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League of Women Voters

The League Update

 

April 16, 2015

Dear Friend,

This is National Volunteer Week. No organization can boast more dedicated volunteers than the League of Women Voters. This is the season when state Leagues begin to hold their conventions. In addition to the business that must be done, conventions are a terrific time to recognize the work of our volunteers. I will be attending several state conventions as will every member of the national Board and several of our Ruth S. Shur Fellows. Your team at LWVUS is looking forward to celebrating the work that you do every day in Making Democracy Work ®.

This is also a time when many state League members are hard at work in their state legislatures protecting voting rights, the environment and taking a stand on many other issues. Last week, I had the pleasure of talking with the vast majority of our state presidents. In every state there have been significant legislative victories. Our volunteers carrying the League brand and the League reputation go out every day to make sure that the voices of the people are heard in the halls of power.

This volunteer ethic runs deep in our DNA. The women and men who fought to get women the vote did so as volunteers. The work we do today honors the work they did to ensure that 23 million women and their daughters and granddaughters down the generations had a vote and voice. Carrie Chapman Catt began her adult life as a teacher, rising to school superintendent in a city in Iowa. Later, she made her living as a lecturer. But the bulk of her career was dedicated to volunteering in the cause of women’s rights. When the 19th Amendment was ratified and the vote was won, the volunteers around the country took up a collection to buy Mrs. Catt a gift. Many of those volunteers were also school teachers who reached out to their students to collect pennies for the gift. There is a wonderful story about a little boy who went home from school and asking for his pennies, proudly told his mother that they were raising money for a present for Charlie Chaplin’s cat.

Whatever inspires us to give our time and our pennies to a good cause, whether voting rights or a famous person’s pet, our work is important and our democracy depends on it. Thank you for all you do.

In League,

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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

  • LWVUS New Member Database is Coming Online Soon! (NEW)
  • Webinar Opportunity: Hosting Events That Attract Younger Audiences (REMINDER)
  • Webinar Opportunity: Tips and Treasures for Treasurers (REMINDER)
  • Honor a League Leader this Spring (REMINDER)

EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS

  • Interested in Registering New Citizens to Vote? (REMINDER)

EDUCATION FUND - KEY STRUCTURES OF DEMOCRACY

  • Constitutional Amendment Study Committee Recommended Reading (NEW)

ADVOCACY

  • League Opposes Ratepayer Protection Act (NEW)
  • Action Alert: Urge the President to Fully Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline (REMINDER)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

LWVUS New Member Database is Coming Online Soon! (NEW)
The LWVUS Membership Database will be locked starting April 23, 2015, in preparation for conversion to a new system. The database will be inaccessible to Leagues for at least five weeks. Please download your roster before April 23rd to ensure you have a copy of your member list during the Member Database down time. For more information and important action items that your League needs to take, please visit this page about the transition. Questions? Contact membership@lwv.org.

Webinar Opportunity: Hosting Events That Attract Younger Audiences (REMINDER)
The Young People’s Board Advisors will host a webinar on April 23 at 7PM ET to discuss hosting events that attract younger members of your community. The presentation and discussion will delve into success stories, outline some best practices and hopefully hear from you about some of your most successful events for attracting new members. Register for this webinar here.

Webinar Opportunity: Tips and Treasures for Treasurers (REMINDER)
If you are about to take on the role of League treasurer or are interested in a basic refresher session, please join national Treasurer, Pat Donath and LWVUS staff for this webinar on April 22nd at 12:00 PM - Noon (Eastern). Please register early and we'll invite you to share a question in advance that might be incorporated into the session.

Honor a League Leader this Spring (REMINDER)
Invest in 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 (or a designee) a limited edition, enamel lapel pin as a thank you. This is a great way to honor a League friend/leader and thank them for their service this past year (or longer). To make a tax-deductible gift, please use this online form. Questions? Contact kmcfarland@lwv.org.

EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS

Interested in Registering New Citizens to Vote? (REMINDER)
LWVEF has a handy toolkit to help Leagues conduct effective voter registration at naturalization ceremonies for new citizens. The toolkit, available for free download at http://forum.lwv.org/member-resources/article/naturalization-ceremony-voter-registration-toolkit, 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. Now is the time to start thinking about a great naturalization ceremony program ahead of the big 2016 election year!

EDUCATION FUND - KEY STRUCTURES OF DEMOCRACY

Constitutional Amendment Study Committee Recommended Reading (NEW)
The Constitutional Amendment study will explore what constitutes an appropriate and well-crafted constitutional amendment. For Local Leagues that want to begin to prepare for the study, here is a paper published by The Century Foundation in 1999:  Great and Extraordinary Occasions: Developing Guidelines for Constitutional Change. This paper, developed by a long list of eminent lawyers and scholars, presents eight guidelines for constitutional amendments. It analyzes historical amendments and contemporaneous proposals (those discussed during the 104th and 105th Congresses, 1995 - 1999) against these guidelines.

ADVOCACY

League Opposes Ratepayer Protection Act (NEW)
The League joined other concerned environmental partners in opposing Representative Whitfield's Ratepayer Protection Act. This legislation would allow states to opt out of the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan (CPP). The legislation also seeks to delay implementation of the CPP indefinitely until every polluter’s lawsuit has been litigated.

Action Alert: Urge the President to Fully Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline (REMINDER)
President Obama fulfilled his promise to veto legislation approving the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline! The League is proud to stand behind the President’s veto because the pipeline is not in our national interest. But the fight is not over—President Obama and the U.S. State Department must still make a final decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. Thank President Obama for vetoing the pipeline legislation and urge him to reject final approval of the Keystone XL pipeline once and for all!

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