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The LeaguE-Voice: Newsletter of the League of Women Voters Friend,

This is the LeaguE-Voice newsletter from the League of Women Voters. You can also view it online.

The League Voice Newsletter

August 2011

PROMISES TO KEEP

Last week we celebrated Women’s Equality Day and the 91st anniversary of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women the right to vote. In honoring this historic past, we are reminded of our mission and promises to keep.

As we head into September, Leagues are working with our partners on this national Clean Air Promise campaign holding kick-off events and asking people and community and elected leaders to make the promise.

Also, September is “voter registration month” and Leagues are busy undertaking voter registration activities and educating voters.

Below, we share our many August activities on the Clean Air Promise, critical voter protection work, redistricting efforts in numerous states and more.

And we look forward to hearing your thoughts via our Facebook page and Twitter @LWV or www.twitter.com/LWV, where our vibrant community continues to grow and discuss and debate interesting topics.

Elisabeth MacNamara
Elisabeth MacNamara
President, LWVUS

Clean Air Defense

The Clean Air Promise: Shortly after the national launch of the citizen’s campaign to protect public health, we saw kick-off events in Montana, Michigan and New Jersey. In recent weeks, several more states have joined the Clean Air promise. The media and community leaders have taken note, too. Read the updated news page at www.Peoplenotpolluters.org to learn what’s happening. Also, please visit www.peoplenotpolluters.org to share your story, make the promise and send a message asking your elected officials to make the promise as well. You can also make the promise on our Facebook page.

800,000 Strong for Kids Health, Against Mercury Pollution: This month the EPA heard from thousands of Americans that it’s time to protect kids and cut dangerous mercury and toxic pollution. Read the coalition press statement.

White House Meeting on Ozone Regulation: In mid-August, the League's Executive Director Nancy Tate participated in a meeting at The White House with Chief of Staff William Daley, and staff from the EPA and the Office of Management and Budget, concerning EPA's proposal for a stricter ozone regulation. We urged the Administration to release the regulation, which is being opposed by business and other interests. Mr. Daley expressed interest in the League's work to protect the Clean Air Act and our current Clean Air Promise campaign. Read a press release on the meeting.

A Global Day of Climate Action on September 24: Join Leagues and others around the world on September 24 to call attention to the need to get off of fossil fuels and move towards a sustainable, renewably-powered future. In 2010, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere was just shy of 390 parts per million (ppm) -- well beyond the 350 ppm that leading climate scientists say is the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere. Our Leagues are making plans to be a part of this worldwide demonstration, Moving Planet, helping to send a message to policymakers that it's time to get moving on the climate crisis. Find more information here.

Voting Rights and the Election Process

Voter Protection: League efforts to protect the voter continue unabated. In Maine, the League is a lead petitioner in a people’s veto campaign to reinstate same-day registration. The Leauge in New Hampshire is working hard to uphold the governor’s veto of voter ID as the state Senate plans to consider that veto in September. In South Carolina, the League is helping individuals alert the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) about of just how onerous the new ID law is and has signed on to a comment letter to the Voting Section Chief of the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ. The letter concerns voting changes that would limit the acceptable forms of ID for in-person voters. As the voter registration season reaches its peak in September in Florida, the League continues its efforts for review of their new election law by the Justice Department. Also, read here. In Ohio, the state League is gathering signatures for a referendum to stop Ohio’s new election reform law from going into effect. To learn about each state’s voter identification requirements, visit this webpage published by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

VOTE411.org: The League has updated this invaluable national resource for election information with state-by-state resources that have enfranchised millions of voters. The site now reflects the most current election dates and laws nationwide.

Redistricting

No Summer Vacation for the League’s Redistricting Experts: The summer may be winding down, but the League has not slowed its efforts to promote a fair and accountable redistricting process. This month national League President Elisabeth MacNamara joined longtime Congressman and civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis, voting rights experts and 300+ individuals at a special event highlighting the continuing importance of the Voting Rights Act in protecting voters’ rights during redistricting. Elsewhere, the California League praised the overwhelming public participation that went into the state’s first-ever Independent Commission process for redrawing lines, and the Ohio League continued its leadership on this issue by sponsoring a competition to encourage the creation of citizen-drawn redistricting plans.  

Global Democracy

News from Egypt: As a result of the League’s work addressing women’s rights in Egypt earlier this summer The Daily News Egypt cited the Leauge’s Global Democracy Programs Director Zaida Arguedas in a recent article: “women’s number one priority should be to ‘get your ID and go vote … [Women need to] overcome fear of going into a polling booth and making a decision and be aware of the power they have by voting…’”

Leadership Development

Leadership Development Trainings Sweep the Northeast!
The national League’s Membership & Leadership Development program (MLD) has been busy this summer training local and state League leaders in the Northeast region!  As President MacNamara recently said, “In this time of increased political incivility and growing polarization, the League of Women Voters is needed more than ever…to ensure that we have an American citizenry that is informed on the issues, ready and able to cast a ballot, and to ensure that every vote is counted.” View photos from our recent trainings here and see League leaders in action as they learn effective strategies to strengthen the League to better support our communities and democracy.

Support The League

Leaving a Legacy
Including the League of Women Voters Education Fund in your will is among the easiest ways to offer support of the Fund’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 League of Women Voters Education Fund. 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.

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Member in the Spotlight

Karen Michael, LWV of Metropolitan Phoenix, AZ
Fran Finney, LWV San Francisco, CA

"In 1982, I moved to San Francisco and wanted to learn all I could about the city that was now my home"

League in the Spotlight

NJ Group shot

LWVNJ Demands Firm Commitment to Clean Air

The League of Women Voters of New Jersey kicked off the Clean Air Promise Campaign, part of a national campaign to protect the health of children and families

On this Date...

August 26, 1971:

The first "Women's Equality Day," instituted by Bella Abzug, is established by Presidential Proclamation and reaffirmed annually

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