Our annual 2015 LWV program planning meeting had a new, snappier format this year. The attendees broke into sub-groups so that more issues could be covered by having members specialize.
We assumed that attendees had reviewed the League positions documents, so it was not necessary to take the time to read them aloud as a group. These changes really speed things up.
But before turning to discussion of issues, first the members had to attend to a bit of 501(c)3 paperwork. Just to cross the t’s and dot the i’s, the attendees had to vote to approve the renumbering of our articles of incorporation. [Amendments that implemented the 501(c)3 status were previously approved.]
After all the discussions and deliberations, the main assembly voted to recommend to LWVC a study on Alternative Electoral Methods that can be used to settle California Voting Rights Act lawsuits. We voted to ask LWVC to focus its state advocacy programs and its state education programs on, in order of highest to lowest priority, money in politics, Prop 13 commercial property reform, and a fossil fuel extraction tax.
Sue Graham provided an overview of the Program Planning meeting agenda and process. Max Heckman-Bernard ran the meeting and voting processes.
The participants divided into three groups — Social Portfolio, Government Portfolio, and Natural Resources Portfolio — to discuss the LWVC’s state level positions. The task of each group was to decide are the current positions relevant, not relevant, or in need of being updated? In addition, each group was to determine what issues LWVC should focus on for the next two years (2015-2017), and if any new state study should be recommended. We included for consideration study recommendations from other Leagues: Minimum Livable Wage and Death with Dignity. One of our members, Steve Chessin, proposed a study on Alternative Electoral Methods. Another one of our members brought forward a Proposition 13 Commercial Property Reform recommendation.
The Government Portfolio group voted to recommend a LWVC study on Voting Alternatives to Settle Voting Act Lawsuits, (including cumulative voting) as presented by Steve Chessin.
Another group voted to reccommend that the LWVC advocate for Proposition 13 Commercial Property Reform in order to promote greater equity and that it advocate for continued education about the harm of money in politics.
The three groups — Social Portfolio, Government Portfolio, and Natural Resources Portfolio — re-convened into the main assembly, where the members voted to retain all LWVC positions on government, natural resources, and social issues.
Consideration of Several New State Studies
The main assembly of our chapter considered studies on the following topics:
— Alternative Electoral Methods that can be used to settle California Voting Rights Act lawsuits (government)
— Death with Dignity (social)
— Kansas proposal on Minimum Livable Wage (social)
— Tax on Fossil Fuel Extraction (natural resources)
Our Vote to Recommend a New State Study
The main assembly of our chapter voted to recommend to LWVC a study on Alternative Electoral Methods that can be used to settle California Voting Rights Act lawsuits.
Consideration of Areas for State Advocacy Focus
For advocacy, the main assembly of our chapter considered:
–Fossil Fuel Extraction Tax
–Prop 13 Commercial Property Reform
–Money in Politics
Our Vote to Recommend State Advocacy Focus
Our chapter voted and will ask LWVC to focus advocacy and education on, in order of highest to lowest priority, money in politics, Prop 13 commercial property reform, and a fossil fuel extraction tax.
We were asked to provide names of members willing to work on these issues:
Money in Politics – Katie Zoglin, Julie Cates
Prop Commercial Property Reform – Dianne Gershuny
Fossil Fuel Extraction Tax –Terry Terman
If you want to join the effort to work on one or more of these issues, please contact the above members. They are listed in your member directory.
In January 2016 we will be contributing to program planning for LWVUS, the national league. State programs vs. national programs are considered every other year. But when it comes to local positions, local advocacy programs and local education programs, we consider those every year.
And then there is Lunch
Members stayed after the meeting to enjoy the traditional soup lunch and tasty desserts prepared by the board and other volunteers.