Dear Local League Leaders,

Your responses to the LWVUS program planning survey leading up to the June convention are due before March 10. You can find the information on how to fill out this survey online, and the survey itself here .

As you consider your responses, the LWVMA board wishes to share with you the state League’s response to two of the questions, #2 and #7.  

Our response to Question 2, which asks if we wish to add an additional program item for the 2020-2022 biennium is yes, we wish to add Climate Emergency as either a separate program item or as a bullet point in the Making Democracy Work recommended program. If your League agrees, we encourage you to also reply yes to Question 2 and to copy the wording from this document into your survey response.

The national board is recommending adopting a position on Voter Representation and Electoral Systems by concurrence at the June convention. The program planning guide does not include any information on this proposed position, which your League should discuss before convention to determine if you agree with it. Information on the position itself is available here .

But the program planning survey does include questions on the process by which this recommended position was developed, though it does not provide much background. Basically, in June 2019, the national board convened a committee to develop a position on Voter Representation and Electoral Systems; that committee was to form this position by surveying existing positions already developed by various state Leagues. For example, they considered the Massachusetts position on ranked choice voting during this process. This past fall, the national board voted to recommend to the convention that the position developed by this committee be adopted by concurrence, and then distributed the position to state and local Leagues so they would have extra time to review it.

The Massachusetts board has not yet discussed how we feel about the actual position that was developed. But we do have serious concerns about the process that was used. We have detailed those concerns in our response to Question 7, and we have provided that response here in case your board has similar concerns and would like to include a similar response in your survey. (Question 6, which also deals with this process, asked only if we thought that the national board’s decision to distribute the proposed position last fall instead of waiting until January was useful. We are answering that question yes, because additional time is always helpful, but do not feel strongly about a response on Question 6.) Please note that, if you have downloaded and are looking at the Sample Program Planning Report Form 2020 from the Leaders’ Guide on the LWVUS website, the actual online report form has added a new Question 5, so that Question 5 on the sample form becomes Question 6, and Question 6 on the sample form becomes the Question 7 that our response refers to.  

Thank you for waiting to do your national program planning until the LWVMA board could consider these issues. We hope you will add our request for an additional program item dealing with the climate emergency to your response. We also urge you to tell the national League what you think about the process used to develop the recommended position on Voter Representation and Electoral Systems.

If you have any questions about responding to the national program planning survey, please contact Nancy Brumback at nbrumback@lwvma.org .  

Mary Ann and Judy
Mary Ann Ashton and Judy Zaunbrecher
LWVVMA Co-Presidents
LWV