Summer 2008 Edition
Published September 12, 2008
2008 League of Women Voters of Alabama

Report on LWVUS 2008 Convention

Actions taken by the Convention

  • Finances:  Approved an increase in the per member payment to LWV to $28 for 2008-2009 and $29.20 for 2009-2010.  Approved a budget for 2008-2009.
  • Amended the League Principles to include the following statement:
  • “The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that all powers of the U.S. government should be exercised within the constitutional framework of a balance among the three branches of government: legislative, executive, and judicial.”
  • Elected the slate of officers and directors / trustees proposed by the nominating committee.
  • Approved a health care education campaign directed to members and the public to prepare for advocacy on health care issues.
  • -Approved an “education and advocacy campaign to promote solutions to global climate change”.
  • Approved a proposal for an LWV study on “the advisability of using the National Popular Vote compact among the states as a method for electing the President”.
  • Approved bylaw amendments relating to certain electronic meetings, the nominating committee, proposals to be offered at convention, membership counts, and calls to council.  A revised resolution procedure for the 2010 Convention will be discussed at the 2009 Council.
  • Voted to retain all current Program positions in the areas of Representative Government, International Relations, Natural Resources and Social Policy.

Plenary Speakers

Former Oregon Governors, the Honorable Barbara Roberts (First Woman Governor of Oregon) and the Honorable John Kitzhaber  inspired the Convention with presentations on “Women as Political Leaders” and “Health Care for the 21st Century”, respectively.  Recordings of their addresses can be accessed on the LWV website, www.lwv.org

A Climate Change Panel discussed climate change in terms of the science and the current and predicted effects of global warming on people, especially in the developing world.

Professor of Climate and Atmospheric Sciences V. Ramanathan explained how we have all contributed to the creation of a thickening blanket around the earth that will eventually have devastating effects on our environment unless we begin to make dramatic changes in our use of energy sources immediately.  He observed that some climate change is already happening and it is too late to prevent all adverse effects.  He suggested that in addition to supporting scientific and government efforts to deal with this critical issue, we can and should all change our personal habits.  Personally he has begun riding his bike to work.

 Heather Kaplan, Senior Policy Advisor on Climate Change with Oxfam America, discussed what Oxfam is doing to assist parts of the developing world where climate change has already affected traditional agricultural. She explained that as the climate has changed a need has arisen for plants that are resistant to drought, or, conversely, in other areas, that will grow in fields that are flooded.  
Laura Hill, East Alabama, and Kathy Byrd, Tuscaloosa, at LWVUS Convention
Laura Hill, East Alabama, and Kathy Byrd, Tuscaloosa, at LWVUS Convention

Mary Lynn Bates, State President, speaks for Alabama at LWVUS Convention
Mary Lynn Bates, State President,
speaks for Alabama

Sarah McDonald and Mary Lynn Bates in Portland
Sarah McDonald and Mary Lynn Bates
in Portland
Farmers must be taught new methods to adjust to changing weather patterns and in some cases to shrinking arable land.  She predicted massive immigration and refugee issues as populations are forced to relocate to survive if we do not address global warming now.  One estimate if current trends continue is 250 million “climate refugees” by 2050.

Workshops and Banquet Speaker

Numerous excellent workshops at the Convention provided attendees with information, tools and inspiration to make the League more effective at all levels in its work of promoting democracy and a better world.  Among others, there were workshops on voter service, membership recruitment, fundraising, communications, planning, health care, global democracy, the U.N., and an independent judiciary.

In her banquet speech, retired Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court, Rebecca Kourlis, talked about the importance of our judicial system and her efforts on and off the bench to improve the courts and defend their independence.  Her address is available on the LWV website.

Mary Lynn Bates
LWVAL Delegate to the 2008 LWV Convention

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