League of Women Voters of Skagit County
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.
September 8, 2018 - 1:00 p.m. at Skagit Valley Coop building on 3rd floor meeting room
Margaret Colony, Kathy Reim, Britt Wisniewski, Mary Jane Golden, Ed and Mary Ellen West, Barbara Carson, Geraldine Gross and Joan Cross (new members), Barbara Robinson.
Steve Johnson reports that at this time our checking balance is $3183.10. He states we have bills to pay then will have a balance of about $500.00.
Voter Registration Efforts: National Voter Registration Day is September 25th.
The Anacortes Public Library took the lead in voter registration events and now the Burlington, Mount Vernon and Sedro Woolley Library is requesting our group provide volunteers to serve that day at their libraries also. The Sedro Woolley prefers to have their event be held either on the day before or after the 25th as they have another event planned on the 25th.
Kathy Reim will provide "bins" with supplies needed for each team to use during this event. Each library will also provide some materials plus a table. We feel we need name tags, signs, a registration guide and application materials. Our registration guides will be sent to each member online in both English and Spanish by Ed West.
Goodwill in Mt. Vernon on September 26th is asking for our support in this role as well. Skagit Valley College is also a site we have used in the past and may use again this time.
Kathy Reim and Margaret Colony will be listing volunteers. Some members signed up at the meeting, and others are encouraged to call these ladies and join the efforts.
Kathy Reim gave some good pointers on effective.. One needs to approach tentative voters. Make them feel welcome by being "open" to be spoken to. The filled out applications will need to be given to Kathy or Margaret to be taken to the auditor's office.
Those of you that did not attend the meeting last Saturday can call either lady and volunteer. This is a fun and informative event so take the time to spend a couple hours at one of the locations above. Bring a friend and support one of our more important goals.
Kathy 369-856-4676 firstname.lastname@example.org Margaret 360-299-8649 email@example.com
Reminder: Voter Registration online and via mail deadline is October 8th.
Council for the Blind:
This group requested a presentation about the League. Ed is going to ask Doris Brevoort if she would like to do with with him.
Candidate Forum Plans: October 22, 2018
Moderator: Margaret will work with Don Wick as moderator. Margaret and Doris Brevoort will work together on the welcome.
Schedule: Our event will begin October 22, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. at the Skagit Public Utility District (PUD) 1415 Freeway Dr. Mount Vernon, WA. The members requested that the candidates for judge positions be first with the legislators from the 10th, 39th and 40th be next. Rick Larson U. S. Representative as asked to be included. Margaret will contact him about this and his opponent and they will be last if they decide to attend.
Publicity: Kathy Reim will take care of the advertising on social media. Barbara Robinson will contact and work with the Skagit Valley Herald Newspaper and the Anacortes American. Barbara will also contact the La Conner paper. Margaret reports that the Herald has offered to send reporters to attend all of our events. Skagit Valley College Radio Station will attend and broadcast the event. Kathy Reim mentioned that there is at team from the Lincoln Theater that we could hire to post flyers in the various towns, and we agreed that this might be a good task to have done. In the past we have felt flyers posted and not felt they were an effective use of our time and money. This time we feel hiring it done might be a better way to cover the area and we might try it this time to see if it is useful. Kathy Reim is going contact that team and find out information about cost and effectiveness. We also talked about giving the flyers to the candidates themselves to send them out online to their supporters. We wondered if that would only bring out people that have already decided who they are voting for. We want our focus to be also on those that still need to make up their minds.
Production of handout listing Candidates and ballot issues:
We plan a fold over guide/advice for voters handout for the evening of the forum. It will contain a list of the candidates along with some information on ballot issues such as the charter, gun and carbon tax issues. Their will be a time line and will include League information. Ed West is going to devise a draft and will send it out for approval. This will be done in time for the October 13th meeting and then Barbara Robinson can get it printed.
Contact with potential Co- Sponsors:
AAUW: Britt and Margaret will contact this group. In the past they have provided timers. Other options include the Chambers and PFLAG.
Next meeting of this issue is Wednesday September 12 at the Burlington Public Library at 6:30 p.m. Remember we need to register to attend. Although am fairly sure if at the last minute you want you can walk in and you would be welcome. The October 6th meeting on Saturday is at the Skagit PUD Building, 1425 Freeway Drive, Mount Vernon, WA. from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Register for the meetings above at: https://www.voaww.org/drctrainings
Possible program on the Charter issue:
Where: Kathy will contact the college to see about the multi-purpose room. The tech center used for the civil discourse event was discussed however we think it will cost. Wende Sanderson has an expert speaker in mind for this event. Britt has a news article she will share at the next meeting.
Announcements: Remember Ed West sent out a reminder that we are now to use the new address for our online communications to all members. Here is that new address : Skagitwv@skagitlwv.org I have forwarded this email with the minutes to this address.
Meeting dates to remember:
- Civil Discourse Event: September 12 Burlington Public Library 6:30 p.m
- Civil Discourse Event: October 6 Skagit PUD 9:00 a.m.
- League of Women of Skagit County October 13 1:00 p.m.