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League of Women Voters Leaders' Update

January 10, 2013

In This Issue:


  • LWVUS Legislative Priorities 
  • League Urges Obama Action on Climate Change (NEW)
  • League Urges Senate to Ratify CEDAW (NEW)
  • Request Form for Federal Action (NEW)



  • U.S. Department of State Thanks the League (NEW)


  • High School Voter Registration: Now’s the Time (NEW)
  • North Carolina Photo ID Law Could Impact 613,000 Voters (NEW)
  • Free Poster “How to Become President of the United States” with LWV logo


  • MLD Tips: Grow Your League at Your Annual Meeting!(NEW)
  • Growing the League…Winning for your League AND our Democracy!
  • Reminder #5: Update Membership Rosters NOW!


  • Just in Time for the New Year


Get Started on the New League Forums

The League's aging discussion list system will be closing in early February 2013. In its place, we have built the League Forums, a new online community exclusively for League members and leaders.

Don’t wait any longer, take the time today to login in and join the discussions on the League Forums.

Why should you join the League Forums?

  1. Like the discussion lists, the League Forums provide an opportunity to interact with fellow League members on specific topics and to share experiences and tools.
  2. The Forums notifications system allows you to decide if you want to follow a group (topic), a single discussion within a group, or even just a single person.
  3. All messages are archived online for future reference.
  4. You can easily build and manage your own personal profile.


Go to www.lwv.org, click on LOGIN in the top red bar. Once logged in, use the Forums link in the left navigation bar. Members interested in learning more are welcome to view a recorded webinar introducing the new Forums.

Dear Friend,

American election administration is a leaky vessel kept afloat by a lot of very dedicated people including election professionals, poll workers, organizations like the League and the voters themselves. That was the recurring theme throughout a daylong roundtable discussion about the 2012 elections hosted by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC). Among the many recurring themes of yesterday’s roundtable was the need for more data and the need to move election administration into the 21st century. Interestingly, we heard that while state legislatures, over the last decade, have been more focused on election administration than ever before, over the last two years, there has been less election legislation than in the past. Unfortunately, recent  legislation was more politicized than in the past and resulted in court challenges that left election professionals in flux right up to the eve of Election 2012. Add to that Hurricane Sandy and it is a miracle that we got a result on election night.

While the roundtable was convened, in part, to talk about the lines and the waits, many of the issues that arose are ones that the League has been working on for many years. But we can’t move forward until we have the data and the facts to defeat the assumptions the public and politicians alike are using to politicize election administration. The League has identified a four-point proactive election administration reform agenda that we believe is supported by facts. The EAC will be formulating and distributing its bi-annual election data survey to all state elections officials using the information gleaned from the roundtable. We need to encourage our state elections officials to respond to that survey. A dozen years into the 21st century, it is time to do more than just patch up the 19th century election vessel that has carried us so far and build a new sleeker ship to carry our elections forward.

Read the full blog.

In League,
Description: Elisabeth

This week marks the birthday of Carrie Chapman Catt.  Carrie Chapman Catt was the founder of the League of Women Voters and led the Women’s Suffrage Movement from 1900 until the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the vote in 1920.  Read more about Carrie Chapman Catt



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 tomorrow, Friday, January 11th.

League Urges Obama Action on Climate Change (NEW)
On Saturday, January 5, 2013, the League ran a full page, color ad in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, urging President Obama to set tough standards for new and existing power plants under the Clean Air Act. The ad is part of a broader push by LWV for executive action on climate change and is a follow up to a letter sent to The White House in December. The full text and image of the ad can be seen on our website.

League Urges Senate to Ratify CEDAW (NEW)
The League joined over 100 organizations in sending a letter to the U.S. Senate urging ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). CEDAW is a landmark international agreement that affirms principles of fundamental human rights and equality for women around the world.

Request Form for Federal Action (NEW)
The 113th Congress was sworn in on January 3rd.  A state or local League wishing to work on a federal issue or on an issue at the national level that has not been the subject of an LWVUS Action Alert must consult with the LWVUS about the intended action.  This includes any effort aimed at influencing a decision on a federal issue, such as communicating with an elected or appointed official, joining a coalition, taking part in a press conference or rally, or writing a letter-to-the-editor. Please help us maintain our effective lobbying strategy by completing the Federal Action Request Form to take action on federal issues.



Global Democracy

U.S. Department of State Thanks the League (NEW)
We were pleased this week to receive two letters of thanks for our ten months of hard work on the BMENA Initiative – 9th Forum for the Future from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Deputy Assistant Secretary Nazanin Ash.  “The League of Women Voters was selected as the U.S. government’s civil society partner based on its record of citizen education and empowerment, nonpartisan advocacy, and its focus on the equal political participation of women.  Throughout this year’s BMENA process, your team exemplified  its dedication to making our common vision a reality.  Please know I am proud of the accomplishments we achieved together this year,” said Secretary Clinton.


High School Voter Registration: Now’s the Time (NEW)
Is your League interested in conducting high school voter registration? If so, the League’s research shows that the spring is the best time to do it! To get started, download our handy high school voter registration training manual (Updated version coming soon!)

North Carolina Photo ID Law Could Impact 613,000 Voters (NEW)
As State Legislators in North Carolina make a renewed push to pass a voter ID law, a new report from the State Board of Elections suggests that nearly one in ten voters lack state-issued photo identification:  Read more here. Some key politicians, including the Governor Pat McCrory and House Speaker Thom Tillis, are now saying they are willing to include non-photo identification in the legislation.

Free Poster “How to Become President of the United States” with LWV logo
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 place an order email Walt Dornfried at walt.dornfried@gsa.gov and ask for item #620XX.



MLD Tips: Grow Your League at Your Annual Meeting!  (NEW)
Check out how these MLD tips can give your League a boost. Annual meetings should not just be about “League business”.  Have some FUN at your annual meeting by celebrating the League’s accomplishments from the past year and recognizing League volunteers for their great work. Invite the community to hear a speaker on a hot topic, reach out to the media, and encourage every League member to bring a friend. Make sure there is some time for socializing and ASK attendees to join the League! Click here for simple, easy add-ons that can make a big difference.

Growing the League…Winning for Your League AND Our Democracy!
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 and 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.

Reminder #5: Update Membership Rosters NOW!
Now is the 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 check and update the expiration date and the member status (I or A) in each member’s record.  Contact Betty Taira at BTaira@lwv.org for database assistance and include your League’s ID/number (example:  CA123) in the subject line.



Just in Time for the New Year
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 to 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!

Donate to the League and support our work.


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