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Leaders Update


April 19, 2012

TODAY: April 19, 1775 – The American Revolution begins when fighting breaks out in Lexington, Massachusetts

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

  • President’s Message: We Are on the Right Road (NEW)
  • 2011 Annual Report Available Online (NEW)

CONVENTION

  • What Can You Expect at the Convention Banquet? (NEW)
  • Announcing the Campaign Oversight Committee (NEW)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Last Call to Register for Webinar on 4/26: “Getting It Right- Moderating Debates”
  • This Week is National Volunteer Week! (NEW)
  • Honor Your 50-Year Members at Your Annual Meeting!

EDUCATION FUND (Elections; Privatization; Global Democracy; Fair Judiciary)

  • Elections: LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER for Webinar on Voter Registration, 4/27, 3pm EDT
  • Elections: Big Win for Voting Rights! (NEW)
  • Elections: WI Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Photo ID Cases (NEW)
  • Elections: Two Blog Posts This Week on Voter Protection Issues (NEW)
  • REMINDER: Privatization Study Consensus Deadline Approaching! (NEW)
  • Global Democracy: On the League’s Role as Executing Partner of the U.S. Government (NEW)
  • Fair Judiciary:  Washington Local Leagues Host Diversity Forums (NEW)
  • Fair Judiciary:  Cedar Rapids/Marion (IA) League Hosts Forum on Judicial Retention (NEW)

ADVOCACY

  • Lobby Corps Carries DISCLOSE letter to Senate (NEW)
  • Administration’s Greenhouse Gas Rule Is Major Step in Controlling Climate Change (NEW)

OTHER

  • LWVUS Annual Telemarketing Outreach Program Runs April 17 to May 20 (NEW)
  • PADFOLIOS – Excellent Gifts for Speakers
  • Leaving a Legacy

 

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

Dear League Leader:

This past weekend, I had the privilege of attending the convention of the League of Women Voters of Texas. League conventions are always a treat. I come away energized and in awe of the work that Leagues are doing in all 50 states. It was particularly poignant to be in Texas, however, because of our recent success in blocking the Texas photo ID law from taking effect. Of course, Texas is not the only success story we have seen recently. While the fight is far from over on voter suppression legislation, the hard work our Leagues have been doing has resulted in more success than failure.

Proponents of voter ID and proof of citizenship are discovering that in League “we are neither reactionary nor radical, that we are advancing firmly, steadily, straight forward along that middle road of which we believe means sane and orderly progress towards the realization of the great ideal of our nation.” (Maude Wood Park, 1923)  In other words, we won’t give up because we know that our course of inclusion and participation is the only way forward.

That idea was reinforced this week with a resounding victory in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which struck down Arizona’s Proposition 200 requiring citizens to provide documentary proof of citizenship when registering and voting. An almost unanimous court accepted the arguments in the amicus brief filed by the LWVAZ and LWVUS. Coupled with action by the Department of Justice in Texas and South Carolina as well as our successes in state legislatures and governors’ offices, this decision shows us that we are on the right road and that slowly, but surely, we will progress toward realizing the great ideal of full and inclusive participation.

In League,

Elisabeth

2011 Annual Report Available Online (NEW)
The 2011 Annual Report for the League of Women Voters of the U.S. and the League of Women Voters Education Fund is now available here. The report highlights our programmatic activities throughout the calendar year, while the financial report covers our fiscal year from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011. We produce the report to highlight League activities and accomplishments for the national League’s current and prospective funders, friends and partner groups.

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CONVENTION

What Can You Expect at the Convention Banquet? (NEW)
No formal attire. However, you can wear your flamingo hat! We do get a chance to change our comfortable day wear for something a bit fancier, if you choose. We will enjoy a meal together, complete with main courses and desserts. We celebrate the League and enjoy the insights of a renowned speaker. The price is included in your registration. Additional tickets can be purchased.

Announcing the Campaign Oversight Committee (NEW)
Thanks to Jane Gross (FL), Committee chair, and Teena Halbig (KY) and Kate Rader (VT) for accepting appointment to the Campaign Oversight Committee (COC). The COC is responsible for organizing the candidate forum at national Convention and for certifying that all candidates have signed the fair campaign practices pledge and filed the appropriate financial reports. The COC maintains strict neutrality. Please direct any questions about the elections process to kmcfarland@lwv.org.

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MEMBERSHIP AND LEADERSHIP

Register for Webinar on 4/26: “Getting It Right- Moderating Debates”
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 to learn how to moderate a debate effectively on April 26 at 1:00PM EST. Register here.

This Week is National Volunteer Week! (NEW)
Use this press template to thank your volunteers for all of their hard work to make democracy work! Customize and send it to local media sources with a picture of your great volunteers registering voters, promoting civil discourse, or helping the community understand a tough and controversial topic. Thank your volunteers in your League Voter and at your annual meeting!  Cheers to all our volunteers!

Honor Your 50-Year Members at Your Annual Meeting!
Your annual meeting is a great time to pay tribute to your League’s dedicated 50-year members.  Want a certificate to present to your 50-year members? Contact Betty Taira, Membership@lwv.org, with the names of the members, your League information, and the date by which you need the certificates. Please request certificates at least 2 weeks in advance of your meeting. Check out the new template letter to congratulate and thank your 50-year members here.

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EDUCATION FUND (Elections; Privatization Study; Global Democracy; Fair Judiciary)

Elections: LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER for Webinar on Voter Registration, 4/27, 3pm EDT
Join 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 across the country. Sign up here for the free training webinar. The webinar will start promptly at 3pm EDT on Friday, 4/27, and will last about one hour.

Elections: Big Win for Voting Rights! (NEW)
The April 17 landmark 9-2 decision by the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in the case Gonzalez v. Arizona, ruling Arizona’s Proof-of-Citizenship requirement violates the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), is a huge win for voting rights. The Ninth Circuit dealt a blow to attempts to add requirements to the voting process that are unnecessary and will disenfranchise eligible voters. At stake was Arizona’s Proposition 200 which required voters to produce proof-of-citizenship when registering to vote using the federal mail-in registration form. The League was a plaintiff in the case. Read the League’s statement here and press coverage here.

Elections: WI Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Photo ID Cases (NEW)
On April 16, the Wisconsin Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal to a lower court’s ruling on LWVWI’s lawsuit that successfully blocked the state's new voter ID law without the Court of Appeals hearing the case first. This will likely mean Wisconsinites won't have to show identification when they vote in recall elections in May and June. Learn more here.

Elections: Two Blog Posts This Week on Voter Protection Issues (NEW)
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) announced this week that it is discontinuing its Public Safety and Elections Task Force, which is responsible for the promotion of ‘model’ voter identification and stand-your-ground legislation. This came after many organizations put pressure on corporations to withdraw their support from ALEC. Learn more in our blog post. Also, read our blog post about the House Committee on the Judiciary holding a hearing yesterday to examine the Department of Justice’s record on voting rights enforcement.

REMINDER: Privatization Study Consensus Deadline Approaching! (NEW)
Tuesday, May 1, is the Consensus deadline for the Privatization study. To report the response for your League fill out the Privatization Study Consensus Form, which can be found on the LWVUS website. This is an online form, so just follow the instructions once you’ve clicked on the form.  Specific questions may be directed to Janis McMillen (jkmcmillen@kc.rr.com).

Global Democracy: On the League’s Role as Executing Partner of the U.S. Government (NEW)
Read the latest update here.

Fair Judiciary: Local Leagues in Washington Host Diversity Forums (NEW)
The LWV of Spokane (WA) is hosting a forum, “Diversity on the Bench: Why It Matters,” on April 18 at Gonzaga University School of Law with Assoc. Prof. of Clinical Law George Critchlow, of the law school, as moderator. Panelists include Superior Court Judges Maryann Moreno and Gregory Sypolt; District Court Judge Patty Connelly Walker; Municipal Court Judge Mary Logan; and Court of Appeals Judge (ret.) Kenneth Kato.
The LWV of Bellingham/Whatcom County (WA) is organizing a seminar, “Access and Justice for All,” on April 21, featuring Washington Supreme Court Justice Steven Gonzalez; Superior Court Judge Deborah Fleck, also chair of the Workforce Diversity Committee, which recently published “Building a Diverse Court”; Whatcom Superior Court Judge Charles Snyder; and Nooksack Indian Tribe Chief Judge and Western Washington University Asst. Prof. Raquel Montoya-Lewis. Tribal Court Judge Robbi Ferron will moderate the seminar, exploring why a diverse court is so important in a multicultural society, what is being done to promote diversity in the state, in particular Whatcom County, and the challenges. Learn more here.

Fair Judiciary: Cedar Rapids/Marion (IA) League Hosts Forum on Judicial Retention (NEW)
The LWV of Cedar Rapids/Marion (IA) will host a forum, “Judicial Retention: Who Does What and When,” on April 21, in Cedar Rapids.  Panelists will include former Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice David Baker, now a member of the 6th Judicial District Nominating Commission for the Iowa Supreme Court and the Iowa Court of Appeals; Court of Appeals Judge Van Zimmer; and Cedar Rapids attorney Steve Pace, who served from 2006-11 as a member of the Judicial Nominating Commission. The goal of the forum is to clarify the sometimes unknown and misunderstood process of selecting judges in Iowa.

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ADVOCACY

Lobby Corps Carries DISCLOSE letter to Senate (NEW)
The LWVUS Lobby Corps will be visiting Senate offices with this letter urging senators to cosponsor the 2012 DISCLOSE Act.

Administration’s Greenhouse Gas Rule Is Major Step in Controlling Climate Change (NEW)
Last week, the Administration published its new proposed greenhouse gas rule for new power plants. This first-of-its-kind rule is a really important step in the fight to eliminate the ill-effects of global climate change. The League’s blog and press statement reflect the League’s strong support. Now we must get to work in communities around the country to ensure that Americans add their voices in support of this rule. Stay tuned for information on how to add your comments on this rule.

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OTHER

LWVUS Annual Telemarketing Outreach Program Runs April 17 to May 20 (NEW)
The LWVUS Development Office wants to alert League leaders that the LWVUS annual telemarketing outreach program runs from April 17 to May 20, 2012. During this campaign, national donors, as well as those local members who contribute to the LWVUS, are contacted by phone with a request for support. In addition, local members who are lapsed more than 24 months will be contacted. They will be given the opportunity to renew membership with their local League. Questions should be directed to Rose Simmons at rsimmons@lwv.org.

PADFOLIOS – Excellent Gifts for Speakers
Find them here at the online store for just $6.00 during the month of April.

Leaving a Legacy
Including the League of Women Voters Education Fund in your will is among the easiest ways to offer support of the LWVEF's work for years to come. We suggest the following language to include the League as a beneficiary of a will or trust: " I give, devise, and bequeath to the League of Women Voters Education Fund, a charitable organization formed in the District of Columbia, with offices at 1730 M Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, {the sum of $___ } {___ percentage of my residuary estate}." If you already have a will, you can have your attorney add a codicil to include the LWVEF. After you've added the League, please contact the Development office by email so we can list you as a member of our Carrie Chapman Catt Legacy Society.

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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