Making Democracy Work

Betty Roosa

Betty's Story

Betty RoosaThe following story first appeared in The Voter, July/August 2010.

Remembering Betty Roosa - A League Member 1968 - 2010
By Nancy Forbriger and Carolyn Miller

"Dear Betty: Your devotion and hard work brought us community collaboration, respect, impact and financial stability. Without you, we would not be the League we are today." Commendation letter from LWVCA to Betty Roosa in 2007

Learning that Betty Roosa had passed away at her home in Massachusetts in April 2010 at age 83, brings back vivid memories of the many roles and talents she had brought to our organization through the years.

Betty was elected to the League Board in 1972. In 1978 she became president, holding that position for three years, and then returned later as Treasurer for 2 years. It was typical of Betty, that when a job needed to be done, she was ready to say "I'll do it." This was especially true in services to voters and in fundraising projects.

In the case of our nonpartisan voter service work, Betty was our "go to" person. She coordinated the Debate Alliance and established a contact with local TV stations that has continued to this day. She even took a course in videotaping. Betty was one of the initiators of voter service information on the web too. Betty moderated debates and lined up experts to speak on issues. She was an excellent speaker herself on the issues of each election. She set up a team of trained Leaguers to speak and moderate candidate debates, and prepared printed guidelines which were mailed out often to be used at other groups' events. If there was any question about balance in a program and fairness to candidates, Betty was our source for League practice. And she always responded with a smile and a positive attitude when the inevitable crisis came.

Betty is warmly remembered by members of the League's North Central discussion unit as a skilled discussion leader and energizer. The City of Wyoming particularly benefitted from a League school district study, yearly voter registration drives and lively candidate meetings and their own election pamphlet, all accomplished through Betty's vigorous participation.

Betty chaired the LWVCA Education Fund for 8 years, keeping this important funding source for public information solvent and growing. She was a hands-on person for all fund raising drives and chaired the important Visions luncheons, our main outreach to the business community. Oh, the follow-up phone calls she made!! Betty also initiated our relationship with Community Shares, a very fruitful funding connection for the League.

Twice Betty was on a steering committee for major county government reform efforts including developing a county home rule charter in 1992 and the Community Compass study in 2004. The Martha B. Taft Service Award was presented to Betty in 1991. The decades of service before and after this recognition produced a legacy that will be ours for decades to come.

We remember Betty Roosa with admiration and gratitude.

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