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Leader's Update

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Leaders Update

In This Issue:

January 6, 2011

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

  • President’s Message: We Are Not Alone (NEW)

ADVOCACY

  • ACTION ALERT: Don't Go Backwards on Health Care Reform! (NEW)
  • League Urges Senate to Reform Rules (NEW)
  • League Urges Speaker Boehner to Protect Ethics Standards (NEW)
  • 2011 LWVUS Advocacy Priorities: Time to Submit Your Suggestions

EDUCATION FUND

  • LWVEF Receives Redistricting Grant! (NEW)
  • Grant Opportunity: Call Attention to Climate Change, Women and Hunger Issues in Your Community and Around the World. (NEW)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Special Online Training: Learn How to Make Your League More Welcoming! (NEW)
  • Ensure a Correct 2011-2012 PMP Bill: Update Your League Roster Today (Reminder #5)
  • Submit Your Personal League Story and Receive League Buttons to Share! (NEW)
  • Fun Facts (NEW)

OTHER

  • IRA Holders Can Still Make 2010 Charitable Distributions (NEW)
  • New Year's Resolution: Update Your Will

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

Dear League Leaders:

Happy New Year!

Yesterday, the new Congress was sworn in. Nancy Pelosi passed the gavel in the House to John Boehner, and the League and Rachel's Network hosted an event for the 74 women elected to this Congress. The sad news is that this number is lower than in the last Congress. The good news is that every one of our guests credited the League with giving her the foundation and skills to run for office and win! The highlight of the evening was a visit from Minority Leader Pelosi. I think she will forgive me for repeating the wonderful story she told about her first visit to the White House as Minority leader and her realization that she was not sitting at that conference table in that leadership role alone. She was sitting there with Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Carrie Chapman Catt, Sojourner Truth, Alice Paul and Lucy Stone!

As we begin a new year with new leadership in our nation's capital and in state capitals around the country, let us remember that we are not facing the current challenges alone. We are the continuation of a long line of leaders dedicated to effecting real change and keeping our democracy vital and relevant by opening up opportunities for all Americans. It may take a long time, but we owe it to those historic leaders to keep up the fight and to keep getting in the way, as Congressman John Lewis reminded us at Convention 2010.

In League,

Elisabeth

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ADVOCACY

ACTION ALERT: Don't Go Backwards on Health Care Reform! (NEW)
In the next few days, the House is scheduled to vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act, the comprehensive health care reform law passed by the last Congress and signed into law by President Obama. The Affordable Care Act is a major step forward in health care for all, which has already made a difference by improving health care access and coverage for millions of Americans. Repealing it now would be a tragic step backwards. Tell your Representative to vote against repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

League Urges Senate to Reform Rules (NEW)
On Tuesday, League President Elisabeth MacNamara sent a letter to the Senate, urging Senators to reform their rules in ways that maintain the best traditions of the Senate, while ensuring openness, accountability, decision-making capability and effective performance. See, also, Elisabeth’s blog. In addition, the League and coalition partners sent a letter to the Senate, urging its members to make transparency and accountability a priority and end needless obstruction by filibuster that threatens the vibrancy of our democracy.

League Urges Speaker Boehner to Protect Ethics Standards (NEW)
In December, the League and coalition partners sent a letter to then Speaker-designee Boehner urging him to preserve or strengthen House ethics rules and standards of conduct.

2011 LWVUS Advocacy Priorities: Submit Your Suggestions by January 15
The LWVUS Board will be determining Advocacy Priorities for 2011 at the Board Meeting in late January. Once again, we are soliciting suggestions for advocacy priorities from members. If you are interested in submitting a suggestion, please read this memo.  Please indicate whether your suggestion is submitted as an individual or the result of a committee or League meeting. All suggested advocacy priority topics will be compiled into a report to the Board for consideration.

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EDUCATION FUND

LWVEF Receives Redistricting Grant! (NEW)
The LWVEF is happy to announce that it has received grant funding from the Open Society Institute to execute a targeted redistricting effort in 2011. As part of this effort, the LWVEF will work closely with the CA, GA, FL, MO, NC, OH, PA, TX and VA state Leagues to support their work to promote a fair and transparent redistricting process. We look forward to sharing project resources and highlights in future Updates.

Grant Opportunity: Call Attention to Climate Change, Women and Hunger Issues in Your Community and Around the World (NEW)
State and local Leagues have an opportunity to hold a community event to focus attention on issues surrounding climate change, women and hunger. The LWVUS will provide resources for Leagues to host either a banquet dinner or public education panel discussion. Grant amounts will be based upon the type of event your League decides to hold. For more information and to obtain resources and grant funding contact Christina Hildebidle, CHildebidle@lwv.org or (202) 263-1328.

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MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

Special Online Training: Learn How to Make Your League More Welcoming! (NEW)
Join LWVUS Board Member Marcia Merrins at this important online training seminar next Wednesday, January 12, 2:00pm ET. She will explore ways to make your League more welcoming in order to gain new members and to invigorate your League! Register today for this special training. Have questions? Contact Sara Richman.

Ensure a Correct 2011-2012 PMP Bill: Update Your League Roster Today (Reminder #5)
Please update your League’s membership roster as soon as possible. On January 31, your League’s membership count will be “frozen,” and this number will determine the amount of PMP your League will remit to the state and national Leagues for FY2011-12. Remember to update all membership expiration dates and the status field (“I” or “A”).  If you have questions, would like to schedule a training session or need help accessing the database, please email membership@lwv.org.

Submit Your Personal League Story and Receive League Buttons to Share! (NEW)
The LWVUS is working in partnership with state and local Leagues across the country to strengthen our great organization. Please help us by submitting your personal story to the LWVUS Storybank. Why did you join the League? How has membership enhanced your life? Your story will help the League reach the hearts and minds of potential members and demonstrate the value of League membership in a more intimate way. Submit your story here and receive 10 free League buttons to share with your Board and members (while supplies last)!

Fun Facts (NEW)
January is the birthday month for two great suffrage leaders – League founder Carrie Chapman Catt (Jan 9, 1859) and Alice Paul (Jan 11, 1885). Leagues might be able to use these birthdays in some way to gain visibility.

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OTHER

IRA Holders Can Still Make 2010 Charitable Distributions (NEW) 
Persons aged 70½ or older can again enjoy tax savings by making charitable gifts directly from their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), thanks to a provision of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, which was signed into law December 17, 2010. The act also allows charitable distributions made from an IRA in January 2011 to be declared as 2010 gifts, should the IRA holder wish to do so. Please contact Lauren Frank at 202-263-1355 or lfrank@lwv.org for additional information.

New Year's Resolution: Update Your Will
Did you move last year? Had a child? Did you get married this past 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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