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League of Women Voters Leaders' Update

January 3, 2013

In This Issue:


  • Growing the League…Winning for your League AND our Democracy! (NEW)
  • LAST CALL for Ruth S. Shur Fellow Nominations! Deadline is Monday, Jan 7.
  • Reminder #4: Renew Members & Update Membership Rosters(NEW)
  • Hold Off on Transferring Member Records


  • League Calls for Reform of U.S. Senate Rules (NEW)
  • LWVUS Legislative Priorities 


  • LAST CHANCE: Join 200+ Leagues in Taking our Voter Service Survey
  • New Research: Are your Local Colleges Fully Engaging Young Voters? (NEW)
  • Voter Suppression Tactics Continues Amongst Some Early Wins (NEW)
  • Free Poster “How to Become President of the United States” with LWV logo (NEW)


  • Just in Time for the New Year (NEW)

Dear Friend,

As we enter the new year, the political landscape is largely unchanged. In many states, legislatures are getting ready to come back into session and we can anticipate a new round of assaults on voting rights, access to health care and the environment. The new Congress will convene this week and take up right where the old Congress left off. But in the midst of this somewhat gloomy environment, those of us who are fans of period drama can look for some relief with the new season of Downton Abbey. For the uninitiated, Downton Abbey is a public television series set in the World War I era, the latest season takes place in 1920. After years of pointless trench warfare in which the weaponry far outstripped tactics, great change is in the air. I confess to having had a sneak peak and in the new series, strong women and a new generation begin to achieve that change.

After the events of the last few weeks, there can be no doubt that Congress is engaged in pointless trench warfare, hunkered down in bunkers, sniping from safe distances and able to achieve little beyond temporary cease fires. The new electorate consisting of strong women and a new multi-cultural generation represented change in the 2012 Election. The League played an important role in enabling that electorate to be heard. Now, we begin the real work of getting our elected officials, at the state and national levels, out of the trenches so that, together, we can develop a winning strategy for change. Engaging the voters who made such a difference in 2012 will be a key factor.

Victory won’t be swift, nor will it be easy to achieve, but if the League doesn’t keep up the fight, who will?

In League,
Description: Elisabeth

On this day in 1793- Lucretia Mott, Women Right’s Activist, Quaker minister, and Abolitionist, was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts.  Dedicated to women’s rights, she published her influential Discourse on Woman and founded Swarthmore College. Read more here.



Growing the League…Winning for Your League AND Our Democracy! (NEW)
All Leagues are invited to participate in our January effort to showcase our growth!  Because as we GROW the League we help strengthen our muscle for positive impact on things we care about. Let’s show how we’ve grown as we’ve helped our democracy “Power the Vote” in 2012!  We have a 3-part opportunity to share your successes:

  1. Reach out to prospective members  by January 11 and your League could win some great visibility tools: LWV buttons!
  2. Update ALL the expiration dates on member records in the national database by January 25 for your League and be eligible to win a $25 Staples card! 
  3. Show a net growth in membership numbers from Jan. 2012-Jan. 2013 by the deadline of January 31 to be eligible to win a free registration to the LWVUS Convention in 2014 in Dallas, TX. 

We will publicly celebrate the winning Leagues in the Leaders' Update in the coming weeks.  For questions or support, email membership@lwv.org.

LAST CALL for Ruth S. Shur Fellow Nominations! Deadline is Monday, Jan 7
Get involved in building stronger Leagues nationwide by nominating yourself or a League member you admire to become a part of the Ruth S. Shur Fellows team. Complete the online nomination form by January 7, 2013. Email SSanders@lwv.org with questions.

Reminder #4: Renew Members & Update Membership Rosters (NEW)
Now that 2013 is here, it is time to renew your League members and update your League’s membership information in the LWVUS database. Customize this renewal letter template to reach out to current members. The deadline for updating your League roster is January 31, 2013. Please contact Betty Taira at BTaira@lwv.org for database assistance and include your League’s ID/number (example:  CA123) in the subject line.

Hold Off on Transferring Member Records
As in past years, please do not transfer member records until after February 1, 2013. The transferring member’s record should remain on your roster through January.   If records are transferred to other Leagues now, the receiving League will be assessed the PMP for members who have paid dues to their present League.  We will transfer records for you after February 1, 2013.  Please contact Betty Taira at BTaira@lwv.org  or Lela Sallis at LSallis@lwv.org with questions.



League Calls for Reform of U.S. Senate Rules (NEW)
The League sent a letter to the U.S. Senate urging reform of the rules related to cloture and filibuster procedures. The League calls upon the Senate to rise above partisanship and reform the Senate rules to achieve openness, accountability, decision-making capability and effective performance.

LWVUS Legislative Priorities 

In January the LWVUS Board of Directors will set the League Legislative Priorities for the upcoming year. Setting these priorities for LWVUS action at the national level is an annual responsibility for the Board. Once again the Board is soliciting suggestions for LWVUS advocacy priorities from members. If you are interested in making suggestions to the Board please consider the goals and criteria as listed below. While the LWVUS has numerous positions under which we might take action, the Board must prioritize and consider those issues where we might be able to make a difference.

According to the LWVUS Impact on Issues, the goals for setting priorities to guide the LWV advocacy work are to: (1) Enhance the League’s effectiveness by concentrating resources on priority issues; (2) Build the League’s credibility and visibility by projecting a focused and consistent image; (3) Ensure that the League has sufficient issue and political expertise to act knowledgeably; and (4) Enable the League to manage resources effectively. In setting legislative priorities, the Board considers the following: (1) Opportunities for the League to make an impact; (2) Program decisions made at Convention and/or Council; (3) Member interest; and (4) Resources available to manage effectively.

If you would like to make suggestions for LWVUS advocacy priorities, please email Advocacy Committee Chair Toni Larson at toni.larson@gmail.com. Please indicate whether the suggestions are from an individual member, a committee, board or membership meeting. Suggestions must be received by January 11.



LAST CHANCE: Join 200+ Leagues in Taking our Voter Service Survey
More than one quarter of Leagues have already taken a few minutes to share their election year successes and challenges with us.  Make sure your voice is heard and counted: fill out our Voter Service Feedback Survey today! LWVUS will use the information from survey responses to plan future programs, secure new resources, and highlight great success stories. Don’t miss out on this chance to weigh in--fill out the survey today!

New Research: Are your Local Colleges Fully Engaging Young Voters? (NEW)

LWVEF is happy to pass along a new opportunity for Leagues to work with local community colleges and other colleges and universities. Our partners at CIRCLE have just launched the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, NSLVE, a new and unprecedented research opportunity for campuses to glean insights about their 2012 student voter registration and voting rates. This opportunity provides a great excuse to start a conversation about how your League can work with college administrators, community college leaders, and student groups to help improve on-campus voter engagement in 2013 and 2014.  Please encourage your contacts at local colleges to participate! It’s easy for administrators to get started at: http://www.civicyouth.org/nslve-faq/.

Voter Suppression Tactics Continues Amongst Some Early Wins (NEW)
First the good news: The League’s aggressive advocacy has led to New Mexico legislators deciding NOT to introduce a photo ID bill this session, Florida’s Governor, Rick Scott, has indicated his willingness to fix suppressive elections laws passed in 2011 and WI Governor, Scott Walker, rescinded his support for repealing same day registration. Now the not-so-good news: photo ID bills have been, or soon will be, introduced in AK, MT, NY, MN, MO, NC and WI. This will be another year of ups and downs but together we will continue to succeed in protecting voters across the country.

Free Poster “How to Become President of the United States” with LWV logo (NEW)
Help kids understand the process of becoming President of the United States. We are pleased that in recognition of the League’s elections work in communities around the country,  the federal government allowed us to use the LWV brand on a Kids.gov poster. To order email Walt Dornfried at walt.dornfried@gsa.gov and ask for item #620XX.



Just in Time for the New Year (NEW)

Start your New Year off with the newly revised LWVUS publication, Fundraising 101 – The League Way. Based on the publication that was distributed at Convention 2004, this edition has been updated throughout, with lots of new things added.  Check out reports on why people give, tips on writing fundraising letters, how to pursue corporate and foundation proposals, and more!  In addition, appendices offer a list of questions you might use ask your donors to get to know them better when you call to thank them for their gift; a list of ideas for events that your League could hold;, and an outline of the basic content that needs to go in a proposal to a foundation or a corporation.   This is THE publication to help you get started fundraising for your League—or for doing more with your existing program!

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