More than 1,100 delegates across America participated in the first-ever virtual LWVUS biennial convention, discussing and voting on financial, program, bylaws, and League governance. A short report follows.
The new LWVUS National Board, led by incoming president Dr. Deborah Turner of the Des Moines Metropolitan League, includes two members of LWVIL: Sania Irwin and Lali Watt. See the new LWVUS Board.
LWVUS has six months of operating expenses in reserves (see below for more information). Delegates voted to maintain Per Member Payments at $32. After a lengthy discussion, delegates voted to retain the definition for student members as full or part-time students at an accredited institution or trade school. While local Leagues do not pay PMP for students, they may set dues at any level.
Actions on Program
Delegates at the convention voted to:
Include the abolition of the Electoral College by Constitutional amendment as a LWVUS action focus for the 2020-2022 biennium in addition to the action focus on the National Popular Vote.
Support the Transfer of Federal Public Land Concurrence.
Support Voter Representation/Electoral Systems Concurrence that fosters the adoption of voting systems at any level of government that encourage participation, are verifiable and auditable and enhance representation for all voters.
Retain all current LWVUS positions in the areas of representative government, international relations, natural resources and social policy. The proposed LWVUS program for 2020-2022 Campaign for Making Democracy Work®: 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 and to continue to work on urgent issues: Climate Change, the Equal Rights Amendment, Health Care, Gun Safety, Abolition of the Electoral College and Immigration. The motion PASSED on 1139 yay, 30 nay votes.
Delegates resolved to:
reaffirm the League’s commitment to Immigration reform so immigrant entry is efficient and expeditious and push for Congress must take immediate action to pass common sense, fair immigration policies that end the crisis at our borders, end the separation of families, ensure their health and safety, and provide a clear path to citizenship, including DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) young people.
advocate against systemic racism in the justice system, calling for all League members to advocate within every level of government to eradicate systemic racism, and the harm that it causes;
help elected officials and all Americans recognize these that Black, Indigenous and all people of color (BIPOC) deserve equal protection under the law and solutions must be found so that regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, disability, and gender identity or sexual orientation we may truly become a nation “indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”.
call for an immediate, wide-scale mobilization to restore, protect and fund an ecologically sustainable environment and climate, based on an interrelated approach that is environmentally sound, science based, just and equitable, dedicated to adequately addressing the scale and speed of the global climate change emergency.
LWVUS Impact Report
Below are just a few of the highlights from the LWVUS 2020 Impact Report. Look here for more.
The League has strengthened donor relations and diversified funding streams. One example of the successful efforts was the 2019 Giving Tuesday campaign, which raised more than $52,000. The Giving Tuesday Now for COVID-19 campaign raised more than $18,000 for our work supporting elections during the pandemic.
“She Is Me”
As part of raising the League’s visibility in its 100th Anniversary Year, LWVUS launched a digital campaign to celebrate League work through the personal stories of powerful members. The campaign is includes a microsite—lwv.org/sheisme, paid social media advertisements, an email series for new engagers, a promotional video, and tools and templates for local and state Leagues to participate with their own member stories. She Is Me will continue through the end of the year, unveiling new member stories each month.
Women Power the Vote Day of Action
The February 14th, 2020, Day of Action commemorated the League’s historic achievements. Leagues in all 50 states and DC hosted more than 350 events and reached more than 100,000 people.
Since 2006, the League of Women Voters Education Fund has operated VOTE411.org, which provides registration deadlines and tools, absentee and early voting information, polling place locations, voting hours, and more. Late last year, the League of Women Voters launched the newly redesigned VOTE411 with expectations to serve approximately 6 million voters in 2020. Vote411 provided information about 29,000 races and 53,000 candidates across the country over the course of the biennium. On March 3 (Super Tuesday) this year, more than 125,000 users visited Vote411. By May of this year, more than 1 million users turned to Vote411. The campaign won the Webby People’s Voice Award for Best Government & Civil Innovation Website in 2020.
Making Democracy Work®
The mission and work of the League of Women Voters has never been as important as in the past biennium. The Campaign for Making Democracy Work® has succeeded in improving voters’ rights while fighting back challenges to those very rights throughout the county.
As a key piece of the League’s Campaign for Making Democracy Work, redistricting has been the focus of LWVUS and state Leagues over the course of the biennium through:
Litigation, with cases in Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, and Nevada reaching the highest levels of the judicial system.
Advocacy to support reform, build grassroots support, and ensure transparency and participation in the redistricting process. With funding from LWVUS, Leagues in Missouri, Colorado, Utah, and Michigan led coalition efforts that succeeded in establishing independent redistricting processes.
The People Powered Fair Maps™ campaign, a multi-million-dollar, multi-year, nationwide campaign aimed at creating fair, transparent, people-powered redistricting processes to eliminate partisan and racial gerrymandering in every state and DC.