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The League Update

March 27, 2014

Dear Friend,

During Women’s History Month we have been celebrating women past, present and future with a series of blogs focused on the wonderful history of our organization and the work of our local Leagues. Yesterday, the League was a proud co-sponsor of the National Women’s History Museum panel, “Standing Up for Change: Women and the Civil Rights Movement.” The panelists discussed how women played an integral role in advancing the civil rights movement – though few became public figures.

Of course, we don’t celebrate our work just during the month of March. The League makes history every month when our volunteers advocate for positive change in our state legislatures and with local elected officials; when we provide voters with reliable, unbiased candidate information through voter guides, debates and forums; and when we protect our elections by registering voters, working with our local election officials to improve election administration; and when we take on issues in Congress.

We’re Making Democracy Work® every day of every month for our communities. At LWVUS, we are proud to tell that story by featuring the work of our state and local Leagues on our website and through social media. League volunteers are every day heroes impacting the present and the future as we have made history in the past. Our first president Maude Wood Park once remarked that the “success of democracy does not depend on a few persons doing great things but on many persons doing small things faithfully.” From day to day, our work may seem small, but the fact that we are many persons doing those small things faithfully, has insured the success of the League and of our democracy for nearly 100 years.

As always, thanks for all you do.

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

  • Convention Speaker Spotlight:  Peter Levine (NEW)

EDUCATION FUND: ELECTIONS

  • Wisconsin League Urged Governor to Veto 3 anti-voter Bills (NEW)
  • Law Day 2014: Why Every Voter Matters (NEW)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Spotlight Your League’s Volunteer Efforts:  Press Template (NEW)
  • Series of Webinars by Young People’s Task Force (YPTF) Available (NEW)
  • League in the Spotlight: LWV of the Gulf Coast (NEW)
  • National Coaches Trained and Ready to Work with Leagues (NEW)

ADVOCACY

  • League Urges Representatives to Co-Sponsor H.R. 270 (NEW)
  • LWVUS Redistricting Task Force to be Appointed (FINAL Reminder)
  • Voting Rights Act Fix Introduced in Congress! (Reminder)
  • Working to Protect Our Planet (Reminder)
  • Submit a Comment to the Environmental Protection Agency (Reminder)

OTHER

  • Agriculture Update (Reminder) 

Convention 2014

Convention Speaker Spotlight:  Peter Levine (NEW)
Plans for Convention 2014 in Dallas are coming together!  We are getting more and more excited about this biennial gathering of League leaders from across the country as we confirm speakers and finalize schedules.  This week, we want to highlight one speaker:  Peter Levine.  A League member for many years, Peter Levine is Director of CIRCLE, the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.  He is also the Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs in Tufts University’s Jonathan Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service.  He is involved with The Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, The Charles Kettering Foundation and the Deliberative Democracy Consortium and is author of a new book We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: The Promise of Civic Renewal in America.He will be part of a panel discussion on engaging for civic impact.

Don't forget, visit our Convention 2014 page to see what is planned and visit the Convention Forum at forum.lwv.org for the latest discussion!

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Education Fund: Elections

Wisconsin League Urged Governor to Veto 3 anti-voter bills (NEW)
The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin urged Governor Walker to veto three anti-voter bills passed by the state legislature in the past few weeks: SB 267 requires citizens to show proof-of‐residence whenever they register to vote, SB 324 bans evening/weekend hours for early voting and AB 202 allows election observers to be as close as three feet from the table where people are checking in or registering at their polling place. The League of Women Voters is disappointed by Governor Walker's action.

Law Day 2014: Why Every Voter Matters (NEW)
LWVUS is once again supporting the American Bar Association’s Law Day activities. This year’s theme, American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters, aligns nicely with the work Leagues are undertaking across the country to protect voters’ rights. We encourage you to reach out to the local bar association in your community to see if they are planning an event for May 1st and if there is an opportunity to collaborate. The American Bar Association has sent this 2014 planning guide to local bar associations all across the country, which includes some great programming ideas, and highlights the League as a potential partner. Law Day events are added to the American Bar Association website on an ongoing basis.

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.

How do I find a roommate for Convention 2014 in Dallas?

Many Convention delegates are looking for someone to share the costs of a hotel room at the Convention venue

Please use the Convention Forum as a place to post your request or look for others who are seeking a roommate.

To log in and access the Forums, visit “Getting started on the Forums.” 

Membership & leadership

Spotlight Your League’s Volunteer Efforts:  Press Template (NEW)
April 6-12 is National Volunteer Week.  Share with the community some of the great work that your League members do on a regular basis by customizing this press template.

Series of Webinars by Young People’s Task Force (YPTF) Available (NEW)
Interested in engaging the next generation of League leaders? Watch the latest webinar on mentoring created by the YPTF.  They discuss the importance of mentoring and some best practices in setting up formal and informal mentoring relationships.  This same message was highlighted as part of Women’s History Month programming on NPR this week.  Other YPTF-created webinars, including sessions on internships and reaching out to millennials on campus  are available in the League’s League’s Webinar & Training Library

League in the Spotlight: LWV of the Gulf Coast (NEW)
As we all know, good programmatic work combined with intentional organizational development efforts creates stronger Leagues for stronger impact.  This week, we wanted to showcase one League that has done just that, and the result is a 24% growth in membership this past year!  Cheers to the LWV of the Gulf Coast (MS)!  Read more about their most recent program which featured the former Ole Miss Chancellor

National Coaches Trained and Ready to Work with Leagues (NEW)
The Ruth S. Shur Fellows, 25 dynamic and dedicated volunteers from across the country, were recently trained in Baltimore. Joined by LWVUS President Elisabeth MacNamara and national board members Peggy Appler and Anne Schink, the Fellows were trained on technology essentials, new coaching methods, programmatic opportunities around Election 2014, and best practices to strengthen the League. They are a part of the support network provided to participating state coaching teams through the Membership and Leadership Development (MLD) Program, which is funded by the Fund for Local League Growth. Read about each of our unique and talented National Coaches and watch this short video to learn more about this program.

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CLEARINGHOUSE

Time for Local and State League Program Planning!

Jump start your League program review and planning for spring annual meetings by visiting the League Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse provides 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. Complete studies are preferred, and Leagues may add study documents at a later date.

Share your studies! Share our strength! Just a click away: http://clearinghouse.lwv.org

Advocacy

League Urges Representatives to Co-Sponsor H.R. 270 (NEW)
The League joined with reform groups to ask Representatives to Co-Sponsor H.R. 270, the Empowering Citizens Act. H.R. 270 is the most comprehensive campaign finance reform legislation pending in Congress. It would end individual candidate Super PACs, repair the presidential public financing system, create a similar financing system for congressional races and strengthen the rules prohibiting coordination between outside spending groups and candidates. Members of the LWVUS Lobby Corps will also be contacting members of Congress on this topic.

LWVUS Redistricting Task Force to be Appointed (FINAL 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.

NOTE: SurveyGizmo, the company that powers many of the League's forms (consensus, surveys and applications) has been the victim of a Denial of Service Attack. They are working hard to transfer and restore their systems, but until they complete their work, a number of our forms, like the Redistricting Task Force application, will be inaccessible. If you are unable to access the form, please try again later.

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.

Working to Protect Our Planet (Reminder)
The LWVUS Climate Change Task Force (CCTF) encourages League members to put climate action on their League’s agenda.  Climate action can take many forms, ranging from one event to a longer-term initiative.  Earth Day celebrations, for example, provide a good opportunity to enlist support for climate solutions, such as the EPA’s proposed carbon pollution standard for new power plants.  Find more information and ideas for Earth Day 2014 -- April 2; and for an example of a sustained climate initiative, read about the LWV La Plata County’s climate-focused observer corps and community forum.  The CCTF would like to hear from more Leagues about how they have been working to protect our planet.  Please send your League’s climate action story to CCTF Chair Eleanor Revelle (er@revelle.net).

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.

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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.  Contact Agriculture Update Chair Norman Turrill at LWVTurrill@mac.com if there are more questions.

NOTE: SurveyGizmo, the company that powers many of the League's forms (consensus, surveys and applications) has been the victim of a Denial of Service Attack. They are working hard to transfer and restore their systems, but until they complete their work, a number of our forms, like theAgriculture Update Consensus form, will be inaccessible. If you are unable to access the form, please try again later.

 

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