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Leaders Update


June 21, 2012

Today: June 21, 1788 – New Hampshire, the ninth and last necessary state to do so, ratifies the U.S. Constitution, making the document the law of the land

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

  • President’s Message: On Knowledge and Power (NEW)

POST-CONVENTION NEWS

  • 2012-14 LWVUS Officers, Directors and Nominating Committee (NEW)
  • Fund for Local League Growth Re-Launch a Huge Success! (NEW)
  • New LWVUS Position on Sentencing Policy (NEW)
  • Convention Videos Now Available Online (NEW)

EDUCATION FUND (Elections)

  • Elections: Grant Funds Available for First-Time Voter Registration Drives (New)
  • Elections: New Lesson Plan and Lots of Registration Activity (NEW)
  • Elections: Fighting Voter Suppression with the Facts (NEW)
  • Elections: Voter Roll Purging (NEW)

ADVOCACY

  • EPA Comment Period Ending Soon! (NEW)
  • U.S. Senate Rejects Threat to Clean Air Act! (NEW)
  • Montana Case Could Bring Reconsideration of Citizens United Decision (NEW)
  • White House Responds to Petition Regarding the FEC (NEW)
  • League Asks U.S. Senate to Continue Funding Election Assistance Commission (NEW)
  • League Celebrates Title IX’s 40th Anniversary (NEW)

OTHER

Do You Need to Update Your Will?

 

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

Dear League Leader:

Paraphrasing an early League leader – knowledge becomes power presupposing the patience to pursue it, the sense to use it and the faith that its truth will prevail. The League has always had the patience to pursue and the sense to use knowledge because of our abiding faith in its truth. That faith gives us the patience to study all sides of issues and develop consensus around the positions we take. The strength of the League method is obvious not just from the depth and complexity of the positions we assume but also in the weight that others give to the League voice on those positions. Knowledge gives us confidence that when we speak, we speak with an authority that others respect and accept.

Knowledge becomes power not only because it gives us confidence and authority, but also because it allows us to find compromise. Understanding an issue from different angles and points of view allows the League to weigh legislative proposals and support those that serve the greatest number of League priorities. Faith in knowledge allows us to take a step back from hot button issues and seemingly easy solutions to complex problems until we gather sufficient facts and knowledge to act.

In this highly charged election year, when special interests are inundating voters with misinformation and offering easy solutions and bumper sticker slogans to address complex issues, the League faith in knowledge becomes more powerful because through our nonpartisan faith in facts, voters can become informed, gain the confidence to register and turn out to vote and truly realize the power of their voice through the power of their vote.

In League,

Elisabeth

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POST-CONVENTION NEWS

2012-14 LWVUS Officers, Directors and Nominating Committee (NEW)
Convention delegates approved the nominees for 2012-14 LWVUS officers, directors and nominating committee by unanimous consent. The officers are: Elisabeth MacNamara, president; Janis McMillen, 1st vice president; Mary Klenz, 2nd vice president; and Patricia Donath, secretary/treasurer. The directors are: Peggy Appler, carolyn Brown, Toni Larson, Karen Nicholson, Anne Schink, Norman Turrill, Linda Wassenich and Susan Wilson. The members of the nominating committee are: Linda Duckworth, chair; Mary Santi; and Penney Van Vleet.

Fund for Local League Growth Re-Launch a Huge Success! (NEW)
At National Convention we re-launched the Leadership Fund as the Fund for Local League Growth, which solely supports the Membership and Leadership Development Program. We challenged Convention Delegates to invest in the future of the League and contribute $15,000 to the Fund. We blew that goal out of the water with a grand total-to-date of $36,626! We also honored the volunteer state and national coaches who help make this program successful. You can be part of this effort even if you weren’t at Convention by giving online today. All donors of $50 or more will receive a limited-edition “LWV Growing the League for my Community” pin. (Did you make your gift at Convention after we ran out of pins? More have been ordered and they are on their way!)

New LWVUS Position on Sentencing Policy (NEW)
Convention 2012 delegates adopted a new position by concurrence with the Sentencing Policy position of the LWV District of Columbia.  Sentencing Policy Position: The LWVUS believes alternatives to imprisonment should be explored and utilized, taking into consideration the circumstances and nature of the crime. The LWVUS opposes mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses.

Convention Videos Now Available Online (NEW)
If you were unable to attend the Convention, you can now access all of the wonderful speakers, including President MacNamara, and panel presentations here. More material is slated to be posted in the Convention section of the LWVUS website in the near future, so do check back periodically.

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EDUCATION FUND (Elections)

Elections: Grant Funds Available for First-Time Voter Registration Drives (New)
LWVEF is pleased to announce a new pass-through grant opportunity to help Leagues engage community college/technical/vocational school students and new citizens in 2012. State and local Leagues are encouraged to download the project description and funding application for fall 2012 activities. Contact Maggie Duncan (mduncan@lwv.org) if you have questions about completing your application. Sunday, July 15, is the application deadline.

Elections: New Lesson Plan and Lots of Registration Activity (NEW)
LWVEF has again teamed up with YLI (The Youth Leadership Initiative) to create a lesson plan: This one focuses on encouraging high school voter registration. Please preview the lesson plan and encourage teachers in your lives to register at the YLI website to access supplemental materials and many more free resources related to civic education! Speaking of high schools, the Massachusetts League announced this week that 15 local Leagues teamed up to register 1,156 high school students to vote during a statewide voter drive this spring! And the Georgia League is organizing a statewide effort to register some of the state’s 700,000 unregistered voters at MARTA transit stops. Way to go!  

Elections: Voter Roll Purging (NEW)
It appears that the latest voter suppression strategy being implemented in several states involves the systematic purging of eligible voters from voter rolls. This Washington Post article explains how this is playing out in Florida. Keep your eyes open in your own community and let us know if you see similar activities in your state. Or better yet, go in and meet with your local elections officials and find out what they’re doing. Use these questions to help structure your conversation.

Elections: Fighting Voter Suppression with Facts (NEW)
Rolling Stone Magazine’s “The Voter Fraud Myth Debunked” provides a good summary of what voter suppression supporters claim and what was actually found.

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ADVOCACY

EPA Comment Period Ending Soon! (NEW)
There are just four days left to support the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a historic effort to limit industrial carbon pollution! The EPA’s proposal sets a performance standard that will ensure new power plants limit their pollution that fuels global warming, makes smog worse and threatens the health of children and the elderly. Send a powerful message to let the EPA know you want them to support people not polluters. 

U.S. Senate Rejects Threat to Clean Air Act! (NEW)
In a victory for public health, the Senate, with a 46-53 vote, defeated an attempt to eliminate an historic regulation issued by the EPA. The last minute push by League members and supporters, who contacted their Senators helped ensure that the Senate is working for people not polluters!

White House Responds to Petition Regarding the FEC (NEW)
Back in March the League joined with coalition partners on a petition asking the Obama Administration to appoint new commissioners to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). The petition gathered more than 27,000 signatures, some 2,000 signatures above the required threshold for a response from The White House. On Friday, over four months after we reached the signature threshold, The White House finally responded to our petition. The League is very disappointed in the Administration’s response to this serious issue. In return, the League and its partners expressed their deep disappointment to the Administration.

Montana Case Could Bring Reconsideration of Citizens United Decision (NEW)
One of the remaining cases that the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide on before they recess for the summer is American Tradition Partnership vs. Bullock. The Supreme Court could decide to hear argument on this case when it returns this fall and ultimately it could cause the Supreme Court to reconsider its previous decision in Citizens United vs. FEC. Read our latest blog post.

League Asks U.S. Senate to Continue Funding Election Assistance Commission (NEW)
The League and coalition partners urged Senators on the Appropriations Committee to oppose an amendment on the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations that would eliminate funding for the Election Assistance Commission (EAC).

League Celebrates Title IX’s 40th Anniversary (NEW)
When Title IX of the Education Amendments Act was passed on June 23, 1972, the League celebrated as it does again on this 40th birthday. A one-hour celebratory documentary, “Sporting Chance,” is scheduled for debut on ESPN2, June 23 at noon ET, with encores at 1 and 8 pm ET on ESPNU. If you watch it, please share your thoughts with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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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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