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Leader's Update

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Leaders Update

In This Issue:

May 19, 2011

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

ADVOCACY

  • Clean Air Defense Project (NEW)

EDUCATION FUND (Elections; Global Democracy)

  • Voter Protection Update: Battles continue as voter suppression laws pass in 5 states (NEW)
  • LWV Education Study Papers Available Online (NEW)
  • New League Leaders – Kick off the Summer with Voter Outreach! (NEW)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Update Your Contact Information in the LWVUS Database (NEW)
  • Meet a State Coach (NEW)
  • Convention 2012 – Plan Ahead (NEW)

OTHER

  • LWVUS Annual Telemarketing Outreach Program Runs April 19 to May 20 (NEW)
  • Leaving a Legacy

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

Dear League Leader:

Last weekend, I had the privilege of attending convention in California. This is the third convention that I have had the opportunity to participate in and as always, seeing all the good work that is going on at the state and local level makes me proud of the League and of our members. Nonpartisan but political is not easy to balance and certainly not easy to explain, but whether we are tackling redistricting, assaults on the environment or efforts to suppress voter registration and participation, the League is speaking up for what it believes in. On a personal note, my son graduated from college last week and I was reminded of how important it is that he and all those who are entering the ‘real world’ for first time, whether they are graduating high school or college,  understand how decisions in city halls, state capitols and Washington, D.C. impact their lives and their prospects, not just for jobs, but for healthy and happy lives. Like the millions of women who gained the franchise in 1920, let us help these new graduates register to vote and assume the responsibility of citizenship.

In League,

Elisabeth

ADVOCACY

Clean Air Defense Project (NEW)
The League’s efforts earlier this month to defend the Clean Air Act by calling attention to votes by Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) and Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) that blocked new air pollution standards have made an impact on this vital public health issue and raised the importance of protecting clean air.  Late last week, a letter was sent to Senator Scott Brown signed by numerous environmental and public health organizations and individuals asking him to stop changing the subject from clean air and the health of Americans.  Others have been echoing these same concerns on this vital issue through op-eds, letters to the editor and blog postings.  The ads can be viewed at www.peoplenotpolluters.org.

EDUCATION FUND (Elections; Global Democracy)

Voter Protection Update: Battles continue as voter suppression laws pass in 5 states (NEW)
Hats off to all the state leagues that have been fighting for voter protection across the country. They have done an outstanding job and we are thankful for their work. Rest assured that the battles are not over; each state is looking at all options available to stop the legislation from going into effect.   Despite their efforts, in an unprecedented assault on democracy, five state legislatures passed voter suppression legislation in the past week that could disenfranchise thousands of eligible voters across the country. The five states are: FL, SC, MO, KS and WI (expected to pass on May 19th).  The new laws include: requiring photo ID to vote (some of the most restrictive ever passed); burdensome and unreasonable restrictions on voter registration drives (LWV of Florida has been forced to stop all voter registration campaigns); shortening early voting periods; and increasing residency requirements that make it virtually impossible for out of state college students to vote.  To learn more about the Public Advocacy for Voter Protection (PAVP) project go to: www.lwv.org/pavp .

LWV Education Study Papers Available Online (NEW)
The five Education Study background papers have been posted and are accessible here . Additional materials, including the Leaders Guide (which includes the Consensus Questions), will be available soon followed by sample Power Points, five brief papers appropriate for inclusion in local Voters and the online consensus form.   The deadline for Leagues to submit consensus forms is November 30, 2011. If you have questions about the Education Study, please contact Education Study Committee Chair Peg Hill hillp@uhcl.edu or Co-Chair Joanne Leavitt  ac997@lafn.org .

New League Leaders – Kick off the Summer with Voter Outreach! (NEW)
This summer many local Leagues are welcoming in new state and local League leaders. Now is a great time to get out in your community! Be visible – march in a parade, staff a League booth at a local festival, agricultural fair or baseball game, or attend a naturalization ceremony. Register new voters for fall municipal and statewide elections and use worksheets featured in Empowering the Voters of Tomorrow, such as the Registration Drive Checklist, Sample Work Plan and Pledge Cards to keep your efforts on track. Tap those busy Leaguers who prefer to volunteer occasionally and have them distribute the VOTE Brochure and 5 Things cards to people in their neighborhood. Publicize these events so the public knows where you will be registering voters. If you encounter out-of-towners, just direct them to www.VOTE411.org to register.

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

Update Your Contact Information in the LWVUS Database (NEW)
To help LWVUS communicate more effectively with League leaders across the country, we remind you to make sure your contact information (i.e. home phone number, cell phone number, and email address) is up-to-date in the LWVUS database. Please update your information today to ensure timely communication from LWVUS. If you need assistance in doing this, please email membership@lwv.org or review the online database manual available here .

Meet a State Coach (NEW)
Nikole Wolfe is a state coach for Kentucky in the League’s membership and leadership development program. As a coach, Nikole mentors three local Leagues in her home state. Nikole began volunteering with her local League to maintain the website but found so much more: “Working with my local League has enabled me to meet some remarkable people, gain leadership skills and become a better public speaker. I wouldn’t trade my League experience for anything.”  Cheers to Nikole and all of our state coaches who mentor local Leagues to grow the League for a better democracy! Learn more about the program here .

Convention 2012 – Plan Ahead (NEW)
In planning your calendars and budgets for 2011-2012, please include dates for LWVUS Convention in Washington, DC June 8-12, 2012.  The registration fee will be $320.

OTHER

LWVUS Annual Telemarketing Outreach Program Runs April 19 to May 20 (NEW)
The LWVUS Development Office wants to alert League leaders that the LWVUS annual telemarketing outreach program runs from April 19 to May 20, 2011. During this campaign, national donors, as well as those local members who contribute to the LWVUS, are contacted by phone with a request for support. In addition, local members who are lapsed more than 24 months will be contacted. They will be given the opportunity to renew membership with their local League. Questions should be directed to Rose Simmons at rsimmons@lwv.org

Leaving a Legacy
Including the League of Women Voters Education Fund in your will is among the easiest ways to offer support of the LWVEF's work for years to come. We suggest the following language to include the League as a beneficiary of a will or trust: " I give, devise, and bequeath to the League of Women Voters Education Fund, a charitable organization formed in the District of Columbia, with offices at 1730 M Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, {the sum of $___ } {___ percentage of my residuary estate}." If you already have a will, you can have your attorney add a codicil to include the LWVEF. After you've added the League, please contact Lauren Frank so we can list you as a member of our Carrie Chapman Catt Legacy Society.