[It is important] for all of us to make our state and local Leagues more effective by being more comfortable with new, nimble ways of doing things, while still being firmly committed to being nonpartisan. I am eager for change (hard though it is) but I find myself struggling with our nonpartisan policy when so many issues the League cares
deeply about (health care, climate change, immigration, etc.!) – as well as the very structures of our democracy are under attack.
Yes, there is much we can say and do, and LWVUS has issued statements of outrage that we can use in our own Letters to the Editor in local media outlets, but sometimes I get frustrated with the limits as I watch party members propose candidates, gather signatures, and get about the business of trying to put people in office who agree with them. I even find myself tempted to run for office myself.
But countering those frustrations are my experiences with new advocates who are grateful to be with a group like ours that is listening hard to all sides and knows the ins and outs of advocacy at all levels in a deep and very useful way. It feels so good to introduce so many new people to the restrictive NYS election laws, see their outrage, and help direct their anger into informed and effective action. I hope you too are training activists, and keeping a close eye on your own governing bodies. Even my own county’s legislature is reduced to a level of squabbling that I don’t
think I’ve ever seen before. We must insist on better government everywhere.
LWVNYS President, Dare Thompson