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Leaders Update

December15, 2011

YESTERDAY:  Dec 14, 1961 – President’s Commission on the Status of Women established to examine discrimination against women and ways to eliminate it


  • President’s Message: Call to Arms! (NEW)
  • Program Planning Material Online


  • Elections: Voters Depend on Attorney General Holder for Real Action (NEW)
  • Elections: LWV Fights Voter Suppression Laws – Multiple Fronts in Multiple Ways (NEW)
  • “Patriocracy”: Just Released Movie about the US Political Divide and Some Possible Solutions (NEW)


  • REMINDER #4: Renew Your Members and Update the Database (NEW)
  • How to Login to the New LWVUS Website (NEW)
  • Submit Your League Picture to the LWVUS Membership Brochure Contest! (NEW)


  • LWVUS Legislative Priorities


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



***SPECIAL NOTE***  Best wishes for a joyous holiday season! The Leaders' Update is taking a holiday break for the next two weeks. We will be back on January 5!

Dear League Leader:

The end of a very busy year is approaching and offers lots of opportunity to reflect on the work that we have done and the work ahead.

I’d like to focus on the work ahead simply because of its urgency. Many state legislatures have managed to make it more difficult for citizens to vote in the upcoming 2012 elections. This week, the Attorney General of the United States finally acknowledged what we, in the League, have known for a long time. Voting rights are being undermined in a variety of ways in a majority of the states. The time for action is now if we want the 2012 election to be fair.

Whatever course the Department of Justice takes over the next few months, we know that state legislatures will be coming back into session next year, and efforts will be renewed to require voter ID, curb early voting and discourage groups like the League from registering voters. We, who understand the importance of full participation, must continue to oppose these efforts in every way possible. Whatever barriers the states throw up, we must work to overcome them. We know this is an organized effort, but regardless of who is behind it or what is motivating it, we must be just as organized and just as determined to make the process work for every voter and to make every vote count.

This past year, the League has been very involved in “protecting the voter” activities in various capacities. In mid-November, I was on Capitol Hill to speak about the impact of 2011 state-passed voting legislation. If you missed it, you may view my testimony here.

Our state Leagues have been busy, too, fighting back against these anti-voter measures! See the piece under Education Fund/Elections below for recent examples. Still, there is so much more to do.

This final message for 2011, then, is a call to arms to all Leagues! Let’s roll up our sleeves and do the valuable work for which we are best known and best qualified. Let’s get out and register new voters, provide Voters' Guides, participate in VOTE411, host candidate debates and forums, and mobilize voters for the 2012 elections!

In League,


Program Planning Material Online
Every two years state and local Leagues and ILO’s participate in the LWVUS Program Planning process by making recommendations concerning program issues – this is one of the ways we remain a grassroots organization. The Program Planning process is an important League tool for identifying issues for study, review and update or concurrence. Here is the guide to assist you in your January/February meetings on Program Planning.  The deadline for submitting online program planning response forms is March 1, 2012.   



Elections: Voters Depend on the Attorney General for Real Action (NEW)
Earlier this week, U.S. Attorney General Holder traveled to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library & Museum in Texas to address the growing momentum behind anti-voter laws. In its statement, the League applauded Holder’s speech, but expressed disappointment in the Department of Justice’s record on voting rights enforcement. The League called on the DOJ to act more forcefully and without delay to ensure fair elections in 2012. Also, see the League's press release prior to Holder’s speech, and a sampling of the extensive media coverage: The New York Times, The Washington Post, Talking Points Memo (TPM) and Los Angeles Times.

Elections: LWV Fights Voter Suppression Laws – Multiple Fronts in Multiple Ways (NEW)
As voter suppression laws sweep the nation, the League is fighting back in a variety of ways. The LWV of Kansas is working in coalition to help educate and register voters before new, stricter laws go into effect. The LWV of South Carolina steps up the pressure urging the US Department of Justice to deny pre-clearance of the state’s voter ID law. The LWV of Ohio, working with other organizations, succeeded in getting a measure on the ballot to overturn a newly enacted law that would significantly decrease the number of early voting hours in Ohio. The LWV of Florida has taken its message to national TV! LWVFL President Deirdre McNabb eloquently rebuffed a state legislator, who supported the state’s new restrictions on citizen registration drives.

“Patriocracy”: Just Released Movie about the US Political Divide and Some Possible Solutions (NEW)
A new documentary, “Patriocracy,” offers a non-partisan examination of the Washington dysfunction and hyper-partisanship undermining America's ability to tackle its most serious problems. Since the movie offers a compelling backdrop to the election year ahead, the LWVUS is partnering with the Leagues of both New Hampshire and South Carolina to show this film just prior to the presidential primaries in their states. President Elisabeth MacNamara will lead a panel discussion following each screening. It is anticipated that national press will be in attendance.
All Leagues are encouraged to sponsor their own public showings of this film, which will serve both educational and visibility objectives. Interested Leagues should contact Brian Malone, the producer and head of Malone Media Group, LLC, directly at brian@malonetv.com or 303-888-9649. A small charge is anticipated, but may vary depending on the screening venue and the audience size.
Brian Malone is a five-time Emmy® Award winner and has produced more than a dozen independent documentaries for broadcast and cable. His programs have aired nationally on PBS and cable networks, covering the gamut from Grammy-Award-Winning recording artists, to environmental issues, to Native American culture.



REMINDER #4: Renew Your Members and Update the Database (NEW)
With 2011 coming to a close, it is the perfect time to reach out to your current members and ask them to renew. Often, League members want to continue being members, but don’t renew because they are never asked. Don’t let this happen to your League! Find resources to help you connect to and retain current members here. Remember to update your renewed members’ expiration dates in the database by January 31, 2012.

Submit Your League Picture to the LWVUS Membership Brochure Contest! (NEW)
The LWVUS is redesigning the Membership Brochure for 2012 and YOUR League could be featured in it! Submit a picture online of your League in action and enter to win a spot on the LWVUS Membership Brochure. Pictures must be high resolution (at least 300 dpi and 4”x6” in size) and submitted online by Friday, January 13, 2012. The winning League will also receive 100 Membership Brochures courtesy of the LWVUS.

How to Login to the New LWVUS Website (NEW)
Need to login to the LWVUS website but don’t know how? It’s easy! Simply go to www.lwv.org and click “Login” in the top right-hand corner of the page. Enter your user name and password.



LWVUS Legislative Priorities
In January, the LWVUS Board of Directors will be setting the League Legislative Priorities for the upcoming year. Once again, the Board is soliciting suggestions for LWVUS advocacy priorities from members. If you are interested in making suggestions to the Board, please refer to the Dec. 1 Update for full instructions.



Purchase Impact on Issues
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.