June 2016
 Ohio League Leader Updates

1. Good News! Governor Kasich vetoed anti-voter 
bill SB 296

2. LWVUS Convention Report
a. Convention Materials
b. LWVUS's newly elected 2016-2018 board
c. FY2016-2018 LWVUS Budget and PMP
d. Bylaws Changes about Membership
e. LWVUS Program
f. Resolutions
g. Speakers & Workshops
h. Ohio delegates' report & photos

3. No All-Member Conference Call in July

4. MLD Tip of the Month - MLD + League Observer Corps, A Perfect Match

5. Membership
a. Early pay discount on Per Member Payment (PMP)
b. Did your local League elect a new board at your annual meeting?
c. How do new local League Board members get access to the LWVUS membership database? Reminder from the LWVUS

6. New Voter Service Tools

1. Good News! Governor Kasich vetoed anti-voter bill SB 296
Thank you for taking action! On Friday, June 17, Governor Kasich vetoed the anti-voter bill SB 296. If it had been allowed to go into effect, SB 296 would have imposed numerous hurdles for voters seeking a state court order to keep polls open late due to Election Day emergencies. SB 296 was raced through both chambers of the legislature in May. LWV Ohio and our Voting Rights Coalition partners testified on SB 296 in the Senate and the House, urging both chambers not to pass this bill or at least to amend it to remove its many serious problems. Though the legislature didn't listen, the governor did.

2. LWVUS Convention Report
a) Convention Materials
The Convention Program and Workbook that included the proposed new budget, bylaws, program, board slate, and more is available online here.

The official Daily Reports of Convention Activity are available to League members online. 

The "Roll Call of States" videos that highlight League activities over the last year can be found here.

Convention highlights are described further below.

b) LWVUS's newly elected 2016-2018 board
LWVUS's newly elected 2016-2018 board includes:

Chris Carson (president), Karen Nicholson (vice president), Toni Zimmer (secretary), Henrietta Saunders (treasurer).

Maribel Balbin, Amy Hjerstedt, Kim Lauth, Anita Loch, Jessica Lowe-Minor, Brenda Rogers, Jessica Rohloff and Deborah Turner.

Bios of new board members can be found in the Convention Workbook (link above in 2a).

c) FY2016-2018 LWVUS Budget and PMP
The news you've all been waiting for --- there will be no PMP increase! The LWVUS PMP rate of $32 will remain the same for 2016-2018.

There was a lively debate about the Treasurer's Report and the proposed Budget, both during the plenary floor session and during the Budget Q&A Caucus, which was packed to overflowing. In short, LWVUS sustained some losses in its investment accounts that required some adjustments. In addition, the incoming new LWVUS leadership wanted to move away from what it deemed unsustainable practices of regularly drawing down from reserves rather than having a balanced budget that allows the League to operate within its means. The proposed budget, which was approved by delegates, seeks to realign the budget to be balanced and more mission-focused.

Click here to see the approved LWVUS budget for FY2016-2018 as presented on page 36-40 in the Convention Workbook.
d) Bylaws Changes about Membership
A motion was passed and approved by convention delegates to change eligibility for becoming a full voting member of the League of Women Voters. The amended bylaws eliminated the citizenship requirement and lowered the age requirements to 16 years of age. These positive amendments to the bylaws will help League to grow and diversify its membership by reaching out to immigrant communities and young people and encourage them to join the League. 

Note: Because this was a change to Article 3 of the bylaws, and ALL state and local Leagues are required to conform the first three sections of their bylaws to match the LWVUS bylaws, this change to LWVUS bylaws automatically amends LWVO's and local Leagues' bylaws without the need to be voted on at an annual meeting.

e) LWVUS Program 
The big program news is that convention delegates overwhelmingly approved the Making Democracy Work Campaign, found on pages 30-31 of the Workbook. Through this campaign, the League will fundamentally reshape our democracy by engaging millions more voters in the election process and strengthening the laws that govern money in politics, redistricting and voting rights so that it is free, fair and accessible to all.

There was vigorous debate about whether to approve a concurrence with the Redistricting Task Force proposal, found on page 32 of the Workbook. The intent was to adopt a position that could be used by states without a state position to advocate for redistricting reform. Concerns were raised by a number of states with pre-existing redistricting positions, led by LWV Florida, who worried about the impact if the new position conflicts with existing state positions. LWVUS presenters stressed that the new position "does not supersede any existing state League" positions. Other speakers voiced objection to the process of concurring with a task force recommendation, instead of the usual process of either study/consensus or concurring with another League's position. The proposal narrowly passed.

Convention delegates also voted to approve concurrence with the LWV Colorado position on Behavioral Health, found on page 33 of the Workbook.

Delegates also voted to retain all current LWVUS positions.

f) Resolutions
Convention delegates debated and voted on resolutions related to gun safety, climate change, and DC statehood. The full text of all six resolutions can be found in the official report of Sunday convention business here.

g) Speakers & Workshops
Convention featured many fascinating speakers and workshops. See the Convention workbook for a full listing. Videos of the plenary speakers are available on LWVUS's YouTube page. Click here to watch the videos and share with your members.

h) Ohio delegates' report & photos
Ohio League members were asked to share their key take-aways from Convention. You can read their favorite highlights here .

Thank you to all the Ohio delegates and guests who joined us for the Ohio meet-up! It was full of good food, drinks, and lots of League friends. 

Photos from throughout Convention are posted on LWVO's Facebook page here, and Ohio attendees are welcome to add your pics to the album.

3. No All-Member Conference Call in July
We will NOT be holding an all-member conference call on the first Tuesday of July due to the 4th of July holiday. Monthly calls will resume on Tuesday, August 2, 2016. Feel free to reach out to the state LWV office in the meantime if you have questions or requests.

4. MLD Tip of the Month: MLD + League Observer Corps,
A Perfect Match
Did you know that ...  "LWV's principles include the requisite that government bodies protect the citizen's right to know by giving adequate notice of proposed actions, holding open meetings and making public records accessible." - Looking for Sunshine, LWVUS

Did you know that ... League Observer Corps is a well-established program that teaches League members to assure citizens' right to know through observation and by understanding application of Sunshine Laws in public meetings and accessing public records? - LWVUS Looking for Sunshine, Protecting Your Right to Know LWVUS Observing Your Government in Action Guide

Did you know that...Ohio's Attorney General offers Sunshine Laws training, onsite and online, free and open to the public AND access to free/downloadable copies of the Sunshine Laws Manual

Did you know that ... Local Leagues can create an Observer Corps tailored to their needs in order to enhance membership growth, leadership ladder opportunities and timely advocacy based on League positions?

Now you know that ... re-creating Local League Observer Corps focused on Traits of the New Breed of Volunteer and changes in technology makes everything old, new again!

Find out how LWV Hudson answered these questions and re-created Observer Corps!
5. Membership
a) Early pay discount on Per Member Payment (PMP)
Your local League Treasurer will soon receive the first state PMP statement for the fiscal year that begins on July 1, 2016. The membership count and PMP amount on the invoice are based on the numbers your League entered into the national database by February 2016. Our state PMP will remain at $25 per member as it has for the past five years. If your local League pays their annual PMP in full by September 30, 2016, you will receive a 5% discount off of the amount invoiced.

b) Did your local League elect a new board at your annual meeting?
It is Annual Meeting time, and this means changes in League leadership. If your League has elected or appointed new officers, please email a copy to the Ohio League office at lwvoinfo@lwvohio.org. It is vital that we know how to contact your League's leadership.

c) How do new local League Board members get access to the LWVUS membership database? Reminder from the LWVUS
Getting new Membership Chairs, Treasurers, and Presidents access is easy! No email to LWVUS required. 

If you have a new Roster Manager, you can get them access by following these steps:

1. Log into the database, go to Your League Record, and click "Add/Update Officers".

2. Follow the instructions on page 23 of the User Guide to add a new officer. When selecting an Officer title, select Local Roster Manager if you are a local League, and State Roster manager if you are a state League.

3. Once you have added them as an officer, LWVUS staff are notified via automatic email of it. Staff will then set up the permissions for the new Roster Manager to access the database and send a follow up email with information on how to get started.

Questions can be emailed to the LWVUS at RosterSupport@lwv.org .

6. New Voter Service Tools
  • Check out this gallery of free Get Out the Vote poster designs from the professional design association AIGA here
  • Check out the new tool from LWVUS to help Leagues track election year impact here.
  • Don't forget to sign up for National Voter Registration Day on September 27. Sign up by July 15 to guarantee you receive your free materials here.
  • Help us expand our voter registration and engagement reach by encouraging local community service groups to attend a free Nonprofit Votes training! 
The League of Women Voters of Ohio | 17 South High Street | Columbus, Ohio 43215 | 614-469-1505