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The League Update

May 15, 2014

Dear Friend,

This morning, I joined with leaders from Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCR), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the NAACP at a press conference to urge Congress to begin moving the bipartisan Voting Rights Amendment Act by holding a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee.

The past year has been one of profound emotions for those working to protect the right to vote. The League was dismayed by the Supreme Court's decision almost a year ago gutting key provisions of the Voting Rights Act. At the same time, we hoped that the outcome in the Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder case would serve as a rallying cry for those who believe in free and fair access to the polls and the right for every eligible voter to cast a ballot.

Along with our voting rights coalition partners, we turned to Congress to act quickly to restore the vital voter protections the Supreme Court dismantled. Thanks to the hard work of so many, the League was once again hopeful when the Voting Rights Amendment Act (VRAA) was introduced in Congress in January.

At the time, I spoke out on behalf of our more than 150,000 members and supporters across the country, praising the work of the bipartisan group of legislators that drafted and introduced the bill. These elected officials did something that is rare nowadays: they put aside politics to govern. Their goal was to ensure that each and every eligible voter is treated fairly at the ballot box and has an equal right and equal access to vote. Lawmakers came together to forge workable, common sense solutions that would modernize the elections process and protect voting rights against discrimination.

Months later, we are still waiting for Congress to finish what it started. We don't know what they are waiting for. As national President for the past four years, visiting Leagues in more than 30 states, I can tell you from personal experience, League members will not back down. If Members of Congress are saying they haven't heard from their constituents on this issue, I don't know what they are talking about because they certainly have heard from the League of Women Voters. League members are demanding action; in fact our supporters have sent over 35,000 messages to their Representatives and Senators calling for action on the VRAA.

Not only do we have members in every single state, but those members can count on their fellow volunteer activists here in the capitol area to make sure that every Member of Congress gets our message! Our Lobby Corps activists here in the nation's capital have been visiting Congressional offices for months now advocating for the VRAA.

Our League members in Virginia, for example, have done all they can to reach their delegation, including Representative Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Recently, they published multiple letters in their local papers encouraging him to call a hearing on the bill and hoping the message of Virginia voters would get through to him.

Our members are undertaking similar efforts in other states as well. Our voting rights and the Voting Rights Amendment Act are too important. We cannot allow politics to stifle this bill.

I was proud to voice the League's activities and stand with other voting rights leaders this morning to show how serious we all are about protecting voters. The League has been Making Democracy Work® for a long time - more than 94 years - and we certainly aren't stopping now.

In League,

Description: Elisabeth

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League Leaders:
To help keep your members informed, please consider forwarding this weekly message. 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. This message should not be posted in its entirety on League social media channels or websites. Instead consider sharing the external (e.g. public interest/action) pieces such as blog posts, letters to Congress and press statements.

In This Issue:

CONVENTION 2014

  • Deadlines for Convention REGISTRATION and Omni RESERVATIONS are fast approaching (REMINDER)
  • Learn more about National Convention: Listen to this Week's Webinar (NEW)
  • Get Your Red Hot Patriot Ticket Today (REMINDER)
  • Exciting Line-up of Speakers at Convention 2014 (NEW)
  • LWV Dallas Seeks Volunteers for National Convention (NEW)

ADVOCACY

  • Thank You for Submitting Your Comment to the EPA! (NEW)
  • League Continues to Push to Restore the Voting Rights Act (UPDATED)
  • Climate Action Rally in Washington, DC (NEW)

EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS

  • VOTE411 Sport Backpacks for Sale! (REMINDER)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Time to Get-out-the-Vote! Vote for your favorite Power: Our Voices, Our Votes Award Finalists (NEW)

Convention 2014

Deadlines for Convention REGISTRATION and Omni RESERVATIONS are Fast Approaching (REMINDER)
Please register by May 23 to avoid late fees. After that date there will be an additional $50 added to the $335 registration fee. The final online registration deadline is May 31. After that date, delegates may register in-person at the Convention site. Now ALSO is the time to book your hotel room at the guaranteed low LWV room rate of $169. If you delay, there will be no rooms left at that rate. After May 19 all room reservation rates will increase substantially. Reserve your room online or call 214-744-6664. Don't delay, the rooms are going quickly!

Learn more about National Convention: Listen to this Week's Webinar (NEW)
Entitled Get the most out of Convention: Power the League at all Levels, this recorded session will help you learn more about the business of the convention, opportunities for networking and fun, and speakers and programs planned. Hear remarks from Convention Committee Chairwoman, carolyn Brown and parliamentarian Martha Rollins as well as LWVUS staffers about how you can “get the most” out of Convention 2014!

Get Your Red Hot Patriot Ticket Today (REMINDER)
With so much on your Convention to-do list, why not check this task off now? You won't have to stand in a long ticket sales line if you buy your online tickets TODAY for the Dallas LWV's fundraiser, Red Hot Patriot: The Kick Ass Wit of Molly Ivins. REMINDER: You're printed receipt is your admission ticket.

Exciting Line-up of Speakers at Convention 2014 (NEW)
We are very pleased to announce an exciting line-up of speakers for Convention 2014 in Dallas.  Read about each of our accomplished guests, and remember that there is still time to register!

LWV Dallas Seeks Volunteers for National Convention (NEW)
As many of you know, volunteers are the heart of our National Convention. The Dallas League is leading the effort to recruit volunteers for next month's Convention. If you are interested in being a volunteer, seeing Dallas and meeting League members from over the country, contact Cecilia McKay at cemck@swbell.net no later than May 30th. Volunteers receive free admission to Convention (unless you are a delegate), a daily transportation stipend and a complementary ticket to Red Hot Patriot: The Kick Ass Wit of Molly Ivins on Saturday night.

Don't forget, visit our Convention 2014 page to see what is planned and visit the Convention Forum at forum.lwv.org for the latest discussion!

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Glad You Asked!

If you have a question for this area, please submit it to kmcfarland@lwv.org.

What's the best way to get from the airport to the Omni (the Convention venue)?

Two airports serve Dallas:  Dallas-Fort Worth, and Dallas Love Field. Go Yellow Checker runs from 6 am-6 pm daily from Dallas-Fort Worth Airport to the Omni, and picks up at the hotel every 30 minutes. Guests can pick it up at any time from the airport. It is $19 one way and $17 if reservations are made in advance. Due to the Omni's close proximity to Dallas Love Field, there is not currently a shuttle; however, a cab ride is approximately $25 one way.

Advocacy

Thank You for Submitting Your Comment to the EPA! (NEW)
Thanks to League members and supporters from across the country we were able to send over 46,000 comments to the EPA on the new source carbon pollution standards! In June we will begin collecting comments for the existing sources carbon pollution standard, but for now let's celebrate this excellent victory.

League Continues to Push to Restore the Voting Rights Act (UPDATED)
The League continues efforts to restore the Voting Rights Act with a letter to the House of Representatives this week. The letter calls for the House Judiciary Committee to move the legislation through the committee process and on to final passage. The legislation is currently being held up in the legislative process by Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R, VA-7). The League of Women Voters of Virginia has been hard at work urging Chairman Goodlatte to move the bill forward with letters to the editor in the Richmond, Lynchburg and Roanoke papers. Stand in solidarity with LWVVA and urge your members of Congress to support the VRAA today!

Climate Action Rally in Washington, DC (NEW)
Wednesday, May 21, members of the U.S. House and Senate and other climate champions will hold a rally to wake up Congress to the effects of climate change. League members in the Washington, DC area are encouraged to attend this event. The rally will be at the Upper Senate Park at 4:00 PM, May, 21. For additional information please email the advocacy team at advocacy@lwv.org.

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Education Fund - Elections

VOTE411 Sport Backpacks for Sale! (REMINDER)
Looking for an easy way to promote the League and VOTE411 in your community? Well look no further! LWVEF is selling VOTE411 sport backpacks! These backpacks are great to hand out at voter registration events, candidate forums, debates, county fairs, and any place you can reach voters and spread awareness about the League and our important voters' service activities! The bags are $3 each, but if you buy 10 or more the price drops to $2 each, plus $5 shipping/handling! If you're interested in purchasing these bags, you can find more information online.

Happy Annual Meeting Month

New studies adopted at your annual meeting? Jumpstart those new items by visiting the League Clearinghouse--the great resource that features League studies in more than 50 subject areas. The Clearinghouse provides scope and focus of a topic, research methodology, sources consulted, information about positions, and consensus questions.Studies completed? Post them to the Clearinghouse to benefit other Leagues.

Share your studies! Share our strength! Just a click away:http://clearinghouse.lwv.org

Note: the Clearinghouse accepts positions without studies, even as multi-position documents, if they are accompanied by a single submission form. The description section could have "Resulting Position:" and the position statement or a link to the position. Complete studies are preferred, and Leagues may add study documents at a later date.

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Membership & leadership

Time to Get-out-the-Vote! Vote for your favorite Power: Our Voices, Our Votes Award Finalists (NEW) The finalists for the 2014 Power: Our Voices, Our Votes Awards have been selected! Out of the numerous excellent submissions from Leagues nationwide, the selection committee has narrowed it down to four entries per category. Now we need your help: Read about each project and vote for your favorites! You can also share this with other League members and in your community via your League website, Facebook and Twitter to celebrate all of these great projects. Voting has been extended until 12 noon ET on May 23. The winners will be announced at LWVUS Convention 2014.

 

Donate to the League and support our work.

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