League of Women Voters of the United States Board of Directors

Board Meeting

February 1, 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


February 1, 2014


MacNamara called the meeting to order at 8:55am.



Donath moved that the minutes of the meetings of the LWVUS Board of Directors of October 5, 2013 and December 17, 2013 be approved. Seconded. Passed.


Financial Report

Donath moved that the financial report of the LWVUS dated December 31, 2013 be accepted and placed on file. Seconded. Passed.


President’s Report


MacNamara reported on her recent trips and appearances in Memphis and Atlanta.  


MacNamara provided background on LWV’s approach to the new proposed IRS regulations on 501 c4 organizations.  She noted that it was a positive move forward in terms of reducing dark money in politics, but that it had gone too far in restricting the truly non-partisan election activities that Leagues do.  LWVUS will be submitting official comments to the IRS by the February deadline.


MacNamara reported that Nancy Brown agreed to serve on the Resolutions Committee for Convention, making that committee complete.  Jennifer Waggoner will chair the Resolutions Committee.


MacNamara discussed the upcoming Convention and the role of the board members.


Executive Director’s Report


Tate gave an overview of the national office’s activities related to our programmatic work (both in terms of advocacy and Education Fund projects), communications outreach, membership activities, development of the new Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) system, and so forth. She also highlighted the upcoming tasks related to the new biennial budget, Convention, and the IRS comments.  


Tate also laid out initial thinking about planning for both the League’s 100th birthday and the 100th anniversary of suffrage in 1920, and the lead up to that date.  The Board shared thoughts about how to proceed.  


Executive Committee


McMillen reported that the President and Executive Director’s Reports covered the Executive Committee discussion. 




Appler moved that a selection process begin now to identify two advisors to collaborate with the YPTF Chairs to identify next steps and attend national convention. Seconded. Passed.


Nicholson moved recognition of new Leagues-- LWV of Marion County, FL and LWV of Prince George’s County, MD; to change the name and basis of organization of LWV of Dolton Harvey Riverdale, IL to LWV of Thornton Township; and to disband three local Leagues: the LWVs of Wilmington, MA, Manchester, NH and Oklahoma County, OK. Passed


The Board discussed data prepared by Schink and Brown that captures information revealing significant differences in size and political representation between state Leagues.


Sustaining Local Leagues


Appler reported on the status of the fundraising pilot in Kansas, and the insights gained from a survey of the Kansas coaches about League views of fundraising.




Larson moved establishment of a task force to review the various methods and criteria that have been used in the states and the positions of state Leagues on redistricting: consider how well they have worked, develop materials to educate Leagues and communities and make recommendations on next steps, including possible concurrence statements or other policy determinations. Passed.


Larson reported on the progress of the IRS regulation comments and the campaign finance taskforce.  The primer produced by the task force will proceed to the editing stage.


Larson reported on the climate change task force.


Larson indicated that the committee discussed the need for more guidance on how Leagues can use national positions. She will proceed to pull together existing guidance and determine what else might be needed.  The goal is to encourage more Leagues to use national positions at the state and local levels.


Larson moved the following be set as legislative priorities: Tier 1: Money in Politics and Voting Rights; Tier 2: Affordable Care Act, Reproductive Choice, Immigration, and Environment; Tier 3 (watch): Fiscal policy/social and economic justice, Gun Safety.  Passed.


Program Planning


Donath reported on the committee discussion and asked the Board to encourage local Leagues to respond even if they did not want to recommend a study topic.  It was agreed that this should be done.




Wilson reported on the Giving Tuesday online fundraising campaign.   This worked well, and we want to encourage more Leagues to get involved next year.  


Turrill led a discussion of issues related to the discussion Forums. All Board members are encouraged to participate, and to send a list of problems they encounter to Norman. LWVUS will increase efforts to resolve functional problems with the technology, as well as to provide instructions on how members can use it.


Wilson reported that LWVUS is working with LWVC to update and redesign League Easy Web (LEW) as the potential platform of the planned affiliate website system for Leagues.  


The Board briefly discussed the “Leaders Update” name. It was decided that the Update should be changed to “League Update”, and that more clarification should be provided on who should read and share this.




Brown reported on plans for Convention, including logistics and timelines. She mentioned webinars that will be held in advance.  She urged liaisons to promote attendance with their states.


Brown reported on Convention awards. Brown asked for 8 Board volunteers to read and choose the finalists.  The following  volunteered: Appler, Larson, McMillen, Nicholson, Schink, Turrill, Wassenich, Wilson.


Brown reported on Local Volunteer Committee.


The Board briefly discussed logistics and specifics about Convention.


Klenz moved that the following League leaders be appointed to serve on the Campaign Oversight Committee for Convention 2014: Marlys Robertson (CO) - Chair, Nancy Eitreim (WA), and Donna Lauffer (KS).  Passed




McMillen reported on committee revisions to the Convention 2012 rules.


Donath moved that the proposed Convention rules and resolution form as amended be adopted for Convention 2014. Passed.


The expense report form for Convention caucuses will be developed before the April Board meeting.  


Turrill led a discussion of bylaws changes that the Board might want to suggest.




Wassenich reported on the committee meeting.




Elaine Wiant, Budget Committee Chair, engaged the Board in a discussion on budget issues and priorities.


MacNamara adjourned the meeting at 5:30.





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