Spread the word » Facebook Twitter
Leader's Update

View Online

Leaders Update

In This Issue:

July 21, 2011

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

  • President’s Message: The Clean Air Promise (NEW)

ADVOCACY

  • League Urges House Ethics Committee to Appoint Outside Counsel (NEW)

EDUCATION FUND (Elections)

  • Elections: Voter Protection project – We Made a Difference in 2011! (NEW)
  • Elections: New Video of Congressional Redistricting Status Report (NEW)
  • Global Democracy: League Addresses Women’s Rights in Egypt (NEW)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • LWVUS Membership Database Down AGAIN for Maintenance on August 14-15 (NEW)
  • LWV Coach in the Spotlight: Shayna Howell, Mother and Fellow (NEW)
  • How Green is Your League? (NEW)

OTHER

  • Leaving a Legacy

 PRESIDENT’S CORNER

Dear League Leader:

As leaders in your communities and in League, I would like to thank you for your commitment to protecting the public health and environment and for all of the hard grassroots work to advance those protections.  Your feedback on what you need from LWVUS to be successful in this work has been invaluable as we are moving this important work forward.  Forty years of education and advocacy to protect the Clean Air Act and the EPA’s duty to enforce its provisions culminated in strong advertising in Missouri and Massachusetts this spring. That advertising and the supporting efforts of our friends in the environmental community is resetting the debate on the future of the EPA from jobs and regulation to public health.  As we expected, efforts to eviscerate the EPA are continuing. The August recess is approaching and the League, in partnership with environmental and public health organizations, will ask members of Congress, other elected officials, key community leaders and the public to make the “Clean Air Promise.”

Protecting the public health by controlling air pollution is something we depend on Congress to do. The Clean Air Promise is designed to allow the public, elected officials at all levels and community leaders to send a strong message that clean air and the EPA have overwhelming public support.  The EPA is not a budget item but rather is vital to the health of future generations who, without it, will be just as endangered as polar bears and penguins. It is time for our elected officials to vote for people not polluters.

The Promise effort will have three components. The first is the launch of the campaign through a League-branded television ad which will appear on network stations in Washington, D.C. and on selected cable outlets starting next week. The ad will feature real children suffering from asthma, a condition aggravated by dirty air, and a request by the mother of such a child that everyone make the promise.  The second component will be a grassroots effort by the League as well as our partners in the public health and environmental community to raise awareness of the public health effects of pollution and the importance of the EPA by asking members of our community to make the promise. The third component is collecting personal stories of those impacted by air pollution. The public will be directed to a League website to make the promise and share their stories. Just like the personal stories that draw members to the League, personal experience makes this issue real.

A webinar was conducted with State League leaders yesterday. Supporting materials are being developed and will be distributed before the launch either directly from LWVUS or from the State League.  We are not alone in this effort. Prompted by potential votes in the House that would gut the EPA, you may see television ads by the American Lung Association and by other groups which also drive home the message that pollution is a public health issue.

In League,

top

ADVOCACY

League Continues to Fight for Strong Ethics Standards in Congress (NEW)
In our continued effort to fight for strong ethics standards in the House of Representatives the League and coalition groups sent two letters to the House this week. One letter was sent to the leadership of the House Ethics committee urging the committee to appoint outside counsel in the investigation into ethics violations by Representative Maxine Waters. Another letter was sent to the entire House urging them to oppose an amendment that would gut the Office of Congressional Ethics entirely.

top

EDUCATION FUND (Elections; Global Democracy)

Elections: Voter Protection project - We Made a Difference in 2011! (NEW)
Now that most of the state legislatures have ended their sessions we have a clearer picture of the impact of our voter protection project.  The League’s efforts in the states has resulted in the defeat of twelve voter ID bills across the country in 2011(CO, DE, IA, ME, MO, MT, NM, NC, NH, NM, OR and VA). However, eight new suppression bills passed (AL, FL, KS, RI, SC, TN, TX and WI). The fight continues in all these states.  The impacts of the new laws are already being felt by long-time voters. Please see these articles from South Carolina and Wisconsin.

Elections: New Video of Congressional Redistricting Status Report (NEW)
Leagues are encouraged to view video from a special event, “Congressional Redistricting: A Status Report” held this week at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC. The event featured national redistricting experts, including several League partners, who provided a status update on Congressional redistricting nationwide. The speakers touched upon several aspects of redistricting at the heart of many Leagues’ efforts, including the impact of recent reforms in California and Florida, efforts to increase transparency and public participation, and likely Voting Rights Act challenges to redistricting proposals in Texas, North Carolina, and elsewhere. Learn more at www.lwv.org/redistricting.

Global Democracy: League Addresses Women’s Rights in Egypt (NEW)
The League of Women Voters Education Fund will work with women in Egypt at the invitation of the U.S. Embassy. During the five-day trip, the League will meet in Cairo and Alexandria with leaders of civil society groups working to address women's rights issues throughout Egypt.  The meetings, which are aimed at ensuring women will have a leading role in the forthcoming elections, will also include media interviews with Al Tahrir and Maspero TV stations as well as other media outlets.  The League's publication, "Empowering Citizens to Influence Public Policy: A Guide for Civil Society Advocates," has been translated into Arabic to be used a road map for these strategic meetings.

top

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

LWVUS Membership Database Down AGAIN for Maintenance on August 14-15 (NEW)
Due to routine maintenance, you will not be able to access the LWVUS Membership Database from Sunday, August 14, to Monday, August 15. Access to the database will be available again on Tuesday, August 16. If you have questions or need assistance accessing the database, please email Betty Taira, BTaira@lwv.org.

LWV Coach in the Spotlight: Shayna Howell, Mother and Fellow (NEW)
Shayna Howell has been a Ruth S. Shur Fellow since February 2010 when she was inducted into the inaugural class of national coaches.   Since then, Shayna has supported state coaches in Kentucky to help local Leagues grow and has directly supported local League leaders in Delaware.  Shayna is the proud mother of two young children. Read more of about Shanya here. Learn about the Ruth S. Shur Fellows here.

How Green is Your League? (NEW)
LWVUS is partnering with www.GreenTowns.com, a sustainability-focused platform of www.AmericanTowns.com designed to promote green efforts in communities across the country. If your local League has been engaged in green activities, promote your League’s good work on www.GreenTowns.com today to better help the fight for a greener America and involve your community.  To participate, please contact Sarah Peterson at speterson@lwv.org.   

top

OTHER

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 the Development office by email so we can list you as a member of our Carrie Chapman Catt Legacy Society.

"Like" the League on Facebook at www.facebook.com/leagueofwomenvoters

Donate to the League on our Facebook Causes page.

top