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League of Women Voters

The League Update

 

September 10, 2015

Dear Friend,

The world has changed since Nancy Tate came to work for the League as executive director on October 2, 2000. Within a matter of weeks, a presidential election that had been largely uneventful became anything but. For the League, rooted in the fight to get the vote for women and with the goal of empowering citizens to shape a better national community, Election 2000 was a major call to action. Not only did that election point up the inadequacies of our election system, even more importantly, it demonstrated that every single vote does count.

As we celebrate Nancy’s retirement, after fifteen years with the League and wish her well in the future, we also thank her for her tireless efforts to focus the resources of the organization on Making Democracy Work® for every eligible voter. During Nancy’s tenure the world has changed in so many ways. There have been tremendous expansions of the ways in which people interact with each other and with their government. Innovations in digital communication has created a challenge for our democracy as well as an unprecedented opportunity for the League in its work to educate and inform voters.

Since 2000, the League has been involved with the Help America Vote Act, McCain-Feingold, the Affordable Care Act and countless efforts to protect the vote and reform our elections at the state level. Thanks to Nancy’s creative leadership, the LWVUS has created new opportunities for voters to get the election information they need through Vote411.org; the Public Advocacy for Voter Protection, High School Voter Registration, and New Citizens programs have improved and expanded the capacity and supported the work of League grassroots in the never-ending fight to ensure that every eligible voter has free and fair access to the polls. She has also found ways for the League to work for a fair and independent judiciary, civil liberties and open government. The League has focused on the impact of redistricting and money on our democracy as well.

As a direct result of Nancy’s deep understanding of its culture, members and mission, the League has met the challenges that have arisen over the past 15 years both within and without the organization. The Membership and Leadership Development program was launched, the first virtual Council meeting took place and the League survived the financial meltdown in 2008 with its finances and activities intact.

Tomorrow is Nancy’s last day as our executive director. I know you will all join me in thanking her for her outstanding commitment and service to the League.

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 DEVELOPMENT

  • A Rich and Rewarding Experience (REMINDER)
  • Coaches Make an Important Difference! (NEW)
  • Update on the New Member Database (NEW)

EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS

  • Elections: “Electing the President” 2012 Supplement Now Available (NEW)

EDUCATION FUND - KEY STRUCTURES OF DEMOCRACY

  • MIP Introduction and Overview Paper Now Posted (NEW)
  • Constitutional Amendment Study Guide Available (UPDATED)

ADVOCACY

  • League Urges IRS to Adopt New 501 (c) (4) Regulations (NEW)

COMMUNICATIONS

  • National Voter Registration Day and Voter Registration Sample Social Media & Media Outreach Content (NEW)
  • Share your Voter Registration Plans and Photos With Us (REMINDER)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

A Rich and Rewarding Experience (REMINDER)
Think about the rich rewarding experience that awaits you on the LWVUS Board. One current Board member gives this insight. “My most rewarding experiences have been working with the State and local League leaders and members. As a Board liaison to five state Leagues, I have the incredible opportunity to learn how Leagues are stretching and growing in new directions. And as Advocacy Chair, I have the great experience of supporting Leagues in effective advocacy at both State and local levels to advance the League goals.” Don’t let this opportunity slip away! Apply now for a national leadership position with LWVUS. Deadline is September 30. Be a part of EMBRACING THE FUTURE: LEADING THE WAY!

Coaches Make an Important Difference! (REMINDER)
Ruth S. Shur Fellows, national coaches, are a core part of the Membership & Leadership Development (MLD) team and coaches nationwide are critical to growing the League and our impact nationwide! We will soon be opening the application process to become a Shur Fellow for the 2016-2018 class, so stay tuned, but in the meantime take a look at how Amy Hjerstedt describes what being a Shur Fellow means to her!

Update on the New Member Database (NEW)
Using feedback from a set of “beta tester” Leagues, LWVUS is working with our outside vendor to make adjustments to the new online member database. We have invited a second group to review and test the functionality, even as some adjustments continue to be made, and to evaluate a training video, materials and onboarding process so we have League feedback before we roll it out more widely. In the meantime, please continue to keep records of any new members or roster changes in a system in your own spreadsheets. We thank you again for your patience and flexibility during this transition!

EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS

Elections: “Electing the President” 2012 Supplement Now Available (NEW)
The LWVEF has once again teamed up with the Newspaper in Education Institute (NIE) to produce “Electing the President,” a comprehensive supplement designed to help voters, especially young and first-time voters, understand the presidential election process. Leagues are encouraged to reach out to participating local newspapers and request that they run the insert and/or make copies available to local schools. In order to cover costs associated with printing the insert, the local newspaper may want you to collaborate with them in fundraising from local businesses or foundations. You may also download the PDF here and print copies for use at voter service events.

EDUCATION FUND - KEY STRUCTURES OF DEMOCRACY

MIP Introduction and Overview Paper Now Posted (NEW)
The Money in Politics Introduction and Overview paper is now posted. This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the existing LWV position on Campaign Finance, the proposed update, League action on Campaign Finance, the purpose of a campaign finance system and why Money in Politics matters to the League of Women Voters. Additional MIP papers and materials are posted on the Money in Politics page. For additional information, please contact Barbara Zia, MIP Committee Chair at MIPCommitteeChair@lwv.org.

Constitutional Amendment Study Guide Available (UPDATED)
The Constitutional Amendment Study Guide is now available for Leagues. The Guide includes the Consensus Questions as well as Pro and Con Arguments, background materials and Points of View. Additional papers and background information can be found on the CA Study Page. For questions or further information please contact Pat Donath, CA Committee Chair at CACommitteeChair@lwv.org.

ADVOCACY

League Urges IRS to Adopt New 501 (c) (4) Regulations (NEW)
The League of Women Voters joined with other concerned organizations to urge the Internal Revenue Service to adopt new regulations that properly interpret the statutory eligibility requirements to qualify for tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(4) “social welfare” organization.

COMMUNICATIONS

National Voter Registration Day and Voter Registration Sample Social Media & Media Outreach Content (NEW)
Please use these draft social media messages to promote your National Voter Registration Day activities as well as voter registration and voter registration deadlines during the 2015 election season. We encourage you to tailor these messages to fit the elections in your community—or, if you don’t have elections this year, to start helping prepare voters for next year’s big elections. You should also utilize the League's NVRD template press release and the official National Voter Registration Day communications toolkit, which includes additional images, to generate visibility and engagement around your League's NVRD activities. As elections season continues, we plan to roll out additional content that will be highlighted through the League Update. 

Share your Voter Registration Plans and Photos With Us (REMINDER)
Do you have exciting voter registration events planned for National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) on September 22nd? 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 Stephanie Drahan (sdrahan@lwv.org).

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