Minutes ~ 10.2.17

League of Women Voters of Litchfield County~LWVLC
Board of Directors
Monthly Meeting Minutes
October 2, 2017
Litchfield Community Center

Present:  Doreen Deary,  Margaret Dillon,  Christine Horrigan, Lois Keen, Marilyn Lieff,  Kerry Mayers,  Meredith Penfield, Walter Thompson, Marie Wallace

Absent:  Carolyn Martin, Jackie Miller, Bibby Veerman

Handouts: Prior to the meeting, Kerry Mayers passed out handouts from the State League including Election Day Registration, Registering and Voting in Connecticut, and Join Us.  She also handed out Voter Registration Forms.  Marilyn Lieff passed around an article from Litchfield Biz about our recent Meet and Greet local event at Brandywine.  Marilyn  explained that the Litchfield Historical Society has archived and housed our League’s material.

Call to Order:   Kerry Mayers called the meeting to order at 9:14 am.

Minutes:    The September Monthly Meeting minutes were approved and accepted.

Treasurer’s Report:  Christine Horrigan reported there were expenses due to Per Member Payment (PMP), and the post office box fee.  The ED Fund is the same as the last report.  The League has 51 paid members (including new members).

In response to a question, Christine explained that only donations to the ED Fund are tax deductible.  If dues and a donation are combined in one check, it is not considered tax deductible. Christine  encourages members to write a separate check when making a contribution to the ED Fund, thus claiming the deduction.

Christine also explained that the dollar amount of PMP payments to State and National is based on the number of members in a local league.  She broke down the numbers as follows: $1680 annually to National and $160 x 4 annually to State.  There are also insurance costs, i.e., coverage for use of Litchfield Community Center room.

Membership: Christine reported on the new members who have signed up: Susan Rea, Marjorie Palmer, Lois and Mark Shafir, Lucy Kleinhans, Valerie Friedman and Martha Bernstein (former member). A warm welcome to all.  Margaret Dillon will contact them to get their email addresses. There are a few members who still have not paid their dues.

Facebook and LWVLC Website: Kerry said how pleased she and the Board are with the work Denise Butwill and Bernie Harrington are doing in keeping social media tools current.

Programs: As mentioned, the Member Meet and Greet Party was held on Monday, September 18th at Brandywine Assisted Living in Litchfield.  The event was very well received with a mix of old and new members welcoming prospective members.  Several members signed up for a variety of events.

Doreen Deary suggested that we form small, internal groups on various issues, resdistricting, voter issues, justice equality, to mention a few.  Pat Donovan who has done advocacy work at the State level is organizing a small group.  Christine brought up the issue of gerrymandering, and used the Northfield precinct as an example.  A small precinct, it is divided into two districts, Litchfield and Thomaston.

Christine also suggested a January meeting on the subject of the US Census, how does it politically impact areas.  She plans to contact Steve McGrath about a January date and will also look into finding a co-presenter.

Kerry plans to organize a separate meeting with members who expressed an interest in organizing speakers and topics.

On October 19th  at noon, the monthly Lunch and Learn group will meet at the Oliver Wolcott Library, Litchfield .   Lois Keen, the facilitator for all L&L discussions, will lead the program which  will center around Civil Discourse, how to have conversations across issues.   The group meets every third Thursday of the month, so mark your calendars for some lively and interesting conversation. Bring a guest.

For the  November L&L, Doreen is exploring a program at Oliver Wolcott Technical High School in Torrington.  She is working with the principal to create an agenda for a fun and interesting luncheon.  More information will be forthcoming.

The Voice:   Walter Thompson, editor of The Voice, attended this meeting.  He reviewed what he has for the coming issue including a slate of candidates in the upcoming local elections, as well as observer reports, etc.  He stated that the deadline for getting articles to him is October 15th.  Suggested articles were discussed including one on the origin and history of the word “gerrymandering”.

Voter Services: Kerry reported that she, Pat , Doreen and Meredith Penfield recently signed up several new voters at the Stop and Shop in Torrington.

Currently, the League is working on a public meeting on October 25th (tentative) at the Litchfield Historical Society. If and when all the details are ironed out with the political parties,  Litchfield voters may have the opportunity to meet their local candidates (including petitioning candidates).   The suggested format may be a conversation with candidates, asking questions about their stance on issues, not a debate.

Martha Philips, League member, will moderate a First Selectmen’s debate in North Canaan on October 18th.

Publicity: Doreen reported that Litchfield Biz covered the Meet and Greet party held in September.  Republican-American was also there.   Litchfield BZ also published a photo of the Voter Registration Day event at the Torrington Stop & Shop.

Miscellaneous:   The September 17th talk at the Tort Museum in Winsted was attended by a few members.  There was an excellent turnout.  Ralph Nader, Phil Donahue, and Professor Amar provided us with an afternoon of learning.  A well received program.

Another possible speaker topic was brought up at the end of the meeting, the Rape on Campus ruling being initiated by the Department of Education.

The next Board of Directors meeting is December 4th at 9 am at the Litchfield Community Center.  We encourage everyone to attend.  No meeting in November.

Kerry adjourned the meeting at 10:35am.

Respectfully submitted,
Margaret Dillon
League of Women Voters of Litchfield County    www.litchfieldlwv.org
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