May 28, 2015
Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of the summer season. While there are still several state conventions and national Council for state leaders ahead of us in June, many Leagues are beginning to wind down their spring activities. But every year is an election year somewhere in America and there is always work to be done Making Democracy Work® at every level of government. In many states, this is a municipal election year; in two states, this is the year for statewide elections. But whether your League is preparing for elections this year or not, next year is a presidential election year and every League should be anticipate playing an active part.
Planning is an essential duty of League Boards in every state and community. The national Board and staff will be meeting in retreat immediately following LWVUS Council. All over the country, new League Boards are being elected and it is important that those Boards make time over the summer for orientation and planning. For state League leaders coming to Council, now is the time to make sure that you and your Board have agreed on a focus for the action plan that we will be working on during the Council meeting. Whatever other issues you plan to tackle over the next two years, insuring that the election next year is free, fair and accessible to every eligible voter should be a priority. The more voters we hear from in the upcoming election, the more voices the officials we elect will heed.
For local Leagues, now is the time to take a long, hard look at your League calendar and to remember that the work we do during an election is some of the most critical work for our democracy. Planning ahead for meetings with election officials, for voter registration activities such as National Voter Registration Day, and for the most effective way to create and distribute voter guides can make that critical work easier and more effective. Remember that there are resources through the League Management Site to help you every step of the way.
Summertime can be a great time to relax and recharge our batteries and it is often the only time to look ahead to the new League year.
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 (REMINDER)
- New Leader Information to the LWVUS Database (REMINDER)
- League Promotional Video Available (NEW)
EDUCATION FUND - KEY STRUCTURES OF DEMOCRACY
- Sample Voter Article Available on Timeline and Resources (UPDATED)
- League Opposes Appeal in Kobach v. EAC (NEW)
- Tell Your Representative to Redefine Coordination (NEW)
- 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 (REMINDER)
MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP
Update on LWVUS Database Transition (REMINDER)
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 (REMINDER)
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.
League Promotional Video Available (NEW)
With state conventions and annual meetings underway, we wanted to remind you about two great League visibility videos. Click on the name of the videos once you are on the website to view them. “We are the League” Short and “We are the League” Full were created for Convention 2014 and feature League leaders from across the country. The “We are the League” piece is available in a short or long version.
EDUCATION FUND - KEY STRUCTURES OF DEMOCRACY
Sample Voter Article Available on Timeline and Resources (UPDATED)
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. If you have questions regarding the Money in Politics review, feel free to contact Committee Chair, Barbara Zia at MIPCommitteeChair@lwv.org.
League Opposes Appeal in Kobach v. EAC (NEW)
The Leagues of Women Voters of the United States, Kansas and Arizona filed a brief before the Supreme Court urging the Court to deny an appeal from the states of Kansas and Arizona in the case of Kobach v. EAC. The brief argues that the Supreme Court has already decided that the states cannot require documentary proof of citizenship as part of the federal mail voter registration application form and that the appeal does not meet the Court’s criteria for acceptance.
Tell Your Representative to Redefine Coordination (NEW)
It’s time to close the loopholes in our campaign contribution system and strengthen the rules prohibiting coordination between candidates and outside spending groups. Tell your Representative to cosponsor and support HR 425, the “Stop Super PAC -- Candidate Coordination Act” introduced by Representatives David Price and Chris Van Hollen.
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 (REMINDER)
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!