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January 2020 Meeting

To hear a recording of the meeting, go to https://zoom.us/rec/share/6edKAovR0HlOE5HC41rleacATqLheaa80HdK8qBZnkc36hs_tyq6h9ipCjjiy3an

Attention Members: Have you paid your dues? Do you know anyone interested in joining League? We need just five more dues-paying members before January 31 to qualify for a second voting delegate to the LWVUS Convention. Please help if you can.

Please also send to Cindy Gordon and Jeanne Turner the names of contacts you may have with businesses and organizations that might partner with the League. See the sections on Communications and PR and Fundraising below for an explanation.

Treasurer’s Report and Financial Planning
Ellen Kemp reported that the League’s budget is still on track but that because we draw on our reserves each year, we have only about five years left before reserves run out. She suggested that we consider fundraising now and that we set up a PayPal account or use Fast Action, which is cheaper than PayPal, to expedite paying for dues, the annual dinner, etc. The ease of paying online will be worth the charge.

It has been our practice to pay for the dinners of our speakers and honorees and their spouse or parent at the annual dinner. Whether to ask for donations from members to cover the cost or to include it in the price of the dinner was discussed.

Communications and PR
Cindy Gordon suggested that LWVPA pursue the following goals: Make LWV-Princeton Area an integral part of the community—a resource to be called upon. For example, when new citizens are sworn in, call us to help with voter registration. Demonstrate our relevance in 2020 and overcome outdated perceptions about the League. Attract new members from all demographics and increase participation from our current membership. Specific activities might include providing PR support for yearly activities like Voter Girl and the Centennial and promoting programs such as voter registration, VOTE411, and candidate forums.

Cindy’s broader ideas include establishing partnerships with community organizations and businesses, especially establishing regular communication with all libraries—to be a resource for them on women’s suffrage, voting in NJ, and law changes. Staffing a table at the Garden or McCarter Theater during relevant movies, talking to people, and handing out flyers would increase our visibility as would asking small businesses like restaurants and hair salons to display our information about voter registration or a sign "I support LWV/protecting democracy.” We might look for events that attract young people (discount nights or LGBTQ mixers) and piggyback on events that already exist, so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Proclamations, Cindy noted, increase visibility. The Leadership Committee agreed to implement immediately Cindy’s suggestion that LWV-Princeton Area ask all mayors in our Princeton Area for a proclamation in honor of the LWV Centennial on February 14. Cindy, experienced in writing proclamations, had one ready, and, fortunately, each municipality—South Brunswick, West Windsor, Montgomery, Princeton, Plainsboro—had a resident at the meeting who volunteered to contact her mayor. Volunteers are still needed for Rocky Hill. You may read the proclamation here.

If the League is to carry out the above goals, LWVPA members must let Cindy know about any liaisons they may have to local businesses, each municipality, each school district, McCarter, Princeton University, and others. Contact her at cindygord@comcast.net. Please also join her committee. And, of course, each of us must support each of the events proposed

Fundraising
Jeanne Turner, who has had experience in Sponsorship Marketing (specializing in Arts and Non Profits) and is volunteering to lead a committee to work on raising funds, described two options. The first would tap into the marketing budget of a business and would thus require promotion on the part of the League. For example, in return for a donation, a business might be allowed to display a window sign “Proud Supporter of LWV in their Centennial Year.” In return for donations, the League might write articles for local papers acknowledging the sponsors or might thank them from the podium at the annual dinner and distribute their promotional material to League members. A large donation might even merit a free ticket to the annual dinner.

A hook to make such sponsorship interesting to the press would be to target businesses that either cater mostly to women, are named after or owned by women (Teresa’s, Lilipies), or are known for being good citizens.

The second option Jeanne described is promotional fundraisers such as Nomad Pizza’s partnership with the Princeton Democrats: “10% of all profits on Friday, January xx will be donated to the PCDO.” The League would have to promote the event in the local media and among members, provide signage, and urge everyone to eat Nomad pizza that Friday. The business would benefit by building goodwill in the community and because the event drives traffic to it.

These suggestions require support from ALL League members (and their families and friends) to drive business traffic to the sponsor. Also needed is someone who can make attractive signage. Most importantly, introductions to local business owners that will smooth the way for whoever approaches them about sponsoring the League are needed. Jeanne is willing to approach businesses but asks that members send her any contact information or introductions they may have. Please email her at jeanne7x7@gmail.com.

Voter Girl
Kathleen Moriarty and Terri Flanagan have volunteered to represent LWV-Princeton Area in helping with Voter Girl on March 7. Kathleen described the event as a collaboration between LWVUS and the Girl Scouts in which scouts in grades two through seven earn citizenship badges. The morning starts with meetings with local elected officials, is followed by badge workshops—including the chance to use a voting machine—and ends at 12:30 PM. Members are encouraged to drop in at one of the four sites: Pitman, Plainfield, Woodland Park, and Brick Township. For more information visit https://www.lwvnj.org/header/events or contact susanferris123@gmail.com.

Centennial Luncheon
LWVNJ has sent a Save-the-Date email for the event: Sunday, March 22, 2020, 1 PM, Forsgate Country Club, Monroe Township, NJ. Watch for further details.

Annual Dinner
Plans were made and responsibilities designated. Watch your email closer to May for details.

LWVUS Program Planning
Attendees supported continuing the Campaign for Making Democracy Work and made no recommendation for another program. Lee listed the areas—voting rights, redistricting, etc.—on which LWV-Princeton Area has worked and the LWVUS positions that our League has used to act at the state and local level. There was some discussion about the purpose and value of concurrence and a consensus that it is a useful tool. It was agreed that we include a comment that New Jersey has had problems with Vote-by-Mail. Lee will submit the online report to LWVUS.

LWVUS Convention
Convention takes place June 25-28 at the Hyatt Capital Hill in Washington, DC. If you are interested in attending, either as a voting delegate or League member, please let a member of the LC know. It’s recommended that you make reservations for a room at the Hyatt now.