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The League Update

July 17, 2014

Dear Friend,

This week, the League attended a special meeting at the Capitol conducted by Senators Mark Begich and Harry Reid concerning voting rights. We were one of several invited organizations, including the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, the NAACP, the ACLU and the Asian American Alliance for Justice. The focus of the meeting was on moving more quickly on the Voting Rights Amendment Act (VRAA), which the League and every organization represented at the meeting have been working tirelessly to support.

Just last month a hearing was finally held on the VRAA in the Senate Judiciary Committee, with League members and staff in attendance. At the meeting this week, there was widespread agreement that additional hearings are needed. We were also reminded of the importance of the Voting Rights Act, not just in protecting the rights of racial and ethnic minorities, but also the rights of language minorities. Alaska’s Senator Begich invited representatives of the Native American community from his state, who updated the group about a lawsuit currently being tried in Alaska under Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act. The concerns raised in that trial about meaningful access to information, and not just information about candidates and what’s on a voter’s ballot, but about the entire election process, were reinforced by a representative of the Asian American community.

During the course of the meeting, 16 senators heard from the voting rights community that fixing the Voting Rights Act was a top priority especially in advance of the upcoming federal election. From protecting language minorities to providing meaningful notice of changes to election laws and local election resources to insuring that voters have a meaningful ability to stop discriminatory practices before they go into effect, the message was clear: the Voting Rights Act is critical to American democracy and must be repaired and restored.

I assured the Senators that the League’s grassroots effort in support of the VRAA will continue, and that we will do whatever we can to move the bill through the legislative process to enactment. Use our action alert today to tell your Representatives to follow the Senate’s lead and keep this vital legislation moving forward. The VRAA is a key component in the League’s fight to protect our elections and to protect the rights of every eligible voter.

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:

ADVOCACY

  • Guidance and Talking Points for EPA Clean Power Plan Hearings (NEW)
  • VRAA moves forward in the U.S. Senate (REMINDER)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Success Story: LWV of Miami-Dade County, Florida (NEW)
  • New LWV Promotional Video Available (NEW)

ADVOCACY

Guidance and Talking Points for EPA Clean Power Plan Hearings (NEW)
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold four public hearings for feedback on the recently proposed Clean Power Plan, which will regulate the carbon emissions of existing power plants. The four hearings will be in Pittsburgh, Denver, Atlanta and Washington, DC. League members and Leagues are encouraged to attend these events and offer public comments on the importance of this historic regulation. Guidance and talking points from LWVUS are available for those attending the hearings. Please contact Jessica Jones at jjones@lwv.org if you have questions about participating in these hearings. League members who cannot attend the hearings should submit a comment to the EPA in support of these regulations.

VRAA moves forward in the U.S. Senate (REMINDER)
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. Use this press release template and template letter to the editor in your own communities to build support for voting rights!

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Glad You Asked!

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

Is there a membership recruitment brochure that Leagues can access and use?

Yes! Redesigned in 2012, the membership brochure is for state and local Leagues to use in recruiting new members. Professionally printed copies can be ordered from LWV Publication Sales (sold in bundles of 50) and a downloadable PDF version is available online. Three sample inserts (as well as an address label template) also are available. Leagues may customize one of these templates to make the brochure more reflective of their community.

If you have any additional questions, please contact membership@lwv.org

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

Success Story: LWV of Miami-Dade County, Florida (NEW)
Appealing to the social and professional needs of young people is an effective way to gain new potential members and bring fresh enthusiasm to a local League. This week, we wanted to highlight one League’s achievements in engaging new members and winning the Effective Member Engagement and Recruitment Award at the 2014 League of Women Voters National Convention for their project “Cocktails and Conversation”! Congratulations to the LWV of Miami-Dade County! Read more about the League’s success and learn ways to model their project to gain new members.

New LWV Promotional Video Available (NEW)
A new LWV promotional video was premiered at Convention and now you can access the shorter introduction separately! This introduction can serve as a ‘teaser’ PSA about the League for events where you want to promote your League in a quick and efficient way. The LWV promotional teaser and the full video can be found on the website (requires forums login). Leagues should feel free to use the video on their sites and other venues to get visibility for the organization.

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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!

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Phone: 202-429-1965

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