Saturday May 2, 2015 from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM EDT
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Conference Center at Mercer 
1200 Old Trenton Road
West Windsor, NJ 08550

Driving Directions 


Pat Thompson 
The League of Women Voters of New Jersey 


League of Women Voters of New Jersey                        61st Biennial State Convention

Please join us Saturday, May 2, 2015, 8 am - 4:30 pm at the Conference Center at Mercer for the 61st Biennial State Convention of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey: Commemorating the 50 Year Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.  

We are honored to announce our keynote speaker is Ryan Haygood, President and CEO of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice and previous Director of Litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund. Haygood has litigated some of the most important civil rights cases of our time and has twice defended the constitutionality of a core provision of the Voting Rights Act. At the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund,Haygood worked to empower communities of color by facilitating full, equal, and active participation in the political process, fighting for better educational, employment, and housing opportunities, and advocating for a fair criminal justice system. As President and CEO of the Institute, Haygood works to expand access to social justice and economic opportunity and advocates for juvenile and criminal justice reform.

Convention will also feature Winnefred Rowell-Bullard. While a freshman in college, Winnie and a group of peers participated in a non-violent, sit-in demonstration at a segregated movie theater. They were sent to the South Carolina state penitentiary until Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. freed the group from the prison. Winnie will speak about this experience and her path working for equality and the betterment of her community.

In addition to these marvelous speakers, the day of Convention will feature:

  • An awards ceremony honoring the service of local Leagues and the contributions of outstanding individuals and 50-year members
  • Caucuses - Caucuses are meetings to inform delegates about decisions they will be making during Convention. For example, sponsors of recommended studies might hold a caucus to explain the importance and scope and members moving non-recommended program for consideration should hold a caucus to inform and convince delegates to vote in your favor. Caucus rooms are limited. Please contact Pat Thompson at contact@lwvnj.org no later than April 20 to reserve a caucus room.
  • And the business of voting on program, nominations, bylaws, and the budget

And the day before Convention will feature:

  • Two special workshop sessions on Friday, May 1, 2015 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Hamilton (see below);
  • And the opportunity to attend "95 Years of Making Democracy Work," a special cocktail reception and awards ceremony celebrating our 95th anniversary and our Making Democracy Work award honorees (see below).

There will be two special workshop sessions on Friday, May 1, 2015 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 800 US Highway 130, Hamilton, NJ

  • New Jersey Women in Politics, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm, at the Hilton Garden Inn, Hamilton - Join Melissa Smith Goldstein, Chair of LWVNJ Women and Family Issues Committee for a look at women in politics. New Jersey has sent only six women to the U.S. House of Representatives and no women to the U.S. Senate. However, in the last 10 years, NJ went from 41st in state ranking to 11th in the number of women elected to the state legislature. Explore women's participation in NJ politics, how to foster more women to run for office, identifying and overcoming the barriers, the benefits for NJ, and, most important, how to bring about lasting change in a system characterized by a strong, male-dominated party system.
  • Money in Politics Today: Not "Business as Usual," 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm, at the Hilton Garden Inn, Hamilton - Join Rebecca Shannon, League of Women Voters of Massachusetts (LWVMA) and Chair of the LWVMA Campaign Finance Task Force, and Launa Zimmaro, LWVMA Board, Advocacy Director and LWVUS 2014-2016 Money in Politics Committee member for a special workshop session. Money has always been a part of politics, but Supreme Court decisions of the last 40 years have established new rules that shift the balance of influence and access away from voters and toward a small donor class. Find out how action at the state and local level can be the lever for resetting that balance.

These two sessions are available for free to anyone attending Convention and/or the cocktail reception, but please RSVP for them during registration on the next page. If you would like to attend these special workshops, but will not attend the other events, please pay $10 at the door.

The evening before Convention, Friday, May 1, 2015, please join the League of  Women Voters of New Jersey to celebrate "95 Years of Making Democracy Work" with a cocktail reception and awards ceremony at the Hilton Garden Inn, 800 US Highway 130, Hamilton, NJ at 7 pm. The League will be presenting our prestigious "Making Democracy Work" awards to deserving honorees in honor of their work educating, engaging, and protecting New Jersey voters. For more information about the cocktail reception and honorees, please click here.

We hope that you will make a weekend of it, spending Friday and Saturday celebrating at both the cocktail reception and Convention. We are offering a special price (a $50 savings) when you register for these events together using the option available during the registration process.

Rooms are available at the Hilton Garden Inn (the location of the cocktail reception and the special workshop sessions).Reservations can be made by calling the hotel at 609-585-6789.                   

We look forward to an energizing and productive state Convention!

Register Now! Registration deadline is noon, Friday, April 24, 2015