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Leader's Update

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Leaders Update


July 19, 2012

Today: July 19, 1848 – The first Women's Rights Convention, organized by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, convenes in Seneca Falls, NY

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

  • President’s Message: Our Work to Power the Vote (NEW)
  • LWVUS Agriculture Position Review and Update (NEW)

POWER THE VOTE

  • LWVUS Has the Tools You Need to Power the Vote

ADVOCACY

  • Senate Refuses to Debate DISCLOSE ACT (NEW)

EDUCATION FUND (Elections)

  • Elections: Huge Wisconsin Photo ID Victory! (NEW)
  • Elections: Voter Purge May Be Coming to Your State Soon (NEW)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Summer Is the Perfect Time for a Board Retreat and Orientation! (NEW)
  • 2012 Convention Delegates: Submit your Election Workplans by July 31 (NEW)
  • New Webinar Available for Download (NEW)

COMMUNICATIONS

  • League Reaching out to Broader Audience on Huffington Post (NEW)
  • Remembering Seneca Falls - Honoring Our History (NEW)

OTHER

  • LWVUS/EF Direct Marketing Schedule
  • Leaving a Legacy

 

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

Dear League Leader:

Over the past two years and more, Leagues across the country have tirelessly and courageously stood up for voters in their state legislatures and in the courts. As a result, in many states, this organized assault on voting rights has been stopped or stalled. In fact, the Wisconsin League won another victory this week. Also this past week, the Minnesota League has been in the spotlight, arguing in the Minnesota State Supreme Court that a ballot measure to imbed voter photo ID in their constitution is itself unconstitutional.

On another front, grassroots efforts failed to persuade the U.S. Senate to engage in open and honest debate of the DISCLOSE Act. As a result, voters will continue to be deluged with campaign advertising funded with secret money by a handful of wealthy special interests.

While the media argues that this election is about the role of government in our lives, we in League know that this election is also about the role of voters in our democracy. Does power lie with individual voters or in the deep pockets of special interests? The success of our democracy depends on many individual voters doing small things faithfully – registering to vote and casting ballots on Election Day. The power of those votes represents the best defense against the special interests that are seeking to buy our elected officials.

Every League has a role to play in powering the vote in this critical election year. This week and over the next several weeks, the POWER THE VOTE section of this update includes links to online tools designed to assist Leagues in making sure that every eligible voter is registered, informed and able to cast a ballot this year. Our voice and our volunteers are needed now more than ever and together we can Power the Vote to power our democracy.

In League together making democracy safe,

Elisabeth

LWVUS Agriculture Position Review and Update (NEW)
Delegates to Convention 2012 passed a motion to review and update the LWVUS Agriculture position, which was originally approved in 1988. The motion calls for a review that will investigate genetic modification, consolidation in the food industry, money in the regulatory process, and the consumer's right to accurate and comprehensive food labeling. In late 2012, the LWVUS Board will discuss the proposed study, define the scope and solicit committee members. Look to the Leaders Update for information later this year.

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POWER THE VOTE

LWVUS Has the Tools You Need to Power the Vote
As you plan your election outreach and activities, we urge you to strive to meet the election year challenge the Board issued earlier this year. Online resources are provided with each challenge listed below! In 2012, we’re calling on every League to:

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ADVOCACY

Senate Refuses to Debate DISCLOSE ACT (NEW)
After the U.S. Senate refused to allow full debate on the DISCLOSE Act twice in two consecutive days this week, the League expressed its deep disappointment and commitment to continue the fight for complete disclosure of spending on big-money advertising in candidate elections in a variety of ways – President MacNamara’s inaugural Huffington Post blog, League press release, and our website blog post. We thank all of the League members and supporters who responded to our action alerts as well as the LWVUS Lobby Corps members who carried our message to Senate offices. We apologize for a technical error that made it difficult to complete action on Monday evening. But, it's not too late to tell your Senators how you feel about their votes! Please take action and share it with your networks.

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EDUCATION FUND (Elections)

Elections: Huge Wisconsin Photo ID Victory! (NEW)
A second judge has declared Wisconsin's voter ID law unconstitutional, further guaranteeing that the ID requirement is highly unlikely to be in place for elections this fall. The LWV of Wisconsin was instrumental in obtaining this victory! Dane County Circuit Judge David Flanagan ruled that the state's requirement that all voters show photo ID at the polls creates a "substantial impairment of the right to vote" guaranteed by the state constitution. The immediate effect of his ruling is limited since another Dane County judge, Richard Niess, permanently blocked the voter ID law in March in a case brought by the LWVWI. However, a second ruling against the law makes it all the more difficult for voter ID proponents to get the law reinstated because they would need to get both orders lifted. Read more here.

Elections: Voter Purge May Be Coming to Your State Soon (NEW)
A number of states have requested access to the federal government’s Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) system which queries other databases for information. It is not clear at this point how up-to-date or accurate the SAVE system is. So its use for purging non-citizens from voter rolls could be problematic, and state systems for identifying and matching possible non-citizens in their databases have been full of errors, most recently in Florida. The League believes that all list maintenance/removals/purging must be TRANSPARENT, ACCURATE, and LEGAL. To learn more read the LWVFL press release, a recent synopsis from the Advancement Project and this Washington Post article. 

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MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

Summer Is the Perfect Time for a Board Retreat and Orientation! (NEW)
Has your new League board scheduled a retreat and orientation for the next year of League? Now is the perfect time to relax, reflect, learn, plan for the year ahead and bond together as a team. Find resources, like essential publications, the Board policy handbookLeague basics and more on the LWVUS website.

2012 Convention Delegates: Submit your Election Workplans by July 31 (NEW)
Leagues that participated in the “Power Tools You Can Use to Power the VOTE” at the LWVUS Convention are encouraged to submit their workplans for an upcoming election-related event.  Remember that LWVUS will be drawing a winner from the completed plans each month!   Questions? Please contact membership@lwv.org.

New Webinar Available for Download (NEW)
Recently, Leagues participating in the Membership & Leadership Development Program (MLD) were treated to a highly informative session, featuring LWVUS staff experts Maggie Duncan and Sara Sanders. Watch the first in a series of webinars on "Power the Vote, Power the League.”  This session focused on infusing MLD best practices into your voter registration work to grow and empower your League as you register citizens to vote.

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COMMUNICATIONS

League Reaching out to Broader Audience on Huffington Post (NEW)
Yesterday, Elisabeth MacNamara’s inaugural Huffington Post piece, Senate Refuses to Debate the DISCLOSE Act, was published! This is a new platform we’ll be using to publish articles by Elisabeth on issues of the day and is a great step to sharing the work of the League with a broader audience. To ensure these posts get maximum exposure, please help us promote them by commenting on our posts at Huffington Post, sharing them widely with your colleagues and networks asking them to do the same and, of course, sharing them on social media. The more interactions an article gets, the higher it will be ranked and the more visibility it could receive on the Huffington Post website.

Remembering Seneca Falls - Honoring our History (NEW)
Check out today’s blog marking the 164th anniversary of the start of the Seneca Falls Convention, often considered the start of the suffrage movement in this country.

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OTHER

LWVUS/EF Direct Marketing Schedule (NEW)
When planning your own League's fundraising, please consult the LWVUS/EF Direct Marketing Schedule. The LWVUS Development Office is pleased to share with you the FY 2012-13 LWVUS/Education Fund Direct Marketing schedule for direct mail and telemarketing. Download the schedule (located under Leadership Development Tools in the Members section of www.lwv.org). Please share this schedule with your Development chairs to assist planning for your League's fundraising activities. Questions should be directed to Rose Simmons, rsimmons@lwv.org.

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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