May 9, 2013
In This Issue:
- League Offers Comments to EPA Science Advisory Board (NEW)
- League to Co-Sponsor U.S. House Briefing on Clean Air Act (NEW)
- The Fight to Reform Campaign Finance Laws Continues (NEW)
EDUCATION FUND- - Elections
- Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the National Voter Registration Act and League Efforts to Defend Voters’ Rights (NEW)
- Congratulations to LWV of Florida on Passage of Comprehensive Election Reform (NEW)
- Keep Powering the Vote in 2013! (Reminder)
MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP
- Membership on the Rise! (NEW)
- Celebrating Ourselves! (Reminder)
- Honor an Outgoing Leader with a Gift for the League’s Future & a Limited Edition Pin! (Reminder)
LEAGUE FINANCIAL MATTERS - (NEW)
- Important Tax Information: Leagues Must File IRS Form 990-N (NEW)
- PMP to Remain $31 for 2013-2014 (NEW)
- 2012 Annual Report Available Online (NEW)
- LWVUS Spring Telemarketing Outreach Program Runs April 18 to May 15 (Reminder)
Share your studies! Share our strength!
Spring brings Annual Meetings for local Leagues with new studies adopted! Visit the LWV Clearinghouse with League studies in more than 50 subject areas to jumpstart the process!
Just a click away: http://clearinghouse.lwv.org
With apologies to the Boss, my musical lexicon is not sufficiently up-to-date to include a reference to any Springsteen lyrics this week, but the League of Women Voters of New Jersey (LWVNJ) convention was something worth singing about. Ironically, I left the rain-soaked South last Friday to celebrate ”Hurricane Heroes” in warm, sunny Princeton, NJ. Gathering state and local election officials along with nonprofit partners, LWVNJ recognized the hard work, dedication and community spirit that prevailed after Hurricane Sandy ripped through the state last fall. Pulling together, this public-private partnership protected voters by using any and all means to provide access to the polls. State election supervisor, Bob Giles, instructed elections officials to inform the League of Women Voters of every decision regarding polling place locations and hours. League members came out in force, standing at traditional polling locations with signs directing voters to new, temporary locations. With no provisions for early voting, New Jersey officials liberally interpreted absentee voting laws to insure that no voter was denied access to the polls.
Around the country, Leagues are working hard to protect voters from laws that restrict access. We have an important lesson to learn from the New Jersey reaction to a natural, not a man-made, crisis. When we focus on the voter and every citizen’s right to vote, good things happen. That was the message of the LWVNJ convention last weekend. From “Hurricane Heroes,” to speakers from the media and the Brennan Center, the clear call was for more, not less, access to the polls and the League was the key to protecting the vote. I was proud to help celebrate yet another success story from the 2012 election with dedicated League leaders.
Over the next few weeks, my travel will revolve around my family, but I look forward to sharing more League success stories with the League in Connecticut early next month and then to coming together with state League leaders at Council in June.
To help keep your members informed, please consider forwarding this weekly message. Please note that this is an internal communication that provides both announcements and opportunities meant only for your members and League, as well as updates on important news and events. This message should not be posted in its entirety on League social media channels or websites. Instead consider sharing the external (e.g. public interest/action) pieces such as blog posts, letters to Congress and press statements.
League Offers Comments to EPA Science Advisory Board (NEW)
On May 7, 2013 the League offered comments to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Science Advisory Board on the study of the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. The comments were delivered on behalf of LWVUS and 18 different state Leagues.
League to Co-Sponsor U.S. House Briefing on Clean Air Act (NEW)
LWVUS will be cosponsoring a briefing for U.S. House members and their staff on the Clean Air Act and climate change on May 20, 2013. The briefing will include a panel of speakers from across the spectrum leading a discussion about various topics and answering questions.
The Fight to Reform Campaign Finance Laws Continues (NEW)
The summer and fall months of 2013 are shaping up to play an important role in the fight to reform our broken campaign finance system. Check out our latest blog post for additional details of what is happening with this issue.
Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the National Voter Registration Act and League Efforts to Defend Voters’ Rights (NEW)
May 20, 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of the NVRA. As we await the Supreme Court’s decision and the fate of this landmark legislation, that the League fought so hard to get enacted, help raise awareness about the importance of the NVRA and the League’s efforts to protect voters’ rights by customizing and releasing this press release template.
Congratulations to LWV of Florida on Passage of Comprehensive Election Reform (NEW)
Last week, with bi-partisan support, the Florida Legislature passed a comprehensive elections reform bill. The LWVFL was deeply involved in this process and fought to ensure that important provisions were included in the legislation. For instance, the bill expands access to early voting by allowing more early voting days, gives supervisors more flexibility in choosing early voting locations and restores the ability of Floridians to move within the state and still update their registration on Election Day in order to cast a regular ballot. It also, for the first time, allows voters who vote by mail to have a window of time to ensure their ballot counts if they forget to sign the outside of the envelope. Read the news coverage and visit the LWVFL’s website.
Keep Powering the Vote in 2013! (Reminder)
It might not be a presidential election year, but we can all keep working together to Power the Vote. Elections are going on nationwide this year, and Leagues are at the center of helping voters get registered, get the facts, and get to the polls. With that in mind, we challenge you to consider the following activities in 2013:
- Host at least five registration drives at diverse locations, with one of them on National Voter Registration Day, September 24th (details coming soon). Get our handy planning tips.
- Host a candidate forum or debate in your community. Read our FAQ.
- Pursue an online voter’s guide on VOTE411.org. Contact Megan Brown to learn more.
- Meet with your local elections officials to discuss what worked and what didn’t during 2012. See our sample 2012 questions to get started, or check in with your state League to see what election reform priorities they are working on.
- Identify five media contacts and communicate regularly. Keep them in the loop about local voting-related developments. See our media tips.
- Follow up with everyone you meet (registrants, volunteers, online networks, etc.) and remind them about upcoming elections. Tailor these sample get-out-the-vote scripts.
Membership and Leadership
Membership on the Rise! (NEW)
The member recruitment efforts going on around the country are paying off. Since January, our membership numbers have increased steadily each month! We are a stronger, healthier and more vibrant organization because of our great issue, educational and advocacy work. League volunteers in our communities and the state and national coaches who are supporting this growth through the Membership and Leadership Development (MLD) program and everyone actively asking people to join with the League should be applauded–keep it up!
Celebrating Ourselves! (Reminder)
With the memory of National Volunteer Week fresh in our minds, we want to take this opportunity to celebrate you and the impact your state and local League volunteers are making in your communities! Send us two or three paragraphs about your League’s positive difference in your community and your story could be featured on the LWVUS website, Facebook page or in other publications. Send your story (and photo if you have it) to Shauneen Grout and include “League Impact” in the subject line.
Honor an Outgoing Leader with a Gift for the League’s Future & a Limited Edition Pin! (Reminder)
Show your appreciation for an outgoing League leader by honoring them with a limited edition League lapel pin and a donation to the future of the League of Women Voters in their name. You may purchase a limited-edition League lapel pin with a $50 donation to the Fund for Local League Growth and join the hundreds of League members investing in our future. Still looking for leaders for your League? Take a look at the Nominating Committee resources.
League Financial Matters
Important Tax Information: Leagues Must File IRS Form 990-N (NEW)
To ensure your League retains its tax exemption, ALL Leagues must file an e-postcard return (Form 990-N) with the IRS each year. The only exceptions are Leagues that are included in their state League’s group return or Leagues that file the more complex Form 990 or 990-EZ. The due date for Form 990-N filings is four months and 15 days after the end of the organization's fiscal year. (For example, an organization with a January 1 through December 31 fiscal year, the due date for filing Form 990-N is May 15.)
PMP to Remain $31 for 2013-2014 (NEW)
The standard national per member payment (PMP) for individual members remains $31.00 for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2013 and ends June 30, 2014. This is the rate adopted by the delegates to Convention 2012.
The PMP for the first member of a household continues to be $31.00. The PMP for additional members living in the same household is $15.50, as is the PMP for students enrolled in accredited institutions. No PMP is charged for individuals who have been members of the League for fifty years or more.
LWVUS calculates your League’s PMP based on the number of members recorded in the national database as of February 4, 2013. Please keep your League’s records up-to-date so that your League is charged correctly. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
2012 Annual Report Available Online (NEW)
The 2012 Annual Report for the League of Women Voters of the U.S. and the League of Women Voters Education Fund is now available online. The report highlights our programmatic activities throughout the calendar year, while the financial report covers our fiscal year from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012. We produce the report to highlight League activities and accomplishments for the national League’s current and prospective funders, friends and partner groups.
LWVUS Spring Telemarketing Outreach Program Runs April 18 to May 15 (Reminder)
The LWVUS Development Office wants to alert League leaders that the LWVUS annual spring telemarketing outreach program runs from April 18 through approximately May 15, 2013. During this campaign, national donors, as well as those local members who contribute to LWVUS, are contacted by phone with a request for support. In addition, local members whose League membership has lapsed by more than two years are contacted and given the opportunity to renew membership with their local League. Please direct questions to Rose Simmons.
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