Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.

2018 Daily Briefing: Friday

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.

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.


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.

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