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Leaders Update

In This Issue:

March 3, 2011

ON THIS DAY: March 3, 1913 – Suffrage Supporters Marched on Washington, DC.

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

  • President’s Message: As We Celebrate Women’s History Month (NEW)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Women’s History Month Resources (NEW)
  • LWVUS Trains Ruth S. Shur Fellows to Strengthen the League! (NEW)
  • March 17th Webinar: Making Your Annual Meeting Productive and Fun

ADVOCACY

  • League Files Amicus Brief in Arizona Public Financing Case (NEW)
  • League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Education Fund Responds to League of American Voters (NEW)

EDUCATION FUND (Elections; Openness in Government; Global Democracy)

  • Elections: Voter Photo Identification (NEW)
  • Sunshine Week 2011 – A Turnkey Opportunity for Leagues
  • Global Democracy: Women in the Americas – Cuba (NEW)
  • Global Democracy: U.S. Legislative Fellows Head to Colombia This Week (NEW)

COMMUNICATIONS

  • February 2011 League Newsletter (NEW)
  • “Well Wishes” to the League! (NEW)

OTHER

Do You Need to Update Your Will?

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

Dear League Leader:

March is Women’s History Month, and the National Women’s History Project is heeding Abigail Adams’s advice to her husband and remembering the ladies – the prominent as well as the unsung heroes in the struggle for equality. But let us also remember the men – those in elective office who had the courage to cast votes in support of legislation and funding that we hoped would ensure a better future for women and minorities and, therefore, for us all. Let us remember all the heroes because that future is now being threatened in the name of fiscal austerity.

Under particular assault is public sector employment which has, over the years, offered women and minorities opportunities unavailable in the private sector. Women are public employees (attorneys, teachers, police officers, Social Security workers, etc.), taxpayers, and the beneficiaries of government-funded programs including those aimed at helping children. The time has come for a budget conversation that focuses on those services the public really needs and wants, and how to pay for them - the real issues. Focusing on the costs of public servants does a great disservice not only to those individuals and those who benefit from their work, but to solving our fiscal crisis as well.

To me, a career public servant, stories of women who chose public jobs, sacrificing money, but not their families, and giving their talents to their communities or women who took advantage of government programs to improve their lives and the lives of their children represent a win-win that is worth celebrating.

In League,

Elisabeth

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MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

Women’s History Month Resources (NEW)
This month represents a great opportunity to reach out to your community to get visibility for the League! The LWVUS website has a list of suggested activities to mark this milestone, including fun and informative ways to celebrate and educate. Here is a list of activities and ideas. Also, visit our Women’s History Month webpage. For additional resources, visit the National Women’s History Project and the National Women’s History Museum, and read President Obama’s 2011 Proclamation here and the just released Women in America report here.

LWVUS Trains Ruth S. Shur Fellows to Strengthen the League! (NEW)
The LWVUS Board and staff members welcomed 18 new and returning Ruth S. Shur Fellows to Washington, DC, last weekend to train them in membership recruitment, leadership development and coaching best practices. The group worked as a team to hone their coaching skills, complete exercises and learn how to use new technology. The Ruth S. Shur Fellows, also known as National Coaches, will work with 33 states to grow the League at all levels. This program is funded by the Leaders for Leadership Fund.

March 17th Webinar: Making Your Annual Meeting Productive and Fun
The annual meeting is one of the most important general membership meetings of the year! It gives members an opportunity to direct the future of their League and to enjoy being a member of this great organization. Is your League ready for its annual meeting? Join us on Thursday, March 17, 3 PM ET, when we present our popular webinar, "Making Your Annual Meeting Productive and Fun." Register here. Remember that more annual meeting resources are available at www.lwv.org. Leagues are also reminded to update any officer changes in the LWVUS member database immediately following their annual meeting.

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ADVOCACY

League Files Amicus Brief in Arizona Public Financing Case (NEW)
The League and coalition partners filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of public financing.

League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Education Fund Responds to League of American Voters (NEW)
Late last week, the League of American Voters jumped back into the spotlight, inserting themselves into the events taking place in Wisconsin. They began email and telephone campaigns backing Governor Walker’s efforts and trying to raise money for their organization. This group first formed in 2009 during the fight for healthcare reform. It chose a name that is deceptively similar to the League of Women Voters to intentionally confuse the public, disseminate misleading information and raise money. Last week, the Wisconsin League did a great job by immediately writing and issuing this press release and talking with the media so that Wisconsin citizens wouldn't be confused by a legitimate-sounding name so much like ours. 

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EDUCATION FUND (Elections; Openness in Government; Global Democracy)

Elections: Voter Photo Identification (NEW)
The Public Advocacy for Voter Protection (PAVP) project is working with 14 State Leagues to push back voter photo identification (VPID) legislation. We have found that tying the cost of implementing VPID to the fiscal crisis in the states is one of the strongest messages we have in our fight against VPID bills. Supporters of VPID have said that using Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funds can help offset the costs of implementation. This is not as simple as it sounds. The Fair Elections Legal Network’s blog can help you understand the issue and what is going on in your state. If you have any questions, please contact PAVP project Specialist Tim O'Brien.

Sunshine Week 2011 – A Turnkey Opportunity for Leagues
Get visibility for your League and the important issue of open government this month!  On Friday, March 18, 12:00-1:30 PM ET, the LWVEF again will co-host the Annual Sunshine Week National Dialogue. The event, "The Road Forward on Open Government," will be broadcast live via the web. State and local Leagues are encouraged to host “viewing parties”– perhaps in conjunction with a local university or law library. Panelists will take questions from the live and viewing audience. To learn more, visit our event partner at www.OpenTheGovernment.org. Leagues also may want to ask a local government body to issue a proclamation committing to transparency in records and meetings this month. Sample language is available here.  

Global Democracy: Women in the Americas – Cuba (NEW)
The League’s Global Democracy Programs is seeking four individuals to carry out research about grassroots women in politics in Cuba. The research team will consist of two persons, based in the United States, to carry out research about Cuba in English and two persons with Spanish fluency and experience in Latin America to carry out research in both the United States and Cuba. Application information is available here. If you have questions, please contact Zaida Arguedas.

Global Democracy: U.S. Legislative Fellows Head to Colombia This Week (NEW)
The third group of outbound U.S. Legislative Fellows departed March 2 for a 10-day trip to Colombia.

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COMMUNICATIONS

February 2011 League Newsletter (NEW)

“Well Wishes” to the League! (NEW)
Here is just a sampling from more than 1000 “well wishes” the League received on its 91st birthday.

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OTHER

Do You Need to Update Your Will?
Have you moved? Had a child? Gotten married recently? 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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Donate to the League on our Facebook Causes page.

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