Annual Meeting Actions: Budget, Bylaws, Policy Priorities for 2017-18

The League’s 2017 Annual Business Meeting on May 11 opened with some very pleasant moments and various necessary actions. Ora Huth, a 50 Year League member, was honored as a lifetime member and presented with a bouquet by Jessica Powell.  Ms. Huth was President of the Berkeley League in 1965 and 1966. She joined the League in 1957 and, she remarked, at 96, she has attended all the  League annual meetings.

Thank-you honors and flowers were offered  to Suzanne Chun and Jane Coulter for their work in keeping membership records and for organizing and helping to run League events, as they have been doing for so many years. They were working at this Annual Meeting too. Long-time League membership records keepers Mina Jenner and Samuela Evans were also honored; since they were not present,  bouquets were to be delivered to them at home.

President Deborah Malbec presided.  The 2016 Annual Meeting Minutes were announced as having been approved by the review committee appointed to approve the 2016 minutes. A Committee to review and approve the 2017 Minutes, of Sarah Miyazaki, Phyllis Gale, and Esteem Brumfield,  was nominated, seconded and approved by the members. Parliamentarian Phyllis Gale and Election Officer Jessica Powell were introduced.

After a brief summary of the League’s accomplishments in the past year, the meeting went on to deal with the main events of the business meeting. A report of the results of the election for next year’s officers and board may be found here.

2017-18 Budget Adopted: Tom Coulter, Chair of the Finance Committee, directed members to the proposed budget in the 2017 Annual Meeting Kit.  and responded to questions about the budget. The budget proposes a transfer of about $75,000 from savings to this budget, much more than LWVBAE usually draws from savings. Tom explained that we are taking so much money from our investments due to a large number of  members who joined for free, payments for consultants, and electronic media costs. The membership adopted the 2017-18 Budget  unanimously.

Notes: LWVBAE supports the state and Local League by fixed “per member payments” which are independent of how much each member has paid to LWVBAE. The Budget Committee has already recommended and the Board approved that the League an energetic fundraising plan in the coming year.

Adoption of Program & Local Policy Positions: Diz Swift, Vice President of Action, moved the following Issues for Emphasis, proposed at the Program Planning Meeting and approved by the Board. The members approved unanimously.
• Prop 13 reform–focusing particularly on corporate loopholes; the plan will include both education and advocacy
• Climate change, including implementing state climate legislation at the local level, education and advocacy
• Voter registration: targeting precincts with low registration and 16-18 year olds; voter education, including critical thinking

Adoption of ByLaws Changes: Emily Beckhusen, Treasurer, explained the  proposed bylaw changes.  Under the then-current bylaws, changes can only happen at the spring annual meeting; if they can happen at any general meeting of the membership, they could also be made at the fall meeting or any meeting of all the members.  This would make decision making on bylaws more flexible.  A single date for collecting dues from all members–on December 1st of each year–would simplify the work of collecting dues, now that we can print all notices by computer and send them out at one time. Since the national League  database is only updated once a year on February 1, LWVBAE’s records would be efficiently coordinated with LWVUS’s records. Since this proposed Bylaws change was already approved by the Board, only a simple vote was required. The motion was approved with only one abstention.

Nancy Bickel proposed a “Direction to the Board,” a traditional opportunity for members to give advice to the incoming Board. She pointed out that sh had drawn these recommendations from the ideas of many League members.Direction to Board May 11, 2017


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