More than 1,000 league members from throughout the country attended the 53rd National LWV Convention in Chicago June 20-July 1. Representing our League were Kristin Salmans, Debra Duncan, Cille King, and Marlene Merrill. All states were represented except for North Dakota. Workshops and the plenary sessions filled the days from 7:30am until 9 in the evening. During the plenary session the time was broken into discussion and decisions. Topics included “Election Day and Voting” “Transformation of the League Shaping the Next Century”, and the ”National Program Adoption.”
"First Election Day” addresses the need to improve election/ ballot security, improve accessibility, encourage election observers, and engage the communities of diverse voters in the process. Tom Hicks, Election Assistance Commission (EAC) is one of several commissioners (Currently two positions on the EAC are unfilled). Tom is willing to serve another term, but he says President Trump wants to abolish the EAC. Of interest to Kansas is that the federal government provided $3.4 billion to help states modernize voting systems but Kansas has not requested any of this money. Elections are critical infrastructure and election security is of critical importance.
Rosie Rios, the 43rd Treasurer of the United States, launched EMPOWERMENT 2020 to recognize historic American women. A very energetic speaker, she said “EMPOWERMENT is more than fighting for women on currency, women statures in public parks.” She is making empowering women and girls a full-time effort.
“Transformation” is the League’s “Campaign for Making Democracy Work”. It is providing a strategic focus for building the League organization by seeking a more inclusive culture with the goal of building a healthier League network. As part of this discussion Diversity Training was held for everyone at the convention. The “Transformation Roadmap” is a 41-page docu- ment. We will try to get a summary in next month’s Voter.
“Campaign for Making Democracy Work” is the theme of the national program ensuring a free, fair and accessible electoral system for all eligible voters by focusing on:
- Voting Rights
- Improving Elections
- Campaign Finance/ Money in Politics
The League approved six resolutions to add to the national program’s focus for the next two years. That:
- The League makes gun control, gun safety, and gun ownership limitations a priority in its lobbying efforts.
- The League supports an emphasis on the ERA this year and every year until the ERA is ratified and becomes a Constitutional Amendment.
- The League urgently reaffirms its long-held position that the Electoral College should be abolished.
- The League stands united with, and in support of, efforts to price carbon emissions whether cap and trade, carbon tax/fee, or another viable pricing mechanism. The League will evaluate all proposed methods based on their effectiveness to abate emissions and whether the methods can be successfully implemented.
- The League reaffirms our commitment to the constitutional right of privacy as an individual to make reproductive choices.