Minutes of 2019 Annual Meeting

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LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS NORTHFIELD-CANNON FALLS

Annual Meeting Minutes

April 13, 2019

ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING

The annual meeting opened at 9:32, with 48 people in attendance.  President Adrienne Falcon spoke about her recent trip to the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, NY, connecting to the upcoming centennial of the LWV.  She noted that LWV has accomplished a great deal, but it has not been successful with all of its issues.  And there are issues here in our state to be addressing.

President’s Report

President Falcon reviewed the work of LWVNCF of the past year.  Among these were:

  • The study on homelessness LWVNCF did in conjunction with Professor Lisa Moore’s social work class at St. Olaf, and its presentation on the topic during the fall
  • Strong voter services during the fall
  • Work on democracy issues and gun violence and control
  • Letter writing gatherings
  • Nick Harper, civic engagement director for LWVMN, spoke on League’s legislative priorities and how local leagues can be engaged in advocacy
  • Member involved with local Complete Count Census Committee

Terry Rocers made a motion to accept the President’s Report.  This was seconded by Orick Peterson, and approved by all.

Voters’ Services

Melanie Freeze reported on the active year in this area.

  • League members registered voters at several events and worked with the high schools. Freeze estimated that LWV helped register 300 people.
  • Registration was up locally with over 75% of registered voters voting in the area.
  • LWVNCF hosted opportunities to meet and hear from candidates in three communities—Northfield, Cannon Falls, and Randolph.
  • LWVNCF applied for and received a grant for $600 from LWVMN to assist with voter services.

Paul Zorn made a motion to accept the Voter Services report.  A second was offered by Mary Carlsen, and the motion was approved.

Treasurer’s Report

Paul Zorn presented the report for the past year and the budget for the upcoming year.  The largest annual expense is the per member payments LWVNCF makes to state and national leagues.  The proposed budget has a projected deficit of $205, but often the full budgeted amounts are not spent.

A motion to approve the budget was made by Paul Zorn, seconded by Patricia Johnson, and approved by those present.

Membership Report

Melanie Freeze reported that the committee is seeking more members.  The committee’s goal for the coming year is to increase membership to 80-100 people from about 50.  Plans include continuing to engage students and to reach out to more diverse groups to invite them to become involved in League.

In addition, Freeze noted that work is being done to update the website and that people can now pay their dues online.

Zorn returned to make a proposal to raise membership dues as follows:

Student:                      remain $10

Fixed income:            remain $20

Individual:                  from $65 to $70         Sustaining:     $90

Household:                from $85 to 105          Sustaining:     $120

A motion to approve the increases in dues was made by Melanie Freeze and seconded by Paul Zorn.  The motion passed.

Slate of Officers

Mary Carlsen presented the slate of officers for the coming year.

Co-Presidents:           Adrienne Falcon and Patricia Johnson

Vice President:           Kathleen Doran-Norton

Secretary:                  Corinne Smith

Treasurer:                   Paul Zorn

Voter Services:           Melanie Freeze

At-Large:                     Amy Smith, Debby Walser-Kuntz, Serena Zabin

Falcon will be going onto the LWVMN Board so having a co-president will be helpful.

A motion to accept the slate was made by Mary Carlsen and a second was offered by Mary Lewis Grow.  The motion passed.

In-Coming Co-President

Johnson spoke about two programs that LWVNCF will be working on in the coming year.

  • Letter Writing: League will hold regular letter writing sessions the third Saturday of each month, at the Hideaway, 9:10-30 am.  The topic with relevant information will be developed in advance.  People may stop by and write letters, bring other issues to discuss and address, or read about the topic online and write from home.
  • Moderator Training: LWVNCF will work on providing moderator training locally and for the colleges to help develop resources for the 2020 election year.
  • Ongoing Work: This will include housing, local League history, and Census.

Comment:  Sandy Wollschlager suggested that LWVNCF consider partnering with AAUW to address the issue of the ERA.

The meeting closed at 10:08.

HISTORY PRESENTATIONS

Following the Annual Business Meeting, LWVNCF held a program on the history of the local league.  Serena Zabin, history professor at Carleton, shared the work she and her students have been doing researching the work of the local league over its lifetime.  She explained that LWVN is one of the oldest Leagues in Minnesota, having had some rises and falls over its history.

Alice Thomas spoke about how important League was to her and to many young women new to Northfield and at home with children.  The League provided them a place to engage intellectually and to learn skills for research and advocacy.  She spoke about an effort that League made to research issues of poverty in the area and the attitudes toward it by the public and among the administration of General Relief in Rice County.  The process increased community awareness of the issues and contributed to the creation of the Community Action Center and the Human Rights Commission.

Judy Covey also spoke about the time when local League members were involved in many studies.  In addition, she shared some stories the involvement of local members with programs beyond Northfield.  These included LWVMN’s creating ‘We’ve Got the Power’, a curriculum to be used by schools on the importance of voting; taking the Minnesota study and position on gun control to LWVUS convention where it was approved; and working with LWVUS to host a senatorial debate in Washington, DC between the incumbent senator Rudy Boschwitz and the challenger Paul Wellstone.

Respectfully submitted by Corinne Smith