Minutes: Annual Meeting June 2, 2020
League of Women Voters of the Northampton Area
Annual Meeting, Respectfully submitted by Margie Riddle, Secretary
June 2, 2020
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 6 p.m. by Mary Lou Bouley through Zoom connection because of the restrictions due to the Covid-19 virus pandemic of 2020. Present were twenty-one members of 127 to date. The board meeting that had been scheduled for March 29 had been cancelled for the same reason because most gatherings were cancelled by March 20, 2020.
Program reports 2019–2020
Health Care – Osa Flory reported on various activities during the year to promote health coverage for all in the U.S. through panel discussions, showing films and contacting legislators.
Education – Margie Riddle reported a year-long effort of outreach to area educators in districts represented by members of our local LWV. Specific information about the 100th anniversary of the amendment granting women’s suffrage was shared with thirty-five educators in grades kindergarten through university and college. Educators were encouraged to include related history in their curricula with particular concentration on the contributions of African American Suffragists who may not be as well known. A Book Group that included both League members and visitors met six times with the same focus. A book list of children’s books on the topic was developed and shared with teachers and librarians.
Meeting Basic Human Needs – Cynthia DiGeronimo reported that a team of twelve LWV members prepared and served dinner at the Cot Shelter in Northampton from November-February. After that time the shelter was moved to Northampton High School and meals were prepared by Smith College staff and served by shelter staff.
Voter Service – Osa Flory reported that LWV members co-sponsored three candidates’ nights with representatives of the Daily Hampshire Gazette and also participated and registered new voters at the annual July 4th new citizen Naturalization Ceremony at the Hampshire County Courthouse in Northampton.
Membership – Brigid Glackin reported on a number of activities designed to offer value and relevance to members and to attract new members. Activities included the Book Group, gatherings to write postcards to legislators, and a reception open to all on February 14, 2020, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the League of Women Voters.
Natural resources – Legislation – Nancy Polan reported on both of these topics. She has followed and researched a number of legislative issues related to environmental concerns and prepared materials for outreach to legislators through postcards and emails sent by members and interested citizens.
Treasurer’s Report and 2020-2021 Budget – Mary Lou Bouley presented the Treasurer’s Report which was accepted with a unanimous vote moved by Bob Riddle and seconded by Sharon Moulton. Funds on hand in checking and CD totaled $17,855 April 30 with outstanding bills totaling $2,284 leaving available funds at this time of approximately $15,571. Lou will send out dues request by email and mail for the upcoming fiscal year (July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021). The budget details are below.
Report of the Nominating Committee – Lou Bouley presented the following report of the nominating committee. The proposed officers and directors were approved by a unanimous vote.
Vice President Bob Riddle (2019-2021)
Secretary Margie Riddle (2019-2021)
Treasurer Mary Lou Bouley (2019-2021)
Assistant Treasurer Ingrid Flory (2020-2022)
Directors Continuing (2019-2021)
- Osa Flory
- Nancy Polan
- Cynthia Sigda DiGeronimo
- Randi Klein
Directors (2020 – 2022)
- Connie Burak
- Sharon Farmer
- Brigid Glackin
- Zaida Govan
- Gillian Hinkson
Nominating Committee (2020-2021)
- Nancy Brady
- Janice Moulton
- Donna Zuckerman
Proposed Local Program – Mary Lou Bouley presented the following Proposed Local Program, which was unanimously approved.
Legislation – Our advocacy will focus on two issues: 1.Voter service. Passing legislation that expands voting options to safeguard the fall elections, at the state and national levels. 2. Rebuilding a post-COVID-19 economy that greatly expands economic and racial equality, enables a transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050, and builds communities more resilient to the climate crisis. (Chairperson: Nancy Polan)
Voter Service – Creating voting practices that will allow everyone to participate in the fall elections during the pandemic, while protecting the health and safety of the voters and the poll workers, presents unprecedented challenges. Our role in the league is ever more critical, as we learn to work in isolation, increase use of social media, fight misinformation, work with town clerks and state officials to secure our polling sites, provide for the safety of voters and poll workers, protect the USPS and their ability to handle huge volumes of mail-in ballots, and inform the public about all of the changes. Across the country the League is fighting voter suppression (and winning lawsuits against it), and is fighting for legislation to provide equal access to the ballot for all Americans.
Meeting Basic Human Needs- While there are many unknowns, the importance of advocating for the needs of the homeless is unchanged. Taking into consideration the health and safety of all, and depending on operational need, members will advocate for the needs of the homeless and provide a team of members once each month (November-April) to provide the evening meal for clients at the emergency shelter for the homeless (Chairperson: Cynthia Sigda DiGeronimo)
Membership – The suffragist history book club after 6 meetings at Lilly Library, with the leadership of Margie Riddle went into hiatus in March, but will meet again in the fall, virtually or live. Collaborations with Historic Northampton, Berkshire Museums and Forbes Library will continued to develop and co-sponsor joint programming. These will include speaker presentations, panels, and a film series with talk backs, most probably virtually. The goal will be to provide value to the membership, with opportunities to explore the suffragist history and its relevance to the continuing struggle to “finish the fight” to provide access to the vote for all. (Chairperson: Brigid Glackin)
Education and 100th Anniversary Celebration of Women’s Suffrage in the U.S. – Our local League will reach out to educators to encourage them and their students to join us in researching and highlighting the special contributions of African American Suffragists to the effort that lasted for eighty years and finally culminated in the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920. We will continue to monitor local preK-College public education delivery during the pandemic to ensure equity and access for all students in our area. (Chairperson: Margie Riddle)
Health Care – We will continue to monitor the progress of the Massachusetts Health Care Reform Act and national health care legislation. The committee will continue to support efforts to obtain single-payer universal health care as endorsed by the National LWV. (Chairperson: Osa Flory)
Member Growth – Focus on building the Springfield Unit membership, intentionally recruiting younger women new to civic/voter engagement in the community (especially new Americans) in the colleges and in the high schools. (Members of the Springfield Unit)
Voter Service in Springfield – We will continue to work with other groups to increase voter participation in the upcoming elections. (Members of the Springfield Unit)
Police Accountability Committee – We will continue its work by releasing the results of our series of community deliberative discussion forums and offering continuing opportunities for public education on civilian police oversight in Springfield. (Members of the Springfield Unit)
Observer Corp – We will continue to develop our Observer Corps to help residents understand and participate in the work of Springfield’s boards and commissions, as well as City Council and School Committee. (Members of the Springfield Unit)
Book Sale – Margie Riddle reported that, because of the Covid-19 Pandemic the annual Book Sale, which has been held by our Northampton Area LWV for 70 years, had to be cancelled for the traditional September date. She noted that this event is our only fund-raiser of the year, but it is also a beloved community event that is well attended and offers quality reading materials to community members and educators at modest prices while also bringing attention to our League and supporting our environmental recycling goal. About half of our members participate in the book sale in some way from collecting, sorting and storing books to selling them at the sale, and promoting and organizing the sale. Therefore, it is also an event that brings our League membership together for a shared purpose.
Directions to the Board – It was suggested that our League donate as usual $250 to the LWVMA as has been done in the past. It was unanimously agreed to honor Sojourner Truth in this way for this 100th anniversary year since she was an early suffragist and a resident of Florence in Northampton.
The very significant contributions of Jean Cherdack to our League was also noted. Jean has joined the Franklin County LWV, since that is her residence. She will be greatly missed, and we know she will remain active in her new LWV home. We have many fond memories of our LWV adventurers with Jean.
Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 by Mary Lou Bouley.
|A. General Administration|
|2. Board Tools||$150.00||$162.72||$150.00||$56.00||$56.00|
|3. Administrative Committees|
|c. Unit Organizations|
|d. Public relations|
|e. Budget and nominating|
|a. Equipment (Web site)||$250.00||$479.40||$250.00||$100.00|
|b. General supplies|
|d. Bank charges|
|e. Book sale||$1,100.00||$1,038.89||$1,100.00||$988.89||$50.00|
|f. Annual meeting||$1,500.00||$1,713.67||$1,500.00||$271.19||$200.00|
|B. Delegates, Travel Affiliation|
|1. State Council/Convention||$250.00||$950.00||$250.00||$250.00|
|2. National Convention||$1,500.00||$162.63||$1,500.00||$162.63||$500.00|
|3. Workshops and Reg. mtgs.|
|4. Area (Regional Councils)||$100.00||$124.00||$100.00||$124.00||$50.00|
|C. Programs and activities|
|a. National and State|
|2. Program committees|
|3. Community service|
|b. Voter service||$300.00||$666.57||$300.00||$666.57||$150.00|
|4. Support for National||$3,000.00||$3,376.00||$3,000.00||$2,532.50||$3,416.00|
|5. Support for State||$2,200.00||$2,317.25||$2,200.00||$1,737.96||$2,380.00|
|C. Other sources|
|1. Book sale||$7,500.00||$6,906.75||$6,625.00||$7,081.70|
|4. Annual meeting||$900.00||$900.00||$900.00|