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League of Women Voters Leaders' Update

June 6, 2013

In This Issue:

ADVOCACY

  • League President Testifies at U.S. House Hearing (NEW) 

EDUCATION FUND- - Elections

  • New Report Details Latest in Online Voter Registration (NEW)
  • Wisconsin Legislature Introduces Sweeping Voter Suppression Legislation (NEW)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • LWVUS Participates in Yo! Fest European Youth Forum (NEW)
  • Summer Visibility Opportunities (NEW)
  • Stock Up on Membership Brochures for Summer Visibility (NEW)

OTHER

  • Subscribe to Leaders’ Update (Reminder)
  • Help Ensure the League’s Vibrant Future by Supporting the Fund for Local League Growth (Reminder)

Glad You Asked!

This new section of the Leaders' Update is dedicated to providing the information that you want to know.

We will be responding to questions we receive from League leaders across the county.  Our inaugural tip is in response to several inquiries we've had at LWVUS from newly elected presidents/leadership teams.

Should our League have a policy about savings or reserves?

It’s budget time – the time of year when state and local Leagues are in the process of approving budgets for the coming fiscal year or biennium.  One question that we have heard at state conventions and annual meetings is:  How much should our League keep in reserves? Leagues are encouraged to review the LWVUS policy and raise this issue at their board retreat/orientation as a topic for discussion to update an existing policy or to put one in place. 

Send your question to kmcfarland@lwv.org with “Glad You Asked” in the subject line.

Dear Supporter,

As state convention season winds down and we head to Council, my hat goes off to all our state League leaders and members who made such a difference over the past couple of years. Since April, I’ve been privileged to attend four state conventions. Last Saturday, I was in Connecticut and once again, I was bowled over by the level of commitment and accomplishments that Leaguers achieve. In the wake of an almost unimaginable incident of gun violence last year, the Connecticut League swung into action, launching a successful campaign to strengthen gun laws in their state. There is no state in the union where that was not a tough task. In addition, the time frame for taking action was very short. We all saw news coverage of the big rally in Hartford and the President’s visit, but it was the work behind the scenes that really made democracy work in this case. Gun safety was only one of many issues that the LWVCT took on demonstrating, once again, the importance of the League as a voice for citizens.

Speaking for the League,  I testified before the House Administration Committee on Tuesday in support of the goals of H.R. 2115, a bill that would require state motor vehicle departments and state election officials to work across state lines to ensure more accurate voter registration records. The bill addresses interstate moves by voters, requiring the state motor vehicle department of the new state to communicate with its counterpart in the old state if a voter moves and registers to vote when getting the new state driver’s license. While the bill as currently written has some flaws, in our opinion, the League’s suggestions for improvements were well received.

Next week, I will be in Washington getting ready for Council which promises to be another wonderful opportunity to learn and share.

In League,
Description: Elisabeth

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League Leaders:
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.

Advocacy

League President Testifies at U.S. House Hearing (NEW) 
Elisabeth MacNamara testified at a hearing of the House Administration committee on Tuesday, June 4. Elisabeth delivered a statement on H.R. 2115, The Voter Registration Efficiency Act and answered questions from several U.S. House members.

Education Fund

Elections

New Report Details Latest in Online Voter Registration (NEW)
Read an interesting new report, Issues in Election Administration: Online Voter Registration, from our friends at Project Vote. Online voter registration is just one of four key positive election reforms Leagues are advocating for nationwide. We are also focused on expanding early voting, establishing permanent and portable statewide voter registration, and improving polling place management. Read about LWV Florida’s recent election reform successes in this guest blog post by LWV Florida president Deirdre Macnab. Contact your state League to see what election reform work is underway in your state!

Wisconsin Legislature Introduces Sweeping Voter Suppression Legislation (NEW)
This week the Wisconsin State Legislature held a hearing on a new sweeping voter suppression bill that, among other things, would create new criteria for voter photo identification and stop all in-person absentee voting on weekends. This bill comes on the heels of a loss in the courts last week when a circuit court judge overturned a lower court’s decision in LWVWI’s lawsuit. Luckily two additional cases are proceeding in separate courts. Read more about the new legislation and the League's response.

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Membership & leadership

LWVUS Participates in Yo! Fest European Youth Forum (NEW)
On May 30, Amy Hjerstedt, co-chair of the League of Women Voters Young People Task Force (YPTF), had the unique opportunity to travel (via Skype) to Brussels, Belgium to attend Yo! Fest, an event hosted by the European Youth Forum.  The event encouraged young people to get involved in their society, the political process, and youth organizations that work to create inclusion and independence for Europe’s young people. Amy shared with the Brussels audience how the YPTF is working to help local Leagues around the U.S. reach, engage and recruit young people. 

Summer Visibility Opportunities (NEW)
It is often said that one of League’s greatest assets is its reputation.  A critical way to build our reputation among the members of the community is through visibility. View this Membership and Leadership Development (MLD) resource to aid in planning some easy, visibility-gaining ideas for your League. 

Stock Up on Membership Brochures for Summer Visibility (NEW)
Will your League be taking part in a community festival or parade this summer, or how about attending the farmers’ market or organizing a Women’s Equality Day celebration?  Whatever your plans are make sure that you are ready to recruit new members.  Stock up on membership brochures.  Printed brochures are available for sale in the League online store, or you can download the template to print your own.  There also are customizable inserts available online. 

OTHER

Subscribe to Leaders’ Update (Reminder)
If you have updated your officers list in the membership database through your League's account, then they will be automatically subscribed to the Leaders' Update. For non-officer board members and every other member who would like to subscribe, please send an email to database@lwv.org.

Help Ensure the League’s Vibrant Future by Supporting the Fund for Local League Growth (Reminder)
“I wouldn’t trade my League experience for anything!” It’s always the right time to reflect on the personal gifts the League has given to you and consider making a gift to the Fund for Local League Growth (FLLG). As this quote reminds us, League is an experience like no other! The FLLG is a special fund that solely supports local League growth and vitality through the Membership and Leadership Development program. This program is making great strides to ensure a vibrant, healthy and strong League future by providing training, technical support and coaching to local Leagues in membership recruitment, retention and leadership development. Member contributions to the FLLG are critical to the long-term success of the Membership and Leadership Development program!

Please, donate to the Fund for Local League Growth today!

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League of Women Voters
1730 M Street NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-429-1965

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