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League of Women Voters

The League Update

 

June 4, 2015

Dear Friend,

Over the past 15 years, we have seen profound changes in the country and in the world that have impacted our electoral politics, our national security, our economic security and even the way in which people engage with each other in the civic arena. The 2000 presidential election, September 11th, the Great Recession, Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United v. FEC and Shelby County v. Holder, and the revolution in communications technology have all had an impact on the League. The work we are doing and the way we do our work have all been affected.

Over that period of time, the League has been fortunate to have a creative and strategic Executive Director at the helm of the national office in Nancy Tate. Nancy has guided the national staff and inspired the national Board to think and act strategically. Recently, Nancy announced her desire to step down as Executive Director and we have been hard at work through a search committee and the search firm Development Resources Inc. (DRi) looking for well-qualified and talented candidates who can build on the work that Nancy has done and take us through the next steps. This process is expected to take several months. For those interested, additional details are listed on their website.

Under Nancy’s leadership, the LWVUS has done more than many of us realize to adapt to the changing environment. We have maintained a strong focus on core democracy issues like election reform and voting rights by securing foundation and individual funding sources, creating consistent messaging and supporting vigorous advocacy in the states. We have adapted to changing communications technology through greater use of digital outreach to our members and the public by updating the lwv.org website, employing social media and creating new platforms like Vote411.org. We have expanded our outreach to members and supporters through our innovative Membership and Leadership Development program, our Ruth Shur Fellows, and award-winning direct marketing. As a result, the LWVUS weathered the Great Recession unlike so many other nonprofit organizations.

In our 95th year, we are reaping the benefits of this innovation as we see more voters going to Vote411 in every election, more supporters coming through our direct marketing, more followers on social media and more online activists carrying the League message to decision-makers in Washington. Add to that the fact that our traditional membership numbers have remained stable for several years after decades of steep decline and it is easy to see that as we approach the 100th anniversary, the League will continue Making Democracy Work® now and in the future.

The League owes a lot to Nancy Tate and personally, it is hard to even find the words to express my thanks not just for the work that she has done but for her friendship and her support over the years that I have served on the national Board, especially during my presidency. I know that I could not have done my job without her and that the League would not be where it is today without her leadership.

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

  • Embracing the Future: Leading the Way (NEW)
  • LWVUS Database Transition (REMINDER)
  • Sign New Leaders Up for the League Update (NEW)
  • Visibility Opportunity: Letter to the Editor Template (REMINDER)
  • Honor a League Leader this Spring (REMINDER)

EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS

  • VOTE411 Training Webinars (REMINDER)

EDUCATION FUND - KEY STRUCTURES OF DEMOCRACY

  • First Background Paper Available — Money in Politics Review (NEW)

ADVOCACY

  • League Calls on FEC to Reconsider Pay-to-Play Rules (NEW)
  • Tell Your Representative to Redefine Coordination (REMINDER)

COMMUNICATIONS

  • Today in Women’s History (NEW)

OTHER

  • Happy Annual Meeting Month: League Clearinghouse for New Studies (REMINDER)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

Embracing the Future: Leading the Way (NEW)
The Nominating Committee is looking for League leaders who will not only embrace the future, but will be the ones to lead us there. You can assist us in reaching this goal. Know someone you think would be a great member of the 2016-2018 national League leadership team (LWVUS Board and Nominating Committee)? Talk to them, get their permission to recommend them as nominees, and complete this short nomination form. Deadline for submitting forms is September 30, 2015. Additional information, references and a resume are due by November 15. Be sure to read the process and timeline documents for additional information.

LWVUS Database Transition (REMINDER)
You may not be able to access your database yet, but we can take care of some of the workload! You may email your leadership changes to Membership@lwv.org and we will put them into the system for you. Please give us the names of the new officers as well as who they are replacing. Thank you again for your patience during this transition. Check out this brief video presentation to hear updates.

Sign New Leaders Up for the League Update (NEW)
LWVUS wants to be able to communicate with as many members as we can, but especially new League leaders. As leadership positions turn over, please make sure new officers know how to get on the list to receive emails. Please make sure all new leaders email membership@lwv.org and request to be added to the League Update.

Visibility Opportunity: Letter to the Editor Template (REMINDER)
It is graduation time! Use this letter to the editor template to call attention to the best gift you can give a grad: helping them to register to vote. Promote this piece that is so core to our mission while getting some good visibility for your League!

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

VOTE411 Training Webinars (REMINDER)
Are you looking for an in-depth training on how to use VOTE411 to provide online voters’ guides in your community? LWVEF is providing two webinars that will show you the basics and answer your questions about this voter education tool. These trainings are for anyone interested in using VOTE411. Both new and current VOTE411 participants are welcome however, they are geared towards those who know very little about the program and are interested in learning more. The webinars will take place on: Wednesday, June 10 at 2pm Eastern Time (register here) and Wednesday, July 15 at 2pm Eastern Time (register here). If you have any questions about the webinars, or about VOTE411, please contact Megan Brown at mbrown@lwv.org.

EDUCATION FUND - KEY STRUCTURES OF DEMOCRACY

First Background Paper Available — Money in Politics Review (NEW)
The first of the background papers for the Money in Politics Review is posted on the MIP page in the League Management website. This paper, Definitions for Money in Politics Terms, outlines the definitions for terms that are found in statutes dealing with campaign finance reporting. For inquiries on the MIP Review, you can contact Barbara Zia at MIPCommitteeChair@lwv.org.

ADVOCACY

League Calls on FEC to Reconsider Pay-to-Play Rules (NEW)
The League joined other organizations on comments to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). The letter asks the FEC to reconsider and strengthen the rules limiting campaign contributions to candidates from those doing business with the government.

Tell Your Representative to Redefine Coordination (REMINDER)
It’s time to close the loopholes in our campaign contribution system and strengthen the rules prohibiting coordination between candidates and outside spending groups. Tell your Representative to cosponsor and support HR 425, the “Stop Super PAC -- Candidate Coordination Act” introduced by Representatives David Price and Chris Van Hollen.

COMMUNICATIONS

Today in Women’s History (NEW)
On June 4, 1919, Congress passed the 19th Amendment. The amendment then went to the states where it would take just over a year for it to be ratified and to become law. Read our blog post that reflects on the history of the suffrage movement and pays respect to the women who paved the way for the founding of our organization.

OTHER

Happy Annual Meeting Month: League Clearinghouse for New Studies (REMINDER)
New studies adopted at your annual meeting? Jumpstart those new items by visiting the League 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. Do you have studies, including those on local issues, completed? Post them to the Clearinghouse to benefit other Leagues. Note: the Clearinghouse accepts positions without their supporting 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!

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