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League of Women Voters Leaders' Update

June 20, 2013

In This Issue:


  • Supreme Court Upholds the National Voter Registration Act (NEW)
  • Tell President Obama to Take Meaningful Action on Climate Change (NEW)


  • LWVUS Recognizes Three New Local Leagues (NEW)
  • Gain Visibility for Your League:  FOIA Anniversary is July 4th (NEW)
  • Spotlight on Success:  LWV of Oberlin, OH (NEW)
  • Updated Social Media Documents Available in Members Section (NEW)
  • Does Your League Have a New Treasurer? (NEW)


  • Suggested “Summer Readings” from the Agriculture Update Committee (NEW)
  • Subscribe to the Leaders’ Update (Reminder)

Glad You Asked!

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

We will be responding to questions we receive from League leaders across the county.

Several folks at Council last weekend asked: “We are thinking of developing and implementing a Poll Observer Program in our state, what guidance and materials exists to help us in this effort?

In 2011-2012, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, with funding support from LWVUS' Public Advocacy for Voter Protection project (PAVP), developed and implemented a Poll Observer Program to help identify issues, collect relevant data and work to lessen the impact of various voter suppression issues at the polls. Some useful tools and documents that you may use in developing and implementing an observer program in your state can be found here. It includes a final report that LWVWI shared with their legislature and the Government Accountability Board that oversees elections in Wisconsin. The report is a good example of how best to utilize the information you garner from a program by analyzing the data and utilizing the report to help ensure elections are free, fair and accessible in your state.

Send your question to kmcfarland@lwv.org with “Glad You Asked” in the subject line.

Dear Friend,

Council 2013 was great and there can be no better way to end the meeting than to get a strong ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court on Arizona v. ITCA, Inc. that is a victory for voters!

As state leaders gathered for Council, it became clear that the true power of the League is drawn from our ability to seamlessly and strategically leverage the strengths from all quarters of the organization: local, state and national. A discussion about our 2011-12 Power the Vote Initiative with the MN and WI Leagues demonstrated the impact we have and how strong programs in conjunction with strengthening organizational capacity can lead to more money, members and visibility.

Over the weekend, we also were treated to some fascinating speakers and panelists including: Myrna Perez of the Brennan Center for Justice; Dave Levinthal from the Center for Public Integrity; Frank Sesno, the Director of George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs; Communication Consultant Michelle Molloy; Doug Barker of Barker & Scott; League leaders from FL, IA, MN, NJ, SC and WI; the Co-Chairs of the Young People’s Task Force (YPTF); and the LWVUS Board, Nominating Committee, Shur Fellows and staff. Council 2013 was truly a successful gathering that addressed the state of our democracy, the importance of the League brand, and the power of collaboration to power the vote, power our voices and grow the League.

Monday, the final day of Council, the Supreme Court handed down its ruling concerning the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). The decision is a great win for voters upholding the power of Congress to control federal elections. Delegates left the meeting not only energized but with one more victory over efforts to suppress the vote.

In League,
Description: Elisabeth


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.


Supreme Court Upholds the National Voter Registration Act (NEW)
On Monday, the Supreme Court sided with voters deciding Arizona v. ITCA, Inc.The Court found that an Arizona law, that required documentary proof of citizenship when registering to vote, to be in violation of the National Voter Registration Act.  For more information about the League’s response to this case check out our statement and some of the media coverage.

Tell President Obama to Take Meaningful Action on Climate Change (NEW)
President Obama has made some positive statements about climate change over the course of the last year, and even focused on this issue in his State of the Union and the Inaugural Address. But actions speak louder than words. Tell President Obama it’s time to lead. Tell President Obama it’s time to act on climate change.


Membership & leadership

LWVUS Recognizes Three New Local Leagues (NEW)
LWVUS is pleased welcome three new local Leagues: LWV of Leelanau County (MI), LWV of the Prince William Area (VA) and LWV of the Northwoods (WI). Each of these Leagues has shown their dedication to protecting and strengthening our democracy and we look forward to their future successes. Special thanks are extended to the state Leagues in Michigan, Virginia and Wisconsin for mentoring these new groups!

Gain Visibility for Your League:  FOIA Anniversary is July 4th (NEW)
This July 4th remind your community about the importance of citizen engagement by noting the 47th anniversary of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Use this sample letter to the editor.

Spotlight on Success:  LWV of Oberlin, OH (NEW)
Local Leagues across the country are working to build their membership and using innovative strategies to successfully foster growth. LWVUS talked to these leagues to learn how they recruited new members and leaders so effectively. Our fifth League highlight focuses on the LWV of Oberlin, Ohio.

Updated Social Media Documents Available in Members Section (NEW)
The following resources have been updated in the members section of the website – Facebook Posting Guide for State and Local Leagues, Twitter Posting Guide for State and Local Leagues, and Twitter Cheat Sheet. If you have any questions about these documents or social media in general, please contact Stephanie Drahan – sdrahan@lwv.org.

Does Your League Have a New Treasurer? (NEW)
If you have an Education Fund account with Grant Services please make sure we have the correct Treasurer information in the database because we are sending account statements out in July.  If you need assistance with the database, please contact Betty Taira at membership@lwv.org. If you have a question regarding Grant Funds please contact Betsy Gardner at grantservices@lwv.org.


Suggested “Summer Readings” from the Agriculture Update Committee (NEW)
The Agriculture Update Committee has identified three documents and three websites that could be used as background "summer readings" and posted these to the Agriculture Update group in the Forums http://forum.lwv.org/group/agriculture-update. While these are not a formal part of the Update's reading materials that will be issued later, the committee feels that they will provide useful background reading for members that are not familiar with agriculture issues.

To access the Agriculture Update Group on the Forums, click on the link - http://forum.lwv.org/. Click on the blue "LOGIN" and use your email address and password to log into the lwv.org system.  Once logged in, click on the Forums link on the left. You can either browse to the Agriculture Study group or use the link in the above message.

Subscribe to Leaders’ Update (Reminder)
If you have updated your officers list in the membership database through your League's account, then they will be automatically subscribed to the Leaders' Update. For non-officer board members and every other member who would like to subscribe, please send an email to database@lwv.org.

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