DECEMBER 4, 2014
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead must have been thinking about the League of Women Voters when she said that. A key strength of the League is our nationwide network of thoughtful, committed citizens working together to change our local, state and national communities. December is a time not just to reflect on the accomplishments of the year gone by, but also to look forward to a new year and new challenges for our dedicated grassroots activists.
In many states and local communities, League members are planning to meet and greet their elected officials in formal and informal settings. Members of Congress will soon be home in their districts, state legislators are preparing for upcoming legislative sessions and local officials are always eager for input on local issues. This is an opportunity to make sure that our elected officials are hearing the same things back home from their League constituents that they hear or will hear in the statehouse and on Capitol Hill. Immigration, health care, voting rights, money in politics, and environmental protection can and should be addressed at all levels of government.
Another notable figure of the last century, Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, pronounced that “All politics is local”. As we approach what will undoubtedly be a very challenging new year in elective bodies around the country and in Washington, D.C., let us bear these two principles in mind and do our part, using the local leverage that our votes and our voices give us, to find that common ground necessary to advance the interests of voters across the country. Together we can make a difference.
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:
- LWVUS Legislative Priorities (NEW)
- Thank You For Supporting the EPA’s Clean Power Plan! (NEW)
- Tell the FEC What to do About Citizens United (REMINDER)
MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP
- Keep Updating Those Rosters (REMINDER)
- Honor a League Leader this Holiday Season (NEW)
EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS
- Free Materials if you Complete Our Election Season Activities Survey (REMINDER)
- Storefront holiday Sale (NEW)
- Opportunity to Attend Commission on the Status of Women Session at United Nations in March 2015 (NEW)
LWVUS Legislative Priorities(NEW)
It's a new year and a new Congress. The LWVUS Board will be setting legislative priorities for the upcoming session in January. We ask members and local Leagues to submit their suggestions. Here is some background for you to consider as you decide what you would like to recommend.
The Board sets priorities using this filter: opportunities for the League to make an impact; program decisions made at Convention and/or Council; member interest; and resources available to manage effectively. We also look realistically at the political climate and composition of Congress. And doing that, we have to acknowledge that the incoming Congressional leadership has issued statements that are not supportive of League program. Realistically, we will have to expend resources on defending voting rights and threats to existing campaign finance law, good climate change work and the Affordable Health Care Act. So as you consider what to recommend as legislative priorities, ask yourself how important you think it is for the League to fight for our core issues.
If you would like to make suggestions for LWVUS advocacy priorities, please email Advocacy Committee Chair Chris Carson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate whether the suggestions are from an individual member, a committee, Board or membership meeting. Suggestions must be received by January 12.
Thank You For Supporting the EPA’s Clean Power Plan! (NEW)
Thanks to the support of League members and supporters from around the country we successfully collected over 48,000 comments in support of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan! The EPA will now work to finalize the regulation by June 2015. After publication, states will be tasked with drafting plans to implement the regulation beginning in 2016.
Tell the FEC What to do About Citizens United (REMINDER)
The Federal Election Commission (FEC), the federal agency in charge of our nation’s campaign finance laws, is now receiving public comment about steps they should take “to address corruption in the political process.” The FEC can do something to stop the secret money polluting our elections and end coordinated expenditures by outside groups. Take action now to tell the FEC to act and enforce the law.
GLAD YOU ASKED!
If you have a question for this area, please submit it to email@example.com.
Why do we need to keep our Member Rosters up-to-date?
As of November 1st, 2014 each League’s summary sheet (the online document that shows your League’s official membership count) is live. According to Article IX, Sec. 2 of the LWVUS Bylaws, the summary sheets are “frozen” on January 31, 2015. The member count listed on that date will be your League’s official member count for FY 2015-16. The official membership count is important for two reasons: (1) It determines the number of voting delegates that your League may send to state convention and (2) It determines what your League will be billed by LWVUS and your state League for PMP (per member payment) starting July 2015.
MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP
Keep Updating Those Rosters (REMINDER)
There are still plenty of chances to get rewarded for updating your Member Rosters. Challenge #1: you will be entered into a drawing to win a $40 gift card for your League if you can update all of your active League member records’ expire dates by January 31, 2015. Challenge #2: If you have 85%+ of your active League members’ birthdates entered into the Member Roster, LWVUS will send you some great items from our League Store! If your members’ birthdates are in the database, you can send a note to celebrate them on that special day (like we see people doing now through Facebook). It also helps us all assess if we are recruiting a younger generation of civic leaders into the organization! To find out more details about the challenges, read further instructions on our website. For assistance on working in the database, download the user manual or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Honor a League Leader this Holiday Season (NEW)
Invest in the future of the League with a gift of $50 or more to the Fund for Local League Growth, which supports the Membership and Leadership Development (MLD) program, and we will send you (or a designee) a limited edition, enamel lapel pin as a thank you. This is a great way to honor a League friend/leader this holiday season while helping to build the organization’s capacity. To make a tax-deductible gift, please use this online form. Questions? Contact email@example.com.
EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS
Free Materials if you Complete Our Election Season Activities Survey (REMINDER)
Please take a few minutes to fill out our Election 2014 Voter Services Activities Survey and tell us what your League did to engage voters this year. Your answers will help inform our future trainings, materials and resources for Leagues and grant programs, enable us to better highlight Leagues’ work from across the nation, and allow us have more productive conversations with potential partners to benefit all levels of the League. Your feedback is important to us! Any League completing the survey before December 19 will be offered *FREE* VOTE411.org sports bags as part of our thanks for filling it out.
Opportunity to Attend Commission on the Status of Women Session at United Nations in March 2015 (NEW)
The fifty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 9 to 20 March 2015. Members of the League of Women Voters are invited to attend any or all of the session. We are limited to 20 attendees and registration will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. To register please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. This year's theme is Beijing +20. The LWVUS will be sponsoring a special panel discussion during the CSW: Women Parliamentarians: Achieving Economic & Social Improvements. Along with our partners (BPW and PPSEAWA), we are working with the governments of Chile, Germany, Philippines and Turkey to host and co-sponsor the event. Additionally, the League will host a reception for our delegation during the first week of the CSW59.
Storefront Holiday Sale! (NEW)
The deadline for ordering gifts from the League store is quickly approaching. You have until December 15th to ensure delivery before Christmas. We are offering a limited time special rate on Tumblers at $7 each and magnets at $2 each.
Donate to the League and support our work.