Local League Presidents
The role of a local League president:
- Clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of the other Board members
- Articulates the goals of the Board — especially vis-à-vis membership recruitment, organizational growth and fundraising
- Sets agendas for and presides at Board meetings
- Represents the League at conventions and coalitions
- Acts as the organization spokesperson
- Signs all official letters
- Writes a column for the newsletter and reviews all copy for inclusion
- Disseminates state and national League information to appropriate Board and off-Board leaders
- Prioritizes, with the League Board, how League resources will be used and what program will be carried out
- Ensures that organizational policies are understood and followed
This list is not in any way comprehensive. The duties of a president will vary from League to League. Often, a League president does a little bit of everything, which makes the position extremely interesting — but at times very challenging.
It is important to find the balance between being organized and proactive (such as creating an annual calendar of program topics and other events) and flexible and reactive (such as responding to action alerts or shifting priorities).
It is equally important to remember that local and state League presidents have a support network available to them. Neighboring local Leagues, state League liaisons and LWVUS Board liaisons are ready to listen, help or provide feedback. Presidents also can connect with other leaders electronically by subscribing to the Leaders’ Listserv. This discussion group is a forum for sharing ideas and helping to find answers to common challenges.
Many state Leagues offer local or regional training opportunities for League presidents. Contact your state League for more information. And, the LWVUS provides different types of trainings at national Council and Convention.
Past leaders also have a wealth of knowledge. Local League presidents should not hesitate to contact their predecessors for input. Things don’t always need to be done the same way, but leaders should not always feel like they are starting from scratch with each new term!
Insurance for Local Leagues
LWVOR has been advised not to share its state coverage with local Leagues. Doing so would limit coverage too severely. Local Leagues are advised to set up their own policies for both Directors and Officers Insurance and General Liability Insurance.
This Oregon Department of Justice page really states it all clearly — Board of Director Legal Responsibilities.
Options for Local Leagues:
- Use an Oregon Company, Huggins Insurance of Salem, which is the state League’s insurance company for Directors and Officers Insurance (D&O). They will set your local League up with coverage of $1 million per claim and $1 million aggregate annual policy for $650 plus $30 in taxes. Michelle Gibson, the LWVOR’s agent (503-585-2211), is familiar with the League.
- Huggins also offers General Liability Insurance as well as D&O. See their options here.
- Use Willis of Maryland for annual General Liability Coverage (or ‘slip and fall’ insurance) (about $400-500 per year). This company was recommended by LWVUS in 2008. Application: New Business Form
- Use Canfield Solutions Insurance for one-time coverage of special events (ranges from about $110 to $300, if serving alcohol), also general liability insurance. This company was referred to by the Washington State League. Application: Special Events Application.
Contact a Liberty Mutual in your area for possible general liability coverage.