Important announcements for League leaders

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The League of Women Voters
The League Update
December 6, 2018


The new year is nearly here and now is the time to put action plans in place for 2019—and more importantly, 2020—when millions of first-time voters will need us most.

We hope you'll use 2019 as an opportunity to pilot new initiatives, forge new partnerships, and get your volunteer base excited and experienced. And for those of you with elections next year, imagine the HUGE impact your efforts could have on turnout in your area! Please take a look at our grant opportunities to help Leagues with this effort in the sections below.


Making Democracy Work Campaign

LAST CHANCE: Please Complete our 2018 Election Activities Survey

Thanks to the 300+ Leagues who have already filled out our 2018 Election Activities Survey! Time is running out. If you haven’t already, please have ONE PERSON from your League take a few minutes to fill out the survey. Where you do not have exact numbers available, estimates are fine. Survey data is used to develop helpful resources for Leagues, identify areas of needed training and support, and measure the full impact of our organization’s work to protect, register, and engage voters in 2018.

Last chance to apply! Spring 2019 Youth Voter Registration

The League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF) is pleased to announce a 2019 Youth Voter Registration project. As part of this project, LWVEF will award pass-through grants to state and local Leagues to undertake voter registration activities in high schools, community colleges, and alternative/vocational schools in underrepresented communities. See our grant page for more information and guidelines, including a link to the application.

Now Accepting Grant Applications: Spring 2019 New Citizen Voter Registration

LWVEF is pleased to announce a 2019 New Citizens Registration project. As part of this project, LWVEF will award pass-through grants to state and local Leagues to undertake voter registration activities at naturalization ceremonies for new citizens. Grant applications are due by midnight February  8, 2019. Grants will only be considered for Leagues targeting at least five naturalization ceremonies between February 2019 and November 29, 2019. See the application for additional information.

Join VOTE411 in 2019!

VOTE411 had an amazing 2018 Election Cycle with over 5.5 million views of the candidate info! Let’s keep the momentum going into the off-year election and provide the voters with the candidate information they expect on this League-branded website! If your community has an election in 2019 and you want to participate in the ever-growing VOTE411 online voters’ guide program, sign up now to provide voters in your area with the information they desperately need and turn to the League to find.

In 2017 (the last comparable election), Leagues from 22 states participated in the VOTE411 candidate information program, on average costing only five cents per voter reached to provide the information on the site—much cheaper than creating a printed guide! Participating Leagues have said the program "is the most effective method of reaching large numbers of voters with information when they need it,” and “…VOTE411 lets candidates speak for themselves…” 

Leagues from eight states have already signed up to use VOTE411 to create critical ballot information in 2019! Join your colleagues and be a part of this growing program to inform voters and gain significant visibility for your League’s work. If your League is interested in creating a voter guide or if you have any questions, contact Megan Brown (mbrown@lwv.org) and she’ll help walk you through the process.

LWV of Utah Secures Redistricting Win!

In the lead up to Election Day—and beyond—the League of Women Voters of Utah worked tirelessly to reinforce, expand, and protect Utahans right to representative government by supporting the passage of Proposition 4. By creating an independent seven-member redistricting commission and promoting transparency through increased citizen participation, the successful passage of Proposition 4 means Utah voters will be empowered to choose their legislators rather than have legislators choose their voters. After securing Proposition 4’s place on the ballot, LWVUT members worked with partners at Better Boundaries to educate voters throughout the state about the importance of and the protection that an independent redistricting commission provides. 

The extraordinary number of provisional and mail-in ballots on Election Day meant that LWVUT members and volunteers had to work overtime phone bank calling voters whose ballots were not counted and asking voters to make sure their ballots were counted through a social media campaign. The count went well beyond election day and was a narrow, but fully valid win! The work does not stop here. LWVUT will continue this work with their partners as they hold the legislature accountable to its voters. Kudos to LWVUT team and their amazing work!

REMINDER! State/Local Legislative Priority Guidance

LWVUS sent a memo to state presidents and executive directors with recommended legislative priorities under the Making Democracy Work® Campaign. These recommendations allow for a strong, unified voice at all levels of League across the country. LWVUS wants to offer support to Leagues lobbying on these issues and we hope Leagues will take five minutes to let us know about the priorities you set in this survey. We hope local Leagues will also consider this guidance as they make decisions about their priorities within their communities.

December LWV/Wellstone Training: Coalition Building!

With the election over, many Leagues are now looking to elevate relationships in your community. In this session participants will learn how to build inclusive coalitions. This training will intensify the "power mapping" technique learned in previous series (September and October) and will ensure you are constructing a strong infrastructure of relationships that help you attract the best partnerships. This training is ideal for any League leader, or advocacy and member chairs who are serious about growing stronger relationships with partners, communities, and individuals at all levels. This training is also great for anyone on your team who is a great people-person and loves to learn new tools of engagement. This training will be provided twice: December 12 and December 19 at 12pm (noon) ET. Join us!

HR1 Democracy Reform Legislation

You may have heard about the first bill the new House Democrats plan to unveil in January. This legislation includes many election reform pieces that are in line with core principles of the League. The national office is an active coalition partner in helping to shape the language of this bill and ensure our priorities are included in the final legislation. We will be focusing on the election modernization elements and redistricting reform. Once the final legislation has been released, we will provide additional guidance for how Leagues can support it, and we anticipate before the bill is introduced in January, there will be opportunities for Leagues to engage via Action Alerts related to this important legislation this month—so stay tuned! 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

2018: A Win for More Equitable Representation

"When leadership trends more toward looking like the members of a community overall, everybody is better off, and we’re all better positioned to effect positive, equitable change." Take a look at this article from Independent Sector on the vital importance of the diversity we saw in the 2018 election.

NYC Honors Shirley Chisholm

Fifty years after Shirley Chisholm became the first black woman elected to Congress, NYC is erecting a status to help “correct glaring inequity in public spaces” with the hope the representation will encourage even more women to break barriers.

We want to hear from you!

Is your League embracing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in a new way? We want to know about it. Share your story so we can promote it more widely by emailing the Communications Team at Communications@lwv.org

News of the Week

LWVOH is fighting an effort to make it harder to put constitutional amendments on the ballot, arguing that by making direct democracy harder, only groups with access to large amounts of money and the ability to pay petition gathers will be able to place policies on the ballot.

New Jersey will be a “majority-minority” state by 2028. LWVNJ is working to ensure their legislature more accurately reflects the state's diversity.

Maryland's Governor has appointed LWVMD's Admin Director to serve on an emergency commission to deal with ‘embarrassment’ of gerrymandered congressional districts in the state.


2019 Women’s March

The 2019 Women’s March is scheduled for January 19. As in 2017, the main march will occur in Washington, DC with sister marches happening in many cities around the country. As of early December, LWVUS does not have enough information to determine if we will participate as an official partner. Organizers for the 2019 Women’s March have not unveiled the platform and until we see that, we cannot define our national role. 

We encourage state and local Leagues to find out more about sister marches in your area. There may be opportunities for state and local Leagues to contribute to developing the platform for local marches. 

The full Criteria for League Participation in Marches & Events can be found on the League Management Site. If a League is invited to participate in any official capacity, we ask that you evaluate if the event aligns with our core Making Democracy Work Issues, if the event is nonpartisan, the planners are transparent and inclusive in their planning, all advantages and risks are assessed, and that your League has the bandwidth to participate.


Ready to Upgrade Your Website?

The League of Women Voters of California offers My League Online (MyLO). My League Online has easy auto-shared content and boosted search engine performance to drive traffic and increase engagement for your League website. Several attractive design and menu options are now available. Find out more: www.lwvc.org/mylo Questions? Email: MyLO@lwvc.org 

Welcome LWV of Atlantic County!

The LWVUS Board is pleased to welcome the League of Women Voters of Atlantic County. Congratulations to this newly recognized League and special thanks to the LWV of New Jersey for their mentoring!

Opportunity to Support 19th Amendment Memorial

A memorial dedicated to the passage of the 19th Amendment is being planned to open on August 26, 2020, and your League can support the project with a philanthropic gift today! The memorial is in Occoquan Regional Park in Virginia, part of the historic prison grounds where scores of suffragists were jailed, kept in inhumane conditions and tortured for picketing the Wilson White House. Currently, the plan for the central statue is Carrie Chapman Catt, highlighting her and the League’s important work in securing the passage of the 19th Amendment. With a $1,000 donation, your name or the name of your League will be included on the donor wall at the entrance. Detailed information about the memorial including design renderings can be found here.

United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

Our LWVUS UN Observers are preparing for the 63rd Meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations in New York on March 11-22, 2019. The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively devoted to promoting women’s rights, documenting the reality of women’s lives throughout the world, and shaping global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women. We are looking for League delegates who will attend a minimum of 4-5 days of CSW and will participate in all varieties of sessions including commission meetings and side events. Delegates are responsible for all transportation, accommodations, and meals. Please send a short statement of interest if you would like to attend to dorsey.michelle@hotmail.com. The deadline to apply is December 31, 2018.

Copyright Permissions & Licensing for Image Use

When including images in League materials, League leaders should always review the copyright permissions closely before incorporating it. Using photos and graphics in League materials—including social media posts and newsletters—without the appropriate permissions can expose the League to legal action or hefty fines. 

Copyright infringement can lead to penalties regardless of infringer’s knowledge or intent. Even if your League has used photos in the past without permission, you can still be charged thousands of dollars in retroactive licensing fees. Incidents like these are not unique, and all Leagues should make efforts to avoid these types of situations. To help Leagues do so, here are some recommendations from LWVUS.


Special Notifications: Please do not reply to this message. For additional information, contact the individual listed or visit our websites: lwv.org and the League Management Site. To help keep your members informed, consider forwarding this bi-weekly message. Want to sign up to receive this email? Use this form. Please note that this is an internal communication that provides both announcements and opportunities meant only for your members and League, as well as updates on important news and events.

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League of Women Voters

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