Approximately twenty-five Pike County women and men have joined the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania as “Members At Large” (MAL), and more than twenty of them met with League officials on August 1 in Dingmans Ferry to begin the process of forming a local chapter.
What is the League of Women Voters?
The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania (LWVPA) is a citizen organization that never supports or opposes a candidate or political party, yet helps voters to learn about government issues and candidates. LWV studies and discusses issues to help members understand government problems in order to make informed voting decisions and to let elected officials know of concerns on public issues. Membership is made up of both women and men, and includes independents and members of political parties, but the League’s actions are required to remain non-partisan.
Olivia Thorne and Chris Herbener, LWVPA board members in charge of starting new League chapters, met with Pike’s new Members at Large to discuss the prescribed process to become a local chapter. Herbener will act as Pike’s mentor during the process of formation.
Interest is High
The first step was to have a minimum of five new dues paying Members at Large from Pike County. By the time of the meeting on August 1, Pike enrollment had exceeded twenty, most of whom joined via the LWVPA website, which is enough for Pike to move beyond MAL status and become a full local chapter. More members have signed up since Saturday.
Thorne and Herbener are astonished at the level of interest. According to Thorne, “The number of members at large in Pike exceeds the number we have for some of our other full-fledged chapters. Our board of directors is excited and looking forward to getting started here.”
Two more steps were taken on the way to state approval to become a Member at Large chapter: the adoption of a statement of non-partisanship, and the selection of a Leadership Team to work with the state League to follow the prescribed process. The Leadership Team includes two members who have been past members of other chapters. Co-chair Bonnie Samuelsen, of Greene Township, has been a member for more than thirty years, and Lee Oakes, of Blooming Grove, was also a member before coming to Pike. Team secretary is Barbara Foos, and Membership chair is Marguerite Nemeth, both of Dingmans Ferry.
Full Chapter Status
The LWVPA board will meet on August 22 to approve the non-partisan statement and the selected Leadership Team. Once that is done, the Pike Chapter will likely be given MAL status and the go-ahead to begin working toward full chapter status.
Want to Join?
For those interested in becoming members, the LWVPA has a membership web page HERE. Dues are $60 a year for individuals, and $90 for a household membership which includes a membership for one and a half price membership for one other person. Anyone wishing more information on activities and future meetings at the local level may send email to PikeLWV@gmail.com.