TODAY: April 12, 1892 – Voters in Lockport, NY, are the first in the United States to use voting machines
- President’s Message: Celebrating Our Grassroots Volunteers (NEW)
- New Campaign Finance Task Force (NEW)
- Program Planning Update (NEW)
- Resolution Process Announced (NEW)
- Convention Awards Finalists Announced! (NEW)
- Congressman Mickey Edwards to be Panelist at National Convention! (NEW)
EDUCATION FUND (Elections; Global Democracy)
- Elections: Charleston League Reaches 2,000 Young Voters! Can You? (NEW)
- Elections: Justice Dept. Urges Court to Reject South Carolina’s Request for Declaratory Judgment on Photo ID (NEW)
- Elections: VOTE411 – New Webinars Available
- Global Democracy: The League on the Road to the 9th Forum for the Future (NEW)
MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP
- Register for April 26 Webinar: “Getting It Right – Moderating Debates” (NEW)
- Leadership Changes? Update Your League Officers in the Database
- League Renews Call for President Obama to Respond to FEC Petition (NEW)
- PADFOLIOS – Excellent Gifts for Speakers
- Do You Need to Update Your Will?
Dear League Leader:
No matter where I go or who I talk to, the reputation of the League of Women Voters precedes me. Recently, I had an opportunity to talk to a group of high school students in Washington, DC, for the National Civics and Law Academy, sponsored by the American Bar Association. These students came from all over the country and from all backgrounds. When I asked how many of them had heard of the League of Women Voters, I wasn’t expecting to get much of a response. But I was wrong. Quite a few of the kids were familiar with the League because they came from states where the League has been highly visible on voting issues. Actually, I should not have been surprised. From Capitol Hill to city hall, the League is held in very high esteem because of the work of dedicated volunteers who serve and educate the public and uphold the finest traditions of citizen activists in educating elected and public officials.
Next week is National Volunteer Week (April 15-21). What better time to celebrate our grassroots volunteers who are the heart, soul and backbone of our very special organization. So let us all take heart and stand tall because our work does matter. We do make a difference every single day!
For all you do, thank you.
New Campaign Finance Task Force (NEW)
The LWV Campaign Finance Task Force is now up and running. Its members are: Chris Carson (CA), Pat Donath (MI and LWVUS Board), Allison Feher (WA), Susan Lederman(NJ and former LWVUS President), Ann Luther (ME), Theresa Schneder (MT), Jill Ward (ME), and Co-Chairs Norman Turrill (OR and LWVUS Board) and Judy Duffy (MN and LWVUS Board). The Task Force has been formed to serve as a resource to the Board and provide information and input on campaign finance issues, including short- and long-term strategies for reform. In the short term, the Task Force will be researching and providing information to members on the proposed constitutional amendment proposals which have been introduced in the U.S. Congress in reaction to the Supreme Court's decision on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
Program Planning Update (NEW)
The Board is recommending retention of all LWVUS positions, a concurrence with the LWVDC Position on Sentencing Policy, and a comprehensive program to educate members and communities on the issue of campaign finance. Details will be included in the Convention Workbook, which will be posted on the website at the end of April. Any League that has proposed a concurrence through Program Planning and will be bringing the proposal to the Convention must have sent background information, including pros and cons on the issue and an explanation of the rationale for using this form of member agreement, to all Leagues at least six weeks before Convention (April 28 this year). Once annually a League may order from the LWVUS (email@example.com), at no charge, an electronic list of the names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of state and local League and ILO presidents/co-presidents.
Resolution Process Announced (NEW)
A process by which Resolutions can be introduced and debated at Convention 2012 will be presented to delegates as part of the Convention Rules. Learn more here. The Proposed Convention Rules are provided in the Convention Workbook, which will be posted on the website later this month. The Resolutions Committee referenced in the Proposed Rules has been appointed. Thanks in advance for their service to: Committee Chair Barbara Zia (SC), Caroline Emmons-Schramm (FL), Helen Hutchison (CA), Mary Klenz (LWVUS) and Elaine Wiant (LWVUS). Any questions about the process or specific proposals can be directed to the Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Convention Awards Finalists Announced! (NEW)
A League committee has selected finalists from each of the 4 Convention Award categories. Effective Member Engagement: LWV of Westport (CT), LWV of Palm Beach County (FL), LWV of Minnesota (MN), LWV of Saint Paul (MN). Strengthening Democracy: LWV of Minnesota (MN), LWV of Mobile (AL), LWV of South Carolina (SC), LWV of Texas (TX). High Impact Online Engagement: LWV of Florida (FL), LWV of Asheville-Buncombe County (NC), LWV of Calumet Area (IN), LWV of Michigan (MI). Community Connection: LWV of Greater Green Bay (WI), LWV of Oakland Area (MI), LWV of the Pasadena Area (CA), LWV of New York (NY). You will have a chance to vote online for your favorite in each category via the LWVUS website later this month. Check out www.lwv.org and future Leader’s Updates for details.
Congressman Mickey Edwards to be Panelist at National Convention! (NEW)
Former Congressman from Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District (1977-93) Mickey Edwards will be a panelist at National Convention this year. After his term in Congress, Edwards was a professor at Harvard, both the Kennedy School of Government and the Law School, and is currently director of the Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership. Edwards is a strong advocate for bipartisanship and civility and will be right at home with us at the League! League members will be treated to a preview of some ideas for solutions to the partisan gridlock plaguing Congress that Edwards presents in his new book to be published later this summer.
EDUCATION FUND (Elections; Global Democracy)
Elections: Charleston League Reaches 2,000 Young Voters! Can You? (NEW)
Congrats to the LWV of Charleston (SC) League for its incredible work to engage young voters! So far in 2012, the Charleston League has helped more than 2,000 high school students register to vote as part of the LWVEF 2012 High School Voter Registration Project. What is your League doing to engage new voters? Tell us on Facebook, and sign up for our upcoming voter registration training webinar (April 27 at 3pm EDT) online here.
Elections: Justice Dept. Urges Court to Reject South Carolina’s Request for Declaratory Judgment on Photo ID (NEW)
The LWV of South Carolina has joined the U.S. Dept. of Justice in fighting the implementation of South Carolina’s new photo ID law. This week the DOJ filed papers asking the three-judge panel to reject the state’s request for declaratory judgment. In a separate filling, South Carolina told the court it must make a decision in the matter before August 1st to allow enough time to implement the new law for the November elections. Learn more about the case here.
Elections: VOTE411 – New Webinars Available
Good news: Two new webinars for VOTE411 Voters’ Guide Software are now available. The Voters’ Guide Software 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 new webinars are: Alternate Language and Mail Merge. These webinars, along with the Basic Training, Spreadsheet Upload and GIS Data webinars, can be found at the bottom of this page. For more information about the webinars or if you have any questions about VOTE411 and how you can get involved, contact Megan Brown (email@example.com).
Global Democracy: The League on the Road to the 9th Forum for the Future (NEW)
Do you know what it means for the League to be the G-8 BMENA NGO partner of the U.S. Government? You can find out here.
MEMBERSHIP AND LEADERSHIP
Register for April 26 Webinar: “Getting It Right – Moderating Debates” (NEW)
Hosting candidates’ forums is a cornerstone of League work. Make sure your debate moderator is ready for this year’s election cycle! Join LWVUS Board Member Marcia Merrins and learn how to moderate a debate effectively on April 26, 1:00 pm EST. Register here.
Leadership Changes? Update Your League Officers in the Database
If your League has a change in leadership, don’t forget to update your League’s officers’ information in the LWVUS database. If you have any questions or need help, please contact Betty Taira.
League Again Calls on President to Answer FEC Petition (NEW)
The League joined coalition partners in calling on the President to respond and take action on the effort to nominate new commissioners to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). The effort collected over 27,000 signatures through the “We the People” petition process on WhiteHouse.gov. Petitions are required to reach a 25,000 signature threshold in order to solicit a response from the Administration. The FEC petition hit that goal 2 months ago. Read our blog.
PADFOLIOS – Excellent Gifts for Speakers
Find them here at the online store for just $6.00 during the month of April.
Do You Need to Update Your Will?
Have you moved? Had a child? Gotten married recently? Or maybe there's a new grandchild or stepchild in your life? Any one of these major life events is reason enough to update your will. It is always important to stay in touch with your attorney regarding any changes in estate and probate law. While you're updating your plans, don't forget to include a gift for your favorite charities, like the League of Women Voters Education Fund – to strengthen the pillars of our democracy for years to come. If you have already included a gift for the LWV in your will or trust, but have not previously informed us, or if you have been thinking about setting up a gift that provides income, such as a charitable gift annuity, please contact the Development office by email or at 202-263-1355.
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