Andrea Kaminski, executive director of League of Women Voters of Wisconsin (LWV WI), announced her retirement for the end of December 2017. The LWV WI Board has selected Erin Grunze to be the next executive director, effective Jan. 1, 2018. During her remarkable 13-year tenure, Kaminski has seen an unprecedented number of challenges to voting rights through restrictive photo ID and registration laws, an influx of dark money into politics, and the dissolving of governmental checks and balances. She has been at the forefront advocating for voters’ rights and government accountability.
LWV WI filed a lawsuit in 2011 to prevent the photo ID law from taking effect and separately filed amicus briefs in other voting rights cases including the Gill v. Whitford partisan gerrymandering case now in the U.S. Supreme Court. However, Kaminski’s focus has not just been on litigation. She has often collaborated with other organizations such as the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, Wisconsin VOICES, and Common Cause in Wisconsin to secure increased educational resources and multilingual materials to inform all Wisconsin voters. “Andrea has been a model leader in Wisconsin’s progressive nonprofit community. Wise, thoughtful, and courageous, she also has shown her trust in the grassroots and in coalitions,” remarked Matthew Rothschild, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. The League has increased its presence in the state in the last few years. There are currently 18 local Leagues in the state, with recently formed Leagues in the Northwoods and Upper St. Croix Valley. Four additional communities are in the process of developing a new League.