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The League Update

September , 2014

Dear Friend,

With Labor Day behind us, Leagues are gearing up for a new programmatic year. As always, we have a lot on our plates. First and foremost, this is a federal election year. In most states that also means a full complement of statewide elections. While the presidential election year always attracts the largest turnout among voters, elections in the midterm are arguably far more important. Now is the time to review and establish policies for candidate debates, contact local election officials and work to ensure that every eligible voter is registered and able to vote on Election Day, and get the word out to our communities that we are doing this critical work. League voter guides are a critical source of nonpartisan candidate information and distributing voter guides online through Vote411.org is an effective means of maximizing outreach especially to underserved communities.

But beyond the election, there is a lot of work to do. In addition to making sure that every eligible voter has a voice on Election Day, the League is committed to ensuring that those votes matter in terms of shaping policies that impact our communities. Special interests should not dominate the policy debate after the election. A key way to protect our votes and voices is to get involved with the LWVUS Structures of Democracy program. Money in politics is not just an issue in Congress we can see the impact of floods of money in our elections and in the aftermath of those elections at the state and local level as well. Educating ourselves and our communities on the issues surrounding that influence is critical. Although it is only 2014, League members understand that it is never too early to talk about redistricting and to look for ways to improve the process. Finally, with all the focus on amending the Constitution to balance the budget, address campaign finance or impact the status of women, it is important that the League understand the process of amending our most important legal document.

As you are planning events for this fall and beyond, use the tools in this and other Updates to assist in organizing your community outreach. This highly visible period is also a great time to ask people to join and engage more members and volunteers in our core work.The League is needed now as never before and together we can and will make a difference.

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

  • EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Speaks with League Members (UPDATED)
  • League Signs on as Participating Organization for the People’s Climate March (UPDATED)
  • Voting Rights Act Turns 49 (REMINDER)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Deadline is September 19: Become a National Coach! (REMINDER)
  • Using Our Voter Service Work as a Membership Engagement Opportunity (NEW)
  • Ready for the League Year? (REMINDER)
  • Women’s Equality Day: Celebrating LWV’s Impact (REMINDER)

EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS

  • Promote Your Registration Events: New Template Available (NEW)
  • Texas Voter ID Law Trial Begins (NEW)

EDUCATION FUND - COMMITTEE APPLICATIONS

  • U.S. Constitution Study Committee Application (REMINDER)
  • LWVUS Money in Politics Education Committee Application (LAST CHANCE)

ADVOCACY

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Speaks with League Members (UPDATED)
A recording of the conference call held with League members and Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is now available. Administrator McCarthy discussed the ongoing work being done to fight climate change at the national level, including the EPA's Clean Power Plan which limits carbon emissions from power plants. Administrator McCarthy called upon League members to continue the dialogue within their own communities and states about the necessity of this ground breaking regulation and to submit comments to the EPA on this proposal.

League Signs on as Participating Organization for the People’s Climate March (UPDATED)
In September, the United Nations will gather for a summit on the climate crisis, where leaders from around the world will discuss and, hopefully, make commitments to fight climate change. The League is joining hundreds of organizations from across the country to show support for the fight against climate change with a Peoples Climate March and demonstration on September 21 in New York City. For additional information and to get involved, visit peoplesclimate.org.

Voting Rights Act Turns 49 (REMINDER)
For 49 years, the Voting Rights Act (VRA) has protected the right to vote regardless of race or language, but legislation to repair damage from the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby v. Holder is currently stalled in the U.S. House. Tell your Representative to stop stalling and move the Voting Rights Amendment Act forward!

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Glad You Asked!

If you have a question for this section, please email kmcfarland@lwv.org.

My League is doing a lot of voter registration work this fall, and I’m wondering how can we follow up with these individuals to help ensure that they get out to vote on Election Day?

Cheers to your League for doing this important and core democracy-building work of registering voters. This is so important, but as you point out, is only the first step. There are resources on the national League website to help with your Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) efforts. One important tip is to collect allowable contact information from the voter registration forms so that your League can follow up to invite these newly registered voters to debates, send them voters' guides and/or remind them to vote on Election Day.

Follow-up is key not only to more deeply engaging these voters with the League; research proves it is also key to turning new registrants into actual voters. This can be accomplished by copying information directly from voter registration forms (check here for any relevant rules in your state), by providing an email sign-up sheet at your registration events, or asking registrants to “like” your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter. Please note: new voters should only be contacted about election information (voter guides, VOTE411 information, get-out-the-vote reminders, etc.) unless they have specifically signed up to receive other kinds of information from you by filling out an email sign-up sheet, etc.

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

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

Deadline is September 19: Become a National Coach! (REMINDER)
Are you passionate about the League’s mission? Do you want to see LWV be the strongest organization possible as we start our second century of democracy-building work? Do you want to network with Leagues across the country? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you could be a great fit for the 2015-2017 class of Ruth S. Shur Fellows. Apply yourself or nominate a League leader you admire to become part of our prestigious and fun national coaching team Please fill out this form by September 19, 2014. More information on the Shur Fellows and their role in the MLD program as well as the top 7 reasons to become a Fellow are available online. An informational webinar will be held on September 11, 2014 at 1pm ET. Register for that webinar now.

Using Our Voter Service Work as a Membership Engagement Opportunity (NEW)
National Voter Registration Day is almost here! Has your League considered the best ways to use this exciting event as a chance for membership engagement? When we provide the public with the information they’re looking for, not only does our work speak for itself, but we also create opportunities to talk with people about getting involved with the League. As you look at your 2014 voter service activities consider how best to be engaging volunteers and fostering leadership opportunities. The August 2014 memo provides tips and suggestions for getting the most out of our voter service work this year. This is one of the monthly training tips sheets provided through the Membership and Leadership Development program (MLD), and is supported by the Fund for Local League Growth.

Ready for the League Year? (REMINDER)
As many Leagues begin their programmatic year, and with high visibility opportunities in front of us during election time, we wanted to ask the important question: Are you ready to recruit new members? One critical tool is having membership brochures available for all members to use. Encourage everyone in your League to be a membership ambassador - asking individuals to join by telling their personal story about what League means to them, what impact it allows them to have in their community, and what work we are currently doing. And, have an easy way for individuals to follow up and engage with your League. Membership brochures (and templates for labels and inserts) are available through www.lwv.org.

Women’s Equality Day: Celebrating LWV’s Impact (REMINDER)
August 26th marked the 94th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. What did your League do to celebrate this milestone? Share a description, photo, or link to your League’s outreach efforts at membership@lwv.org.

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EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS

Promote Your Registration Events: New Template Available (NEW)
Be sure to let your community know where and when you will be registering voters this year! Use our new press release template to send out custom messages to media in your area. If you are one of the 350+ Leagues participating in National Voter Registration Day, download the free communications toolkit and graphics to help you start promoting your event now.

Texas Voter ID Law Trial Begins (NEW)
The Texas voter photo ID trial began in federal court Tuesday in Corpus Christi, TX with opening statements and a first round of testimony. With only two months before the mid-term election it is possible that the court could overturn the law before Election Day.

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EDUCATION FUND - COMMITTEE APPLICATIONS

U.S. Constitution Study Committee Application (REMINDER)
Applications are being accepted for the U.S. Constitution Study which is part of the three-part Structures of Democracy program that delegates adopted at the 2014 LWVUS Convention. The study will examine the application of Article V of the United States Constitution, which provides for amending the Constitution. An application form which includes further description of the study focus is now posted online. Those interested in applying for the U.S. Constitution Study Committee should submit completed applications including resume, references and writing sample by September 18

LWVUS Money in Politics Education Committee Application (LAST CHANCE)
Members are sought for the LWVUS Money in Politics Education Committee. Money in Politics (MIP) is part of the three-part Structures of Democracy program that delegates adopted at the 2014 LWVUS Convention. We are currently accepting applications for the MIP Committee which will focus on the core League issue of campaign finance and money in politics. The Committee will review the League position on campaign finance and educate members and the general public about issues related to money in politics. An application form is now posted online. Those interested in applying for the MIP Education Committee should submit completed applications including resume, references and writing sample by September 11.

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