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Leader's Update

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Leaders Update


September 22, 2011

TODAY: September 22, 1961, Peace Corps established

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

  • President’s Message: An Intern’s Story and the League (NEW)
  • Know Supportive, Enthusiastic League Leaders? Nominate Them to Be a National Coach! (NEW)

EDUCATION FUND (Privatization Study; Elections)

  • Privatization Study Discussion List Now Available (NEW)
  • Elections: Last Chance to Apply for Spring 2012 Youth Voter Registration Grants!
  • Elections: Federal Judge Upholds Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (NEW)
  • Redistricting: Justice Department Aligns with League on TX Redistricting (NEW)
  • Redistricting: Pennsylvania League Members Weigh In (NEW)

ADVOCACY

  • League Urges Lobbying Disclosure for Members of Deficit Reduction Committee (NEW)
  • League Is Concerned about the Delay of Pollution Regulation (NEW)
  • A Global Day of Climate Action on September 24! (NEW)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Have YOU Nominated a League Leader to the National Board? Deadline is Oct. 3 (NEW)
  • Do You Want to Raise Tax-deductible Funds for Your League? (NEW)
  • Moderating a Forum this Election Season? Register for Upcoming Webinar (NEW)

OTHER

  • You Can Make a Gift That Helps Your League at All Three Levels

 

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

Dear League Leaders:

In the early days of the League, President Belle Sherwin described the League as "a university without walls…whose members enter to learn and remain to shape the curriculum.”  Back in the 1920s, the League’s curriculum included an all-out fight for child welfare and against child labor.

Today, the curriculum is focused in great measure on the rights of all Americans to register and vote, but the concept that we come to learn is still the same. A summer intern at the LWVUS recounted her experience working on elections and redistricting, and concluded that “working at the League of Women Voters can be a life changing experience if you go into it with a passion for public advocacy and a desire to learn.” Every volunteer who assists with a League project, like Vote411, does not have to join to have a lasting League experience. Our young members and young volunteers are truly assets to the League.

We come to the League for many different reasons, but as I have had the privilege to travel the country and meet our members, my own experience with the League is constantly reinforced. Just like our intern, I have gotten out of the League what I put into it and so much more. We can all be proud that we are strong advocates for our communities as well as an invaluable resource for each other.

Thank you for all you do because it makes a real difference.

In League,

Elisabeth

Know Supportive, Enthusiastic League Leaders? Nominate Them to Be a National Coach! (NEW)
The LWVUS is looking for enthusiastic, supportive and committed League leaders to join our team of Ruth S. Shur Fellows who act as National Coaches to mentor and guide state teams. A Fellow will receive training in membership and leadership development best practices and coaching techniques; have the opportunity to network with League leaders from around the country; and make lasting friendships along the way. The online nomination form is available here. Nominations must be submitted by November 7, 2011.

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EDUCATION FUND (Privatization Study; Elections; Redistricting)

Privatization Study Discussion List Now Available (NEW)
The Privatization Study list is now available for members to hold discussions on this topic. Sign up for the list here.  Papers written by the Study Committee will be posted on the website in the coming weeks. As a reminder, the scope of this study is “to identify those parameters and policy issues to be considered in connection with proposals to transfer federal, state or local government services, assets and/or functions to the private sector. It will review the stated goals and the community impact of such transfers, and identify strategies to ensure transparency, accountability, and preservation of the common good.” Consider what is happening in your local community or state with regard to transferring some government services to the private sector. Are you aware of the policy issues associated with such a transfer? The study papers will offer some guidelines for best practices that should be considered in these efforts, whether they affect your public libraries, your public schools or your state’s highway system.

Elections: Last Chance to Apply for Spring 2012 Youth Voter Registration Grants! Next Friday, September 30, is the deadline for Leagues to apply for funds to support voter registration activities in high schools, community colleges and alternative schools in underrepresented communities next spring. Go here to download a project description and application. Participating Leagues will use the LWVEF’s new Empowering the Voters of Tomorrow training manual. Contact Maggie Duncan (mduncan@lwv.org) for more information.

Elections: Federal Judge Upholds Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (NEW)
In a significant ruling, a federal judge upheld section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires states with a history of voter suppression to seek approval before implementing changes to their voting laws. The last state legislative sessions demonstrate the need for such continued oversight – multiple legislatures implemented voter photo ID and proof of citizenship requirements as a prerequisite to voting as well as shortening early voting periods and attacking Election Day registration. Read more about this from the ACLU.

Redistricting: Justice Department Aligns with League on TX Redistricting (NEW)
Following last week’s submission of an LWVUS/LWVTX comment letter urging the Department of Justice to object to Texas’s congressional redistricting plan, the Department indicated Monday that it believes the plan fails to comply with requirements set forth by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Read news coverage here. The League in Texas and other key states will continue to stand up for the rights of minority voters as the redistricting process wraps up across the country.    

Redistricting: Pennsylvania League Members Weigh In (NEW)
League leaders in Allentown and Pittsburgh recently provided testimony at official redistricting hearings. They urged the state’s Legislative Reapportionment Commission to adopt a fair and transparent process that results in districts that preserve the cores of existing communities, avoid diluting the voting strength of minority voters, and establish improved partisan balance across the Commonwealth. Learn more at http://palwv.org.

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ADVOCACY

League Urges Lobbying Disclosure for Members of Deficit Reduction Committee (NEW)
The League and coalition partners sent a letter to members of the Committee on Deficit Reduction urging them to take steps immediately to voluntarily disclose the efforts of outside interests to lobby them on matters  related to the business of the committee.

League Is Concerned about the Delay of Pollution Regulation (NEW)
The League and coalition groups sent a letter to the White House expressing deep concern that the Environmental Protection Agency will not meet its commitment to propose long overdue Clean Air Act standards limiting dangerous carbon pollution from new and existing power plants. They also asked the President to reaffirm the administration’s commitment to issue strong standards that significantly reduce carbon emissions from both new and existing power plants as the Clean Air Act requires.

A Global Day of Climate Action on September 24! (NEW)
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. The League is 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. Moving Planet is coordinated by 350.org, the lead sponsor of last year's international day of action (the 10/10/10 campaign).

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MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

Have YOU Nominated a League Leader to the National Board? Deadline is Oct. 3 (NEW)
The LWVUS Board is made up of members like you, from local and state Leagues across the country, who are willing to dedicate two years of their time and effort to the management 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. Nominations must be postmarked by October 3.

Do You Want to Raise Tax-deductible Funds for Your League? (NEW)
The League of Women Voters has an education fund that is available to all Leagues to use to fundraise tax-deductible dollars. This FREE service allows all state and local Leagues access to a 501(c)(3) account without going through the legal and tax wrangling of starting their own. Your state League may offer a similar service. If not, setting up an account with the LWVUS is quick and easy!  Contact Sarah Peterson at GrantServices@lwv.org and find information on how to use your education fund here .

Moderating a Forum this Election Season? Register for Upcoming Webinar (NEW)
On October 6th, 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) spontaneously 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 on submitting your own "sticky" questions or situations for the moderators.

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OTHER

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.

"Like" the League on Facebook at www.facebook.com/leagueofwomenvoters
Donate to the League on our Facebook Causes page.

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