League of Women Voters of the United States Board of Directors

Board Meeting

April 5, 2014

Renaissance Hotel

Washington, DC


Board Present

Elisabeth MacNamara

Peggy Appler

carolyn Brown

Patricia Donath

Mary Klenz

Toni Larson

Janis McMillen

Karen Nicholson

Anne Schink

Norman Turrill

Linda Wassenich

Susan Morris Wilson


Budget Chair Present

Elaine Wiant

Staff Present

Nancy Tate

Kelly Gardner

Greg Leatherwood

Allyson Legnini


MacNamara called the meeting to order at 9:00 am.


The Board made amendments to the agenda.



Donath moved that minutes of the meetings of the LWVUS Board of Directors of February 1 and 2, 2014 be approved. Seconded. Passed.


Financial Report

Donath moved that financial report of the LWVUS dated February 28, 2014 be accepted and placed on file. Seconded. Passed.


President’s Report

MacNamara reported on her travel since the previous Board meeting. She attended the breakfast event celebrating women Senators at the Sewall-Belmont House that we co-sponsored with Rachel’s Action Network and the Shur Fellow training in Baltimore, MD.


MacNamara also provided updates on the Kobach v. EAC case, the Wisconsin voter ID case that was argued in front of the WI Supreme Court, and the distressing McCutcheon v. FEC Supreme Court decision.


She also noted some upcoming events: participation with Nancy Tate in the Lafayette debates at George Washington University; a roundtable on voting issues with the ABA; climate change events in Iowa and in New Hampshire. We are cosponsoring both the ABA and climate change events.  MacNamara plans to attend the LWV of Williamsburg’s 50th anniversary celebration and the LWV Texas Convention.


Executive Director Report

Tate reported on a number of the programmatic activities in both the advocacy and the Education Fund areas, including the various events that we have been co-sponsoring.


Tate reported that the League submitted a substantial number of comments to the IRS on the proposed rule-making changing the definition of permissible election activities for 501 c (4) designated organizations.


Tate reported on various internal activities, including the new member microsite and its features.


She also briefed the Board on initial plans concerning the upcoming 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and the League itself.  


Executive Committee Report

McMillen reported that the Committee reviewed the proposed budget. There were no comments or proposed changes to the budget.



Nicholson moved that the following Leagues be disbanded: from MN: LWV Arden Hills/Shoreview; LWV Austin; LWV of Cass Lake/Walker/Grand Rapids; LWV of Jackson Area and LWV of Mankato. From NY: LWV of Orleans Co. From TX: LWV of Montgomery Co. Seconded. Passed.



Larson reported on several task forces. The Campaign Finance task force has submitted a primer, Power Point presentation and toolkit for staff review. Larson notes the plan is to have all of the material presented at Convention 2014.  The Climate Change task force is active and very engaged. This group is also updating their tool kit. The Advocacy Committee is in the midst of choosing the members of the Redistricting Task Force from the applications submitted.


Larson moved that the Board approve the LWVUS coalition and membership list as submitted in the April 2014 Board book. Seconded. Passed.


Program Planning

The Board discussed the committee’s proposal to recommend a 3-pronged approach, which addresses key issues under an umbrella of challenges to our democracy as a whole. The likely impact on the Leagues was discussed, and it was felt that this would be manageable since the proposal includes only one small, discrete study (amending the Constitution) and two reviews of existing positions.


Donath moved that based on Program Planning Recommendations, the Board recommend 1) retaining all positions in Representative Government, International Relations,  Natural Resources and Social Policy. 2) concurrence with the LWVNJ position on Human Trafficking. 3) Review and update the Campaign Finance position,  review and update the Apportionment position for the US Congress, and study the process of amending the U.S. Constitution as set out in Article 5 including Constitutional Conventions. Seconded. Passed.



It was reported that several members on the committee reviewed several sections of the Board Policy Handbook, with an eye to relevancy and currency.  Several suggestions were made for the next Board to handle.  


The Board reviewed the report on the four proposed Bylaws changes coming from the committee.


Larson moved that we sever proposal #2 from the Governance/Bylaws committee report.  Seconded. Passed.


Turrill moved that the Board not recommend proposal #1, recommend proposal #3 as amended, and recommend proposal #4 as presented. Seconded.  Passed.


The Board discussed the language and intent of proposal #2, which pertained to the adoption of national League positions by concurrence at Convention.  


Turrill moved that Bylaws Proposal #2 be substituted with the attached language. Seconded. Failed. (3 yes, 8 no)                          


Turrill moved that Bylaw proposal #2 be amended to insert a comma after “floor of convention” and insert “the proposed position statement,” after “shall send”. Seconded. Passed.


Donath moved that the bylaws proposal #2 as amended be recommended. Seconded. Passed.



Brown reported that the official speakers have been decided, the convention workbook is on schedule, and there have been 40 applications submitted for the four award categories.


Brown asked for Board member commitments at Convention.

Two teams of two are needed on Saturday 8:30-10am for briefing of the delegates:

Nicholson, Appler, Wilson, Schink volunteered. At least six are needed for “office hours with the Board” on Sunday 8:00am: Klenz, McMillen, Turrill, Schink, Appler, Wilson volunteered.


Board members’ Convention responsibilities were discussed.


Sustaining Local Leagues

Appler discussed the importance of fundraising for local and state Leagues, but indicated that we probably need to approach the topic differently when encouraging Leagues to do it.


Appler revised Fundraising 101 and has plans to update publications on how to start a League.



Wilson reported back on the discussion Forums. The committee would like to refine the number of threads, which is a Board decision. The committee will develop a proposal on this. Board members were encouraged to use the Forums, and to provide comments back to staff on their experiences so that problems can be identified and corrected.


Wilson reported that the redesigned Member site is up and running with 400 new subscribers in 6 weeks.


Suggestions were made about improvements to LWVUS communications with both the Board and members, such as providing a glossary of online terminology, including items in the Glad You Asked section of the weekly League Update, etc.  


Wilson noted that plans are already underway with LWV California to design affiliate websites for state and local Leagues based on League Easy Web.



Wassenich noted that fundraising needs metrics to measure what the League is doing and the outcomes.  That would be the basis of a fundraising “case statement”.


Wassenich reported on the collaboration between the Development and Communications departments in creating hard copy materials that can be handed out and used to talk about the League.


Budget Committee

Donath moved that the LWVUS/EF Budget for Fiscal years 2014-16 be recommended to Convention 2014. Seconded. Passed.


Wiant, Tate, and Gardner provided detailed information about the proposed budget.



Nominating Committee Report

Committee chair Duckworth called in to give her report.  She listed the nominated slate and commented on the nominating committee process.  


MacNamara adjourned the meeting at 4:48pm.


lwvus_minutes_4-5-14_final.pdf90.7 KB