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League of Women Voters Leaders' Update

November 21, 2013

In This Issue:

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Let Individuals Give the Gift of League this Holiday Season (NEW)
  • Be Part of #GivingTuesday on December 3 (Reminder)
  • Thank You for Your Hard Work:  Win Great Prizes for Your League (Reminder)

EDUCATION FUND- - Elections

  • LAST CHANCE: 2014 Youth Voter Registration Grant Applications Due 12/2
  • VOTE411 Training Webinars (Reminder)
  • Wisconsin Supreme Court Agrees to Take up LWVWI’s State's Voter ID Case (NEW)

ADVOCACY

  • Tell the EPA you support regulations on Carbon Pollution (Reminder)
  • Update from the Climate Change Task Force (Reminder)

OTHER

  • Agriculture Update: First Papers Posted Online (NEW)
  • Program Planning Guide Is Here! (Reminder)
  • Clearinghouse – Election Results! (Reminder)
  • Make a Donation from your IRA in 2013 (Reminder)

Glad You Asked!

This section of the Leaders' Update is dedicated to providing the information that you want to know. If you have a question for this area, please submit it to kmcfarland@lwv.org.

Can individuals join LWVUS?

When someone joins the League, he/she becomes a member at all levels of the League.  However, currently individuals cannot enter the “membership stream” through LWVUS.  There are no “national members.” 

When individuals who want to support our work come to our website, they are given different options:  to give a financial contribution, to learn about the issues and possibly take action by receiving email communications such as our Action Alerts, or to get connected with the local League in their area. 

When the latter option is chosen, an email message is sent to the appropriate local League president.   It contains the contact information of the interested individual so the local League can follow up. 

Since launched, more than 775 people have completed the form, and of them, about 10% have joined their local League. If your League receives this kind of email, we thank you for responding quickly to discover their interests and welcome them into your League’s events and activities!

If you have a question for this area, please submit it to kmcfarland@lwv.org.
_________________________________________________________

Dear Supporter,

Next Thursday is Thanksgiving so this will be the final Leaders’ Update for November. That being the case, I would like to take this opportunity to share some of the many things about League that I am grateful for. I am very grateful for the outstanding work that the League did across the country to protect and power the vote in 2013 and I am equally grateful for the ongoing work that I know League members will do in the upcoming midterm elections. In saying this, I am also grateful for over 90 years of voter service work that prepared the League of Women Voters to take the lead in so much of the work that was necessary to protect voters and for the true grassroots structure of the League that gave us the ‘tennis shoes’ on the ground to really make things happen.

On a more personal note, I am grateful for the opportunities the League has given me to assume leadership roles at the local, state and national levels. I am grateful for the wonderful mentors and colleagues who have taught me over my long League career, the difference between belonging to a club that exists only for the benefit of its members, and being a member of the League that exists for the benefit of the community. I am grateful  that as a League member, no matter what the demands on my time,  I can (to paraphrase one of our past presidents) salve my guilty civic conscience knowing that I am part of a national organization that speaks up to power, when I can’t speak up myself.

As we look forward to another national convention, I am grateful for the opportunity that League meetings offer to temper my passions on various issues through the process of consensus building. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow that League issue advocacy and education provides. Where once I was proud to share with the League expertise I had already acquired, today, I am grateful that through the League, I have gained new expertise, as well as the opportunity to share it with a wider audience.

Finally, I am grateful that, wherever I go, the League is always a place where I can feel welcome, find friends, learn new things and be part of a community broader than just the League itself.

Gratefully in League,

Description: Elisabeth

P.S. I hereby personally pledge to support the League on #GivingTuesday. I hope you will join me!

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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.

Membership & leadership

Let Individuals Give the Gift of League this Holiday Season (NEW)
Looking for the perfect gift this holiday season or do you want to offer friends of the League a great way to honor someone they care about?  Encourage individuals to give the gift of strengthening democracy by donating to League.  Building on some of the templates available as part of the #GivingTuesday campaign, Leagues should take advantage of this national nonprofit opportunity to encourage individuals to make a donation to League this holiday season.  Upload this card template to your League’s site and allow donors to immediately print out a card that they can give to the recipient of the gift.  This will allow individuals to give throughout the holiday season.  (Leagues are encouraged to thank and acknowledge donors through their regular mechanisms for all donations to the organization.)

Be Part of #GivingTuesday on December 3 (Reminder)
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 following the 3 simple steps outlined on this page.  Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page for tools such as a sample email request for funds, a sample donation form to post on your League’s website, and a press template and social media tools to raise awareness of this important campaign.  If you have questions about how to take advantage of this national movement to raise funds for your League, please contact Rose Simmons at rsimmons@lwv.org.

Thank You for Your Hard Work:  Win Great Prizes for Your League (Reminder)
As we start the membership roster updating process, we want to reward you for the great work that your League is doing to recruit and retain members and to keep the member database as up-to-date as possible.  As a way of saying thank you for all the hard work that Leagues do in maintaining these records, we are offering prizes including Staples gift cards and FREE registration to LWVUS Convention 2014 to contest winners.   For assistance on working in the database, download the user manual or contact database@lwv.org.

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Education Fund

Elections

LAST CHANCE: 2014 Youth Voter Registration Grant Applications Due 12/2
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. Leagues are encouraged to download the project description and funding application. Applications must be received by Maggie Duncan (mduncan@lwv.org) by midnight on Monday, December 2. Maggie will be out of town and unable to answer questions about the grant November 23-December 1, but will be happy to discuss questions about the application you submitted (due Dec 2) when she returns.

VOTE411 Training Webinars (Reminder)
Are you looking for an in depth training on how to use VOTE411 to provide online voters’ guides in your community in 2014? LWVEF is providing two webinars that will show you the basics and answer your questions about this voter education tool. These trainings are great for both anyone interested in using VOTE411 and current VOTE411 participants! If you have never used the system or want a beginner training, register today for the Tuesday December 3rd 3-4PM Eastern Time webinar. If you have used the system before or want a more advanced training, register for the Friday December 6th 1-2PM Eastern Time to reserve your spot! If you have any questions about the webinars, or about VOTE411, please contact Megan Brown at mbrown@lwv.org.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Agrees to Take up LWVWI’s State's Voter ID Case (NEW)
The Wisconsin Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to take up two separate cases concerning the state's voter ID law which has been blocked since shortly after it took effect in 2012.The short orders issued Wednesday by the WI Supreme Court put the two state cases before it and clear a path for decisions to be rendered by June 2014. No one dissented in the decisions to take the cases.

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Advocacy

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.

Update from the Climate Change Task Force (Reminder)
The Climate Change Task Force is planning to update the Climate Change Toolkit, which appears on the League of Women Voters United States 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. Thanks for your help.

  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?

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OTHER

Agriculture Update: First Papers Posted Online (NEW)
We have posted several of the Agriculture Update papers on the LWVUS website and more will be posted in the coming weeks.  Please continue to check the website for papers in the three areas of Federal Agencies that deal with Agriculture issues, Agriculture Technology and Agriculture Financing. Then join discussions in the Agriculture Update group of the LWVUS Forums. Thanks to the Agriculture Update Committee for their hard work in drafting these papers.

To access the League Forums, you must be logged into the LWV.org member system. If you don't know your login or need additional directionsto get you Started on the Forums, a quick guide is available on the lwv.org website under Members > League Essentials >> Blogs / Lists.

Program Planning Guide Is Here! (Reminder)
Every two years state and local Leagues and ILO’s participate in the LWVUS Program Planning process by making recommendations concerning program issues.   The Program Planning process is an important League tool for identifying issues for study, review and update or concurrence.   Read the Program Planning Leaders Guide to assist you in your January/February 2014 Program Planning meeting.  The Program Planning Response form will be available on December 5, 2013.  If you have questions on this process please email progplan@lwv.org.

Clearinghouse – Election Results! (NEW)
All Leagues are winners when they use the League Clearinghouse with League studies in more than 50 subject areas that provide scope and focus of a topic, research methodology, sources consulted, information about positions, and consensus questions.  Note: the Clearinghouse accepts positions without studies, even as multi-position documents, if they are accompanied by a single submission form. The description section could have "Resulting Position:" and the position statement or a link to the position. Complete studies are preferred, and Leagues may add study documents at a later date. Share your studies! Share our strength on the League Clearinghouse.

Make a Donation from your IRA in 2013 (Reminder)
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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