May 21, 2015
The convention theme in San Diego was “Let the Sunshine In”, but given drought conditions throughout the state, no one was complaining about the rain last week as the convention started. As usual, the League of Women Votes of California and the League of Women Voters of San Diego had planned so many interesting events and workshops that it was hard to leave the hotel anyway. When I arrived on Thursday evening, the talk of the convention was the Border Tour, arranged by the San Diego League. Convention started formally on Friday morning with a speech by Alex Padilla, California’s Secretary of State. In office for just 130 days, Padilla is already planning not just a good defense of California elections, but a strong offense.
In the midst of lively discussion of budget, bylaws and program, the convention also heard from Lisa Garcia Bedolla of the University of California Berkeley. She addressed the changing demographics of California and of the country. She noted that the United States electorate is made, not given and that therefore, we can change that electorate. Disengagement reflects the state of our democracy, how much lower can we go, Bedolla asked, before our system becomes illegitimate? Fortunately, there is a League of Women Voters dedicated to protecting our democracy by insuring that our elections are free, fair and accessible to every eligible voter.
The League was founded to finish the fight that is never finished, the fight to engage citizens in our democracy. The California League, coming out of convention, is primed and ready for another two years of Making Democracy Work® for all the diverse and wonderful communities in that state.
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:
MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP
- Update on LWVUS Database Transition (NEW)
- New Leader Information to the LWVUS Database (NEW)
- Visibility Opportunity: Graduation & Voter Registration Letter to the Editor Template (NEW)
- League Visibility Tools Available (NEW)
EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS
- VOTE411 Training Webinars (NEW)
- Public Support for Online Voter Registration in Florida and Texas (NEW)
EDUCATION FUND - KEY STRUCTURES OF DEMOCRACY
- Sample Voter Article Available on Timeline and Resources (NEW)
- League Opposes S. 1324 Senator Capito's "Polluter Protection Act" (NEW)
- Tell Congress to Protect People Not Polluters (REMINDER)
- Action Alert: Urge the President to Fully Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline (REMINDER)
- Federal Action Request Form has Moved (REMINDER)
- Improving League Websites: We Listened To You (REMINDER)
- WATCH: New Video on Improving Our Elections Systems (REMINDER)
- Happy Annual Meeting Month: League Clearinghouse for New Studies (NEW)
MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP
Update on LWVUS Database Transition (NEW)
Curious about how the database transition is going? Watch this video presentation to hear about updates on the Constituent Relationship Management system (the online database). You will hear why we switched systems, what the new system means for you, and when the new system will roll out to local and state Leagues.
New Leader Information to the LWVUS Database (NEW)
Thank you to all of the League officers who served in leadership roles during the last biennium. Your hard work has been invaluable to carrying the League's mission forward. LWVUS also wants to welcome all of the newly elected leaders! While the database is locked for transition, you may email your leadership changes to Membership@lwv.org and we will put them into the system for you. Please give us the names of the new officers as well as who they are replacing. Thank you again for your patience during this transition.
Visibility Opportunity: Graduation & Voter Registration Letter to the Editor Template (NEW)
It is graduation time! Use this letter to the editor template to call attention to the best gift you can give a grad: helping them to register to vote. Promote this piece that is so core to our mission while getting some good visibility for your League!
League Visibility Tools Available (NEW)
While the League's online store has closed, we know that Leagues still need visibility tools, such as membership brochures and LWV pins. These are now available free of charge in limited quantities to Leagues. If your League is in need of these tools, please complete this survey. Note that orders will be filled on the 1st and 15th of each month. Membership brochures and insert templates also are available for download any time.
EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS
VOTE411 Training Webinars (NEW)
Are you looking for an in-depth training on how to use VOTE411 to provide online voters' guides in your community? LWVEF is providing two webinars that will show you the basics and answer your questions about this voter education tool. These trainings are for anyone interested in using VOTE411 (both new and current VOTE411 participants), however, they are geared towards those who know very little about the program and are interested in learning more. The webinars will take place on: Wednesday, June 10 at 2pm Eastern Time (register here) and Wednesday, July 15 at 2pm Eastern Time (register here). If you have any questions about the webinars, or about VOTE411, please contact Megan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Support for Online Voter Registration in Florida and Texas (NEW)
There is growing bipartisan support for online voter registration in Florida and Texas. In Florida, the League's work led to a victory – online voter registration was signed into law! In Texas, however, the League is not giving up without a fight, and LWVTX President Elaine Wiant published an op-ed to highlight the many reasons Texas needs online voter registration.
EDUCATION FUND - KEY STRUCTURES OF DEMOCRACY
Sample Voter Article Available on Timeline and Resources (NEW)
As state and local Leagues prepare for the review of Money in Politics and study of Constitutional Amendments, a sample Voter article may help you to alert your members to the proposed timeline and resources that are available on the League Management website. The Key Structures of Democracy Voter article can be found on the Money in Politics and the Constitutional Amendment webpages and can be adapted for your League.
League Opposes S. 1324 Senator Capito’s “Polluter Protection Act"(NEW)
The League sent a letter to the U.S. Senate opposing S. 1324 sponsored by Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). The “Polluter Protection Act” will protect big polluters by blocking the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan. Members of the LWVUS Lobby Corps will be visiting Senate offices to discuss this legislation.
Tell Congress to Protect People Not Polluters (REMINDER)
April 22, marked the forty-fifth anniversary of Earth Day. The Environmental Protection Agency, under President Obama, has worked to establish regulations that will reduce greenhouse gasses that cause climate change — like carbon dioxide, mercury and methane, and protect U.S. waters from pollution. But our natural resources continue to come under attack. Tell Congress to stand up for the planet and support the work of the EPA to fight climate change, protect public health and grow our economy!
Action Alert: Urge the President to Fully Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline (REMINDER)
President Obama fulfilled his promise to veto legislation approving the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline! The League is proud to stand behind the President’s veto because the pipeline is not in our national interest. But the fight is not over — President Obama and the U.S. State Department must still make a final decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. Thank President Obama for vetoing the pipeline legislation and urge him to reject final approval of the Keystone XL pipeline once and for all!
Federal Action Request Form has Moved (REMINDER)
State and local Leagues wishing to take action at the federal level must consult with LWVUS when taking action. As part of this consultation process, the state/local League is asked to fill out the Federal Action Request Form. Please bookmark this new link to the form for future use.
Improving League Websites: We Listened To You (REMINDER)
In 2014, we asked members how to improve the League Easy Web (LEW) system, which hosts over 260 local League websites. In 2015, at LWV Council, we will discuss the findings and announce the changes coming to LEW in 2016 in response to your feedback. We hope to see you in person at Council and will share more information in the League Update this summer. All local Leagues are invited to try the LEW system for free: just contact us.
WATCH: New Video on Improving Our Elections System (REMINDER)
Recently, we released a new video on the 5 ways to improve our elections systems. Leagues throughout the country are already working hard to make these reforms a reality! Please share this short, easy-to-understand video with your networks.
Happy Annual Meeting Month: League Clearinghouse for New Studies (NEW)
Donate to the League and support our work.
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. Do you have studies, including those on local issues, completed? Post them to the Clearinghouse to benefit other Leagues. Note: the Clearinghouse accepts positions without their supporting 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!