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The LeaguE-Voice: Newsletter of the League of Women Voters Friend,

This is the LeaguE-Voice newsletter from the League of Women Voters. You can also view it online.

The League Voice Newsletter

January 2011

This month has been a turbulent one with the tragedy in Arizona, a stark reminder of  how fragile life can be.  Throughout our 90 year history, the League has worked to facilitate the civil exchange of different points of view and improve the functioning of government. And our work is needed now more than ever.  This month, we continued our reform efforts by speaking out against attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and Presidential Public Financing.  There is much to do in the coming months, so keep up the good work in your communities!

Elisabeth MacNamara
Elisabeth MacNamara
President, LWVUS

League Seeks to Stop Efforts to Repeal the Affordable Care Act

Following the U.S. House of Representative’s vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the League sent a letter to the Senate urging the body to oppose repeal of the Act. The League’s Lobby Corps visited Senate offices this month to reinforce our message. Read our blog post and Facebook update on this hot issue.  Also, thanks to all of you who responded to our action alert before the House vote!  While a majority supported repeal, the margin was closer than expected.

League Fights to Protect Public Financing System

The League fought against the efforts this month to eliminate the public financing system for presidential elections.  Although the House voted in favor of repeal, prospects in the Senate are a bit better.  The League spoke out by issuing our letter to the House and joined a coalition, blogging on our views and urging League members and citizens to take action in opposing the elimination of this system.

League Urges Senate to Reform Rules

With proposed rules changes being considered in the U.S. Senate, the League urged members to reform their rules to ensure openness, accountability, decision-making capability and effective performance.  In addition to discussing these reforms on our blog, the League sent a letter to the Senate and joined another with coalition partners urging its members to make transparency and accountability a priority and end needless obstruction that threatens the vibrancy of our democracy.  The Senate agreed to stop “secret holds,” cut down on the number of executive branch appointments that need confirmation, and cut back on post-cloture dithering, while leaders pledged to reduce the use of the filibuster.

Leagues Promote Fair and Open Redistricting

Leagues in many states are actively promoting transparency and public participation in the upcoming redistricting process.  As state leaders undertake the complex and often intensely partisan task of redrawing congressional and state legislative district boundaries, Leagues are hosting public events, preparing testimony, educating the media, engaging key allies and leveraging new technology to ensure districts are drawn in the open and that the public has meaningful opportunities to weigh in.  The League believes that open and participatory redistricting will lead to a more representative and accountable democracy and empower communities to advocate for the resources and opportunities they deserve.  Learn more by reading this blog post by League Executive Director Nancy Tate.

Leagues Battling Onslaught of Voter Photo ID Bills

Voter photo identification bills have been introduced around the country in: Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Mississippi, Nebraska, Tennessee, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. Our Public Advocacy for Voter Protection (PAVP) project is working hard to fight legislation that would disenfranchise voters.  To review the current make up of voter photo id laws in the states go to:   http://www.brennancenter.org/page/-/Democracy/Voter%20ID%202010%20States.pdf

Honoring Women in Congress

The League’s event honoring the women of the U.S. House of Representatives 112th Congress in early January was a success with several members of Congress including Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, joining us for the evening.  The highlights of the event can be seen here.  We were pleased to be joined by supporters of Rachel’s Network, our event co-sponsor.

You Can Make a Gift That Helps Your League at All Three Levels!

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 Education Fund's 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 League of Women Voters of Education Fund, to benefit from the residual funds. For more information, please contact the Development office at 202-263-1355 or plannedgiving@lwv.org.

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Fun Facts

January is the birthday month for two great suffrage leaders – League founder Carrie Chapman Catt (Jan 9, 1859) and Alice Paul (Jan 11, 1885).

Member in the Spotlight

Karen Michael, LWV of Metropolitan Phoenix, AZ
Karen Michael, LWV of Metropolitan Phoenix, AZ

League in the Spotlight

Leagues in the Spotlight: LWV of Virginia Gains Momentum in Fight for Redistricting Reform

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