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League of Women Voters Leaders' Update

March 6, 2014

Dear Friend,

This week, LWVUS President Elisabeth MacNamara is traveling to Baltimore, MD to attend the Shur Fellow training with several dozen League leaders. Be sure to read her message next week to hear more details of the training and her activities while in the DC area.

Meanwhile, please continue reading for several important announcements on Convention 2014. Congratulations to the 2014-2016 LWVUS Nominated Slate and a special thanks to the Nominating Committee for a job well done. The deadline for submitting nominations for Convention awards has been extended to March 17, 2014. We encourage Leagues to help us celebrate the great work that our members are doing by nominating a League and attending Convention in Dallas to cheer on the winners. 

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.

In This Issue:

CONVENTION 2014

  • 2014-2016 Slate of Officers, Directors, and Nominating Committee Members (NEW)
  • Special Event at Convention: Tickets on Sale Now (Reminder)
  • Wares Market at Convention 2014 (Reminder)
  • Request Caucus Space at National Convention (Reminder)

ADVOCACY

  • League Encourages the Treasury Department and the IRS to Move Forward with Proposed Regulations (NEW)
  • Submit a Comment to the Environmental Protection Agency (Reminder)
  • Voting Rights Act Fix Introduced in Congress! (Reminder)
  • LWVUS Redistricting Task Force to be Appointed (Reminder)

EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS

  • Plan Ahead for Effective Voter Registration (NEW)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Webinar Opportunity: Mentoring (NEW)
  • Gain Visibility: Sunshine Week is March 16-22 (Reminder)
  • Apply to be a Young People’s Board Advisor: Deadline is March 24 (Reminder)
  • League Awards: Deadline is March 17 (Reminder)

COMMUNICATIONS

  • Online Voter Registration: Improving Access to Voting (NEW)
  • Follow Fellow Leagues on Facebook! (NEW)
  • Women’s History Month Activities (Reminder)

OTHER

  • Agriculture Update (Reminder)

Convention 2014

2014-2016 Slate of Officers, Directors, and Nominating Committee Members (NEW)
The LWVUS Nominating Committee has been working diligently to slate a Board of Directors that is capable, experienced, and diverse. In addition to reading resumes and speaking with candidates and references, we talked to staff, current Board members, and others. Because there were so many strong candidates willing to participate and because their credentials are amazing, it made our work more challenging to reach a final selection, but it speaks to the great leadership capacity within the League and makes us proud to be among such talent. We worked hard, had fun, and are pleased to present the 2014-2016 slate of officers, directors, and nominating committee members.

Special Event at Convention: Tickets on Sale Now (Reminder)
The League of Women Voters of Dallas presents Red Hot Patriot: The Kick Ass Wit of Molly Ivins, a “glorious, jaw-dropping and spectacularly funny performance”. It will be held on Saturday June 7, 2014 at 7:30 pm at the Convention venue. A special LWVUS Convention ticket rate of $35 is available. Tickets are on sale now!

Wares Market at Convention 2014 (Reminder)
State or local Leagues wishing to exhibit and/or sell wares are invited to request a table in the Wares Market, which will be located in the foyer outside the plenary ballroom. Typical wares market items sold by Leagues at conventions include pins, bags, posters, books and other small- to mid-size items. The Wares Market will be open during hours on Saturday through Tuesday when there is no plenary session or special event scheduled. 

Request Caucus Space at National Convention (Reminder)
Interested in holding a caucus at Convention 2014? More information is available here. All requests should be made using the online form. Space is limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Questions? Contact Vicky Strella, vstrella@lwv.org.

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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’ve never been to national Convention before. How do I know what to expect?

LWVUS Board and staff have recorded an informational webinar about Convention 2014. That webinar can be viewed here.

You also are invited to sign up for the Convention 2014 Forum (you will need to be logged in to access the Forum) to join the discussion about Convention.

For more practical and logistical information, please visit “Your Guide to LWVUS Convention 2014.”

National Convention is a wonderful and energizing experience! Each time, almost half of the delegates are first-time attendees. We hope that you will join us in Dallas in June!

Advocacy

League Encourages Treasury Department, IRS to Move Forward with Proposed Regulations (NEW)
The League joined other organizations in sending a letter to the U.S. Treasury Department and the IRS, encouraging them to move forward with the rulemaking process to provide guidance for tax-exempt social welfare organizations on candidate related political activities. The League previously sent comments to the IRS regarding the proposed regulation.

Submit a Comment to the Environmental Protection Agency (Reminder)
The EPA has extended the deadline for public comments for the proposed federal carbon pollution standard for every new power plant built in America. The new deadline is May 9, 2014. Submit a public comment to the EPA in support of the standard and your voice will be part of the official record.

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.

LWVUS Redistricting Task Force to be Appointed (Reminder)
Based on a decision of the LWVUS Board, a Redistricting Task Force will be appointed to: (1) review the various methods and criteria that have been used in the states and the positions of state Leagues on redistricting; (2) consider how well the methods and criteria have worked; (3) develop materials to educate Leagues and communities; and (4) make recommendations on next steps. In 2020 there will be another census and consequently another redistricting. The League needs to be ready for these events and now is not too early to start. The League needs to be a more effective force on this issue. For additional details on this issue, read this paper on League Work on Redistricting and Apportionment. We plan on appointing the task force as soon as possible; we would like to finish the work of the task force at least by Council 2015. If you are interested in participating in this Redistricting Task Force, please fill out the application form by April 1.

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Education Fund - Elections

Plan Ahead for Effective Voter Registration (NEW)
Whether you’re visiting high schools to register voters this spring, planning for National Voter Registration Day 2014 (details coming soon), or gearing up for other registration activities, now is the time to gather your team and start mapping out your work. Browse our tips for voter registration drives here, and be sure to make use of our helpful visibility template materials and follow-up scripts for reminding voters about upcoming primary election dates.

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Membership & leadership

Webinar Opportunity: Mentoring (NEW)
Join the Young People’s Task Force (YPTF) for the third in their series of webinars to help recruit and engage younger generations in the work of LWV. This session, which will be held on Tuesday, March 25 at 2 pm ET, will focus on mentoring. Register today! And, to see the others in the series, please visit the League’s Webinar & Training Library.

Gain Visibility: Sunshine Week is March 16-22 (Reminder)
Use this letter to the editor template to draw attention to Sunshine Week and to gain visibility for your League.

Apply to be a Young People’s Board Advisor: Deadline March 24 (Reminder)
The League is interested in continuing to reach out to the next generation of League leaders. LWVUS would like to help local and state Leagues to improve membership outreach and become more visible in their communities in order to attract this important demographic. The LWVUS Board is seeking two off-board advisors to identify opportunities and create vehicles to increase the participation of young people in the organization. Learn more about this great opportunity and to apply for one of the Board Advisor Positions fill out the application form by March 24, 2014.

League Awards: Deadline is March 17 (Reminder)
Haven’t applied for an award for all the great work your League has done this year? Well, you’re in luck! Because of the many other convention-related deadlines that are fast approaching, we’ve extended the deadline for award submissions to Monday, March 17, 2014. We want to ensure that as many Leagues as possible have the time to take advantage of this great opportunity to showcase the hard work that we know is being done nationwide. The application form only takes a few minutes to fill out and there are four different award categories from which to choose.

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Communications

Online Voter Registration: Improving Access to Voting (NEW)
By the beginning of 2014, at least 21 states had established or were in the process of establishing online voter registration systems, helping take a huge step in bringing our voting systems into the 21st century. However, most of the systems implemented thus far leave out a significant and important part of the population -- citizens who don't have a driver's license or non-driver's ID. Read President Elisabeth MacNamara Huffington Post blog on why it's critical that these systems are designed to be equally available to all eligible voters.

Follow Fellow Leagues on Facebook! (NEW)
We’ve made it easier for you to follow the work of other state and local Leagues! Log onto Facebook to see a listing of all the Leagues and click through to “like” each. If you’re the admin on your League’s Facebook page, be sure to “like” fellow League pages from your League account. (Of course you can do so from your personal Facebook, too!). If we’ve missed you, please email Kelsey Greenagel (kgreenagel@lwv.org) with the link to your League’s Facebook page, and we’ll make sure to add you!

Women’s History Month Activities (Reminder)
March marks Women’s History Month. LWVUS will be blogging and sharing content on our social media channels throughout the month - we encourage state and local Leagues to share this content. Please send any photos from your League’s activities celebrating Women’s History Month to Stephanie Drahan (sdrahan@lwv.org). We’ll be compiling them into an album to share on Facebook towards the end of the month. Please also use this template press statement to mark Women’s History Month with your local media outlets.

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OTHER

Agriculture Update (Reminder)
All Agriculture Update materials including the update papers, Leaders' Guide and online response form are posted on the Member Resources website and Leagues are encouraged to meet and submit consensus forms by the deadline of April 18, 2014. Additional reference materials and guides provided by local Leagues can be found at the Agriculture Update Forum (you need to be logged in to access the discussion forums). Contact Agriculture Update Chair Norman Turrill at LWVTurrill@mac.com if there are more questions.

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League of Women Voters
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