LWVNM Board meeting, 2020-03-07, Albuquerque



March 7, 2020

Santa Fe Higher Education Center

Present: Kim Sorensen, secretary; Laura Atkins LWVSFC liaison; Susan Haase, LWVSFC; Jody Larson, archives; Meredith Machen, director; Becky Shankland, co-president LWVLA; Patricia Hawkins, director; Dick Mason, action; Karen Douglas, director; Judy Williams, past president; Hannah Burling, president; Eileen Van Wie, co-president LWVSNM; Kathy Brook, co-president LWVSNM; Barbara Calef, 2nd vice president; Akkana Peck, webmaster; Chris Furlanetto, program; Stephanie Schlanger guest LWVSFC.

The meeting was called to order at 11:01 a.m. by President Hannah Burling.

Approval of the agenda. There were two changes to the agenda. Change the next meeting to read April 25 and add Support a Health Caucus as an agenda item during the discussion of Program Planning. The motion to approve the agenda with the changes passed.

Approval of the board minutes. The motion to approve the January 18 board minutes as presented passed.


Hannah Burling commended Meredith for the February 5th celebration. She encouraged all Leagues to schedule showings of the “The Shake Up” as a fundraising event. Hannah will provide the link upon request. LWVLA showed it to their board. The license to the film expires at the end of this year. Hannah asked who was responsible for writing thank you notes for donations. Suzanne Ronneau said she writes them. Hannah said Team Jedi (the Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion team) was “off and running,” and she would report on it later. Hannah recommended that we emphasize our nonpartisan status in this upcoming election season.


Suzanne Ronneau reported that the report is current as of January 4, 2020, and she is not aware of any outstanding income or payments due for this reporting period (May 1, 2019 - January 4, 2020). Expenses for Vote 411 came out of the Education fund. The $2000 in the Diversity Fund remains unused.

There was a discussion on whether LWVNM should purchase liability insurance for the board. Suzanne recommended we get it. The cost is $834 for a year. The motion to approve purchasing D & O liability insurance passed. Suzanne will pursue it.


Dick Mason reported that this year’s legislative session was very productive. The governor has signed all the successful bills that we supported except SB75 Wildlife Trafficking. She has until March 11 to sign that one. The solar tax credit, early childhood fund, and many of our 2nd priorities passed. The memorial to form a task force to study legislative process did not pass, but we expect the task force to be created anyway. Judy reported that the funding approved for the ethics commission is less than the governor requested. Also, efforts to load new responsibilities onto the Commission did not pass in this session. Dick reported that the legislature fully funded the early childhood permanent fund.


Dick gave a report on the Fair Districts for New Mexico Project. Although neither HM8 nor SB134 (redistricting task force legislation) passed, they did get a lot of exposure. FDNM will continue to meet with the Governor’s office and Legislative Council to push for task a force. The coalition is developing plans for educating the public about the need for fair districting, including publishing op-eds and letters to the editor, scheduling meetings with editorial boards, and encouraging the National Conference of State Legislatures to do a program on fair districting open to the legislators and the public. Dick is looking for a film on redistricting, particularly at the state legislative district level. It was recommended that Dick join the national League listserv on redistricting, called “Basecamp” to find out what the Leagues are doing in other states.

Dick noted that the census data will be out March 31, 2021 and we need a taskforce to look at redistricting process right now.

Redistricting Concurrence with LWVUS. Dick recommended that LWVNM concur with the LWVUS position. Chris stated concurring with the national position is unnecessary since the national position is already our position. Barbara suggested we have an advocacy statement for redistricting to hand out to legislators. It was recommended the advocacy statement be kept to one page. Chris asked how much leeway we have in changing wording on the national position. Meredith said the positions are deliberately general and concurrences are not required to be literal. Dick and Barbara will work on an advocacy statement and present for the next meeting.


The Vote 411 update was given by Diane Goldfarb by phone. There are 15 members working on vote 411. They have collected questions from all 4 Leagues. Two Leagues are planning to print a primary voter guide. All the locals are participating in Vote 411 in addition to LWVNM. Local Leagues will develop their own questions for their local elections. Diane recommends that we limit each race to four questions.

The board reviewed all the questions developed by the committee and made recommendations for Diane to incorporate.


Karen Douglas gave the progress report. Bobbi Merryman, UNM PhD candidate in Nuclear Engineering, spoke at a LWVCNM meeting and will speak at a LWVSFC and a LWVLA meeting later in the year. In addition, there will be two scientists at the advocacy group meeting March 21. Notifications of meetings well be put on Constant Contact.


Chris Furlanetto reported that the LWVUS program planning form needs to be completed by Tuesday. The board discussed what we should add to the form. We discussed whether to make Transfer of Federal Public Lands (TFPL) a priority for states to adopt through concurrence. It was suggested that we request state Leagues to adopt the TFPL position through concurrence. Meredith said the TFPL position can be sent out using the state League listserv.

Immigration reform and climate change were recommended as priorities to add to the LWVUS program planning form. Kim will send Chris language on immigration reform. Chris will write up a paragraph on climate change.

Diane suggested that the position of Secretary of State should be nonpartisan and that would be a good question for LWVUS to consider.


Meredith presented an updated policy on members-at-large, LWVNM units, and new local Leagues in NM. The motion to adopt the proposal passed. A motion that dues remain at $45 for members-at-large passed. Meredith and Hannah will investigate adding Pay Pal so members can pay dues online.


Janet Blair reported she found a PA system that weighs less than 30 pounds, is on wheels, and comes with 2 wireless microphones. She suggested we add 2 lapel wireless microphones as well as purchase a desktop tripod microphone stand and the protection plan at a total cost of $283.74. The motion to purchase the system with extras passed. The old one will be donated to LWVSNM.


Akkana said it is hard for people to figure out what district they are in, so she posted maps for state House and Senate districts and congressional districts and will put up data files as well. Akkana requested that, to avoid confusion, we send any documents for upcoming board meetings to Hannah.


Hannah Burling reported that Team Jedi’s first event is tomorrow at Las Vegas Woman’s Day. The team has developed five action items. So far there are 5 members participating (all from LWVSFC). Dick suggested we look at coalitions we can collaborate with that would add to JEDI.


Meredith gave an overview of our strategic plan. The Legislative Rapid Response Team (LRRT) will be expanded to include more social media. Local leagues are encouraged to post more. Stephanie Schlanger (SFC) would like the local Leagues to coordinate more. She suggested that the publicity directors for the state and local Leagues get together, form a communications committee headed by Janet Blair, and develop a plan. Hannah will talk with Janet and schedule a meeting with all of the communications chairs before Council.

Dick reminded us that the deadline for registering for the primary is May 5. We need information about voter registration to go out. Meredith volunteered to send the information to the board. Judy suggested we do 2 press releases, one for voter registration and the other for Vote 411.


Laura Atkins reported on the upcoming Council, which will be in Santa Fe. She hopes to keep the registration fee under $40. Laura has researched several venues and said the Immaculate Heart of Mary Conference Center was the most reasonable, charging $100 for the room. The board agreed she should pursue that venue. Irene Epp will speak on diversity.


Hannah said the convention is scheduled for June 25-28. LWVNM is allowed three delegates. Pat Hawkins and Hannah have expressed interest and Laura will go if nobody else wants to.

LOCAL LEAGUE REPORTS (submitted in writing)


Next meeting: April 25 after council.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:38 p.m.

Written by Kim Sorensen

Edited by Barbara Calef