After two years of virtual Annual Meetings, members joyfully gathered in person at the Monrovia Community Center on Saturday, June 18, to vote on the coming year’s Program Priorities, budget, Board of Directors, Nominating Committee members, and a proposed amendment to our Bylaws. We were also there to celebrate one another and our League and to enjoy being together in community again. COVID precautions were strictly followed, and the tasty, light morning refreshments were individually wrapped for safety.
President Martha Zavala introduced the program by commemorating Juneteenth (Sunday, June 19), which celebrates the 1865 announcement in Galveston, Texas, of the emancipation of enslaved Americans, two years after Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. This is the second year that Juneteenth is honored as a federal holiday, which this year was celebrated on Monday, June 21.
Copies of the 2022 Annual Meeting Kit were distributed at the meeting and are available on the LWV-PA website, www.lwv-pa.org, in the LWV-PA office, or by email as a PDF file. In addition to the items in the Order of Business, listed below, the kit contains reports from all our committees on their activities during 2021–22, background information on Board members, and a letter from our president summing up and evaluating this past year. It is definitely worth reading; if you were not present to receive your copy, please request it by emailing office [at] lwv-pa.org.
Membership Chair Kay Adams gave the credentials report: Present and attending were 40 people, based on our current membership of 280; this exceeded the required 10 percent quorum. An additional member arrived after the presentation of the Program Priorities, so we had a final attendance of 41.
Program Priorities for Education and Advocacy in 2022–23, recommended by the Board following members’ recommendations from the January 2022 program planning meeting, were presented by Katherine Gavzy and approved unanimously. In summary, they include Democracy and Voting; Civic Education; Climate Change and the Environment; Housing and Homelessness; and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. These priorities are described in more detail in your May Voter and in the Annual Meeting Kit. They will guide this League’s work throughout the year.
Finance and Budget Director Mildred Dockery presented the financial reports for 2021–22 and the Board-proposed budget for 2022–23. Our financial condition at this point is strong, largely due to individual contributions and unexpectedly high revenue from the virtual Ice Cream Social fundraiser. For the fiscal year 2022–23 (ending June 30, 2023), the proposed budget shows a net expense (deficit), which Dockery pointed out is adequately covered by our reserves. The financial report and budget are also in the May Voter and the Meeting Kit. The budget was approved unanimously.
Dorothy Keane presented a Board-recommended amendment to the Bylaws, which prescribes a two-year term of office for the officers on the Board: President, President-Elect, Past President, Secretary, and Treasurer. All other directors on the Board will continue to be named for one-year terms. She explained that the officer jobs require a longer learning curve for the League to function effectively. The wording of the amendment is in the Annual Meeting Kit and in the May Voter. The amendment was approved unanimously.
Marilynne Wilander presented the Nominating Committee’s slate of officers, directors, and 2022–23 Nominating Committee members. These were:
Officers for 2022–24
President, Martha Zavala
President-Elect, Karen Roberson
Past President, Pat Coulter
Secretary, Kelsey Green
Treasurer, Joseph DesBarres
Elective Directors for 2022–23
Advocacy, Joanne Als
Communications, Dorothy L. Keane
Development, Marilynne Wilander
Education, Gail Rolf
Events, Katherine Gavzy
Finance/Budget, Mildred Dockery
Membership, Kay Adams
Natural Resources, Kathy Kunysz
Immigration, Maureen Johnston
Social Justice, Valerie Jones
Voter Services, Susan Sosin
Chair, Vicki Thompson
Member, Alesia Gilford
Member, Ginny Davis
Member, Debbie Fagen
Member, Pat Coulter, Past President
Joanne Als, Board Representative (appointed by the Board)
Marilynne Wilander, Board Representative (appointed by the Board)
The entire slate was approved unanimously. Board Representatives Als and Wilander were appointed by the Board.
President Zavala reminded everyone that the important work of the Nominating Committee goes on all year to enrich our League with new leadership and new ideas. This concluded the business portion of the meeting. Both outgoing and incoming Boards were recognized and thanked.
New fifty-year members Rae Aaselund, Claire Bogaard, Bill Bogaard, and Petite Morrison were recognized. Petite Morrison was in attendance to receive her plaque and spoke about how important the League has been in her life.
In her closing remarks, President Zavala emphasized the importance of furthering our education and advocacy to make democracy work. A general discussion followed, which included members’ suggestions for how to reach out to engage new members and recruit engaged volunteers:
- using social media
- connecting directly with community groups
- continuing to focus on youth, including working with our youth ambassadors
- creating a short handout or business card to explain what the League is and does
To close, League member John McPhee led us in a rousing rendition of his composition “We Are the League of Women Voters.”
Deepest appreciation is extended to the following members, whose hard work and dedication made this meeting a success: Events Committee members Hester Bell, Valerie Jones, Veronica Jones, Jean Buennagel, and Cheryl Rose, who arranged for the site and refreshments, and meeting officials Mildred Dockery, Bonnie Skolnik, Kay Adams, Kitty Kroger, Cynthia Cannady, Kim Cubero, and Debbie Fagen.
—Katherine Gavzy, Chair, Events Committee