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Leader's Update

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Leaders Update

In This Issue:

September 9, 2010

PRESIDENT'S CORNER

  • President's Message: Support Our Principles! (NEW)

ELECTIONS

  • Stay Alert and Report Barriers to Voting (NEW)
  • Holding a Candidates Forum? Grow the League while Informing the Public! (NEW)
  • Register Today for National Webinar on Voter Services - Sept. 17, 2PM (ET)
  • Debate Criteria

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Gain Visibility for Your League this Constitution Day!
  • New Resources Added to www.lwv.org (NEW)
  • Have an LWV Education Fund?

ADVOCACY

  • 10/10/10 - Global Day of Climate Action: Make Plans for Your League Now

EDUCATION FUND (Global Democracy)

  • Global Democracy: 2011 Civic Hosting Program Opportunities

COMMUNICATIONS

  • Leaders' Update Survey

OTHER

Update Your Will

PRESIDENT'S CORNER

Dear League Leaders:

"The League of Women Voters believes that every citizen should be protected in the right to vote… and that no person or group should suffer legal, economic or administrative discrimination." These important words are excerpted from the Principles of the LWVUS, the concepts of government to which the League subscribes.

This weekend marks the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. This anniversary comes at a time when many hateful voices are raised in fear and ignorance, causing undue discrimination. Just this morning, my local newspaper, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, published a guest column from a newly naturalized citizen recounting his struggle to vote in the July primaries. Having already presented his naturalization papers in order to register in the first place, Mr. Herwig Goldemund was ordered by the Georgia Secretary of State to prove his citizenship again prior to the primary and, having done so, he was challenged once more at his polling place!

League leaders must speak loudly and clearly in support of our principles. We are, by and large, a nation of immigrants. Cultural, ethnic and religious diversity have frequently not been welcomed in the United States, but they have always made us stronger. As we honor those whose lives were taken too soon on September 11, let us dedicate ourselves to making our country stronger and safer by reminding our communities of the importance of tolerance.

In League,

Elisabeth

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ELECTIONS

Please note that we have added this special section for the duration of the 2010 election season.

Stay Alert and Report Barriers to Voting (NEW)
Each election cycle we see partisans erect last minute barriers to voting. In 2010, students and citizens in foreclosure have been targeted. We must be on the lookout for these and new barriers as the elections approach. Should you hear of any efforts to disenfranchise voters, please immediately let League PAVP Specialist Tim O'Brien know at tobrien@lwv.org. The Fair Elections Legal Network recently released a study that takes a close look at the foreclosure issue.

Holding a Candidates Forum? Grow the League while Informing the Public! (NEW)
Remember you can and should advertise the benefits of membership and inform individuals about how to join the League at all of your voter service activities this fall. Consistently (and repeatedly) underscore how the League makes your community fair, vibrant and strong for all. And, be sure to include a message about joining the League! For ideas about how to do this, download the election checklist or other resources. Go here for questions about how to do League building at education fund-sponsored events.

Register Today for National Webinar on Voter Services - Sept. 17, 2PM (ET)
Nonpartisan, balanced and proud of it! If you are interested in learning or participating in a refresher which will share best practices in Voters Service work done with respect to League principles, please join us. If you also want ideas on how to run successful voters service events while building the League, this webinar will help you maximize these opportunities to grow the League as you help your community. Please register for this session here.

Debate Criteria
As you prepare for your upcoming elections, please be mindful that sponsoring debates and forums requires careful decision-making by your entire board in adopting clear, objective candidate participation criteria before each election season gets underway and before the candidates are known. Criteria may include: a public announcement of candidacy; a determination of each candidate's constitutional eligibility to be on the ballot; and/or evidence that a formal campaign is underway as well as other clear and objective criteria. Leagues are strongly advised to publish their criteria broadly. Leagues can then use these criteria to determine which candidates are invited to participate in the debate, should the League choose not to invite all candidates. For more planning information, please consult Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) about Candidate Debates and Forums and/or contact LWVUS Director Judy Davis at judithsdavis@gmail.com. Good planning will allow your League to maintain an excellent reputation for providing the public with unbiased and nonpartisan candidate forums and debates.

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MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

Gain Visibility for Your League this Constitution Day!
September 17 marks the 223rd anniversary of the signing of the Constitution. Use this press template to gain visibility for your League and share your voters service work with your community.

New Resources Added to www.lwv.org (NEW)
Two frequently requested items are new additions to www.lwv.org: (1) League Basics, formerly known as In League, was recently updated by the ad hoc committee of national, state and local League leaders working on streamlining the League (special thanks to Gail Pebworth and Carol Reimers). This short guide is an essential reference for all League leaders as it contains information about nonpartisan policies, how to take action and other "core" League principles; (2) Membership Moments, created by LWVUS Board Member Marcia Merrins, is a collection of tips about membership and leadership that were originally published on the Leaders discussion list. From running a successful annual meeting to recruiting new leaders, these tips have a wealth of ideas for League leaders!

Have an LWV Education Fund?
The LWVUS has an education fund service available to all Leagues through the League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF). This FREE service allows Leagues to fundraise tax-deductible money for educational projects - including voters service activities - while relieving Leagues of the administrative burdens connected with maintaining an education fund. It is open to all state and local Leagues, and setting up an account is quick and easy! Contact Sarah Peterson at GrantServices@lwv.org to set up an account. Find more information here.

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ADVOCACY

10/10/10 - Global Day of Climate Action: Make Plans for Your League Now
On October 10, 2010, thousands of communities around the globe will be taking action to address climate change - celebrating what people can do right now to make an impact, garnering media attention for climate action and sending a strong message to decision-makers at all levels that it's time for them to do their job, too. Make plans now for your League and your community to be a part of this campaign and help build momentum for meaningful energy and climate legislation. Find more information and some suggestions of possible 10/10/10 projects here.

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EDUCATION FUND (Global Democracy)

Global Democracy: 2011 Civic Hosting Program Opportunities
The Global Democracy Program is recruiting local Leagues to host leaders from Eastern Europe and Central Asia through the 2011 Civic Hosting Program. Since 2005, 35 Leagues have hosted nearly 250 visitors from seven different countries. Participating Leagues will receive a pass-through grant and reimbursement for most of the expenses incurred. Leagues will be responsible for organizing an eight-day program that focuses on a specific theme, such as good governance, and arranging for six visitors to stay with host families for the duration of the program. For more details please contact Manuela Campbell at mcampbell@lwv.org.

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COMMUNICATIONS

Leaders' Update Survey Closes Tomorrow!
In our effort to continue improving communication with League Leaders and members, we ask you to complete this user survey by September 10. Our work on improving the content and delivery of the weekly Leaders' Update requires your valuable input. Thank you for your help.

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OTHER

Update Your Will
Have you recently moved to a new state? Had a child? Did you get married last year? Or maybe there's a new grandchild or step-child in your life? Any one of these major life events is reason enough to update your will. It is always important to stay in touch with your attorney regarding any changes in estate and probate law. While you're updating your plans, don't forget to include a gift for your favorite charities, like the League of Women Voters Education Fund - to strengthen the pillars of our democracy for years to come. If you have already included a gift for the LWV in your will or trust, but have not previously informed us, or if you have been thinking about setting up a gift that provides income, such as a charitable gift annuity, please contact Lauren Frank, at 202-263-1355 or lfrank@lwv.org.

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