LWV

Important announcements for League leaders

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League of Women Voters
The League Update
MAY 9, 2019

Chris Carson Tracy Adkinson Georgia LWV

Friend,

It's been a busy Spring at LWV, as I’m sure you’ve all experienced in your own League work. But it’s been a Spring full of victories for democracy, with transparency in lawmaking preserved in Wisconsin, fair maps wins in Michigan and Ohio, and the reversal of a discriminatory voter roll purge in Texas. I’m hopeful and expectant that this trend of democracy wins will continue right through to June, when we will hear a decision in our Supreme Court gerrymandering case, League of Women Voters of North Carolina v. Rucho

Last week, I had the privilege to visit LWV Georgia’s state convention and speak on the progress we’ve made in redistricting reform across the nation. I was even invited to speak on a Savannah podcast, The Commute, about our priorities on the subject. I’m encouraged to see so many Leagues engaging in the fight for fair maps. As always, the League Management Site offers invaluable resources to help Leagues advocate for a fair redistricting process in their state. 

Keep up the great work to expand voting power, remain vigilant in protecting voters’ rights, and always take time to appreciate the victories you’ve achieved! 

In League, 

Chris

Making Democracy Work Campaign

Census Action Kit Adds New Materials

LWVUS continues to add materials to the census action kit. New materials include an action alert, blogs about related topics, lobbying materials, administrative comments, and more! Stay tuned for more resources in the coming weeks!

LWVTN Files Litigation to Overcome Bad Voter Registration Law

This week, LWV Tennessee filed litigation in federal district court in Nashville to challenge the new 3rd party voter registration law that imposes substantial penalties on groups like LWV that foster political participation through voter registration drives. LWV is represented by ACLU, Campaign Legal Center, and the Fair Elections Center and is joined by several co-plaintiffs, including American Muslim Advisory Council, Mid-South Peach & Justice Center, Rock the Vote, and Spread the Vote. Read our press release.

LWV Wins Redistricting Litigation in Battleground States

Last week, a federal district court in Ohio ruled in favor of the League of Women Voters of Ohio, invalidating the 2011 redistricting maps. Read more about this win in our press release. The week prior, another federal district court ruled in favor of LWV Michigan by invalidating the congressional and state legislative redistricting plans in Michigan. Ultimately, both cases were egregious attempts to disenfranchise voters, but LWV is winning in court 5:1, and this is all due to the amazing work Leagues are doing across the country. Thank you!

Voters Protected Against Illegal Voter Purge in Texas

The League of Women Voters of Texas and other civil rights groups reached a settlement with Texas state officials last month to end the discriminatory purging of the state’s voter rolls. The settled lawsuit was raised in opposition to a purge effort in January that was based on a flawed list of possible non-U.S. citizens. The purge included thousands of naturalized citizens who were eligible to vote. Read our press release.

Automatic Voter Registration Passes in Colorado

Lawmakers in Colorado passed legislation last week expanding automatic voter registration in the state. The new bill would expand ways to automatically register Colorado residents to vote and would implement an opt-out process for those who don’t wish to be included. Read our tweet announcing the win!

Impact on Issues 2018-2020 Now Available for Purchase

The newest edition of our policy book, Impact on Issues, is now available both online and in print form. This book is designed to help League leaders use LWVUS public policy positions effectively at the state and local levels. It can be downloaded from the League Management Site, as well as purchased in paperback form from Amazon. An ebook version will be available soon.

Promote your Candidate Debates and Forums on VOTE411! (Reminder)

2019 elections are well underway and so are League sponsored candidate debates and forums! Does your League have any candidate debates or forums coming up in 2019? Promoting your events on VOTE411 can help spread the word to voters in your community. If you have any upcoming candidate debates or forums and would like us to post the information on VOTE411, please send the following information to Megan Brown (mbrown@lwv.org): event title, offices covered, date, time, location (venue name and address) and any other information voters might need.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Register for Upcoming DEI Webinars

LWVUS is hosting a series of webinars on DEI in 2018 - 2019. Topics will include knowledge sharing on terms and theories in the DEI space and how and why DEI should intersect with your League work. All League members with an interest in these important topics are invited to attend. 

Recordings and resources from our previous webinars can be found on the League Management Site.

Our next webinar is May 23 at 7pm ET. This webinar will be hosted by Dr. Cori Wong, Assistant Vice President for Gender Equity and Director, Women & Gender Collaborative, Office of the Vice President for Diversity at Colorado State University, Dr. Wong spoke at the Shur Fellows training in February, and we are excited to bring her expertise on DEI to a larger League audience. Registration is available here.

DEI Success Stories: LWV of Wisconsin

Erin Grunze and Ellen Penwell are staff members for LWV of Wisconsin. They shared with us a series of activities their League has done to promote internal change and strengthen their mission impact work by applying a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) lens.

Read about the work they are doing here and read other DEI Success Stories here.  

We want to hear from you!

Is your League embracing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in a new way? Do you have a special interest in this topic or expertise to share? The LWV DEI Committee, chaired by Dr. Deborah Turner, wants to hear from you. Share your questions, story or feedback by email to cdavis@lwv.org.

News of the Week

LWV of Texas president Grace Chimene was featured, along with member Maxine Barkan, in a Texas Public Radio project entitled 100 Years: Voices Of Women Voters. Grace explains how becoming more civically engaged led her to the League.

The state legislature in Minnesota is running out of time to spend federal funds on the state's election security. In response, LWV MN executive director Michelle Witte penned an informative op-ed on the need to ensure election security in Minnesota.

In light of the League's redistricting win in Ohio last week, a 2017 report from LWV OH and Common Cause OH detailing legislators' behind-the-scenes gerrymandering efforts adds context to why the court called the maps a “partisan gerrymander [that] was intentional and effective and that no legitimate justification accounts for its extremity.”

Advocacy

Webinar: For The People Act, May 21

Last month we launched a nationwide campaign around the For The People Act, encouraging the U.S. Senate to hold a hearing on this sweeping democracy reform bill. You can also participate in the postcard campaign to encourage your Senator to support this important legislation! Join us on May 21 at 3pm ET, as we brief participants and answer questions on the For the People Act. Space will fill up fast, so register now!

Webinar: Legislative and Litigation Wrap-Up, June 11

Want to learn more about the lobbying campaigns we're conducting and litigation that we are winning all across the country? Join us on June 11 at 3pm ET, to hear a recap of what we have accomplished for FY19, share with us yowins around the Making Democracy Work campaign, and learn more about our approach to FY20. Space will fill up fast, so register now!

LWVUS Policy Briefing Resources

LWVUS and 87 organizations sent comments to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) regarding proposed rulemaking for procedural changes to the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA). The comments oppose rulemaking efforts to weaken state consistency review, which would weaken options for states to weigh in with concerns related to oil and gas leasing, exploration, development, and production processes.

Preparing for 2020 Census

With only 11 months until Census Day, we want to make sure Leagues are prepared and have adequate support from LWVUS for census activities in their communities. LWVUS has compiled information regarding the formation of Complete Count Committees, and Leagues are encouraged to use this information to join these Committees in your community. If you haven’t checked out our comments to the U.S. Census Bureau, you can do so here.

Membership

LWV Business Card Template

Need new business cards for your League leaders? Download our new Adobe Illustrator template on the League Management Site.

Money in Politics Action Kit Vulnerable to Copyright Fines

An outdated Money in Politics action kit from LWVUS may contain some images that lack copyright permissions. Please check your website for an outdated (2014 - 2016) Money in Politics action kit and take it down. This kit can be replaced with a link to the page on the League Management Site with an updated action kit at https://www.lwv.org/league-management/voting-rights-tools/money-politics-action-kit. In general, it is always best to link to a page on LWV.org instead of downloading a pdf and uploading it to your League website. This way, your League will benefit when we update the action kits or toolkits we provide.

May 14 Technology & Communications Webinar: Avoiding Online Scams

Starting with how to spot a scam in email, and continuing on to your member and financial data, we will talk about some of the best practices for securing your data and avoiding scams that come in through a variety of channels. Join us on Tuesday, May 14 at 4:00pm ET. Register now.

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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