League Becomes 501(c)(3) Corporation, Elects Officers and Board at Annual Meeting

501c3Two “main events” at the League’s Annual Meeting, held May 28 at Northbrae Community Church, were the election of officers and Board members to guide us through the 2015-16 program year; and adoption of the final steps to make the League a full-fledged not-for-profit organization recognized by the IRS under IRC Section 501(c)(3).

The new League officers, elected unanimously by acclamation, are President Nancy Bickel; Treasurer Sarah Miyazaki; and Secretary Christine Wenrich. Also elected unanimously were the members of the Nominating Committee approved by the membership: Chair Regina Beatus; and members Pat Day and Angharad Jones (the remaining two Committee members are to be selected by the Board).

The only election contest involved the selection of six Board members. The Nominating Committee had named six: Lessly Wikle Field; Phyllis Gale; Deborah Malbec; Jill Martinucci; Barb Singleton; and Diz Swift. In addition to these nominees, Dean Metzger was nominated from the floor. Ballots were distributed, and 42 were cast. The members voting cast between 34 and 37 votes for each nominee appearing on the Nominating Committee’s slate. Dean Metzger received 21 votes.

The new officers and Board members will take office July 1.

The other major order of business was to take the final steps to consolidate the League of Women Voters of Berkeley (which we know as the League of Women Voters of Berkeley, Albany & Emeryville—but the name was never changed with the California Secretary of State), which has been recognized until now as a “501(c)(4)” corporate entity, with the League of Women Voters of Berkeley Foundation, to merge all the League functions into one corporation which has now been completely organized as a not-for-profit entity recognized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Motions to amend the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of the entities to permit and approve the merger were made and passed unanimously.

The upshot will be that all donations made to the League, including dues payments, will be tax-deductible by the contributor. Our League advocacy functions will not be compromised at all. The key to being a 501(c)(3) organization is to be organized, as we are, primarily for educational purposes, and to spend no more than 20% on lobbying activities, a figure to which we come nowhere near in our annual budgets.

In the only other business of the meeting, the budget for 2015-16 was approved, and the Proposed Program was adopted. Details of both appeared in the Annual Meeting Kit 2015.

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