Making Democracy Work

Program Planning

Program Planning

Our Programs in 2018-19

Dark Money in State Politics Link: Description: Campaigns are becoming increasingly costly, and the sources of the money is becoming harder to track. The 2018 election was the most expensive in Michigan history with millions of dollars pouring into the state from dark-money groups that didn't have to disclose their donors. Craig Mauger, the executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network (MCFN), gave this presentation about what happened in 2018, how the role of money in state politics has changed and how it impacts policy decisions that affect everyone. MCFN is a nonprofit organization that works to shine light on the role of money in Michigan politics.

A Conversation With Nate Alger, Grand Traverse County Administrator, and Marty Colburn, Traverse City City Manager Link: Description: Political organizations and elected officials are everywhere but who are the non- political, appointed professionals who run our local governments day to day? Nate Alger and Marty Colburn describe their roles in managing the activities of the County and the City.

Our April program, ""Stumbling Over Our Own Brains: 'Media Literacy' & the Interrupted Mind presented by NMC librarian Nicco Pandolfi can be streamed online at

About Program Planning

From the State Program Planning Materials letter...

The League advocates from its national and state positions. Local Leagues are encouraged to advocate at a local level using national and state positions, as well as any local positions. Every two years prior to our state convention the LWVMI Board reviews our state positions and determines whether any existing positions need revision or any new studies are needed in order to meet our current or upcoming advocacy needs.

It is also beneficial for all local Leagues to review our state positions prior to convention time. This is a way for old and new members to appreciate the positions the state League already has. A similar review is done of all national positions prior to the LWVUS convention.

We have found that sometimes we are not able to advocate on a particular piece of state legislation because we don't have a position or our position is out of date. For example, at the 2017 convention we agreed to revisit our Agricultural Migrant/Seasonal Worker position in anticipation that legislation regarding requirements for driver's licenses and/or IDs would be forthcoming. In earlier years, the state Board recommended studies on Redistricting (2011), Education (2013), and Taxation and Budgeting (2015). These studies were also adopted at conventions. Having a relevant position allows the League to testify regarding bills and engage in other advocacy.

We seek your input regarding existing positions. We also wish to hear your ideas as to whether there is a need for a new topic to be studied in order for the League to take action. Positions for LWVUS are available in Impact on Issues at and LWVMI are at

We suggest the following framework for your review and input:

Schedule a meeting of the board, invite members to attend; Review the state positions; Use the Easy Program Planning Guide to keep track of your conclusions; Return the Easy Planning Guide and State Program Planning Form by March 1, 2019.

If your local League believes that any current state position is not adequate to meet your local advocacy needs, and there is no national position that may be used, then you may propose:

an update of a current position; a new study; or adoption of a new position by concurrence.

All LWVMI positions are on the website.

In March, after reviewing the feedback and/or proposals submitted by local Leagues, the state Board will vote on a recommended Program to be considered by the delegates at the 2019 State Convention.

Local League proposals that are not recommended by the state Board may still be voted upon at Convention. A 2/3-majority vote is required to adopt a "non-recommended" study or to adopt a new position by concurrence. Those proposals must be send to the LWVMI by March 1 and then to all local Leagues by April 5, 2019.

Questions should be directed to Marian Kromkowski, LWVMI VP for Program.

Answers to LWVMI Questions

1) Review the existing LWVMI positions.

2) Do a preliminary analysis by using the Easy Program Planning Guide for 2019 LWVMI Convention. Check Retain or Update

3) Answer the following questions:

a) Would your League like to propose an update of a current LWVMI position in order to take action? Yes or No. If yes, please complete the response form for a proposed concurrence.

b) Would your League like to propose a new study in order to take action? Yes or No. If yes, please complete the response form for a proposed concurrence.

c) Would your League like to propose a new position by concurrence in order to take action? Yes or No. If yes, please complete the response form for a proposed concurrence.