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November 2017 Meeting

Sandy Smith welcomed the six attendees: Jessica Knowlton, Jennifer Howard, Chrystal Schivell, Ellen Kemp, Lee Forbes, and Elizabeth Bates.

Voter Service Summary of Activity
Sandy Shapiro reported, through Chrystal, that in the ninety days before the election, the LWVPA website received 3,472 page views, of which 2,673 occurred between October 1 and November 7. The ballot questions were most frequently viewed (911); the gubernatorial debate was second (411). The figures suggest that it is worthwhile to continue posting election information on our website as well as on VOTE411.org.

Forums
Chrystal reported on the statistics for the three forums sponsored by LWVPA:
  • Princeton Board of Education (co-sponsored with Princeton Community TV) – 43 in the audience, 282 plays of the video 
  • 14th Legislative District (co-sponsored with Monroe and East Windsor/Hightstown – 125 in the audience, 126 plays of the video 
  • Montgomery Township Board of Education – 28 in the audience, 309 plays of the video 
Registration Drives
In addition to a voter registration training session in July for the Princeton Landing Huddle, the following registration drives were conducted:
  • Mercer County Community College (Jeanne Turner and Sandy Smith volunteered to help the Lawrence League) 
  • Princeton Landing (Jeanne Turner) 
  • South Brunswick Public Library (Edith Neimark) 
  • West Windsor Farmers' Market (Joan Bharucha) 
  • Various community colleges, high schools and vocational schools (Harriet Warner) 
At least 709 citizens, most of them students who registered during the drives organized by Harriet, completed registration forms on site. At least 18 registration & 4 vote-by-mail forms were distributed. Details of each drive were reported to LWVNJ via their online form. Our drives were supported by groups such as the Princeton Landing Huddle and Unitarian Universalists. Many thanks to every member who supported voter registration.

VOTE411.org
Kudos to the members who covered the races within LWVPA’s territory
  • Patricia Casey – Princeton BOE, Mercer County Freeholder and Sheriff 
  • Sandy Smith – West Windsor Township Council and Mayor, West Windsor and Plainsboro BOE 
  • Harriet Warner – Franklin Township Council, all five wards 
  • Chrystal Schivell – Montgomery Township Committee and BOE, Hillsborough Township Committee and BOE, South Brunswick Township Council, Mayor, and BOE 
  • Ann Armstrong – Rocky Hill, Somerset County Freeholder and Clerk 
  • Monroe Township LWV - Middlesex County Freeholder and Surrogate 
The Voter Service team plans to cover contested primaries this spring and hopes that in 2018 the municipalities listed above will be covered by members who live in those municipalities. The Voter Service team will ask LWVUS how to print the material on VOTE411 and will suggest to LWVUS that an app be created so that millennials can access VOTE411 on their smart phones.

Ellen, Jennifer, Sandy, and Jessica agreed that LWVPA needs to establish a presence on social media, as LWV of Lawrence Township and other Leagues have done. Ellen and Jennifer will look into Facebook, and Jessica will try to find a young person, perhaps a Scout, to set up a LWVPA Facebook page. A volunteer will be needed to maintain the page.

Treasurer's Report
Ellen reports that all is well. Voter Service stayed well within its budget and the next major expenditure will be sending representatives to Convention. A copy of the report is available in the Members Only section of the website.

Planning for 2018
January 9 – LWVUS program planning. Lee will lead the discussion/approval of LWVUS positions.

March 22 – LWVNJ’s Making Democracy Work cocktail party fundraiser

April 17 (which is not the second Tuesday) – Leadership Committee meeting at which all members are welcome. Purpose is planning for next year. 

TBD Annual Dinner 
– Jessica Knowlton has volunteered to be in charge and took notes on how past dinners have been organized. The date will likely be a Monday in May that works well for our speaker.

LWVUS Convention – Thursday, June 28, 2018 to Sunday, July1, 2018 at the Hilton Chicago

Updating Bylaws
Jennifer Howard and Lee Forbes undertook the massive job of updating LWVPA’s bylaws after thirty years. They created two drafts – one based on the traditional organizational structure of president, vice-president, etc. and the other based on a leadership committee form of management. Both drafts begin with wording required by LWVNJ regarding the League’s name and address, its purpose and policy, and the criteria for membership.

Attendees were asked to choose one of the organizational structures, and the Leadership Committee form was chosen. Jennifer and Lee then explained the changes in each article that were necessary to make the bylaws reflect actual practice but without losing the protective structure inherent in bylaws themselves. Much discussion centered on the need to have a structure versus the concern that the structure not restrict the flexibility required to deal with real situations. Although the meeting ran late, there was consensus about dates, time frames, and most updates. Jennifer will present a second draft to the Leadership Committee. Once the bylaws are finalized, they will be sent to membership prior to the Annual Dinner, at which members will vote on them.