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League of Women Voters Leaders' Update

December 6, 2012

In This Issue:


  • Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to the Voting Rights Act (NEW)
  • Voter Suppression Doesn’t Take a Holiday (NEW)
  • Start Planning Now: Voter Registration Next Spring (NEW)
  • Please Complete Our Power the Vote Feedback Survey (Free Materials Available!)


  • LWVUS Legislative Priorities (NEW)
  • Tell President Obama to Lead the Climate Change Fight (NEW)


  • Tell LWVUS about Who You’re Recruiting & Win a Prize!(NEW)
  • LWVUS WEBINAR: Becoming a Ruth S. Shur Fellow (Dec 13 at 1:00 p.m. ET)


  • WEBINAR: Replacing League Discussion Lists…Introducing “The League Forums”


  • Leaving a Legacy - One of the Easiest Ways to Support the League for Years to Come

Dear Friend,

Over the past two years, the League of Women Voters proved beyond any doubt that our unique grassroots structure, united for a common goal at the local, state and national level, is a force to be reckoned with.  Our common goal has been to protect the vote and insure that every eligible voter had a fair and equal chance to register and vote in every state.  The success of our efforts is evident not in how the vote turned out, but in who turned out to vote. We can see and celebrate that result. Sometimes, however, the difference we make is not so apparent and is not realized so immediately.

Elisabeth and OthersThat is certainly true in the case of a large bequest to the League of Women Voters of North Pinellas County in Florida. Carol Monash Hirshfeld was, apparently, a member of that League sometime in the past.   I say apparently, because no one is really sure and yet, when Carol Hirshfeld died a few years ago she left her comfortable estate to several organizations that must have mattered to her, including the League.   Whether she was an active member, or someone who valued us from afar because she saw the impact of the League’s work on things she cared about, the League clearly touched her life deeply.   Tuesday, representatives of those organizations gathered in Clearwater, Florida, at the invitation of the LWV of North Pinellas County, to celebrate the life of Carol Hirshfeld and to honor her generosity.

The National League and the Florida League were included among the guests because the LWVNPC made a thoughtful and strategic decision about the bequest. Recognizing that we are all in this together, the local League board retained part of the bequest and distributed the rest to the Florida League to advocate for, and educate the people of Florida and to the National League to support Vote411.org and the Membership and Leadership Development program.

We are honored by the bequest for what it says about the work that we do and we are also grateful for the decision of the LWVNPC that recognizes the strength we have when we work together and support each other in every way. There are many challenges ahead. Voting rights still need to be protected and there is much work to do to make democracy work in America.  But we have a mighty and respected voice and a unique power derived from smart, passionate people working together from the community, state and national levels that make us a real force for change.  Together, the League of Women Voters will continue to play a vital role in addressing democracy’s challenges.

Description: Elisabeth

Education Fund (Elections)

Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to the Voting Rights Act (NEW)
Last month the U.S. Supreme Court said it would consider eliminating a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, the federal law that has been the government's main tool for fighting discrimination at the polls. This past week NPR did a story on the VRA that includes a good overview and views from both sides. You can read/listen to that article.

Voter Suppression Doesn’t Take a Holiday (NEW)
Only days after the November election, politicians in Wisconsin have set their sights on introducing a state constitutional amendment to require photo ID at the polls and do away with their Election Day registration. LWVWI continues to fight back. Read LWVWI's op-ed, which has been printed in three of the major newspapers across the state.

Start Planning Now: Voter Registration Next Spring (NEW)
Is your League interested in conducting high school voter registration? If so, the League’s research showed that the spring is the best time to undertake those activities so now is the time to start planning and reaching out to schools! Download our handy high school voter registration training manual (Updated version coming soon!) to get started.

Please Complete Our Power the Vote Feedback Survey (Free Materials Available!)
Please take a few minutes to fill out our Election 2012 Voter Service survey and tell us what your League did to engage voters this year. Your answers will help inform our future trainings, materials, and grant programs, enable us to better highlight Leagues’ work from across the nation, and allow us to have more productive conversations with funders and partners. Your feedback is important to us! Any League completing the survey will be offered *FREE* VOTE411.org sports bags as part of our thanks for filling it out.



LWVUS Legislative Priorities (NEW)
In January, the LWVUS Board of Directors will be setting the League Legislative Priorities for the upcoming year. Setting these priorities for LWVUS action at the national level is an annual responsibility for the Board. Once again, the Board is soliciting suggestions for LWVUS advocacy priorities from members. If you are interested in making suggestions to the Board, please consider the goals and criteria as listed below. While the LWVUS has numerous positions under which we might take action, the Board must prioritize and consider those issues where we might be able to make a difference.

According to the LWVUS Impact on Issues, the goals for setting priorities to guide the LWV advocacy work are to: (1) Enhance the League’s effectiveness by concentrating resources on priority issues; (2) Build the League’s credibility and visibility by projecting a focused and consistent image; (3) Ensure that the League has sufficient issue and political expertise to act knowledgeably; and (4) Enable the League to manage resources effectively. In setting legislative priorities, the Board considers the following: (1) Opportunities for the League to make an impact; (2) Program decisions made at Convention and/or Council; (3) Member interest; and (4) Resources available to manage effectively.

If you would like to make suggestions for LWVUS advocacy priorities, please email Advocacy Committee Chair Toni Larson at toni.larson@gmail.com.  Please indicate whether the suggestions are from an individual member, a committee, board or membership meeting.  Suggestions must be received by January 11.

Tell President Obama to Lead the Climate Change Fight (NEW)
It is time for President Obama and the U.S. to lead us through the greatest environmental challenge of our generation, climate change. Join the League in calling on President Obama to make the world a safer place for our families, our communities and our environment.



Tell LWVUS about Who You’re Recruiting & Win a Prize! (NEW)
Because of your hard work this election season, many individuals were introduced to the League for the first time.  How do you follow up with these individuals and keep them engaged in League?  You can email your League’s most recent newsletter, send out a survey to find out your prospective members’ interests, or email save-the-date information about an upcoming event.  And, of course, you can ask people to join! Adapt this template to send to your prospective members.  If you send a copy of your League’s list of prospects to membership@lwv.org by January 4, 2013 your League could win LWV buttons, (great for visibility). The 3 Leagues with the largest number of prospects will receive 20 LWV buttons – as well as 5 other Leagues (that have at least 10 names on their list) will be selected at random for a prize.  Please note that prospects will not be contacted by LWVUS. 

LWVUS WEBINAR: Becoming a Ruth S. Shur Fellow (Dec 13 at 1:00 p.m. ET)
Participate in the informational webinar about the Ruth S. Shur Fellows program on Thursday, December 13 at 1:00 p.m. ET (Noon CT, 11:00 a.m. MT, 10:00 a.m. PT) to learn about the Ruth S. Shur Fellows and how to get involved in building stronger Leagues nationwide. Register today to participate! To nominate yourself or someone you know to be a fellow, complete the online nomination form by January 7, 2013. Email SSanders@lwv.org with questions.


Communications - Making Connections

WEBINAR: Replacing League Discussion Lists…Introducing “The League Forums”
Registration is open! Participate in the League Forums webinar on December 11:00 at 2 p.m. ET. The webinar will include an explanation of the new League Forums, a demonstration of how they work and show-off some of the exciting features available with this technology.  After participating we are sure you will want to log-on to this new League community to interact with fellow League members around the country to examine specific topics and share your experiences.



Leaving a Legacy - One of the Easiest Ways to Support the League for Years to Come
Include the League of Women Voters Education Fund in your will and offer support to 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.

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