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Convention 2018 Daily Briefing

Sunday—July 1, 2018

Our final day of Convention plenary kicked off with our final Credentials Committee Report. A total of 762 Leagues (including ILOs) were represented with 867 voting delegates from 49 states plus the District of Columbia. The report was accepted by unanimous consent.

Carrie Davis the Democracy Program Director for The Joyce Foundation spoke to us about telling our collective story.  

Collective story-telling requires data about our collective work.

Convention delegates voted to adopt the PMP rate of $32 for the 2018-2020 biennium. 

National Treasurer Elaine Wiant and Budge Chair Tom Wells took questions on the budget and Convention delegates adopted the LWVUS budget for 2018-2020. 

Brenda Rogers reviewed the bylaws discussion from Saturday and Convention delegates voted on those proposals (see below for full list of motions and votes). 

We thanked the outgoing Board of Directors, Nominating Committee and LWVUS president Chris Carson for their leadership over the past biennium. By acclamation, Convention delegates voted to elect the Nominating Committee's proposed slate of new officers, board members, nominating committee chair and nominating committee members for the 2018-2020 biennium. You can see the next board and read their bios on pages 34-37 in the Workbook.  

Chris and Virginia Kase, the incoming CEO, had a thoughtful dialogue to close our Convention, speaking about the work of the League, how relevant we still are today and the excitement for the future.  

Chris Carson and Virginia Kase

Save the date for LWVUS 2020 Convention in Washington, DC, June 25-28, 2020!  

Below are the list of motions and votes from Sunday, July 1: 

Motion 2018-78: I move to adopt the PMP rate of $32 for each fiscal year of 2018-2020 biennium. 

The motion passed. 

Motion 2018-124: I move to amend the 2018-2020 LWVUS budget by taking $200,000 from surplus funds and use it to add $100,000 to each year to be applied to the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion portion of the Transformation Road Map implementation. 

The motion failed.

Motion 2018-56: I move to adopt the proposed LWVUS budget for 2018-2020 biennium as presented on page 61 of the Convention workbook and program. 

The motion passed. 

Motion 2018-55: I move BYLAWS PROPOSAL NUMBER 2 ON PAGE 64 OF THE CONVENTION WORKBOOK. 

The motion passed by a card vote with 473 yay and 191 no votes. 

Motion 2018-122: I MOVE to delete TO FOLLOW LEAGUE PRINCIPLES OR POLICIES AND RESTORE to fulfill recognition requirements. Recognition may be withdrawn only upon.... ..and re-word The Committee may...with: THE BOARD MAY WITHDRAW RECOGNITION OR ESTABLISH CONDITIONS FOR CONTINUATION. 

The motion was ruled out of order. 

Motion 2018-10: I move BYLAWS PROPOSAL NUMBER 3 ON PAGES 64-65 OF THE CONVENTION WORKBOOK. 

The motion failed. 

Motion 2018-21: I move BYLAWS PROPOSAL NUMBER 4 on page 65 OF THE CONVENTION WORKBOOK.  

The motion passed. 

Motion 2018-30: I move BYLAWS PROPOSAL NUMBER 5 ON PAGE 65 OF THE CONVENTION WORKBOOK. 

The motion failed. 

Motion 2018-125: I MOVE consideration of a resolution that was not recommended by the resolutions committee because it was submitted past the deadline but that addresses an issue that arose again on the first day of our convention with the mass shooting in Maryland: That the League of Women Voters of the U.S. make gun control, gun safety, and gun ownership limitations a priority in its lobbying efforts. 

The motion passed. 

Motion 2018-117: Be it resolved that the LWVUS supports an emphasis on the ERA this year and every year until the ERA is ratified and becomes a U.S. Constitutional Amendment. Be it resolved that the LWVUS supports efforts to remove the time limits for ratification of the ERA. 

The motion passed. 

Motion 2018-121: I MOVE Therefore May It Be Resolved That:  The 2018 Convention of the League of Women Voters of the United States urgently reaffirms its long-held position that the Electoral College should be abolished 

The motion passed.

Motion 2018-118: I MOVE: The League of Women Voters stands united with, and in support of, efforts to price carbon emissions, whether cap-and-trade, carbon tax/fee, or another viable pricing mechanism. The League does not have a position on how the revenue generated is to be used. We do not espouse any single method of pricing carbon over another. We will evaluate all proposed methods based on their effectiveness to abate emissions and whether the method can be successfully implemented. 

The motion passed.

Motion 2018-123: I MOVE Be it resolved the League of Women Voters reaffirms our commitment to the constitutional right of privacy as an individual to make reproductive choices. 

The motion passed. 

Motion 2018-120: I MOVE: The League of Women Voters supports a set of climate assessment criteria that ensures that energy policies align with current climate science. These criteria require that the latest climate science be used to evaluate proposed energy policies and major projects in light of the globally-agreed-upon goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C, informed by the successful spirit of global cooperation as affirmed in the UN COP 21 Paris agreement.  

The motion passed. 

 

Addendum: The Campaign Oversight's Committee final report indicated that no funds were spent by nominees and there were no irregularities to the election process. 


Saturday—June 30, 2018

The morning kicked off with an update from the Credentials Committee by Jill Althage who reported the total number of voting delegates 865. The report was accepted by unanimous consent.  

After LWVUS Secretary Toni Zimmer delivered the previous day's activities we heard from Deborah Turner LWVUS board member about the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) plan. Deborah moderated a panel on DEI with Dr. Alfreda Brown, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Kent State University; Sarah Bury, Interim Vice President, LWV Lake Michigan; and Cecile Scoon, First Vice President, LWV Florida.  

Dr. Brown spoke about the need to find ways to come together for the needs of the whole organization. Sarah and Cecile shared their experiences and encouraged all League leaders to do more listening and outreach to people of different backgrounds. 

Following the DEI panel, Convention delegates proceeded to vote on the National Program for 2018-2020. Delegates debated and voted on amendments (see below for full list of motions). Delegates voted to add advocating for the National Popular Vote Compact to the Campaign for Making Democracy Work® under Improving Elections. Delegates also voted for LWVUS to prioritize advocating for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to be added to the U. S. Constitution.  

Before recessing the plenary session, Convention attendees heard from Rosie Rios, the 43rd Treasurer of the United States. Rosie spoke about the upcoming 2020 anniversary of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote – as well as her effort to get a woman's face on the $10 bill. 

After hearing from Brenda Rogers, chair of the bylaws committee, Convention attendees voted on a bylaws amendment (see below). The motion failed and the rest of the bylaws proposals will be voted on Sunday. 

Families Belong Together

Following the plenary session, many League leaders participated in the Families Belong Together march in Chicago. Later in the afternoon Convention attendees took part in an important training about using Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Lens to Strengthen Social Impact and Collaboration.  

Saturday evening, Convention attendees attended the Convention banquet and heard from our guest speaker Elaine Weiss, whose new book The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote chronicles the fight to ratify the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote. 

Also at the Convention banquet, the LWVUS 2018 Convention Awards were presented. Congratulations to the following Leagues for their great work:  

  • Strengthening Democracy – State: LWV of Ohio 

  • Strengthening Democracy – Local: LWV of Anchorage (Alaska) 

  • Community Connection – LWV of Naperville (Illinois) 

  • Effective Member Engagement – LWV of Miami-Dade County (Florida) 

Below are the list of motions and votes from Saturday, June 30: 

Motion 2018-115: I move to amend the Proposed Program, the Campaign for Making Democracy Work, by having LWVUS make its existing position supporting a popular vote for President and the abolition of the electoral college a program focus beginning in the 2018-2020 biennium. 

The motion failed. 

Motion 2018-119: I move to add "Advocacy for the National Popular Vote Compact" as an amendment to the 2018-2020 LWVUS Program, Making Democracy Work ® / Improving Elections. 

The motion passed. 

Motion 2018- 113: I move that, when the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is duly ratified by the 38th state, the League of Women Voters of the United States takes the required steps to see the Amendment through whatever judicial or other challenges may occur until we see the ERA added to the U. S. Constitution in clear, bold, black and white. 

The motion passed. 

Motion 2018-12: I move to adopt the PROPOSED LWVUS PROGRAM FOR 2018-20: CAMPAIGN FOR MAKING DEMOCRACY WORK® AS AMENDED. The Campaign for Making Democracy Work® – includes ensuring a free, fair and accessible electoral system for all eligible voters by focusing on Voting Rights, Improving Elections and advocacy for the National Popular Vote Compact, Campaign Finance/Money in Politics and Redistricting.  

The motion passed. 

Motion 2018-79: I move to retain all current LWVUS positions in the areas of Representative Government, International Relations, Natural Resources and Social Policy   

The motion passed. 

Motion 2018-99: I move BYLAWS PROPOSAL NUMBER 1 ON PAGE 64 OF THE CONVENTION WORKBOOK. 

The motion passed. 

Motion  2018-55: I move BYLAWS PROPOSAL NUMBER 2 ON PAGE 64 OF THE CONVENTION WORKBOOK. 

Plenary recessed before this vote.

Motion 2018-116: I move to amend motion #2018-55 in Article VI, Withdrawal of Recognition, Sec. 1, Procedure, after the word PRINCIPLES, to strike the words "OR POLICIES" 

The motion failed. 


Friday—June 29, 2018

Our first plenary session kicked off with a message from Toni Preckwinkle, president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. Welcoming the League to Chicago, she spoke about the "precarious time in our nation's history" and urged leaders to take action in this moment.  

Democracy is both the best and most fragile form of government because it requires an active, informed, and engaged citizenry.

- Toni Preckwinkle, 35th president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners

League Leaders heard from Ashley Allison, the executive vice president for campaigns and programs for The Leadership Conference. Ashley got the League audience fired up, speaking about the current state of voting rights and the implications of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement.  She highlighted the important fights the League is leading on voting rights, from the Election Integrity Commission to voter suppression efforts in states around the country.  

The moment you disconnect humanity from what’s happening, you’ve lost the fight.

- Ashley Allison, executive vice president for campaigns and programs for The Leadership Conference 

Chris Carson, president of the League of Women Voters, was introduced with a new video, telling our collective story as an organization. Chris addressed the Convention attendees with a message of hope for the future of the organization.  

We all want to see a League of Women Voters that’s suited to meet 21st-century demands, that works hard to court a new generation of leaders and activists, that looks like the people and communities for whom we so fervently advocate.

- Chris Carson, president of the League of Women Voters of the United States 

Chris finished her remarks by announcing Virginia Kase, our next CEO of the League of Women Voters of the United States. Virginia addressed Convention attendees, sharing her personal story and looking forward to taking leadership at LWVUS. 

We are the power of women.

- Virginia Kase, incoming CEO of the League of Women Voters of the United States

As we moved into the business of Convention, the Credentials Report presented by Jill Althage indicated 794 voting delegates from 49 states and the District of Columbia.  

Toni Zimmer, LWVUS Secretary, move motion adoption of the convention rules. An addition to the rules was offered. The delegates adopted the rules, but the addition failed when it did not meet the necessary 2/3 vote threshold.  

The delegates adopted the order of business as outlined on pages 16-19 in the convention workbook. 

Mary Ann Reeves delivered the Nominating Committee Report explaining the process for selecting the Board of Director Officer Nominees and announcing the proposed officers and directors as well as the next Nominating Committee Nominees.  

After lunch we reconvened with an exciting panel about having the most effective Election Day. Thomas Hicks, Chair, EAC spoke about the importance of election workers and celebrated the League volunteers who serve on the front lines as poll workers every election. Sarah Johnson with the Carter Center spoke about challenges to our voting process and the work the Center is doing with the League to provide tools that support election observation. Andy Kang with Advancing Justice Chicago encouraged everyone to be political – not partisan – but to get political by encouraging voter participation and fighting for the census. 

Election Day: Are We Ready?

Karen Nicholson delivered the Program Planning Report with the board recommendation for LWVUS to continue the Campaign for Making Democracy Work® without modification. League leaders proposed several motions to adopt not-recommended items (see motions listed below).  

Anisa Tootla, LWVUS COO and interim CEO, delivered a presentation on the organization's transformation journey. She outlined the four components of the transformation: focus, culture, building a healthier League network, and increasing capacity at all levels. Jason Johnson, LWVUS Director of IT gave an overview of the technology challenges and opportunities for the organization. Sarah Courtney, LWVUS Senior Director of Communication and Digital Strategy presented an update to the new League Management Site. 

Finally, plenary concluded for the day with the finance and budget reports from Elaine Wiant, LWVUS Treasurer and Tom Wells, chair LWVUS Budget Committee. Elaine presented on the financial health of the League. Tom presented the proposed 2018-2020 LWVUS/EF budgets which Convention delegates will vote on Sunday.  

Convention attendees can read the Resolutions Committee Report here. 

Friday evening concluded with a Second City Improv performance made possible by the host committee as well as more workshops and caucuses sponsored by Leagues across the country. 

Below are the list of motions and votes from Friday, June 29: 

Motion 2018-86: to adopt the report of the Credentials Committee.  

The motion carried by a voice vote.  

Motion 2018-91: I move that the Rules of Convention as they appear on pages 27-29 of the Convention Program and Workbook be adopted.  

The motion carried by a voice vote.  

Motion 2018-53: I move to add a new Rule 14 to read as follows:  

14. Resolutions involving internal matters express the will of the Convention body during the time of its convening. The following criteria will be used to judge the appropriateness of the proposed resolutions. The resolution: 

  • is consistent with LWVUS Bylaws; 

  • must not circumvent the Program Planning process; 

  • addresses a single issue; and 

  • Can be implemented using existing League resources. 

Resolutions involving internal matters may be offered by any League. At least 4 weeks before the Convention, the League offering the resolution shall send notice of the proposed resolution involving internal matters and its text to all Leagues and the President. The following information is required to be submitted in the notice:  

  • The League name/ID and point of contact information; 

  • the proposed resolution; 

  • background information on the issue; and 

  • the rationale, including the pros and cons for the resolution. 

The League offering the resolution shall have registered Convention delegate(s) at the time the proposed resolution is sent. 

The motion was defeated by a hand vote. 

Motion 2018-76: I move that the Order of Business, as presented in the Convention Program and Workbook on page 16-19 be adopted. The motion carries with a voice vote. 

Motion 2018-95: I move to close the nominations for LWVUS president, LWVUS vice president, LWVUS secretary, LWVUS treasurer, LWVUS board of directors, LWVUS nominating committee chair and members of the LWVUS nominating committee.  

The motion passed unanimously by a voice vote. 

Motion 2018-12: I move to adopt the PROPOSED LWVUS PROGRAM FOR 2018-20: CAMPAIGN FOR MAKING DEMOCRACY WORK®. The Campaign for Making Democracy Work® – includes ensuring a free, fair and accessible electoral system for all eligible voters by focusing on Voting Rights, Improving Elections, Campaign Finance/Money in Politics, and Redistricting   

Motion 2018-79: I move to retain all current LWVUS positions in the areas of Representative Government, International Relations, Natural Resources and Social Policy  

Motions to Consider Not-Recommended Items: 

Motion 2018-13: I Move Consideration of "Advocacy for the National Popular Vote Compact" as an amendment to the 2018-2020 LWVUS Program, Making Democracy Work® / Improving Elections. 

The motion passed. 

Motion 2018-105: I Move for consideration that, contingent on funding, the LWVUS conduct a study of alternative methods for electing the U.S. House of Representatives. The study will include reforms that use multi-member districts (where feasible) combined with ballots and decision rules that enhance competition and fairness. Consistent with "Making Democracy Work", goals of the study are to promote competition, incentivize participation, combat gerrymandering, achieve partisan fairness, reduce polarization, and improve representation of women and minorities. 

The motion failed. 

Motion 2018-104: I move to consider an amendment to the Proposed Program, the Campaign for Making Democracy Work, by having LWVUS make its existing position supporting a popular vote for President and the abolition of the electoral college a program focus beginning in the 2018-2020 biennium.  

The motion passed. 

Motion 2018-106: I move for consideration of a study on Artificial Intelligence (AI), including (1) the economic impacts of AI; (2) the loss of tax base resulting from the increased use of AI; (3) ethical parameters in the development and use of AI; and (4) transparency in the legislative and regulatory process for AI. 

The motion failed. 

Motion 2018-103: I move consideration of the not-recommended item economic equity, as applicable to low income residents in our country. The League will advocate to safeguard existing programs that protect the rights and needs of the poor and vigilantly monitor welfare proposals to ensure current programs are not diminished or destroyed. (This is a necessary component of voting rights and cultural diversity--2 important League goals.) 

The motion failed. 

Motion 2018-112: I move reconsideration of the 2012 LWVUS position on education implicitly supported the national education standards known as the Common Core Standards. The LWV should study whether (1) national standards or guideposts, or annual high-stakes testing, have any legitimate purpose; (2) what can be done to monitor the influence of corporate interests which stand to gain from education "reform" and (3) whether poverty and institutionalized discrimination are the true cause of the achievement gap.  

The motion failed. 

Motion 2018-109: I move that, when duly ratified, the League of Women Voters of the United States take the required steps to see the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) through whatever judicial or other challenges may occur until we see the Amendment added to the U. S. Constitution in clear, bold, black and white. 

The motion passed. 

Motion 2018-78: I move to adopt the PMP rate of $32 for each fiscal year of 2018-2020 biennium.   

Motion 2018-56: I move to adopt the proposed LWVUS budget for 2018-2020 biennium as presented on page 61 of the Convention workbook and program. 


Thursday—June 28, 2018

As League members from around the country descended on Chicago, our pre-Con day kicked off with an advocacy and organizing training. Hundreds of League attendees participated in a lively, candid, and productive conversation about how we can best mobilize and organize for success in this challenging new environment. This Wellstone Action training focused on how to use mobilizing tools for organizing in communities. Leaders broke into groups discussing how to engage new volunteers and build upon existing volunteer networks. Leaders shared ways that different Leagues organize voter registration campaigns and advocacy campaigns as a part of the Making Democracy Work® Campaign. 

A Conversation on Redistricting

Thursday evening we were honored to hear from Ruth Greenwood and Nick Stephanopoulos in A Conversation on Redistricting. Greenwood served on the legal team for the plaintiffs in the United States Supreme Court case Gill v. Whitford which the Court decided two weeks ago. Stephanopoulos created the Efficiency Gap Theory, which is the standard the court considered in the Gill v. Whitford case. Both are co-council for the League of Women Voters of North Carolina in their partisan gerrymandering case, LWV v. Rucho

Thursday concluded with workshops and caucuses sponsored by Leagues across the country.