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League of Women Voters Leaders' Update

January 16, 2014

In This Issue:


  • BREAKING NEWS: Voting Rights Act Fix Introduced in Congress! (NEW)
  • Support EPA's Limits on Carbon Pollution (NEW)
  • League Urges Senate to Oppose H.R. 2019 (NEW)


  • Join Us for LWV State of the Union (SOTU) Bingo! (NEW)


  • New Webinar Available: Building Your League with Interns (NEW)
  • Update Your Roster = Automatically Entered into Contest (REMINDER)


  • LWVEF’s Youth Voter Registration Program Launches in 40 Communities (NEW)


  • Agriculture Update (NEW)
  • Program Planning Response Form Online (Reminder)

Convention 2014

Hardship Requests are Due on March 1

Per LWVUS Bylaws, in order to vote at Convention 2014, a League must have met its Per Member Payment (PMP) obligation in full for fiscal year 2013-14 (July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014), as well as for previous fiscal years. Leagues that are unable to fulfill their financial obligation and wish to vote at Convention 2014 may file a hardship claim with the LWVUS Board.  Please see this memo for more information about the process of applying for a hardship request. The deadline for all requests is March 1.  If you have questions about your PMP payment status, please contact Yancy Jimenez at yjimenez@lwv.org or (202) 263-1324.


Questions? Contact LWVUS staffer Kelly McFarland Stratman at kmcfarland@lwv.org

Glad You Asked!

This section of the Leaders' Update is dedicated to providing the information that you want to know. If you have a question for this area, please submit it to kmcfarland@lwv.org.

I’m in the process of updating my League’s membership roster, what is the most important thing that I should remember in doing this? 

Thank you for updating your League’s roster. It is critical to have up-to-date and accurate information in the database.  Of all the fields in each record, apart from the individual’s contact information, the member status field that is most important one to update.

If a member is marked with “A” (active), then they will be included in your League’s official member count. 

If they are marked with “I” (inactive), they will not. 

Please note that an expiration date that has passed will not automatically trigger a change in the member status field; this field must be updated manually. 

If you have additional questions about the roster updating process, please consult the user manual or contact membership@lwv.org


If you have a question for this area, please submit it to kmcfarland@lwv.org.

Dear Friend,

It looks like a good week for voting rights. Tomorrow, the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) is expected to rule on requests from the states of Arizona and Kansas to modify the national mail-in registration form to require documentary proof of citizenship and today, a bipartisan bill to fix the Voting Rights Act was introduced in Congress. These actions are, of course, not the final word on either issue, but each represents a good start to the New Year.

The Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 has been carefully crafted to protect the rights of all voters and repair the damage to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 inflicted by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby v. Holder. This is an important first step, but it will require the League to follow the progress of the legislation closely and will also require continued public education in our communities. Since the Shelby decision, we have seen states rush to enact legislation likely to suppress the vote and dozens of cities and towns make changes in their election laws and voting processes, many of which may keep eligible voters from being able to vote. At the state and local level we must remain vigilant.

Similarly, the decision of the EAC is not likely to be the final word with regard to documentary proof of citizenship when registering vote.  This is just one step in the lawsuit brought by Kansas and Arizona challenging the constitutionality of the federal mail voter registration application form and the LWVUS, along with LWVAZ and LWVKS, is already involved. This issue is not isolated to Kansas and Arizona and like all our election work, it will require Leagues all across the country to continue educating our communities about the importance of ensuring that every eligible voter has fair and equal access to the polls.

But on this January 16, we are working from a position of strength and hope as we look forward to gearing up and continuing our important work registering, educating, protecting and mobilizing diverse voices in another critical federal election year.

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.


BREAKING NEWS: Voting Rights Act Fix Introduced in Congress! (NEW)
This afternoon Representatives James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), John Conyers (D-MI), Bobby Scott (D-VA), John Lewis (D-GA), and Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced common sense legislation that would repair and restore the Voting Rights Act. This bipartisan effort to fix the damage done by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby v. Holder is necessary to restore and protect the rights of voters across the country. Please urge your elected officials to support this important legislation and encourage them to act swiftly to move toward final passage.  Read the LWVUS press statement on the new bill and tailor this press template to use with media in your state and community.

Support EPA's Limits on Carbon Pollution (NEW)
Last week, President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a first-ever federal carbon pollution standard for every new power plant built in America. This is a game changer for the climate – especially because power plants are our single largest source of carbon pollution. Submit a public comment to the EPA in support of the standard and your voice will be part of the official record.

League Urges Senate to Oppose H.R. 2019 (NEW)
The League signed on to a letter that asks the U.S. Senate to oppose H.R. 2019. The bill contains a section that would repeal the presidential public financing system. The League believes that the presidential public financing system is necessary to protect citizens against government corruption and to provide presidential candidates with an alternative, citizen-based means to finance their campaigns.



Join Us for LWV State of the Union (SOTU) Bingo! (NEW)
Mark your calendar for Tuesday, January 28th, because we’re back this year with LWV State of the Union (SOTU) Bingo!  Get your game boards ready and join us on 1/28 when we live-tweet the SOTU and track how the President’s speech aligns with the League’s legislative priorities. Follow along @LWV and use the hashtags #LWV and #SOTU to join in and play along. Good luck!


Membership & leadership

New Webinar Available: Building Your League with Interns (NEW)
“When you work at LWV, you know that you are working towards something important and doing your part to make our political climate more civil and productive,” says Alex Clearfield, a recent intern at LWVUS. Learn how your League can help to educate the next generation of leaders while getting some extra help on the League’s important work by listening to this webinar, which was recorded last week.  Sponsored by the Young People’s Task Force, the webinar focuses on how internships can be mutually beneficial for Leagues and students, the most effective ways to attract the best interns for the specific projects your League is working on and how best to manage, mentor and advise your interns.  More webinars are available in the Nikki Harris Online Training Library.

Update Your Roster = Automatically Entered into Contest (REMINDER)
Time is running out to update your League’s membership roster and to be automatically entered into two great contests.  Update the expiration dates on all your League’s member records by January 20, and you will be eligible to win a Staples gift card.  And, we are rewarding Leagues that have the greatest net membership growth (as of the January 31st deadline) with FREE registration to the LWVUS Convention in Dallas! Take a look at the rules for this contest and enter to win! For assistance on working in the database, download the user manual or contact membership@lwv.org.  Thank you for all your hard work on this process.


Education Fund - Elections

LWVEF’s Youth Voter Registration Program Launches in 40 Communities (NEW)
Read our brand new blog about the 2014 Youth Voter Registration Program kicking off this week in about forty communities nationwide! LWVEF is thrilled to be providing pass-through grant support to support Leagues’ work to engage and empower young voters in 2014.  Want to start your own youth engagement program? Download our handy Empowering the Voters of Tomorrow training manual and our voter registration tips to get started today!



Agriculture Update (NEW)
The Agriculture Update Leaders’ Guide is now posted on the Agriculture Update page along with the Consensus questions and the 23 resource papers. The Agriculture Update Leaders’ Guide includes tips on conducting your meeting and presenting the material together with suggested readings in the resource papers that would be most important for each of the consensus questions. Please use the Agriculture Update group in the LWVUS Forums or contact Agriculture Update Chair Norman Turrill, at LWVTurrill@mac.com  if there are more questions.

Program Planning Response Form Online (Reminder)
The Program Planning Response Form is now online!  Every two years state and local Leagues and ILO’s participate in the LWVUS Program Planning process by making recommendations concerning program issues.   The Program Planning process is an important League tool for identifying issues for study, review and update or concurrence.   Read the Program Planning Leaders Guide to assist you in your January/February 2014 Program Planning meeting.  If you have questions on the program planning process please email progplan@lwv.org. Also, please be sure to update the database to reflect who the program planning chair is for your League.

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