Minutes of September Board Meeting

League of Women Voters of Howard County, Inc.
Board Meeting Minutes
via Zoom
September 10, 2020

In attendance: Cynthia Williams, Barbara Russell, Virginia Kirk, Lucie Geinzer, Krista Threefoot, , Linda Wengel, Linda Frascarella, Sandy Levy, Laura Mettle.
Absent: Nancy Carlsen, Michelle Rice Trotter, Amber Treat, Cheryle Wharton
 Meeting called to order at 7:04 pm by President Cynthia Williams.

Changes to Agenda: There were no changes to the agenda. Linda Wengel moved and Sandy Levy seconded that the agenda be approved. Motion passed.

President’s Report: Cynthia Williams referred Board to her written report. The Candidate Forum on October 2 was discussed. Questions will come from partners (Horizon Foundation, PTA Council of Howard County, and the Association of Community Services of Howard County. See full President’s Report for specifics.

Secretary’s Report: Virginia Kirk – Lucie Geinzer moved, Linda Wengel seconded, that the June 2020 meeting minutes be approved. Motion passed.  

Treasurer’s Report: Barbara Russell – The total checking/savings balance as of August 31, 2020, was $18,385.36. Dues paid so far: $7,175.00.  She noted that approximately $430 has been raised by the tee-shirt sale. The insurance has been paid. She also reviewed the total fundraising effort for supporting the promotion and/or printing of the Voters’ Guide.  So far a total of approximately $1,450 has been raised for this purpose. Laura Mettle discussed options for advertising the Voters’ Guide in the Flyer, the Howard County Times, and various Patch publications. The total estimated costs would be over $1,000 for this type of advertising. As the Guide won’t be available until the end of September, the Board agreed to postpone a decision. 

There was a follow-up question about the mass email of information about the Guide to all registered voters in Howard County. Laura Mettle will request email addresses from the Board of Elections this week. Barbara will file the Treasurer’s Report documents for review.

Program Report: Krista Threefoot referred the Board to her Program Report for specifics on Unit Meetings, Local League Program Chair Meeting, and the  T-Shirt fundraiser. Zoom Unit meetings schedule and topics:

  • September 24, 7:00pm, Voting Information
  • October 22, 7:00pm, Ballot information
  • November 19, 7:00pm, Policing community forum

Directors’ Reports

Action: Linda Wengel reported on the three new Council Resolutions and requested Board direction on action to be taken, if any. See full Directors’ Report for details:

  • CR 143-2020 – A resolution declaring support for the phased in $15 minimum wage. No action necessary.
  • CR 51-2020 – An act prohibiting Howard County Department of Corrections from accepting into custody persons for immigration issues detained by federal immigration law enforcement. The League did support the Sanctuary City bill. Linda Wengel is not sure we have a stand on CR 51.
  • CR 142-2020 – Creation of a racial justice taskforce. Linda Wengel will send a letter of support.

 

Communications—Internal: Nancy Carlsen (absent) –Cynthia Williams discussed the need to find someone to take over this position. She will contact members who have expressed an interest and let the Board know the outcome. She also requested and received a general consensus that each month we post on the LWVHC website the Board Meeting minutes, the President’s Report, and the Directors’ Reports.

Communications – External: Laura Mettle. Although External Communications was not on the Agenda, the Board continued the discussion of printing the Voters’ Guide. Linda Wengel noted that the Guide is a signature service the League is known for and we should focus on advertising it, as opposed for example 411. The general consensus was that we advertise both our Guide and Vote 411.  This discussion was in the context of how we should advertise the Guide. Cynthia Williams asked Board members to help estimate the number of issues we might need if we were to print them. Frascarella will estimate many would be needed for the Library System and Linda Wengel for senior living sites. Cynthia Williams has ideas for possible advertisers and will make calls. 

Cynthia Williams will send to the Board the voter information sheet that she created.

Education: Linda Frascarella referred to her Directors’ Report for details about the virtual fall semester for the Howard County School System. She also noted the voter registration and voting PowerPoint she created for the Oakland Mills group via Zoom on August 27 and the one she is currently working on: Being an Informed Voter for September 24 at 7:00, also Zoom.

Environment: Sandy Levy reported that Howard Community College’s Sustainability Day is scheduled for Oct. 21. The College has requested the League do a 10 minutes presentation on voting. She will follow up with the College on specifics. She also noted that Sunrise Howard County has contacted her. See the Environment Director’s Report for details regarding the many bills, actions, and activities related to environmental issues locally, in the State, and nationally. 

Fundraising: Michelle Rice Trotter and Amber Treat (absent)

Membership: Lucie Geinzer noted the various letters she has written related to membership and fundraising.  See the Directors’ Reports for more details.   

Publications: Amber Treat (absent)   

Voter Services: Cheryle Wharton (absent) See the Director’s Reports for details of activities.

 Unfinished Business

  • Voter Guide Printing – see above
  • What to do about the Voter – see discussion above in Communications – Internal.
  • Decision about picking up ballots. The general consensus was that this be an informal activity that members can undertake as they wish.
  • Laying a wreath and possible contribution. The general consensus was that LWVHC should participate.
  • Calendar update – Cynthia Williams has updated the calendar and has sent it to Amber Treat, recognizing that it is fluid, given the circumstance.

 

New Business

  • Ballot questions: This topic was covered in various sections. See above.
  • Horizon Foundation: Cynthia Williams believes the Horizon Foundation will be a great new partner.
  • LWVMD—Cynthia Williams sent the Board the form, consensus needed by October 5, 2020.
  • Re-posting – Cynthia Williams requested guidance. The consensus was that it is okay to re-post community service announcements on a case-by-case basis as long as these announcements are non-partisan.
  • Any questions regarding Unit or Candidate Forum meetings? None
  • The Voter deadline is 10/15/2020

Adjournment: Lucie Geinzer moved, Linda Wengel seconded, that the meeting be adjourned. Motion passed. The meeting was adjourned at 8:41pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Virginia Kirk, Secretary


October Meeting Reports

President’s Report – Cynthia Williams

September 10, 2020 LWVHC

The Voter

We haven’t had a Voter for some time, now.  We need to work on a strategy to get it up and running again.

19th Amendment 100th Anniversary Celebrations

We had a very nice celebration for the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment on August 18, 2020 in front of the George Howard Building in Ellicott City.  The speakers included County Executive Calvin Ball, Delegate Jessica Feldmark, County Council Chair Deb Jung, and former County Executive and Delegate, Liz Bobo.  We were presented with 2 declarations and a citation.  The event was well attended.

Administration

Beth Hufnagel has moved the computer into the office and we’re happy to have Gina back in the office as well.

Candidate Forums

We will be doing candidate forums for the General Election on Oct. 2nd via Zoom.  Our partners will be the Association of Community Services of Howard County, the PTA Council of Howard County, and the Horizon Foundation.  The invitations have gone out to the candidates, and we’re waiting to hear back regarding their availability.  The Zoom rooms have been scheduled.  It has been advertised to our members and to some Facebook communities.  We’re speaking to our sponsors regarding what their responsibility is to be, and we’ve brought on another partner (Horizon Foundation) that will try to get us questions for the Circuit Court Judge forum (with Becca Niburg as backup).  We are hoping to have the forums streamed on Facebook in addition to being posted on our website. 

Poll Evaluation

We will not officially be doing poll evaluations for the General through the BOE, but some of us will probably being doing them for other organizations.  We have been working closely with the BOE to get the most accurate voter information for the General election.

Fundraising

We have sent out requests for donations in order to advertise the Voter Guide more effectively, as well as a t-shirt fundraiser.  Both are doing very well so far.

Advertising

Our Letter to the Editor was published in the Columbia Flyer and the Howard County Times today.  We have been distributing our Voter FAQ sheet (Cheryle had it translated to Spanish) at farmer’s markets and CCC sites (when we have the volunteers or myself).  It has also been given to Delegate Courtney Watson, ACS, and the Horizon Foundation for distribution.  We contributed a slide to the Howard Hughes “Big” event on Friday.  NeighborRide is giving out Vote411.org cards to their passengers.  Attempted to get permission to hand out the Voter FAQ sheets at the landfill (they get 2,000 people in on a Saturday).  After much tussling, couldn’t get permission.

Retreat

We held our Retreat via Zoom over 2 nights this time.  Discussed how to advertise the Voter Guide, whether or not to deliver ballots for people in nursing homes and assisted livings, what to talk to Guy Mickley (who we’ve been communicating with regarding voting info) about, doing the t-shirt fundraiser, and the signup sheet for volunteers.

 

National Registration Day September 22, 2020

Looks like the above will be at Howard County General Hospital headed up by Cheryle.  I was hoping to have more groups participating, but it’s not worked out that way.  We may get more volunteers out of it, though.  We’ve been mailed posters and stickers for the event.  We’ve committed to 100 registrations – basically a number pulled out of the air, but who knows?  **Update:  We will also be partnering with the YMCA in Howard on this day.

General Registration

Besides the Hospital, Cheryle has several registration opportunities scheduled (see her report).

Get Out the Vote (GOTV) Event

The Sheriff’s Dept. has agreed to partner with us for the above event.  There will be deputies located in various places in Downtown Old Ellicott City.  Several businesses have been contacted and they will support the event by putting the Voter FAQ sheet in their windows.  There may be donation boxes put in those shops if they allow it and containers can be found cheaply, which I may have just found.  The event has been advertised using ACS, our email blast, and various Facebook Communities.  Two TV news stations have been contacted in hope that they will cover the event.  The elected for the Ellicott City District have been contacted.  Hopefully it won’t rain.

Election Judges/Racial Equity Task Force

Cheryle, Beth, and Grace have all volunteered to be Election Judges and are going through the training.  Please let me know if I missed anyone.  Thanks go to all of them for their service.  Laura and Beth’s names have been put forward to join the above task force that is being put together by Councilmembers Opel Jones and Christiana Rigby.

Voter Guide

Barbara is working on it and hopes to have it completed mid-September.  Question remains whether or not to print it, and if so, how many copies?

Outside Presentations

We have been requested of late to do several presentations:  2 for Oakland Mills, 1 for HCC, 2 for AAUW, the HC Library system, and Sandy will be participating in the HCC Sustainability Day.

Unit Meetings

There are 3 Unit meetings – the September and October ones are regarding voting, and the November one will include State’s Attorney Rich Gibson, Sheriff Marcus Harris, and (hopefully) Police Chief Lisa Myers.  The September and October Unit meetings have Zoom rooms and have been advertised in the usual ways.  If I can figure it out, they will also stream on Facebook.

LWVMD

Krista and I attended a webinar regarding consensus and programs.  The Fall Workshop will be on Saturday, September 26, 2020 (via Zoom).  We will be expected to fill reach consensus on the programs they are putting forward, and fill out the form they provide by Monday, December 14, 2020.

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September 2020 Board of Directors Meeting

The Minutes of the September Board of Directors' Meeting will be published after approved. 

The Directors' Reports are available below. Click "Read More".  

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June Board of Directors Meeting

League of Women Voters of Howard County, Inc.
Board Meeting Minutes
Via Zoom
June 11, 2020

In attendance: Cynthia Williams, Barbara Russell, Virginia Kirk, Lucie Geinzer, Krista Threefoot, Cheryle Wharton, Linda Wengel, Linda Frascarella, Sandy Levy.
Absent: Nancy Carlsen, Michelle Rice Trotter, Amber Treat
 Meeting called to order at 7:06pm by President Cynthia Williams.

Changes to Agenda: There were no changes to the agenda.

President’s Report: Cynthia Williams referred Board to her written report, which includes updates on the following topics, among others: LWVNCA meeting (June5, 2020), LWVMD Council meeting (June 6, 2020), Website and Voters’ Guide, Fundraising meetings, Candidate Forums, Poll Evaluation, Vote by Mail Rally. Cynthia Williams discussed the fact that The Voter was not posted in May.  See full President’s Report for specifics.

Secretary’s Report: Virginia Kirk – Linda Wengel moved, Barbara Russell seconded, that the May 2020 meeting minutes be approved. Motion passed. Virginia Kirk asked for clarification of what action should be taken on the Board’s vote to support the Illinois League’s effort to get the LWVUS’s long-standing position to abolish the Electoral College as a national Action Item. Barbara Russell clarified that at the Convention we would support the Illinois resolution.

Treasurer’s Report: Barbara Russell – The total checking/savings balance as of June 30, 2020, was $16,929.93. Dues paid so far: $3,725.00.  Linda Wengel asked if LWVHC is paying rent. Barbara Russell clarified that we are paying rent. The Treasurer’s report will be filed for review. Roy Appletree has agreed to do the 2019-2020 fiscal review.  Barbara Russell asked for agreement from the Board to pay the $125 dues to the Association of Community Services. There was no opposition. Barbara Russell also noted that the ad that was in The Voter’s Guide was premised on the print publication. She asked the Board to approve asking the advertiser for a donation rather than billing the advertiser for the ad because we didn’t print and distribute The Voters’ Guide. There was general agreement to do so.

Program Report: Krista Threefoot asked the Board to think about program topics and email her with suggestions. Criminal justice reform as a unit meeting topic was discussed. There was some sentiment that we should for the fall focus on election issues and take up criminal justice later. There was some discussion of registering incarcerated people, which Cheryle Wharton noted is being done by another group. We still need to have a unit meeting on the education study and reach consensus. Krista Threefoot also noted that we could use proposals from the National Convention for unit meeting topics. She will write a summary and develop a potential calendar and send it to the Board.

Directors’ Reports

Action: Linda Wengel reported on the three testimonies she submitted for County Bills 94, 95, 103. See the Directors’ Reports document for details.

Communications—Internal: Nancy Carlsen (absent) –Cynthia Williams will touch bases with Nancy Carlsen to resolve the issues around posting (publishing) The Voter.   

Education: Linda Frascarella – The election results are finalized and will be published on June 12, 2020. The last day of school is June 23. See the Directors’ Reports for details about the School Capital Budget, the School Board meeting on June 11, Candidates for the Board of Education, and the 2020-2021 school-year calendar.  

Environment: Sandy Levy reported that a Columbia-based company has a contract with Perdue to use digesters to convert manure and chicken poop into energy. See Environment Director’s report for details about many statewide environmental issues.

Fundraising: Michelle Rice Trotter and Amber Treat (absent)

Membership: Lucie Geinzer discussed her contacts with various groups in the county. See the Directors’ Reports for more details. She also generated a membership letter to be sent to various businesses and organizations to try to get a more diverse membership. Barbara Russell asked Board members to follow up with members who have not yet renewed by calling them to remind them to renew. Each Board member will contact approximately 5 members for renewal.

Publications: Amber Treat (absent)   

Voter Services: Cheryle Wharton discussed a possible fundraiser with Tinos. She also discussed having tables at rallies and dropping off 411 cards and information at restaurants, as well as an app for registering voters. She noted that Montgomery County got a grant to have their Voters’ Guide translated into Spanish.  Cynthia Williams asked the Board to look at the slides from Squint regarding misinformation; see her email.

 Unfinished Business

  • The appointment of Virginia Kirk and Cheryle Wharton as Board Nominating Committee members was approved by general agreement.
  • Annual Board Retreat: June 28 and 30, at 7:00pm on Zoom.
  • Calendar – see minutes from May 2020 meeting for action item.
  • Website: Cynthia Williams noted that the LWVHC website is out of date and needs major revision, which Laura Mettle is working on. The Montgomery County LWV site was noted as a model.

 

New Business

  • Legislative Luncheon: Assuming that the pandemic allows, the legislative luncheon will take place at St. John’s Episcopal Church.
  • Calvin Ball Proclamation for 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, August 18: Grace Kubofcik is handling this. Cynthia Williams will check with her.
  • Oakland Manor Meetings: Krista Threefoot will follow up about the schedule.
  • Registration Tables at Vigils and Rallies—See Voter Services report above for a discussion of this issue.
  • Volunteers – Cynthia Williams will email members asking for volunteers. She also noted that we need a volunteer for the Convention.
  • LWV Crime and Justice 2021 Programs – See the Program report above for a discussion of this issue.
  • The Voter deadline is 6/15/2020

Adjournment: Barbara Russell moved, Krista Threefoot seconded, that the meeting be adjourned. Motion passed. The meeting was adjourned at 9:30pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Virginia Kirk, Secretary

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