How the League of Women Voters Taught LYP’ers to Solve Political Issues

On August 14, 2018, the Lancaster Young Professionals (LYP) had the great privilege of having Fran Rodriguez (President) and Jenn Orantes (Vice President) of the League of Women Voters of Lancaster County speak about government structure and how to tackle issues political leaders face through brainstorming and collaboration at our Personal and Professional Development Seminar.

Fran Rodriguez Jenn Orantes Mary Barba Lancaster Young Professionals Barba Digital Solutions LLC Personal and Professional Development League of Women Voters of Lancaster County
Pictured Left: Fran Rodriguez, President Pictured Right: Jenn Orantes, Vice President League of Women Voters of Lancaster County

Government Structure: The Foundation for Positive Change

These two women beautifully summarized how nationwide election processes work in a completely nonpartisan way. With that foundation, they then had each table full of LYP attendees respond to a broad challenge by answering this question:

How can political leaders in Lancaster County champion a sense of welcoming and inclusivity for all community members so that they not only feel heard but they actually are heard?

Brainstorming for Change: Here’s How it Worked

Step 1: Solo-Storm

Each person in the room had five minutes to brainstorm as many ideas as they could, writing each one on a small sticky note. The point was to not overthink things, keep the ideas concise, and focus on quantity over quality to get the juices flowing.

Step 2: Vote on the Best Ideas

The group members each drew dots on the ideas they thought were worth pursuing, showing the group which ideas were the most important to the group.

Step 3: Organize and Label the Ideas by Category

Each group had a large sheet of white paper hanging on the wall to house all their sticky notes. The groups then organized the important stickies that were similar to one another and labeled each grouping accordingly.

Mary Barba Barba Digital Solutions LLC Lancaster Young Professionals Personal and Professional Development Fran Rodriguez Jenn Orantes League of Women Voters of Lancaster County
Group Ideas

Step 4: Groups’ Representatives Presentations

Each group chose a representative to share what ideas they (1) found most represented the groups’ collective ideas and (2) wish to recommend local leaders implement to promote welcoming and inclusivity.

The ideas given were many that evening. Each group presented deeply meaningful recommendations, ranging from hosting community events that led to neighbors and government leaders bonding; all the way to more engaging, interactive, and robust town hall meetings. Regardless of the ideas presented by each group, everyone left feeling empowered by how easy it was to share profound ideas right off the tops of their heads.

They learned that positive change is certainly not far out of reach.

We can’t thank these two women enough for educating our members on that warm, Tuesday Summer night at the Pressroom.


Mary Barba Lancaster Young Professionals LYP Barba Digital Solutions BDS Board at Large Board Member

Blog Author: Mary Barba
Board At-Large Member & Marketing Committee Second Chair, Lancaster Young Professionals
Founder and CEO, Barba Digital Solutions LLC

Mary Barba is the Principal at her firm Barba Digital Solutions LLC, which offers digital marketing services.  Mary earned her Bachelor of Science from Drexel University in Philadelphia in 2015. Mary offers her clients and the Lancaster Young Professionals powerful digital marketing services to meet their business objectives and subsequent needs.

Mary actively volunteers her time on LYP’s Marketing Committee (January 2018-Present), acting as a Board-at-Large Member and Second Chair to the committee. She also volunteered on the Community Service Committee from March 2017-February 2018. She has been an LYP member since September 2016.