Important announcements for League leaders.

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The League of Women Voters
The League Update
MAY 7, 2020

VOTE411 is up for a Webby!

Friend,

If you haven’t heard by now, the Webby Awards has recognized VOTE411 with a nomination for Best Government & Civil Innovation Website! Today is the last day to vote for VOTE411 for the 24th Annual Webby Awards People’s Voice award. Be sure to vote by 11:59pm PT tonight and encourage your friends and family to do the same! Here’s a quick tweet you can use to ask your network to vote for our premier voter information website.  

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and spring election dates postponed June 2nd is now the “new Super Tuesday.” Many voter registration deadlines and absentee ballot request deadlines are quickly approaching. Please continue to direct voters to VOTE411 for all of the information and updates about their elections.  

 As we continue to embrace unorthodox ways to push our work forward, we encourage Leagues to use the resources we have created to help. How to Use LWVUS Positions for Advocacy in Light of COVID-19 and Guidance for Voter Registration Activities During COVID-19 are available on the League Management Site. Our Coronavirus Prevention Guidance for Leagues is being updated as we develop new resources to help support Leagues.  

Thank you all for the work that is being done even through these very different circumstances. Please continue to stay safe.

In League,

Making Democracy Work Campaign

VOTE411 Nominated for TWO Webby Awards! 

We are honored to announce that VOTE411 has been nominated for two Webby Awards this year! The Webby Awards are seen as the leading international awards organization honoring excellence on the internet, and to be nominated is a testament to all our great work and information we provide the voters. The Webby People’s Voice Award is open for voting UNTIL TONIGHT! If you haven’t already, please take a minute to vote for VOTE411 before midnight tonight, and show the world who has the best website in our category. And please share with your friends and family. We know with the strength of the League we can win this award! 

Sign Up as a Partner for NVRD 2020!  

Voter registration is more important than ever this year, and we're happy to announce that the League will once again be a premiere partner for National Voter Registration Day, September 22, 2020. Since 2012, hundreds of Leagues have participated in this annual celebration of voter registration, hosting thousands of voter registration events and promoting online registration options on VOTE411. Let's show what the League is made of - sign up your League now to be a part of NVRD 2020! A big voter registration push relatively early in the cycle is crucial to ensuring that all Americans have an opportunity to take advantage of expanded options to vote in a safe way. And it’s also critical to helping election officials across the country in their efforts to offer these options to all eligible voters. 

Join Us on May 12th for a League Community Call! 

Adjusting to doing work during a pandemic can be taxing. On May 12th from 3-4pm ET, the Organizing team will be hosting the first of our monthly community calls with the field. These calls will be a place for us to further foster community, support League work around the country, and learn from each others’ skills. Our kickoff community call on May 12th will be facilitated by LWVUS staff and will focus on community building through a digitally interactive experience! If you want to interact more deeply with your fellow League members, please register

Team Building and Facilitating on Digital Platforms Training  

LWVUS is committed to meeting your needs as we all adjust in these times. As part of the Organizing team’s bi-weekly trainings, we will be hosting a training on May 21st from 3-4pm ET through Zoom to provide tips on effective facilitation when developing meetings online, as well as ways to incorporate your digital gatherings with fun! If you are interested, register for the trainning!

LWVUS Work featured by the United Nations  

This week the United Nations acknowledged LWVUS for our work protecting voting rights in light of COVID-19. This highlight was shepherded by the LWVUS United Nations Observer Corps, who work to lift up the policy and positions of LWV on international stages. As background, the UN's Department of Global Communications-Civil Society Unit is one of the two major UN bodies (Secretariat and ECOSOC) that formally provides the League with accreditation.  LWVUS UN Observers are active members of the Global NGO Executive Committee that represents accredited NGOs with DGC. Learn more about our very own UN Observers.

ICYMI: Census and Coronavirus Blog 

Have you taken the census yet? This is our favorite question to ask our friends, family, co-workers, and colleagues across the country when checking in on them as they work or stay at home. In these times of uncertainty and physical distancing, standing together with our communities is more important than ever. And it is so easy to take the census right from your own home. There are three ways that you can fill out the 2020 Census questionnaire, and all of the ways are compliant with social distancing protocols. Read more on our blog.

Democracy Issues Webinar Materials Available 

Last week, LWVUS hosted its April policy webinar on democracy reform with a briefing on current federal legislation. During this webinar, we covered the League’s current federal legislative priorities, how to take action, and planning our advocacy work for next year. View the recording and slide deck from this webinar

Census Action Kit Updates  

The 2020 Census is in full swing! As you continue to work diligently on your local “Get Out the Count” efforts, we’ve uploaded some new resources on our Census Action Kit for you. Our efforts for getting an accurate census count continues, and we are encouraging you all to watch the count closely in your area. Check out our page for a live count update map, the response challenge toolkit, and much more to help you finish your census work strong! The Census Action Kit can be found on the League Management site.  

Webinar Announcement: Census and Redistricting   

Join LWVUS Advocacy and Litigation staff for an update around the operating timeline proposed by the U.S. Census Bureau. COVID-19 has pushed Census field operations to start later than planned. Find out how this will affect redistricting and what you can do in your state as we move forward into the redistricting cycle.

Take Action for Elections funding: Call Your Senators Today   

Take action to protect our elections amid the threats presented by COVID-19. We need your help asking Congress for $4 billion in elections assistance funding. While earlier estimations for this type of funding were set at $2 billion dollars, the increase of primary election postponements across states have created a need for greater funding. This funding will ensure that states are not compromising voters’ health or safety while administering elections and will allow voters to avail themselves of multiple voting options.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

DEI Webinars  

Webinars are hosted each month on a variety of DEI topics. A list of all upcoming webinars and recordings and associated resources from past webinars can be viewed online.

DEI Equitable Leadership Program – Applications Due on 5/11 

The League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) is pleased to announce the launch of the 2020 Diversity Equity and Inclusion Equitable Leadership Program. As part of this program, LWVUS will provide Leagues with access to online DEI training and a one-time $500 pass-through grant to help expand Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts.  

More information and a link to the application can be found on the League Management Site. Applications are due on Monday, May 11.  

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

The LWV of Virginia won their case to remove witness signature requirement from absentee ballots amid the coronavirus outbreak. Read about the win for Virginia voters!

Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that voters do no longer have to get their absentee ballots notarized due to the current public health risk. Read about the LWV of Oklahoma’s win.  

Kansas voter ID laws that required showing proof of citizenship for voter registration were ruled unconstitutional. Read about the win.

Advocacy

Blog: Seen Mrs. America? Add This to Your ERA Watch List!   

As a country, we are close to finally having equality on the basis of sex enshrined in our constitution through the Equal Right Amendment (ERA)—a movement for a constitutional amendment that has been almost 100 years in the making. Now, with a surplus of time that must be spent at home, the League of Women Voters is here to help you bring some productivity into your quarantine while also satisfying the urge to relax on your couch. Read more.

League Calls for Robust Funding for U.S. Postal Service 

The League joined a letter led by the Leadership Conference and signed by 100 groups calling for robust funding for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). The USPS is an essential and critical public service to the people of our nation and the fiscal health of the constitutionally-mandated agency is important to every American's daily life. Congress must act now to save the USPS, the hundreds of thousands of jobs included in its diverse workforce, and the communities that depend upon this critical federal agency. A vote against adequate, timely funding for the USPS is an anti-civil rights vote. Read the USPS letter and others regarding the next COVID stimulus

Membership

Tech & Comms Webinar: Messaging on People Powered Fair Maps Campaign 

2020 is a pivotal year for our People Powered Fair Maps campaign! Join us on Thursday, May 14 at 4:30 pm ET for tips and discussion about how to spread the word about your League's People Powered Fair Maps work and gain more visibility for the campaign as a whole. We will be joined by PPFM Communications Specialist, LaQuita Howard. State League redistricting champions as well as League communications personnel are encouraged to attend. Register now

Updates on Convention 2020 

Registration for Convention will open by early next week. The cost of registration will be $50, and at this time will be open to delegates only. A plan for non-delegates to observe the proceedings is still being worked on, and more information will be announced soon. While you wait, please review the following that has been posted to the League Management Site 

  • Convention Schedule At a Glance 
  • Awards Applications – Due May 14 

An email will be sent to all members next week with registration information, materials for delegates, and updates to the agenda. 

LEAGUE LEADERS

Special Notifications: Please don’t 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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