The Leagues of NH, VT, ME, and RI have worked together for a number of years on regional issues. The Leagues in Massachusetts and Connecticut sometimes join the annual conference.
See the description of this year's conference below.
We have a fascinating group of workshop presenters including an experienced political figure who founded a civics curriculum being used in several states, a husband and wife team who are the founders of the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, and a professor of government at Colby College and Director of the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement. Get all the details and sign up by clicking here.
Our keynote speaker is still working out her schedule; stay tuned.
This is the eleventh year Leagues from New England have organized this conference to educate ourselves and share our ideas for Making Democracy Work, the theme for 2017.
Exciting keynote speaker was author and political strategist Celinda Lake. She is the co-author of the book What Women Really Want: How American Women Are Quietly Erasing Political, Racial, Class, and Religious Lines to Change the Way We Live The theme for this year's conference workshops was communications: getting the League's message to the public and to elected officials, as well as improving internal communications at all levels. Our recent Money in Politics study was referred to in examples of possible communications strategies.
Location was the Hampton Inn and Suites, Wells, Maine.
Program: Nellie Gorbea, Rhode Island's Secretary of State, was the keynote speaker at the 9th annual Quad States Leadership Conference. Election Law was the theme of this year's conference, with related issues the focus of workshops to enhance our League leadership skills (focus issues are in parentheses below):
Membership Recruitment: using an issue to recruit members (Redistricting) + Nancy Marashio (NH) was a workshop presenter.
Working With Others, including LWVUS (Money in Politics) + Ann Luther, (ME).
Conducting a Study (Open Primaries) + Kate Rader and Sonja Schuyler (VT).
A panel of women in public life who have used League experience to launch or inform their careers concluded the conference on Sunday.
States participating in 2014 were NH, VT, Maine, RI, and new this year, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
With energy production and distribution currently "hot topics," this year's subject was Energy and Energy Efficiency. The New England Governors in December signed a compact agreeing to work together to solve the region's energy issues. The Governors are committed to working toward a regional goal of lowering electricity and heating costs and expanding their [energy] portfolios. This announcement contributed to our choosing this topic for our 2014 conference.
Our keynote speakers included Jack Cashman, former head of Maine's Public Utilities Commission, who explained how ISO-NE* works in relation to the states' various Public Utilities Commissions. Lea Aeschliman, a past League member and former chair of the NH Public Utilities Commission, helped us understand more about the current status of RGGI (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative), a regional initiative by states and provinces in the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada regions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Also leading one of our workshops was a Maine League member who serves on LWVUS Climate Change Task Force. Pam Person helped us understand the LWVUS work on climate and energy and how state and local Leagues can take action.
We thank the LWVNH Education Fund for a grant to support NH attendance at the conference this year.
A synopsis of what we learned is posted below.