The LWVMA Board has approved three key priorities developed from member input at last April’s Convention. These priorities–in Governance and Leadership Development, Membership, and Strategic Planning—will guide our work in the coming year. A summary document can be found here.
The 100-plus members at Convention participated in focus groups to share their thoughts about ways to engage members in grassroots activism, balance the League’s thoughtful approach with a need to be more nimble, and keep the League relevant. These responses, which dovetail with some of the work being done by LWVUS, have guided our work these last several months.
The Board broke into four groups to identify themes in the responses. These included membership categories and options; PMPs and roster management; consensus/study process; partnerships; non-partisanship; engagement; and visibility. Some of these themes (such as PMPs and roster management) we deferred pending the work being done by LWVUS.
At our Board retreat in June, we developed three areas for strategic focus:
- Governance and Leadership Development: The Board agreed we should look at how other state Boards are organized and make recommendations about ways to change the Board structure to be more effective. Second, we want to build an organization of leaders for our local Leagues and for the state Board by encouraging members to participate in standing committees of the Board, such as membership and voter services.
- Membership and Civic Engagement: The first part of this priority is to support and inspire action at the local level for Leagues and members at large. This would include providing training opportunities and ensuring that toolkits and other resources are available, involving members in action and advocacy opportunities, and providing opportunities to collaborate with other Leagues. Second, we’d like to increase our impact in areas where there is no League by providing activities and engagement opportunities and fostering new Leagues and members at large.
- Strategic planning: We intend to position the Board to undertake a strategic planning effort by next summer. To do this, we need to identify key stakeholders, ask each to identify the LWVMA’s priorities and effectiveness, and inventory and assess the current systems and metrics to identify gaps.
At our Board retreat, we also identified two other areas which would be part of all our work. First, increasing and ensuring diversity in our membership and leadership is vital to our growth, and this needs to be part of everything we do. Second, we recognized that the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment and the birth of the League is an important milestone, and that the Board should begin planning now to recognize this event.
We will continue to report to members in the coming months on our progress.