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The League of Women Voters
The League Update
June 18, 2020

White graphic with a purple boarder. Yellow words that say Two SCOTUS WINS! With confetti covering the page


This week we saw two major wins for civil rights in the Supreme Court! On Monday the justices ruled that LGBTQ workers are protected from job discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts. And just this morning, the Court declared that DACA is here to stay. The League was proud to join amicus briefs in both cases and today we celebrate both victories.  

As a voting rights organization, we play an important role in building a more just and inclusive democracy, and these wins at the Supreme Court are a step in the right direction. While we remain committed to our strategic focus, there are times when we must also engage in unplanned work that may arise in moments of crisis. The Justice in Policing Act 2020 is one such example. We will use our political power, skills, and talents to contribute where asked and be a strong and reliable ally in this monumental effort, but LWVUS will NOT be fundraising for this work.  

There are many organizations representing the people and communities who have long pursued racial justice and policing reforms. It is not appropriate for our organization to try to financially capitalize off their efforts or what led to this moment.   

We must stay in our lane on voting rights and not take resources away from those organizations that lead the racial justice movement in this country.  

Thank you for your commitment to our values and I look forward to partnering with you in this work. 

I can’t end today’s message without acknowledging that my time as Board President is ending soon. It has been my pleasure to serve as your Board President for the past four years. I’ve watched the League continuously be an instrument for change in the voting rights space. 

 Over the past four years I've witnessed an organization rich in history shift to meeting the needs of modern society. Fighting voter suppression, making democracy work, and taking bold stances against social injustice are just a few things I am most proud of.  

As my role with the League shifts, I hope to continue to see and participate in the amazing work from League leaders such as yourself. Continue pushing relentlessly for efficiency within our democracy.  

I hope to see you all at our virtual Convention next week, where I will be giving my final farewell!  

In League,


Making Democracy Work Campaign

We’ve Updated our Get out the Vote Toolkit!  

LWVEF has updated our Get out the Vote Toolkit – with new tips and resources in light of our challenges to reach voters during COVID-19. The toolkit includes research-driven best practices, scripts and sample messages, and lots more to help you successful turn out the vote this year!  

Has Your League Conducted Voter Engagement at Recent Protests? Tell Us Here!  

We’ve created a brief survey to determine Leagues’ participation in marches and protests in 2019 and 2020 - especially Black Lives Matter demonstrations. By collecting this data, LWV will have a better sense of our collective engagement at this critical time. Take a minute to fill out the survey.  

July 4 Event: LWV & Historically Black Colleges/University Alumni Fire Up the Vote! 

LWVUS is proud to partner with the National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Alumni Alliance (HBCUAA) for a July 4th “Fire Up the Vote” virtual cookout! The celebration will feature well-known DJ talent from across the country, LWV videos & live interviews designed to help turn out the vote this year, and lots more! The event will happen on Facebook Live starting at 3pm on Saturday, July 4th. If your League partners with HBCU campuses or alumni/fraternity/sorority groups in your area, encourage them to share the word

NEW: PPFM Workshop: Working Towards Fair Maps 

As part of the National Convention, join our new People Powered Fair MapsTM  Campaign Manager and Director of Data and Evaluation for a workshop entitled “Working Toward Fair Maps: What Everyone Ought to Know About Year 1 of the People Powered Fair Maps Campaign” on Tuesday, June 23rd at 6:00pm ET. This session is designed to share the overall performance of Leagues in creating redistricting reform in the campaign’s first year with a focus on highlighting the quantitative and qualitative metrics and lifting success stories from the field.REGISTER TODAY!  

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.  

Convention Workshop: National Popular Vote Task Force 

If you are interested in learning more about the National Popular Vote (NPV) Interstate Compact, this is the workshop for you.  If enacted, the NPV Interstate Compact would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Every vote, in every state, would matter in every presidential election. Register today!

League Calls for Congressional Leadership to Expand D.C. Rights and Statehood 

Earlier this week, LWVUS signed onto a letter addressing Congressional leadership on the deployment of federal troops to the District of Columbia against protestors. The letter was signed by hundreds of other organizations in partnership with D.C. Vote, an organization that fights for statehood and representation for the residents of Washington D.C. The letter asks Congress to take immediate steps to give local D.C. officials authority over their national guard, and asks for Congress to pass H.R. 51 and grant statehood to D.C. The letter can be read on our site.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Supreme Court Rules Gay and Transgender Employees Are Protected Under Title VII 

Monday the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that LGBTQ workers are protected from job discrimination. The decision said Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which makes it illegal for employers to discriminate because of a person's sex, also covers sexual orientation and transgender status. The League celebrates this landmark victory. Read our statement. 

Monthly Webinars 

Each month we host a webinar around a specific topic. These webinars are recorded and posted along with additional resources.    

For League members looking for resources on how to commit to DEI work and have conversations about DEI topics we recommend the following webinars: 

  • The November 2019 webinar on Difficult Conversations 
  • The July 2019 webinar on Making a Personal DEI Commitment 

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 New York Times wrote an article about how COVID-19 can impact who will have access to cast ballots in November. Read the article, which mentions the LWV of Ohio and Jeanette Senecal, the Senior Director of Mission Impact.

Following a federal ruling, Minnesota voters will no longer need to get a witness signature when voting by absentee ballot to be counted in the upcoming the state’s primary. LWV of Minnesota’s Executive Director, Michelle Witte, shared her excitement about this victory for voters. Check it out!

Wednesday a federal court ruled that New Jersey voters whose ballots are rejected due to signature mismatch will now be able to correct issues with their ballot. Read how Jesse Burns, the LWV of NJ Executive Director, responded to this amazing win.


LWVUS Virtual Convention Lobby Day—Thursday June 25 

LWVUS is inviting all members and supporters to be part of the virtual lobby day on Thursday, June 25. Participants of the lobby day can call, email, use social media, and participate in a twitter storm on this day. Visit the Lobby Day toolkit for a link to the action alert, call script, background, talking points, and social media tools to use on this important day. The toolkit also contains the recording and slides for the webinar that was held to brief interested members about the materials and activities available on this day.

LWVUS Joins Letter requesting United Nations Human Rights Council to Open Inquiry on Police Violence Against Protestors

LWVUS joins hundreds of organizations, including many of our partners, in requesting that the United Nations hold a special session on the escalation of police violence in the United States and repression of protestors. The letter has been endorsed by the family members of those killed by the police. The letter cites instances of repression from the police towards protestors such as the use of tear gas and disproportionate use of lethal force, as a reason to open an inquiry on behalf of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Read the letter on our site.  

USPS Blog  

The United State Postal Service (USPS) is a critical piece of infrastructure and has been on the frontlines of the current global pandemic helping keep communities connected. This essential service is at risk of being severely underfunded even though millions of Americans rely on the affordability and accessibility of the USPS to get essential supplies through the mail. If you'd like to learn more about the role the USPS plays and what you can do to ensure it receives adequate funding to operate, read our latest blog on the importance of the USPS.

League Joins Statement Condemning US Decision to Terminate Relations with WHO   

The League joins several public health organizations in expressing concern on the decision of the United States government to terminate its relationship with the World Health Organization. The letter expresses the critical role the WHO plays in defending global health, especially in a critical time such as a pandemic. The resolution also asks for support for the recently proposed WHO resolution WHA73.1 which calls for governments across the world to impartially and equally work towards addressing the COVID19 pandemic. Read the statement on our site

League Sends Comments to U.S. House Judiciary Committee Oversight Hearing on Policing Practices and Law Enforcement Accountability  

The League sent comment to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee ahead of their Oversight Hearing on Policing Practices and Law Enforcement Accountability on June 10, 2020. The Committee is considering legislation like the Justice in Policing Act of 2020 and other legislation to address justice reform in America. It is imperative that the League use its voice during this time to fight for what is right. The League will continue to support the work of our allies and partners in the civil rights community as this legislation moves forward.

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 Joins Calls for Full Investigations into the Killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd   

The League joined letters to the Department of Justice calling on investigations into the circumstances surrounding the killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. The letters were led by the Leadership Conference and joined by over 200 organizations. 


Convention 2020 Awards 

Voting on the 2020 Convention Awards is open through June 23. Please visit the League Management Site for information on the nominees for each category and how to vote. Congratulations to all of the finalists and thank you to all who submitted a nomination application! 

Convention 2020

Convention is next week! Delegates and observers should routinely check their inboxes for updates.  

Our Convention page on the League Management Site is the best resource for important information.  


New PBS Documentary Series ‘The Vote’

A new PBS film, The Vote is a two-part, four-hour documentary chronicling the dramatic culmination story of the hard-fought campaign waged by American women for the right to vote. The Vote brings to life the unsung leaders of the movement and the deep controversies over gender roles and race that divided Americans then—and continue to dominate political discourse now on the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment. 

It premieres July 6-7, 2020 on PBS, but League members have two opportunities for a free sneak peek of the film at a preview screening in the coming weeks. Each event includes an extended clip from The Vote, followed by a panel discussion with experts from the film and an audience Q&A.   

The events are free to attend but space is limited so we encourage people to sign up early. Information for each event as well as a link to register is below: 

  • June 23, 7-8:30pm ET  - https://www.eventbrite.com/e/american-experience-the-vote-screening-and-discussion-tickets-108860733384
  • June 29, 6:30-8pm ET - https://www.eventbrite.com/e/american-experience-the-vote-screening-and-discussion-tickets-108869993080  
Staff Highlight

Meet Our Summer Intern 

Thomas Tai, from San Marino, CA, is interning with the Advocacy and Litigation team this summer. He is in his last year of law school at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, with a focus on voting rights, campaign finance, and immigration law. When he isn’t studying law, he enjoys watching hockey and gardening. 


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League of Women Voters

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