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Presidents' Letter March 2021

Elizabeth Crowe  | Published on 3/1/2021


Ninety Never Looked So Good

By Elizabeth Crowe



2020 was a major milestone year for the League of Women Voters and for so many U.S. citizens and residents, as we celebrated the 100th Anniversary of our national organization and that of the 19th Amendment. But for our Boulder County League members the celebrations aren’t over yet: 2021 marks 90 years of local organizing for voting rights and democracy.  90 never looked so good!  

I’m pleased with the way in which our local League members work to improve with age. I get so excited when participating in our member coffees and other events, and see so many new members interested in getting involved. It’s also wonderful that so many of our active members have been so, for decades. What a gift to have such multi-generational collaboration and leadership! 

While some League processes and practices have remained consistent over the decades -- for good reason -- we must challenge ourselves to think about how we improve our organization to stay relevant and results-oriented. Back in July, our LWVBC Board and Team leader strategic planning retreat included an exercise in which we assessed our League operations through the lens of Preference, Tradition and Requirements (PTR). In other words, to look more closely at why we do what we do. Often times our organizational practices are required as part of a state and national organization (e.g. having membership dues; following our policy positions). For those, we have less flexibility or room for change. In other instances, we conduct our business out of tradition, or preference of those who have been members and leaders for a longer time. Those are the areas where we might have room for improvement. 

What LWVBC processes, beliefs and behaviors inspire you most? What traditional practices are working well, and where are we stuck? Are there instances where changes in member preferences can herald positive organizational changes? With new opportunities for local advocacy and voter services happening all the time, a PTR lens can help us embrace opportunities for improvement – even at 90! – and increase member engagement and community impact.

Hope to see you at the 90th Birthday party and thank you as always, for what you do to empower voters and defend democracy.