Important announcements for League leaders.

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The League of Women Voters
The League Update
June 8, 2020

Collage of protest signs that say Black lives matter, No Justice No and no peace, and fight for a better tomorrow.

Friend,

On May 25, George Floyd was murdered by an officer with the Minneapolis Police Department. He is only one of too many names on a list that should not exist. It is time that the League of Women Voters take stand for social justice for Black lives in America.  

Over the years we have watched Black men, women, and children lose their lives at the hands of people who benefit from a system that protects them. Today we witness the rage of those who are tired of due process being a privilege not afforded to Black people.  

With protests happening across the country, we know that many Leagues would like to exercise their First Amendment right for Black lives on the frontline, if you have not already. As you go out to protest, please know the following: 

  • Yes, you may wear League shirts and use League signage at peaceful protests 
  • Yes, you may wear League shirts at post-riot cleanups  
  • Yes, you may offer support to protestors on behalf of the League 

As Leagues choose to engage in the peaceful protests and community cleanup projects, use these recommendations and safety guidelines for How to be Good Allies in This Moment

The League is committed to expanding our voice beyond the statement we released last week. We are joining our partners who serve in the civil rights community in fighting for policy reform that will dismantle systematic racism. We joined coalition partners on a letter calling for congressional action on police violence, and in the weeks and months ahead, the national office will be stepping up our commitment to racial justice. Virginia Kase wrote a blog, Standing in Solidarity with the Black Community, to share how the League plans to proceed as allies in the social justice space.  

 As allies in the social justice space I encourage us all to do our homework and learn more about the iniquities that Black Americans face, without leaning on Black people to educate us.  

We encourage you to continue your get-out-the-vote and voter education efforts. This is a time to highlight the power of voting, especially in local elections, and informing voters where candidates stand on issues that are important to them. Continue to promote VOTE411 as a viable resource for voter information.  

Lastly, we acknowledge that the League hasn’t taken such a strong stance against racism in the past, and as we move into the next century of work, we hope to play a bigger role in fighting for social justice. I hope you’ll join us.  

In League,

Chris

Making Democracy Work Campaign

Vote Early Day 2020 & National Voter Registration Day 2020!  

LWV is proud to serve as a premiere partner for two important holidays this year: Vote Early Day and National Voter Registration Day! 164 Leagues have already signed up for NVRD 2020; make sure your League is part of the biggest national celebration of registering to vote! Leagues are also encouraged to sign up for Vote Early Day, a national day of focused media, grassroots, and organizational activities drawing attention to early voting opportunities across the country.  

2020 Election Talking Points 

This year’s election presents many different challenges from previous elections. To help Leagues unify around a common message, LWVUS has put together two sets of talking points: Countering Attacks Related to Vote-by-Mail, and Curbing Public Expectations for Immediate Election Results. Use these talking points as a guide when speaking with voters, the general public, and the media on these topics. 

BLOG: COVID-19, the Census, and Redistricting 

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the way that the Census conducts operations. Because of this impact, the U.S. Census Bureau has been forced to propose changes to its operating timeline and the dates for sending data to the President and states regarding apportionment and redistricting. Read about changes to the census timeline for delivering data related to apportionment and redistricting. 

Census and Redistricting Webinar Follow-Up Materials 

Thank you to all who attended our webinar last week on the census and redistricting. We appreciate your interest in monitoring the ongoing developments in the new census operational timeline and redistricting. As a follow-up for the webinar, you can view the recording and slides.

NEW: VOTE411 Videos!  

To help voters utilize VOTE411 and promote our award-winning website, this week we launched VOTE411 videos in English and Spanish. We hope you’ll give these videos a thumbs up on YouTube and share them widely in your communities by tweeting about it!

Join Us on June 9th for a League Community Call! 

The Organizing team is hosting our second League-wide community call Tuesday, June 9th at 3 pm ET! Last month we focused on building community through digital interactions. These community calls will continue to be a place for Leagues to tackle challenges together. We invite you to join us on June 9th from 3-4:15 pm ET as we convene as a community for a discussion about power, responsibility, and impact led by LWVUS staff and League leader Debra Cronmiller of LWV of Wisconsin. Please register.

An Introduction to OutreachCircle: Taking LWV Grassroots Power to the Next Level! 

We recognize that COVID-19 has forced us to quickly determine how to continue building our power through organizing with technology. It becomes more important than ever to continue to grow and defend our democracy, to make sure that everyone has a voice in our collective decision making and our future. We are excited to invite you to join us on June 18th from 3-4:15 pm ET as we introduce our new digital tool and partnership with OutreachCircle! OutreachCircle is a supporter management, relational organizing, and P2P texting platform that makes it easy for volunteers, League members, and donors to support their favorite LWV campaign or cause. OutreachCircle will make it simple to recruit, engage, and activate your LWV supporters, while tracking and managing their efforts! If you are interested in learning more about OutreachCircle, please register.

Evaluating Whether to Join Voter Access Litigation 

Leagues have been busy in court since Super Tuesday fighting to expand access for voters! If your League is thinking about joining litigation related to voter access issues—vote by mail, absentee ballot expansion, removing witness signature requirements—and you could use some guidance on evaluating whether it’s a viable opportunity, send us an email at advocacy@lwv.org. We have developed guidance to help you! And if the case will be filed in federal court, be sure to use the Federal Action Form to get sign-off on participation from LWVUS. We look forward to supporting your litigation efforts! 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

DEI Resources   

As individuals and members of the League, we are living out an urgent need to equip ourselves with the tools needed to understand and practice anti-racism work. For those looking for a place to start or resources that help center this work in League work, we want to elevate the following that can be found on the League Management Site: 

  • DEI Webinars: Each month we host a webinar around a specific topic. These webinars are recorded and posted along with additional resources.  
    • As Leagues continue to look at ways to commemorate our 100th Anniversary, we want to elevate the following: 
      • Our August 2019 webinar with former LWVUS President Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins on Acknowledging our Past and Reimaging The Future 
      • Our February 2020 webinar hosted by the LWV of Ohio on inclusive ways to create and share 100th Anniversary content 
  • DEI Guide: This guide contains four sections of resources that relate to various aspects of DEI education: DEI Basics, Individual Work, Organizational Work, and Beyond the Basics. 

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

There are many attempts across the country to suppress votes as voters transition to vote-by-mail for their safety. Check out what Celina Stewart, our Director of Advocacy and Litigation, had to say about the League’s role in fighting attempts at suppressing voters.

With naturalization ceremonies on hold due to COVID-19, there is a potential that this year’s election could exclude the voices of many new citizens. Read what the LWV of the Houston Area has to say. 

The expected surge of the coronavirus spreading in the fall could cause a major increase in requests to vote-by-mail in the General Election. Read about the impact this could have in November.

Advocacy

League Joins Partners Calling for Congressional Action on Police Violence    

LWVUS joined a letter with over 400 civil rights organizations calling on Congress to implement needed policing reforms.  The letter urges congressional leadership to swiftly rectify the legacy of white supremacy and anti-black racism that has led to police violence against Black people across our country.  

League Supports CORE Act

LWVUS joined a coalition of groups supporting the Coronavirus Oversight and Recovery Ethics Act (CORE Act). This legislation offers commonsense oversight and transparency measures solely dedicated to ensuring that taxpayer dollars are being awarded to those in need and spent according to the intent of the law. These oversight measures would not significantly add to the cost of the Coronavirus relief program and, in fact, could save taxpayers billions of dollars in fraudulent and wasteful contracts and awards. 

LWV Urges Department of Justice to Investigate Killing of Ahmaud Arbery 

LWVUS joined the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 112 organizations urging the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to open a full and thorough hate crimes investigation into the horrific killing of Ahmaud Arbery.

League Joins Statement Reaffirming Founding Principles of the United Nations as COVID Recovery Begins 

Last week, the League joined hundreds of other organizations calling on the United Nations to take robust action around COVID19 recovery and response. The letter, written on behalf of the Conference of NGOS (CoNGO) in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations, of which the league is a member, outlined important steps that need to be taken to address the ongoing global pandemic in addition to promoting sustainable development and growth. Read the letter.

National Popular Vote Taskforce

The LWVUS National Popular Vote Task Force (the “LWV Task Force”), led by LWVUS board member Toni Zimmer, was established in May 2019 to explore and evaluate state League support for the NPV interstate compact, which, if enacted, would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The LWV Task Force has been working diligently to evaluate state League support for the NPV Interstate Compact throughout the country and to assess the momentum and support behind the NPV effort. Read more about their efforts.

Membership

2020 Convention 

All Convention information can be found at lwv.org/2020Convention on the League Management Site.  

  • Registration is open through June 15.  
    • Voting delegates are asked to register and follow the instructions sent in your confirmation email to complete your registration on Zoom.  
    • Registration for non-voting observers is now available. Current League members can register as observers. Registering as an observer will allow you to view the sessions as a live stream on Youtube.  
  • A detailed agenda can be found the League Management Site.

2020 Convention Virtual Lobby Day

As part of Convention 2020, LWVUS will be offering a virtual lobby day opportunity to delegates and League members around the country. Join this briefing on June 17 from 3-4pm EST to get details on how you can participate and engage lawmakers during this time! Register to join the webinar. Advocacy staff has also developed a tool kit to help those wishing to participate in the lobby day events. Please visit the toolkit for resources, call scripts, and background about the legislation! 

LWVUS Resolutions Committee

The LWVUS Resolutions Committee has been announced and will consist of the following: 

  • Suzanne Stassevitch, Chair (NY) 
  • Maribel Balbin (FL) 
  • Deb Wake (VA) 
  • Toni Zimmer (LWVUS) 
  • Melissa Currence (LWVUS) 

Those interested can view the Resolutions process that will be presented to delegates at LWVUS Convention 2020 as part of the proposed Convention Rules on the League Management Site. For questions about Resolutions, please email resolutions@lwv.org.  

BoardSource Membership Open to All Leagues Free of Charge 

As a part of our commitment to a healthy League network, the League has established an organizational membership with BoardSource. Membership is open to all League members/leaders, and includes access to resources, such as templates and an ask-the-expert service. More traditional topics, such as board orientation checklists as well as more recent needs around how to operate during the pandemic, are included. To learn more, visit the League Management Site.

Virtual Platform Support for Leagues

We know that many Leagues are facing the unexpected need to move an important meeting or event to a virtual platform. We also recognize that, while there are many free or low-cost options, this is still an unexpected expense for many.   

To help assist with this, we are offering up to $20 a month for three months for up to 250 Leagues. This will be offered on a first come, first served basis for Leagues who demonstrate need for the product.  

Before requesting assistance please review the guidance offered on platform options for your virtual meeting and event.   

If you have determined that a paid service is what is needed please complete this form.  

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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