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The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus

News

President's Letter: Amy Pulles

Friday, Mar. 15, 2013

The Voter Service Committee has been in the process of evaluating our relationship with the Franklin County Consortium for Good Government. the Consortium is a coalition of non-partisan organizations in Central Ohio, including LWVMC, which organizes Meet the Candidate Forums in Central Ohio.

Since 2003, the League has been providing administrative support to the Consortium. The support has involved League Staff assisting with securing sponsors for candidate forums, assisting in planning the agenda for each event, creating the night schedules, inviting eh candidates to attend, and managing the candidates' RSVP's.

During the 4R process, it became clear that the work of the Consortium blended naturally with the League's new goals. The purpose do the Consortium is to provide an avenue for voters to meet the candidates they're being asked to vote for and give them the opportunity ask questions to the candidates that are most important to the voters. The candidates' forums allow voters to hear directly from the candidates about what they plan to do if elected.

The League's involvement has not been without its challenges. The brunt of Consortium work is done between July and October. That's the busiest time around the League office, with the VIB being in production and all the phone calls coming from voters with questions about the election. Staff struggled each year trying to find the time to give the Consortium work the attention it deserved. I should know; I as, after all, the "staff".

One of the Board's biggest reasons for renting an office space, rather than working out of the staff person's home, was so that the League could utilize interns. Colleges and universities provide students with class credit to complete a project for a local nonprofit. Having an office space would allow us to take advantage of the intern opportunities that exist through many of the colleges in central Ohio.

So, we are "killing two birds with one stone". The League will be hiring an intern to provide the administrative support that will give the Consortium the needed resources to continue to expand. The intern will be devoted solely to assigning the Consortium with the duties that had been fulfilled by League staff. We are advertising the intern position at several colleges in Central Ohio.

We are very excited to be able to provide this service to the Consortium. Feel free to spread the word to any students you may know that might be interested.