Holiday party

Holiday party: Fun, work on the program

There may not be a Girl Scout troop old enough to take League members, but that doesn’t mean we don’t live by the words of the Scout song, “Make new friends, but keep the old.”

San Antonio Area Leaguers did that in two ways at December’s annual holiday party as they gathered to reacquaint themselves with old friends and meet new members. They met in familiar surroundings – member Nancy Price’s lovely King William home, where the party has been held for the past several years – but ventured into new territory by having brunch instead of an evening event.

The 20+ who attended had a grand time choosing from a catered buffet with everything from French toast casserole and fresh fruit, to salads and lunch entrees, to luscious desserts. And Mimosas, of course. Conversation was lively as people reminisced about how things used to be, how things are and how things might be in the future.

After everyone was full of food and conversation, program committee members briefed everyone on the hard work they had done going through the LWV of Texas positions to see if any needed changing.

There was good news: The committee found current positions well written, comprehensive and providing enough guidance to address many of the ever-changing aspects of the basic issues. No recommendations


Elaine Talarski, Evelyn Bonavita at holiday party/program planning, Dec. 10, 2017

Elaine Talarski, left, and Evelyn Bonavita discuss current State League positions.

for change to current positions were deemed necessary.

Then the group turned to discussion about proposals for a new state study for 2017-18, as requested in the Program Planning Guide sent to the local League by the state board. At that point, President Madhu Sridhar shared the communication she received from the state League just days before that it was urging along with National League that local Leagues not recommend any new studies and all Leagues plan to continue the 2016-2017 “Making Democracy Work” effort.

Those in attendance felt that the League is a grassroots organization in which the grassroots provide directions to the board, in this case to the state board. They wondered why in this case the process was reversed, with the state board making recommendations to local Leagues.

It was also asked that since when did funding (or the lack of such) become the guiding principle and major im-

Nicole Lehmann, Sue Robertson-Dodd, Martha Lankford, Jean Aratingi, Linda Arronge at holiday party/program planning 2017

Nicole Lehmann, Sue Robertson-Dodd, Martha Lankford, Jean Aratingi and Linda Arronge listen to the discussion of program.

pediment for studies? Also emphasized was that many members join because of the League’s well-respected and researched studies on important prevailing issues of concern.  Some said they had noticed, since we have spent two years without a state study, a lack of understanding of exactly what Program is and how vital it is to the League of Women Voters and its reputation.  It was argued that we are not simply a voter service organization.

Members had spent time thinking about what to study and had come up with good ideas. The group shared the ideas for possible studies. Ultimately the group decided to propose studying the issue of eminent domain and how its use and misuse affects residents of Bexar County and/or Texas. Member Annalisa Peace was given the Program Planning Report Form to prepare for submission to the State League.