Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.

64th Biennial Convention of the League of Women Voters New Jersey

May 16, 2021 - May 22, 2021

Convention Business Meeting
Saturday, May 22nd

The League of Women Voters of New Jersey held our 64th Biennial Convention on Saturday, May 22nd. Voting delegates from local Leagues came together to vote on the organization's program, budget, bylaws, and Board nominations.  

Watch the recording of Convention here.

Training Focus: Direct Lobbying

Elise Boddie, Professor of Law, Henry Rutgers
Professor, Robert L. Carter Scholar
Friday, May 21, 7 pm

Watch recording of the keynote address here.

Keynote speaker, Elise Boddie will speak about the intersections between education, school segregation, and democracy.  She will share her thoughts on the push for civics education in our schools and discuss whether New Jersey's segregated school system impacts the implementation and quality of civics education in our state.

About the speaker: Elise Boddie, a nationally-recognized expert in civil rights and award-winning legal scholar, was previously the director of litigation for the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund. She is a frequent public speaker and has appeared on MSNBC, NBC Nightly News, Democracy Now and National Public Radio and is the author of several articles. She holds a master's degree in public policy in addition to her law degree. Learn more about Elise Boddie here.

Pre-Convention Workshops & Panels
Sunday, May 16th - Friday, May 21st

Sunday, May 16th

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Program Planning
Ed Gracely

Join this workshop to learn about recommended and non-recommended program items ahead of voting at Convention.

Watch the recording here.

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Panel Discussion - Environmental Justice


"Radium Girls" tells the true story of 1920s women who exposed a corporate cover up and made a lasting impact on workplace health and safety. Join Lydia Dean Pilcher (Producer/Director) for a discussion of the film and to learn about how we are still fighting the use toxic “forever chemicals” today.

Watch the recording here.

Monday, May 17th

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Club Express for LWV
Bob Rosenthal, Club Express

Learn how Club Express provides a dynamic website and club management tool for local and state league chapters. Hear about the many leagues already using this program and how they find it to be an incredible time saver, a great tool for promoting League programs and events...and how to easily stay in touch with your membership.

Watch the recording here.

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Voter Services Coalition - Action Groups' Overview
Ilene Kahn, Barbara Kuppersmith, Carol Harvey, Deborah McComber, Ann Armstrong and Marlene Sincaglia

The Voters Service Coalition is a group of volunteers from local leagues who have joined together and created FIVE Action Groups to address Voting issues throughout the state. The goal is to create a repository of best practices and shareable information for all leagues to use. The 5 Groups are: Voter Education, County Outreach, Forums, Vote411 and Voter Service Manual.

Watch the recording here.

5:00 PM - 6:00PM
Grow Your League’s Membership: Best Practices and Lessons Learned

Do you feel that you’re alone when trying to increase and/or diversify your League’s membership?  Hear from local League leaders who will share their experiences, ideas, and lessons learned after working to increase and improve their League’s membership. This is the start of an ongoing conversation. LWVNJ’s Membership Committee will work with local League membership leaders and representatives to create an interactive and inclusive tool that will be accessible to all to help diversify and increase membership.

Watch the recording here.

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Communications - Impactful Social Media Messaging
Lauren McCaskill, CEO of Lauren McCaskill Consulting Group, LLC.

Join LWVNJ Board member and communications expert Lauren McCaskill to learn the tools necessary to build a successful social media plan for your local League.

Watch the recording here.

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Panel Discussion - Health Disparities

The United States is home to stark and persistent racial disparities in health coverage, chronic health conditions, mental health, and mortality. These disparities are not a result of individual or group behavior but decades of systematic inequality in American economic, housing, and health care systems. NJ is no different. This panel will discuss what is being done in NJ to address health disparities and what more needs to happen.

Watch the recording here.

Tuesday, May 18th

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Energizing Young Voters
Patricia Suplee

What if every 18-29 year old became a life-long voter? How might the world be changed?

Watch the recording here.

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
How Can NJ Do Better by Women and Families?
Lisa Culhane

The Women and Family Issues (WFI) committee is focused on critical issues that impact the quality of our family lives. Join us to learn what WFI is doing to advocate, educate and support legislation related to reproductive rights, maternal mortality, and sex education in schools. Help us to champion the rights and needs of the women and families of New Jersey.

Watch the recording here.  

5:00 PM - 6:00PM
Fair Districts Training
Philip Hensley, LWVNJ Democracy Policy Analyst

The once-a-decade redistricting process is upon us! With congressional and legislative districts due to be redrawn to account for population shifts, public scrutiny of the process will be essential to prevent gerrymandering. Join us to learn how you can become an effective advocate to for a redistricting process that is inclusive, transparent, and community-driven.

Watch the recording here.  

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Organizing to Win: Same Day Voter Registration
Assatta Mann and Melissa Marks, LWVNJ Organizers

Over the last few years, New Jersey has become a national leader on voting rights through the passage of automatic voter registration, online voter registration, in-person early voting, and rights restoration to those on parole and probation. But with over 20 states and D.C. already having some form of same-day voter registration, it’s time for New Jersey to catch up. Join LWVNJ Organizers Assatta Mann and Melissa Marks to learn about the tools and strategies we can adopt to build the collective power needed to pass same-day voter registration in New Jersey.

Watch the recording here.

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Panel Discussion - Legislative Advocacy: Unity Mapping and Racial Gerrymandering


Unity mapping and redistricting reform addresses the need to build power and organize in communities’ so community members are more able to elect representatives of their choosing and hold these elected officials accountable. LWVNJ Democracy Policy Analyst, Philip Hensley and advocates working on this issue will discuss how they are building coalitions to involve communities who have historically not had a voice in this issue.

Watch the recording here.

Wednesday, May 19th

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM
Vote 411 Training

Janet Fisher-Hughes

Using Vote 411 to create a race, with a candidate. Demonstrate email invitations and how the candidate completes them.

Watch the recording here.


12:30 PM - 1:00 PM
Organizing, Promoting, and Conducting Virtual Candidates Forums

Fadia Hindi, Evelyn Murphy, and Deborah McComber

During the pandemic, local Leagues throughout New Jersey have been conducting candidate forums virtually. The Candidates Forums Action Group, representing 15 local Leagues, was formed to review experiences and develop best practices for this forum venue. These best practices will be presented here with a focus on the web platforms and technology tools necessary to run and promote a successful candidates forum.

Watch the recording here.

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Addressing Climate Change in New Jersey
Ellie Gruber, Louise Usechak, Kathy Abbott, Nancy Griffith

The NR Committee will describe how climate change threatens NJ as a coastal state and how environmental advocates need to address the current patterns of fossil fuel expansion in NJ. Our experts see a sudden rush by the gas industry to saturate energy markets ahead of the recent movement toward clean off-shore wind energy.

Watch the recording here.

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Local League Fundraising
Fatima Munshi, LWVNJ Development Associate

This workshop will help local League’s learn best practices in fundraising and to hear from local League leaders who have successfully raised dollars for their League’s work.

Watch the recording here.

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Building Electoral Power in Asian-Pacific Islander Communities
Linh Nguyen; RUN AAPI, Executive Director

Only recently has there been real opportunity for the Asian-Pacific Islander community to influence politics, media, and American culture. In just the last ten years, AAPI political grassroots organizations have grown significantly in scale and sophistication. Political campaigns in the last few election cycles have standardized the practice of hiring AAPI Outreach Directors. Media and publications like Huffington Post and NBC News have launched Asian Voices/Asian American reporting verticals. And now, the need to stand in solidarity and condemn anti-Asian violence has become mainstream and expected in most industries.

Although the need to continue and improve this commitment to our communities, our ancestors, and the Asian American identity still exist, we’re embarking on a new frontier and curating our own narrative along the way. How did we get here and where are we going next?

Watch the recording here.

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Panel Discussion - Deepening Equity and a Sense of Belonging

The importance of bringing equity, inclusion and diversity into organizations that have historically seen people of color underrepresented in both membership and leadership serves to ensure long-term sustainability and progress. Black Women’s Blueprint will start at the beginning to help members learn about the impact of structural racism and implicit bias. Together we will come up with strategies to deepen equity, and actively participate in anti-racist work, ultimately educating the electorate to create a greater sense of belonging for people of color in our communities.

Watch the recording here.

Thursday, May 20th

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Reenter, Register and Vote
Annette L. Scott, RN

This workshop discusses the legal issues concerning those persons released from a correctional facility and how to restore their voting rights. Also, we'll review the issues of those on parole or probation and their voting rights.

Watch the recording here.

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Proposed Bylaws Changes
Deborah McComber

Join this workshop to learn about recommended changes to LWVNJ’s bylaws ahead of voting at Convention.

Watch the recording here.

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Meet the Social Justice Committee

What we do and where we are headed. Sharing our mission, vision, and goals. Hear about our conversation with the State Attorney General.  Learn about how we intend to lead and guide our members and leaders into action. Participate in an interactive exercise as we address a social justice issue.

Watch the recording here.

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Budget Workshop
Ed Gracely

Join this workshop to learn about the proposed budget ahead of voting at Convention.

Watch the recording here.

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Panel Discussion - Economic Justice


Economics is not abstract, but a question of whether families have the resources they need to put food on the table, a roof over their head, and save for the future. To combat rising racial inequities and build an economy that works for everyone, the state must support all New Jerseyans, regardless of their circumstances. This panel will address efforts being made to reduce economic disparities in NJ.

Watch the recording here.

Friday, May 21st

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Global Warming: Think Globally, Act Locally
Loretta Simon, Rikke Beal, Ron Pate

Are you concerned about climate change and the environmental legacy we are passing on to our children? Through an original slide presentation, the LWVMA will look at 20 common and easy things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint and fight climate change without impinging on your current lifestyle.

Watch the recording here.

1:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Voter Education Action Group
Barbara Kuppersmith

The Voter Education Action Group will present the results of our 5 subcommittees work. Sub Committees are: Materials from the State, Voter Presentation Info, FAQs for Leagues and Voters, Voter Outreach, and Youth Voting

Watch the recording here.

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Songs of the Suffragists: The Role of Culture in Advancing American Feminism
Susan Ferris and Laura Engelhardt

This inspiring seminar reminds us of how far we’ve come in securing women’s rights in the U.S. It speaks to the power of culture to change hearts and minds, and how important it is that we not only win political battles for the advancement of women, but that we leverage our “soft power” to embed the concept of equality deep into our nation’s soul. Join us to watch a short film about the music of American feminism, then to discuss the role of music and culture in winning policy objectives. LWVBHNPS designed this “plug and play” program including the documentary film, book (Songs of the Suffragists: Lyrics of American Feminism from 1850 to 2020), and discussion guide which has been used by several groups to commemorate the centennial and fulfill the educational mission of the LWV during the Pandemic.

Watch "Songs of the Suffragists: Lyrics of American Feminism from 1850 to 2020" (produced by LWVBHNPS) on Youtube here.

Download the "Songs of the Suffragists: Lyrics of American Feminism from 1850 to 2020" discussion guide here.

Watch the recording here.

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Keynote Address

Elise Boddie

Keynote speaker, Elise Boddie will speak about the intersections between education, school segregation, and democracy.  She will share her thoughts on the push for civics education in our schools and discuss whether New Jersey's segregated school system impacts the implementation and quality of civics education in our state.

Watch the recording here.  

Convention Materials & Downloads for Delegates

Support Our Work

While this year's Convention was free to attend, we hope you will be able to make a donation to ensure we can continue to organize robust programs which help build power in your community and train you to be a stronger leader.

Click here to make a non-tax-deductible donation.