Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.

President’s Report

For almost two days of intense small group discussions, scribbling on big sheets of paper, sending friendly spies to get info from other small groups, voting some big ideas up or down, laughing, swapping League stories, and eating wonderful food, a group of 30 League leaders from all parts of the US met last week at the Rockefeller Bros. Fund’s Pocantico Center in Tarrytown, NY.

Our mission was to create a blueprint for Impact, Engagement and Sustainability for the League’s second century and we felt pretty “pumped” about having done so much in so short a time. We were building on work that was done by others since last June’s Convention, and we’ll continue to stay in touch and share new ideas as they come.

I want to tell you so much more but due process requires that this be shared in an orderly way. So I can just say to watch for more. We did all agree that we could share right now the three broad goals:

  1. lessen the administrative burden on Leagues (I hear you cheering)
  2. enhance engagement by offering and embracing multiple paths to affiliation with the League, i.e., make it easier to join, easier to get active  (do I hear more cheering?)
  3. strengthen our overall structure by re-imagining our financial structure (well, of course)

You know that the devil’s in the details – mostly the How’s – and those are to come.

But, as we glanced now and then at our phones and groaned, “Oh no!” about the latest news from D.C., we were all feeling so strongly that the League is needed now more than ever. We’re being told so by the new people coming to us to say, “I’ve never been political before. How do I get involved?” They trust our information and they trust us. And we need to be our best selves both to meet their needs and to maximize this opportunity to grow.

I’m grateful to Laura Ladd Bierman and Jane Park for being there with me from LWVNYS and to all the other lively leaders. And being at the Rockefeller estate and actually staying in a room in Kykuit, JDR’s former home, was such a treat. (Laura’s even had a balcony). Among so many things, I will always remember the glittering view across the Hudson at night from the Pocantico Hills and the perfect warm-from-the-oven scones at breakfast.  We sing praises to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund for their very generous hospitality and to LWVUS for organizing it all. We feel sure it will all pay off. “Stay tuned.”

By Dare Thompson, darethompson@gmail.com

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