I was fortunate to be the delegate from the LWV of Greater Peoria at the national League Convention in Dallas June 5 - 10, 2014. The convention was packed full of learning, sharing, and LWV business. The schedule for caucus, training, and plenary sessions started early at 7:30 am and ended at 10 pm. There were 637 delegates from 47 states, and those delegates were engaged and productive!What impressed me the most was the focused energy of both plans and successes to stop voter suppression throughout the country. Regardless of whether the voter suppression was man-made (campaign contributions overshadowing votes), a force of nature (Hurricane Sandy), or just plain outrageous (Texas Secretary of State sent letters to 80,000 people telling them they were deceased and off the voters rolls), League members have been, and will be there, to fight for the right and access to vote. Who else in this country is going to be vigilant, and take action, to make sure voters get registered and get to the ballot boxes to cast their votes?
There was a lot of discussion about the urgency to fix campaign finance and to use program to drive less than robust membership numbers. The PMP (Per Member Payment) to LWVUS was frozen at $31 for 2014-15 and increased one dollar for the next year, with delegates knowing that money is needed to fund program support and action, including legal action.
Existing program positions were retained and there were additions for a concurrence on human trafficking and a new, enthusiastically supported 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.
We were also reminded of the substantial amount of training materials and resources available through the LWVUS web site. Arriving back home I checked out that site and was amazed at what was found (on first page click on upper left hand corner on MEMBERS) on issues and every activity associated with the League....what a treasure trove.
Thank you to our League Board for selecting me as our delegate, allowing me to attend and share our successes and come back with ideas and resources to keep making democracy work.
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