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League of Women Voters

The League Update

 

October 1, 2015

Dear Friend,

Once again, the League of Women Voters was a major force in the field on National Voter Registration Day 2015 Making Democracy Work®. More than 260 local volunteer teams helped to empower voters in high schools, on college campuses, at grocery stores, libraries and transit hubs. With more than half the states offering online voter registration, Leagues also drove traffic to those registration portals. The success of NVRD 2015 did not depend on the League alone. The key to that success is the opportunity for the League and partner organizations to leverage collaboration for maximum effect. What’s more, these events have become such a feature of the fall election season that everyone from grassroots volunteers to President Obama played a role in promoting voter empowerment this year.

The vote is the great equalizer in our democracy and registration is the key to the vote. Although all eyes seem to be on the presidential election next year, 2015 is an election year in many states. Registration deadlines are approaching and while over 2,000 organizations came together last week to register tens of thousands of new voters on NVRD, we know there are still many eligible voters who need to register. The League is working hard to make sure that no one is left out of either elections this fall or presidential primary elections next year.
 
Restricting voter registration has been the target of plenty of bad laws recently as we all know. The League fought hard to delay or defeat restrictive election measures since 2011 and continues to do so, but several of these bad laws are now going into effect. We need to remember that the voter always comes first. There are two ways to defeat voter suppression. Making the case in statehouses and courthouses is one way and we are awaiting decisions in court cases, most recently in North Carolina where the League took the state to federal court over its horrific omnibus voter suppression law, and we remain vigilant as state legislatures come back into session early next year. But another way to protect and empower voters is to make sure that voters are equipped to overcome whatever barrier the states create. Our League in Kansas is preparing to do precisely that in response to the first purge of eligible voters who failed to provide proof of citizenship in order to register.
 
For 95 years, the League has put voters first by providing opportunities for voters to get informed and participate. Whether it is National Voter Registration Day, Vote411.org, or driving traffic to online registration tools, the League always meets voters where they are.

In League,

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NOTE: As part of a process to assess and improve our communications with League audiences, the League Update will now be issued every other Thursday.

League Leaders

To help keep your members informed, please consider forwarding this biweekly 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

  • LWVUS Welcomes Three New Local Leagues (NEW)
  • Success Shout-out: Welcoming New State Coaches in Michigan (NEW)
  • Consider Joining the National Coaching Team! (REMINDER)

EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS

  • Please complete your National Voter Registration Day Report! (NEW)
  • Share Your NVRD Photos (NEW)
  • What Journalists Should be Asking About Photo ID (NEW)
  • Online Voter Registration Now Available In Four More States (NEW)

EDUCATION FUND - KEY STRUCTURES OF DEMOCRACY

  • MIP Consensus Questions are Here! (NEW)
  • Constitutional Amendment Survey Gizmo Report Form is Posted (NEW)

ADVOCACY

  • League Joins Amicus in Evenwel v. Abbott (NEW)
  • Support the EPA's Methane Pollution Regulation (NEW)
  • What You and Your League Can Do to Support the Clean Power Plan (REMINDER)

COMMUNICATIONS

  • Free Communications Training for All Members: Register Now! (NEW)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

LWVUS Welcomes Three New Local Leagues (NEW)
LWVUS is pleased welcome the LWVs of Napa County (CA), Manistee County (MI), and Upper St. Croix Valley (WI). All three of these Leagues have shown themselves to be dedicated to the mission of the League and are impacting their communities. LWVUS looks forward to working with them to strengthen our democracy for decades to come. Special thanks are extended to the LWVs of California, Michigan and Wisconsin for mentoring these new Leagues!

Success Shout-out: Welcoming New State Coaches in Michigan (NEW)
This month, the LWV of Michigan welcomed two new state coaches to the Membership & Leadership Development (MLD) program in their state. Cheers to the state League for fostering this capacity-building effort and to the Michigan coaching team for lending their talents in this new way to the League. Coaches are critical! According to experts, 'A coach... helps us assess the present so that we can operate more effectively in the future.' To learn more about the qualities of a coach and/or to apply to be a national coach, click here.  

Consider Joining the National Coaching Team! (REMINDER)
Are you creative, patient, flexible and passionate about League? Apply to be a Ruth S. Shur Fellow or national coach! Coaches are a core part of the Membership & Leadership Development (MLD) team, which is helping to grow the League and our impact nationwide. Learn more about the key qualities of successful coaches and listen to current coach Amy Hjerstedt describe what being a Shur Fellow means to her. Consider applying or nominating another League leader. The application deadline is October 23.

EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS

Please complete your National Voter Registration Day Report! (NEW)
Now that National Voter Registration Day is over, please take a moment to fill out your League's final report and tell us about your event! Do this by clicking on the link in an email you may have received from Fiona Yau-Luu, or by going here: http://www.nationalvoterregistrationday.org/partners/post-your-results/. We need reports from all Leagues in order to quantify the full contribution of the League nationwide, and will be following up with Leagues who do not complete the survey. Save time by completing your report right now — it only takes a minute.

Share Your NVRD Photos (NEW)
Help us celebrate your hard work for National Voter Registration Day! Please send photos of your voter registration drives to Anne Richard (arichard@lwv.org) for inclusion in our Facebook photo album.

What Journalists Should be Asking About Photo ID (NEW)
Is there legislation in your state to create a new voter photo ID law? Are your legislators working to impose stricter versions of existing voter ID laws? Use this handout as a resource for media partners to ensure that Elected Officials are asked the right questions. 

Online Voter Registration Now Available In Four More States (NEW)
In the past month, four states have taken a step to improve access to the polls. Voters in Pennsylvania and Nebraska can now register to vote online, while Iowa and Kentucky will have online voter registration systems by early 2016. All four states join the fast growing list of over 28 states plus the District of Columbia that offer online voter registration. While the League praises these states for taking a big step forward, they unnecessarily require individuals registering online to have a specific form of state ID with a signature on file with the state. For more information on how your state can push for online voter registration, contact Cynthia Sebian-Lander at csebianlander@lwv.org.

EDUCATION FUND - KEY STRUCTURES OF DEMOCRACY

MIP Consensus Questions are Here! (NEW)
At the September 2015 board meeting, the LWVUS Board approved the Money in Politics Consensus Questions.   The consensus questions are posted on the League Management site and presented in two versions. In addition to the stand alone MIP questions,  the MIP questions are posted along with links to related MIP Committee papers to help Leagues as they prepare for and conduct their MIP meetings.  Additional materials can be found at the Money in Politics page and more information will be posted in the next few weeks.  The deadline for submission of MIP consensus forms is February 1, 2016.  

Constitutional Amendment Survey Gizmo Report Form is Posted (NEW)
Those Leagues that have completed their official response for the Constitutional Amendment study may now submit the results on the CA Survey Gizmo form on the Constitutional Amendment page.  This is the link to use to submit your League's official Constitutional Amendment Consensus Responses.   The CA consensus questions are posted on the Constitutional Amendment Study Page and the Constitutional Amendment Study Guide includes the questions with background information and pros and cons.  The deadline for submitting CA consensus forms is December 1, 2015.

ADVOCACY

League Joins Amicus in Evenwel v. Abbott (NEW)
The LWVUS recently submitted an amicus curiae brief with other groups to the Supreme Court in Evenwel v. Abbott. The case will determine whether states are required to use a metric other than total population, such as registered voters or citizen voting age population (CVAP), in redistricting.

Support the EPA's Methane Pollution Regulation (NEW)
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed the first-ever proposed pollution standard for new and modified oil and gas facilities. These regulations are an important step forward to protect public health and our planet. Thank the EPA for their efforts to protect our children by cutting methane emissions.

What You and Your League Can Do to Support the Clean Power Plan (REMINDER)

The Climate Action Toolkit now includes a section outlining what Leagues and League members can do to help build support for, and promote compliance with, the Clean Power Plan. Included are suggestions of state and local organizations that could be good partners for League action efforts as well as ideas for education and advocacy initiatives. The toolkit also includes basic background information about the Clean Power Plan itself.

COMMUNICATIONS

Free Communications Training for All Members: Register Now! (NEW)
Are you ready for a fun, interactive, and practical 3-part communications training series made especially for the League by the Nonprofit Marketing Guide? Our goal is to give local Leagues the knowledge, tools, priorities and common cummunications terminology so that we are all more effective online. These aren't just for webmasters or newsletter editors! Learn more and register now.

  • 10/22 Thursday 1pm EST - Communications 101: The Basics
  • 11/16 Monday 1pm EST - Communications Roles & Planning
  • 12/2 Wednesday 1pm EST - Writing for the Web

If you can't attend on those dates, you can still get the training: we will be sharing the recordings. And be sure to let your local League members know they're invited!

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