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The League Update

June 26th, 2014

Dear Friend,

Yesterday, we marked the one year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder decision, a ruling that gutted key provisions of the Voting Rights Act. In Washington, the day was full of events, including a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the topic of voting rights and discrimination. The hearing was a welcome occasion for those working to protect voters and make the case for swift action on the Voting Rights Amendment Act (VRAA). The VRAA was crafted and introduced by a bipartisan group of legislators earlier this year and is a workable, commonsense solution that would modernize the elections process and protect voting rights against discrimination.

Following the hearing, we gathered for a rally on the Capitol lawn overlooking the U.S. House of Representatives. We were there to urge the House to do its part and keep this legislative fix moving forward. Help us by adding your voice and telling your Representative to move forward on voting rights.

This fall, Americans across the country will head to the polls for the 2014 elections. While unfortunately, there will be some voters that encounter discrimination in November, we know that League members stand ready to help them register and vote. Through voter registration events, candidate forums and voters’ guides, and the vital role of our nationally-renowned, election information website, www.VOTE411.org, the League is an important resource for all voters.

We are hopeful and encouraged by yesterday’s action. As League members, we are known for never giving up. Already, we have sent tens of thousands of letters to Congress in support of quick action on this bill. Let’s use this occasion as motivation. There is no better time than right now to push the fight for equality at the ballot box over the finish line.

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:

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Young People’s Task Force Toolkit and Webinar Available (NEW)
  • Organizational Development Resources from Convention 2014 Online (NEW)
  • Award Winners Announced at Convention in Dallas (NEW)
  • Welcome the LWV of the Lower Keys (NEW)
  • Updated Bylaws Available Online (NEW)

EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS

  • Template Letter to the Editor for July 4th and VOTE411 (NEW)
  • Promote your Candidate Debates and Forums on VOTE411! (REMINDER)
  • New Toolkit: Conducting Voter Registration at Naturalization Ceremonies (REMINDER)

ADVOCACY

  • League Opposes Bad Policy Riders to 2014 Appropriations Bills (NEW)
  • VRAA to Move Forward in the U.S. Senate (UPDATED)
  • EPA to Hold Public Hearings on New Carbon Regulation (REMINDER)

OTHER

  • OXFAM America Report on Working Poor (NEW)

membership & leadership

Young People’s Task Force Toolkit and Webinar Available (NEW)
“What a moment to invite people into our trusted organization and engage a new generation in leadership for our democracy.” At Convention in Dallas, the Young People’s Task Force (YPTF) unveiled their newly completed toolkit for recruiting and engaging new, young members. The toolkit includes chapters focused on mentoring new leaders, developing a League presence on college campuses, internships and more. The entire toolkit is now available online. The YP team will also be holding a webinar on July 2 at 7:00 p.m. ET to give an overview of their new toolkit and introduce the new YP Board Advisors for the coming biennium. Sign up for the webinar today!

Organizational Development Resources from Convention 2014 Online (NEW)
All of the resources from the trainings on Membership and Organizational Development are now posted on the website. These are great resources for those who attended Convention 2014 and wanted to reference specific PowerPoints or for those who want to share handouts with those who could not make it to Dallas this year.

Award Winners Announced at Convention in Dallas (NEW)
Congratulations to the four winners of the 2014 Power: Our Voices, Our Votes Awards! The Effective Member Engagement and Recruitment Award was won by the LWV of Miami-Dade County, FL; the Strengthening Democracy Award was won by the LWV of the Kalamazoo Area, MI; the High Impact Visibility Awards was won by the LWV of New Jersey; and the Community Connection Award was won by LWV of Collier County, FL.

Of the 16 finalists, each winner was chosen by you! You can read more about the winning projects and all of our finalists online. Thank you to each of you for your participation in picking this year’s winners.

Welcome the LWV of the Lower Keys (NEW)
LWVUS is pleased welcome the League of Women Voters of the Lower Keys, Florida. This League has shown itself to be dedicated to protecting and strengthening our democracy and we look forward to their future successes. Special thanks are extended to LWV of Florida for mentoring this new group!

Updated Bylaws Available Online (NEW)
Convention delegates approved three amendments to the LWVUS Bylaws. The updated and current version of the bylaws is now available online.

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Glad You Asked!

What types of discussion forums are available for me to join?

There are currently nine forum groups and 17 subgroups that address a range of topics from Agriculture and Social Policy to League Roles and Young Professionals. You can view all of the groups and subgroups and join (or request to join) by selecting “Join” in the right side bar titled “Group Menu.” The Forums are a great resource - especially for networking with League leaders from across the country. If you have any additional questions, please contact membership@lwv.org

Education Fund - Elections

Template Letter to the Editor for July 4th and VOTE411 (NEW)
As we approach our nation’s birthday at the end of next week, use this new template letter to the editor to remind your state and community about the importance of getting registered and ready for the elections this year by visiting VOTE411.org.

Promote your Candidate Debates and Forums on VOTE411! (REMINDER)
Does your League have any candidate debates or forums coming up in 2014? Promoting your events on VOTE411 can help spread the word to voters in your communities. Over 650 League sponsored candidate debates have been published on VOTE411. If you have any upcoming candidate debates or forums and would like us to post the information on VOTE411, please send the following information to Megan Brown: event title, offices covered, date, time, location (venue name and address) and any other information voters might need.

New Toolkit: Conducting Voter Registration at Naturalization Ceremonies (REMINDER)
LWVEF is pleased to unveil a new toolkit intended to help Leagues conduct effective voter registration at naturalization ceremonies for new citizens. The toolkit, available for free download, includes League-tested strategies for working with officials who host naturalization ceremonies, tips for improving voter registration rates at ceremonies, a customizable media advisory template to help spread the word about your great work, and inspiring success stories from Leagues who are already working to engage new citizens. We hope to add to this toolkit in the coming months. Please share your feedback and questions with Elections Program Manager, Maggie Duncan.

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Advocacy

League Opposes Bad Policy Riders to 2014 Appropriations Bills (NEW)
The League joined a letter to the Leadership of the U.S. Senate encouraging them to stay strong against attempts to load 2014 appropriations bills with amendments that threaten the nation's clean water, climate and natural resources.

VRAA to move forward in the U.S. Senate (UPDATED)
On the one year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision to gut the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, the Senate Judiciary Committee finally held a hearing on the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 (VRAA). This hearing in the Senate is the first step to ensuring voting rights are protected but we also need to keep the pressure on the U.S. House. Tell your Representative to move forward on voting rights. There are templates available to use in your own state around the hearing. Use this press release template and template letter to the editor in your own communities to build support for voting rights!

EPA to Hold Public Hearings on New Carbon Regulation (REMINDER)
During the week of July 28, the EPA will hold public hearings in Pittsburgh, Denver, Atlanta and Washington, DC to gather feedback on the recently proposed regulations of carbon pollution from power plants. League members in these cities can sign up to provide testimony on these new regulations on the EPA’s website. League members who cannot attend the hearings should submit a comment to the EPA in support of these regulations.

League Clearinghouse--open 24/7

Always open, always ready for your reference or input. Visit 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.


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! Just a click away: http://clearinghouse.lwv.org

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other

OXFAM America Report on Working Poor (NEW)
Oxfam America has released a report that describes the challenges facing the working poor in America. The publication provides state by state maps of where the working poor live in America.

 

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