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The League Update

April 10, 2014

Dear Friend,

This is National Volunteer Week and a good time to reflect on the importance of volunteers not just in our communities but also in our history. The League is a unique organization in many ways most importantly because the League was born out of the massive volunteer effort to achieve suffrage for women. Our founders all volunteered their time and energy for a great cause. Throughout the history of the League we have relied on volunteers as advocates, educators and managers.

For nearly 100 hundred years, League volunteers have made democracy work in many ways, most recently by protecting the right to vote through advocacy, voter registration drives, and voter education efforts. As we look forward to elections this fall, we know our volunteers will be on the job helping every eligible voter have free and fair access to the polls.
For all you do, thank you!

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.

In This Issue:


  • LWV of Dallas Offering Two Tours for Convention Attendees (NEW)
  • Book Your Room at the Omni Hotel Today (Reminder)


  • Webinar Opportunity: "The 'Grow Me' Coaching Method" (NEW)
  • Thank Your Volunteers! (Reminder)


  • Congressional Recess is a Time to Ask Congress to Move the Voting Rights Act Forward (NEW)
  • Template Letter to the Editor Available Regarding McCutcheon v. FEC (NEW)
  • Working to Protect Our Planet (Reminder)
  • Submit a Comment to the Environmental Protection Agency (Reminder)


  • Sign Up for National Voter Registration Day 2014! (Reminder)


  • National Volunteer Week (NEW)


  • Agriculture Update (Reminder)
  • White House Summit on Working Families (Reminder)

Convention 2014

LWV of Dallas Offering Two Tours for Convention Attendees (NEW)

The Dallas Local Arrangements Committee has arranged two tours on Tuesday, June 10th at 1:00 pm, following the close of Convention.

  1. The Dallas Highlights Tour of the top sites and attractions of downtown Dallas- art, architecture, professional sports, parks and more.
  2. The George W. Bush Presidential Center Tour, located on the campus of the Southern Methodist University.

For a full description of both tours, and to register, go to Dallas tours itinerary. For additional information on tourism in the area, visit the Dallas Visitors Bureau

Book Your Room at the Omni Hotel Today (Reminder)
Take a moment before the fast approaching April holidays and reserve your Convention hotel room at the Omni to ensure you get the League's special rate. See you in Dallas!

Don't forget, visit our Convention 2014 page to see what is planned and visit the Convention Forum at forum.lwv.org for the latest discussion!



Time for Local and State League Program Planning!

Jump start your League program review and planning for spring annual meetings by visiting the League Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse provides scope and focus of a topic, research methodology, sources consulted, information about positions, and consensus questions. 

Note: the Clearinghouse accepts positions without studies, even as multi-position documents, if they are accompanied by a single submission form. Complete studies are preferred, and Leagues may add study documents at a later date.

Share your studies! Share our strength! Just a click away: http://clearinghouse.lwv.org

Membership & leadership

Webinar Opportunity: "The 'Grow Me' Coaching Method" (NEW)
League leaders are invited to join us for a webinar entitled "The 'Grow Me' Coaching Method" on Thursday, May 1st at 12:00 pm EDT (11:00 am CDT, 10:00 am MDT, and 9:00 am PDT). This webinar will dive deeply into some of the coaching techniques offered by the "Grow Me" coaching method and will explore the best questions to be asking as a coach and the ways in which coaches and Leagues can be evaluating their own progress within the MLD Program. Register for this webinar today!

Thank Your Volunteers! (Reminder)
This week is National Volunteer Week - the perfect opportunity to thank all those who make your League a success! A recent study by Volunteer Canada showed that 70% of volunteers would like to be thanked "in person on an ongoing, informal basis."  How do you thank your volunteers?  Suggestions might include:  highlight volunteers and the impact of their work on your website or in your newsletter, intentionally make a follow-up thank you note or card a standard part of all of our work, and most importantly, let our volunteers know about the impact that their efforts make.  Looking for something special for National Volunteer Week?  Use this postcard template (which fits postcard paper such as Avery 5389) to send a note of personal thanks.



Congressional Recess is a Time to Ask Congress to Move the Voting Rights Act Forward (NEW)
In January, 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. Despite the importance of this legislation, Congress has failed to move it forward. The April congressional recess is an excellent opportunity to meet with your Representatives in district and urge them to move this legislation forward. A listing of some Congressional town halls and meetings is available from LWVUS. Please contact Jessica Jones at jjones@lwv.org about how we can work together to move this bipartisan effort to fix the damage done by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Shelby v. Holder to the next level. 

Template Letter to the Editor Available Regarding McCutcheon v. FEC (NEW)
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court released its decision in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. The court ruled that aggregate campaign contribution limits are invalid and opened a loophole allowing political parties to be further corrupted by big-money contributions from special interests. Use this template Letter to the Editor to educate your community about the damaging impact this case will have on our political process.

Working to Protect Our Planet (Reminder)
The LWVUS Climate Change Task Force (CCTF) encourages League members to put climate action on their League's agenda. Climate action can take many forms, ranging from one event to a longer-term initiative.  Earth Day celebrations, for example, provide a good opportunity to enlist support for climate solutions, such as the EPA's proposed carbon pollution standard for new power plants.  Find more information and ideas for Earth Day 2014 -- April 22; and for an example of a sustained climate initiative, read about the LWV La Plata County's climate-focused observer corps and community forum. The CCTF would like to hear from more Leagues about how they have been working to protect our planet.  Please send your League's climate action story to CCTF Chair Eleanor Revelle (er@revelle.net).

Submit a Comment to the Environmental Protection Agency (Reminder)
The EPA has extended the deadline for public comments for the proposed federal carbon pollution standard for every new power plant built in America. The new deadline is May 9, 2014. Submit a public comment to the EPA in support of the standard and your voice will be part of the official record.


Education Fund: Elections

Sign Up for National Voter Registration Day 2014! (Reminder)
Leagues are once again invited to sign up as official partners for National Voter Registration Day 2014 (NVRD), which will take place 9/23/2014. In 2014, LWVEF aims to secure participation from a record 350 Leagues! Sign up early to ensure your League receives free materials, training opportunities, and more in the coming months. If you organized an NVRD event for your League last year, check your inbox for a recent email from Emily Alsleben and sign up using the customized link provided. If your League is signing up to participate for the first time this year, get started by visiting http://www.nationalvoterregistrationday.org/signup. All that is needed now is your League's intention to participate in this nationwide celebration of voter registration; you will have ample opportunity to provide more details about your local events as the day approaches. Contact Maggie Duncan (mduncan@lwv.org) with questions.


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.

Do the LWV Website(s) have an index or a table of contents?

A sitemap is a web page that lists the pages on a web site, typically organized in hierarchical fashion. Think of them as a table of contents or an index. On lwv.org, you can find the sitemap by scrolling to the bottom of any page on lwv.org and looking in the footer for the word "sitemap."

The sitemap on lwv.org contains the typical hierarchical links plus the table of contents for Impact on Issues and links to our issue work.

For the Member Resources area, the specific content categories of Our Work, Manage Your League, Member and Leader Development and Convention all have individual sitemaps. These sitemaps can be found on the right hand side of the sub-category pages, like the General Information page under Convention 2014 or the Agriculture Update page.

To log in and access the Forums, visit "Getting started on the Forums."


National Volunteer Week (NEW)
To celebrate National Volunteer Week, members of the LWVUS staff have been blogging about how inspired we are by our hard-working members and committed volunteers. From those who work with VOTE411 to provide voters with needed information, to members of our Lobby Corps, to the members of the Young People's Task Force to those registering voters across the country, and the state and national coaches who help strengthen the League, we are so incredibly thankful for your hard work and commitment to our democracy. Please read our blog posts and help us to celebrate by sharing this image on Facebook.



LWVUS Direct Marketing Program Featured in April FundRaising Success Magazine
LWVUS' direct marketing program is one of three organizations featured in the latest issue of FundRaising Success magazine -- a leading publication serving the nonprofit sector. The informative article includes details about LWVUS' highly successful acquisition package, and offers tips and suggestions that any fundraising effort can use. Click the following links to read the article and view a slideshow of LWVUS' acquisition package.

Agriculture Update (Reminder)
All Agriculture Update materials including the update papers, Leaders' Guide and online response form are posted on the Member Resources website and Leagues are encouraged to meet and submit consensus forms by the deadline of April 18, 2014. Additional reference materials and guides provided by local Leagues can be found at the Agriculture Update Forum. Contact Agriculture Update Chair Norman Turrill at LWVTurrill@mac.com if there are more questions.

White House Summit on Working Families (Reminder)
Leading up to a June 2014 Summit on Working Families to focus on creating a 21st century workplace that works for all Americans, The White House, the Department of Labor (DOL), and the Center for American Progress (CAP) are holding meetings in select cities to hear from citizens about issues that impact their working lives. The issues include: Family and Medical Leave, Paycheck Fairness and Work-Family Balance. Leagues that are working on these issues or interested in doing so, can go to http://www.dol.gov/wb/workingfamilies/ for more information.


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