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League of Women Voters Leaders' Update

August 9, 2012

In This Issue:

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

  • POWER THE VOTE: This Week’s Challenge Activity (NEW)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Important: Update Your League’s Facebook Account (NEW)
  • What has the MLD Program been up to lately? (NEW)
  • Women's Equality Day: Plan an Event to Celebrate in August!

EDUCATION FUND (Education Study; Elections; Voter Protection)

  • Elections/Power the Vote: Voter Registration Training Webinar on 8/22 at 4pm EDT (NEW)
  • VOTE411.org is now on Social Media! (NEW)
  • The Assault on Voting Continues – This Time in Michigan (NEW)

ADVOCACY

  • League-led Redistricting Reform Qualifies for November Ballot (NEW)
  • League Submits Comments on Hydraulic Fracking (NEW)
  • League, Coalition partners Sends Letter to EPA on Air Toxics Standards (NEW)

OTHER

  • First Ever UN International Day of the Girl -- October 11, 2012 & How YOU can get involved (NEW)
  • Leaving a Legacy

 

Dear League Leader:

Two years ago, in the midst of my election season travels, I had the opportunity to attend the kick-off of a two year project by the League of Women Voters of South Carolina examining the impact of diversity on judicial independence.  Tuesday night, I attended the concluding event of the project. In both instances, the League presented diverse panels of lawyers, legislators and judges who offered their points of view on South Carolina’s system of selecting judges that combines rigorous screening for merit with election by the legislature. The League’s very public examination of this system reveals a high quality bench that does not reflect the diversity of the state. From an outsider’s point of view, it was interesting to listen to stakeholders at the beginning and at the end of the project. No one disputes that diversity is a desirable goal, but with legislators controlling not just the election of judges but also the funding of the judiciary and the organized bar, those in the best position to do so continue to be reluctant to criticize a process controlled predominantly by white men.

But the League has emerged from this project with a view of judicial selection that is well-informed and realistic and now, ready to offer a positive solution to a very real issue. That solution does not involve changing the system, but rather suggests making small but meaningful changes by expanding the number and diversifying the selection process for the Judicial Merit Selection Commission that screens judicial candidates. This is League at its best: employing a transparent, fact-based process to bring into focus what works in government as well as what can be better. It was a real privilege to get this birds-eye view of a project that I would otherwise only get to read about in reports.

The League is and has always been the premier provider of balanced adult political education. The South Carolina project is merely one example of countless fine examples that are going on right now in communities around the country with the League leading the way.

In League together making democracy safe.

Elisabeth
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PRESIDENT'S CORNER

POWER THE VOTE: This Week’s Challenge Activity (NEW)
Identify five key media contacts and communicate at least once monthly. Use our visibility and media tips, social media tips and get-out-the-vote letter to the editor template.

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

Important: Update Your League’s Facebook Account (NEW)
LWVUS wants to make sure your League is getting all the visibility it can. To ensure this, please update your Facebook address in the LWVUS database by logging in and clicking on “Update League.” Copy and paste the link for your Facebook page into the “FACEBOOK” field and click submit changes. By doing this, LWVUS can be sure that your League’s social media efforts are featured on the LWVUS website. If you have questions, please email membership@lwv.org.

What has the MLD Program been up to lately? (NEW)
In July alone, LWVUS provided training to over 150 League members in Minnesota, Iowa, Florida, and Texas!  Check out pictures from our adventures to Leagues across the country! Read about this great work and learn how you can support this effort. Want more information? Contact Sara Richman Sanders at ssanders@lwv.org.

Women's Equality Day: Plan an Event to Celebrate in August!
August 26 will mark the 92nd anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave full voting rights to women. As Leagues did in 2011, there is still time to celebrate Women’s Equality Day, a day that is so important to our history and so strongly associated with the League. Here is a list of possible ideas, including movie viewing materials for Iron-Jawed Angels.

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EDUCATION FUND (Elections; VOTE411; Voter Protection)

Elections/Power the Vote: Voter Registration Training Webinar on 8/22 at 4pm EDT (NEW)
The final push for voter registration starts now! Join LWVEF experts for an interactive training webinar covering all you need to know to conduct effective voter registration in 2012! Learn helpful time-saving tips 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 4pm EDT on Wednesday, 8/22, and last about one hour.

VOTE411.org is now on Social Media! (NEW)
In advance of the launch of our new & improved redesign of VOTE411.org later this month, we are on a social media crusade: we’ve launched a Facebook page and a Twitter feed, and our goal is to increase our Facebook “likes” and Twitter followers before the redesign launches! Like the LWVUS channels (Facebook page and Twitter feed), we’ll be using these new VOTE411 channels to connect with the general public to share important deadlines, factoids, news clips, etc. and encourage voter participation. After you connect with VOTE411 on social media, please share these channels with your networks. Questions? Contact Stephanie Drahan (sdrahan@lwv.org). Thanks in advance!

Please Note: These channels will not be replacing the private VOTE411 Facebook group that League Members using the voters’ guide software are currently using for internal communications to ask questions and seek advice from other Leagues using VOTE411. For general questions relating to VOTE411, please contact Megan Brown (mbrown@lwv.org).

The Assault on Voting Continues – This Time in Michigan (NEW)
Early this year the Michigan Legislature passed a law requiring all voters to affirm their citizenship at the polls before they could receive a ballot (this is already done when one registers to vote). Governor Rick Snyder (R) vetoed the bill because he was concerned it would cause confusion for voters. Even though the law was vetoed an initiative by Secretary of State Ruth Johnson's office seeking to affirm voters' U.S. citizenship led to confusion at the polls Tuesday which resulted in some registered voters being denied ballots. Read more here.
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ADVOCACY

League-led Redistricting Reform Qualifies for November Ballot (NEW)
After months of signature gathering and public education, the Ohio League is celebrating this week following Secretary of State Jon Husted’s announcement certifying a constitutional amendment for the Nov. 6 ballot. If passed, the amendment would put redistricting in the hands of an independent citizens commission. Congratulations to the OH League on this impressive step forward. We wish you luck in the next critical months of your campaign!

League Submits Comments on Hydraulic Fracking (NEW)
The League submitted comments regarding EPA guidance for the use of diesel in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) activities.

League, Coalition partners Sends Letter to EPA on Air Toxics Standards (NEW)
The League joined coalition partners in the environment and public health areas in sending a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency regarding the future of air toxics standards for Portland cement kilns.
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OTHER

First UN International Day of the Girl -- October 11, 2012 (NEW)
The U.N. General Assembly has passed a resolution to observe the International Day of the Girl and the first observance is October 11, 2012 in NYC.  The League, as a member of the Working Group on Girls (coalition of 80+ UN affiliated non-governmental organizations) will be sponsoring events during that day, including our first ever -- VIRTUAL SUMMIT!  We invite those League members that are teachers and work with girls to become involved through the VIRTUAL SUMMIT www.DayoftheGirlSummit.com, where girls can participate in events locally.  Check out our toolkit on how you can ask local towns to issue proclamations, get involved in other activities, win prizes and become involved in making this a better world for girls everywhere!  If you will be in the NY area that week and would like to attend either event, please contact LWVUS UN Observer Rosalee Keech at unobserver@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.

Donate to the League and support our work.
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