League meets in Texas
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 10:00 PM
The League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) held its 51st biennial National Convention in Dallas, Texas June 6-10. League members from around the country had the opportunity to celebrate the LWV's accomplishments on voting rights, campaign finance reform and the environment and to discuss important public policy issues.
Representing the LWV of Montgomery County were President Karen Patton and Board Member Sandra Ruby. Gail Pebworth participated as a delegate from the LWV of Indiana State Board.
Elisabeth MacNamara was reelected national president. She applauded state and local Leagues who at grassroots level have registered tens of thousands new voters, including a focus on young people, racial and ethnic minorities, new citizens and other Americans least represented in the electorate.
In states where new photo ID barriers were implemented, Leaguers have spent countless hours helping voters understand the new requirements. In addition, VOTE411.org enabled state and local Leagues around the country to provide unprecedented breadth of information essential for successful voter engagement in elections.
Throughout the gathering, delegates rallied around the League's 2014 Power the Vote Initiative for their elections work this year, and set the LWVUS program agenda for the next two years, vowing to continue the League fight for voting rights and campaign finance reform.
Delegates reinforced the League's efforts to combat climate change and adopted a three-part program focusing on key structures of American democracy, including campaign finance reform, the constitutional amendment process, and redistricting reform for the U.S. Congress.
The League also adopted a position on human trafficking enabling state and local Leagues across the country to take action protecting victims of such crimes.
League delegates participated in daily trainings and workshops to "Improve the Structures of Democracy." Caucuses were held on Voting Rights, Voter Protection Battles, Money in Politics: Price Tag on Democracy, Primary Election Systems, Poll Observer Programs, Redistricting Reforms, and Inspiring Women Political Leaders-the next generation.
Program caucuses included: Income Inequality, Reducing Carbon Emissions, Affordable Care Act and Beyond, Combating Climate Change, Protecting Water from Chemical Spills, School Choice Promises and Realities.
A number of outstanding speakers addressed the Convention. Stephen Murdock of Rice University presented "Demographic Trends for the Country" stressing the importance of providing educational opportunities for increasing numbers of our growing diverse population to reverse the trend of decreasing family income.
Annise Parker, Mayor of Houston, and Peter Harness, founder of Governing Magazine discussed "Governing Today in our Communities and States."
"State of Voting Rights and the Administration of our Elections" were addressed by Ray Martinez III, former U.S. Assistance Commissioner and Ann McGeehan, former Director of the Texas Elections Division. Patrick Bresette of Public Works and Peter Levine-Tufts University spoke to "Organizing for Civic Impact."
All of the speakers commended the League for its work on behalf of neighborhoods and voters throughout the country and urged the organization to press forward using its community-based power on the critical issues of the day.
The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan, multi-issue political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase public understanding of major policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. All men and women are invited to where hands-on work to safeguard democracy leads to civic improvement. For information about the League, visit the website: www.lwvmontco.org, send a message to P.O. Box 101, Crawfordsville, IN 47933 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.