ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING
The annual meeting opened at 6:45 pm with singing of suffragette songs led by Bonnie Jean Flom, and Theo Wee. Thirty-five people were in attendance.
President Adrienne Falcon welcomed people and spoke of the importance of the role of LWV in our country today.
The Minutes from the 2017 Annual Meeting were reviewed. Janet Petri made a motion to approve the minutes, Paul Zorn seconded it, and the motion carried.
Falcon explained that League is creating an archive of LWV documents and records from its past history. Falcon invited people with such files to share them so that they can be added to LWVNCF archives and a digital version of that.
President Falcon recognized the Board Members and acknowledged the work of the committees. The events of the year were reviewed:
- Student intern who created a new website over the summer and updated the archives.Also did research as to what is going on in Northfield, identifying strengths and concerns. Identified housing as a significant issue.
- Voter services—2 forums were held in the fall for the elections.
- Training for City on Roberts Rules of Order. City would like to collaborate further with LWV.
- Democratic Practices committee began to meet and planned for two programs. One was a training for participating in caucuses and had speakers that represented both political parties. The other program was on the upcoming 2020 Census and some of the challenges that are being designed into the plans that might limit its effectiveness.
- Letter writing campaign as follow up to the Census program and anticipate continuing with this in the coming year.
- Events brought in both LWV members and others in the community.
- Participated in programs by other groups—a democratic jubilee and earth day.
- Registered NHS graduating seniors. Registered voters at a community play performance.
- Study on homelessness in conjunction with a St. Olaf social work class. This was the first study by this LWV in many years.
- Falcon recognized those who have made significant contributions to LWV work during the year.
- LWV had an additional two college interns over the school year who helped with website and public meetings.
Terry Rocers moved to adopt the annual report. Janet Petri offered a second. The motion wasapproved.
Bonnie Jean Flom reported on membership for the year, announcing that the membership events had drawn a good attendance with people showing interest in League. We gained a few new members and the others continue to receive information from us.
The committee held two new member events over the year and have another planned for August.
Flom is stepping down and the committee is seeking a new chairperson for the coming year.
Paul Zorn reviewed the budget, explaining the upcoming budget in relationship to the past year’s expenditures.
This year will be an election year, so will necessitate more voters’ services events and associated expenses. Melanie Freeze applied for a grant from the LWVMN for LWVNCF to assist with this and the grant was approved. The budget includes a proposed deficit for coming year because of these additional expenses.
The major expense is the per member payments that go to LWVMN and LWVUS, leaving just a small amount of the dues for actual use by the local League. Single membership dues provide $7.00 for LWVNCF, and family memberships provide $11. We do offer lower membership rates for students and those for whom this option would be helpful.
Zorn encouraged people to give an additional gift as all of that will stay with the local League.
Another significant upcoming expense is the cost of sending a member to the national convention. This year President Falcon will attend the convention in Chicago.
A $600 anonymous contribution has been given to LWVNCF. The contribution came with an invitation for members to make extra contributions that will total to this amount. Members are encouraged to accept this challenge.
Pat Johnson made a motion to accept the report and Ricky Peterson seconded it. The motion passed.
Ricky Peterson presented the slate of nominees for the coming year.
President: Adrienne Falcon
Vice President: Pat Johnson and Kathleen Doran-Norton
Treasurer: Paul Zorn
Secretary: Corinne Smith
Voter Services: Melanie Freeze
At Large: Debby Walser-Kuntz
Nominations for the positions were invited from the floor. None were made.
Peterson made a motion that the nominations cease. This was seconded by Flom and the motion carried.
Mary Steen reported on a study for which LWVNCF partnered with Professor Lisa Moore and her social work class at St. Olaf. She and Kathleen Doran-Norton attended classes. Steen stated that the students did a report that provided valuable academic research and data. The students interviewed relevant people in the community that have knowledge of the issues—Community Action Center, Public Schools, County Social Services, City of Northfield. Steen and Doran-Norton will continue this work turning it into a LWV study. Others are welcome to assist with this.
Doran-Norton explained the process regarding the study going forward, and she requested approval for the LWV to continue with this.
Jane McWilliams asked that LWV look at existing positions on issue from LWVUS and LWVMN and see if we want to concur with existing positions or if we want to expand on the existing positions. Doran-Norton reported that they were doing that and that they plan to create a paper that can be distributed to interested people.
Doran-Norton explained plans to follow up the homeless study in the coming year with a study on affordable housing with Professor Moore and one of her classes. Moore spoke to the value for the students of being involved with this and having contact with the LWV members who attended class.
A Latino organizer present at the meeting spoke about the challenges for local Latinos to find and afford appropriate housing, encouraging the League to continue this work.
Allene Moesler made a motion to adjourn the meeting. SandyWollschlager seconded the motion. The motion carried.
Betty Folliard, former state legislator and representative and one of the founders of ERA MN, was the speaker.
She stared with a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people”. Folliard went on to speak of her lofty goals and the concept that all issues are women’s issues and that women need to be involved in them all. Among the ones she mentioned were: Climate change, transportation access, education, sexual and reproductive health rights, and women in government, business, and leadership roles. Folliard spoke in more depth about passing the ERA in Minnesota and working for Minnesota’s supporting CEDAW (Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women).
The Annual Meeting closed with singing at 8:15 pm.