From the 2020-2021 Board President Barb Clark:
LWVGL has started off the 2020-21 year in a way that is abnormal based on other years but has become the new normal since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March. We had our Annual Meeting with the use of a survey that was in the field for 2 weeks in June. In addition we had a Zoom meeting to answer questions and have discussion about the agenda items covered in the survey. In the end, 46 members voted and we were able to elect officers, approve our budget, approve our policies and positions and get direction to the board.
As a result I am excited to announce our new officers. The Leadership structure consists of some new members and some returning members. The three co-executives are Barbara Clark (business), Beth Jones (advocacy) and Deanna McMillan (events). The other members of the Board are Sallie Fahey (environmental sustainability), Ken Jones (voter services), Joy Dietz (secretary), Gretchen Bertolet (communications) and Denise Ottinger (treasurer). For the last few months, the Board Meetings have been conducted on Zoom and we expect that to continue at least awhile longer. Although this is a different way to do business, it has not kept us from getting our business done.
One big disappointment has been that we were unable to celebrate our 100th Anniversary. We had two celebrations planned. One was the anniversary of the 19th amendment which gave women the right to vote and the other was the founding of the local League. Both were envisioned as large community celebrations. Due to COVID-19, these events had to be cancelled.
Other activities continued to happen despite the difficulties with meeting in person. Voter Services had a successful advertising campaign to inform people about no-excuse absentee ballots for the primary election, which was postponed from May to June. Voter Services has initiated an alliance with other local organizations with shared interests to educate the community about their options for voting in the November general election. The alliance consists of ACLU, NAACP, GLIBE, PRIDE, and Indivisible.
Another committee that has been reactivated is the Observer Corps. This committee aims to strengthen transparency and accountability of elected/appointed boards and commissions. Individuals will volunteer to observe a particular governmental unit on a regular basis and report on their observation of the meeting. In order to re-launch the Observer Corp, it will be the subject of our speaker at the Summer Meeting this year.
The Summer Meeting, formerly known as the Summer Pitch-In Lunch, will be on August 15th at Happy Hollow Park. Due to COVID-19, the format will be different but we will still get together for an abbreviated meeting socially distanced, outdoors, with masks and no food.
These are just a few of the things that are happening, and the modifications to keep our members safety in mind, during the 2020-21 year. We hope to bring our popular League Link Lunches and Mix and Mingles back in the coming months. In the meantime, all are welcome to join our Board Meetings on the first Tuesday of the month from 5:30 - 7:00 pm on Zoom.