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Leader's Update

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Leaders Update


March 15, 2012

TODAY: March 15, 1965 – President Lyndon B. Johnson addresses a joint session of Congress to urge the passage of legislation guaranteeing voting rights for all

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

  • President’s Message: Transparency and Voting Rights (NEW)

CONVENTION

  • Fun, Learning and More at This Year’s Convention! (NEW)
  • LAST CALL: Nominate Your League for a Convention Award Today!

EDUCATION FUND (Sunshine Week; Elections; Redistricting)

  • Sunshine Week Webcast Is This Friday Afternoon (NEW)
  • Elections: New Webinars Available (NEW)
  • Elections: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back (NEW)
  • Redistricting: FL Court Rejects Redistricting Map, Validates League Concerns (NEW)

ADVOCACY

  • League Urges Full Funding of Title X Federal Family Planning Program (NEW)
  • League Joins Supreme Court Amicus Brief on Affordable Care Act (NEW)
  • Stand up for Women’s Rights (NEW)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Navigating the New LWVUS Website (NEW)
  • Share Your League Story with Us Today! (NEW)

OTHER

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

 

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

Dear League Leader:

Sunshine Week is coming to a close, and the League is celebrating more than transparency. Even as we continue to fight voter suppression legislation in states from Maine to Colorado, a Circuit Court judge in Wisconsin struck down the Wisconsin Voter ID law under the Wisconsin Constitution, and Texas joined South Carolina as a Voting Rights Act preclearance state, foiled in its effort to impose ID requirements on voters by the Justice Department. Read our joint statement here. This is welcome news as many state Leagues enter their second year fighting back legislation designed to impact as many as five million eligible voters this year, and the Pennsylvania Governor, after a hard fought battle by LWVPA and others, signed a voter photo ID bill yesterday. The fight is definitely far from over.

In honor of Sunshine Week, the League joined other watchdog groups asking presidential candidates and President Obama to reveal more details about fundraisers for their presidential campaigns who bundle contributions in amounts greatly exceeding what they would be permitted to contribute on their own. Demanding more transparency also comes during an election year in which candidates, party committees and outside groups are expected to spend unprecedented amounts to influence more than the outcome.

Thanks to your hard work, we are Powering the Vote in 2012!

In League,

Elisabeth

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CONVENTION

Fun, Learning and More at This Year’s Convention! (NEW)
For laughter, we have the Capitol Steps. For silver palates, we have a dine-around in one of the greatest cities in the world. For your intellectual spa treatment, we have Eleanor Clift, political reporter, television pundit and author, who also is a contributing editor for Newsweek magazine. She is a regular panelist on the nationally syndicated show The McLaughlin Group, which she has compared to “a televised food fight.” This is going to be the best Convention ever!

LAST CALL: Nominate Your League for a Convention Award Today!
Has your League reached out to energize, educate and engage community members who statistically don't vote?  Has your League been energized using online opportunities with blogs, Facebook and Twitter? Nominate your League to win a Convention Award and be honored for your good work at this year’s National Convention! Apply here. Applications will be accepted until Monday, March 19.

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EDUCATION FUND (Sunshine Week; Elections; Redistricting)

Sunshine Week Webcast Is This Friday Afternoon (NEW)
The LWVEF is co-sponsoring the 7th annual Sunshine Week National Discussion, which will be broadcast tomorrow, March 16, 1:15-3:30 pm ET. This year's webcast will feature Dana Priest, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of Top Secret America.  Participate in the live webcast by submitting your questions and comments to panelists via email and phone. Find more information here. A letter to the editor template is available for Leagues to customize and submit to local media outlets.

Elections: New Webinars Available (NEW)
Updated webinars for VOTE411’s Voters’ Guide software are now available. This system allows state and local Leagues to gather and publish candidate information with ease, consistency and visibility. These webinars provide helpful information and training for Leagues currently using the software and for Leagues interested in learning more about this effective tool. The webinars currently available are: Basic Training, Spreadsheet Upload and GIS Data. All three can be found at the bottom of this page. For more information about these webinars or if you have any questions about VOTE411 and how you can get involved, contact Megan Brown (mbrown@lwv.org).

Elections: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back (NEW)
On Monday we saw two big wins in our war against voter suppression laws. One, in a case brought by the LWVWI, the Dane County 9th Circuit Court announced a permanent injunction against implementation of the nation’s most restrictive voter photo ID law. Read the decision here. The state will appeal this decision. Two, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) denied Texas preclearance of its voter photo ID law. The state has officially appealed this decision, including a challenge of section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, in the U.S. District Court in DC. The LWVTX is planning to intervene in this case. Read more, including about the DOJ denial letter here and the joint LWVUS, LWVTX and LWVWI press statement here. The step back came after a hard fought battle by LWVPA and coalition members. The Pennsylvania legislature passed a voter photo ID bill yesterday. The Governor signed it into law immediately. We expect lawsuits to be filed in the near future. Read more here.

Redistricting: FL Court Rejects Redistricting Map, Validates League Concerns (NEW)
Celebrating the latest in a recent string of redistricting victories, the Florida League praised the state Supreme Court’s rejection of the state Senate redistricting plan originally passed by the state legislature. Declaring that the court’s 5-2 ruling puts “elected officials on notice they cannot ignore the constitution and abuse the public trust by drawing districts to favor themselves,” the League and its partners pledged to continue to advocate for fair districts as the legislature goes back to the drawing board.

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ADVOCACY

League Urges Full Funding of Title X Federal Family Planning Program (NEW)
The LWVUS Lobby Corps will be visiting Senate offices over the next few weeks to ask Senators to fully fund the Title X federal family planning program for the $327 million requested in President Obama’s FY 2013 budget. Read the message the Lobby Corps is carrying to the Senate here.

League Joins Supreme Court Amicus Brief on Affordable Care Act (NEW)
On March 26, the Supreme Court will be hearing oral argument on legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act. The League of Women Voters joined a broad coalition of healthcare, education and child welfare organizations in filing an amicus brief on the Affordable Care Act. The amicus brief argues that the challenge to the Affordable Care Act's expansion of Medicaid eligibility jeopardizes a broad range of federal-state programs and antidiscrimination protections that hinge on the U.S. Constitution's "Spending Clause.”

Stand up for Women’s Rights (NEW)
On March 8, in a 51-48 vote, the U.S. Senate rejected an amendment by Senator Blunt to block contraceptive services and discriminate against women. This amendment would have limited access to contraceptive serves for women based on an employer or insurance plan having “religious or moral objections.” You helped defeat the Blunt amendment, but this vote was just the first battle in the fight over contraception. We need to keep the pressure up by continuing to let Senators know where we stand. Go here to thank those who stood with us and to tell those who did not why this issue is so very important.

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MEMBERSHIP AND LEADERSHIP

Navigating the New LWVUS Website (NEW)
The new and improved www.lwv.org has so much to offer! Take some time now to get acquainted with the new website. Find documents like Impact on Issues and the ABC’s of a Streamlined League under the “Essential Publications” in the League Essentials area of the Members section. Look out for more tips in future Leaders’ Updates.

Share Your League Story with Us Today! (NEW)
The LWVUS wants to hear from you about the League’s impact on your life and how you’ve impacted your community by being a League member. Share your League story today and let us know why you love the League!

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

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