League members find ourselves in an interesting position. We are witnessing many of the social and environmental laws that LWV and other organizations fought so hard for being eroded. The League is experiencing some growth in membership from people who are interested in correcting this trend, but in many cases, the "old League" is not meeting their needs. Instead we see numerous organizations popping up that seem to be usurping “our” agenda. What is the answer?
For over a year LWVUS has been holding stakeholder meetings and using outside consulting firms to guide us through the process. There has been input from local League leaders, LWVUS Council of 2017, and several focus groups as well as analysis of similar outside organizations. The results to date are summarized in a document called the “LWV Transformation Roadmap.”
The five main conclusions include:
1. We are not clear about our strategic focus;
2. The local, State and national organizations sometimes go in different directions;
3. The way we are structured is an impediment to organizational effectiveness and efficiency;
4. We have a culture that has failed to adapt to current trends in volunteerism and embrace diverse populations; and
5. We have significant deficits in organizational capacity, specifically staffing, communications, technology and fundraising.
Each one of these is addressed in the "Road Map."
The LWVMD Board has decided to devote most of State Council on June 9 to a discussion of the points raised in this publication. We encourage Local League Presidents to share and discuss it with your Board and membership. The “Roadmap” is a work in progress. Your feedback is welcome and necessary if we are going to strengthen the League. This is our future.
Elaine Apter & Richard Willson