by Karen Cárdenas
As a result of a goal-setting exercise conducted in November of 2017, the LWVOK Board of Trustees has determined that our most important priority is to increase visibility for our organization and to find ways to help local Leagues do the same. In the past, one of the ways the Oklahoma Leagues increased visibility at both local and state levels was through the LWV Observer Corps. At a recent unit meeting of theLeague of Women Voters of Metropolitan Tulsa, long-time member Kathy Hinkle reminded those present of how it works.
The local League decides which commissions, boards or authorities it would like to observe. Each of these entities is advised that a League observer will be attending its meetings. Oftentimes, according to Kathy, the observer would be given the agenda for the meeting, as well as pertinent information about the issues to be discussed.
Members of the LWV Observer Corps often wear a button identifying them as such. They do not take an active role in the meetings they attend; they are simply there to observe. When appropriate, they will report on the meetings they have observed to the general membership. Not every local League will choose to observe the same groups. In one community, the City Council might be the only one observed. In another, it might be the Council and the School Board. In others, there might be a board, commission or authority whose work is of particular interest.
The LWV Observer Corps increases visibility for the League by ensuring League presence among leaders, officials and organizations who should be aware that we are paying attention. It also enables the League to gather and share important information about different agencies and different parts of Oklahoma. In the future, we will be discussing more about using the LWV Observer Corps at the state level, and we look forward to hearing and discussing more about how your local League can use the LWV Observer Corps to increase its visibility.