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League of Women Voters

The League Update

 

October 15, 2015

Dear Friend,

Earlier this week, many of us watched the first debate among the Democratic candidates for president. In a few weeks, Republican candidates will meet for a third debate. But around the country there are thousands of important state and local elections happening next month. In fact, in many places early voting has started. Often these state and local issues are more critical to communities than the presidential election. As a community-based organization, the League of Women Voters plays a vital role in helping voters get the information they need to participate in every election. We proved it this National Voter Registration Day, beating our goals with over 260 participating Leagues, more than 6,000 registrants and engaging greater than 1,000 volunteers in our activities and events.

More and more, voters are relying on online tools to get ready for Election Day and in ever increasing numbers, they are coming to VOTE411.org. In fact, over 100% more people have visited VOTE411.org so far this year than during the same timeframe in the last comparable election cycle. Thankfully, each year more Leagues join with their colleagues all across the country to use VOTE411.org to create and distribute voters’ guides. Finding information on the background and positions of candidates for federal office is easy. Finding information about candidates for city council or local ballot issues can be a real challenge. The League plays a vital role every year not just by providing voters’ guides, but also by explaining ballot issues and creating opportunities through forums and debates for voters to hear from candidates directly.

Thanks to VOTE411.org, the League plays a role in every election in every community, whether or not we have a local presence. On the site, voters can learn about early and absentee voting options, voting locations and what they need to bring with them to the polls. With voter registration deadlines behind us in most states, now is the time to remind voters that this is an election year and that there is no time like the present to get ready to participate.

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

  • First Call to LWVUS 52nd National Convention - June 16-19, 2016 (NEW)
  • New Member Database (CRM) Opening to Leagues (NEW)
  • Join Myra as a National Coach: Deadline to Apply is October 23 (NEW)

EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS

  • Grants Available: 2016 Youth Voter Registration Program (NEW)
  • Promote your Candidate Debates and Forums on VOTE411! (REMINDER)
  • Interested in Registering New Citizens to Vote? (REMINDER)
  • Join VOTE411 in 2016! (NEW)

EDUCATION FUND - KEY STRUCTURES OF DEMOCRACY

  • MIP Consensus Study Guide is Posted (NEW)
  • Constitutional Amendment Study Yahoo Group and Survey Form (UPDATED)

ADVOCACY

  • League Opposes Senate Attempts to Block Clean Power Plan (NEW)
  • League Submits Comments to EPA Science Advisory Board (NEW)
  • Support the EPA’S Methane Pollution Regulation (REMINDER)

COMMUNICATIONS

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

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

First Call to LWVUS 52nd National Convention - June 16-19, 2016 (NEW)
Plan to join hundreds of passionate and engaged leaders for the LWVUS National Convention, a vibrant gathering in our nation’s Capital from June 16-19, 2016. Save the dates and share them with your members. Keep up-to-date with the latest Convention news and innovations on our website. Look for more information there starting next month on the schedule, registration, hotel and special events such as Lobby Day and a fun evening with the political comedy group “Capitol Steps.”

New Member Database (CRM) Opening to Leagues (NEW)
After 15 years, LWVUS has acquired one of the best constituent relationship management (CRM) systems on the market. Thank you to the Leagues that helped with the testing the new CRM and training materials for all Leagues. We have outlined a schedule to bring Leagues on to the system. We MAY need to make adjustments to the schedule based on the speed of adoption of the system. If so we will communicate that with you as soon as possible. We thank you for your patience and understanding as we strive to make this transition as easy as possible. Our goal is to ensure all Leagues are accessing the system and all information that needs updating is done by the January 31, 2016, deadline for roster reporting. Read more here.

Join Myra as a National Coach: Deadline to Apply is October 23 (NEW)
Are you looking for a personal growth opportunity while helping to build the League’s impact? Watch national coach Myra Evans describe why she applied to be a Shur Fellow or national coach and why you should consider following her lead. 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 consider applying or nominating another League leader. The application deadline is October 23.

EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS

Grants Available: 2016 Youth Voter Registration Program (NEW)
LWVEF is pleased to announce a new pass-through grant opportunity to help Leagues register and engage high school/community college/technical/vocational school students in the spring of 2016. Friday, December 4, is the application deadline. State and local Leagues are encouraged to download the project description and funding application. If you have questions about completing your application, contact Maggie Bush (mbush@lwv.org).

Promote your Candidate Debates and Forums on VOTE411! (REMINDER)
Does your League have an upcoming candidate debate or forum? Promoting your events on VOTE411 can help spread the word to voters in your communities. If you have an upcoming debate or forum and would like us to post the information on VOTE411, please send the following information to Megan Brown (mbrown@lwv.org): event title, offices covered, date, time, location (venue name and address) and any other information voters might need.

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!

Join VOTE411 in 2016! (NEW)
Election 2015 isn’t even here yet but Leagues are already signing up for 2016! So far in 2015 nearly 250,000 voters have turned to VOTE411 – and that’s with the big November elections still to come! Thanks to Leagues from 20 states, voters have found candidate and ballot information for over 9,000 candidates from nearly 6,000 races. If your League is interested in creating a voters’ guide or you have any questions, contact Megan Brown (mbrown@lwv.org). She’ll walk you through the process. Leagues from five states are already committed to creating voters’ guides on VOTE411 for 2016. Join with your colleagues across the country and help inform the approximately three million voters we expect to visit VOTE411 in 2016 and gain significant visibility for your League’s work!

EDUCATION FUND - KEY STRUCTURES OF DEMOCRACY

MIP Consensus Study Guide is Posted (NEW)
The MIP Consensus Study Guide including the MIP Consensus Questions is now posted. In addition, papers, including Enforcement of Campaign Finance Law and Evidence of Spending's Impacts on Electoral and Legislative Outcomes are posted on the Money in Politics page. The deadline for submission of MIP consensus forms is February 1, 2016. For additional information, please contact Barbara Zia, MIP Committee Chair at MIPCommitteeChair@lwv.org.

Constitutional Amendment Study Yahoo Group and Survey Form (UPDATED)
Subscribe to the Yahoo group to discuss the League Constitutional Amendment Study and share information with other League members. To subscribe, send an email message to this address: lwvconamend-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. You will receive an email back inviting you to join the discussion group. Follow the instructions in this email and you will be signed up for the CA discussion group. 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 deadline for submitting CA consensus forms is December 1, 2015. Questions can be sent to Pat Donath, CACommitteeChair@lwv.org.

ADVOCACY

League Opposes Senate Attempts to Block Clean Power Plan (NEW)
The League sent a letter to the U.S. Senate opposing any attempt to block the implementation of the Administration's Clean Power Plan. Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress can review the implementation of regulations developed by the Administration. Members of the LWVUS Lobby Corps will be visiting Senate offices to discuss this groundbreaking regulation that will save lives and protect the environment. Visit the LWVUS Climate Change Toolkit for background on the Clean Power Plan and a section outlining what Leagues and League members can do to help build support for, and promote compliance with, the Clean Power Plan.

League Submits Comments to EPA Science Advisory Board (NEW)
The League submitted written comments to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Science Advisory Board (SAB). The comments are in regard to the EPA SAB's study on the effects that hydraulic fracturing has on drinking water sources.

Support the EPA’S Methane Pollution Regulation (REMINDER)
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.

COMMUNICATIONS

Free Communications Training for All Members: Register Now! (REMINDER)
Are you ready for a fun, interactive, and practical three-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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