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Leader's Update

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Leaders Update


May 24, 2012

TODAY: May 24, 1951 – Racial segregation in Washington, DC, restaurants ruled illegal

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

  • President’s Message: Slowly, but Steadily (NEW)

CONVENTION

  • Final Chance to Register in Advance for Convention!
  • Missed the Walk-Through Webinar? Watch the Recording (NEW)
  • Thanks for Voting for Power the Vote Award Winners! (NEW)
  • Information about Seeking LWVUS Office (NEW)
  • Post-Convention Advocacy Opportunity!

ADVOCACY

  • League Launches New Radio Ad Campaign in Maine and Tennessee (NEW)
  • League Signs On to Amicus Brief in Montana Campaign Finance Case (NEW)

EDUCATION FUND (Elections)

  • Elections: Do You Have Any Grads in Your Life? Are They Registered to Vote? (NEW)
  • Elections: Voter Protection Update (NEW)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Tips for Outgoing & New Leaders (NEW)

OTHER

  • Do You Need to Update Your Will?

 

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

Dear League Leader:

Last week, I mentioned that I would be in Washington this week for, among other things, an event sponsored by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, “Fact Checking the 2012 Election: Views from the Trenches.” The three panels during this half-day event were drawn from the print media, the television news media, and from the television business and legal side. The event was videotaped and should be available shortly on the factcheck.org website.

One panelist from the print media pointed out that the more complex an issue, for example health care, the easier it is distort the issue by reducing it to a sound bite or slogan. For me, this summed up my frustration, not just with the unlimited secret money that is currently promoting these distortions, but also with the fact that this type of campaigning is the rule not the exception in the history of our republic. The League is unique because it accepts that public issues are generally complex and deserve careful, nonpartisan consideration. “The League of Women Voters…has been willing to go ahead slowly in order to go ahead steadily. It has not sought to lead a few…a long way quickly, but rather to lead many…a little way at a time. It has held to the belief that no problem of democracy is really solved until it is solved for the average citizen…” (Maude Wood Park, Farewell Address, 1924)

Right now, from both sides, we are seeing a flood of money intended to lead a few people a long way quickly at the expense of a more deliberate process that would produce solutions for the average citizen. It is tempting to bypass the League’s normal deliberate approach because we ourselves are so outraged by the oversimplifications that the flood of money supports. However, Maude Wood Park’s wise counsel continues to guide us. The new radio ads we launched today in Maine and Tennessee, urging Tennessee Senators Alexander and Corker and Maine Senators Collins and Snowe to work to stop secret money and support full disclosure, are prime examples of our approach. See Advocacy below for more on the ads.

The average citizen will be best served if the League proceeds more slowly in order to go ahead steadily.

In League,

Elisabeth

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CONVENTION

Final Chance to Register in Advance for Convention!
Register for Convention online by May 28th. After that date, anyone wanting to attend will need to register at the door. We know many of you were working to complete your registration by May 21st to avoid the late registration fee. Unfortunately we have had some staff illnesses this week that affected the process. We thank you for bearing with us and want you to know that there will be NO late fee charge for those completing registration by the 28th. 

Missed the Walk-Through Webinar? Watch the Recording (NEW)
Watch the recording of the Walk-Through Convention webinar for first-time attendees. Want to view more webinars? Check out the Nikki Harris Webinar Library online and keep checking the Leaders’ Update for future webinar opportunities.

Thanks for Voting for Power the Vote Award Winners! (NEW)
Thanks to all of our members who voted for their favorite Power the Vote Awards nominees. Voting closed on Friday, May 18, and we had excellent voter turnout! Even though voting has ended, you can still read about these great League projects. We look forward to announcing the winners at Convention!

Information about Seeking LWVUS Office (NEW)
If you are considering running for LWVUS Board of Directors/officers or Nominating Committee from the floor of Convention, please read this important memo from the Campaign Oversight Committee (COC). All potential nominees are encouraged to contact COC support staff: Kelly McFarland Stratman (kmcfarland@lwv.org).  A list of the nominees put forth by the LWVUS Nominating Committee is available here.

Post-Convention Advocacy Opportunity!
Delegates may want to take advantage of a unique post-Convention opportunity. On Tuesday afternoon, June 12, we hope that you will participate in lobbying your Members of Congress in support of the DISCLOSE Act. To make an appointment with your Representative or Senators, you can call the Capitol Hill switchboard at 202-225-3121 and ask to be connected to their offices. Currently, the Senate is scheduled to be in session on June 12, while members of the House of Representatives will be in recess. This is still a good time to meet with key House staff. At Convention, delegates will have the opportunity to meet with members of the LWVUS Lobby Corps, hear a briefing and obtain materials by visiting the Lobby Corps table located in the Wares Market area. We hope you will take advantage of this unique opportunity to meet with your Congressional delegation and be part of the business of Washington, DC. 

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ADVOCACY

League Launches New Radio Ad Campaign in Maine and Tennessee! (NEW)
The new radio ads urge Tennessee Senators Alexander and Corker and Maine Senators Collins and Snowe to work to stop secret money and support full disclosure. Read our press release and our blog post and listen to the ads airing in Maine and Tennessee. The ads will run from May 24-June 1 in Bangor and Portland, ME, and Chattanooga and Nashville, TN.

League Signs On to Amicus Brief in Montana Case (NEW)
The League signed on to an amicus brief sent to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of American Tradition Partnership vs. Montana. The case asks the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the state’s Corrupt Practices Act and could potentially lead to the reversal of the previous Citizens United decision.

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EDUCATION FUND (Elections)

Elections: Do You Have Any Grads in Your Life? Are They Registered to Vote? (NEW)
We hope you saw (and sent on!) our graduation/voter registration e-card earlier this week. This is a great time of year to reach out to the graduates and other young people in your life and ask them if they’re registered to vote! Be sure to also remind friends and family that if they have moved since the last election, they may need to update their voter registration. Doing that is easy at www.VOTE411.org! For helpful tips on planning your own voter registration drive, visit the Voters Service area of the Members’ Section.

Elections: Voter Protection Update (NEW)
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell this week signed new voter ID legislation. While LWVVA had urged the Governor to veto this law, it was encouraged by a corresponding executive order, which “directs the State Board of Elections to take necessary steps to ensure that all eligible Virginia voters are made aware of the provisions of these new laws and are given the necessary information in order to provide an appropriate form of identification when voting.” This will be accomplished by the state sending new voter registration cards and additional information to every voter. The League was specifically named as an organization that will be vital to helping educate voters about the new requirement. Elsewhere, in Pennsylvania, former LWVUS President Nancy Neuman publicly applauded the League for its work to fight back against a new photo ID restriction.

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MEMBERSHIP AND LEADERSHIP

Tips for Outgoing & New Leaders (NEW)
This time of year local Leagues often see changes in leadership. Outgoing leaders: Pass on all important information (including your League’s online database user name and password), documents and records to your successor. New leaders: It is never too early to plan for the next new League leader. Keep good records to pass on, mentor your successor and model strong leadership skills. Check out the Leadership Roles section in the Members portion of www.lwv.org for help.

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OTHER

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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