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Leader's Update

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Leaders Update

In This Issue:

March 24, 2011

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

  • President’s Message: Happy Birthday, Affordable Care Act! (NEW)
  • Public Education Study Update (NEW)
  • Register Now: Webinar on How to Conduct a National Study, Thursday, April 21, 3:00 PM Eastern (NEW)

COMMUNICATIONS

  • League Facebook Page: New Usage Guidelines Posted (NEW)
  • LWV of Connecticut Uncovers Rare 1918 Memoir (NEW)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Webinar Library Now Online! (NEW)
  • Bylaws Change for Local and State Leagues (NEW)
  • Important Update to the “Add Member” Function in Database (NEW)

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

  • Elections: Clear Debate Criteria (NEW)
  • Elections: LWVEF Publications (NEW)
  • Sunshine Week Panel Discussion Online (NEW)
  • Global Democracy: American Legislative Fellows Return from Colombia (NEW)
  • Global Democracy: Seeking Arabic Speakers (NEW)

ADVOCACY

  • League Expresses Concern Over Stalled Ethics Investigation (NEW)
  • League Applauds Senators’ Efforts Regarding Budget Negotiations (NEW)
  • ACTION ALERT: Support Clean Air! Oppose Legislation to Strip EPA Authority

OTHER

  • Do You Need to Update Your Will?

 

PRESIDENT’S CORNER

Dear League Leader:

One year ago this week the Affordable Care Act became law! And, some provisions of the law are already in effect: Current beneficiaries of this historic Act are children with pre-existing conditions, young adults to age 26 who can now stay on their parents’ health plans and those of us whose coverage had lifetime limits.

Government reactions to the new law have been positive and negative. We laud those states that have started important groundwork for implementing provisions of the complex Act. As for those states working to overturn the law through court action and members of Congress working to repeal it, our fight continues. Going backwards is not an option, and the anticipated financial and human cost of such a move, as noted in yesterday’s email, is indeed great.

Throughout the debate, the League has stayed the course for reform of the American health care system, from original support for the Affordable Care Act to beating back current repeal efforts. During this anniversary week, let’s remember the importance of this historic Act and the part we have played. And, most importantly, let’s commit to continue our vital work, not only to preserve what we have accomplished, but to ensure true health care reform and coverage for all.

In League,

Elisabeth

Public Education Study Update (NEW)
The LWVUS study on the "Role of the Federal Government in Public Education" is well underway. The target schedule is for Leagues to have materials (papers, consensus questions and a Leaders Guide for taking consensus) in May. Local Leagues will have from May through November to conduct their local study and take consensus. The study committee is writing papers; as they are completed, they will be posted on the LWVUS website. In addition, a webinar is scheduled for April 21 (see below). Watch the Leaders’ Update and the Public Education List for the availability of the study materials. What can you do right now? Form a study committee, select a chair and put the study on your local League calendars.  Also, keep reading the Public Education list and Leaders’ Update for continuing information.

Register Now: Webinar on How to Conduct a National Study, Thursday, April 21, 3:00 PM Eastern (NEW)
If you would like to learn more about the process surrounding a national study, we welcome you to sign up for this webinar. Learn how to help your League get ready to participate in national studies directly from Education Study Committee chair Peg Hill and national Education Fund and Privatization Committee chair Janis McMillen.

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COMMUNICATIONS

League Facebook Page: New Usage Guidelines Posted (NEW)
Check out our Facebook page new usage guidelines here.

LWV of Connecticut Uncovers Rare 1918 Memoir (NEW)
A LWVCT League member’s 1918 memoir reveals Connecticut state legislators’ views on suffrage as recorded from personal interviews. Read the AP News account here.

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MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

Webinar Library Now Online! (NEW)
New and old webinars are now online. Check out the LWVUS Members Section for guidance and tips from Annual Meetings to Candidate Forums and Voter Guides. Click to go directly to the Webinar Library or to access our most recent Annual Meeting Webinar.

Bylaws Change for Local and State Leagues (NEW)
As local and state Leagues plan their annual meetings and state conventions, League leaders are reminded to update their Bylaws to reflect the Amendment to Article III approved by Convention 2010 delegates. See this memo from Dianne Wheatley, LWVUS Governance Committee chair.

Important Update to the “Add Member” Function in Database (NEW)
When submitting names of new members using the ADD MEMBER form, a short, but important step has been added to prevent the number of duplicate records LWVUS has been receiving.  Enter the first and last name, then click on SEARCH. If that person’s name is on your active or inactive roster, it will appear in a horizontal format. Simply click on the member’s ID/number and update that member’s Member Information Change Form (MICF). If the name is NOT on your active or inactive roster you will see “The Search Returned No Results.” Click on ADD MEMBER in the green box and submit the form just once. The record will be assigned a number by the LWVUS and validated within 2-3 business days.

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

Elections: Clear Debate Criteria (NEW)
As you prepare for your upcoming elections, please be mindful that sponsoring debates and forums requires careful decision-making by the entire board in adopting clear, objective candidate participation criteria before each election season gets underway and before the candidates are known. Leagues are strongly advised to publish their criteria broadly. Leagues can then use these criteria to determine which candidates are invited to participate in the debate, should the League choose not to invite all candidates. For more planning information, please consult Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) about Candidate Debates and Forums and/or contact LWVUS 2nd V.P. Judy Davis at judithsdavis@gmail.com. Good planning will allow your League to maintain an excellent reputation for providing the public with unbiased and nonpartisan candidate forums and debates.

Elections: LWVEF Publications (NEW)
Are you running a voter registration drive, a candidate debate/forum or other election event soon? Are you hosting a League table at some other community event? If so, you might want to pick up some of the LWVEF’s most popular publications – The 5 Things cards and the VOTE brochure – available in English and Spanish. These publications help potential voters prepare for Election Day and arm them with the information they need to ensure their votes are counted! You can order the 5 Things card in bundles of 100, and the VOTE brochure in bundles of 50. You can also download these resources for free here.

Sunshine Week Panel Discussion Online (NEW)
As noted in the League’s latest blog posting, the LWVEF co-hosted the 6th annual Sunshine Week national panel discussion with experts from inside and outside government, who presented a thoughtful assessment of transparency at the federal level. Webcast live and later broadcast on C-SPAN, “The Road Forward on Open Government” is available on demand here.

Global Democracy: American Legislative Fellows Return from Colombia (NEW)
The third outbound group of American Legislative Fellows recently returned from Colombia where they met with a variety of officials at all levels of government, members of civil society, and the press. Read about their 10-day experiences here.

Global Democracy: Seeking Arabic Speakers (NEW)
The Global Democracy Program wants to find League members who speak Arabic. Please contact zarguedas@lwv.org.

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ADVOCACY

League Expresses Concern Over Stalled Ethics Investigation (NEW)
The League and coalition partners sent a letter to the leadership of the House Committee on Ethics asking when the inquiry into possible ethics violations by Representative Maxine Waters will be resumed and completed. Read resulting media coverage in Roll Call, Washington Post, TPMMuckraker and The Hill.

League Applauds Senators’ Efforts Regarding Budget Negotiations (NEW)
The League sent letters to Senators Warner of Virginia and Chambliss of Georgia commending their efforts to develop a consensus approach to solving our nation’s fiscal problems.

ACTION ALERT: Support Clean Air! Oppose Legislation to Strip EPA Authority
The House of Representatives is expected to consider legislation that would permanently block the EPA from regulating harmful carbon pollution. Tell your Representative to protect your air.

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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.

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

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