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LWV CA 2023 Convention Report

Marieann B Shovlin | Published on 6/1/2023

LWV CA Convention Report:

California State League Convention: A Personal View   

You would think that having attended as many state conventions as I have, they would become a bit routine and maybe even boring. But they never fail to be interesting, informative and educational.

I was interested to learn that more than half of the delegates were attending a League convention for the first time. It was great to have so many new faces, members eager to learn and take back to their Leagues the possibilities to meet today’s challenges. This includes my two colleagues, Beth Claywell and Nancy Smith (actually her second convention, having gone to the national convention last year) who joined me as delegates from our League.

We were reminded, “Democracy is not something we have, it is something we do, Jimmy Carter”. And we can’t do it as a single organization. Therefore, we need to collaborate with others. There are organizations that may not agree with us on all of our issues but we can collaborate on a particular issue that we are both supporting.

We heard Cheryl Boudreau, a professor at UC Davis speak on the “Power and Possibilities of an Informed Electorate”. She stated the challenges: 1) are people willing to receive information, 2) will people trust the information, and 3) can they apply the information effectively to their choices. People need to trust the source of the information and the sources they trust most are: their own political party, an ethnic interest group, nonpartisan experts, and the League of Women Voters. This is our challenge, to present credible political information.

I can’t close without mentioning the personal satisfaction I look for and receive at convention; seeing old friends I haven’t seen in many years. This year it was quite a long time because of the pandemic. I was not disappointed. There were many old friends. There was even one who served with me on the state board back in 1991-95. Others I had met a bit more recently. Lots of happy hugs. It was wonderful to know that all these League members are still “doing” democracy.

from Roberta Hollimon

Convention Notes... 

Held May 19-22, 2023, in San Francisco, the LWV California Convention generated excitement and energy among attendees. You can review links to Convention activities here.

Some particularly relevant take-aways useful for us all include a list of LWVC League Resources, are available here.

The voting information game, “VerifyIT” – a fun interactive exercise to help people learn about voting and the vote process – available here.

Thanks to Ellen Forbes, LWV Palo Alto, for this Convention summary data:

2023 LWVC Convention attendance: 170 delegates

Workshops & Caucuses offered: 18

LWVC Executive Director Stephanis Doute commented: “She quoted psychologist Tara Brach: “We are not the survival of the fittest. We are the survival of the nurtured.” She urged us to lead with kindness and curiosity; to set out in every conversation to learn something, not teach it; and to listen to new people with wildly different perspectives.”

Newly-elected LWVC President Chris Carson (LWVUS President 2016-2020) comments: “ many of the challenges our political process faces today, including the facts that certain government meetings are held in-person only, with no virtual comments accepted, and that underserved communities are still too often unaware of voting method options. As for LWVC, some of our important work is being done in-depth within very active Interest Groups, including Climate and Criminal Justice Reform.

At plenary sessions, informative speakers and a panel including Assemblymember Ash Kalra, were heard, delegates voted on priorities for 2023-25, and elected a new board. 

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