League of Women Voters of Skagit County
Meeting date: December 1, 2019
Location: MV Fire Station 3-- 4701 E. Division St.
Attendance: Steve Johnson, Nancy Johnson, Margaret Colony, Carol Sullivan, Barbara Carson, Doris Brevoort, Kathryn Longfellow, Mary Jane Golden, Patti Santangelo, Wende Sanderson
Margaret called the meeting to order at 10:35 AM and introductions of all present were made.
Treasurers Report: Current balance is $2311.95. This includes a $1,000 check deposited in the State Education fund on our Chapter’s behalf. We have no outstanding bills in hand, but anticipate that there will be additional expenses. Steve said it’s hard to anticipate exactly what’s outstanding because some of our budgeted expenses may end up being donated instead. But we are in good shape financially at the moment.
DISCUSSION : Margaret explained that about a year ago, our group became an official chapter of the League, and now we must submit paperwork for a State License (UBI), then apply for a Federal EIN number; and then apply for the 501 (c) 4 status. [501 (c) 4 status is for non-profit political organizations which can accept donations but those donations are not tax-exempt.]
There was a meeting with the Whatcom/Bellingham League about the process to follow—and this provided a very helpful overview of what’s needed. Lory Lawson has volunteered to help with the paperwork filing and to do any other duties that we’d like her to do. She was a League member in California, has a business background, and also served on the School Board in California, so she is well-rounded in the paperwork involved in these type of organizational requirements.
A draft version of Articles of Incorporation was distributed and there was a motion (carried unanimously) to designate the following individuals as the Initial Directors under Article V:
Margaret Colony, President
Barbara Robinson, Secretary
Lory Lawson, Agent (upon her agreement--Margaret will discuss with her following the meeting)
The same individuals will be designated as the Incorporators in Article VII. And the address will be Lory’s address—dependent upon her agreement.
Doris proposed modifying the Purpose section of Article V of the document to insert the words “to educate the public” so it will now read: The purposes of this corporation are to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation in government, to educate the public and to act on selected governmental issues. This motion was carried unanimously.
Kathryn reported on the Nov meeting of the Voter Services/Program subcommittee. The local public libraries have been contacted about getting the State League’s Civics Book into their collections. We discussed whether this should be a donation from our League to the libraries and decided that we would not make that offer. Although Margaret can obtain the books in bulk at a discount and has a supply on order, the group felt it would be best for the libraries to order the book directly from the State League’s Website.
Patti suggested getting the associated poster for each of the libraries and the Subcommittee will investigate getting those to donate to the libraries.
There was discussion about the Teachers Guide. Per Margaret, this is in revision with the State League and OSPI and they have a grant to hire teachers to update the curriculum. Until that revised version is available, we wouldn’t be proactively promoting the Teachers Guide. Doris mentioned that there is training about the curriculum available online, and we were reminded that all the materials—including the book—are available for free online.
Kathryn reported that the Subcommittee had discussed working with local schools around their ballot issues and offering assistance with Forums, if desired. Kathryn has contacted the Levy Committee in Sedro Woolley and they are interested and will contact us when they decide the timing for their next levy offering.
Kathryn distributed the Proposed Calendar of Events which the Subcommittee will be continuing to refine. She mentioned that we will need assistance from fellow members to pursue the many interesting and exciting ideas that are represented there. NEXT MEETING OF SUBCOMMITTEE is scheduled for Wednesday December 5th at Wende’s house—203 S 5th Street and all are welcome to attend.
Many additional program ideas were offered up during the discussion session which will be reviewed by the Subcommittee at the next meeting. (list of ideas discussed is attached at end of these minutes)
Report of Action Workshop
Wende reported on her attendance at the State Action Workshop on November 17th in Seattle. Highlights were the Keynote Address by Kim Wyman, WA State Secretary of State; and the addition of many new Issue Study areas for 2019 including one on Affordable Housing and Homelessness, and one on Criminal Justice, to name a few.
SAVE THE DATES: Another Action Workshop will be held in Shoreline on Jan 12th. Margaret and Wende will be going and can carpool with others if interested. Be sure to sign up soon if you want to attend because this event can fill up!
Lobby Day in Olympia will be held on Feb 21. Margaret explained how informative it is to be able to meet with League members AND with our local elected officials while in town during those Lobby Day events.
Social Event for our League—we missed the holidays, but Margaret will pursue the possibility of a January 19th luncheon, perhaps at the Farmhouse. We will invite area League members (Bellingham/Whatcom; Island Co; San Juan Co and State Representatives, and will perhaps do a bit of joint planning for 2019 with all! (Since Legislative districts cross county borders, it’s important that we build these relationships with fellow Leagues)
Mary Jane created a terrific Archive notebook of the media coverage of our activities in 2018. Beautiful job!
Wende reported that a Civics teacher from MV High School was in contact asking about our League plans for celebrating the Centennial of the 19th Amendment (Women’s Suffrage). Two teachers at MVHS are submitting a request for a grant to promote this anniversary and wanted to coordinate with the League activities. We brainstormed ideas including:
- Partnering with the Lincoln during the week of Ratification to show a weeklong showing of selected movies like “Shoulder to Shoulder”, Iron Jawed Angel.
- Contacting the Historical Museum to find out what they have related to suffrage in Skagit County
- See if the State Historical museum has a floating exhibit
- Work with other neighborhood resources and regional leagues to see what they’re doing and jointly plan if possible.
Steve asked for an estimate of the number of TRY’s that we’ll want once the updates are completed. We agreed that anticipating at least 1000 copies over the course of 2019 would be a good estimate. We recognized the generous contributions that Steve and Nancy have made over the years to produce these documents, but agreed that it’s too much for them to undertake alone now that our needs are growing. Margaret will contact Barbara to get an estimate (including color) for her printing contact to produce these documents.
Meeting Adjourned at 12:15.
Ideas for Voter Services/Program Committee from Dec 1, 2019 meeting
- Holding Voter Registration events during Parent Teacher Conferences
- Margaret suggested finding individual teachers who would champion the book. Barbara Carson suggested that the LaConner school district might be a good option.
- Nancy Johnson suggested contacting Claus Joens at Concrete High School, since he just was involved in the recent elections for State Senate, 39th District
- Doris reported that in Wa state, civics is taught in the 4th and 8th grades. She suggested contacting schools to see who’s teaching these courses, and if we find interest, then contact community groups to underwrite costs of books
- Investigate interest with the Swinomish Tribe and the Upper Skagit Tribes
- If the school districts permit it, perhaps we could give eval copies to school libraries
Meeting of November 3, 2018
Located at Fire Station 3 at 4701 E. Division St. Mount Vernon, WA
Members attending: Kathryn Longfellow, Elaine Blackmore, Mary Jane Golden, Barbara Carson, Patti Santangelo, Britt Wisniewski, Wende Sanderson, Lory Lawson, Barbara Jones-Schroyer, Mary Ellen West, Barbara Robinson, and Margaret Colony.
Meeting called to order by Margaret Colony
Treasurer's Report - Balance is $4009.21 We have received a gift of $650. 00 and we thank that donor very much.
- We pay the National League membership dues of $32 for the first member of a household and $16 for each additional family member. We owe the National League $480.00.
- We owe the State League $285.00. We pay the State dues of $19 for the first member of a household and $9.50 for an additional member.
Minutes of previous meeting: Barbara Robinson spoke of the need to update and correct the minutes. They were tabled till the next meeting and will be presented along with the minutes of today's meeting minutes.
Review of Charter Ballot Issue and Candidate Forum in October:
- On the whole the events went well. The Candidate Forum was formal and was seen as very successful. The Charter Issue event had some issues such as the crowded venue making regrouping difficult. At the Forum all candidates attended.
- The questions were appropriate thanks to the question team that monitored the questions from the audience plus we had prepared questions ready. Margaret also sat by the moderator to keep track of questions and who to ask next. We want to be sure to be fair, letting each candidate have the opportunity to be "first " with some questions and last on some. Margaret prepared a script for the moderator to be used after she introduced the program and the league.
- There was a concern voiced about the amount of time and the number of questions each candidate could speak to. It was the consensus of the group that more time is needed, and more questions presented, to each candidate even if that meant that we had to extend the forum time to later in the evening.
- A question of how we decide which races we choose to invite to our forums. After some discussion it was decided it would be a good idea to formalize the criteria for choosing candidates to invite both for the primary and for the general election. We are asking the members to come back to the next meeting with thoughts on that issue or to email either Barbara Robinson or Margaret Colony with those ideas and thoughts. If we get them ahead of time they can be printed out and ready to talk about.
- A last suggestion was to be sure that the moderator and the introductory speaker plus the candidates stand up to speak... we had such a large audience both times that we found it was hard to always hear let alone see the speakers.
Time to look ahead - We need volunteers for the following - Opportunities abound!
- After much discussion it was felt that Membership and Treasurer would be a good team. Membership would encourage people to join but would also do some record keeping enabling us to be in compliance with the state and national league. This partnership would go hand in hand with the Treasurer who also needs to know this information to pay the debts to the state and the national league.
- One issue we need to deal with is becoming a 501C3 organization.by filing with the state.
- After discussion we also decided that Programs and Voter Service would be a good team. These groups could work on Voter Registration, the TRY and on Forums. Several people offered to work on this team. Kathryn Longfellow, Wendi Sanderson, and Patti Santangelo will talk about what to include in this team’s work. Mary Ellen West mentioned that Ed West has been working on the TRY with Steve Johnson and both would likely want to continue.
- A question came up about how we could be part of the High School voter registration. Members today felt that this would be a good activity to pursue. Mary Jane Golden and Wende Sanderson expressed an interest in following up on this.
Finance Chair: This committee would focus on fundraising.
P.R. Chair: This committee would focus on newspaper advertising including the local papers, Facebook, and other social media.
President: The president could be a partnership, as someone that would lead the group at meetings and set the agenda.
Secretary: This person would take notes at meetings and send them out to members via email. Right now, Ed West and Steve Johnson gets a copy of the minutes on the website.
These offices and chairs are open to members to sign up to help. Both Margaret and I are more than wiling to be a partner with anyone that is willing to step in and be president or secretary. Both Margaret and I feel that there are other tasks that we can do that would benefit the group. Even new members can step up ...you would not be alone.
Projects and Activities Report for 2018:
Barbara Robinson presented a list of the past year's events and activities. Using this as a discussion starter we made some decisions and comments.
1. Updating the TRY annually. This past year several members took sections of the TRY to proofread. This was an effective way to keep it accurate and we want to continue this practice. We had more requests for copies that we could provide. We might consider asking for donations when a group asks for a larger amount of copies.
2. "The State we are In, Washington " We continue to try to get this text book in the schools. Much interest was expressed in our meeting today. Mary Ellen moved: Our League take this issue on for one of our projects for this year, and get copies into the school libraries and the public libraries in Skagit County. Wende Sanderson seconded this motion. Lory Lawson, Barbara Carson, Mary Ellen West and Kathryn Longfellow along with Wende offered to do some research and work on this effort. Suggestions and idea discussion will be focused on in a meeting set just for that issue. No date was decided...we did not say that the next regular meeting would have that as a topic.
Another subject was the Social Studies or Civics State meeting. Members wondered about presenting at a meeting session to further interest in the book and curriculum. Members also wondered about the league hosting a class for Social Studies/Civics teachers using the book as a subject, giving them clock hours and also promoting this book's use. Margaret and Kathy Reim have attended this state meeting and have met with others on the same issue. Margaret and Kathy plan to meet with the WA State League person to speak on this issue. The State League person has spent years working on this issue. Margaret is going to purchase from the State League copies of the text for libraries when we get that far. (By the way Margaret remember that there was also an added booklet for this text) Barbara Carson offered to speak to an Anacortes School district contact to see about starting with that district when adding the books to the libraries.
Using the 2018 calendar of events Margaret gave more information to the group.
Democracy Lobby Day in Olympia ( Democracy Lobby Day in 2019 is February 21st)
Voter Registration training
Public Education night - Redistricting in WA
Voter Registration events at Madison School Farewell and at Mount Vernon Street Fair
Civics Day at Mount Vernon H.S.
State League convention in Tacoma
Candidate night in Anacortes
National League Convention in Chicago ( next one is in 2020)
National Voter Registration Day
Charter Ballot Issue Event
Discussion: Who is on the board of our group? What is the boards function? This is a question we will work on in the future ...and we will format a criteria much like the one we are planning for the choosing of candidate for the future forums. One of the members today asked if there were job/chair descriptions for each chair and office. We have informal understandings. Now we need to see what the State League uses and we need to devise and write our own. Maybe a handbook is in the future??
Barbara Robinson Secretary
League of Women Voters of Skagit County
October 13, 2018 1:00 p.m.
Mount Vernon Coop Building, Mount Vernon
Members attending: Ed West, Margaret Colony, Wende Sanderson, Britt Wisniewski, Mary Jane Golden, Kathy Reim and guest Robert Reim, Elaine Blackmore, Kathy Longfellow, Barbara Carson, Doris Brevoort, Lory Lawson, Carol Sullivan, Patty Santangelo, and Barbara Robinson.
Treasurer's Report: No Report at this time
Margaret called the meeting to order.
Minutes of the last meeting were shared with no changes or additions
Report of Voter Registration Efforts: Article from the LaConner newspaper was shared. On National Voter Registration Day our group hosted 5 locations including the library sites in Anacortes, Burlington, Sedro Woolley and Mount Vernon plus at the local Goodwill store in Mount Vernon. We registered 42 people and gave out many forms for people to take home and register later. We also used the 411.org for people to check if they were registered or needed to update their voter registration. Flags and pinwheels funded by the Goodwill were also handed out. We had a total of 25 volunteers hosting these events. PFLAG purchased bookmarks plus supplied 4 bins with supplies to use at each site. Kathy Reim submitted a small bill for the bins for reimbursement. Barbara Robinson said that SISJ Retiree's would pay that bill as their sponsorship of these activities along with the cost of printing to advertise the Oct. 13 Charter event and the Oct. 22nd Candidate Forum.
Margaret mentioned that the State League has voter reminder "postcards" and bumper stickers for our use and she will contact them to order some for our members use.
Plans for October 15 Charter Government Initiative in Skagit County event:
- Dr. Richard Fralick will speak for 15 minutes then take questions
- Pro and Con speakers will have 5 minutes to state their case. Quesitons can be stated here also.
- We will break into groups with District 1, 2, and 3 having locations in the room to gather and speak directly with audience.
- We plan to have computers etc stationed so that we can support audience members to find their district and then can use the sample ballots we provide to see who their Charter Freeholders Candidates are.
- Don Wick will be moderator.
- Radio Station KSVR will record and will bring their sound system. Thursday after the event it will be played for the public.
Plans for Candidate Forum on October 22:
6:30 to 6:40 p.m. - Margaret will introduce the League and other sponsors plus give the rules of the forum. She will introduce moderator Don Wick, timers and other people attending that are notable.
6:40 to 7:20 p.m. - The forum will begin with 20 minutes for each of the sets of Judicial candidates giving them time to state their platform and answer questions.
7:20 p.m. - a short 5 minute break.
7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. - Legislative Candidates then will have a couple minutes ( 3 ? ) to state their platform. Questions from the audience will be handed to the Question Committee then handed to the moderator. Each candidate will have the chance to speak to the questions. Lory Lawson is using the question form to make more copies for the evening. The League has several questions ready in case needed.
We plan for 2 people each for the 10th district House Positions 1 and 2, 2 people for the Senate seat in the 39th district, and two people each for the House seats in the 39th Positions 1 and 2. then there will be 2 people for the House seat in the 40th district.
8:30 p.m. - Last on the schedule will be Rick Larson U. S. Representative for 2nd Congressional district and Brian Luke, candidate running against Mr. Larson, will have 5 minutes to speak to their election efforts.
2. Volunteers for setup and cleanup:
Setup: Barbara Robinson, Ed West, Margaret Colony, Patty Santangelo, Wende Sanderson and Carol Sullivan
Take down/cleanup: Ed West, Lory Lawson, Wende Sanderson. Anyone else is welcome to join either or both of these efforts.
Margaret will contact Bunnie Heiner AAUW to see if she will volunteer again. Ed West will be backup for this task. Patty Santangelo has the cards ready.
PFLAG, Skagit Island San Juan School Retiree's Unit 21 have stepped up. We also include AAUW of Anacortes if they are willing and Skagit Publishing.
Barbara Robinson and Wende Sanderson have publicity for both the Oct.13th and the 22nd in the Skagit Valley Herald and the LaConner newspapers. Kathy Reim has posted on Facebook. Articles were shared from each paper at our meeting today. Kathy Reim and husband Robert are posting flyers in Burlington locations, Britt in La Conner and Patty in the Dem. Headquarters. People attending today took flyers to post also. Radio KSVR will attend and record with their sound system available for our use. The program will be offered on the radio station on the following Thursday. Kathy Reim also posts this on facebook for all to hear.
6. Greeters and hostesses:
Kathy Reim and Carol Sullivan. All members attending should note any dignitary so they can be officially noted in the introduction or closing. We also as members need to recognize and greet each noted attendee.
Ed West with Margaret's support will format an agenda to be printed by Barb Robinson.
Patty will bring pitcher for water and cups, plus tea etc supplies. Mary Jane will bring cookies.
9. Questions committee:
Britt and Kathy Longfellow will work on this committee. We have several ready and appropriate questions for legislators. We need some suggestions from our members for the legislative and for the judicial candidates ready to go also. Lory Lawson will help pick up questions from audience.
Kathy Reim spoke to about this source and it's usefulness. First there are many legislators and other candidates for office that are not yet on this site making it not as useful as it could be. Kathy asked that each of us attending today check into the site, enter our address and find out who is on it and who is not...find out also what kinds of information we can access. Kathy suggested that we as a constituent contact our legislators that are not on the site and make the suggestion that they "join" ...encouraging this will make it a more useful effective tool. We can report at our next meeting about our efforts following this request.
Meeting Locations for the future:
We decided to meet at on November 3, at 10:30 a.m. at Fire Station # 3 at 4701 East Division St. Mount Vernon WA.
League of Women Voters of Washington State will host an Action Workshop on November 17th so interested members should contact Margaret Colony or Wende Sanderson.