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The League Update

September 11, 2014

Dear Friend,

The Membership and Leadership Development (MLD) program, with its network of national and state coaches working directly with local Leagues around the country, is an innovative approach to increasing membership and developing new leaders. The Ruth S. Shur Fellows, our national coaches, are the cornerstone of the program. These special League leaders give their time and energy to building League capacity because they know, as we all do, that a healthy League of Women Voters is critical to our democracy.

A new class of Ruth S. Shur Fellows is being recruited right now. This is an exciting opportunity to engage in a new leadership role at the national level, build relationships and experience personal growth. Our Shur Fellows represent a broad range of League experience from some of our youngest and newest members, to former national board members and share a comradery grounded in the belief that together we can strengthen the League for impact. I have had the privilege and pleasure of working with our Shur Fellows over the past four years and I can attest to the extraordinary dedication and enthusiasm of these wonderful volunteers. Perhaps the best reason to become a Shur Fellow is that it is fun!

Please take this opportunity to nominate someone you know, including yourself. Together, as always, we can ensure that our League is strong for ourselves and our democracy.

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:

EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS

  • Promote Your Registration Events on NVRD Website, and Media Template Available (NEW)
  • Share your Voter Registration Plans and Photos With Us (NEW)
  • Promote your Candidate Debates and Forums on VOTE411! (REMINDER)
  • Guidance for Leagues on Candidates Unwilling to Participate in Voter Education Opportunities (NEW)
  • Judge Agrees with LWVOH - Blocks Ohio From Cutting Early Voting (NEW)
  • Preliminary Recommendations: Online Voter Registration at Community Events (REMINDER)

EDUCATION FUND - COMMITTEE APPLICATIONS

  • DEADLINE EXTENDED: U.S. Constitution Study Committee Application (REMINDER)
  • DEADLINE EXTENDED: LWVUS Money in Politics Education Committee Application (REMINDER)

ADVOCACY

  • League Supports Continuing Office of Congressional Ethics in 114th Session of Congress (NEW)
  • League Calls on U.S. Senate to Fully Staff the EAC (NEW)
  • Recording of Call with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy (REMINDER)
  • League to Participate in the People’s Climate March (UPDATED)
  • Voting Rights Act Turns 49 (REMINDER)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Deadline is September 19: Join the National Coaching Team! (REMINDER)
  • Are You "Dressed" for this Highly Visible Election Season? (NEW)
  • Webinar Opportunity: Storytelling for Recruitment and Engagement (NEW)
  • Using Our Voter Service Work as a Membership Engagement Opportunity (REMINDER)

OTHER

  • Leave a Legacy with the League (NEW)

EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS

Promote Your Registration Events on NVRD Website, and Media 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 400 Leagues participating in National Voter Registration Day, be sure to enter in your event information on the website so that the public can find you! Then, download the free communications toolkit and graphics to help you start promoting your event now.

Share your Voter Registration Plans and Photos With Us (NEW)
Do you have exciting voter registration events planned for National Voter Registration Day (NVRD)? We'd love to highlight some state and local examples in the national communications we'll be putting out to support your NVRD efforts. We'll also be putting together a photo album of your great registration activities and would love to feature your photos. Please send details on your events and photos of any registration activities you've done this year to Renee Davidson (rdavidson@lwv.org).

Promote your Candidate Debates and Forums on VOTE411! (REMINDER)
Does your League have candidate debates or forums coming up in 2014? Promoting your events on VOTE411 can help spread the word to voters in your communities. 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 (mbrown@lwv.org): event title, offices covered, date, time, location (venue name and address) and any other information voters might need.

Guidance for Leagues on Candidates Unwilling to Participate in Voter Education Opportunities (NEW)
Every year Leagues hold hundreds of candidate debates and forums and produce hundreds of voters’ guides across the country to help voters learn about the candidates on their ballot. Unfortunately, there are some candidates that refuse to participate in these voter education activities and call into question the League’s nonpartisanship. Use this guidance and messaging from LWVUS to help shape the public narrative and news coverage of these situations. Questions on candidate debates and forums should be addressed to Connie Ferguson at cfergusonlwv@yahoo.com. For additional information, see our debates and forums FAQ and our voters’ guides best practices.

Judge Agrees With LWVOH - Blocks Ohio From Cutting Early Voting (NEW)
On September 4th, a District Court judge ruled that Ohio cannot enforce a new state law for this election that reduced the number of days available for voters to cast absentee ballots by mail or in person. Judge Economus agreed to a preliminary injunction sought by the League of Women Voters of Ohio, and other organizations that effectively restores the full 35 days of early voting prior to the November 4 general election.

Preliminary Recommendations: Online Voter Registration at Community Events (REMINDER)
LWVEF is pleased to provide these new preliminary recommendations on deploying online voter registration technology at community events. With an increasing number of states adopting online voter registration portals in recent years, we have an opportunity to take advantage of widely available technology in order to help voters complete the registration process at community events, in schools, and on their way to work. These preliminary recommendations provide helpful questions to think through before utilizing an online portal for voter registration events. LWVEF welcomes your feedback and plans to update it following the 2014 election. If you are currently experimenting with in-person online voter registration drives, please share your insights and feedback with Maggie Duncan (mduncan@lwv.org) so that other Leagues may benefit. For other tips about voter registration, watch our recent webinar here.

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Glad You Asked!

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

In last week’s Update, you mentioned having a sign-in sheet at voter service events (to capture the name and contact information of individuals who might want to learn more about League and our events/activities).  Do you have a sample sign-in sheet that my League could use or adapt? 

Yes, a sample sign-in sheet is available online.  Keeping it simple is good and important as individuals will want to quickly provide information.  These lists can be key to following up – by sending election-related information, an invitation to an upcoming League event or a link to your League’s next newsletter. 

EDUCATION FUND - COMMITTEE APPLICATIONS

DEADLINE EXTENDED: 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 25.

DEADLINE EXTENDED: LWVUS Money in Politics Education Committee Application (REMINDER)
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 25.

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ADVOCACY

League Supports Continuing Office of Congressional Ethics in 114th Session of Congress (NEW)
The League joined a letter encouraging party leaders in the U.S. House to continue the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) for the 114th session of Congress. The OCE has played an important role in helping protect the integrity of the House and its members while establishing a record of fair investigations and bipartisan cooperation.

League Calls on U.S. Senate to Fully Staff the EAC (NEW)
The League joined a letter calling on the U.S. Senate to hold up or down floor votes during the September work period to ensure the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) is fully staffed. The EAC is vital to ensuring that the right to vote for all eligible Americans is not compromised and that elections run efficiently and fairly.

Recording of Call with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy (REMINDER)
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 to Participate in 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 over a thousand 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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MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

Deadline is September 19: Join the National Coaching Team! (REMINDER)
The deadline to apply yourself or nominate a League leader you admire to become part of our prestigious and fun national coaching team is rapidly approaching but you still have time! 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 seven reasons to become a Fellow are available online. You can also watch this recorded webinar to learn more about the program and to hear from some of the current Fellows about their experience coaching.

Are You “Dressed” for this Highly Visible Election Season? (NEW)
Support the future of the League with a gift of $50 or more to the Fund for Local League Growth, which supports the Membership and Leadership Development (MLD) program, and we will send you a limited edition, enamel lapel pin. You’ll look great while showing your pride in the League! To make a tax-deductible gift, please use this online form.

Webinar Opportunity: Storytelling for Recruitment and Engagement (NEW)
Join the Membership and Leadership Development (MLD) program on Wednesday, September 24 at 1 pm ET for a webinar about how stories can be used to communicate the League’s mission and work to connect with current and prospective members and donors. We’ll look at theory and possible action steps. Use this link to register. Please register early as space is limited!

Using Our Voter Service Work as a Membership Engagement Opportunity (REMINDER)
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 (scroll to bottom of page) provides tips and suggestions for getting the most out of our voter service work this year. This is one of the monthly training tipsheets provided through the Membership and Leadership Development program (MLD) and supported by the Fund for Local League Growth.

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OTHER

Leave a Legacy with the League (NEW)
Including the League of Women Voters Education Fund in your estate plan is among the easiest ways to support the League’s work for years to come. When you include the League in your estate plans, please let us know so we can honor you as a member of the Carrie Chapman Catt Legacy Society. Catt Legacy Society members receive special benefits including recognition in our Annual Report and at National Convention, invitations to exclusive conference calls with President Elisabeth MacNamara and more. Through the Catt Society we are able to thank you and you are able to inspire others to follow your example. Visit our Catt Legacy Society page to see sample language and learn more or contact Aimee Olivo at aolivo@lwv.org or 202-263-1355.

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