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The League Update

May 22, 2014

Dear Friend,

In League lingo it is “Program” or “study” or “consensus”. Whatever it is called, it is the process of obtaining membership understanding and agreement on substantive issues for purposes of advocacy. Whether the issue is local, state or national, this deliberative process, which at times causes us to chafe, is the reason many of us were attracted to the League. League study is an opportunity to engage not just our members but our communities as well. As a brand new lawyer many years ago, I was asked to speak at a forum during a League study and to assist with the consensus meetings that followed. Not only was I honored to be given the chance to be an expert, I loved the process. I have been hooked ever since.

Over the past eight years, Leagues, assisted by member experts, have come together to do five national studies. The most recent was updating our agriculture position. In this Update, we publish our Statement of Position on Federal Agriculture Policies which supplements the existing agriculture position adopted in 1988. While we have experienced some bumps along the road to achieving this consensus the member experts on the study committee produced excellent materials and Leagues demonstrated amazing creativity in the process. We had widespread participation and very a clear consensus. Join me in thanking the study committee as well as the board and staff members working with them for their hard work.

But my hat is also off to our local Leagues. This was a complex issue with many facets and Leagues embraced it and used it not just to expand member understanding of the issue but to explore modern agriculture in their own communities. I was recently in Maine for an annual training conducted by our New England states. Whether it was field trips to local farms or inviting a beekeeper to speak at a meeting, these states used this study to engage each other and their communities and they got new members.

Belle Sherwin, our second national president, once described the League as a “university without walls…whose members enter to learn and remain to shape the curriculum.” In just a couple of weeks, delegates from around the country will descend on Dallas to shape the curriculum for the next two years. The recommended program is an ambitious study, update and information gathering around the key structures of our democracy: money in politics and redistricting and of course, we will continue fighting to protect and improve our elections.

See you in Dallas,

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 Starts in 2 Weeks: How to Prepare (NEW)
  • May 23: Last Day to Register without a Late Fee (REMINDER)
  • Convention 2014 Caucus Schedule Available (NEW)
  • Tailored Training Tracks Available for Convention 2014 Attendees (NEW)
  • Convention 2014 Hotel Update (NEW)
  • Candidate Forum Scheduled (NEW)


  • Time to Get-out-the-Vote! Vote for your favorite Power: Our Voices, Our Votes Award Finalists (REMINDER)


  • Tell Your Representative to Move Forward on Voting Rights (NEW)
  • Thank You for Submitting Your Comment to the EPA! (REMINDER)


  • Voter Photo ID Defeated in Pennsylvania (NEW)
  • OnLine Registration and Early Voting in Massachusetts (NEW)


  • LWVUS Position on Federal Agriculture Policies (NEW)

Convention 2014

Convention Starts in 2 Weeks: How to Prepare (NEW)
For complete information on all aspects of planning your time at Convention, please review YOUR GUIDE TO CONVENTION 2014,where you'll the find answers to many of your questions. In addition, please visit the Convention Forum (log in from this page) or listen to the most recent webinar about the Convention - Get the most out of Convention: Power the League at all Levels.

May 23: Last Day to Register without a Late Fee (REMINDER)
Please register for Convention by May 23 to avoid late fees. After that date there will be an additional $50 added to the $335 registration fee. The final online registration deadline is May 31. After that date, delegates may register in-person at the Convention site.

Convention 2014 Caucus Schedule Available (NEW)
This year’s state and local League-sponsored caucus descriptions and schedule are now available online so you can start to map out your early mornings and late evenings for when you’re in Dallas.

Tailored Training Tracks Available for Convention 2014 Attendees (NEW)
We are excited to offer four separate training tracks at national convention:

  1. State League Leaders
  2. New Local League Leaders - five years or less
  3. Veteran Local League Leaders - six years or more
  4. State MLD Coaches/Coordinators

Each track is specifically designed for a particular leadership group but shares some common core areas:

  • Programmatic work
  • Visibility
  • Fundraising
  • Organizational development

We ask that participants stay with your track throughout convention (Friday, Saturday and Monday sessions) in order to get the full benefit of each track. A survey was sent via email to all registrants earlier this week to allow individuals to register for the training track that best suits their needs. If you have not done so, please complete your survey by Friday, May 23. If you are attending Convention and haven’t received a survey, please contact membership@lwv.org.

Convention 2014 Hotel Update (NEW)
The Omni Hotel, our Convention headquarters, is already booked a few nights during Convention, but don’t despair! There are a number of other downtown Dallas hotels near the Omni with vacancies and decent rates. The closest ones to the Omni are: Aloft, Nylo, Hyatt Regency, Adolphus, and Joule.

Candidate Forum Scheduled (NEW)
A one-hour Candidates Forum for candidates for LWVUS office has been scheduled for June 8th at noon in the plenary hall. Questions for candidates prior to Convention can be posted on the LWVUS Convention Forum (log in from this page). A question suggestion box will be available in the plenary hall for delegates' submissions. Final questions will be chosen by the Campaign Oversight Committee, who is responsible for conducting a fair, impartial forum per LWVUS policy.

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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Glad You Asked!

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

How do I get tickets for Red Hot Patriot, the live performance being held at the Convention venue?

Tickets, which cost $35, are available online now for this LWV of Dallas fundraiser. Tickets also will be available at the Information table in the Wares Market at the hotel in Dallas. Enjoy the show!

Membership & leadership

LAST CHANCE: Vote for your favorite Power: Our Voices, Our Votes Award Finalists (REMINDER)
It’s close and voting closes tomorrow! Make your voice heard by voting for your favorite 2014 Power: Our Voices, Our Votes Award finalists. Read about each project here, and vote for your choice in each category! You can also share this with other League members and in your community via your League website and Facebook and Twitter channels to celebrate all of these great projects. Voting closes at 12 noon ET tomorrow (May 23). The winners will be announced at LWVUS Convention 2014.

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Education Fund - Elections

Voter Photo ID Defeated in Pennsylvania (NEW)
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett says he won't appeal a state court ruling that struck down Pennsylvania's photo voter identification law. Congratulations to LWVPA, the lead organizational plaintiffs in this case, and our coalition partners on a huge victory for voters.

Online Registration and Early Voting in Massachusetts (NEW)
The Massachusetts Legislature passed, and Governor Patrick said he will sign, a pro-voter bill that includes online registration and pre-registration for 16 & 17 year olds. It also includes 11 days of early voting. The early voting provision only allows early voting during regular business hours and the online registration is only available to those who already have a driver’s license or state issued photo ID. Although there is still work to do this is a step in the right direction. Congratulations to LWVMA and their coalition partners! 

Happy Annual Meeting Month

New studies adopted at your annual meeting? Jumpstart those new items by visiting the League Clearinghouse--the great resource that features League studies in more than 50 subject areas. The Clearinghouse provides scope and focus of a topic, research methodology, sources consulted, information about positions, and consensus questions.Studies completed? Post them to the Clearinghouse to benefit other Leagues.

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

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.



Tell Your Representative to Move Forward on Voting Rights (NEW)
Four months after legislation was introduced in the U.S. House and Senate to restore the Voting Rights Act, we are still waiting for Congress to take action. The time for waiting is over. Tell your Representative to call for a hearing on H.R. 3899, the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 (VRAA). The VRAA is an important step forward for our democracy, where the right to vote is not about politics or the outcome of elections; it is about equality and justice.   

Thank You for Submitting Your Comment to the EPA! (REMINDER)
Thanks to League members and supporters from across the country we were able to submit over 46,000 comments to the EPA on the new source carbon pollution standards! In June we will begin collecting comments for the existing sources carbon pollution standard, but for now let’s celebrate this excellent victory.

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Our Work

LWVUS Position on Federal Agriculture Policies (NEW)
On May 15, 2014, the LWVUS Board approved the new Position on Federal Agriculture Policies. The position is based on responses from 243 state and local Leagues. Thanks to Committee Chair Norman Turrill, LWVUS Board and Update Committee members Sheri Latash, (IL), Jessica Trites Rolle, (KS), Valerie Kelly, (MD), Margaret Chasson, MD, Linda Hoff, (MI), Marnie Lonsdale, (OR) and Carol Kuniholm, (PA) as well as Member Agreement Committee Chair Janis McMillen and LWVUS Education Chair Karen Nicholson.

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