Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.

From the State President

If you weren’t at one of our regional meetings in Schenectady, Cortland or Rochester, you missed some good times and some even better conversations about a wide range of issues. We have so much to learn from one another and we thank all who came.

At lunch at all three gatherings we talked with all attendees about the Assessment and Transformation Roadmap that LWVUS recently shared with state Leagues and we’ve all been talking about a lot since. We’re now able to share it with local League leaders and members, which we are doing here (click here for document).

It’s a long document, and a shorter summary and Powerpoint presentation has just been shared by LWVUS, but it is totally worth looking at, especially if you’re going to the LWVUS Convention in June. Change is coming at all of us faster and faster and we need to adapt or get left in the dust.

The first half is an analysis of other “federated” (i.e three-level) organizations and how some organizations somewhat similar to the League have adapted. The second half digs into the changes WE need to make.

These include working more seamlessly across the three levels of the League, using technology better to increase our communication with ourselves and with those we want to involve or serve, lightening the routine workload of our voluteers so they can focus on our mission to “empower voters, defend democracy,” and generally questioning “the League way” when comfortable old ways are holding us back.

Yes, we’re still not supporting candidates or parties, we’re still firmly fact-based, but we need to be engaged in the political action swirling around us or other more nimble groups will try to take our place. Being engaged without being partisan can be challenging, especially right now, and we talked quite a bit about this at the regional meetings.

And of course our membership needs to reflect more accurately the communities it serves. We need only look around at a typical League meeting to recognize the gap between who we are and who we need to be. Again, the familiar is comfortable, and it’s easiest to talk to people like ourselves, but we need to look for and welcome age and cultural change in our ranks.

This is a working document and not all the proposed changes will be implemented – but many, maybe most, will. Is your League up for the necessary changes?  Check out the documents (click here, here, here and here for all documents) and see what you think.

Dare Thompson, President, League of Women Voters of NYS darethompson@gmail.com;
Tel: 518-465-4162
Facebook: League of Women Voters of NYS; Twitter: @LWVNYS

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