- 4/23/18 Update:
The LWVDE is alsoing waiving the student membership fee. Students, defined as 16-25 year olds enrolled full or part time in accredited schools, can now join the League of Women Voters Sussex County for $5. This will be in effect until 2021.
From Chris Carson, President of the League of Women Voters of the United States...
The National Board is excited to share that during this week’s board meeting we voted to waive Student PMP at the national level. This promotion is effective immediately and extends through January 31, 2021. While it is the decision of the state League as to whether they would like to also waive their per-member-payments, we see this as an exciting opportunity to decrease the barrier of entry and bring new, passionate members into our organization.
Though overall membership has grown over the last year, the League needs to look for ways to bring in new engagers, especially students, so that a foundation of skilled volunteers is in place going forward. A mere 682 students were reported as members according to LWVUS’s Membership Analysis following the January 31, 2018 count—a dismal 1.14% of the total membership, not to mention a 2% decrease from the previous year. Relieving national charges for Student PMP will allow Leagues to experiment with reducing or eliminating local membership costs for students, or to try a pay-what-you-can student membership model. In a time where student activists are eager to engage in the political process, this is a unique opportunity for the League to develop a new, skilled pool of volunteers who are necessary to the long-term success of our organization.
It is important to note that eliminating/decreasing membership fees will not be a magic bullet that gets students to engage with the League en masse. The League will need to be willing to reach out to students and provide them with a menu of opportunities to mobilize and engage in ways that are compelling to them. The willingness to reshape in this way is one step in our ongoing transformational journey, and we will be sharing a preliminary evaluation of this student membership pilot during Convention 2020 and consider more permanent changes to Student PMP.
This new program will be shared with the entire League very quickly. But I urge you to spread the word starting today.