Annual Program Planning Event Wrap-up

And a look ahead to the Annual Meeting

 

Our annual Program Planning meeting was a Zooming success! With the participation of over 60 LWVMpls members, we had terrific engagement and discussion. 

Special thanks to long-time member Julaine Heit for her expert facilitation—her decades of leadership continue to be invaluable! 

We spent many hours prior to the meeting preparing and practicing zoom maneuvers, and as a result many of us have gained new technology skills. We also devoted a great deal of time to collating the survey. Thank you to all who participated; our survey response was the best ever. (You can still take the survey and let us know if you do not see an issue that’s important to you.)   

 

Meeting highlights

  • Presentation by Paul Huffman, LWVMN Redistricting Coordinator. Paul noted that we can potentially make the greatest impact if we focus our League work on the City Council Redistricting. The Metro area population is increasing and will get more representation as a result. There are geographical areas that are not ideally districted, and some BIPOC groups are working on the issue; Paul wondered if we would be interested in trying to partner with them. The goal is to have diversity in our representation and in our policy interests.  See Paul’s slides here.
  • Review of LWVMN issues. These can be found at LWVMN Priorities and Partners 2021. Our Minneapolis League recommended the following additional priorities for the state to consider:  
    • Page/Kashkari education amendment. We at least need pro and con statements on the issue.
    • Look at policing issues; many are controlled by state law, e.g., arbitration.
    • Try to encourage urban and rural voter dialog and find some policies where consensus may be possible.
    • Urge members to join the climate task force and the lobby corps.
    • Note: Next year we will review the LWVUS issues.
  • Brainstorming. We conducted a brainstorming session, adding topics to create our caucus groups. After discussing whether to make racism a separate topic, we decided that addressing racism was a component of many topics and we were reminded that we should factor diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in all our work. (Note: There will be a separate article on DEI in the next issue of The Voter.)
  • Caucusing. Our eight issues that were brought forward by our membership were Policing, Education, Civic Education, Housing, City Government, Redistricting, and Climate Change (also, the topic of Health Care Cost was raised before the meeting). These issues represent the topics that will be voted on at the Annual Meeting.

 

As always, the Program Planning event served an extremely important function as we plan ahead for our Annual Meeting in June, when we’ll vote on the Program Plan. We encourage those who feel strongly about their issue to gather information, seek additional volunteers, and prepare to lobby fellow members for its inclusion. The board and membership will give greater weight to topics that have strong support and for which groundwork has been laid. 

Thank you to all for your participation. The League is member-run, and the life of our organization depends on your contributions.