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Important announcements for League leaders

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League of Women Voters
The League Update
MAY 23, 2019

Virginia Case Watches Carrie Catt

Friend,

This past Tuesday, May 21, 2019, marked 100 years since the U.S. House passed the 19th Amendment. The suffragists likely only celebrated for a brief moment, though—they had their sights set on the Senate next. We know this because they achieved passage in the Senate just over two weeks later. 

Right now, LWV is championing a bill in the House that proposes to honor these inspirational women on state quarters. One side of the coin will feature a 19th Amendment icon, and the other will feature a noteworthy woman selected by each state and U.S. territory. Please contact your representative to urge them to co-sponsor H.R. 1923, the Women’s History and Nineteenth Amendment Centennial Quarter Dollar Coin Program Act.

You’ll recall that another part of our activity around this 100th anniversary milestone is our transformation work. An important aspect of this work involves understanding and establishing our identity as an organization. This is where we need your help. 

League presidents, co-presidents, and management teams, please fill out the identity survey for your state or local League by next Tuesday, May 28. 

The purpose of this survey is to gather some foundational information about our growing membership. Your input from this survey is extremely valuable and will provide important context as this vital work continues.

In League, 

Chris

Making Democracy Work Campaign

For the People Act Grassroots Update

Leagues across the country have been making their voices heard on the For the People Act. From Washington to New Mexico, and Missouri to New York, postcards from League members demanding a hearing on the For the People Act are being sent to Senate offices around the country. Leagues have also been working to place Op-Eds and letters to the editor in statewide and local papers. Here’s a sample of some of these important letters:

• In the Sioux City Journal, the president of the League of Women Voters of Iowa, Mary Rae Bragg, wrote, “In the name of good governance, we urge every Iowan to contact Sen. Grassley and demand that he provide a hearing of the For the People Act.”

• In the Leavenworth Times, Leavenworth County League of Women Voters vice president Kim Baker urged people to contact Sens. Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) in support of the bill: "We deserve to know where our senators stand." 

• In the Courier-Journal, League of Women Voters of Kentucky President Fran Wagner wrote, “The American people deserve to know more about this important legislation. We urge every Kentuckian to contact our senator, Mitch McConnell, as the most powerful senator in the chamber, to move this forward with a committee hearing.”

• In the Tulsa World, League of Women Voters of Oklahoma President Jan Largent wrote that, “The Oklahoma League appreciates Sen. James Lankford’s efforts to ensure the security of our democracy, especially his participation in the bipartisan Secure Elections Act. Now we call upon the senator to do even more to secure democracy in America by demanding a hearing for and supporting the For the People Act.”

Sign up for National Voter Registration Day 2019

National Voter Registration Day is Tuesday, September 24 – and we’ve committed to recruiting 400 League participants nationwide. Sign up your League to help us meet this important goal and keep LWV the single largest on-the-ground partner of this holiday! Simply host a registration event or publicize the importance of registration and voting in your community on 9/24. As a proud Premiere Partner and founding organization for National Voter Registration Day, LWVEF is thrilled to once again join thousands of organizations, elected officials, celebrities, and other partners in this effort.

League Joins Groups Urging Presidential Candidates to Prioritize Democracy Reform Agenda

On May 15, the League joined over 100 organizations on letters to all announced presidential candidates urging them to implement a democracy reform plan. The letters were sent by members of the Declaration for American Democracy coalition as well as voting rights, good government, civil rights, faith, environmental, labor, and grassroots organizations.

League Endorses Protecting American Votes and Elections (PAVE) Act

LWVUS endorsed legislation introduced by Senator Ron Wyden to protect American elections from foreign interference by mandating hand-marked paper ballots and setting new cybersecurity standards for all federal elections. Read the League’s quote and information about the PAVE Act here.

Webinar Recording and Materials Now Available

A webinar providing an update on the For the People Act and the League’s strategy was held on Tuesday May 21. A recording of the webinar and the materials are now available for attendees or those who may have missed it.

League Urges Congress to Support EAC

The League joined more than 30 organizations in urging the House Administration Committee to vigorously support the bipartisan and independent U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Our hope is that a hearing will reinforce the importance of the EAC in improving and securing our elections as threats that undermine our democratic process increase. Read the letter we signed here.

Update: LWVUS National Popular Taskforce

This month, the NPV Interstate Compact taskforce began their work, reaching out to League leaders across the country and conducting interviews in states where NPV has passed. If your state has passed NPV and you are interested in sharing how your state was successful, email us at advocacy@lwv.org, and we will get you connected to schedule an interview. The taskforce’s goal is to assess and analyze momentum around the country and determine what role the national office will play. Kudos to chairwoman Toni Zimmer for leading this work and to all members on the taskforce!

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Register for Tonight's DEI Webinar

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 tonight 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 Montana

Nancy Leifer is the President of the LWV of Montana. She shared with us how DEI was the focus of their recent State Convention by highlighting three aspects of DEI work. She also shared how this inspired a focus on Native American voting rights as part of their mission impact work.

Read about the work they are doing here and more 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

Cecile Scoon, first vice president of the League of Women Voters of Florida and civil rights lawyer in Panama City, denounced the Florida legislature for flouting the will of voters to restore voting rights for former felons in an opinion piece for the Washington Post. Scoon calls out the the legislature's "afront to the democratic process," and indicates that the League is working hard to right this wrong.

A judge ruled in favor of affordable housing in Los Angeles, on a case which LWV Los Angeles joined as amicus. The tentative ruling is an important step in protecting affordable housing for vulnerable communities in Los Angeles.

LWVWI executive director Erin Grunze penned an op-ed in which she addresses the reasons why the Wisconsin Legislature's extraordinary lame-duck session goes against the will of voters. LWVWI is one of the plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality of the 2018 extraordinary session.

Advocacy

League Urges Representatives to Co-Sponsor HR 1923

LWVUS sent a memo to all members of the U.S. House asking them to co-sponsor H.R. 1923, the Women’s History and Nineteenth Amendment Centennial Quarter Dollar Coin Program Act. This legislation is a bipartisan measure to honor women in every state across the country by proposing a series of quarters, beginning in 2021, that would feature a 19th Amendment icon on one side. On the other side, a noteworthy woman from every state would be highlighted. Each state and U.S. territory would select one of its outstanding women to be honored in this series. The legislation is sponsored by Representatives Barbara Lee (CA-13) and Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16). Please contact your Representative and urge them to cosponsor this legislation.

League Urges Congress to Pass Permanent Protections for Dreamers

The League joined 400 national, state, and local groups urging Congress to ensure passage of legislation that permanently protects Dreamers and beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). Together, HR 2820 and HR 2821, provisions of the American Dream and Promise Act, offer a path to citizenship to Dreamers and TPS and DED holders.

ICYMI: Get Prepared for Census with the LWVUS Toolkit!

May means only 11 months until Census Day, and many states have begun educating communities around the importance of "getting out to count" and participating in the 2020 Census. LWVUS will be providing further guidance on the variety of ways Leagues can and should get involved. We are giving the Census Action Toolkit a facelift to ensure we are offering the most helpful resources, including the comic strip we created to educate people on why the Census is important.

NEW: LWVUS Policy Briefings for June and July!

Thanks to all League members who participated in our April and May policy briefings! We are keeping these briefings going with new topics in June (Litigation and Legislative Wrap-up) and July (Census 2020). These sessions will fill up quickly, so we encourage you to register early. Learn about our wins across the country. We welcome participants to share successes in your own state as we celebrate our accomplishments at all levels of League. We look forward to talking with you next month.

Membership

#19thAt100 Social Media Day – June 4

Mark your calendars: Tuesday, June 4, is the 100th anniversary of the US Senate approving the 19th Amendment. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is leading an effort to share stories and images on social media using the hashtag #19thAt100. We will be mindful to explore the full story of 19th Amendment, in all of its complexity—recognizing that it was an incomplete victory and for many women the fight for suffrage continued. Please join LWVUS and sign up your League to participate.

LWV Social Media Avatar Package

We have published a package of social media avatars (“profile photos”) for Leagues to use online. This file includes five variations of the LWV logo, created to fit both the square and circle dimensions of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram profiles. It can now be downloaded with our Brand Standards on the League Management Site.

May 14 Technology & Communications Webinar Recording

A recording is now available for last Tuesday's Technology & Communications Webinar: Avoiding Online Scams. Starting with how to spot a scam in email, and continuing on to your member and financial data, this webinar talks about some of the best practices for securing your data and avoiding scams that come in through a variety of channels. As a reminder, there will not be a Technology & Communications webinar in June. We'll see you all in July!

STAFF HIGHLIGHT

Meet Our Executive Assistant

Autumn Banner joined the LWVUS in February 2019. Autumn serves the administrative needs of Virginia Kase as well as supports the Board of Directors and Trustees. Autumn comes to us with five years of operational and program experience in the nonprofit field by way of work with organizations such as Jumpstart for Young Children and Dress for Success. She admires the work of the League and the impact it has made and continues to make on all levels of society.

Read more about Autumn on LWV.org. 

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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