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Leader's Update

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Leaders Update

In This Issue:

December 2, 2010

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

  • President’s Message: Agenda for the Lame Duck (NEW)

ADVOCACY

  • ACTION ALERT: Urge Your Senators to Ratify START! (NEW)
  • League to Incoming House Leadership: Retain and Strengthen the Office of Congressional Ethics (NEW)
  • League Supports the CEDAW Treaty (NEW)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • ‘Tis the Season…to Update Your Membership Roster!  #2 (NEW)
  • Media Opportunity:  Recognize Bill of Rights Day (NEW)
  • Thank You for Applying for 2011-2013 Ruth S. Shur Fellowships (NEW)

EDUCATION FUND (Elections; Fair Judiciary; Global Democracy)

  • Elections: Application Deadline Extended for 2010 Democracy Award for Youth Engagement Efforts (NEW)
  • Fair Judiciary: "Quest for a More Diverse Judiciary" Conference Stirs Up Debate in Montana (NEW)
  • Global Democracy: 2010 Legislative Fellows Congress (NEW)

OTHER

  • Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools Petition (NEW)
  • November LeaguE-Voice (NEW)
  • League Store 50%-Off Holiday Sale! (NEW)
  • Leaving a Legacy

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

Dear League Leaders:

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. In my part of the country and given the demographic in my household, college football has been the principal topic of conversation. But, with the Lame Duck session in full swing, the League is talking about ethics, money in politics and the New START Treaty. At a press event on Capitol Hill (also read my blog entry) two weeks ago, we joined our coalition partners in calling upon the Senate to pass the DISCLOSE Act. Today we participated in a similar event calling upon members of the new House not only to keep the Office of Congressional Ethics, but to strengthen it (read the League statement and the coalition statement).

While I was in Washington, I had a chance to meet with my senators on the New START Treaty. One Senator, who supports the Treaty, was knowledgeable, thoughtful and encouraging. In the other office, Staff gave us the party line, but was encouraging to the extent that if we can keep those emails coming in supporting the Treaty, it has a chance. So keep those cards and letters coming in!

I encourage League leaders to start meeting with your new representatives and senators. Remind them that the American people did not vote for less ethics in government in 2011. For those newly elected public servants who ran hard against business-as-usual in Washington, remind them that rejecting business-as-usual means rejecting the influence of big money interests. Let’s wish them all the best of luck and let them know that we are real voters who are watching closely what they do in Washington.

Keep the message positive: “We’re with the League of Women Voters, and we’re here to help you!”

In League,

Elisabeth

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ADVOCACY

ACTION ALERT: Urge Your Senators to Ratify START! (NEW)
The Senate is currently considering ratification of the new START Treaty. This would be the first arms control treaty between the United States and Russia in a decade.

League to Incoming House Leadership: Retain and Strengthen the Office of Congressional Ethics (NEW)
This morning, the League, in coalition with nine other groups, held a press conference to urge the incoming House leadership of the 112th Congress to continue the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) and to oppose any efforts to weaken or undermine that Office. Earlier in the week, League President Elisabeth MacNamara sent a letter to Speaker-elect Boehner.

League Supports the CEDAW Treaty (NEW)
On November 19, the League of Women Voters joined with over 100 coalition partners in support of the Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Treaty in a statement to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law.

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MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

‘Tis the Season…to Update Your Membership Roster!  #2 (NEW)
It’s that time of year again: please update your membership roster for an accurate member count! The member count (determined by your updates to the LWVUS membership database) will “freeze” on January 31, 2011. This number will determine the amount your League must pay in PMP for FY2011-12. To update your member count, you must update your roster, including the expiration date and status (“inactive” or “active”) in each member record. If you have questions or would like a database tutorial, email Betty Taira at membership@lwv.org.

Media Opportunity:  Recognize Bill of Rights Day (NEW)
December 15 is Bill of Rights Day. Customize this media template to generate visibility for your League during this busy holiday season. It’s an easy way to remind your community about the work we are doing, speak to the value of being a member of the League and generate free publicity!

Thank You for Applying for 2011-2013 Ruth S. Shur Fellowships (NEW)
The LWVUS thanks the many League leaders who applied or nominated League friends and colleagues for 2011-2013 Ruth S. Shur Fellowships! The deadline has passed, and the LWVUS is no longer accepting nominations or applications. An LWVUS panel of judges will be working this winter to choose Ruth S. Shur Fellows from this great pool of applicants. Selections will be announced in January 2011.

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EDUCATION FUND (Elections; Fair Judiciary; Global Democracy)

Elections: Application Deadline Extended for 2010 Democracy Award for Youth Engagement Efforts (NEW)
The deadline for submitting applications for the 2010 Democracy Award has been extended to December 15! The award will provide cash prizes to Leagues who engaged young people in the political process during the 2010 election season, and is made possible through the League’s partnership with Smackdown Your Vote! Don’t miss this chance to showcase your League’s incredible work! Fill out the application by December 15; contact Maggie Duncan with questions.

Fair Judiciary: "Quest for a More Diverse Judiciary" Conference Stirs Up Debate in Montana (NEW)
Despite the first blizzard of the season in Helena (MT), over 100 people attended a forum co-sponsored by the LWV of Montana, the American Judicature Society and others on November 16. The conference, “Selecting Montana’s Judges: Protecting Impartiality, Ensuring Accountability, and Preserving Public Trust,” examined methods of judicial selection and their implications for the state. Montana currently selects its judges via a nonpartisan election system; however, legislation is planned for 2011 that would propose a change to a merit selection system.  Featured speakers included former Montana Supreme Court Justice Karla Gray and Professor James Sample of Hofstra University. The forum was covered by The Billings Gazette.

Global Democracy: 2010 Legislative Fellows Congress (NEW)
Following a month’s visit, the 13 League fellows from Colombia and Brazil participated in the 2010 Legislative Fellows Congress at the U.S. Department of State together with 116 other young professionals, representing 17 countries. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greeted the young leaders via video. Other keynote speakers were Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Ann Stock and Illinois State Senator Pamela J. Althoff (D). Gale Mallol of Bogotá, Colombia, represented the 13 League fellows and spoke about their wonderful learning experiences in six different cities. The Fellows were able to explore transparency, accountability and corruption as well as advocacy and action at roundtable discussions. The Congress ended with a forum on campaigns and elections, giving all the Fellows a chance to discuss what they had observed during the 2010 mid-term elections. See some photos of the Congress here.

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OTHER

Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools Petition (NEW)
The Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, www.civicmissionofschools.org, is sponsoring a petition to remind all policymakers of the essential and historic role schools play in providing the knowledge, skills and disposition for informed and engaged citizenship. The Campaign is asking all Americans nationwide to sign this petition reminding policymakers of the three essential C-s of education, preparation for College, Career and Citizenship. The petition will be presented to local, state and federal education policymakers in 2011. The League is a part of the Campaign and serves on its Steering Committee.

November LeaguE-Voice (NEW)

League Store 50%-Off Holiday Sale! (NEW)
New Fleece Set available just in time for the cold weather! Stay warm and cozy with style in your own matching ivory colored fleece hat, gloves and headband with the LWV logo. At only $5.50 for a limited time, this bargain cold weather set makes a perfect gift for your family and friends this holiday season. Place your order now before we run out! Everything, including 50th anniversary items, is 50%-off through December 24.  Order today for prompt delivery!

Leaving a Legacy
Including the League of Women Voters Education Fund in your will is among the easiest ways to offer support of the LWVEF's work for years to come. We suggest the following language to include the League as a beneficiary of a will or trust: " I give, devise, and bequeath to the League of Women Voters Education Fund, a charitable organization formed in the District of Columbia, with offices at 1730 M Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, {the sum of $___ } {___ percentage of my residuary estate}." If you already have a will, you can have your attorney add a codicil to include the LWVEF. After you've added the League, please contact Lauren Frank so we can list you as a member of our Carrie Chapman Catt Legacy Society.

"Like" the League on Facebook at www.facebook.com/leagueofwomenvoters
Donate to the League on our Facebook Causes page.

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