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Important announcements for League leaders

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League of Women Voters
The League Update
January 31, 2019

Educated Over 10 Million Voters

Friend,

Even as we move full steam ahead into 2019 and begin planning for another presidential year, I want to take a minute to share some incredible data regarding our 2018 impact. As you know, shortly after the election, LWVEF launched the 2018 Election Activities Survey to gauge the impact made by state and local Leagues during the 2018 cycle. All told, we collected data encompassing 501 Leagues from 49 states. This represents a significant increase in responses—by more than 100 Leagues—over the record response rate from our 2016 presidential year survey!

Survey questions focused on Leagues’ overall election-year impact on our core programs, including voter protection, registration, education, and mobilization, and asked a variety of questions about the successes achieved and challenges faced by Leagues. LWVEF relies greatly upon this rich survey data, in addition to data we collect through national programs, to prioritize training needs for Leagues, identify areas of growth, and share the story of our organization’s incredible impact.

Read more about the survey results in our latest blog post from Maggie Bush, our Programs and Outreach Director.

I hope you feel as inspired by this information as I do. Together, our impact is powerful and undeniable. 

Chris

Making Democracy Work Campaign

Webinar Announcement: LWV Policy Briefing on HR1, the For the People Act

Join LWVUS for a webinar briefing on HR1, the For the People Act, the first democracy reform agenda bill introduced in the House of Representatives in the 116th Congress. LWVUS staff will provide an overview of the legislation, detail what provisions the League is fighting for, and talk about grassroots engagement with Congress as well as opportunities to engage at state and local levels. The webinar will be held on Tuesday, February 5, at 4:00 PM EST. RSVP here.

HR1 February Recess Activities

Congress will be back in their districts February 18 to 22, which presents the perfect opportunity to discuss the need for HR1, the For the People Act. As part of the Declaration for American Democracy Coalition, the League is encouraging our members to attend town halls and events set up to promote HR1 around the country. A map of events is available. If you don’t see an event in your community, you can sign up to host an event of your own. Please use the League talking points when discussing this bill with your Representatives and Senators. We also have provided new social media content and graphics to help Leagues campaign for HR1.

House Judiciary Committee Holds First Hearing on HR1

We attended the first hearing on HR1 this past Tuesday. As legislators asked questions of the six expert witnesses, several strong arguments for HR1 emerged. Read our blog on the hearing.

Last Call for Grant Applications: 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, 2019Grants 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.

New LWVUS Taskforce: National Popular Vote Interstate Compact

The LWVUS Board approved the creation of a new taskforce regarding the national popular vote compact. This taskforce, comprised of a chair from the LWVUS Board and four additional members, will evaluate state League support, assess whether there is enough momentum around this effort to warrant further national engagement, make recommendations on the likelihood of gaining additional votes to pass the interstate compact, and suggest a plan of engagement for LWVUS. The taskforce will complete their work by August 15, 2019, for action by the LWVUS Board at their Fall Board Meeting. Anyone interested in applying for this taskforce should email Celina Stewart, cstewart@lwv.org, to indicate their interest no later than Friday, February 8, 2019, at 5pm EST. Application materials will be shared with all interested parties shortly thereafter. 

LWVUS Sets Legislative Priorities

The LWVUS Board approved the following legislative priorities for 2019.   

1. Campaign for Making Democracy Work® (MDW), with special emphasis on protecting voting rights.  

2. Watchdog: Respond strategically on issues with LWV positions when needed, but focus on the Campaign for Making Democracy Work®.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Set DEI Goals for 2019

Consider how you and your League can create and achieve DEI-related goals in the new year. Our DEI Checklist is a great resource for potential actions.

February is Black History Month

February is Black History Month. We encourage Leagues to connect with groups leading Black History Month related events in their area and inquire how the League can support their objectives and how the League might equitably partner with them. We hope you’ll use this month as a learning opportunity. Our DEI resources page offers articles and books to get you started. 

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

Last week the Michigan League announced the potential settlement of their gerrymandering lawsuit. If this settlement is approved by the court, 11 state house districts will be redrawn to fairly represent voters. A state senate committee has filed with the U.S. Supreme Court requesting a stay until the LWVNC v. Rucho, Common Cause v. Rucho, and Benisek v. Lamone cases are heard; all of which are redistricting cases before SCOTUS on March 26.

On Friday, the Texas Secretary of State release numbers suggesting that as many as 95,000 non-U.S. citizens may be on the state’s voter rolls. LWV Texas president Grace Chimene told NPR that these types of claims have been used to suppress voters. On Tuesday this week, the Secretary of State walked back the claims, as it was learned the data was flawed.

LWV CEO Virginia Kase lent her thoughts about the diversity of the 2020 Democratic primary field to a recent Associated Press article. She noted that the contribution of women in the civic arena is nothing new: "every year is the year of the woman - the reality is that we've always been major contributors."

Advocacy

ERA Resolutions Introduced in Congress

Sponsors in the House and Senate announced the introduction of joint resolutions to roll back the timeline on ratification for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). LWVUS is determining how best to engage in this effort. For those interested in engaging on this issue, please join the ERA Facebook group to connect with other Leaguers around the country who are working on ratification in their states.

Timely Webinar on Two Important Climate Reports: February 6

Two important climate reports issued late in 2018 underscore the urgent need for decisive climate action. World-renowned climate scientist Professor Michael Oppenheimer will discuss the meaning and implications of these two reports in a webinar sponsored by the LWV of Massachusetts on Wednesday, February 6, from 4 to 5pm EST. The webinar is free, but pre-registration is required. Click here to register. You'll receive a confirmation email from Zoom with webinar details. The webinar will be recorded and available to webinar registrants. The recording will also be posted on the LWVMA website and a link will be available in the LWVUS Toolkit for Climate Action

Membership

State of the Union Bingo!

The State of the Union is back on! On Tuesday, February 4, we’ll all be watching to see what issues the President raises and where they align with LWVUS priorities. That means our annual bingo game is back on as well! Check out our League Bingo cards and print them out for your SOTU watch party and share them with your friends on social media.

Guide to LWVUS Services for Leagues

LWVUS has been working for several months on a comprehensive guide to the services the national office provides for Leagues.

The guide is a collaboration of all departments and staff at the LWVUS office. Its intended purpose is to serve as a roadmap for Leagues seeking help from the national office and an explanation of all the things we do here.

We are so proud to provide this guide for you, and we hope it will be of great help to you and your Leagues. You can find the guide on the League Management Site.

Social Media Graphic: The League Turns 99!

To help celebrate our 99th anniversary on February 14th, we have created a celebratory graphic that Leagues can post on their social media sites. Happy birthday to the League!

Opportunity to Support 19th Amendment Memorial

For the anniversary of the League on February 14th, please consider making a philanthropic donation from your League to a memorial dedicated to the passage of the 19th Amendment that is planning to open on August 26, 2020. 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. In honor of the 100th Anniversary of women’s suffrage and the League, LWVEF will be supporting the monument with a financial donation. Detailed information about the memorial, including design renderings, can be found here.

Technology & Communications Webinar: Technology Roadmap 2019

This is the first in a series of webinars for League members interested in technology and communications work for their Leagues. In this session participants will learn about the plans for 2019 at LWVUS including updates on the new Roster Manager Portal, the roadmap for the next two years at LWVUS, and how we see these changes benefiting and supporting local and state Leagues. The presentation will take approximately 30 minutes with plenty of time for questions following the presentation. Register now!

LWV Local League Logos

LWVUS is in the process of creating all local League logos, and 14 states have been completed. New this week: MD, PA, OR, TX. 

We will be rolling out more local League logos in the coming weeks and expect to be finished with all local League logos by the end of February. You can find all available local League logos hereLeagues should NOT attempt to build your own logos. If there is something you must complete in an expedited manner before LWVUS can get you your customized League logo, please go ahead and use your current logo.

Thank you and don't hesitate to email the Communications Team at communications@lwv.org if you have specific questions.

LEAGUE LEADERS

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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