JANUARY 8, 2015
On January 9th in 1859, Carrie Chapman Catt was born in Wisconsin. While we all know that Carrie Catt fought tirelessly for women’s suffrage both here and abroad and that she founded the League of Women Voters, here are some facts about this remarkable woman of which we may not be aware:
Carrie Catt described the League as a “mighty experiment”. Nearly 95 years later the League is still a mighty experiment in making democracy work through citizen education and engagement. No doubt, Mrs. Catt would be exceedingly proud of her legacy.
- Originally interested in practicing medicine, Catt received a Bachelor of Science degree in general science in 1880. She was the only woman in her class.
- Before working in the suffrage movement, Catt served as a teacher, principal and superintendent in Iowa. Catt began her career as a political activist at the age of 27 when she joined the Iowa Woman Suffrage Association.
- When her husband died in 1885, Catt made a living by becoming San Francisco’s first female newspaper reporter.
- By 1900, Catt succeeded the 80-year-old activist Susan B. Anthony as president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), the organizational predecessor to the League.
- She served as president until 1904 when internal political issues within NAWSA caused her to take a break to advocate for the rights of women across the globe, not just in the U.S. As the president of NAWSA, she founded the International Woman Suffrage Alliance (IWSA).
- Catt returned to NAWSA as president in 1915. Catt’s relentless campaigning is credited with helping win President Woodrow Wilson's respect and support — which ultimately lead to the passage of the 19th Amendment.
- Catt was close friends with Eleanor Roosevelt, a fellow League leader and women’s rights pioneer.
- In her later years, Catt advocated on behalf of working women and tirelessly lobbied for world peace efforts.
- She supported efforts for both the League of Nations and the United Nation, the latter of which the League of Women Voters helped establish.
- For decades throughout the women’s suffrage movement, Catt traveled across the country to make speeches and lead parades. Even when she was in her late 70s, she remained an effective and impassioned speaker.
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
- New and Improved High School Voter Registration Training Manual Survey (NEW)
EDUCATION FUND - KEY STRUCTURES OF DEMOCRACY
- Money in Politics Review and Constitutional Amendment Study Webpages Posted (REMINDER)
- Tell the FEC What to do About Citizens United (FINAL REMINDER)
- LWVUS Legislative Priorities (FINAL REMINDER)
MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP
- Success Story: LWV of Ohio Builds Strategic Plan (NEW)
- Renew Your Members (REMINDER)
- Update Your Rosters! (REMINDER)
- Sign Up for Program Planning and Support Webinar! (REMINDER)
EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS
New and Improved High School Voter Registration Training Manual Survey (NEW)
LWVEF updated its popular Empowering the Voters of Tomorrow training manual for 2015! This publication features a step-by-step guide for conducting effective high school voter registration drives. The manual is also chock-full of customizable planning checklists, template media statements, talking points, activity ideas and other materials to help you stay on track and get the most out of any registration event. Thanks to the many Leagues and other partners who provided feedback. Let’s get to work registering new voters this spring. Our research shows that early spring is THE time to visit high schools and get students registered and ready to vote—so download the manual and get started now.
EDUCATION FUND - KEY STRUCTURES OF DEMOCRACY
Money in Politics Review and Constitutional Amendment Study Webpages Posted (REMINDER)
As we move forward with the Key Structures of Democracy program, the Constitutional Amendment Study webpage and the Money in Politics webpage can now be found on the LWVUS’s Member Resources website. These two webpages include information on the scope of the study and review as well as a list of the committee members. As study materials become available they will be posted on the pages as well.
Tell the FEC What to Do About Citizens United (FINAL REMINDER)
The Federal Election Commission (FEC), the federal agency in charge of our nation’s campaign finance laws, is now receiving public comment about steps they should take “to address corruption in the political process.” The FEC can do something to stop the secret money polluting our elections and end coordinated expenditures by outside groups. Take action now to tell the FEC to act and enforce the law.
LWVUS Legislative Priorities (FINAL REMINDER)
It's a new year and a new Congress. The LWVUS Board will be setting legislative priorities for the upcoming session in January. We ask members and local Leagues to submit their suggestions. Here is some background for you to consider as you decide what you would like to recommend.
The Board sets priorities using this filter: opportunities for the League to make an impact; program decisions made at Convention and/or Council; member interest; and resources available to manage effectively. We also look realistically at the political climate and composition of Congress. And doing that, we have to acknowledge that the incoming Congressional leadership has issued statements that are not supportive of League program. Realistically, we will have to expend resources on defending voting rights and threats to existing campaign finance law, good climate change work and the Affordable Health Care Act. So as you consider what to recommend as legislative priorities, ask yourself how important you think it is for the League to fight for our core issues.
If you would like to make suggestions for LWVUS advocacy priorities, please email Advocacy Committee Chair Chris Carson at email@example.com. Please indicate whether the suggestions are from an individual member, a committee, board or membership meeting. Suggestions must be received by January 12.
GLAD YOU ASKED!
If you have a question for this area, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am on my League's Nominating Committee. Are there any resources available to assist with our work?
Congratulations on taking on this vital leadership role in your League! The best resource for you and your committee is The Little Green Book. It is a handbook that addresses all aspects of a League Nominating Committee’s work, including how to find leaders, job descriptions, work plans, succession planning, templates and more. The book can be viewed as either a Microsoft Word document or an interactive PowerPoint presentation in the Members Resource Site.
MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP
Success Story: LWV of Ohio Builds Strategic Plan (NEW)
The LWV of Ohio is enjoying success as it enters the next phase of its 5-year strategic plan. Learn more about how it was developed and how it working in this success story.
Renew Your Members (REMINDER)
Is your League still renewing memberships? You can find tips, including a renewal letter template on the Member Resources Site. As a way of saying thank you for all the hard work that Leagues do, you can win a FREE registration to LWVUS Convention 2016 for growing your membership. Find out how to be entered to win. For assistance updating your League’s roster, download the user manual or contact Membership@lwv.org.
Update Your Rosters! (REMINDER)
Keep up the good work to ensure that your League’s member database is as up-to-date as possible! Summary sheets (the online document that shows your League’s official membership count) are LIVE. Any changes that you make to your members’ records will be reflected on that page. The LWVUS Bylaws state that the summary sheets “freeze” on January 31, 2015. The member count listed at that time will become the official membership count for your League for FY2015-16. In other words, that number determines the number of voting delegates that your League may send to state convention and what your League will be billed for PMP (per member payment) starting in July 2015. And don’t forget all of the prizes you can win for updating your member database! For assistance on working in the database, download the user manual or contact email@example.com.
Sign Up for Program Planning and Support Webinar! (REMINDER)
The LWVUS Program Planning and Support (PP&S) Committee will put on a webinar January 21 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. PP&S Committee Chair Barbara Zia, and Advocacy Chair Chris Carson will outline the basics of the League's program process. The webinar is designed to help Leagues understand League program from A to Z, including how to use national positions to take action locally. You can register for the webinar here. For further information or questions, contact Betsy Lawson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Election Results! (REMINDER)
All Leagues are winners when they use the League Clearinghouse with League studies in more than 50 subject areas that provide scope and focus of a topic, research methodology, sources consulted, information about positions, and consensus questions. 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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