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League of Women Voters Leaders' Update

September 19, 2013

In This Issue:

ADVOCACY

  • League submits statement to Presidential Commission on Election Administration (NEW)
  • League lobbies U.S. Senate on Voting Rights Act (NEW)
  • TAKE ACTION: Climate Change Progress at Risk (Reminder)
  • TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress to Fix the Voting Rights Act (Reminder)

EDUCATION FUND- - Elections

  • Last Chance: Promote your National Voter Registration Day Events! (Reminder)
  • Join LWV & Partners to #CelebrateNVRD on Twitter (NEW)
  • Handy Voter Registration Guides Now Available for Every State (Reminder)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Sept. 30 Deadline: Be Part of the National Board or Nominating Committee (NEW)
  • Meet a Shur Fellow: Nancy Eitreim (NEW)
  • Update Your Officers (Reminder)

OTHER

  • Share your studies! Share our strength!  (NEW)
  • LWVUS/EF 2013-14 Direct Marketing Schedule (Reminder)

Glad You Asked!

This section of the Leaders' Update is dedicated to providing the information that you want to know.

“I’d like to be able to network with other League leaders around particular topics.  Is this what the League Forums are for?  If so, how do I get started on them?”

Yes, this is exactly the purpose of the League Forums!  Much like their predecessor – the League discussion lists – the Forums allow Leagues to network virtually about topics of common interest and concern, share information, and much more.  Read these instructions and view a webinar on how to get started with the forums. 

 

Dear Supporter,

This week, I was in Maryland to participate in a Constitution Day event at the University of Maryland Law School. The early autumn weather in Baltimore was perfect, as was the program of the U.S. Supreme Court in Transition event sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Maryland.

The event focused on recent Supreme Court rulings on affirmative action, marriage equality and voting rights. I was privileged to participate in this lively presentation and discussion with two distinguished law school professors in front of a packed auditorium. While Dean Phoebe Haddon and Professor Jana Singer focused on the implications of recent decisions for the law and the Constitution, I spoke about the impact of Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder from a citizen's viewpoint. All three of us emphasized the future and the importance of vigilance by ordinary people in continuing our journey, as a nation, toward greater equality, fairness and civic participation.

Early next week, I travel to New York City to celebrate National Voter Registration Day with our League there. Voter registration is a key to civic participation and the League has always worked hard to get eligible voters registered. This year on National Voter Registration Day, September 24, over 280 Leagues from 43 states will join with more than 800 partners to register Americans to vote. That means that the League is likely to be the single largest on-the-ground presence for the second year running.

I am excited to be taking part in this national celebration of civic participation and encourage you to look for the celebrations happening in your community on this calendar of NVRD events. I also encourage you to do all you can to promote your NVRD events through your community partners, media and on social media. See below for tips and resources that will help you most effectively leverage all of your great voter registration work this election season.

And, thank you for the work you do on behalf of all voters!

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.

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Advocacy

League submits statement to Presidential Commission on Election Administration (NEW)
The League submitted a statement to the Presidential Commission on Election Administration outlining the five key suggestions the League proposes for improving the polling place experience for voters. These suggestions include Secure Online Voter Registration, Permanent and Portable Statewide Voter Registration, Expanded Early Voting, Improved Polling Place Management and Electronic Streamlining. The League believes these five important steps would accomplish major improvements in election administration that would let voters know that they are the central actors in our nation’s democratic system, just as customers are central to any business enterprise.

League lobbies U.S. Senate on Voting Rights Act (NEW)
A letter was sent to the U.S. Senate asking Senators to act to repair and restore the Voting Rights Act to its full effectiveness following the recent Supreme Court decision in Shelby v. Holder.  Members of the grassroots Lobby Corps will also deliver this message to Senators on the Hill.

Take Action: Climate Change Progress at Risk (Reminder)
The progress we have made in the fight against climate change this year following the President’s announcement of a comprehensive carbon control plan is now being threatened in the Senate. Tell your Senators to reject bad environmental amendments that will put the health and safety of our children and our future at risk.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress to Fix the Voting Rights Act (Reminder)
We have had a tremendous response from Leaguers telling their members of Congress to work quickly to repair and restore the Voting Rights Act (VRA). Please continue to take action on this important issue and encourage your friends to do the same. We have also had many local Leagues submit letters to the editor about the importance of fixing the VRA. We have compiled a list of letters that have been published in papers around the country. If your League has had a letter published, please forward a link to be included on our website to Kelly Ceballos.

Education Fund

Elections

Last Chance: Promote your National Voter Registration Day Events! (Reminder)
National Voter Registration Day is less than a week away! Make sure your community—especially potential new voters—know about your event! First, download the handy toolkit and template communications materials to customize your own press release or social media alerts! Make sure your community knows about your registration event. Then, help us share your successes! Send registration drive photos to Stephanie Drahan (sdrahan@lwv.org). Please make sure to include the name of your League, so we can credit your League for the photos.

Join LWV & Partners to #CelebrateNVRD on Twitter (NEW)
The League will be joining our National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) partners, including Voto Latino and NALEO, in three Twitter rallies to promote NVRD. We’d love to have all of the state and local Leagues on Twitter join us for these rallies! To do so, use the #CelebrateNVRD hashtag on Twitter on Friday, 9/20, Monday, 9/23 and Tuesday, 9/24. Each rally begins at 2 pm ET/11 am PT and will last 60 minutes. Leagues are encouraged to tweet about the importance of voter registration and to share photos and information on the events you’ll be hosting for NVRD. Questions? Please contact Renee Davidson (rdavidson@lwv.org).

Handy Voter Registration Guides Now Available for Every State (Reminder)
Our friends at the Fair Elections Legal Network have updated their handy guides for conducting voter registration drives in every state. Important components include any required trainings for voter registration groups, options for gathering contact information from registrants’ forms, timelines for returning completed registration forms, and much more. Use this list of resources to find your state and look for “Conducting Voter Registration Drives in [state].”

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Membership & leadership

Sept. 30 Deadline: Be Part of the National Board or Nominating Committee (NEW)
Consider the experience of former national Board member and current member of the LWVUS Nominating Committee Judy Davis:  “My time on the National Board was such a rich experience that it is hard to single out a ‘best.’ One thing I found exciting was having the 50 state perspectives on what was happening, not just in the Leagues, but in the country.  It gave me a deeper understanding of the forces at work shaping our democracy and impacting our government at all levels.  That understanding made me even more appreciative and proud of the work our Leagues are doing at all levels.  I know we are making a difference.  You can have that same experience if you take the next step on your League journey.” Learn more about the process and submit your nomination form (or for a great candidate that you know) by Sept. 30.

Meet a Shur Fellow: Nancy Eitreim (NEW)
The Membership and Leadership Development (MLD) program is so successful because of the amazing network of coaches that are in place at the national and state levels.  National coaches (also known as Shur Fellows) assist state coaching teams as they work with local League leaders on organizational growth issues, such as membership recruitment and retention and leadership development.  We are putting the spotlight this week on one coach:  Nancy Eitreim.  From Washington, her passions include making voting easy and accessible, registration universal and providing clear and accessible information on the issues of the day.  Nancy is using her wealth of League experience to strengthen Leagues in Michigan and New Mexico. Learn more about Nancy, the other Fellows and the MLD program.

Update Your Officers (Reminder)
Please don’t forget to update any changes in your League’s leadership in the member database. It is critical that all records are up-to-date so that your League receives all messages from LWVUS. If you need assistance, please contact Betty Taira.

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OTHER

Share your studies! Share our strength!  (NEW)
Leagues have posted many studies on a range of issues on the Clearinghouse.  Check it out then check in and submit your League's studies. 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.  Just a click away: http://clearinghouse.lwv.org

LWVUS/EF 2013-2014 Direct Marketing Schedule (Reminder)
When planning your own League's fundraising, please consult the LWVUS/EF Direct Marketing Schedule. The LWVUS Development Office is pleased to share with you the FY 2013-14 LWVUS/Education Fund Direct Marketing schedule for direct mail and telemarketing. Download the schedule (located under Leadership Development Tools in the Members section of www.lwv.org). Please share this schedule with your Development chairs to assist planning for your League's fundraising activities. Questions should be directed to Rose Simmons, rsimmons@lwv.org.

Donate to the League and support our work.

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