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Leaders Update

December 1, 2011

TODAY: December 1, 1955 – Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat and sit in the back of a Montgomery (AL) bus; her arrest ignites the Montgomery Bus Boycott  


  • President’s Message: Website Takes Center Stage! (NEW)


  • LWVUS Legislative Priorities (NEW)
  • League Endorses H.R. 2572, Clean Up Government Act of 2011 (NEW)
  • Save Presidential Public Financing and the Election Assistance Commission (NEW)

EDUCATION FUND (Redistricting; Elections)

  • Redistricting: VA League Says No to Partisan “Do-Overs” (NEW)
  • Elections: League’s Youth Engagement Work Highlighted in Student Leadership Mag (NEW)
  • Elections: LWV of Florida Fights to Stop Voter Suppression (NEW)


  • LAST CALL: Send Us Your Feedback on the LWVUS Membership Brochure (NEW)
  • Get to Know an LWV State Coach: Lynn Young of Colorado (NEW)
  • Media Opportunity: Recognize Bill of Rights Day (NEW)


  • Purchase Impact on Issues (NEW)
  • ‘Tis Better to Give and Receive!



Dear League Leader:

The new website launched this morning! I hope everyone takes time to visit the site, especially, the new home page, and also watch Communications Chair Susan Wilson’s welcome video for members that you received in an earlier email.

You will notice more than new graphics on our site. While the member information that we hope you rely on regularly is better organized and easier to find, this site is aimed at the public as well as our members.

As we enter 2012, in almost every state, more than a major Federal election is happening. I don’t recall an election year when so much of our core democracy is under attack. Our voice is vital in preserving that democracy and making it possible not just for every eligible voter to get informed and vote, but also to preserve a society that is healthy and secure for the public.

There may be times when we need to be more vigorous in commanding the public’s attention to join us in the fight to defend our democracy, but we also want to give the public the chance to see the real value that comes from grassroots involvement. We know how hard League members are working in their communities. We know how thoughtful and interesting our discussions are and that making democracy work begins at the local level.

As we move forward and continue to develop this site, we look forward to working with you to give the site the local flavor that will attract more participation in the League.

So have fun with our new site and give us your feedback!

In League,




LWVUS Legislative Priorities (NEW)
In January, the LWVUS Board of Directors will be setting the League Legislative Priorities for the upcoming year. Setting these priorities for LWVUS action at the national level is an annual responsibility for the Board. Once again, the Board is soliciting suggestions for LWVUS advocacy priorities from members. If you are interested in making suggestions to the Board, please consider the goals and criteria as listed below. While the LWVUS has numerous positions under which we might take action, the Board must prioritize and consider those issues where we might be able to make a difference.
According to the LWVUS Impact on Issues, the goals for setting priorities to guide the LWV advocacy work are to: (1) Enhance the League’s effectiveness by concentrating resources on priority issues; (2) Build the League’s credibility and visibility by projecting a focused and consistent image; (3) Ensure that the League has sufficient issue and political expertise to act knowledgeably; and (4) Enable the League to manage resources effectively. In setting legislative priorities, the Board considers the following: (1) Opportunities for the League to make an impact; (2) Program decisions made at Convention and/or Council; (3) Member interest; and (4) Resources available to manage effectively.
If you would like to make suggestions for LWVUS advocacy priorities, please email Advocacy Committee Chair Judy Duffy: jduffylwv@aol.com. Please indicate whether the suggestions are from an individual member, a committee, board or membership meeting. Suggestions must be received by January 15.

League Endorses H.R. 2572, Clean Up Government Act of 2011 (NEW)
The League and coalition partners sent a letter to House Judiciary Chair Lamar Smith and Ranking Minority Member John Conyers, endorsing the Clean Up Government Act of 2011. H.R. 2572 would restore important tools for federal prosecutors fighting public corruption.

Save Presidential Public Financing and the Election Assistance Commission (NEW)
The League of Women Voters and other concerned organizations oppose H.R. 3463, legislation that would repeal the presidential public financing system AND terminate the Election Assistance Commission. Read the letter here.


EDUCATION FUND (Redistricting; Elections)

Redistricting: VA League Says “No” to Partisan “Do-Overs” (NEW)
The LWV of Virginia sent a message to statewide media last week urging state leaders to follow their constitutional obligation of finalizing a congressional redistricting plan before the end of the year. Not doing so could force the state to move its primary schedule and generate massive confusion for voters and local elections officials. The League also spoke out against published comments from a lawmaker indicating the state legislature could revisit agreed-upon redistricting plans when the state moves to one-party control in January. See Washington Post coverage here.

Elections: League’s Youth Engagement Work Highlighted in Student Leadership Mag (NEW)
The League’s High School Voter Registration program, VOTE411.org and nationwide youth engagement efforts were highlighted in the November cover story of Leadership for Student Activities, a national magazine reaching tens of thousands of school administrators and advisors. What is your League doing to engage young voters in 2012?  Talk about it at your next board meeting, and visit the Members section of the new website for many free voter service resources!

Elections: LWV of Florida Fights to Stop Voter Suppression (NEW)
The LWVFL, in coalition with other state advocates, has filed a lawsuit asking a federal court in DC to deny pre-clearance of four controversial provisions of a new voter suppression law in their state. This week eleven state legislators have been hit with subpoenas. Read more here.



LAST CALL: Send Us Your Feedback on the LWVUS Membership Brochure (NEW)
We want YOUR feedback! Complete this short survey to let us know how we can improve the LWVUS membership brochure. Membership brochures can be used by local Leagues to recruit new members and explain the League’s significance to the community. Please respond by December 2.

Get to Know an LWV State Coach: Lynn Young of Colorado (NEW)
Lynn Young currently coaches two local Leagues in her home state as part of the LWVUS-supported Membership and Leadership Development Program (MLD). Lynn enjoys being a coach because she loves the “good feeling of knowing I have been able to make a difference in some small way.” Lynn helps Leagues work through membership and leadership challenges and is part of a team partnering with a National Coach, who gives them support and ideas, and helps them “think outside of the box.” Cheers to Lynn and all of the MLD State Coaches who are strengthening the League to better serve our democracy!

Media Opportunity: Recognize Bill of Rights Day (NEW)
December 15 is Bill of Rights Day. Customize this media template to generate visibility for your League during this busy holiday season. It’s an easy way to remind your community about the work we are doing, speak to the value of being a member of the League and generate free publicity!



Purchase Impact on Issues (NEW)
Impact on Issues, the League’s public policy handbook, contains a wealth of information, including official statements of position for each program area, a brief history of League actions and achievements, and updates from the 2010 LWVUS Convention. Order your copy here for $9.00.

 ‘Tis Better to Give and Receive!
Your gift of stock before December 31 will help support the important work of the League and may result in tax benefits for you! Learn more on our website.

"Like" the League on Facebook at www.facebook.com/leagueofwomenvoters and connect with us on Twitter: @LWV.

Donate to the League and support our work.