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The League Update
July 29, 2021

League of Women Voters of the US Executive Team; images of seven team members with their names and titles; Virginia Kase Solomon, Chief Executive Office; Ayo Atterberry, Chief Strategy Officer; Cecilia Calvo, Chief Development Officer; Sarah Courtney, Chief Communications Officer; Ellen Hobby, Chief Operating Officer; Kelly McFarland Stratman, Chief of Staff; Celina Stewart, Chief Counsel; LWV logo and Women Power Democracy logo


Our League

Yesterday, we officially announced our new leadership structure and executive team! This new team will lead our organization into its second century by building strategic solutions to our nation's challenges around elections and democracy.

Along with Virginia Kase Solomón, our chief executive officer, the executive team includes:

  • Ayo Atterberry, chief strategy officer, who will direct the League’s programmatic strategic focus
  • Cecilia Calvo, chief development officer, who will oversee the financial stability and growth of the organization
  • Sarah Courtney, chief communications officer, who will lead the League’s strategic messaging and brand visibility  
  • Ellen Hobby, chief operations officer, who will oversee the administrative and operational functions of the organization 
  • Kelly McFarland Stratman, chief of staff, who will coordinate the executive team and national board 
  • Celina Stewart, chief counsel & senior director of advocacy & litigation, who will lead the League’s advocacy and litigation focus

I am excited to have these highly qualified and successful women lead the League in its new chapter. With the guidance of this talented team, we are well positioned to meet the challenges of our new century. 

Our Nation

Next week the Senate is expected to go on recess. But recess can and should wait! Our democracy is in crisis, and our Senate must act on the For the People Act now to protect our democracy and set criteria for the upcoming redistricting cycle. We issued a statement with the Declaration for American Democracy (DFAD) coalition calling for the August recess to be delayed. Read more about #RecessCanWait activities here.

Tonight at 8:30pm ET, DFAD is hosting a Movement Call to discuss what we can do to ensure the passage of the For the People Act. Register for tonight’s event here.

Finally, this evening our CEO Virginia Kase Solomón was arrested with Black women leaders and allies on Capitol Hill in a speak out led by the Black Women's Roundtable and the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. These leaders took direct action today to demand that senators pass the For the People Act and protect our freedom to vote. May we all be inspired by their bravery in speaking out and continue to call our senators at (202) 224-3121 to urge them to pass the For the People Act.

These are exciting and busy times, with many of us working hard on many fronts to protect our precious and, yes, fragile democracy. Therefore, please remember to remain safe physically and mentally as COVID-19 continues to be a global health threat.


In League, 

Deborah Ann Turner, MD, JD


Webinars & Virtual Meetings


  • August 5, 4PM ET | Preparing to Testify for Community Districting
    Overview of communities of interest and how to prepare to testify during hearings throughout the community districting process
  • August 10, 3pm ET | Maximizing our Twitterstorms
    Maximizing Twitterstorms ahead of our very own Twitterstorm on Aug. 16 that will focus on census data release and encouraging public participation to ensure fair maps



Business Sign-ons in Support of the For the People Act

One of our many strategies to pass the For the People Act is elevating our relationships with businesses who understand that a stronger democracy means stronger business. Help collect signatures from businesses that you have relationships with to support the For the People Act! Review the guidance for outreach and the letter here. The sign-on deadline has been extended to Aug. 2. Thanks to South Carolina, Connecticut, Arizona, Indianapolis, and Maryland for getting their business partners to join!

Recess Can Wait, Our Democracy Can’t Actions

The Senate cannot leave for congressional recess without passing the For the People Act, even if that means delaying recess. #RecessCanWait – our democracy can’t. From Aug. 2–6, activities throughout the week will continue to put on the pressure to pass the For the People Act. Many of these activities will be in person and some will be virtual. Check out the Recess Can Wait week of Action activities!  

Following the week of action, we are supporting a Democracy Can’t Wait day of action on Aug. 10 with distributed actions around the country! Sign up here to host your own event and reach out to organizing@lwv.org with any questions.

Get Involved in Civic Health Month This August

This August we are celebrating Civic Health Month, a national, month-long event to focus the nation’s attention on the strong connections between health care, healthy communities, and civic participation. The aim of this initiative is to make voting and civic participation accessible to all — particularly those underserved by the health care system. The League is supporting Civic Health Month in three ways: 

  • We encourage local Leagues to reach out to hospitals and health centers in their area to collaborate on voter registration drives in August.
  • Similarly, some hospitals and clinics may reach out to their local League to invite them to host a voter registration drive. We are excited to collaborate on these efforts.
  • We will raise awareness of Civic Health Month and its aims through social media. Find template posts for Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook in this toolkit.

Sign up for National Voter Registration Day 2021  

Nearly 100 Leagues have already signed up as partners for National Voter Registration Day 2021 on Sept. 28. Whether you have in-person, virtual, or both kinds of activities planned to encourage voter registration this year, make sure you’re part of this huge annual celebration! Sign up today and receive free posters and stickers, training materials and more.

Help Promote Student Voting Rights

Our partners at the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition and the All In Challenge are conducting national surveys to support the building of collaborative working relationships between campus officials and local election offices. If you have contacts with campus representatives or local election officials in your area, consider asking them to participate in this process by taking a 10-minute survey by Monday, Aug. 16. Survey for local election officials is here; survey for campus representatives is here.

Suggest a Fellow League Member for Women’s Equality Day Highlights!

The week of Aug. 26, we will be highlighting stories of female empowerment on LWV’s social media channels. Do you have a story or know of someone whose story would be good to feature? The submissions form is available for nominations here. Please note that we cannot guarantee all stories will be used. Submit your nominations by Aug. 2.

Sign Up Today: OutreachCircle Demo

Join the LWVUS Organizing team for an OutreachCircle introduction. These weekly demos explain what OutreachCircle is, how it can maximize League work and how Leagues across the country are currently using it. Register today for either our Friday demo at 4pm ET or our Saturday demo at 4pm ET. Please email organizing@lwv.org if you have any additional questions.


VOTE411 Candidate Pressure Videos

LWVUS has developed three VOTE411 videos to promote the voter guide or "find your ballot" feature on VOTE411.org. Leagues can use these videos to pressure candidates to fill out their VOTE411 voter guides or simply to inform voters of the voter guide feature on VOTE411. Find the videos and more resources here.

Critical Race Theory 

LWVUS has received several inquiries from Leagues around Critical Race Theory. LWVUS continues to seek consensus on the positions and principles which Leagues can use to act on this issue. We will be sending more information in the coming weeks. If you have questions or want to flag activity in this issue area, please email advocacy@lwv.org.

Introducing the LWVUS UN Observer Corps!  

In spring 2021, the League launched a new application process to recruit talented members with international experience to support the League’s international programming. On behalf of Dr. Deborah Turner, we are pleased to announce the United Nations Observer Corps team, who started their work July 1: Chief UN Observer Dr. Connie Sobon Sensor (NJ); Observer Paulette Austin, Observer Jane Colvin (NY); Observer Sarah Hirsh (NY); Observer Dr. Madeline Motta (VT); Observer Robin Tokmakian (OR). We look forward to sharing more in the coming months about the amazing work they will do to forward our mission to empower voters and defend democracy internationally! To learn more about the team, check out their bios here.

LWV Business

Per Member Payment

First quarter PMP statements will be mailed on Wednesday, Aug. 18. Please email membership@lwv.org for any questions.

Apply to Join the 2022-2024 LWV Board of Directors and Nominating Committee

We are seeking volunteers to join the 2022–2024 LWVUS Board of Directors and the Nominating Committee. All applications must be submitted by October 29, 2021. Apply for the Board of Directors here and the Nominating Committee here.

Letters & Memos

Leagues in the News

As South Carolina begins its redistricting process, LWVSC Vice President for Issues and Action Lynn Teague encourages the public to watch lawmakers. Read the story.

Pasquotank County, North Carolina, adopted a resolution for fair redistricting that allows residents to weigh in on the new maps. LWV of North Carolina praised this move.

LWV of Georgia President Susannah Scott penned an op-ed calling for lawmakers to make the redistricting process transparent. Read her piece.

Staff Highlight

Meet the New LWVUS Executive Team Under the Leadership of CEO Virginia Kase Solomón!

Ayo Atterberry, chief strategy officer, newly joins LWVUS staff after serving on the LWVEF board; she will direct the League’s programmatic strategic focus 

Cecilia Calvo, chief development officer, will oversee the financial stability and growth of the organization 

Sarah Courtney, chief communications officer, previously served as Senior Communications Director; she will lead the League’s strategic messaging and brand visibility  

Ellen Hobby, chief operations officer, newly joins LWVUS staff after serving as interim COO; she will oversee the administrative and operational functions of the organization

Kelly McFarland Stratman, chief of staff, will coordinate the executive team and national board 

Celina Stewart, chief counsel & senior director of advocacy & litigation, will lead the League’s advocacy and litigation focus


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League of Women Voters

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