Making Democracy Work

New England States Leadership Development Conference


LWV Regional Conference April 6 and 7, 2019, Wells, Maine

Thirteenth Annual Leadership Conference - Wells, ME. April 6 - 7, 2019

Register now for the League's thirteenth annual New England Regional Leadership Development Conference!

Our theme this year is:

"Advancing Civility in a Diverse New England"

State League leaders from CT, MA, ME, NH, RI and VT have developed a dynamic agenda for 2019 that is sure to address the most compelling issues of the year

Plenary sessions will be at the York County Community College, 112 College Drive in Wells, ME, less than a mile from our hotel accommodations at the Hampton Inn, 900 Post Road, Wells, ME. Directions to YCCC from nearby highways are available here; directions from the Hampton Inn to YCCC are available here.

Tentative Agenda - Schedule Subject to Change

Friday evening, April 5 (optional): dinner out and socializing with other early arrivals.

Raffle Tickets Please visit our raffle table to benefit this Conference. Prizes are contributed by League members. Tickets are available all weekend: $5 each or five for $20.

Saturday, April 6

9:00--9:30 Registration at York County Community College, coffee, and welcome.

9:30--9:45 Welcome and Introductions. The League of Women Voters believes in empowering voters and defending democracy. We are committed to a program that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion. This year's conference will use that lens to focus on civility, diversity, and unengaged voters.

9:45--10:45 Keynote Speaker: Nancy Thomas, Director of Institute for Democracy and Higher Education, Tufts University, will address the question of what populations did not vote in the 2016 elections. Who are they? Why didn't they vote? What would motivate them to vote? What are the tangible and psychological barriers to voting? What was different in 2018? Followed by questions & answers. Prof. Thomas joins us with the generous support from the Scholars Strategy Network of Maine. Prof. Thomas's slides from the conference are available here.

10:45--11:00 BREAK

11:00--12:15 Workshop Communicating Across the Divide: Challenges and Tools: Susan Clark, author of Slow Democracy: Rediscovering Community, Bringing Decision Making Back Home. We've all experienced the "us-them" mentality that divides our society. And yet we also know that it will take all kinds working together--liberal, conservative, and every other category we divide ourselves into--to build long-term answers. We will explore our own preferences and worldviews, and how they affect our work. We'll examine emerging research and practical ways communities are applying this information to break down barriers and renew civil democratic engagement.

12:15--1:00 LUNCH

1:00--2:45 Diversity Workshop Panel Presentation: The panel will discuss some key factors that divide us--economic inequality, rural/urban divide, and differences in education levels--and discuss how efforts to promote gender, age, race, and ethnic diversity in civic engagement can be strengthened by policies aimed at reducing these divisions.

  • Garrett Martin, Maine Center for Economic Policy: Economic disparity
  • Susan Clark, Vermont Author and Trainer: Place-based values
  • Leslie Haslam, Exeter NH Adult Education: Education and literacy
  • Anne Schink, Facilitator
2:45--3:00 BREAK

3:00 -- 3:30 Small group discussion

3:30 -- 4:15 Full group wrap up

4:15--4:30 Adjourn

5:30 Dine Around: Sign up for dinner at one of the Wells/Ogunquit restaurants. This is a good time to get together with others from a different state.

Sunday, April 7

Until 9:00 Breakfast at the Hampton Inn included with room reservation.

9:00--10:00 Takeaways from Saturday's sessions

  • Summary of results
  • Implications for each state
  • What can we do to cross the divide?
  • How does this shape leadership for LWV moving forward?
10:00--10:15 Break

10:15--11:45 Getting ready for 2020: LWV 100th anniversary

  • Celebrating our history
  • Going beyond our current goals
  • What will we do to move our organization forward?
  • How do we incorporate many new voices?
11:45 Raffle Drawing: We close on Sunday with our annual raffle to benefit this Conference, with prizes contributed by League members. Prizes will be on display and tickets will be available all weekend, $5 each or five for $20. 11:45--12:00 Wrap-up and adjourn. Don't leave early -- Sunday could be the best part!

Register Now

  • Registration is $25 per person paid to the LWVME Education Fund. To register online using a credit card, click the button on the right:
  • To register by check, fill out the registration form and return with a check for $25, payable to the LWVME Education Fund. Note "Leadership Conference" in the memo field. Send to
LWVME Education Fund
PO Box 863,
Augusta, ME 04332
  • Make your own hotel reservation at Hampton Inn & Suites, 900 Post Road, Wells, Maine 04090 (207-646-0555). Be sure to say you are with the League of Women Voters and the room rate will be $99 plus tax. Note: when calling the hotel, do not hit "1 for reservations" or "2 for sales," but stay on the line until the front desk picks up. Our block of rooms will be held until March 31, but the rate will be in effect until the event. Find a roommate to share, and the cost will be around $50 per person. Upon request, LWVME attendees will be reimbursed $50/night toward the room rate.
  • Breakfast is included in the room rate. Saturday lunch is included in your registration fee. We will have dinner together in small groups at area restaurants on Saturday. Sign up at the registration table.