The League of Women Voters Minneapolis’ mission extends beyond direct voter service. We strive to not only assist with helping Minneapolis residents navigate the voting process, but to ensure that they arrive at the polls as informed voters who understand a range of complex political issues that affect our city, state and nation.
In order to sufficiently educate voters, we must start by educating our members. To do this, the league examines a “program” topic each month at unit meetings attended by members. Each January, the League hosts a program planning meeting where members can discuss and select topics of interest. Once several topics are selected, these are presented to all LWVMpls members at the June annual meeting in the form of a survey. Members rank which topics interest them the most, and the program topic calendar is compiled using these results. In the past, we have examined issues like sex trafficking, the Minneapolis Public School system, park services, campaign finance and other topics.
LWV Mpls looks forward to a robust slate of program topics in 2015-2016 starting with a discussion of voter service in September. Here’s a quick look at what’s on deck for 2015-2016 program topics:
September: Voter Service
- Units will review LWV Mpls’s mission and goals and discuss ways we can improve going forward. The purpose of this month’s topic is also to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act and discuss how recent changes like early voting affect voting rights.
October: Constitutional Amendment Study
- In October, we will examine a national LWV study looking at the complex topic of amending the constitution through a constitutional convention. Unit members will be asked to vote on whether a constitutional convention is a workable idea with the goal of developing an official LWV Mpls position on this topic, and consensus reports are due to the national league on this issue by December 1. The League often lobbies based on the League consensus.
November: Money in Politics
- This topic focuses on another national LWV study that examines campaign finance reform. The league strives to update its position on campaign finance issues after reviewing and discussing this study.
December: No assigned topic.
- Units are encouraged to be creative and find a local event to attend as a group that focuses on a topic of interest to that specific unit.
January: Program Planning
- League members will bring forward ideas for program topics in 2016-2017.
February: Action Update
- One unit will choose a topic LWV Mpls has taken a position on in the past and determine whether our position on the topic should be updated. This unit may make a recommendation to all units to update a position if they deem an update necessary.
- The League of Minnesota of the United States has adopted a new model for bringing new members into LWV. Our membership co-chairs will offer insights into how we might implement the national league’s new system into our own membership efforts.
April: Minneapolis Parks Study
- Units will take a closer look at the city’s goals for planning, funding and sustaining the Minneapolis parks system.
May: Voter Engagement Kickoff
- Members will discuss strategies and form an action plan for the 2016 primary and general elections.
June: no program topic due to annual meeting.