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Leader's Update

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Leaders Update


September 15, 2011

TOMORROW: September 16, 2011 celebrates Constitution Day to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. 

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

  • President’s Message: Expanding the Clean Air Promise Campaign (NEW)
  • Become a National Coach! (NEW)
  • From the League’s UN Observers (NEW)

ADVOCACY

  • League Urges Justice Dept. to Object to Texas Redistricting Plan (NEW)

EDUCATION FUND (Redistricting; Fair Judiciary; Global Democracy)

  • Redistricting: Leagues Lead Fair Redistricting Battle Nationwide (NEW)
  • Fair Judiciary: Leagues in South Carolina Celebrate Constitution Day (NEW)
  • Global Democracy: Civil Hosting Program for Eurasian Visitors (NEW)
  • Global Democracy: Interested in Hosting Visitors from Eurasia, Russia and Ukraine? (NEW)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Help Steer the League: Nominate a League Leader to the National Board (NEW)
  • LWVUS Offers Two Voter Service Webinar Opportunities: Register Today (NEW)
  • NEW Press Template and Other Resources Available: League Celebrates Voters as Nation Observes Founding Principles (NEW)

OTHER

  • LWVUS Annual Telemarketing Outreach Program Runs September 13 to October 15 (NEW)
  • You Can Make a Gift That Helps Your League at All Three Levels!

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

Dear League Leader:

With Labor Day behind us and Congress back in session, I want to thank all of you for raising awareness of the public health consequences of weakening the EPA enforcement of the Clean Air Act during the recess. Ohio, Michigan, Montana and New Jersey launched their Clean Air Promise campaigns with highly visible events in August. I recently visited Missouri where state and local League leaders joined me in talking about the Clean Air Promise with the media in St. Louis and Springfield (view a couple of media reports here and here). In Seattle, the League is working with groups of concerned mothers, such as Moms Rising, to get the word out.

All over the country, League leaders are shaking the grassroots and the grass tops with this message: Public health is a commitment we make to each other, and Clean Air is a promise we can’t keep without the sensible regulation of toxics and pollutants that only our elected officials, from The White House to State Houses, can provide. At the national level, we know that other groups like the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council are also working on this campaign. But there may be many other groups with a national presence, such as Moms Rising, with local affiliates interested in working on the campaign.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out to those organizations in your community and share those ideas with us by sending an email to childebidle@lwv.org.

The Clean Air Promise is just one example of ways that the League can bring communities together around an issue important to us all. Keep up the good work!

In League,
Elisabeth

Become a National Coach! (NEW)
The LWVUS is expanding the successful Membership and Leadership Development Program to new states and is looking for enthusiastic, supportive and committed League leaders to join our team of Ruth S. Shur Fellows. As a Fellow, you will receive training in membership recruitment, leadership development and coaching best practices; have the opportunity to network with League leaders from around the country; and make lasting friendships along the way. Applications and background information are posted here. Applications must be submitted online by November 7, 2011.

From the League’s UN Observers (NEW)
The UN General Assembly starts its high level meetings on September 19th, but much behind the scenes work has already started in preparation of a very busy year. Rosalee Keech (unobserver@lwv.org) has been appointed as main UN Observer, replacing Doris Schapira who retired in the spring. UN alternates Margery Cohen, Mary Fox, Suzi Maltz and Nancy Lyman Orem are working together with Rosalee to increase women's leadership and participation in democratic political processes, further democracy around the world, prevent violence against women and girls, and promote environmental sustainability and limit climate change. More information about UN events and how Leagues can get involved will be available in upcoming Leaders’ Updates. 

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ADVOCACY

League Urges Justice Dept. to Object to Texas Redistricting Plan (NEW)
The LWVUS joined the LWV of Texas in urging Attorney General Eric Holder to reject the congressional redistricting plan submitted by the state of Texas on the grounds that it would disenfranchise minority voters and is in clear violation of the landmark Voting Rights Act. A significant number of individuals and civil rights, civic, and community organizations including the League testified repeatedly that the map was clearly designed to benefit lawmakers’ partisan interests, while egregiously shortchanging minority voters and fracturing close-knit communities of interest. Also, read our press release.

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EDUCATION FUND (Redistricting; Fair Judiciary; Global Democracy)

Redistricting: Leagues Lead Fair Redistricting Battle Nationwide (NEW)
State Leagues continue to take the lead on advocating for fair redistricting in state capitals across the country. The Texas League and LWVUS jointly submitted comments urging the U.S. Department of Justice to object to the state’s blatantly racially gerrymandered congressional redistricting plan. In Florida, the League and its partners celebrated an important court victory upholding the state’s new Fair Districts amendments. Meanwhile, the Ohio League was commended for its role in promoting a fairer process through its successful redistricting competition, and the LWV of Arizona continued to celebrate the winners of its own redistricting competition, while serving as an ongoing “watchdog” of the state’s redistricting commission.  

Fair Judiciary: Leagues in South Carolina Celebrate Constitution Day (NEW)
The LWV of South Carolina will mark Constitution Day, September 16, by announcing to the public the continuation of the state-wide education campaign “Quest for a More Diverse Judiciary.”  View the press release. Upcoming events are: Hilton Head Island, “A Case for Diversity in South Carolina Courts,” October 12, featuring state Senator Tom Davis; and Greenville, “Safeguarding Democracy: The Quest for an Independent and Diverse Judiciary,” November 15, featuring the Honorable Rebecca Love Kourlis, Executive Director of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System.

Global Democracy: Civic Hosting Program for Eurasian Visitors (NEW)
The LWV of St. Paul (MN) will host board of elections officials and young journalists from the Democratic Republic of Georgia during September 23-October 1. The program agenda includes meetings with radio stations and local newspapers, a meeting with state Senator John Harrington and Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, as well as visits to the state capitol and with local bureau of elections. The delegates also will make a presentation to a class on human rights at Macalester College.

Global Democracy: Interested in Hosting Visitors from Eurasia, Russia and Ukraine? (NEW)
Global Democracy is seeking state and local Leagues interested in hosting citizens from Eurasia, Russia and Ukraine. Hosting dates begin in February and run through September 2012. Leagues interested in participating should contact Zaida Arguedas at zarguedas@lwv.com or call at 202-263-1351 by Wednesday, September 22. Leagues with expertise in social services, election campaign funding, child welfare services, strengthening local governance, and accountable and transparent governments are urged to apply. The project offers pass-through grants and will reimburse all expenses. 

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MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

Help Steer the League: Nominate a League Leader to the National Board (NEW)
The LWVUS Board is made up of members like you from local and state Leagues across the country willing to dedicate two years of their time and effort to the leadership of our national organization.  Do you know someone who has been a great League leader and could be an amazing National Board member? Learn more about the nominating process and nominate someone you know here.

LWVUS Offers Two Voter Service Webinar Opportunities: Register Today (NEW)
On September 21 at 2 PM (ET), "Shaping Tomorrow: Registering Voters" will look into the ins and outs of running a successful voter registration drive. Register now for this session. On October 6th at 2 PM (ET), the LWVUS will present an interactive "Do's and Don'ts on Debate Moderating" webinar in which two moderators (one experienced and one new) respond to “sticky” questions and issues that may arise during a debate. Register for this webinar and you will receive information on running a debate/forum and submitting your own "sticky" questions or situations for the moderators.

NEW Press Template and Other Resources Available: League Celebrates Voters as Nation Observes Founding Principles (NEW)
As election season approaches, take a moment to remind your community about the nation’s founding principles and the League’s good work to strengthen our democracy. Use this press template to gain visibility for the League and inform your community about upcoming elections during the rest of September as we mark the anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. In addition, you will find further resources for Constitution Day here. Also, more civic engagement material from the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, of which the League is a member, are here, including its "Guardian of Democracy: The Civic Mission of Schools" Report to be released today.

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OTHER

LWVUS Annual Telemarketing Outreach Program Runs September 13 to October 15 (NEW)
The LWVUS Development Office wants to alert League leaders that the LWVUS annual fall telemarketing outreach program runs from September 13 to October 15, 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.

You Can Make a Gift That Helps Your League at All Three Levels!
Some things never change even in these challenging economic times. The League of Women Voters Education Fund continues to be at the forefront of public policy issue education which allows citizens to thoughtfully engage in the democratic process. By making a gift of cash or securities of $5,000 or more to the LWVEF Pooled Income Fund, you can receive an immediate income tax deduction for a portion of the gift's value and continue earning a quarterly return on the interest earned for life. Best of all, you can name your state and/or local League, along with the LWVEF, to benefit from the residual funds when you're gone. For more information, please contact the Development office at 202-263-1355 or plannedgiving@lwv.org.


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