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Leader's Update

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Leaders Update

In This Issue:

September 16, 2010

PRESIDENT'S CORNER

President's Message: Celebrating Constitution Day Tomorrow! (NEW)

ELECTIONS

  • Report Barriers to Voting (NEW)
  • Plan a Voter Registration Campaign to Reach Underserved Communities (NEW)
  • VOTE411's Online Voters' Guide Resources
  • Recruit New Members in Your League's Voters' Guide (NEW)

ADVOCACY

  • League Urges Senate to Ratify START Treaty (NEW)
  • League Urges House Leaders to Support Office of Congressional Ethics (NEW)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • LWV of Greater Tucson, AZ, Makes Headlines on Women's Equality Day! (NEW)

EDUCATION FUND (Fair Judiciary; Openness in Government; Global Democracy)

  • Fair Judiciary: Upcoming "Quest for a More Diverse Judiciary" Events in Kansas (NEW)
  • Openness in Government: Annual Secrecy Report Card (NEW)
  • Global Democracy: 2011 Civic Hosting Program Opportunities

COMMUNICATIONS

  • Leaders' Update Survey Deadline Extended! (NEW)

OTHER

  • Help Plan for the Next 90 Years of the League!

PRESIDENT'S CORNER

Dear League Leaders:

Tomorrow, September 17, 2010, marks the 223rd anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. A year ago the League celebrated this day by drawing attention to the various assaults on the rights provided by our Constitution, including the influence of money in judicial elections, the disenfranchisement of eligible citizens, particularly underserved populations, and the danger of unlimited expenditures of secret money by special interests in American elections.

Sadly, as we enter the critical final month leading up to the midterm election, these issues are still unresolved. On this Constitution Day, let us publicly renew our commitment to protect individual liberties, ensure an open and responsive government, and promote a fair and independent judiciary.

As you read this, I am hitting the road as part of our effort to address these vital issues. I look forward to reporting on the exciting work the Leagues are doing in the 11 states I will be visiting. I know that exciting work is going on in all the states and I encourage every League to keep us posted on their activities by telling us on our Facebook page.

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.

Report Barriers to Voting (NEW)
Each election cycle we see partisans erect last minute barriers to voting. In 2008 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 Brennan Center for Justice has a short briefing paper on Student Voting that may be of interest to you. You can find the briefing paper here.

Plan a Voter Registration Campaign to Reach Underserved Communities (NEW)
With voter registration deadlines approaching fast in many states, now is the time to plan and execute your registration activities! Visit our registration workshop page to take a look at the populations most in need of access to quality voter registration information, then download a free campaign planning worksheet designed to jumpstart your efforts. Need more help? Additional tips for holding successful voter registration drives are available here.

VOTE411's Online Voters' Guide Resources
Several webinars related to VOTE411's new online voters' guide software are available on the LWVUS website. The "basic" webinar walks through the entire system - from the public's point of view, from an administrator's point of view and from the candidate's point of view. Three brief "advanced" webinars are also available; they go into greater detail about how to create districts, upload spreadsheets of data at once and download data from the system. Learn more about VOTE411's new online features here.

Recruit New Members in Your League's Voters' Guide (NEW)
As many Leagues go to press with their voters' guides, hard copy or online, League leaders are reminded to include a membership ad in the guide. View a sample ad here (scroll to bottom of the webpage) along with other recruitment ideas. Remember that education fund monies may not be used to pay for the ad. Find easy-to-follow guidelines here.

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ADVOCACY

League Urges Senate to Ratify START Treaty (NEW)
League President Elisabeth MacNamara sent a letter to the Senate urging members to ratify the START Treaty, which was signed by President Obama and President Medvedev in April 2010. Lobby Corps members are visiting key Senate offices this month to support ratification of the START Treaty.

League Urges House Leaders to Support Office of Congressional Ethics (NEW)
The League and coalition partners sent letters to House Speaker Pelosi and House Minority Leader Boehner, urging them to make a public commitment to the American people to support the continuation of the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) as well as oppose any efforts to prevent the OCE from effectively carrying out its mission and basic responsibilities. The coalition also thanked Speaker Pelosi for her leadership in establishing the Office of Congressional Ethics in 2008.

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MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

LWV of Greater Tucson, AZ, Makes Headlines on Women's Equality Day! (NEW)
The LWV of Greater Tucson, AZ gained great visibility for the League around this year's Women's Equality Day on August 26. The local news channel interviewed League members who spoke about the proud history of the 19th Amendment, as well as the need to be active in our democracy today. Cheers to the LWV of Greater Tucson and all Leagues who celebrated the 90th anniversary of the 19th Amendment!

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EDUCATION FUND (Fair Judiciary; Openness in Government; Global Democracy)

Fair Judiciary: Upcoming "Quest for a More Diverse Judiciary" Events in Kansas (NEW)
Kansas Leagues participating in the Safeguarding Democracy project are hosting a variety of activities this fall to educate attendees about the importance of a diverse and independent judiciary. Since 2009, participating Leagues have received pass-through grants to hold discussions, panels, forums, conferences and debates across the state of Kansas that advocate for a transparent judicial selection process and a judiciary that better reflects the diversity of the communities it serves. For more information, please contact Cynthia Padera at cpadera@lwv.org.

Openness in Government: Annual Secrecy Report Card (NEW)
OpenTheGovernment.org, a coalition of more than 70 organizations including the LWV, works to strengthen public trust in government. It recently released its 2010 Secrecy Report Card, which covers the first nine months of President Obama's administration.

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 Deadline Extended! (NEW)
Because of continued subscriber interest in this user survey, we are extending the deadline to September 21. Our work on improving the content and delivery of this weekly Leaders' Update requires your valuable input. Thank you for your help!

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OTHER

Help Plan for the Next 90 Years of the League!
Some things never change even in these challenging economic times. The League of Women Voters Education Fund continues to be at the forefront of public policy issue education which allows citizens to thoughtfully engage in the democratic process. By making a gift of cash or securities of $5,000 or more to the LWVEF Pooled Income Fund, you can receive an immediate income tax deduction for a portion of the gift's value and continue earning a quarterly return on the interest earned for life. Best of all, you can name your state and/or local League, along with the LWVEF, to benefit from the residual funds when you're gone. For more information, please contact the Development office at 202-263-1355 or plannedgiving@lwv.org.

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