016, has now concluded.  LWV Nevada State President Jan Browne and LWV Las Vegas Valley President Sondra Cosgrove attended.  

You can view a day-by-day summary of all the motions and votes, a link to the video Roll Call of States, as well as the full program, which includes a list of all the workshops, a copy of the budget, the Making Democracy Work for All summary, the bylaws changes, and the actionable resolutions here: http://forum.lwv.org/category/member-resources/council-and-convention/convention-2016

On Thursday, June 16th, which was Lobby Day, League members met with Congressional representatives to discuss the urgent need to restore the Voting Rights Act.  This will be the first presidential election without the full force of the Voting Rights Act and we have already seen some indications that states once under pre-clearance have already moved to reduce access to the polls.  http://lwv.org/press-releases/hundreds-league-women-voters-activists-storm-capitol-hill-voting-rights

Workshop topics ran the gamut from training sessions on Vote411, to strategies for implementing election reforms through ballot initiatives, to solutions for gerrymandering, to making all-mail-in voting work.  Attendees also had opportunities to discuss the efficacy of nominating committees, strategies for addressing membership recruitment, and tips for managing cohesive boards.

This year’s roster of speakers was once again superb.  Here is information on each speaker:

Jennifer Lawless, Director, Women & Politics Institute, American University: Engaging Millennials in our Elections

                Here is a video of Professor Lawless on C-Span: http://www.c-span.org/video/?325416-5/washington-journal-jennifer-lawless-running-office

Amanda Taub, Vox News and New York Times: Understanding American Authoritarianism

                Here is the full article: http://www.vox.com/2016/3/1/11127424/trump-authoritarianism

This panel spoke on Protecting the Right to Vote and Expanding the Electorate:

 Kristen Clark, President, National Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law        https://lawyerscommittee.org/

Arturo Vargas, Executive Director of National Organization of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials    http://www.naleo.org/about

Christine Chen, Executive Director of Asian Pacific Islander Americans Vote http://www.apiavote.org/

Peter Overby, Correspondent, NPR: Money In Politics: http://www.npr.org/2016/02/14/466668949/presidential-candidates-pledge-to-undo-citizens-united-but-can-they

 Joe Goldman, President, Democracy Fund: Our Democracy—Complex Systems and Major Forces at Play in 2016: You can read more information about the Democracy Fund here: http://www.democracyfund.org/

We also heard from our new LWVUS Executive Director, Wylecia Wiggs Harris.  You can read more about Wylecia here: http://lwv.org/content/remarks-wylecia-wiggs-harris-reception-welcome-dr-wylecia-wiggs-harris

The Convention elected a new LWVUS Board; you can view the new board on pages 25-28 in the Convention Program: http://forum.lwv.org/sites/default/files/lwv_2016_convention_program_final_lo-res.pdf

Chris Carson from California is now our new LWVUS President.

The main votes included NOT raising PMP for the next biennium, the current rate will stay for two more years.  The budget included a deficit, requiring drawing down reserves.  And the age for being a voting League member was lowered from 18 to 16.

Lastly, related to the budget deficit, I have been asked to participate on a new Member/Engagement Steering Committee, Chaired by Chris Carson.

 The steering committee is made up of myself, Ann Luther from Maine, Robin Prudhomme-Bauer from Arizona, Amy Hjerstedt from the National Board, and Carrie Davis from Ohio.

The plan is for the committee to have a report on engaging new members to deliver at Council 2017.  Here is a brief statement from outgoing President MacNamara about the Committee:

                These women have experience with large states, small states, local Leagues, large and small, MAL units, and working as staff. They represent a range of generations and League experience and they have all demonstrated flexibility and imagination in tackling issues of volunteer resource management and affiliation.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask,