1) History and Mission of LWV
2) How LWV is organized
3) About LWV of Klamath County
4) Bylaws of LWV of Klamath County
1) History and Mission of LWV
1920 LWV founded as part of Women’s Suffrage Movement;
19th Amendment to Constitution gave women the right to vote 6 months later
1973 LWV charter amended to include male voters
by 2006 grassroots org. has chapters in 50 states, over 150,000 members
LWV is non-partisan;
does not endorse or oppose political candidates or parties at any level of govt.
does support or oppose many political issues after study and consensus
- Our mission is to encourage the informed and active participation of citizens in their govt.
The League of Women Voters was founded in 1920 by Carrie Chapman Catt during the last meeting of the National American Woman Suffrage Association approximately six months before the 19th Amendment gave U.S. women the right to vote. It began as a political experiment aimed at helping newly-enfranchised women exercise their responsibilities as voters. Originally, only women could join the LWV, but in 1973 the charter was modified to include men. The LWV is a grassroots organization with chapters in all 50 states. The LWV has about 150,000 members.
The LWV is nonpartisan, meaning it does not endorse or oppose political candidates or parties at any level of government. The League does support or oppose many political issues after studying them and coming to a consensus on a position. The LWV works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and to influence public policy through education and advocacy, as well as through political lobbying of Congress. Our mission is to encourage the informed and active participation of citizens in their government.
2) How LWV is organized
The LWV is organized into two complementary halves: A) Voters Service and Citizen Education nationwide and B) Program and Action
A) Voters Service and Citizen Education nationwide
- 1976, 1980, and 1984, sponsored presidential debates
- 1988, withdrew from presidential debate sponsorship in protest
- Sponsors and moderates candidates’ forums and debates for local and state elections across the country
- Produces and disperses Voter’s Guides that compare candidates’ positions on various issues
- Provides staff for precincts on Election Day
- Observes meetings of governmental bodies
The Voters Service and Citizen Education portion of the LWV informs and educates voters about candidates, the electoral process, and issues on which the LWV has no position. For example, the League of Women Voters Education Fund sponsored the 1976, 1980, and 1984 presidential debates.
In 1988, the LWV withdrew from debate sponsorship, in protest of the major party candidates attempting to dictate nearly every aspect of how the debates were to be conducted, which ultimately resulted in the Democratic and Republican parties forming the Commission on Presidential Debates which gave the parties greater control over the debate environment. On October 2, 1988, the LWV’s 14 trustees voted unanimously to pull out of the debates, and on October 3 they issued a dramatic press release:
The League of Women Voters is withdrawing sponsorship of the presidential debates … because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter. It has become clear to us that the candidates’ organizations aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and answers to tough questions. The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public.
Some chapters of the LWV staff precincts on Election Day helping to administer elections.
The LWV is a strong supporter of transparency in government and many chapters send members to observe meetings of governmental bodies.
B) Program and Action
- Presents information on various issues
- Studies issues at local, state, and national levels
- Reaches consensus on issues
- Writes Position Papers on issues for:
- Voter education
- Voter action
Our Program and Action component presents information on various issues that are studied for the purpose of taking a position. Through a group discussion process, League chapters work to come to a consensus on a specific topic. This consensus process can occur for local issues, State issues, or National issues. When consensus is reached, a position statement can be issued that League can then support and use to educate the general public.
Joining locally makes a person a member at all levels, entitled to the National Voter magazine, and participation in activities at local, state, and national levels.
3) About LWV of Klamath County
Local League members have became involved in local and state government commissions, advisory committees, and one member was elected as a county commissioner in 1984. Members were appointed to a state Land Use Citizen Involvement committee, an energy conservation board, a scholarship committee, and a state board of architect examiners, as well as many local committees.
- Chapter started in 1956-57, helped study and get City charter form of govt. on ballot, which passed in 1958 – first League disbanded in early 1960’s
- Reformed as LWV of Klamath County in 1972-73 with 20 members
- National League required them to develop own by-laws and est. dues and officers, as well as do an in-depth study of the county government, list county elected officials, interview major department heads, and publish a pamphlet with this information. By 1974, was officially recognized, and had 30 members.
- Local Activities include:
- candidate’s forums
- voter registration
- voter’s guide distribution
- annual local study
- participation in studies at state and national levels
- public education meetings
- party/white elephant fund raiser
- work with Klamath Sustainable Communities
- issue forums
- Local study results examples: See StudiesTab for a complete list
- Formed and help operate Klamath Sustainable Communities since 1995.
- Put the Transient Room Tax on the local ballot in 2006: resulted in a ballot measure that passed in 2006 and is now putting over $300,000 to on-going funding for the Klamath County museums and promoting tourism in our county.
- Judicial Independence: asked how our system is working at all levels in the state to see how public needs are being met; will be used to make needed changes in the system.
- Klamath County Commissioners are now elected on a non-partisan basis as a result of a study conducted in 2012.
Questions to ask ourselves:
- What is the political alternative if we as citizens do not get involved with our government?
- Do we want non-democratic ways of governing?
- Do we want someone to ‘take care of government for us?’
- If the answer is “no” to the above questions, then we must ask ourselves, what are the ways for us to be involved with our government?
KEEPING DEMOCRACY ALIVE TAKES EVERY ONE OF US
- Call or email elected officials
- Join an internet action group on specific issues
- Join an issues or political action group and help with the cause with signature gathering, lawn signs, public information meetings, letters to the editor, phone calls, etc.
- Read or listen to news media and stay informed
- Run for an electable office at local, state, or national levels
- Support candidates who run for office
- Join LWV
- Register voters
- Research issues
- Educate voters via newsletters, forums, voter’s guides, etc.
“Our local chapter is small, with less than 30 members. But, as Margaret Mead says,
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
“We invite you to join our small group of thoughtful committed citizens.
Please find out how at our “Contact us” tab.
4) Bylaws of LWV of Klamath County
BYLAWS of LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF KLAMATH COUNTY, OREGON (LWVKC)
ARTICLE I. NAME
Section 1. Name:
The name of this organization shall be the League of Women Voters of Klamath County,
hereinafter referred to in these bylaws as LWVKC. This local League is an integral part of the
League of Women Voters of the United States (L WVUS) and of the League of Women
Voters of Oregon (LWVOR).
ARTICLE II. PURPOSES AND POLICY
Section 1. Purposes:
The purposes of the LWVKC are to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government and to act on selected government issues.
Section 2. Political Policy:
The LVVVKC may take action on governmental measures and policies in the public interest in conformity with the principles of the LWVUS and LWVOR. The LWVKC shall not support or oppose any political party or any candidate.
Section 3. Classification:
The League of Women Voters of Klamath County (LWVKC) is a public benefit corporation. It is a 503(c) 4 tax-exempt organization, organized for a public purpose.
ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Eligibility:
Any person who subscribes to the purpose and policy of the LWVKC shall be eligible for
Section 2. Types of Membership:
Membership of the LWVKC shall be composed of voting members and associates.
A.Voting members shall be United States Citizens at least 18 years of age.
B. Associates shall be non-voting members.
C.The LWVKC has members as that term is defined by the Oregon non-profit
Corporation Act of 1989, on this date or as the Act may be amended.
ARTICLE IV. OFFICERS
Section 1. Enumeration and Election of Officers:
The officers of the LWVKC shall be a President (or Co-Presidents), a Vice-President, a
Secretary, and a Treasurer (or a combined Secretary/Treasurer), who shall be elected for a
term of one year by the general membership at the Annual Meeting. New Officers shall take
office on May 1.
Section 2. The President or Co-Presidents:
The President or Co-Presidents shall preside at all meetings of the organization and of the Board of Directors; and may, in the absence or disability of the Treasurer, sign or endorse
checks, drafts, and notes. The President or Co-Presidents shall be ex-officio members of
all committees except the Nominating Committee; shall have such usual powers of
supervision and management as may pertain to the office of President; and shall perform
such other duties as may be designated by the Board of Directors.
Section 3. The Vice–President:
The Vice-President, shall, in the event of absence, disability, or death of the President,
possess all the powers and perform all the duties of that office, until such time as the Board of
Directors shall elect one of its members to fill the Presidential vacancy. The Vice-President
shall perform such other duties as the President or Board may delegate.
Section 4. The Secretary:
The Secretary shall keep minutes of all meetings of the LWVKC and all meetings of the
Board of Directors; shall notify all Officers and Directors of their elections; shall sign, with the
President (or CO-Presidents) all contracts and other instruments when so authorized by the
Board; and shall perform such other functions as may be incident to the office of the
Section 5.The Treasurer:
The Treasurer shall collect and receive all moneys due; shall be the custodian of these
moneys, deposit them in a bank designated by the Board of Directors, and disburse the
same only upon the order of the Board. The Treasurer shall present statements to the Board
at their regular meetings and an annual report to the Annual Meeting.
Section 6. The Secretary/Treasurer:
In the event the offices of Secretary and Treasurer are combined, the Secretary/Treasurer shall perform the duties of the offices as described in Sections 4 and 5 of this article.
ARTICLE V. BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Section 1. Number and Manner of Selection and Term of Office:
The Board of Directors shall consist of the Officers of the League, five elected Directors, and not more than five appointed Directors. The Board of Directors shall serve for terms of one year. The elected members shall appoint additional Directors, not exceeding five, as they
deem necessary to carry on the work.
Section 2. Qualifications:
No person shall be elected or appointed or shall continue to serve as an Officer of this organization unless that person is a voting member of the LWVKC.
Section 3. Vacancies:
Any vacancy occurring on the Board by reason of the resignation, death or disqualification of an Officer or Elected Member may be filled until the next Annual Meeting by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Board. Three consecutive absences from a Board meeting of any member without a valid reason shall be deemed a resignation.
Section 4. Powers and Duties:
The Board of Directors shall have full charge of the property and business of the LWVKC, with full power and authority to manage and conduct same, subject to the instructions of the general membership. It shall plan and direct the work necessary to carry out the program as
adopted by the national Convention, the State Convention, and the Local Annual Meeting.
The Board shall create and designate such special committees as it may deem necessary.
The Board shall have authority, where circumstances require, to make reasonable and
prudent adjustments in the existing budget approved at the Annual Meeting, to implement, as
far as feasible, the general emphasis of the budget.
There shall be at least nine regular meetings of the Board of Directors annually. The
President or Co-Presidents may call special meetings of the Board of Directors upon written
request of five members of the Board.
Section 6. Quorum:
A majority of the members of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum.
ARTICLE VI. FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION
Section 1. Fiscal Year
The Fiscal Year of the LVWKC shall commence on the first day of April each year.
Section 2. Dues:
Annual dues changes shall be proposed by the Budget Committee and voted upon at the Annual Meeting, at which time the change will take effect. Dues are payable at the Annual Meeting.
Section 3. Budget:
A budget tor the ensuing year shall be submitted by the Board of Directors to the Annual Meeting for adoption. The budget shall include support for the League as a whole.
Section 4. Budget Committee:
A Budget Committee shall be appointed by the Board of Directors prior to the Annual Meeting to prepare a budget for the following year. The proposed budget shall be sent to all members one month before the Annual Meeting.
ARTICLE VII. MEETINGS
Section 1. Membership Meetings:
There shall be at least four meetings of the membership each year. Time and place shall be determined by the Board of Directors.
Section 2. Annual Meeting:
An Annual Meeting shall be held between March “1 and April 30, the exact date to be
determined by the Board of Directors. Members at the Annual Meeting shall elect Officers,
Directors, and a member of the nominating committee, and shall adopt an adequate budget
for the following year. Members may adopt a local study item and transact such other business as may properly come before them.
Section 3. Quorum:
A majority of the Board members shall constitute a quorum at all business meetings.
ARTICLE VIII. NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS
Section 1. Nominating Committee:
The Nominating Committee shall consist of three members, to include one member of the Board of Directors, one Officer, and one voting member elected at the Annual Meeting. The
first two shall be appointed by the Board of Directors immediately following the Annual Meeting. Any vacancy on the Nominating Committee shall be filled by the Board of Directors. Suggestions for the nominations for Officers and Directors may be sent to this Committee by any voting member.
Section 2. Report of the Nominating Committee and Nominations from theFloor:
The report of the Nominating Committee of its nominations for Officers, Directors and a
member of the Succeeding Nominating Committee shall be sent to all members one month
before the date of the Annual Meeting. Immediately following the presentation of this report
at the Annual Meeting, nominations may be made from the floor by any voting member,
provided the consent of the nominee has been secured.
Section 3. Elections:
The election shall be by ballot, provided that when there is but one nominee for each office, the Secretary may be instructed to cast the ballot for every nominee. A majority vote of those qualified to vote and voting shall constitute an election. Absentee or proxy voting shall not be permitted.
ARTICLE IX. PROGRAM
Section 1. Authorization:
The governmental principles adopted by the National Convention, and supported by the League as a whole, constitute the authorization for the adoption of program.
Section 2. Program:
The program of the L WVKC shall consist of those local governmental issues chosen for concerted study and action.
Section 3. Action by the Annual Meeting:.
The Annual Meeting shall act upon the program using the following procedures:
A. The Board of Directors shall consider the recommendations sent in by the voting
members two months prior to the Annual Meeting and shall formulate a proposed
B. The Proposed Program shall be sent to all members one month prior to the
C. A majority vote of the voting members present and voting at the Annual Meeting
shall be required for adoption of subjects in the Proposed Program as presented to
the Annual Meeting by the Board of Directors.
D. Recommendations for the Program submitted by voting members two months
prior to the Annual Meeting, but not recommended by the Board of Directors, may be
considered by the Annual Meetin9 provided that:
(1) The Annual Meeting shall order consideration by majority vote, and
(2) The Annual Meeting shall adopt the item by a majority vote.
E. Changes in the Program in case of altered conditions may be made provided that:
(1) Information concerning the proposed changes has been sent to all members
at least two weeks prior to a general membership meeting at which the
change is to be discussed, and
(2) Final action by the membership is taken at a subsequent meeting.
Section 4. Member Action:
Members may act in the name of the League of Women Voters only when authorized to do so by the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE X. NATIONAL CONVENTION, STATE CONVENTION, AND STATE COUNCIL
Section 1. National Convention:
The membership at a meeting before the date on which the names of delegates must be sent to the national office shall select delegates to that convention in the number allotted to the
LWVKC under provisions of the Bylaws of the LWVUS.
Section 2. State Convention:
The membership at a meeting before the date on which the names of delegates must be sent to the state office shall select delegates to that convention in the number allotted to the
LWVKC under provisions of the Bylaws of the LWVOR.
Section 3. State Council:
The membership at a meeting before the date on which the names of delegates must be sent to the state office shall select delegates to the Council in the number allotted to the LWVKC
under provisions of the Bylaws of the LWVOR.
ARTICLE XI. PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
Section 1. Parliamentary Authority:
The rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order Revised shall govern the organization in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws.
ARTICLE XII. AMENDMENTS
Amendments to these bylaws may be made by the following procedure:
Proposals for change shall be submitted to the members by the Board of Directors at least three months prior to the Annual Meeting. Such proposals shall be a vote of two-thirds of the regular membership present at the annual meeting.
Proposals for change must have been approved by the Board of Directors of the
LWVOR prior to voting on amendment by the LWVKC membership.
AMENDED APRIL 2004, finalized at May Annual Meeting, 2004