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League of Women Voters Leaders' Update

September 12, 2013

In This Issue:


  • Take Action: Climate Change Progress at Risk (NEW)
  • Supreme Court Preview: McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission (NEW)
  • Day of Action on Keystone XL Pipeline (Reminder)
  • TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress to Fix the Voting Rights Act (Reminder)


  • New Report Lays out League’s Election Improvement Agenda for 2013 and Beyond (NEW)
  • North Carolina Photo ID Law: After 57 Years of Voting Ms. Currie May Not Be Allowed to Vote (NEW)
  • Help Voters Get Informed: Spread the word about your local candidate debates! (NEW)
  • Send Us Your Voter Registration Photos (NEW)
  • Time is Running Out: Promote your National Voter Registration Day Events! (Reminder)
  • Promote your Candidate Debates and Forums on VOTE411! (Reminder)


  • LWVUS Needs You! NEW)
  • Sustaining Your League:  Fundraising Success Story (NEW)
  • Constitution Day is September 17: Template Available (Reminder)


  • Agriculture Update (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.

My League has been trying to attract some younger members without much success.  Someone recently suggested to me that the reason was that “young people” don’t want to attend meetings. Is this common among other Leagues?

For this response, I’ve asked the League’s Young People Task Force for some advice:  “What time are the meetings? Where are they? What is on the agenda and is there room for some fun?

If 10 a.m. on a weekday is a routine time that is likely one reason the young people are not participating. If the meeting is at the library or senior center, that might be another reason for the lack of young faces in the room.

Does the meeting cover only business items? Their availability for meetings is usually during “happy hour times” or weekends. Also, though libraries are outstanding community resources, young people are more likely to attend a meeting at a coffee shop, wine bar, pub, or in someone’s home. Refreshments are a must!

Lastly, meetings must have a fun element to them. Many students and young professionals spend all day in formal meetings; local Leagues should make the meeting both productive and fun.”


Dear Friend,

Next Tuesday is Constitution Day. Two hundred and twenty-six years ago, the U.S. Constitution was signed in Philadelphia creating a federal government controlled, not by a hereditary monarchy or aristocracy, but by representatives elected by the people. Elections and voting are central to our form of government. “Should things go wrong at any time,” wrote Thomas Jefferson, “the people will set them to rights by the peaceable exercise of their elective rights.”

So central is voting to our constitutional form of government that, of the amendments to the Constitution other than the Bill of Rights, nearly half address voting rights. Yet despite that expansion to universal suffrage, nearly 1 in 4 eligible Americans are not registered to vote. Voter registration is a key to civic participation and the League has always worked hard to get eligible voters registered and this year on National Voter Registration Day, September 24, over 250 League teams will join forces with other organizations to register Americans to vote. I am excited to be taking part in this national celebration of civic participation in New York City alongside the League of Women Voters of New York City and several of our partner organizations. Look for the celebrations happening in your community on this calendar of NVRD events.

Constitution Day and National Voter Registration Day are great opportunities to encourage not just League members, but members of our communities to join us in getting involved in making democracy work. Encouraging all Americans to participate in our nation’s remarkable political process shows the League at its best. Not only are we making “We the People” a reality, but we are demonstrating the strength that belonging to an organization like the League gives to ordinary citizens.

That strength can’t exist without strong League leaders. Another important date to remember this September, is September 30, the deadline to nominate yourself or another League leader to serve on the National Board. For most of us the League experience is a journey. Along the way, we learn new skills, form lasting relationships and grow in confidence as active participants in American democracy. Now is the time to take that next step or help another to realize her or his potential.

Let’s take the many opportunities that this September offers to raise our hands for democracy both in our communities and in the 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.



Take Action: Climate Change Progress at Risk (NEW)
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.

Supreme Court Preview: McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission (NEW)
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to begin hearing cases in its fall term next month. On the second day of arguments, a case that has been labeled the “next Citizens United” will be heard by the Justices. Read our blog to get an overview on McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission.

Day of Action on Keystone XL Pipeline (Reminder)
On September 21, organizations from around the country will gather for a day of action around the Keystone XL pipeline. The League is not a partner of this event, but if you are interested in getting involved with an event in your area visit the 350.org webpage and sign up.

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


New Report Lays out League’s Election Improvement Agenda for 2013 and Beyond (NEW)
The LWVUS is pleased to release a new report, Election Improvement Agenda, which identifies central challenges facing our complex and outdated election system and provides a targeted action plan for overcoming the fallout from recent voter suppression attempts and the Supreme Court ruling gutting the Voting Rights Act. As our recent blog post points out, this comprehensive report showcases the best of what League volunteers and activists have done to overcome the challenges voters face nationwide. It also includes our key federal, state, and local advocacy and education priorities to protect and expand the vote even as we strive to grow our winning voter registration and education programs. We hope you will read this report and keep in mind these key priorities as you work to support and serve voters in 2013 and 2014!

North Carolina Photo ID Law: After 57 years of Voting Ms. Currie May Not Be Allowed to Vote (NEW)
Alberta Currie, the great-granddaughter of slaves, was born in a farmhouse surrounded by tobacco and cotton fields. Her mother, Willie Pearl, gave birth with the assistance of a midwife. No birth certificate was issued; a birth announcement was handwritten into the Currie family Bible. Today, 78 years later, that absence of official documentation may force Currie to sit out an election for the first time since 1956. Read her full story.

Help Voters Get Informed: Spread the word about your local candidate debates! (NEW)
League members know that a key way to help voters make educated and informed decisions at the polls is to hold candidate debates and forums. But how can viewers get the most out of watching a candidate debate? Read our recent blog post that includes a brief guide of tips to help voters evaluate and assess what they learn from candidate debates. Share our tips on your social media channels and let your followers know of any candidate debates your League or local community partners have scheduled in preparation for Election Day!

Send Us Your Voter Registration Photos (NEW)
We want to highlight your great voter registration work on our social media channels! Last year, we created an album on Facebook and plan to do so again this year. Please send your 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.

Time is Running Out: Promote your National Voter Registration Day Events! (Reminder)
National Voter Registration Day is less than 2 weeks away! Make sure your community—especially potential new voters—know about your event! First, please be sure to register your event(s) on the NVRD main website by clicking on the link recently sent to your email by Maggie Duncan. Then download the handy toolkit and template communications materials, which can help you get the word out in your community. See the item above for tips on sharing your event information and photos with us on social media!

Promote your Candidate Debates and Forums on VOTE411! (Reminder)
Does your League have a candidate debate or forum coming up in 2013? Promoting your events on VOTE411 can help spread the word to voters in your communities. Over 400 League sponsored candidate debates have been promoted via VOTE411. If you would like us to promote your candidate debate or forum on VOTE411, please send the following information to Megan Brown (mbrown@lwv.org): event title, offices covered, date, time, location (venue name and address) and any other information voters might need.


Membership & leadership

LWVUS Needs You! (NEW)
The deadline for recommending members for officers, directors, and nominating committee members for the LWVUS is fast approaching--September 30. The Nominee Recommendation Form must be filled out before the people recommended can proceed with the process. Just submitting a name is not sufficient. The general areas of need include the same areas as local and state Leagues: communications, advocacy, technology, policy-making, development, elections, and membership. If you are interested in serving, please complete the nomination form, or tell a friend about your interest and ask the friend to fill out the form. The LWVUS needs you!

Sustaining your League:  Fundraising Success Story (NEW)
Fundraising can be a challenge for a nonprofit, grassroots organization like the League. In order to support their important projects, local Leagues have gotten creative with their revenue generating ideas and the results are often impressive. Read about the fundraising success of the League of Women Voters of Concord-Carlisle, MA. Looking for more ideas?  Join the Development group in the LWV Forums.  

Constitution Day is September 17: Template Available (Reminder)
Customize this press release template to draw attention to Constitution Day, the 226th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17.



Agriculture Update (NEW)
The Agriculture Update Committee has posted a list of suggested optional multimedia resources to the Agriculture Update group of the LWVUS Forums. You can reach the Forums by logging into the website with your personal email address and password, and then selecting "Forums" on the left side, or then going directly to forum.lwv.org. If you have questions, you may contact Chair Norman Turrill at lwvturrill@mac.com.

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.

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