The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan political organization that encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Proposed Change to National Bylaws

--- On Tue, 2/2/10, League of Women Voters Missouri wrote:

From: League of Women Voters Missouri
Subject: Proposed Change to National Bylaws
Date: Tuesday, February 2, 2010, 12:04 PM

January 26, 2010

To: Local and State Leagues
From: Sydell Shayer, chair national bylaws, LWVMO & LWVSL
The League of Women Voters of Missouri and the League of Women Voters of St. Louis are submitting the bylaw change below to the LWVUS for convention discussion and vote.

We would appreciate it if you would also recommend this bylaw change to the LWVUS. In addition, and especially, we would appreciate it if your delegates would support this change at the national convention in June. Instructions on sending in bylaw recommendations are on the League website, in the members only convention section.

Thank you for your consideration.
Sydell Shayer

Proposed Amendment to the LWVUS Bylaws

Article III, Sec. 2 Types of Membership

Current Bylaw

A. Voting Members. Citizens at least 18 years of age who join the League shall be voting members of Local Leagues, state Leagues and of the LWVUS; (1) individuals who live within an area of a local League may join that League or any other local League; (2) those who reside outside the area of any local League may join a local League or shall be state members-at-large; (3) those who have been members of the League for 50 years or more shall be [honorary] life members excused from the payment of dues.
B. Associate Members. All others who join the League shall be associate members.

The word honorary is usually conferred on someone of distinction who does not have the prerequisites for the position for which he or she is being recognized. An example would be a prominent person who is given an honorary degree at a college, which they didn’t attend and didn’t earn.

The amendment to remove the word honorary was first suggested by two fifty year League members who think that being labeled honorary is demeaning and belittles their League accomplishments.

Fifty year members of the League may be active, serve on boards, chair committees or be passive members, essentially, no different than other League members. Many League members will never be able to achieve fifty year status, but their devotion to the League may equal that of a fifty year member.

Removing the word honorary will not alter the bylaws in anyway except to be more respectful of those who have been members for fifty years or more.

If you want to be an informed citizen . . . join the League of Women Voters.