President Kathy Chiron's Address at the 2018 Annual Meeting

April 21, 2018

Washington, DC

See something, Say something, Do Something.
— Madeline Albright

Being an ally is easy. You can say the right things, write the right letters, show up at the right rallies. But these times require and demand more than being an ally; they demand advocacy. I heard Madeline Albright speak recently. She’s added something to the warning we see all over -See something, Say something, Do Something.  She wrote a book. I’ve decided to be more involved with the League. We have a great history to build on.

Our mission is to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation in government and to act on selected governmental issues. You can read our year-end report to learn about the range of projects we tackled this past year.

We are a non-partisan activist, grassroots organization working to make sure voters play a critical role in our democracy. Therefore it stands to reason our overall goal must be to increase voter turnout. DC was smack dab in the middle of the country’s voter participation with 60% turnout in the 2016 election. In the 2014, the last midterm it was under 30% and even lower in the last primary. We can do better!

We’ve got a primary election coming up in less than 2 months. So what do we need to do to achieve this goal of increased voter turnout? First of all, let’s make sure everyone who is eligible to vote is registered to vote. Let’s make sure we’ve offered opportunities throughout our city for citizens to learn about the issues and candidates.

I encourage each of you to find one new LWV activity or program to be part of. Bring along a friend to join us. It is more fun to work together! And it is okay to be a bit selfish in why you might want to get more involved in the League. There are opportunities for building professional contacts with community outreach; Alex can tell you about how working on our web page gave her a whole new dimension to her portfolio; as we plan our centennial celebration we need help with development and fundraising - good skills to add to your CV. Many hands make light work and our many hands will make it possible for us to accomplish our goals.

Watch for announcements of ways you can get involved. If you don’t see something you want to do, let me know! We’ll try our best to create a way for you to be involved - we’ve got lots of ideas and maybe one of those will be just the ticket for you and more importantly maybe you’ve got that best idea yet!

This year will be an adventure as we learn together. I know our DC league will be enriched by your participation and I can promise that you too will be enriched by your participation with us in the League.

Please email me; I’m usually pretty quick on responding. Tell me the good, bad and ugly. Tell me your ideas! But be fair warned: I’ll probably try to get you more involved!