April 23, 2015
We had much to celebrate this week as we marked Earth Day and a 45 year-long crusade to protect our beautiful natural resources. Every year since 1970, millions of Americans have used Earth Day as a way to come together and celebrate our planet. This year, as we have done for so many years, Leagues around the country helped plan celebrations.
The League of Women Voters has been at the forefront of the environmental protection movement for decades by consistently supporting legislation to preserve our nation’s natural resources and protect our public health. Sadly, our work is not done. America’s natural resources continue to come under attack and the League is right there to help fight another battle.
In November, the Florida League helped pass Amendment 1, a conservation amendment that establishes environmental protections and also sought to reestablish a dedicated funding stream to purchase environmentally sensitive lands that were in danger of being developed. This took months of dedication by members and partners gathering signatures and holding forums. Ultimately, Amendment 1 passed with the support of 75 percent of the votes cast. The League is continuing to work to ensure it is properly implemented.
Another contribution from the League comes from a new website, priceoncarbon.org, which is a potent tool in the fight against climate change, developed by League of Women Voters ofBerkeley-Albany-Emeryville member Diz Swift in consultation with some of the nation’s experts. In addition to the League’s support for the Administration’s Clean Power Plan to help reduce greenhouse gasses and carbon emissions, Swift sees a complementary step: putting a price on carbon. Swift viewed the site as a way to better educate us all on the basics of what a price on carbon could mean for our country. The LWVUS Advocacy Committee endorsed this website at the April Board meeting.
Earth Day is just one day each year, but we can work every day to protect our planet. Whether it is by taking action in your community or helping us tell Congress to put people before polluters, we must ensure that we are all protecting public health while protecting our beautiful planet.
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 Member Database is Now Locked (NEW)
- Welcome to the LWV of the Park Rapids Area and the LWV of Winona, MN! (NEW)
EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS
- LWVOH Lawsuit Settlement Brings About Early Voting WIN (NEW)
- How Did LWV Georgia Successfully Stop Cuts To Early Voting – Again! (NEW)
EDUCATION FUND - KEY STRUCTURES OF DEMOCRACY
- Constitutional Amendment Study Committee Recommended Reading (REMINDER)
- Celebrate Earth Day by Taking Action (NEW)
- League Urges Support of HR 425, the Stop Super PAC-Candidate Coordination Act (NEW)
- LWVUS Advocacy Committee Endorses New Website (NEW)
- Action Alert: Urge the President to Fully Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline (REMINDER)
- Seeking Applicants to Serve as Alternate U.N. Observers (NEW)
- Take it easy...but take it* Language on the League Clearinghouse (NEW)
MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP
LWVUS Member Database is Now Locked (NEW)
The LWVUS Membership Database is now locked in preparation for conversion to a new system. The database will be inaccessible to Leagues for at least five weeks. While the database is down, please maintain any changes or additions on your excel version of the roster in red. This will make inputting data easier later. LWVUS will provide written and video instruction as well as webinars to prepare Leagues to use the new database. Keep an eye out in the League Update for more information. Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Please remember to fill out the survey identifying at least one Roster Manager for your League.
Welcome to the LWV of the Park Rapids Area and the LWV of Winona, MN! (NEW)
LWVUS is pleased welcome the League of Women Voters of the Park Rapids Area and the LWV of Winona, Minnesota. Both Leagues are already hard at work, holding educational events focusing on a variety of topics including agricultural issues, women’s rights, voting rights and other issues in their communities. Both Leagues have shown themselves to be dedicated to the mission of the League, and LWVUS looks forward to working with them to strengthen our democracy for decades to come. Special thanks are extended to LWV of Minnesota for mentoring these two new Leagues!
EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS
LWVOH Lawsuit Settlement Brings About Early Voting WIN (NEW)
Last week LWV of Ohio and its coalition partners announced a settlement in their early voting lawsuit, NAACP v. Husted. The settlement agreement will guarantee evening and weekend early voting hours in Ohio through the end of 2018. Congratulations to LWVOH.
How Did LWV Georgia Successfully Stop Cuts To Early Voting – Again! (NEW)
For the third time in four years, certain legislators in Georgia attacked early voting. This time the attack came as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Once again, the League of Women Voters of Georgia led the successful campaign that halted the cuts. Learn how by reading this guest blog post written by Kelli Persons, program manager for the LWVGA.
EDUCATION FUND - KEY STRUCTURES OF DEMOCRACY
Constitutional Amendment Study Committee Recommended Reading (REMINDER)
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.
Celebrate Earth Day by Taking Action (NEW)
April 22, marked the forty-fifth anniversary of Earth Day. The Environmental Protection Agency, under President Obama, has worked to establish regulations that will reduce greenhouse gasses that cause climate change-like carbon dioxide, mercury and methane, and protect U.S. waters from pollution. But our natural resources continue to come under attack. Tell Congress to stand up for the planet and support the work of the EPA to fight climate change, protect public health and grow our economy!
League Urges Support of HR 425, the Stop Super PAC-Candidate Coordination Act (NEW)
The League sent a letter to the U.S. House urging Representatives to cosponsor and support HR 425, the "Stop Super PAC--Candidate Coordination Act." Members of the LWVUS Lobby Corps will also deliver this letter in their visits to select offices on Capitol Hill.
LWVUS Advocacy Committee Endorses New Website (NEW)
The LWVUS Advocacy Committee supports a new website that provides good information to educate League members and the public about what a price on carbon could mean for our environment and our economy. Diz Swift, from the League of Women Voters Berkley Albany Emeryville, is the main author behind the site. You can read her blog for LWVUS or check out the website at priceoncarbon.org!
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!
Seeking Applicants to Serve as Alternate U.N. Observers (NEW)
LWVUS is looking for qualified individuals to serve as alternate Observers to the UN. Applicants should have an interest in international relations, be a resident of the New York City area (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut) and be able to attend meetings on the UN campus usually one day a week during the September-June timeframe. Responsibilities typically include observing the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the UN General Assembly deliberations as well as attending conferences during the course of the year. Alternate Observers will help keep the League network updated on our work through posting of blogs, tweeting and other mechanisms. If interested, please send a resume, cover letter and two recommendations to email@example.com.
Take it easy...but take it* Language on the League Clearinghouse (NEW)
Donate to the League and support our work.
Take it easy--take the accompanying text and publish it in your next local newsletter to make sure your League members are aware of the 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. 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! *Woody Guthrie