Machen welcomed the delegates and observers to the Convention (see attached list of attendees). Before the activities of the Convention commenced, Machen introduced Chief Justice Barbara J. Vigil to deliver the luncheon address entitled “Understanding the Judiciary–The Third, Co-Equal, and Least Understood Branch of Government.” Machen also welcomed Linda Wassenich, LWVUS Board Member and the liaison to New Mexico, who came from Dallas to attend the proceedings and to conduct an interactive session about the League's work.
The 2015 Convention of the League of Women Voters of New Mexico was called to order at 2:00 p.m. by Meredith Machen, President.
Machen appointed the Convention Credentials Committee Chair, Peggy Howell, who was assisted by Judy Binder. Machen also appointed the Parliamentarian, Janice Strand; Timekeeper, Judy Binder; and Secretary, Carol Tucker Trelease.
Peggy Howell reported that 40 percent of the possible number of voting delegates, other than members of the state board, constitutes a quorum. Attendance at the start of the First Plenary Session of the Convention was 28 delegates. With 21 delegates other than the 7 board member delegates and representation from all four local Leagues, the quorum was met. On behalf of the committee, Howell moved that the roll of delegates hereby submitted be the official roll of the voting members for this session of the Convention. The motion was approved unanimously. Everyone introduced themselves, said where they were from, and their roles in the League.
It was moved, seconded and unanimously passed to adopt the Convention Rules and the Order of Business as presented in the Convention folder.
Without objection, Machen appointed Judy Williams of Santa Fe and Barbara Calef of Los Alamos to review and approve the minutes of the 2015 Convention
Linda Wassenich recounted the founding of the League in 1920 by Carrie Chapman Catt and its development during the past 95 years. She said there are about 50,000 League members in the United States. Jeanne Logsdon, LWVCNM member, very briefly explained what was planned for the consensus meetings that the Money in Politics Study Committee will be conducting in the fall. She also discussed the Voting Rights Act.
Machen called for the LWVNM Treasurer Cheryl Haaker to present the Treasurer’s Report and explain the proposed Budget. Haaker commented that other than one restricted contribution, contributions to both the Operations and Education funds were declining. LWVNM has not been doing any fundraising for the past few years so as not to cut into local Leagues' donor bases. As a result, nearly all income comes from the “per member payment” (PMP). Member numbers have dropped in recent years. This year’s PMP will generate $5271.50. In the area of expenses she discussed La Palabra . Haaker said the board has done a great job in decreasing the costs of publishing La Palabra by drastically reducing the number of copies printed and mailed and using email (via Constant Contact) for most of the issues. The annual cost of Constant Contact is $294. Regarding Conventions and Council, Haaker noted that nothing was budgeted for LWVUS Council this summer because New Mexico will not be represented. The Legislative Reception the night before League Day has been funded by the remnants of the PAVP grant. The Reception seems to have resulted in higher attendance at League Day. Total liquid assets (the Wells Fargo checking and savings accounts) exceed $14,362.21. The CD is growing very slowly and has rolled over for another year. The Education Fund balance at this time is $1,137.71, healthier than usual at this time because of the Board’s decision not to publish the Voters’ Key . The Treasurer’s Report will be filed as presented. Machen thanked Haaker for working hard to keep the books in good order.
Haaker presented the proposed budget on behalf of the Budget Committee: Adair Waldenberg (LWVSFC), chair; Rosmarie Frederickson (LWV Los Alamos); and Erika Graf-Webster (LWVGLC). As treasurer, Haaker was an ex-officio member. Income : The Budget Committee recommended no increase in the State PMP for 2015-16 from $13 per member and $6.50 per second household members . Expenses : There are limits to how much hard copy distribution costs of La Palabra can be reduced. On the other hand, the hard copy La Palabra is a way of keeping certain key non-members (elected officials, libraries, etc.) informed of the League’s work. Conventions and Council : Reimbursement rates for travel have been cut dramatically, although it may not look like it. Delegates will have to shoulder more of their own expenses, which affects who is able to attend. Legislative Reception : If this is to be continued past 2016, LWVNM will need to raise money to support it. Newspaper Ads for the online LWVNM Voter Guide , which covers statewide elections, bond issues, amendments, etc.: Small ads placed in outlying area newspapers have been very effective in leading people to the website. In 2014 ads were placed but were paid for by an “in-kind” contribution by the Voter Guide Editor. Assets Balance : Total liquid assets are expected to stay about the same or decline somewhat over the next few years.
The report of the Nominating Committee was presented by Diane Goldfarb, on behalf of Chair Becky Shankland (LWVLA), who could not attend. Diane reminded delegates that our bylaws state that the Convention may elect up to six directors plus four officers to serve on the LWVNM Board along with the four local League presidents (who are not elected). The proposed slate of Board officers is Meredith Machen, President; Richard Mason, Vice President & Action Chair; Carol Tucker Trelease, Secretary; and Cheryl Haaker, Treasurer. The proposed directors are Tarin Nix, Communications; Diane Goldfarb, Lee Lockie, and Laura Stokes, Directors at Large; Akkana Peck, Webmaster; and Judy Williams, Program Chair.
Off Board Positions—elected
Nominating Committee chair and two members: Peggy Howell, Chair; Becky Shankland, Ardyth Norem, off-board members. Two more will be selected later from the board.
Off Board Positions--appointed
La Palabra Editor Miriam Ries
Voter Services Meredith Machen
Voter Guide Editor Meredith Machen, with committee member Lynn Jones and others
Archivist Barbara Goedecke
Budget Committee Adair Waldenberg, chair, Erika Graf-Webster; others to be appointed later
Membership and Leadership Development Linda Moscarella
Machen thanked the Nominating Committee: Chair Becky Shankland and Andrea Targhetta, Diane Goldfarb, Donna Reynolds, and Erika Graf-Webster members for their work.
Barbara Calef told Convention attendees that the bylaws were reviewed by the Bylaws Committee. The committee included Calef, Meredith Machen and Erika Graf-Webster. They proposed seven changes to the bylaws, which the board had approved. Calef then went through the proposed changes, explaining the reasons for each as stated in the Spring La Palabra. During the discussion Jody Larson and Cheryl Haaker suggested two amendments to the amendments. Barbara asked that they propose them during the plenary session the next day.
Machen called upon Dick Mason to give a report on the Legislative Action Committee’s work during the past session. The report was in the Spring La Palabra . Most importantly, Mason said, “bad things” were kept from happening. He said that he has been working with the Action Committee on suggestions to improve legislative processes.
Machen called upon Judy Williams, LWVNM Program Chair, to review the new and updated positions since the LWVNM Convention in 2013 and to introduce the LWVNM Board-recommended study.
Williams reported that all of the local Leagues recommended re-adoption of the state positions. The LWVNM Board of Directors also recommended approval of all the current LWVNM positions. Several positions have been revised, and some have been adopted through concurrence; these have also been adopted by the Board.
A multi-year study led by Olin and Jan Bray resulted in a new Alcohol position, which was adopted by the Board in 2014. The State Board adopted three positions by concurrence in 2014 and 2015. The Alcohol Study Committee was thanked for their work.
The Natural Resources position was extensively revised and adopted by concurrence following three years of careful study on all of the components except for Water Supply, which was adopted in 2010. The Board acknowledged the excellent work of Barbara Calef, Lee Lockie, and Judy Williams. The new position was adopted by the Board in 2014.
The LWVNM Education position was extensively revised to include much of the Education position adopted by the Greater Las Cruces League after years of study. The revised LWVNM Education position also includes LWVNM’s Public School Finance position, which used to be listed separately. The new position was adopted by the Board in 2015.
The Living Wage position was adopted by the Board through concurrence with the LWV Boulder County position in 2015. It augments the LWV position on Meeting Basic Human Needs and is the result of extensive study of various aspects of income inequality done by the local and national Leagues.
The Drug Policy position was revised to align with the national position and was adopted by the Board in 2015.
The Judiciary position was revised to remove outdated language about the advisory judicial council, and the statement regarding adequate funding was expanded so that it includes all courts. The updated position was adopted by the Board in 2015.
The Juvenile Justice position was extensively reorganized and revised to reflect current practice, and the name was changed to reflect its content. The position is now called Children and Families. The updated position was adopted by the Board in 2015.
Williams said that all of the studies approved by the 2013 Convention had been completed.
The summary of the Mental Health Services Study Committee’s recommendations were included in the Convention 2015 packet. The Committee recommended no changes to the wording of the Mental Health position adopted in 2013. On behalf of the Board, she acknowledged Shelly Shepherd and Jan and Olin Bray and the rest of the Committee for their timely work.
Recommended New Study
The LWVNM Board voted to recommend a study of the regulation of charter schools in New Mexico. No other study proposal came before the Board.
Williams called upon Machen, who proposed the study and will lead it, to explain the scope and objectives of the study. The study title is “Charter School Regulations: Public School Funding, Accountability, and Transparency.”
Machen explained that the League and the public need to better understand the use of public funds that are allocated to charter school operations. The study will examine these financial issues and how well charter schools align with the New Mexico Constitutional mandate for a uniform, high quality, free public school system. The study will review information regarding the regulations and policies from which charter schools are released to determine if the exemptions may impede the progress of traditional public schools and the sufficiency of funding for public schools.
The League will be able to take action and advocate for or against policies and proposed legislation once a position is reached. This study is expected to produce a needed element in LWVNM’s Education position.
Meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.
The second day of the 2015 Convention of the League of Women Voters of New Mexico was called to order Sunday, May 17 at 8:45 a.m. by Machen, LWVNM Board President.
Machen called on Howell, credentials chair, to give the report of the Credentials Committee. Howell said a quorum was present at the start: there were 24 delegates including the state board members, plus 4 observers. Several more delegates arrived after she made her report.
The next item of business was the adoption of the two-year budget for 2015-2017. Machen recognized Haaker to present the budget. Motion: By direction of the Board, Haaker moved the adoption of the budget as presented. It was moved, seconded, and unanimously passed to adopt the 2016-2017 budget.
Calef made a motion to adopt the first amendment:
Article V. BOARD OF DIRECTORS (STATE BOARD)
Section 1. Number, Manner of Selection and Term of Office
. The board of directors shall be members of LWVNM and shall consist of the officers of the LWVNM, not more than six elected directors, not more than six appointed directors, and the presidents of local Leagues and MAL units. The [
] directors [
] elected at the Convention [
] shall take office immediately after the Convention. They shall hold office until the election at the next biennial Convention. The appointed directors shall be appointed by the state board as ad hoc directors as the need arises in relationship to projects adopted by the state board, and shall serve until the project is completed or dropped or until a replacement is secured in case of resignation, illness or other causes(s). Presidents of local Leagues shall serve during their term of office and may serve in other capacities on the state board. While serving on the board, the ad hoc directors and the presidents shall have full voting rights.
It was unanimously adopted as presented.
Calef made a motion to adopt the second amendment:
Article IX. COUNCIL
Section 3. Qualifications of Delegates and Voting Members. Each delegate shall be a voting member of the League in the state of New Mexico. Each delegate representing a local League shall be entitled to vote only if that League has met its per member payment responsibilities to LWVNM. The state board may make an exception in the case of proven hardship. Each delegate shall be entitled to one vote only at the Council even though the delegate may be attending in two or more capacities. Absentee or proxy voting shall not be permitted. The Council shall be the sole judge of whether a delegate is qualified to vote.
Amendment #2 was unanimously adopted as presented.
Calef made a motion to adopt Amendment # 3:
Article IX. COUNCIL. Section 4. Powers. The Council shall give guidance to the board on program and methods of work.
The Council is authorized to change the program only in the event of an emergency, [provided; 1) notice of proposed changes shall have been sent to the presidents of the local Leagues at least 30 days in advance of the meeting of the Council and 2) the change is adopted by a two-thirds vote of the Council] using the following procedure:
(a) At least eight weeks prior to the Council meeting any local League proposing a change shall submit it to the state board, which shall decide whether to recommend it.
(b) At least six weeks prior to the Council meeting, the state board shall send to the presidents of local Leagues all proposed changes.
(c) Any change proposed by a local League but not recommended by the state board shall first require a majority vote of the Council for consideration.
(d) A two-thirds vote of the Council shall be required to adopt any change.
(e)The Council shall confirm or modify the budget for the ensuing year and shall transact such other business as shall be presented by the state board.
Cheryl Haaker moved to amend the amendment by making (e) a separate paragraph within Section 4 since the topic is budget rather than changes. Her amendment passed unanimously. Original Amendment #3 passed unanimously as amended.
Calef moved to adopt Amendment #4:
Section 5. Special Council Meeting. In the event of an emergency, the state board may call a special meeting of the Council. A formal call specifying purpose, time and place shall be issued to local presidents and MAL units at least 30 days in advance.
Amendment #4 was unanimously adopted as presented.
Calef moved to adopt Amendment #5:
Article XI. PRINCIPLES AND PROGRAM
Section 2. Program . The program of LWVNM shall consist of action to implement the Principles and those governmental issues chosen by the Convention for concerted study or concurrence and action as follows:
(a.) The boards of local Leagues, LWVNM committees, and state MAL units may make recommendations for [a] program, including amendment of a state League position or adoption of a position by concurrence. Recommendations must be sent to the state board at least [two months] ten weeks prior to the Convention.
(b.) The state board shall consider these recommendations and formulate a proposed program, which shall be sent to the membership at least 30 days prior to the Convention.
New (c.) Any local League, LWVNM committee, or the state board, planning to propose the amendment of a state League position or adoption of a position by concurrence shall send background information, including pros and cons on the issue and an explanation of the rationale of using that form of member agreement, to all Leagues at least thirty days before Convention.
(d.) The Convention shall adopt a program by a majority vote on each subject presented to it.
(e.) A Program recommendation properly submitted by a local League, LWVNM committee, or by a state MAL unit at least [three weeks] ten weeks prior to Convention but not proposed by the state board may be so considered only if it is ordered by a majority vote of the Convention and the vote on adoption comes on a following day. Adoption of any such recommendation will require a two-thirds vote.
Jody Larson moved to amend the amendment by adding “state MAL units” after the words “state board” to the new sub-section (c). Her amendment passed unanimously.
Akkana Peck moved to amend the same sub-section for the sake of clarity. She proposed replacing “that form of member agreement” with the word “concurrence.” Her amendment passed unanimously. Amendment #5 was then adopted unanimously as amended.
Calef moved to adopt Amendment #6:
Article XI. PRINCIPLES AND PROGRAM
Section 3. Program Action .
Amendment #6 was unanimously adopted as presented.
Calef moved to adopt Amendment #7:
Article XIV. AMENDMENTS
These bylaws may be amended at any Convention by a two-thirds vote provided that the proposed amendment was submitted to the state board at least
ten weeks prior to the Convention by a local League board, state MAL unit or has been proposed by the state board. The state board shall send all such proposed amendments together with the recommendations of the board to the membership at least 30 days prior to the Convention.
Amendment #7 was unanimously adopted as presented.
Williams moved the adoption of all LWVNM Positions. Machen said that since this motion is being made at the direction of the board, no second is required. A vote was called, and the positions were officially adopted by unanimous vote.
Machen said LWVNM has a full slate of positions on sustainability, government, natural resources, and social policy that we can use for effective advocacy. She thanked everyone who participated in studies and position updating and mentioned that there will be an emphasis on getting members to join Issues Committees of their choice and getting more involved in publicizing our recommendations and positions.
It was moved and unanimously passed to adopt the Charter School Regulation Study.
Diane Goldfarb read the list of nominees and asked for a unanimous voice vote. Officers and directors elected included Meredith Machen, President; Richard Mason, Vice President & Action Chair; Carol Tucker Trelease, Secretary; and Cheryl Haaker, Treasurer. Directors include Judy Williams, Program Chair; Laura Stokes, Membership Chair; Tarin Nix, Communications Chair; Akkana Peck, Webmaster: Diane Goldfarb, Director-at-Large and Reproductive Choice Chair; and Lee Lockie, Director-at Large.
Nominating Committee: Peggy Howell, Chair; Becky Shankland, Ardyth Norem, off-board members.
Machen thanked all of the outgoing and incoming board members for their commitment and service and for making the state Board effective. She also thanked Cheryl Haaker, who in addition to serving as Treasurer has served as LWVNM Webmaster for years, and Miriam Ries, for her excellent work as La Palabra editor. She also thanked Linda Moscarella for her willingness to continue as Membership/Leadership Development State Coordinator, and Lynn Jones, who will help to manage the membership database and will help with editing the state Voter Guide in 2016. (Machen is continuing as Voter Services Chair.) She also thanked Barbara Goedecke for agreeing to continue on as LWVNM Archivist. Tarin Nix is happy to lead a Voter Activation Committee for LWVNM.
The following directions were given to the board:
Adjournment The Convention Committee and delegates were thanked for their work. Convention was adjourned at 10 a.m.
Respectfully submitted, Carol Tucker Trelease, Secretary.
Revised by Meredith Machen, LWVNM President. Official Readers: Barbara Calef, LWVLA President, and Judy Williams, LWSFC President.
Minutes will be posted on the LWVNM.org website and included in the 2017 Convention packet.