Program Planning in February!

LWVMpls Program Planning Meeting
Saturday, February 10, 9:00-12:00
Mayflower Church, 106 E Diamond Lake Rd

Each year LWVMpls takes time to look at current issues to plan what it is we need to watch, look into, or study to be informed citizens. As a bonus this year, Superintendent of Minneapolis Schools Ed Graf is our guest speaker. Hear what he has to say and ask some questions! How are the Minneapolis Public Schools doing? What do they teach in civics classes? There is coffee, food, and networking before the fun begins! Let us know you are coming by calling the office 612-333-6319 or email [email protected]

This is grassroots democracy. And, as in any democracy, it is the people who show up who decide. Be there!

What happens at Program Planning?

After our speaker, all items are “on the table.” Members meet, bring the issues forward via a brainstorming session, then “caucus by walking around.”

What does that mean? It means:

  1. Each issue brought forward gets an assigned space in the room.
  2. Members go to the issue they think is most important.
  3. If you are the only one or two at an issue you may drop that issue and head to another one you think is important until only issues with significant interest are left.
  4.  Discussion begins about how to bring that issue to members and the public.

Purpose: To hear and discuss any and all issues that need to be addressed in the coming year.

Need a refresher or never been to an LWVMpls program planning meeting? 

All ideas will be heard. Issues with the most interest go forward so if you have a burning issue you would like addressed, do some homework before the meeting:

  • Have your two minute motivational “speech” ready to create interest.
  • Talk to others before the meeting so they come to the meeting to back your issue.
  • Fill out the Program Planning Response Form and bring it to the meeting.

Every year we look at program for LWVMpls. So bring issues that are Minneapolis oriented.

Can’t make the meeting?

On alternating years we also look at the other “levels” of League of Women Voters. This year we are asked to provide input into the national agenda. Read National Program Planning 2018. Be ready to fill out the report form questions at the Program Planning meeting. If for some reason you cannot attend the meeting, answer the questions and send your answers in to the Minneapolis League office.

Background:  If you are new to this process, you probably have more questions!

Program Response Form: This is a worksheet to fill out before you come to the meeting to start your thinking on issues of importance. If you haven’t filled it out, come anyway! By the time you leave the meeting you will want to fill it out in order to place more emphasis on the topics or issues you hear about at the meeting and find most pressing.

The last question on this form is one that our long time members may find easier to fill out. It asks us to look at our positions and check to see if they are outdated and should be dropped, if they need updating due to changes made in our government, or if we need to restudy the issue because our position does not cover the current issue. If this sounds like gibberish to you, please read the definitions below! Knowing what a position is and how we came to have it is basic to how we do our lobbying.

Increase your knowledge: 

Important LWV Program Definitions

LWV PROGRAM: Selected governmental issues chosen by members at the local, state and national levels for study and action.

LWV POSITION: A statement of the League’s point of view on an issue, arrived at through member study and agreement (consensus or concurrence), approved by the appropriate board and used as a basis for League action.

Studies (whether national, state, or local) are a defined process lasting one to two years, during which we undertake thorough pursuit of facts and details, both positive and negative. Study committee members fashion consensus questions that are then asked of the membership as part of a study kit.

Consensus is the overall decision-making process by which substantial agreement among members is reached on an issue. If the members reach consensus, the board forms positions based on that consensus.

Consensus statement – the statement resulting from the consensus questions – that becomes a “position.” Firm action can then be taken on the particular issue addressed by the position. Without a position, action cannot be taken by LWV on an issue.

Concurrence is the act of agreeing with–or concurring with–a statement or position.  A decision-making technique used by the LVW for some time, concurrence can work in several ways.  Groups of LWV members or LWV boards can concur with recommendations of a resource committee or a unit group; decision statements formulated by LWV boards; or positions reached by another LWV or LWVs.  As a general rule, background materials presenting the pros and cons on the issue being considered are provided to LWVs and members in the concurrence process.  In area LWVs, an issue relating to one jurisdiction is often studied by members living in that jurisdiction, and, after member agreement has been reached by those members, the other members are asked to concur with the results.

Update: The process is amended only after members study the issue and go through some type of consensus/concurrence process before the adopting the position.

LWV PRINCIPLES: Governmental standards and policies supported by the League as a whole. They constitute the authorization for adoption of program at all levels.