League of Women Voters of the United States Board of Directors

Board Meeting

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Washington, DC



Board Present:


Elisabeth MacNamara

Patricia Donath

Marcia Merrins

Judy Duffy

Peggy Hawkins Hill

Marlene O’Brien

Judy Davis

Mary Klenz

Norman Turrill

Susan Morris Wilson

Janis McMillen

Elaine Wiant



Dianne Wheatley-Giliotti

Staff Members Present:


Nancy Tate

Zaida Arguedas

Greg Leatherwood


MacNamara called the meeting to order at 9:00 A.M.



Wilson moved that the minutes of the October 1, 2011 meeting of the LWVUS Board of Directors be accepted as presented. Seconded.  Passed.

Financial Report:

Wilson moved that the financial report of the LWVUS dated December 31, 2011 be accepted and placed on file.  Seconded.  Passed.

Wilson  noted that income and expenses normally vary somewhat from month to month. However, we expect LWVUS total income and total expenses to be close to 50% of budget after six months.  Actual LWVUS income is at 52% of budget and total operating expenses are at 42% of budget.  The increase in LWVUS net assets during the first six months is much better than the $80,129 decrease that is budgeted for the fiscal year as a whole.

The League does most of its direct marketing acquisition at the beginning of the fiscal year to build up its donor lists. This is why postage and delivery costs are at 55% of budget as expected. Response to the League’s mailings has been very positive so far this year.


President’s Report:

Elisabeth MacNamara thanked the board and staff for the beautiful flowers and support during the time of her father’s illness and death.

 She reported on her activities over the past few months:

•     Clean Air Promise grant funds allowed her to visit Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota and Montana in the first weeks of November and to encourage local and state Leagues to have the discussion. She enjoyed working with the Leagues and League members.

•     She visited with Rosalee Keech and the United Nations Observers in December and attended a meeting of some UN women.

•     She spoke to the NYC League mainly about voting issues through the US.

•     In early January she visited both New Hampshire and South Carolina to host a showing of Patriocracy and to lead a panel discussion. LWVUS provided funds to those Leagues to put on those events, and they were well-attended.


Executive Director’s Report:

Nancy Tate gave an overview of the activities of the national office since the October Board meeting:

•     Lot of work in both the advocacy and Ed Fund areas, particularly around voting issues and redistricting.

•     Online drive to get 25,000 signatures on a White House petition to get Obama to appoint new members to the Federal Election Commission.

•     Continuation of the Clean Air Promise campaign.

•     Launch of the new website.

•     Focus group research conducted by Lake Research Partners.

•     Handling our internal messaging about the fact that an Obama re-election ad mentioned the League

•     Developed draft of first two-year budget, and explored various cost of living indices that might be used for determining PMP levels.

•     Departure of several staff and the recruitment of others.

•     In terms of personal activities, met with many external organizations and individuals, and attended a variety of conferences, events and receptions.


Executive Committee Report:

The Executive Committee received the Audited Consolidated Financial Statements and Other Financial Information from the auditor Susan Colladay, CPA at Tate and Tryon. She noted that it was an unqualified audit and complimented the staff on their work and their cooperation.

Wells Fargo has requested some additional authorization paperwork.

Duffy moved that the minutes of the board approve Susan Wilson as Secretary/Treasurer and Nancy Tate as Executive Director to act as authorized officers/Trustees to sign the Wells Fargo Charitable Gift annuity agreement and associated addendum.  Seconded. Passed.

Duffy moved approval of the resolution appointing Wells Fargo to act as the agent for Investment Management or Asset Management accounts. Seconded.  Passed. The Committee discussed the two year budget.

Budget Overview:

Budget chair Sandy Powell explained that the Board needed to discuss two types of budget-related issues, in order to give guidance to the Budget Committee. One is the normal discussion about budget priorities that will occur later in the day. The other concerns the process for managing the new two-year budget. She presented a paper proposing such a process.  The suggestion is that if there is a significant variance in the budget of 5% or more at the end of the first year, the budget decisions needing to be made will come to the LWVUS Board for consideration. The Board may elect to forward the budget to the Budget Committee for reconsideration or budget adjustments. The recommendations of the Budget Committee would come back to the LWVUS Board for approval. The Board was in general agreement with this approach.

The Board discussed the issue of Per Member Payment (PMP) and how PMP should be configured. The proposal to raise PMP according to the Cost of Living Index used for Social Security each year was considered, endorsed, and will be forwarded to the Budget Committee.


Meetings and Training:

The Committee provided an update on Convention. Speakers for Convention will include pollster John Zogby, and a panel of speakers including Mickey Edwards, Eleanor Clift and one additional person. The categories for 2012 Convention Awards have been announced and applications are being requested. Information is available in the Leader’s Update. Convention will include “office hours” which were popular with participants last year. Workshops are being developed, and several groups are scheduling caucuses. The Wares Market is fully booked and Natalie is looking for additional space.

National Council will be held on June 14-17/2013 at the same location as Council 2011.

Peg Hill moved that the theme of National Convention 2012 be amended to say “POWER THE VOTE”: Imagine, Commit, Act” instead of “THE POWER OF THE VOTE”: Imagine, Commit, Act.”


Janis McMillen moved that the three members of the Campaign Oversight Committee be selected from the list of the following seven people:


Darlene Hicks


Gerry Cummins


Kate Rader


Diane Kuhn


Jane Gross


Teena Halbig


Deborah MacMillan

New Jersey




Marcia Merrins will make the contacts.

Membership and League Support Committee:

The MLD will serve 41 states and the District of Columbia in 2012 and continues to plan to serve all 50 states by 2013.

In addition to the continuing 7 current Shur Fellows, 9 new Shur Fellows have been selected for 2012-14 for a total of 23 Shur Fellows:

Connie Ferguson (MI) Deborah MacMillan (NJ) Lineah Davey (CO)

Mary Ann Burti (SC) Sandra Spence (DE) Tracy Adkison (GA) Judy Goldberg (WA) Sarah Diefendorf (CA)


Wilson moved that the Board accept the report of the Ruth S. Shur Fellows Selection Committee that lists the new and ongoing Shur Fellows who serve in a national coaching capacity. Passed.


The Committee discussed some budget proposals that will be made to the Budget Committee:

•     Evaluation of the current database and possible development of a new database that will address membership, donor, and other data

•     Dues renewal project

•     Development of  a membership video for distribution to local/state Leagues

•     Possible incentives for local/state Leagues regarding membership growth.


Board liaisons are encouraged to promote state and local election related activities with their states.


Donath moved that the Organizational Services Report reflecting action taken during the period October 1, 2011 – January 29, 2012 be accepted. Passed.


Advocacy Committee:

The Committee moved the adoption of the following issues as LWVUS advocacy priorities for 2012: Priorities:

Voter Protection Campaign Finance Reform Environmental Defense Health Care Defense

Watch List:

Fair Taxation


UN Support



 O’Brien moved that a task force on campaign finance reform be established to develop proposals for short-term and long-term strategies relating to campaign finance issues. Passed.

Governance Committee:

The Committee has been reviewing the need to create an operating reserve policy. Greg Leatherwood, Zaida Arguedas, Pat Donath and Susan Wilson presented a draft operating reserve policy for consideration.

Donath moved that the draft operating reserve policy and amended investment policies as presented be approved.  Passed.

O’Brien moved that the Board officially establish an operating reserve that meets the criteria described in the Operating Reserve Policy. Passed.

The Committee reviewed the procedures related to Convention caucuses and recommended a change in the procedure concerning advance approval for outside speakers.

Donath moved that the Board approve the Procedure for Convention caucuses as amended. Passed.

The Committee has consulted with the Convention Parliamentarian concerning Convention Rules and submitted an updated draft policy for review. It contained changes to previous versions related to the rule on Resolutions. A final draft of the policy will be presented to the Board at the March meeting.

Convention Rules will be discussed at the March meeting.

Elisabeth MacNamara appointed Board and off-Board members to the Bylaws Committee: Marlena O’Brien/LWVUS Board – chair, Judy Duffy/LWVUS Board, Marlys Robertson (CO) Jackie Jacobberger (CA) Anne Schink (MA)

Elisabeth MacNamara appointed Board and off-Board members to the Resolutions Committee: Barbara Zia (CO), Helen Hutchinson (CA), Caroline Emmons-Schram (FL), Elaine Wiant/LWVUS Board. Mary Klenz/LWVUS Board



Kelly Ceballos and her staff continue to work in 2 main areas: working with the media on topics such as voter protection activities, and improving our online presence. Much has happened in both areas. The new website is being well-received. The number of “fans” on Facebook has increased and Facebook is being used more by the staff and League members.

The staff has started working on the local League website templates and tools. The layout is being customized for use by the League Easy Web system supported by LWVCA.  The Media archive is being created as a micro-site and materials are being moved to the site. Norm Turrill demonstrated the new Clearinghouse site for the Committee and it is very close to being live.

The Committee discussed the logo usage policy.

Wiant moved Board adoption of the proposed LWV Logo usage policy for national, State and local Leagues.  Passed.

The Committee discussed League owned domain names and expressed concern that LWVUS.org is owned by someone else. The staff will continue to work on obtaining that website and may have to consult with attorneys due the use of the current owner “replicating” an LWVUS site.

Program Planning:

The Committee discussed the progress of the 2011-2012 program planning process.  The Leaders Guide and Response form have been sent to all Leagues and are posted on the LWVUS website. Leagues are currently conducting program planning meetings and board members will want to remind their liaison states that the deadline for program planning submissions is March 1, 2012.


Judy Davis reported that the despite the challenges of a difficult economy, the Direct Marketing Program has performed very well in the first half of FY 2011-12.

Budget Discussion:

Sandy Powell led a discussion with the Board about their funding priorities for the  upcoming 2-year budget.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:30 pm.

Submitted by Susan Morris Wilson. Secretary Treasurer


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