LWVC President Speaks
Friday, March 7
Lunch Buffet at Mijares Restaurant
The Fundraiser held on March 7 at Mijares turned out to be stimulating and informative. After filling our plates from the plentiful Mexican-food buffet our minds got some filling as well. Jennifer Waggoner, President, LWV California, spoke on the subject of Advocacy, mostly, but addressed other topics as well. She got everyone involved by giving us time to share our experiences and then report out. Her information mostly came from research. For example, reaching young voters has to be done in a personal way; anonymous contact such as e-mailing doesn’t work. She always hosts an election party with about twenty people, inviting some politically involved friends as well as those who are not into politics and don’t often vote.
In terms of advocacy, signing petitions online is mostly a way other people can get your e-mail. A personal letter to your representative is more effective. Phoning is only helpful if you are in the district of that particular legislator. She shared a successful strategy that has been used to get people involved. The example she gave was working with a particular Muslim group. The League gave them $500.00 to come up with a Pros & Cons presentation and an Easy Voter guide and explained in general how this worked in the League. But it was their “baby.” Even though it might not be done exactly as the League would do it, the group took ownership and was far more effective with their members than a top down, we-know-it-all League presentation would have been. More of their members voted, some even joined the League, and our brand became known in a “new” community.
Jenny became president of the California League in July, 2011. She joined the LWVCEF board in 2007 as communications director and has taken a leadership role in the use of technology for our organization. She has served on the audit and finance committees, human resources, executive transition team, fundraising (planned giving, major gifts, and annual giving), voter service, program, legislation, communications, and contributes to many others. She first joined the League in San Francisco in 2001 and has served in many roles, including president, vice president, and budget chair. She strongly believes in the League’s core values, is grateful for the opportunities the League offers, and feels the greatest value for her has been the mentors she has found and their encouragement to mentor others through the League.
When Jenny moved to San Francisco she struggled to find unbiased political analysis and, for the first time in her life, considered not voting because she felt so unprepared. “I was horrified: I was in one of the most famously politically active cities in the country, and yet I couldn’t find basic voter information?” Read how the League of Women Voters gave her a place to find that information and environment.
Jennifer has worked for many years as a consultant, typically in operations, finance and communications for nonprofits and small businesses. She holds a degree in Government from Claremont McKenna College and a Diploma in Public Policy from the University of Edinburgh. She enjoys the flexibility and variety of her work, allowing her to dedicate significant time to the League and to be able to travel. She lives in central San Francisco with her husband, David LaMacchia. (Courtesy of LWVC website.)