League of Women Voters of the United States Board of Directors

Board Meeting

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Renaissance Hotel

Washington, D.C.


Board Present

Elisabeth MacNamaraPeggy Appler

carolyn Brown




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Patricia DonathMary KlenzToni LarsonJanis McMillenKaren NicholsonAnne SchinkNorman TurrillLinda Wassenich 


Susan Wilson

Staff Members Present

Nancy Tate, Zaida Arguedas, Greg Leatherwood, Virginia Clairmont


MacNamara called the meeting to order at 8:53 a.m.



Donath moved that the minutes of the July 29, 2012 meeting of the LWVUS Board be approved.  Seconded. Passed.

Financial Report

Donath moved that the financial report of the LWVUS dated September 30, 2012 be accepted and placed on file.  Seconded. Passed. She noted that LWVUS is in strong financial shape, due to the better than expected direct marketing responses to our voter protection work.

President’s Report

MacNamara gave a summary of her activities since the July 2012 Board retreat.  MacNamara testified before the US Senate Judiciary Committee on September 12 on the Citizens United Court and the Continuing Importance of the Voting Rights Act. The testimony is available on the LWV website.  MacNamara also visited 8 states to meet with press, elected officials and League members to highlight both voter protection concerns and the importance of registering, voting, and using VOTE411. She visited Ohio, Colorado, Missouri, North Carolina, Florida, Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Executive Director’s Report

Tate gave a summary of her activities and that of the LWVUS staff.  Many staff are focusing on voter ID and other voter protection issues, as well as helping Leagues with candidate forums, VOTE411 and other election activities.   We have had considerable media coverage on these efforts as well.  The Membership team continues its work to support and expand the Membership and Leadership Development (MLD) program, with a process for selecting new Shur Fellows underway.  Direct marketing continues to outperform budgeted levels, but that is not likely to be true after the election.  Tate also identified anticipated activities for the next few months – including those related to the election and the trip to Tunisia for the concluding session of the BMENA project in the Middle East.  

Executive Committee Report

McMillen reported on the presentation by our external auditors, who gave LWVUS a clean report.  She also stated that the committee discussed establishing markers to measure LWVUS income and expenditures against the adopted budget since we are now working with a 2 year budget. There will be a full discussion at the February Board meeting.

In addition, she gave an updated report on the status of our lease.  It ends in two years, but the fact that the building is slated for demolition sometime in the future creates several possible scenarios. Zaida Arguedas has been authorized to research our lease options.

McMillen also noted that all the Guidance to the Board items raised at Convention have been answered.


Larson noted that the committee heard updates and discussed current priority issues, with attention to the possibilities for continuing action in 2013.  They focused particularly on Voter Protection, Campaign finance Reform, Health Care Defense, Environmental Defense and Immigration Reform.  They also discussed the budget, tax and deficit issues that will arise in the lame duck session of Congress, and agreed that LWVUS should use its existing positions to speak to these issues. She also mentioned that LWVUS would be soliciting member input on legislative priorities for 2013-14 in an upcoming Leaders’ Update.

A discussion was held on how to respond to requests for direction from the Campaign Finance Task Force.  It was agreed that the task force should focus first on enunciating the goals of campaign finance reform, rather than focusing on tools or techniques that the League might use in advancing reform.

Larson provided draft copies of Campaign Finance Reform: Summary Paper on League of Women Voter Positions and Action and Current Environmental Context.    


Turrill provided an overview of the activities of the Communications team. We have had a lot of coverage and visibility, with 8000 news stories since April, 16,000 Facebook followers and over 1,000 Twitter followers.  Stephanie Drahan provided the committee with additional detail about purchases from Care2, which enables our messages to be sent to be a large universe of email addresses. Two petitions have been hosted on the website using that system.

Member Forums will replace the Lyris discussion lists. The transition will take place in three stages and may start the third week of November.  Board members will be asked to be Forum moderators to keep the conversation on track and to correct misinformation.

The Clearinghouse will be functional after the election. It serves as a depository of League studies. The clearinghouse is available to all Leagues. However, there are submission criteria for the materials to be included. An announcement will be sent in the November 8 or 15th Leaders’ Update.


McMillen reported that the committee discussed 2 items concerning rules for caucuses at Convention.   The committee determined that for the 2014 Convention the room request form for Leagues sponsoring caucuses should include a request for information on money spent by outside organizations on the caucus. They also endorsed the requirement that Leagues must request permission for outside speakers to participate

The committee discussed the proposed Study Guidelines. Further discussion will occur at the February 2013 meeting.


Schink moved that the Organizational Services report be adopted to recognize the new League of Antelope Valley, Ca.   Seconded.  Passed.

Schink moved that Board members Anne Schink, Peggy Appler, Karen Nicholson, and Toni Larson be appointed to the Shur Fellow Selection Committee.   Seconded.  Passed.

There will be a webinar on December 5 at 2pm ET for the current Shur Fellows and National Board.

Schink moved that the Board approve the recommendations for the Young People Task force along with the nomination of Shur Fellows Penney van Vleet and Eva Rodgers and LWVUS Board members Anne Schink and Mary Klenz.  Seconded.  Passed.  Members of the Young People Task Force are Any Hjerstedt, Melissa Currence, T.J. Leavell, Alice Giles, and Karen Oeschlaeger.

The Membership department will kick off the dues renewal pilot program with 3 states: Georgia, Florida and Maine.  

The Board discussed the various issues related to obtaining full League compliance with the official League name and logo. There was consensus on the approach outlined in the Board book. Anne Schink, Linda Wassenich, Janis McMillen and Pat Donath agreed to work with Nancy Tate to finalize and execute plans in this area.


Brown moved that the Board accept the report of the Campaign Oversight Committee. Seconded. Passed.

The committee discussed the evaluation forms from Convention, focusing on what they thought worked best and what we might consider changing in future years. The committee also began brainstorming ideas for Council 2013.

Brown moved that for Convention 2016 staff is encouraged to pursue a Washington, DC venue.  Seconded.  Passed.  The preferred venue is the Wardman Park Hotel. The proposed convention dates are June 16-21, 2016.

Sustaining Local Leagues

Appler stated that the committee affirmed the scope of this new committee:  to identify and implement structures and mechanisms to promote the financial stability of local leagues. They also discussed how their work would fit in with that of other committees. They agreed that the work of this committee is about more than just how to raise money. It’s about helping Leagues understand how they can use money, and then how they can get it – both being part of the larger issue of being a vibrant League.

The committee agreed to proceed with the pilot program described in the handout to the Board.  This includes selecting 5 – 10 local Leagues already participating in the MLD program as well as identifying some willing state coaches. New materials will be developed on best practices in fundraising, financial management and planning. Using the national and state coaching structure, participating Leagues will get focused attention in these areas, and progress will be monitored over time.

Development Report

The first development webinar was held on October 15 with 15 participants. The format was an introduction to fundraising, and proved to be successful.

Development staff are working with Linda Wassenich to update the Fundraising 101 document for Leagues.

The Development team will need the assistance of the Board in identifying and cultivating prospective donors at the $1000+ level. Names should be sent to Nancy Sturm by November 10. All Board members have made their own contribution pledges. This is greatly appreciated.

MacNamara adjourned the meeting at 1:16 pm.