This was my first state convention and I enjoyed the chance to talk to people from other area leagues and to listen to speakers share the importance of increasing the diversity of our organizations and our democracy — to involve younger people of all races and ethnicities. Evidently this convention was already much more inclusive than the one in 2017. My favorite parts were the best practices sessions, sharing inspiring and practical ideas. One was on voter’s services projects and the other on advocacy and education activities. People applied to present and 5 projects were chosen for each session. All demonstrated effective collaboration with community partners.
The state convention was a wonderful opportunity to learn what other leagues are doing and talk with members from throughout California, some who who have been members for decades and others who have joined recently.
In addition to voting on budgets, officers and priorities for the next two years, we had the opportunity to attend a wide variety of caucuses and workshops. There was a very interesting workshop about how our implicit cultural biases impact us and limit our outreach to more diverse communities. I learned more about the Voter’s Choice Act, the upcoming Census and how to craft a better presentation. It was a very full weekend.
I left the state convention with some good ideas, appreciative of our League’s work and thankful to live in voter friendly California.
I particularly enjoyed the plenary session. The session for me, was an adventure in democracy, as over 200 delegates , representing 53 local leagues, delegates voted/resolved the business, voted in new state positions, and set State priorities for action.
I also very much enjoyed, meeting with a cross section of delegates at the Candidate Forum workshop, where we shared/discussed/role played practical ideas, to avoid confusion and promote civility at local league Candidate Forums.
As a new member to LWVLAMV I jumped at the chance to go to convention. I have so much to learn. Diversity inclusion caught my eye immediately because groups that are diverse are stronger. I got to attend a full day workshop on racial equity as well as shorter classes on transgender and prior incarcerated community issues. I was comfortable enough to ask all the questions that pop up with these issues as well as made uncomfortable so that I could explore why I felt that way. I learned to “understand before trying to be understood” and to push my boundaries. One speaker talked about how each political party always tries to get out ‘their’ voters but more advantageous is to get disenfranchised communities involved in voting. Expand the voting base. Suffrage. I hope to work in areas I am not comfortable to reach new voters and help disenfranchised communities with voting rights, changes and education as well as info about the census. I also enjoyed finding out what other leagues were doing and all the aid that is available to us from their work.
Delegates approved the following motion regarding charter schools at their 2019 convention in Pasadena.
APPROVED: “Update Pre-K Education position to include charter schools’ accountability”
Next steps: The approved motion will be taken up by the LWVC board, perhaps at their July board meeting. That board will begin their discussion of the process for how to utilize this motion. What was described to delegates on the floor is that the board will solicit local Leagues for their input. The state board will create explicit positions regarding this accountability provision regarding charter schools. (It was noted that the current Pre-K Education position for traditional public schools includes “accountability.”) The board may utilize the local study of LWV Fresno to inform their work. As is normal, these new positions will be voted on and approved by the LWVC board at an upcoming board meeting and will be activated at that time. Note that the standard LWVC norm is for all positions to be voted on at future LWVC conventions in their standard “re-affirmation of positions” segment during a plenary segment.
Ellen Wheeler is the education chairperson of LWV Santa Clara County. This charter school motion work will be discussed at future education committee meetings. Contact Ellen if you’d like to be added to this committee list. ([email protected])