Annual Meeting 2019

Annual Meeting 2019

Annual Meeting Collage

Thank you to everyone who joined us in Green Lake on June 8. A record 151 were in attendance, representing 19 local Leagues, the Waukesha County Branch of LWV Milwaukee County, and the Lake Michigan Region and Upper Mississippi River Region Inter-League Organizations (ILOs). Local Leagues shared lessons learned from the past year. Members connected with one another over lunch and listened to case studies of Leagues exploring approaches to candidate forums, voter guides, and membership expansion. Thanks to everyone for their participation in these discussions. And, a huge heartfelt thank you to our gracious hosts - LWV Ripon Area volunteers who helped make this event a successful day.

Presentations & Resources

6th Annual Zabelle Malkasian Guest Lecture - 'Forward' Women in Wisconsin, Dr. Genevieve McBride, Professor Emerita of History at UW-Milwaukee

This year's Zabelle Malkasian lecture featured Dr. Genevieve McBride, Professor Emerita of History at UW-Milwaukee and author of On Wisconsin Women: Working for Their Rights from Settlement to Suffrage. We were honored to have Dr. McBride speak on Wisconsin's suffrage history. Dr. McBride gave an inspiring lecture highlighting the triumphs and roadblocks in the fight for Wisconsin women to vote. It was not an easy battle, and while Wisconsin was the first to ratify the 19th Amendment, Wisconsin was not a progressive leader, delaying women's access to the ballot box until it was inevitable. 

View Dr. McBride's presentation slides

Watch/Hear the recording of Dr. McBride's follow up Q & A from a special webinar session from September 12, 2019. Questions were taken in advance and during the Q & A and posed to Dr. McBride digging deeper into the content of suffrage in Wisconsin and also more broadly about the movement in general. There are many great takeaways as we consider the past and how it informs, challenges, and inspires the future.

Dr. McBride's book, On Wisconsin Women

Candidate Forums and Voter Guides - Exploring Effective Tactics and Procedures, Eileen Newcomer, LWVWI Voter Education Coordinator

Voter Education Coordinator, Eileen Newcomer, led a conversation on the League's role in engaging candidates to inform voters and explored different methods Leagues use to provide candidate information to voters. She shared a high-level overview of how three Leagues engage candidates to inform voters - LWVWI and our candidate answers on VOTE411, LWV of Door County and their candidate forums, and LWV of Dane County and their filmed candidate interviews - and shared advantages and challenges associated with each method. In addition to learning from the three case studies, attendees also had a chance to reflect on some shared challenges we face and crowdsource new ideas and potential solutions to address our most commonly shared challenge, candidate participation. 

Continue the conversation by joining the Voter Services Google Group. To join, contact Eileen Newcomer, enewcomer [at], 608-256-0827

View the presentation slides

Membership Expansion Efforts - Lessons from the Community Alliances Committee, Panel of Committee Members, Eloisa Gómez, Co Chair

The Community Alliances Committee (CAC) introduced itself as a learning community made up of five local Leagues,* exploring and sharing ways to strengthen and expand League diversity in alignment with the statewide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiative. CAC members reported forming DEI Committees and, in LWV Appleton’s case, creating a DEI Advisory Committee made up of League and non-League community members. The panel shared ideas for lowering League membership dues barriers, including Beloit’s scholarship option, Milwaukee County’s first-year $25 membership fee pilot program, Dane County’s use of “flex-fee” instead of “low income membership,” and Appleton’s tiered fee structure. Fee subsidies were discussed, broader structural questions for state and national were raised, and lobbying for an extension of the student fee waiver beyond January 2021 was stressed. The session concluded with thoughts on an evaluation process and the need to collect base-line and future membership demographic surveys. The CAC is grateful for local League DEI updates and ideas shared from participation at this Annual Meeting session.

Continue the conversation by joining the DEI and Community Alliances Google Group to post questions. To join, contact Ellen Penwell, epenwell [at], 608-256-0827

View the CAC's presentation slides