LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF NEW MEXICO
BOARD MEETING MINUTES
January 18, 2020
University of New Mexico Law School, Albuquerque New Mexico
Present: Kim Sorensen, secretary; Laura Atkins LWVSFC liaison; Karen Wentworth, LWVCNM; Susan Haase, LWVSFC; Jody Larson, archives; Meredith Machen, director; Becky Shankland, co-president LWVLA; Patricia Hawkins, director; Diane Goldfarb, voter services; Dick Mason, action; Karen Douglas, director; Judy Williams, past president; Hannah Burling, president; Suzanne Ronneau, treasurer; Kathy Brook, co-president LWVSNM; Barbara Calef, 2nd vice president; Akkana Peck, webmaster; Janet Blair, communications; Chris Furlanetto, program; Kathleen Burke, FDNM project coordinator.
The meeting was called to order at 11:12 a.m. by President Hannah Burling.
Approval of the agenda. The motion to approve the agenda with the change to put the Fair Districts NM report before the treasurer’s report passed.
Approval of the July 20 board minutes. The motion to approve the November 16th board minutes passed with minor changes.
Hannah Burling requested and the board approved Suzanne Ronneau be permitted to research Directors and Officers Liability Insurance. The group for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) was changed to the group for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI). The LWVUS Convention will be June 25-28. LWVNM will choose its delegates after the end of this month. Karen W. attended the meeting of the Government’s Commission on the Census. Hannah hopes all local Leagues are working with local census committees.
FAIR DISTRICTS NEW MEXICO REPORT
Dick Mason and Kathleen Burke reported. This is a long-term campaign that is building good momentum. The coalition now has 15 partners and is growing. Kathleen anticipates the coalition might have as many as 30 partners by the end of the year. She encouraged the board to send her names of organizations that might be interested in joining.
HM8 filed by FDNM will soon be finalized. Dick will email information to the membership to contact our representatives supporting the memorandum. Dick, Hannah and Judy met with the Governor’s Legislative Director. Members of the Navajo Nation’s Council also attended as did Heather Balas of the Thornburg foundation and a representative from Common Cause. Dick reported they are working on a press release on HM8. For $100 the NM Press Association (Sammy Lopez) will distribute the PR. Dick explained that he had decided not to push the Iowa bill since there was no hope of it passing in the Senate.
Educational forums on fair districting will be scheduled after the session. They still need local League redistricting contact persons from SNM.
Suzanne Ronneau reported that we have received all PMP’s. The ending bank balance as of 1/04/2020 was $30,961.01 and contributions to the ed fund of $150 and a $300 expense for the film, ‘The Shake-Up” resulted in an ed fund balance of $4,446.96. The LWVCNM ed fund marked for LWVNM recruitment of diverse individuals has a balance of $2,000.00 and the LWVCNM ed fund Redistricting Grant has a balance of 36,020.42. The year to date income and expenses through November 2019 were $3,537.45 and $3,776.98 respectively. Meredith noted they will have expenses for the centennial celebration. Suzanne reported we haven’t used a big percentage of the budget for the redistricting project this year. What isn’t spent this year will carry over to next year with more money hopefully added from the Thornburg Foundation.
Plans for League Day at the Legislature and the legislative reception scheduled for February 5 and 6 are in the final stages. A large slate of activities is planned, including proclamations from the governor’s office and Senate and House Memorials for both the centennial and LWV birthday, speakers, choir performances, display tables in the Rotunda, a 100 Year Minute slide show, and cake.
Top priorities for this legislative session include HB83 and HJR1 (early childhood permanent fund), HM8 (redistricting task force) and SB 134 (Study an Independent Redistricting Commission), and SB29 (solar market development tax credit). Dick will email members who have lobbied during past sessions requesting they do so again this year. The board discussed why we were not supporting the proposed legislation on open primaries since we have a position on it. We decided not to support it because of the “opt out” provision where parties can choose not to have open primaries on the condition they pay for the cost of the primary election.
Judy reported that the Vote 411 platform is improved. The board discussed whether or not to use Vote 411 for our voter guides and if we do, to what extent. For $5,000 we can cover every election for the year. Or, we could pay $2,500 and cover just federal and state senator and representative races. The biggest concern was about workload. It was pointed out that Vote 411 would replace what we do now and each local League would determine for which races they would use it or elect to not use it all. It was decided the $5,000 option made more sense because it allows us to cover all elections in the state. We could decide later which races outside the jurisdiction of the four local Leagues we want to cover. A motion was made to invest $5,000 to use Vote 411 for 2020 and figure it out later. Arguments in support included that it replaces what we currently do, and local Leagues can opt out, and it is an opportunity to cover major elections in the entire state. The motion passed with one nay vote. The logistics for implementation include enlisting the County Clerk’s Association and the Secretary of State to get contact information for candidates, working with local voter services directors, and determining where we will get the funding.
FUNDRAISING AGREEMENT WITH LOCAL LEAGUES
LWVNM has a fundraising agreement with local Leagues. Barbara read from the policy, which states that all fundraising for LWVNM should be authorized by the board of directors. LWVNM does not seek donations from League members.
CONCURRENCE ON VOTER REPRESENTATION/ELECTION PROCESS
The board received a request to adopt a voter representation/election process position through concurrence and to ask LWVUS to do the same. Chris Furlanetto pointed out that the concurrence position overlaps our own somewhat but some of the language in the concurrence position is vague. Since LWVNM has its own position, there is no need to adopt this one for ourselves. The board discussed whether to recommend the concurrence to LWVUS during the 2020 program planning and whether to support it later at the national convention in 2020. A motion was made and seconded for LWVNM to urge LWVUS to adopt the Voter Representation/Election Process Position through concurrence with the exception of remove the bullet point: “Promote sincere voting over strategic voting” and request its replacement with “Strive for an election outcome that more accurately represents voter preferences” as proposed by LWVCO in a message to state leaders on 1/12/120. The motion passed. Chris will write up language to reflect our recommendations for Hannah to send to local Leagues and the concurrence committee co-chairs.
BYLAWS AND POLICIES
Planning for Council. Barbara presented a document she created to guide in the preparation for LWWNM councils. The motion to adopt passed.
Electronic Meetings Policy. Barbara presented the LWVNM Electronics Meetings Policy. The motion to adopt the policy with minor changes passed.
LWVSNM ADVOCACY STATEMENT
An advocacy statement on immigration reform was submitted to the LWVNM board by the LWVSNM. The motion to approve the advocacy statement passed. Hannah requested that LWVSNM notify her and Meredith any time LWVSNM advocates for immigration reform at the state level. Dick asked if we should add HB72, Humane Treatment of Immigrants, to our advocacy list. The board agreed. LWVSNM will submit the advocacy statement to LWVUS for approval.
Janet showed us the PA system for consideration for purchase. The board decided it was too large, so Janet will send it back and Hannah and Janet will continue the search.
Janet presented the revised Communications Plan. It was moved and seconded to adopt the plan with minor changes. The motion passed.
Website and document storage: Akkana Peck announced that the bill tracker she developed for the last legislative session is available for League members to use. She will add information about it to the website.
SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL RESEARCH AND ADVOCACY COMMITTEE
Karen Douglas gave an update on the recent activities of the committee. The draft advocacy statement was submitted to LWVUS in December. LWVUS responded with recommendations later that month. Karen evaluated the recommendations. To satisfy the request that LWVNM cooperate with LWVTX, she has set up a skype tele-video at four local League sites on January 25th.
Jody Larson reported that she is using the archives work plan. She said we need to develop procedures for classifying documents and a detailed implementation plan.
ANTI-HARASSMENT TRAINING AND POLICY
Meredith reported the SOS lobbyist form contained questions asking if the applicant received sexual harassment training and whether their organization had a sexual harassment policy. Meredith presented a draft anti-harassment policy and gave the board an anti-harassment training. It was recommended to strike the sentence, “Any board member who is subject to an incident of sexual harassment or other unlawful harassment or who witnesses an incident of sexual or other unlawful harassment is required by law to promptly report the matter to authorities.” as well as “Retaliation against a board member who reports harassment of any type is illegal.” The word “sexual” was removed from the name of the policy. The motion to adopt the Harassment Policy as amended passed.
LOCAL LEAGUE REPORTS (submitted in writing)
ANNOUNCEMENTS, INITIATIVES, AND OTHER BUSINESS
Meredith expressed her disappointment that the money for diversity scholarships is slow in being spent. She encouraged local Leagues to step up their efforts in recruiting diverse individuals. Hannah reported that LWVSFC’s newest member of the JEDI group is involved in a 6-week training on diversity.
The next meeting is March 7th at the Santa Fe Higher Education Center
The meeting was adjourned at 3:03 p.m.
Written by Kim Sorensen 01/23/20
Edited by Barbara Calef 01/23/20