Students Making Democracy Work Brainstorm
September 14, 2018
Attending: Rita Kipp, Jordann Kea, Marsha Crawford, Lyn Roberstson, Isaac Davis, Rich Kipp, Tracee Laing, Charlie O’Keefe, Kim Byce, Amparo Saladino, Andrew Saladino, Ceciel Shaw.
Students included one from Denison, one from OSUN-COTC (who attended Granville High last year), and one from Newark High School. Each of them held their own in this chatty group.
Rita talked first about the nonpartisan ethos of LWV and our focus on voting rights and education. We hope more young people will work with us, the better to reach others with the message that voting matters. Each participant used a worksheet with these questions to frame the discussion:
1. What kinds of political engagement do you see already on your campus? (Or among your children and grandchildren?)
DU students talk about politics informally and often in everyday discussions. There are also clubs for Democrats, Republicans, Feminists and other social justice groups.
Rita and Lyn talked about the presence of CEEP (Campus Election Engagement Project) at DU this year, a nonpartisan group whose mission is very similar to the LWV’s and with which we are currently working.
Granville High School has groups for both major parties. Isaac was not yet aware of party-based clubs at OSUN, but there are some social justice groups. GHS also has groups for Democrats and Republicans.
Charlie described students (and young people in his family) as informed and passionate about issues but slow to engage. He had to push his grandsons to register. Jordann and Isaac also see the passion for issues among their friends but little commitment to voting.
2. Why do you suppose that people aged 18 – 24 are the least likely to vote of any age group?
Isaac mentioned voter suppression, e.g., gerrymandering and big money in politics. Many are discouraged or hopeless and feel that their vote does not make a difference. Negative campaigning and reporting around elections lead some to reject politics. Bernie Sanders got many people excited but then when he was not selected, they dropped out of engagement (Jordann). Do students understand the significance of a midterm election? Most do not.
Research shows that whether parents vote is one of the best predictors of whether young people do so.
3. What are some ways to get more students involved in politics?
We talked about the impact of social relationships — family, friends, teachers — to influence voting.
Charlie feels that they want to get involved with things that are fun.
CEEP at Denison is hoping to host a competition between dorms to register and vote.
First-time voters need help navigating the polling place and process.
Make voting a social event, providing a bus to pick up early voters. In this be mindful of student schedules over the week and pick a good time. Create an event or party around which to vote early.
Sometimes students do not vote because they do know about the issues (e.g., none in this group was aware of Issue 1 [about drugs] on the fall ballot) nor the local candidates.
Get the word out about Vote411.org. Many around the table had not heard of it, and when they did, some pulled out their phones immediately to give it a try. Tracee will draft a flyer and send to Jordann who will get to the Dems and Republicans on campus to print and distribute it.
Voter education should be free and streamable.
Start voter education programs earlier, even in childhood, like the campaign to recycle. Kids learned this in school and took it home to influence their parents.
Engage teachers (especially of government) to work with us.
Approach the boards and principals – solicit their support.
Could we register and inform voters at athletic events?
Finally, Rita described our new LWV student memberships and distributed forms to all participants. Our first student member – Jordann Kea – signed up on the spot! While campus groups are hard to sustain over the years due to the changing population and leadership, but student energies invested in the LWV will go into a sustainable organization and they can continue the membership when they transfer or go from high school to college.
• Follow through on these ideas and educate widely about vote411.
• Develop an annual plan or calendar of student outreach.
• Write a grant proposal to support student outreach and to develop a mentoring program.
LWV Licking County Annual Meeting
August 30, 2018
Rita Kipp reminded us of our vision as a staunchly nonpartisan organization that aims to educate citizens to participate actively in democracy. There were about 50 people present including 36 members and 12-15 guests.
After a year of meteoric growth in paid memberships, and a full calendar year of events and accomplishments, including many voter registration events, a grant-funded panel for high school students, an educational program on poverty in our county, and participating in a forum for the District 12 primary candidates, we are ready to take the next step: becoming a fully autonomous Local League and leaving behind our temporary status as an At Large Unit.
LWVO requires four elements for becoming a Local League. Our primary business for the evening was to discuss and vote on those elements.
On behalf of the Nominating Committee, Michelle Newman Brady moved the following slate of officers and leaders:
- • President, Rita Kipp (2 year)
• VP, Carol Apacki (1 year)
• Secretary, Kim Byce (2 year)
• Treasurer, Jane Wilken (1 year)
• Membership, Marsha Crawford (2 year)
• Nominating Committee (all 1 year terms):
o Michelle Newman Brady (chair), Jim Bidigare, and Jan MacAuley
There were no nominations from the floor; the slate was elected unanimously.
Rita Kipp also introduced the other board members who serve by appointment rather than by election. Our leadership has consisted of four officers to this point. Going forward, the 10-member Board of Directors will be the effective leadership body of LWVLC.
- • Maija Bamford, social events
• Anne Goodge, voter registration
• Susan Haas, voter education
• Pam Wilson, development
On behalf of the Board, Susan Haas moved to withdraw the draft of the Bylaws placed on the table at the April business meeting. (There was no quorum in April, and two small changes were made to the draft subsequently.) The motion to withdraw was approved.
Susan Haas moved that we approve the current draft Bylaws as posted on our web site two weeks ago. After some questions of clarification, they were approved unanimously.
Jane Wilken reviewed the main points of the budget as posted on our web site, summarizing revenues and expenses and noting that membership dues will remain the same this year.
On behalf of the Board, Jane moved to approve the budget. Approval was unanimous.
Carol Apacki moved the adoption of the LWVUS’s Campaign for Making Democracy Work as our 2018-19 Program for study and action. That campaign focuses on election integrity, voting rights, campaign finance and redistricting. Our particular focus will be on voter rights, and we will continue to register and educate voters in fulfilling this program. The motion passed unanimously.
Carol Apacki announced an educational program on Migrant Workers in Licking County featuring Granville Township Trustee Bryn Bird and others.
Tuesday, September 25, 2018 at the United Church of Granville, 7:00 pm
Members expressed a number of other hopes and ambitions:
- • We need to diversify our membership – by ethnic background, party, and age.
Comment: let’s have scholarships to allow those with financial need to join. We will promote student memberships this year as well, taking advantage of the new LWVUS pricing of $5.
• We anticipate sponsoring a forum this fall for candidates or issues.
• We should develop a buddy system to help members access computers and get to meetings. This could also be a recruitment tool.
• Someone suggested that we join the Licking County Chamber of Commerce (we belong to the Granville Chamber).
Rita thanked these additional people who have contributed to the League over its first year:
Christine Ramsey, Treasurer, who laid our financial and legal foundations
Ken Apacki, who developed and maintains our web site
Mike Curtain, a freelance journalist retired from a career as editor and Associate Publisher of the Columbus Dispatch, spoke about the need for persistence and patience. He began by observing that winning women’s suffrage entailed a struggle that lasted 72 years. Similarly, he pointed to the League’s dogged persistence over many decades on redistricting in Ohio.
Himself a member of the League, Curtin admires and supports the League for its contributions to democracy and civil discourse in our state and the nation. He would not accept an honorarium from us, but we did send him home with an LWV tee shirt that he promised to wear proudly.
Forming a task force on student members
Are you interested in brainstorming about how to attract and engage student members?
Leagues across the country are now able to offer student memberships for annual dues of $5.00. How can we take advantage of this opportunity? How should we recruit high schoolers and college students to join the League and/or work with us? How do we inspire and then mobilize these new members? What kind of programs and leadership should we create for them?
I want a small task force to work on these questions. Not a standing committee, this temporary group would be charged to think about engaging students and produce a report with recommendations for the Board of Directors.
If your professional experience, past or present, includes working with students, your participation could be especially valuable.
Let me know if serving on this task force is of interest to you.
+++++Annual Meeting Guest Speaker++++++++++++++++++
All are welcome to attend the Annual Meeting. While members will be asked to vote on several items in preparation for becoming a local league (bylaws, budget, leaders, and a program), friends and followers are welcome to witness the process.
What is more, after the business is done we will hear a speaker, Mike Curtin. Several of us who attended State House Day in April were inspired by Curtin’s keynote address so I asked if he would do a repeat performance for us in Licking County.
Mike Curtin knows Ohio politics inside and out. Formerly a member of the Ohio House of Representatives, he is perhaps best known as editor and Associate Publisher of the Columbus Dispatch. Now retired, Curtin is also the author of the Ohio Politics Almanac. He is a a long-time friend of the League.
Annual Meeting of the LWVLC
August 30th at 7:00 p.m.
621 Mt. Vernon Rd, Newark
Park behind the building (the old Roosevelt School)
Hope to see you there!
+++++Program for 2018-2019++++++++++++++++++++++
Unanimously approved 30 August 2018.
This is the last of four emails with documents for the Annual Meeting. We will post all four under the new tab “For the members” on our website.
As a Local League, we must adopt an annual Program, i.e., a plan of study or action on one or more issues. If the League does not have a position already (at the US or the Ohio level) on an issue we wish to adopt (e.g., a local issue), we must follow a 10-step protocol to study it before taking a position.
The leadership feels that we are not ready to undertake such a study so we recommend adopting the LWVUS ‘s Making Democracy Work campaign for the coming year. This will mean simply focusing on the League’s core mission and doing voter registration and voter education as we had planned to do anyway.
Proposal: a Program for 2018-2019
The Board of Directors of LWVLC recommends that the Campaign for Making Democracy Work serves as our program for 2018-2019, aligning ourselves fully with the League at the national level and its core mission.
The Campaign for Making Democracy Work® – includes ensuring a free, fair and accessible electoral system for all eligible voters by focusing on:
· Voting Rights
· Improving Elections
· Campaign Finance/Money in Politics
To be specific, we will implement this program in Licking County by aiming for goals that the LWVUS recommends for all local leagues in this election year. Namely:
- Host at least 10 voter registration events.
- Sign up as a National Voter Registration Day partner: nationalvoterregistrationday.org.
- Protect voters! Meet with local elections officials to discuss challenges & solutions.
- Host at least one candidate forum or debate
- Publish an online voters’ guide on VOTE411.org.
- Get Out the Vote! Send election alerts to new registrants, volunteers, & partners.
- Respond to & share LWVUS action alerts
- Fight for fair redistricting and encourage a complete 2020 Census count.
- Share our impact stories on social media and in the press.
+++++LWVLC By Laws Draft July 2018++++++++++++++++
Unanimously approved 30 August 2018.
This is the third of four emails with information about things for the Annual Meeting.
An earlier draft of the bylaws has been on our website for several months. At the time, I notified people about putting it there, encouraging feedback.
On April 22nd we held a business meeting to summarize the bylaws and discuss them. As a result of that discussion, the officers made two changes:
- The description of the Nominating Committee was edited for clarification. This was not a substantive change.
- The April draft specified a common due date for all members’ annual renewals.
This new draft says that membership dues will be collected on an individual rolling basis.
At the meeting in April we approved a motion to accept the bylaws as drafted at that point. Because of the two changes listed above, and because we did not have a quorum, someone on the board will ask first to withdraw that motion. The same person will then move that we endorse the current draft attached to this message.
I welcome your questions about the bylaws ahead of the meeting and will also invite questions from the floor before we vote.
Unanimously approved 30 August 2018.
Some basic things to know about it are:
- Membership dues will remain the same ($60 for individuals; $90 for households). We will also be able to offer students a membership at $5.00 in keeping with a new League policy at the state and national levels, although this is not built into our budget.
- Membership dues, once we are a Local League, will be deposited in our Park National account. We will be responsible for reminding people to renew their memberships on a rolling calendar depending on when they joined.
- We will be responsible for making a Per Member Payment (PMP) annually to the League, and that will be $32 per individual and $48 per household membership.
+++++2018 NOMINATIONS FOR OFFICERS++++++++++++++
Unanimously approved 30 August 2018.
This is the first of four emails with materials for the annual meeting.
Some background first on the election of leaders:
- These are the only elected positions on the Board of Directors. Others are appointed.
- All four officers serve two-year terms but we need to elect them in a staggered fashion. Next year we will again have the positions of Treasurer and Vice President on the ballot for an additional year but not the President and Secretary.
- This slate originated from the Board/Officers but next year and at subsequent Annual Meetings, the Nominating Committee will present a slate.
- As chair of the meeting, I will also solicit nominations from the floor. Anyone so nominated must have consented to stand for election before the meeting.
Slate of Nominations for Officers and Leaders 2018-2019
President, Rita Kipp (2-year term)
Vice President, Carol Apacki (1-year term)
Secretary, Kimberly Byce (2-year term)
Treasurer, Jane Wilken (1-year term)
Chair, Membership Committee (2-year term)
Nominating Committee (all 1-year terms)
Michelle Newman Brady (Chair)
Dear LWVLC Members,
I am excited about seeing you on August 30th and accomplishing some important tasks together.
At the Annual Meeting we will vote to approve the elements required for becoming a Local League. Those elements are:
- A slate of officers and other leaders
- A budget for 2018-2019
- A program, i.e., an action/work plan for the coming year
I will be sending each of these to the membership in separate emails over a four-day period. Please read them in preparation for the meeting. We will also post them to the website, League of Women Voters of Licking County.
Do let me know if you have questions, objections, or reservations about anything in the materials requiring a vote . I will respond to you personally and hope to answer or resolve them before the meeting so that our time together in a big group can be most productive.
While others are welcome to attend this meeting (and we will also enjoy hearing a great speaker, so do bring a friend!), only members have the right and responsibility of voting. We’ll need a quorum of at least 20% of the membership to hold these votes, i.e., 16 out of our approximately 80 members.
When: August 30th, 7:00 p.m. Doors open at 6:30.
Where: Newark School Administration Building
621 Mt. Vernon Rd, Newark (Rt. 13)
Don’t miss it. And look for the four emails in the coming week with things to read in preparation.