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Leader's Update

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Leaders Update

In This Issue:

October 21, 2010

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

  • President’s Message: Still Empowering Voters! (NEW)

ELECTIONS

  • At the Polls: Use Your Experience to Inspire Improvements (NEW)
  • Debate Watching Party Kit
  • Media Template to Engage Voters, Recruit League Members Available
  • Have Membership Ambassadors at Your Next Election Event! (NEW)
  • The League and American Express Join Forces to Help America Vote (NEW)

ADVOCACY

  • League Calls for Stop to Secret Political Advertising (NEW)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • LWVEF State & Local Grants Quarterly Statements Mailed (NEW)
  • Apply to Become an LWVUS Ruth S. Shur Fellow (NEW)

EDUCATION FUND (Global Democracy)

  • Global Democracy: Legislative Fellows from Brazil and Colombia Welcomed in Miami (NEW)

OTHER

  • Update Your Will

 

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

Dear League Leaders:

I’m energized and on the road again! Earlier this week, I was in Florida; today I’m in Missouri; then I head to North Carolina and Washington, DC. Please continue to follow me and read my blog.

These past few weeks, I’ve been sharing my road trip view of the vital election work Leagues are doing. Today, I’m excited to include a young Houston League volunteer’s first-hand account of his desire to bring more young people into the electoral process through our 2010 High School Registration Project. I was delighted to meet members of this League volunteer team a few weeks ago when I was in Houston.

Throughout my travels, I’ve been encouraged to see the League working tirelessly to engage young people and empower them. Our Leagues have been conducting voter registration at high schools, community colleges and universities, in addition to working with schools to host mock elections and other events to underscore the importance of democratic participation. Our work has never been more critical as the growing number of Millennials comprise an increasingly diverse and influential segment of our electorate.

If your League has been engaging young people this election season, please consider applying for a 2010 Democracy Award,  made possible through the League's work with Smackdown Your Vote!. Winning Leagues will receive cash awards for their innovative work in encouraging young people to participate in voting and elections. Applications are available here and are due November 30. Winners will be announced in 2011.  Please direct any questions to Maggie Duncan.
   
Recently, both major political parties have been actively encouraging young people to come out in full force on Election Day. I’m so proud to report that our Leagues have been working for months to help young people prepare to do just that – no matter their political leanings. Encourage the young people you know to visit VOTE411.org and get ready to head to the polls on November 2nd!

Speaking about our Elections website, we have developed new VOTE411 widgets that local Leagues can use in their promotional election efforts. Download and use our VOTE411 widgets on your website, feature them in your upcoming press releases, and share them with your media partners and other community organizations. These widgets are free for anyone to use!

Now, let’s get back to the business of empowering voters between now and November 2nd. After all, your vote is your voice!

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.

At the Polls: Use Your Experience to Inspire Improvements (NEW)
Many League members work at the polls on Election Day, giving us a unique opportunity to assess the ergonomics of polling places around the country. During your time at the polls, take note of what runs better and use that assessment to build your post-election relationships with local elections officials. As a reminder of the issues that may affect the efficiency of the voting process, this month we are highlighting studies that may help inspire positive changes for the next round. Here is a 3.5 minute U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) video on polling place management. Last week's resource: an article on ballot design.

Debate Watching Party Kit
Check out our popular Debate Watching Party Kit, including resources for how to get others involved! This kit suggests ways to use candidate debates and bring together family, friends, colleagues and community members to watch them in a fun and informative way. These gatherings can also be used to get information out about your local League and promote membership.

Media Template to Engage Voters, Recruit League Members Available
Be sure to let the public know about the great League resources available this election season, especially VOTE411.org and your local voters service efforts. The LWVUS has created a template that you can customize and share with local media outlets to help educate citizens and get them out to vote. Please share this piece widely, especially with outlets that speak to traditionally underserved populations. Go beyond the “standard” media outlets in your community. Consider student newspapers, popular radio stations, ethnic media outlets, online publications, etc.

Have Membership Ambassadors at Your Next Election Event! (NEW)
Make your League as welcoming to the community as it is respected! This election season, assign League members to serve as “Membership Ambassadors” at every event. Ambassadors welcome guests, share what membership in the League means to them, ask guests to sign a sign-in sheet and invite them to join. Want more ideas to engage the community and recruit new members? Find more information here.

The League and American Express Join Forces to Help America Vote (NEW)
The LWV Education Fund is thrilled that American Express awarded the League another grant to support local Leagues’ voter engagement work in five communities: Broward County (FL), Greensboro (NC), New York City (NY), Phoenix (AZ) and Salt Lake City (UT). This grant supports their voter registration drives, candidate debates and community forums, Voters’ Guides and/or other voter service activities. The LWVEF thanks these Leagues for their great work on this project and hopes we’ll be able to continue and expand the project in future years.

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ADVOCACY

League Calls for Stop to Secret Political Advertising (NEW)
Last week, the League released a statement, calling for TV and radio to refuse political advertising funded with secret money and for political candidates to repudiate campaign ads coming from front groups and organizations that fail to disclose their big donors. See this media reaction.

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MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

LWVEF State & Local Grants Quarterly Statements Mailed (NEW)
This week, quarterly statements were mailed to all Leagues holding Education Fund accounts with the LWVEF’s State & Local Grants Program. This service, which enables Leagues to raise tax-deductible funds, is free of charge and open to all state and local Leagues. Please email grantservices@lwv.org if you have any questions, did not receive your League’s statement or would like to set up an account. Find more information about the program here

Apply to Become an LWVUS Ruth S. Shur Fellow (NEW)
The LWVUS is expanding the successful Membership Recruitment Initiative to new states and is looking for enthusiastic, supportive and articulate League leaders to join our team of Ruth S. Shur Fellows. As a Fellow, you will receive training in membership recruitment, leadership development and coaching best practices; have the opportunity to network with League leaders from around the country; and make lasting friendships along the way. Applications and background information are posted on our website. Applications must be submitted online by December 1, 2010.

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EDUCATION FUND (Global Democracy)

Global Democracy: Legislative Fellows from Brazil and Colombia Welcomed in Miami (NEW)
On October 14, the LWVUS and the LWV of Miami-Dade County welcomed two fellows from Brazil and eleven from Colombia. An orientation was held at the Coral Gables Museum, followed by a reception at the Colombian Consulate; its Vice-Consul along with Florida State Representative Luis Garcia greeted the visitors. The fellows are now in their host cities for three weeks. Read more and view photos here.

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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 by email or at 202-263-1355.

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