The League of Women Voters has tried “to create a more perfect democracy” the past 100 years, according to its website.
Liz Bander, LWV U.S. liaison for Northwest state and local leagues, addressed the history and future of the league in a talk titled, “The League Way and the Way Forward,” to the LWV Moscow on Wednesday in the Arts Workshop of the 1912 Center in Moscow.
Bander said voting has, and continues to be in many places, unjust.
“The League of Women Voters is in a really unique position here to make it better and help change that,” Bander said.
She outlined a “transformation road map” for the league’s strategic priorities.
Her first point of the road map was identifying a clear strategic focus.
“Our mission is to empower voters and defend democracy,” Bander said.
Establishing a healthy league network by organizing resources to optimize the mission impact on the national, state and local levels, and creating a culture that is welcoming, inclusive, trusting and attuned to the needs of today’s volunteers were her second and third points.
Ensuring that the league has the robust technology, communications, revenue and staffing to effectively and efficiently attract members, supporters and allies and be around for another 100 years was her last point.
“I don’t want us to be one of those organizations that has faded,” Bander said.
Bander asked the roughly 15 people in attendance Wednesday what they think the “league way” is.
“Voting rights,” “nonpartisanship” and “data-driven decision making” were some of the responses.
“There’s so many parts of the league way and it’s different to everyone, and that’s the key piece is that the league way is not a static thing,” Bander said. “It doesn’t exist in a vacuum.”
She then asked audience members to write down “preferences,” “traditions” and “requirements” of the league.
Some words, like “nonpartisan,” overlapped in all three areas.
Bander said the league needs to ask themselves what the words, like “nonpartisan,” mean to them, so league and community members can create a shared meaning.
“This is why this conversation is so important, is it’s to spark that going forward,” Bander said.
Garrett Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to email@example.com.