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League of Women Voters Leaders' Update

February 6, 2014

In This Issue:


  • Request Caucus Space at National Convention (NEW)
  • Learn More about Convention 2014:  Join the Webinar on February 26 at 3 pm ET (NEW)


  • 94th Anniversary Press Template (NEW)


  • Voting Rights Act Fix Introduced in Congress! (Reminder)
  • Support EPA's Limits on Carbon Pollution (Reminder)
  • Legislative Priorities for 2014 (NEW)


  • Thank You for Updating the LWVUS Database! (NEW)
  • LWVUS Welcomes Two New Local Leagues (NEW)
  • Win an Award for Your League’s Good Work – Deadline March 1 (Reminder)


  • Program Planning (Reminder)

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.

The Leaders’ Update is full of so much good information for League leaders.  Who gets it?  Do I need to forward it to my board? 

The Leaders’ Update goes to over 6,300 League leaders each week, and we encourage you to share it with others in your League as appropriate. 

If a member is coded as a current officer in the member database, they are automatically included on the Leaders’ Update distribution list, which is an important reason to ensure that the leadership information in the database is up-to-date. 

Because of the “internal” nature of the content of the Update, it is not automatically sent to every member.  But, any active member can sign up for the Leaders’ Update by emailing database@lwv.org and including their name, League and the email address where they want to receive the Update. (Once a member is coded as a past officer of their League they no longer automatically receive the Update and will have to sign up using the method above.)

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

Dear Friend,

Over this past weekend, the LWVUS Board met. Among many other things, the Board considered a written request to extend the consensus deadline for the Agriculture Update. The decision to maintain the current consensus deadline of April 18, 2014, was taken in the context of the work we have before us, as an organization. This is a federal election year and a national convention year. State and local program is a critical component of every League calendar. An extension of the consensus deadline impinges on the ability of state and local Leagues to plan for the next two years and the ability of the delegates to Convention 2014 to debate and adopt new governmental issues for concerted study in the next biennium.

There is no doubt that the Agriculture Update is more complex than any of us anticipated, but the best chance to reach consensus on all or part of this study is to do the best we can and stick to a schedule that will complete this study before our next convention. We must bear in mind that the volunteer members of the study committee have worked very hard to produce excellent material and that while some Leagues would like more time, many other Leagues are scheduling consensus meetings and trying to work with the material provided in the existing timeframe.

That being said, we recognize that the volume of the material relative to the deadline for consensus is challenging for all. We are grateful for the summary and fact sheets that have been posted to the Agriculture Update Forum and we encourage every League to make use of these additional materials as study guides. Furthermore, we understand that every League may not have the capacity to address every question in the study. Leagues leaders should feel free to do as much or as little of the study as they feel they can manage even though this may impact our ability to ultimately arrive at consensus on the study as whole or even on parts of the study. We have adapted the consensus response form to provide categories of ‘No Consensus’ and ‘No Response.’ Leagues will be required to answer all questions in the entire online consensus form, even if the answer is ‘No Response’ on some questions.

Modern digital communication made it possible for the League to once again undertake national studies. But there is a trade-off. We ask a lot of the volunteers, including the Board volunteers, who spend hours on email and conference calls in the midst of their everyday lives working on study material. In turn, we can only do the best we can to put their work to good use in educating ourselves on important national topics to update and add to LWVUS position statements.

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.

Convention 2014

Request Caucus Space at National Convention (NEW)
Interested in holding a caucus at Convention 2014? More information and instructions on how to apply for caucus space is available here. All requests should be made using the online form. Space is limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Questions? Contact Vicky Strella, vstrella@lwv.org.

Learn More about Convention 2014:  Join the Webinar on February 26 at 3 pm ET (NEW)
Curious about what happens at a national convention?  Do you want to know the specifics of this year’s convention in Dallas?  Join national Board and staff for an informational webinar about Convention 2014 on February 26, at 3:00 pm ET. Register now to participate!  Until then, visit our Convention 2014 page to see what is planned and visit the Convention Forum at forum.lwv.org for the latest discussion!



94th Anniversary Press Template (NEW)
Please tailor our template press statement to recognize the League’s 94th anniversary. The statement ties our history and work with the importance of passing the newly introduced Voting Rights Amendment Act.



Voting Rights Act Fix Introduced in Congress! (Reminder)
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) have 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 (Reminder)
President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have 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.

LWVUS Legislative Priorities for 2014 (NEW)
The LWVUS Board established the following as Legislative Priorities for 2014: Money in Politics and Voting Rights.  

In addition, the following were included as a second tier of focus for 2014: Affordable Care Act, Reproductive Choice, Immigration and the Environment.

Other issues, third tier (watch) such as Fiscal Policy/Social and Economic Justice and Gun Safety may be acted on as opportunities arise for League action, if they do not interfere with action on an LWVUS priority, and it appears the LWVUS can make an impact.

The Board considered many issues and the responses from League members suggesting Legislative Priorities. The decisions were based on what issues are likely to come before the second session of the 113th Congress, the opportunities to make an impact, program decisions made by members at the last Convention, member interest, and resources available to manage these priorities effectively. The Board reviews these priorities throughout the year, making changes if necessary.


Membership & leadership

Thank You for Updating the LWVUS Database! (NEW)
Thank you to all the League members who updated the online roster! The membership numbers reflected in the LWVUS database by YOU help show our powerful nationwide presence and will assist all Leagues in fundraising, advocating, and educating. The changes you made in the LWVUS membership database before the January 31 deadline will be reflected in your League’s SUMMARY SHEET and will ensure correct PMP billing. If you have any questions, please contact membership@lwv.org.

LWVUS Welcomes Two New Local Leagues (NEW)
LWVUS is pleased to welcome the League of Women Voters of Prince George’s County (MD) and the League of Women Voters of Marion County (FL). These Leagues have demonstrated their dedication to protecting and strengthening our democracy, and we look forward to their future successes. Special thanks are extended to LWV of Maryland and LWV of Florida for mentoring these League groups!

Win an Award for Your League’s Good Work – Deadline March 1 (Reminder)
Power: Our Voices, Our Votes Awards will reflect the Leagues’ work to strengthen our democracy, including protecting the right to vote and advocating for change.  Leagues may apply for awards in four categories:  Effective Member Engagement, Strengthening Democracy, High Impact Online Engagement, and Community Connection.  Finalists will be announced on www.lwv.org, and the winners will be announced at Convention 2014.  Learn more or apply today. All applications are due by March 1.



Program Planning (Reminder)
Leagues should be holding LWVUS program planning meetings in anticipation of the March 1 deadline. The Program Planning process is an important League tool for identifying issues for study, review and update or concurrence. Recommending an issue is not required - no recommendation is one of the options, but please use the comments section of the response form to tell us that your League met and had no issues to recommend this time. The Leaders Guide and response form are now available online. If you have questions on the program planning process, please email progplan@lwv.org.


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