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League of Women Voters Leaders' Update

January 30, 2014

In This Issue:

ADVOCACY

  • League Joins Suit Supporting Reproductive Health Care in ACA (NEW)
  • Voting Rights Act Fix Introduced in Congress! (Reminder)
  • Support EPA's Limits on Carbon Pollution (Reminder)

EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS

  • Missouri Moves Forward on Photo ID – Veto Proof Majority Means Real Threat (NEW)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Roster Updating Ends Tomorrow (Reminder)
  • Updated Members Section of Website Coming Soon (NEW)
  • Congratulations to our Second Round of Database Contest Winners! (NEW)

COMMUNICATIONS

  • League Reacts to President Obama’s State of the Union Address (NEW)

OTHER

  • Program Planning (NEW)
  • Agriculture Update (Reminder)

Convention 2014

Convention 2014 Special Event (NEW)

The League of Women Voters of Dallas
presents
Red Hot Patriot:  The Kick Ass Wit of Molly Ivins.

This glorious, jaw-dropping and spectacularly funny performance by Georgia Clinton will be held on Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 7:30 pm at the Omni Dallas Downtown (Convention site). The special LWVUS Convention ticket rate is $35.

Visit our Convention 2014 page to see what is planned and visit the Convention Forum at forum.lwv.org for the latest discussion!

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.

I was looking to include a success story or story of impact in a fundraising letter that we are sending out around the League’s birthday next month.  Are there any such stories on the LWVUS website? 

Yes!  Please visit the League’s blog located on the center of the homepage.  Entitled “Right Now:  Voices of the League,” this area is full of success stories from Leagues across the country. 

If you look back, there were several “year in review” pieces released in November and December that show the breadth and depth of our impact as an organization. 

Cheers on getting out a fundraising letter; remember that Fundraising 101:  The League Way has great tips and tools for that process. 

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

Dear Friend,

State of the Union Bingo on Tuesday night was a great way to listen to President Obama lay out his priorities for the coming year. The critical issues he addressed did include League priority issues in the area of voting rights, money in politics, climate change, and immigration.

President Obama also mentioned the two recent bipartisan efforts to improve our elections and to increase access to the polls. We’re excited that the President highlighted the bipartisan bill that was recently introduced in both chambers of Congress to modernize the Voting Rights Act, and we look forward to working with Congress to pass a strong bill quickly.

In last year’s SOTU, President Obama called for the convening of a bipartisan Commission to address challenges in election administration. Last night, he highlighted the recent release of recommendations by the Presidential Commission on Election Administration (PCEA). The League applauds the recommendations issued by the PCEA, and welcomes improvements to the basic administration of elections across the country. However, it remains critical that Congress acts this year on a distinct opportunity to protect voters from discrimination in a common sense, bipartisan way through passage of the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014. Tell Congress to act swiftly to repair and restore the Voting Rights Act.

The President briefly touched on the grave issue of money in politics when he said “It should be the power of our vote, not the size of our bank account, that drives our democracy.” The timing is apt: last week marked the fourth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Citizens United, a move that opened the floodgates for big money and special interest influence to overtake our political system. We also continue to wait for a decision in McCutcheon v. FEC, a case that challenges aggregate spending limits that are imposed on individual donors in order to prevent corruption and the appearance of corruption.

For decades, the League has supported efforts to stop the flood of secret money in elections. We will continue to advocate at all levels of government to prevent special interest in elections and ensure that the voices of voters across the country are heard.

In his State of the Union address last year, the President promised to use his executive power to take action if Congress did not take action against climate change – and he’s done just that by taking historical action to cut carbon pollution from power plants. We’re pleased that President Obama once again underscored his commitment to protecting our environment for future generations in last night’s speech. Urgent action is needed to defend both our natural resources and our public health. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed a first-ever federal carbon pollution standard for new power plants. This is a game changer; the unlimited dumping of carbon pollution is a chief cause of climate change. Join with the League and take action today by calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to limit carbon pollution and help ensure a cleaner, healthier future for everyone.

President Obama renewed his commitment to fix our broken immigration system. The League is committed to helping those living in the shadows become a part of our great nation. Join with us and tell your Representatives to take action on the bill that the Senate passed earlier this summer.

Echoing the President, let’s make this a year of action. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work on these important issues!

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 Joins Suit Supporting Reproductive Health Care in ACA (NEW)
LWVUS joined an amicus brief in a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by employers who maintain they do not have to provide reproductive health coverage based on religious beliefs of owners. LWV has long supported access to health care including reproductive health care for women.

Voting Rights Act Fix Introduced in Congress! (Reminder)
Representatives James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), John Conyers (D-MI), Bobby Scott (D-VA), John Lewis (D-GA), and Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) have introduced common sense legislation that would repair and restore the Voting Rights Act. This bipartisan effort to fix the damage done by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby v. Holder is necessary to restore and protect the rights of voters across the country. Please urge your elected officials to support this important legislation and encourage them to act swiftly to move toward final passage.  Read the LWVUS press statement on the new bill and tailor this press template to use with media in your state and community.

Support EPA's Limits on Carbon Pollution (Reminder)
President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have proposed a first-ever federal carbon pollution standard for every new power plant built in America. This is a game changer for the climate – especially because power plants are our single largest source of carbon pollution. Submit a public comment to the EPA in support of the standard and your voice will be part of the official record.

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Education Fund - Elections

Missouri Moves Forward on Photo ID – Veto Proof Majority Means Real Threat (NEW)
This week a Missouri Senate panel held a hearing on a bill that would require voters to show photo identification at polling places amid warnings from the state's top election official that 220,000 registered voters would no longer be able to cast ballots if the measure passes. Similar measures passed in the past but were vetoed by their Governor. This year there is a veto proof majority in both houses.

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Membership & leadership

Roster Updating Ends Tomorrow (Reminder)
Time is running out to update your League’s membership roster and to be automatically entered into the membership growth contest.  Input information about your renewing and new members, and if your League has the most net growth for Leagues of its size, you could win a free registration to LWVUS Convention in Dallas, TX.  We’ll also be drawing two more free registrations out of all the Leagues that experienced net growth.  That’s 5 FREE registrations available to Leagues! For assistance on working in the database, download the user manual or contact membership@lwv.org.  Remember that your “official membership count” (i.e. the numbers in the database on January 31) will be used to determine your League’s PMP payment for FY2014-15 and your delegate count for Convention 2014.  Summary sheets (i.e. the one-pager about your League’s membership count) will be available online starting February 4

Updated Members Section of Website Coming Soon (NEW)
We are excited to announce that we will be unveiling an improved version of the members' section of our website in late February. Based on the input of League members, we have redesigned the area to be more user-friendly and allow for customization based upon the information each League Leader most needs. Look for more information in the coming weeks on what the site will look like, instructions on how to access the site and your personal page, and how you can get the most out of the changes.

Congratulations to our Second Round of Database Contest Winners (NEW)
Thanks to the MANY Leagues that updated the expiration date on all of their member records in the national database by January 20th.  Of those, five Leagues were selected at random to receive a $25 Staples gift card. Our five lucky Leagues are:  LWV of Monterey County (CA), LWV of North Pinellas County (FL), LWV of St. Louis (MO), LWV of Berks County (PA), and LWV of Knoxville-Knox County (TN).  Congratulations to these Leagues and a huge thank you to all those Leagues that have been working hard to keep the membership database up-to-date.

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Communication

League Reacts to President Obama’s State of the Union Address (NEW)
We were very pleased with the President’s State of the Union speech earlier this week. President Obama addressed each of our priority issues, and a few other issues important to the League. Read our reaction blog post. Big thanks to everyone who participated in LWV State of the Union Bingo! We had a lot of fun – and hope you did too. We also pulled together a blog post that demonstrates the activity of Leagues and our supporters from around the country during the speech.

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OTHER

Program Planning (NEW)
Leagues should be holding LWVUS program planning meetings in anticipation of the March 1 deadline. The Program Planning process is an important League tool for identifying issues for study, review and update or concurrence. Recommending an issue is not required - no recommendation is one of the options, but please use the comments section of the response form to tell us that your League met and had no issues to recommend this time. The Leaders Guide and response form are now available online. If you have questions on the program planning process, please email progplan@lwv.org.

Agriculture Update (Reminder)
Leagues should know by now that the deadline for completing consensus reports has been extended to April 18.  An automated online form for this purpose will be posted to the Agriculture Update webpage soon. Please use the Agriculture Update group in the LWVUS Forums or contact Agriculture Update Chair Norman Turrill at LWVTurrill@mac.com if there are more questions.

Donate to the League and support our work.

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