The time has come, the Walrus said, to talk of many things. Of shoes, and ships, and sealing wax ...
My mother used to say this when she wanted to get my attention and make sure I was listening, and it has remained talismanic for me.
So, I say to you, the time has come for me to retire from Legal Voice. It’s been a great run for 25 years (32 if you count volunteering – and I do), and I have been and remain proud and excited about the organization’s past, present, and future. Now, as the eyes of the nation have turned to follow the leadership of BIPOC, so too am I ready to make space for new leadership at Legal Voice. I am excited to hand over the reins and watch Legal Voice continue to thrive and transform itself as it approaches its 50th anniversary.
Over the past three decades, we – the staff and volunteers at Legal Voice, and YOU, our incredible community of supporters and champions, donors and volunteers – have worked together to accomplish so much. We’ve defended and expanded, time and again, essential rights to abortion and contraceptive care; while that fight is not over, we will never give in. We’ve fought for marriage equality in the courts, in the legislature and at the ballot box. We’ve helped to establish one of the nation’s most generous paid family and medical leave programs here in Washington. We’ve grown our team of lawyers through your generous support of our Capacity Campaign and our ongoing work, ensuring that we can build authentic relationships with coalition partners and truly practice community lawyering. And we’ve done deep internal work as an organization, refocusing to do all our work through a lens of racial equity.
I am proud of how far we’ve come, and I am indeed proud in advance – because I know what a strong, passionate, generous community we enjoy, and that more great strides toward true equality will happen in the coming years. They happened before I was here, and they will continue after I go home. Movement toward justice and equality is in the DNA of Legal Voice.
As many of you know, I have been thinking about when to retire for a number of years. When people would prod me to name a date, my answer was always, “When Legal Voice is in a situation that is stable programmatically, financially, and in its personnel, both paid and volunteer.” Well, that’s where we are now. We have a great dedicated and diverse staff; committed and skilled Board members; a fabulous community of volunteers, and healthy operating reserves. We’ve embarked on a concrete race equity journey, to which the entire organization is completely committed. Our donors and volunteers are loyal and generous; our allies and colleagues are there for us, as we are for them.
I’ve been thrilled to devote myself to Legal Voice; I’m equally excited to watch as Legal Voice continues its journey to becoming an anti-racist organization and doing even more meaningful advocacy. Now, I’m turning to devote myself to family, friends, adventures, and self. And just like you, I’ll remain committed to doing the work and carrying out the mission, within myself, in my family, and in my community.
With profound thanks for allowing me to do the work alongside you, and for our shared and continuing commitment to justice.
Lisa M. Stone Executive Director Pronouns: she/her