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The League Update

July 31, 2014

Dear Friend,

Congress will recess in a few days, but the League of Women Voters remains hard at work. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is holding regional hearings across the country to take public comments on the Clean Power Plan designed to reduce carbon emissions. One regional hearing site is Atlanta, and I had the opportunity to participate in a press event and a rally in addition to providing comments on behalf of the League.

The League commends the EPA for taking the necessary steps to cut carbon pollution and fight climate change, while also urging them to work with state stakeholders to make the regulation stronger, in order to reduce carbon pollution levels 35 percent by 2030. Renewable energy and energy conservation can play a much greater role than the current proposal suggests.

Joining me in Atlanta were League members from Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Alabama and South Carolina. In fact, not only was the League represented at every regional hearing, our members and supporters have already generated over 50,000 online comments in support of the EPA’s new rules for new and existing power plants! These regulations are necessary to fight climate change, improve public health and invest in a renewable energy based economy.

According to the American Lung Association’s State of the Air report, nearly half of us live in counties that receive an “F” rating on at least one air quality measure. Here in Georgia, in just four counties in the Metropolitan Atlanta area that translates into over 800,000 children. The League will continue to fight to put people before polluters and lower the impacts and threats that dirty air induced climate change brings to our communities across the country.

Special interests have been lining up to tell the EPA why the new rules are too costly to implement, but as consumers, parents, grandparents and informed voters, the League serves as a powerful counter balance supporting the health and economic well being of our communities now and in the future.

Join me in telling the EPA how important it really is by sending your comments today.

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.

Please note that there will not be an update next week, August 7th.

In This Issue:

EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS

  • Promote your Candidate Debates and Forums on VOTE411! (REMINDER)
  • Voter registration webinar trainings coming soon (REMINDER)
  • National Voter Registration Day: Still Time to Sign-Up (REMINDER)

ADVOCACY

  • League Submits Comments on the Clean Power Plan at EPA Public Hearing (NEW)
  • The Federal Action Request Form has Moved (NEW)
  • Help Keep the Voting Rights Amendment Act Moving; Mark the VRA’s 49th Anniversary (REMINDER)
  • LWVUS Human Trafficking Position (REMINDER)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Apply to be a Ruth S. Shur Fellow (NEW)
  • Success Story: LWV of Collier County, Florida (NEW)
  • National Board Liaisons and Committee Assignments (NEW)

OTHER

  • LWVUS Redistricting Task Force Announced (NEW)

Education Fund - Elections

Promote your Candidate Debates and Forums on VOTE411! (REMINDER)
Does your League have any candidate debates or forums coming up in 2014? Let us know so LWVEF can help spread the word to voters in your communities through VOTE411 and some of our national partnerships. Over 650 League sponsored candidate debates have been published on VOTE411. If you have any upcoming candidate debates or forums and would like us to post the information on VOTE411, please send the following information to Megan Brown (mbrown@lwv.org): event title, offices covered, date, time, location (venue name and address) and any other information voters might need.

Voter Registration Webinar Trainings Coming Soon (REMINDER)

Want a refresher course on voter registration best practices? Have new volunteers who would benefit from hearing about all the kinds of voter registration activities undertaken by Leagues across the country? Looking for ideas on maximizing visibility for your League during the upcoming election season? Join us for a FREE voter registration webinar training on either Friday, August 15 at 2pm EDT or Thursday, September 4 at 4pm EDT

National Voter Registration Day: Still Time to Sign Up
(REMINDER)
More than 200 Leagues have signed up to participate in National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) 2014! Help us to reach our goal of remaining the #1 on-the-ground partner in this national celebration of democracy by signing up to host a registration event in your community on 9/23! Sign up as a partner at www.nationalvoterregistrationday.org. While you’re there be sure to check out the brand new website features and downloadable tools for participating partners. We’re happy to announce that the National Association of Secretaries of State recently announced its support of NVRD for at least the next FIVE YEARS. This means that chief elections officials around the country, representing a wide variety of political backgrounds, will be encouraged to support NVRD activities. Make sure your League is part of the action in your state by signing up as a partner today!

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Glad You Asked!

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

Who are LWVUS official partners (i.e., who are we in coalition with)?

Each spring, the LWVUS Board reviews its list of coalition partners and publishes this information on the League website. Local and state Leagues may use these national partnerships to leverage opportunities with the local and state affiliates of these groups (when available) to further the League’s work and mission.

If you have any additional questions, please contact membership@lwv.org

Advocacy

League Submits Comments on the Clean Power Plan at EPA Public Hearing (NEW)
President MacNamara delivered comments on the Clean Power Plan at the EPA’s public hearing in Atlanta. The comments commend the EPA for taking the necessary steps to cut carbon pollution and fight climate change. They also urge the EPA to work with state stakeholders to make the regulation stronger and reduce carbon pollution levels 35 percent by 2030. Renewable energy and energy conservation can play a much greater role than the proposal suggests. League members from around the country are participating in the EPA hearings this week in Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Denver and Washington, D.C and others are submitting comments to the EPA online.

The Federal Action Request Form has Moved (NEW)
The form that state and local Leagues use to request action at the federal level has moved to the member resource site. Please save this updated link in your browser and use it to make future requests.

Help Keep the Voting Rights Amendment Act Moving; Mark the VRA’s 49th Anniversary (REMINDER)
The Voting Rights Act turns 49 on August 6. To mark this important occasion in your own community use this template letter to the editor to talk about the importance of protecting the right to vote. All League members and supporters should take action by telling their Representative to move forward on voting rights and continue to keep up the pressure on the House of Representatives to move forward with the Voting Rights Amendment Act (VRAA).

LWVUS Human Trafficking Position (REMINDER)
Delegates to Convention 2014 adopted the LWV New Jersey position on Human Trafficking by concurrence. The full position is listed here. For additional information on the position as originally studied by the LWV New Jersey, you can check their website for in-depth background.

League Clearinghouse--open 24/7

Summertime--and the livin' is easy

Especially when you utilize 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.

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

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membership & leadership

Apply to be a Ruth S. Shur Fellow (NEW)
LWVUS is now seeking Ruth S. Shur Fellows to act as national coaches to train and mentor state coaching teams as part of the successful Membership and Leadership Development (MLD) program. Ruth S. Shur Fellows are asked to commit to a two-year term from 2015-2017. If you are interested in applying for this prestigious position or would like to nominate a League leader from your community please fill out this form by September 19, 2014. More information on the Shur Fellows and their role in the MLD program is available online.

Success Story: LWV of Collier County, Florida (NEW)
The LWV of Collier County won the Community Connection Award at the 2014 League of Women Voters National Convention for their “Know Your Government: Teen Citizenship Program.” Congratulations to the League on all of their achievements! We would like to highlight their success this week to set the stage for any League looking to further engage their local community. Read more about the League’s project and ways to emulate their project and connect with your community!

National Board Liaisons and Committee Assignments (NEW)
When the LWVUS Board met at its annual retreat earlier this month, Board committee assignments and liaison assignments were announced. Each national Board member will be an ambassador to number of states across the country - supporting the state and local Leagues. League leaders should feel free to contact their liaison at any time with questions or concerns or to share any success stories from their League.

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OTHER

LWVUS Redistricting Task Force Announced (NEW)
The 2014-2016 LWVUS Program on key, specific structures of American democracy includes a review of the redistricting process for the U.S. Congress for the purpose of developing action steps. Chris Carson (LWVUS Board) will be chairing the LWVUS Redistricting Task Force.  The committee includes Deborah Asberry (Indiana), Sara Fitzgerald (Virginia), Linnea Hirst (Washington), Helen Hutchison (California), Pat Jensen (Iowa), Barbara Klein (Oregon), Nancy Marashio (New Hampshire), Laura Wang, (Minnesota), Margo Waring (Alaska) and Dianne Wheatley-Giliotti (Florida).  The Redistricting Task Force will: (1) review the various methods and criteria that have been used in the states and the positions of state Leagues on redistricting; (2) consider how well the methods and criteria have worked; (3) develop materials to educate Leagues and communities; and (4) make recommendations on next steps.

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