LWVNM Board meeting, 2019-11-16, Las Cruces



November 16, 2019

Good Samaritan Society Activity Room, Las Cruces New Mexico

Present: Kim Sorensen, secretary; Laura Atkins LWVSFC liaison; Karen Wentworth, LWVCNM; Susan Haase, LWVSFC; Meredith Machen, director (via speaker phone); Becky Shankland, co-president LWVLA; Patricia Hawkins, director; Dick Mason, action; Karen Douglas, director; Judy Williams, past president; Hannah Burling, president; Suzanne Ronneau, treasurer; Kathy Brook and Eileen Van Wie, co-presidents LWVSNM; Barbara Calef, 2nd vice president; Akkana Peck, webmaster; Janet Blair, communications; Guests: Erika Graf-Webster and Christina Little, LWVSNM.

The meeting was called to order at 11:00 a.m. by President Hannah Burling.

Approval of Agenda. There were two changes to the agenda: 1) Add the proposal to rent the film “Shake Up” to the end of Bylaws and Policies and 2) remove the voter services report from the agenda. The motion to approve the agenda with the changes passed.

Approval of the July 20 Board Minutes. The motion to approve the September 21st board minutes passed.


Hannah Burling reported that she, Karen Wentworth, and Mary Wilson had a meeting at Magdalena at the end of September with potential League members. Two of the attendees have become members as a result. Problems with voter access were discussed at the meeting including a problem with the county clerk recognizing some addresses. Pat Hawkins will send information to the board about New Mexico statutes concerning voter suppression.


Suzanne Ronneau reported that she received the PMP from LWVSNM and CNM and promised to send SFC's. She reported that the Fair District project is on budget and that $750 was received from a LWVUS grant for advocacy for redistricting. Income for the period was $1922.29, expenditures were $625.00. The ending bank balance as of 11/06/2019 was $26,406.14 and a contribution to the ed fund of $250 resulted in an ed fund balance of $4296.96. The LWVCNM fund marked for LWVNM recruitment of diverse individuals has a balance of $2000.00. Year to date income and expenses were $3537.45 and $3,776.98 respectively.


Dick Mason reported that League Day at the Legislature and the legislative reception are scheduled for February 5 and 6. Virginia Kase has been invited to speak at the reception at Rio Chama and at the Capitol. Dick requested that Meredith compile a list of speakers for League Day. Hannah will be the moderator. Desert Inn (formally Garretts Desert Inn) is taking reservations this year, although they are still under construction.

Memorials and proclamations. Meredith Machen (see Special Projects)

The Legislative Advocacy workshop is scheduled for December 7th with Senator Sander Rue and Representative Christine Chandler facilitating. The focus will be on the budget process. Janet Blair will do a standardized news release about the workshop. Members are encouraged to send information to their various email groups. Dick reported that HB51, Decriminalization of Abortion, will not be placed on the Governor’s call. He noted, however, the Governor may add a comprehensive plan on health care leading to universal coverage in New Mexico. The Health Security Act would be part of that discussion.

Dick reported on Fair Districts New Mexico (FDNM). There will be a meeting December 11th at the Common Cause office to do Power Mapping on this issue. Dick reported that LWVNM, the National Council of State Legislators (NCSL), and New Mexico In Depth all presented to the Interim Courts Corrections and Justice Committee on October 10th. Dick reported that things are happening very quickly and members are encouraged to stay updated through the FDNM website: http://www.fairdistrictsnm.org.The Brennan Center has moved New Mexico up on their priority list.

Judy Williams reported on LWVUS People Powered Fair Maps meeting she attended October 9-11 in Washington DC. She reported that as a result of the Rucho Decision (Supreme Court decision Rucho vs Common Cause), any action on redistricting must take place on the state level. LWVNM received $1000 from LWUS to work on fair districting. Handouts are on the fairdistrictsnm website. Hannah reported that LWVUS requests we take a survey every month answering 8 questions about our progress.

Reproductive Rights. Hannah reported that Diane Goldfarb has resigned as a representative for Coalition for Choice citing her concerns about the organization’s lack of structure and failure to follow a clear policy for taking actions. Barbara moved that LWVNM remove itself from the coalition. Dick stated that we can keep informed about action on reproductive rights through our membership in the C4 Table. Hannah will write a formal letter to the chair of the coalition stating our reasons for withdrawing our membership. The motion to withdraw our membership passed unanimously.

Proposed Concurrence on Reproductive Health & Justice. This concurrence with LWVFL is a new Social Policy Position. It was recommended that we delete the words “access to” from the position statement. Also, the word “regulatory” was added to the position statement: LWVNM opposes statutory and regulatory restrictions on birth control and/or abortion. The motion to adopt the concurrence with the proposed changes passed unanimously.


Karen Douglas presented the draft Advocacy Statement. The statement highlights the criteria required for LWVNM to support licensing of two sites for the storage of spent nuclear fuel. The Spent Nuclear Fuel Advocacy Group discussed what should be included at a meeting October 11th, and Karen D. and Laura subsequently drafted the document. Hannah clarified that LWVNM will advocate for legislation calling for oversight by the state and including the allocation of adequate funding to support it. Karen reported that some members of the group had attended a meeting of the Radioactive and Hazardous Materials Committee at which 15 legislators requested that a bill be drafted concerning legislative oversight. Senators Steinborn and Rodriquez will ask the Governor to put it on her call. Hannah recommended we add a statement that LWVNM would oppose the disposal of spent nuclear fuel in New Mexico if the criteria outlined in the plan are not met. “We want to ensure that safety provisions are enacted, legislated and enforced.” Karen reported that she expected a draft of the environmental impact statement to be released in January. Karen reassured the committee that they had been in consultation with LWV in Texas, and that the statement is consistent with the LWVUS position. It was proposed that we adopt the statement now with the understanding that Karen D. and Laura will make the changes. The motion to adopt the statement adding that the state needs funding and oversight powers, and a clause stating we will oppose the proposal to store the spent nuclear fuel in New Mexico if our criteria are not met, passed unanimously. Judy requested that Karen draw up a 1-page summary of the plan. Karen, Laura, and Hannah will serve as the spokespersons for the plan. Hannah and Karen D. will submit the advocacy statement to LWVUS for their approval.


Hannah presented the proposed concurrence, as requested by a number of League members around the country. They said that LWVUS does not have a position on how we elect our leaders and therefore it is hoped that the concurrence position would be presented for adoption at the 2020 LWVUS Convention. It was recommended that before LWVNM takes action regarding a position for LWVUS, Chris Furlanetto be asked to compare the proposed concurrence to what LWVUS has and report to the board in January. Judy suggested as a first step that local Leagues consider recommending concurrence to LWVUS during their 2020 program planning sessions. A motion was made to add the words “verifiable and auditable” to the LWVNM election procedures position. The motion passed. This is the only action we are taking at this point.

Barbara stated that local Leagues need to be educated about ranked choice voting before LWVNM can decide if we support it.


Bylaws change proposal. Article III. Membership. Section 2. Types of Membership. A motion was made to delete all of b. [Associate members…] since we no longer have non-voting members. The motion passed.

Addendum: At the 2020 LWVUS Convention the delegates voted NOT to delete the reference to "associate members" in the LWVUS Bylaws, so we are required to follow suit. The proposed amendment to the LWVNM bylaws, voted on at the November 2019 meeting, to delete "associate member" will not be on the 2021 LWVNM Convention agenda.

Article V Section 6. Electronic Board Meetings draft policy. It was recommended we delete all references to “Listservs” and to use the terms “video or web conferencing”. Barbara will come back with an amended version in January.

Proposal to rent the documentary “The Shake Up”. Barbara reported that when LWVLA met with Brian Blalock, the Cabinet secretary of New Mexico’s Children, Youth and Families Department in August, he strongly recommended that the League arrange a viewing of “The Shake-Up,” a documentary about the cause and consequences of the 2013 behavioral health crisis in New Mexico. LWVNM can rent the rights to show the film for a year for $300 dollars. A league member must be present at each showing and must report the number of attendees. The motion that LWVNM purchase the rights to the video for 2020 passed. Local Leagues are encouraged to have showings.


Janet reported on her research on PA systems. She suggested LWVNM purchase a portable PA system with several mikes, speakers, and a wireless remote. She found one online with 4 mikes for $300. Janet will check local stores in Albuquerque as well. The motion to allocate up to $500 dollars for a portable PA system passed. Hannah and Janet were given permission to purchase the system. Dick proposed donating the old one to a local league.

The Draft Communications Plan will be presented and voted on in January.

Website & document storage. In October Akkana Peck reported in an email to the board that Yahoo was cutting back on its services and she was having trouble getting help for the Action listserv. She suggested a couple of options: 1) contract with SWCP (LWVNM’s web provider) to administer it at a cost of $60 per year and 2) use “Free List.” The board chose option 1; sign up for service with SWCP at a cost of $60 per year in an online poll. Akkana then signed up for the service but as of November 16, SWCP has not responded. At the board meeting, it was recommended that if Akkana did not hear from SWCP by Monday night she would set up a free list. Members noted that providing documents for the board meeting online worked great, but concurrences need more lead time. Akkana said she can post documents on the web anytime. She suggested that we email the board if we submit documents early. She noted that file names should not have spaces. Also, they should not begin with “LWVNM.”


Memorials. Meredith reported that the Legislative Council Service is working on legislative memorials for the 100th anniversary of the League and the Suffrage Centennial. Senator Nancy Rodriquez and Representative Joanne Ferrary will sponsor the League Memorial and Senator Liz Stefanics will sponsor the Suffrage Centennial Memorial. Meredith is waiting for a response from Representative Gail Chasey about sponsorship but noted that Representative Natalie Figueroa has agreed to be a back-up. Meredith reported that pre-filing begins December 16th and she is hoping the memorials will be read in chambers late morning February 6th.

LOCAL LEAGUE REPORTS (submitted in writing)


Hannah reported that she may have found a data analyst willing to attend the Governor’s Commission on Complete Count meetings.

Eileen Van Wie asked if locals had a vetting policy for members who work with vulnerable populations on behalf of the League. Pat Hawkins stated that SF had a mentoring program that was required by the public schools to mentor girls. Eileen also asked if there was a plan to conduct a study on the advantages and disadvantages of state bank in New Mexico. The answer is “No, not at this point.” Dick noted that Washington and some other states have positions on state banks.

Karen Douglas reported that the film, “Equal Means Equal” will show Sunday January 19th at 1 pm at the Guild Theatre in Albuquerque. Proceeds will go to states working on passing the Equal Rights Amendment. Janet will post a flier on Face Book.

Suzanne reported that the Judicial Studies committee met to divide up duties. The committee will meet again in January. They plan to send out a letter to all judges in the lower courts telling them about the study.

Barbara will send the contact information for the “sash maker” for those who want a sash for the centennial celebrations.

The next meeting will be January 18th 11-3 pm in Albuquerque.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:42 pm.

Written Kim Sorensen 11/20/19

Edited by Barbara Calef 11/25/19