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League of Women Voters Leaders' Update

November 7, 2013

In This Issue:

ADVOCACY

  • League Provides Comments to EPA Listening Session on Carbon Pollution (NEW)
  • League Joins Letter to Congress Outlining Budget Principles (NEW)
  • Update from the Climate Change Task Force (NEW)
  • Tell the EPA you support regulations on Carbon Pollution (Reminder)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Your League Could Win Free Registration to National Convention in June! (NEW)
  • FINAL CALL - DEADLINE IS NOVEMBER 11:  Become a National Coach (Reminder)
  • Be Part of #GivingTuesday:  3 Simple Steps (NEW)

EDUCATION FUND- - Elections

  • Grants Available: 2014 Youth Voter Registration Program (Reminder)
  • WI Voter ID Trial Details Difficulties Voters Are Having Obtaining Photo ID (NEW)

 

Convention 2014 in Dallas, Texas

The Dallas LWV’s Local Arrangements Committee for LWVUS Convention 2014 is off to a great start.

More than a dozen committee members joined staff from LWVUS last week in Dallas to tour the stunning new convention site and to lay the groundwork for offering Texas-sized welcome and hospitality to League convention delegates next June 6-10.

Local committee members, with a great mix of Convention experiences, shared great excitement about meeting and welcoming League members from all over the country to Dallas!

Watch for notices later this month of registration opening – and we’ll update the convention website continuously as Convention approaches. 

Glad You Asked!

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

Does League have corporate or organization memberships? 

No.  LWVUS Bylaws define our membership categories, which are for individuals.  However, corporations and organizations certainly can support our work through monetary or in-kind donations, and we’d welcome any individuals to join the organization.  Working in partnership with other community groups or institutions can help to magnify and further advance our work and mission. 

Dear Supporter,

Election Day 2013 is behind us and there is good news and bad news. The good news is that League volunteers continued working hard to protect the vote, register voters and create nonpartisan candidate and ballot information in this off-year election. More Leagues are offering online voters’ guides through Vote411.org and that is continuing to pay off. Our initial analysis shows over a 40% increase in the number of visits to Vote411.org and a 50% increase in page views as compared to the 2011 election cycle. This is a real tribute to the increase in ballot and candidate information that Leagues are creating through the site.
The bad news, of course, is despite thousands of important decisions voters were called upon to make on their ballots this year, participation plummeted. One in four eligible Americans is still not registered to vote and even in the states such as Virginia and New Jersey with high profile gubernatorial races, turnout of eligible voters was dreadful. But while this may be bad, it is certainly not news and it is something that we can and must continue to work on as we enter the 2014 midterm federal elections.

At least one of the two gubernatorial races this year was high profile because of its implications for the 2016 presidential race. As columnist Gail Collins of the New York Times reminded us this morning, it is only 790 days to the Iowa caucuses! Already the League is receiving solicitations to participate in events, including debates, focused on the presidential election. The LWVUS board and staff are screening these requests and will seriously consider those that advance the mission of the League. Often, these same solicitations are blasted out to lots of League email and snail mail addresses. Please refer any that you may receive to the National office.

In the meantime, we can’t let up in our efforts to increase voter participation. So often, we see our voter service efforts as a routine part of our League volunteer effort. But, to voters in our communities, there is nothing routine about a registration event at a naturalization ceremony or high school or community college or about an online voters’ guide or about the candidate events we sponsor. As always, the LWVUS would like to celebrate your achievements, so if this was an election year in your community, I encourage you to share your stories so that we can do so.

Thanks for all your hard work because in League, every year is an election year!

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.

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Advocacy

League Provides Comments to EPA Listening Session on Carbon Pollution (NEW)
On November 7, LWVUS provided comments to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Listening Session regarding the need to place regulations on carbon pollution from existing power plants. The EPA has been holding Listening Sessions across the country on this important issue and many state and local Leagues around the country have been participating in this important process.

League Joins Letter to Congress Outlining Budget Principles (NEW)
The League joined with other organizations in a letter to members of Congress urging them to keep the following principles in mind as they work on the end of year budget agreement. The letter emphasizes that any budget agreement must: end sequestration cuts, protect Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security from benefit cuts and defend core programs for those most at risk.

Update from the Climate Change Task Force (NEW)
The Climate Change Task Force is planning to update the Climate Change Toolkit, which appears on the LWVUS Website. We need your help in doing this. Please respond to these questions and send your response to Eleanor Revelle, Chair of the task force, at er@revelle.net

  1. Have you used the Climate Change Toolkit?
  2. If so, how did you use it/for what purposes?
  3. If you did use the Climate Change Toolkit, what is most useful about it, and what would help to make it even more useful?
  4. If you haven’t used the toolkit, why not?
  5. What additional materials would you like to see in the toolkit?
    Thanks for your help.

Tell the EPA you support regulations on Carbon Pollution (Reminder)
Stand with the League and tell the EPA that you support the proposal of a groundbreaking regulation to control carbon pollution from new power plants. This proposed regulation is a game changer for the climate – especially because power plants are our single largest source of carbon pollution. Submit your comments to the EPA today in support of this historic regulation.

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Membership & leadership

Your League Could Win Free Registration to National Convention in June! (NEW)
We cheered as we saw League growth nationwide for the first time in 30 years in January 2013 – and continue to cheer on many of you who are keeping that momentum going by recruiting new members and renewing current members now!

We heard great things about last year’s contest offering a Free National Convention Registration to membership growth winners. Could your League be one of those winners this year? Join last year’s winners and stay tuned for more contest details next week:

  • Leagues with fewer than 50 members: LWV of Hamilton County, IN
  • Leagues with 51-150 members: LWV of Hillsborough County, FL
  • Leagues with more than 151 members: LWV of Orange County, FL
  • And two others who achieved growth and were drawn from the pool of all growing Leagues: LWV of Washington County, AR and LWV of New Castle, NY

FINAL CALL - DEADLINE IS NOVEMBER 11: Become a National Coach (Reminder)
“I learn as much as I give.” This is a common sentiment expressed by the wonderful League leaders currently serving as national coaches or Shur Fellows. Do you want to continue to enrich your experience with League? Do you want to leverage your talents to help continue on our new path of membership growth? Apply to become a Shur Fellow; submit your nomination using this form. The time commitment is about 10 hours per month, but the benefits are immeasurable! Want to know more? Watch this short video about the Membership & Leadership Development (MLD) program or this in-depth webinar about being a Shur Fellow. You also can find more information on the responsibilities and benefits of being a Shur Fellow on our website. Applications are due on November 11.

Be Part of #GivingTuesday:  3 Simple Steps (NEW)
This year, the League will partner in the second annual #GivingTuesday campaign on December 3, 2013. In the same way that retail stores come together to offer deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday brings the nonprofit community together to raise awareness about the importance of supporting our valuable mission and work. How can your League take advantage of this national movement?  Fold it into your year-end efforts to solicit funds by:  1.  Send a Save-the-date email in November to your members and supporters letting them know about this special date; 2.  Send an appeal email on December 3; and 3.  Use the media (social media and traditional) to build a “buzz” about #GivingTuesday.  A press template to raise awareness of this important campaign and financial support for your League’s good work is available and so are LWVUS #GivingTuesday blogs on the environment and money in politics. Look for more templates soon including a template e-appeal and social media content. Check the official #GivingTuesday Communications toolkit for additional tips, templates and resources.

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Education Fund

Elections

Grants Available: 2014 Youth Voter Registration Program (Reminder)
LWVEF is pleased to invite Leagues to apply for a new pass-through grant opportunity to engage high school/community college/technical/vocational school students in the spring of 2014. Monday, December 2, is the final application deadline, however LWVEF is happy to receive applications earlier than that. State and local Leagues are encouraged to download the project description and funding application. If you have questions about completing your application, contact Maggie Duncan (mduncan@lwv.org).

WI Voter ID Trial Details Difficulties Voters Are Having Obtaining Photo ID (NEW)
A federal trial challenging the constitutionality of the 2011 Wisconsin voter photo ID law began on Monday. The trial involves two cases, Jones v. Deininger and Frank v. Walker, and is expected to last two weeks. The trial began with numerous citizens describing the problems they had in trying to secure voter photo IDs for themselves or family members. Some of them have yet to be successful. The LWVWI has also sued to stop implementation of the law in state court. That case is on appeal.

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OTHER

Make a Donation from your IRA in 2013 (NEW)
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 reinstated the “IRA charitable rollover” through the end of 2013. The law allows individuals 70½ and older to give up to $100,000 from their individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and Roth IRAs to qualified charitable organizations such as the League of Women Voters Education Fund without having to treat the withdrawals as taxable income. The transfer, if done properly, counts towards the taxpayer’s required minimum distribution for the year, and can be of particular value to individuals who do not claim itemized deductions on their tax return because the funds are transferred directly to nonprofits from IRA accounts and are never counted as income. Every donor’s circumstances are different, so please consult with your tax advisor to see if an IRA rollover is right for you. Please contact Aimee Olivo in the League’s Development office at 202-263-1355 or aolivo@lwv.org for additional information.

Donate to the League and support our work.

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