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Leader's Update

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Leaders Update


January12, 2012

TODAY: January 12, 1932 - Hattie Wyatt Caraway (D-Arkansas) is the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate. She was the first woman to chair a Senate Committee and serve as the Senate's presiding officer.

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

  • President’s Message: Election Year Challenge (NEW)  

CONVENTION

  • LWVUS Convention Awards (NEW)
  • Wares Market (NEW)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Reminder #6: Renew Your Members and Update the Database (NEW)
  • DEADLINE EXTENDED: Submit Your League Picture to the LWVUS Membership Brochure Contest!
  • Tour the New LWVUS Members Section (NEW)

EDUCATION FUND (Elections)

  • Elections: Voter Registration Tips and Training on 1/18, 2pm EST (NEW)
  • Elections: VOTE411’s Online Voters’ Guide Software Webinars – Sign Up Today (NEW)
  • Elections: Anticipating More Good News from the DOJ (NEW)
  • Elections: State Leagues Plan Poll Observer Programs in Photo ID States (NEW)

ADVOCACY

  • ACTION ALERT: Fight Back Against Citizens United (NEW)
  • LAST CALL: Submit LWVUS Legislative Priority Suggestions by January 15

COMMUNICATIONS

  • Showcasing Our State and Local Leagues in Action (NEW)
  • League Social Media Support Group Update (NEW)

OTHER

  • Purchase Impact on Issues
  • You Can Make a Gift That Helps Your League at All Three Levels!

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

Dear League Leader:

The Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire primary are now behind us, and a long election year is ahead. I had the opportunity to visit Concord, New Hampshire, over the weekend, and believe me it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of the primary. Concord has a compact and historic downtown. Sunday morning, a quaint main street of shops and eateries was occupied by supporters of candidates, protestors and activists. Much to the dismay of local citizens, there was no snow, but Christmas lights and wreaths remained to make the scene cheery.

Presidential campaigns are remote activities for most of us. We hear about invitation-only events and see endless political advertising, but we rarely stay in the same Fairfield Inn as Newt Gingrich! Voters in Iowa and New Hampshire expect presidential candidates to engage in ‘retail’ politics and the candidates oblige. There must be a lesson in that for voters in the rest of the country. Perhaps if more of us expected more from candidates, more candidates would oblige with better behavior and campaign tactics.

Let’s commit to raising voter knowledge and expectations over the next few months and demand more from the political process, just like the voters in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Let’s challenge ourselves to see if every League can:

  • Host at least 5 registration events;
  • Host at least 1 candidate forum/debate;
  • Pursue a statewide or local online voters’ guide;
  • Meet with state and/or local elections officials;
  • Identify five key media contacts and communicate at least once monthly with each of them (i.e., become a resource);
  • Conduct get-out-the-vote efforts with registrants, volunteers and online networks;
  • Consider a poll watching/poll worker recruitment program.

In League,

Elisabeth

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CONVENTION

LWVUS Convention Awards (NEW)
The LWVUS would like to recognize our state and local Leagues’ outstanding program work. Since this is a major election year, the LWVUS wants to highlight your League’s projects around elections, voter service and reform. The Convention theme focuses on the “Power of the Vote,” and we can’t think of a better way to showcase the League of Women Voters than highlighting your success! Please visit the Convention Section of the LWVUS website to learn more about how your League can apply to win a Convention Award! 

Wares Market (NEW)
The “wares market” is one of the best parts of Convention. We get to shop and chat! Looking for clever items to promote the League is a way to relax during those frenetic few days. Good News! There will be no charge for a table to sell your fabulous League products in the wares market. We will provide the table and signage for your League. The area will accommodate just 20 tables for Leagues only, so they will be assigned on a “first come, first served” basis. Email Natalie Testa, ntesta@lwv.org, as soon as possible with your League name, person responsible and items for sale or distribution. There will be no security guard. You are responsible for your wares, including shipment to the hotel and retrieval from the storage area.

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MEMBERSHIP AND LEADERSHIP

Reminder #6: Renew Your Members and Update the Database (NEW)
Now is the perfect time to reach out to your current members and ask them to renew. Often, League members want to continue being a member but do not renew because they are never asked. Don’t let this happen to your League! Find resources here to help you connect to and retain current members. Remember to update your renewed members’ expiration dates in the database by January 31, 2012. Need help updating the database? Email membership@lwv.org.

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Submit Your League Picture to the LWVUS Membership Brochure Contest!
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 27, 2012. The winning League will also receive 100 Membership Brochures. Have questions? Contact Sara Sanders, SSanders@lwv.org.

Tour the New LWVUS Members Section (NEW)
In December, the League rolled out its new website, which includes an updated look for the Members section based on your feedback. Do visit www.lwv.org and click on “Members” (top right corner of the homepage) to ensure you know where important tools and resources relevant to your League and your position within it are now located. We encourage you to contact the Membership team, membership@lwv.org, if you have any questions.

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EDUCATION FUND (Elections)

Elections: Voter Registration Tips and Training on 1/18, 2pm EST (NEW)
Join the LWVEF for an interactive training webinar covering all you need to know to conduct effective voter registration in 2012! Hear tips from our in-house registration experts, and share your own experiences with your colleagues from across the country.  Sign up for the free training webinar here. The webinar will start promptly at 2pm EST on Tuesday, January 18; it will last one hour.

Elections: VOTE411’s Online Voters’ Guide Software Webinars – Sign Up Today (NEW)
Join the LWVEF for an interactive basic training webinar covering all you need to know to get started using VOTE411’s Online Voters’ Guide software. Because the system has been updated based on member feedback, these webinars will be useful to new and experienced users alike. Additional advanced training webinars will be available in the future. Sign up now for Saturday, January 21, 1pm (EST) or Monday, January 30, 12pm (EST). Each webinar will last one hour.  

Elections: Anticipating More Good News from the DOJ (NEW)
Last week’s Update focused on the Department of Justice’s decision to deny pre-clearance of the South Carolina Voter ID law – a great victory for the League and voting rights advocates everywhere. This week we await the DOJ’s decision on the ID law in Texas. Alabama and Mississippi are also awaiting a DOJ pre-clearance determination regarding new ID laws, and Florida is waiting for a decision on voter registration restrictions. Learn more about the pre-clearance process from the Leadership Conference here.

Elections: State Leagues Plan Poll Observer Programs in Photo ID States (NEW)
In those states that have already passed an ID law, the League is actively educating voters and monitoring the effects of the law. Wisconsin and Tennessee have implemented poll observers programs. Here is a news report describing LWVTN’s plans.

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ADVOCACY

ACTION ALERT: Fight Back Against Citizens United (NEW)
The LWVUS joined in a call to action asking supporters to sign a petition to the White House urging President Obama to appoint new commissioners to the Federal Election Commission. At the press conference, LWVUS Senior Director of Advocacy Lloyd Leonard spoke about the League’s involvement and the importance of this first step towards fighting back against Citizens United. Media coverage included The Washington Times, Roll Call and The Hill.

LAST CALL: Submit LWVUS Legislative Priority Suggestions by January 15
The LWVUS Board of Directors will be setting the League Legislative Priorities for the upcoming year at the end of this month. 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, indicating whether the suggestions are from an individual member, a committee, board or membership meeting. Suggestions must be received by January 15.

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COMMUNICATIONS

Showcasing Our State and Local Leagues in Action (NEW)
Yesterday, we added to our blog a new, recurring series, “This Week around the League,” to share with the public the many ways our Leagues and members are having an impact in their communities across the country.

League Social Media Support Group Update (NEW)
The League of Women Voters New Media Facebook group is still going strong. We have 142 members from Leagues around the country who discuss using social media with their Leagues, ask each other questions, and share articles, blogs and best practices. Karen Oelschlaeger, online communications director of the LWV of Asheville-Buncombe County, notes that the group “...is a great way to connect with other local Leagues across the country. It's a fun, interactive way to share relevant content, troubleshoot technical difficulties, and connect with other Leagues' communications teams...all while learning more about social media strategy! Truly an invaluable resource for those of us branching out into the area of new media and online communications.” Group members range from beginners to regular users of social media and technology. All share ideas and ask questions, with the idea that helping each other develop social communications skills helps all of our Leagues. If you or other members of your League want to develop your social media skills, join us in the League of Women Voters New Media Facebook group.

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OTHER

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.

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 and connect with us on Twitter: @LWV.
Donate to the League and support our work.

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