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The League Update

April 17, 2014

Dear Friend,

National convention is less than two months away. Convention is the opportunity for us to come together as one organization to plan for the next two years and even beyond. There are so many important issues facing our nation and our communities that finding the most productive focus is always a challenge. The LWVUS board contributes to that planning process by making recommendations, based on member input, with regard to program and bylaws amendments and by proposing a budget for the biennium. Next week, the LWVUS will be sending the 2014-2016 proposed bylaws, budget and program to League leaders and members through an email and this weekly League Update. Check your inboxes, the Members Resources website and Forums for access to all of this information.

In making recommendations this year, as in past years, the board took a forward looking approach to benefit the entire organization. For example, the proposed budget continues to invest in a constituent relationship management system capable of meeting the needs not just of the LWVUS, but also, over time, the needs of state and local Leagues as well. The budget also continues to invest in improvements to the online capabilities of LWVUS and begins the process of extending those improvements to the Leagues. The recommended program is designed to capitalize on the election and voter protection work of the past nearly 15 years by expanding our approach to include education and action to impact the key structures of democracy. Building on the trends of the past several conventions, the board is also recommending a concurrence designed as much to create opportunities for action at the state and local levels as well as action at the national level. Even in recommending amendments to the bylaws, the goal is to create flexibility allowing the LWVUS to adapt to ever changing environments administratively and programmatically.

At each national convention leading up to the all-important 100th anniversary, we need to be as strategic as possible in finding the place where member interest and passion best intersects with the opportunity to have real impact. Making Democracy Work® requires focusing our efforts where they can do the most good.

Looking forward to seeing everyone in Dallas,

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.

In This Issue:


  • Webinar Opportunity: Learn more about National Convention (NEW)
  • Important Information for Candidates for LWVUS Office (NEW)
  • How to Contact the Resolutions Committee (NEW)
  • Book Your Room at the Omni Today (Reminder)


  • VOTE411 -- New Webinars Available (NEW)
  • Plan Ahead for Effective Voter Registration (Reminder)


  • Webinar Opportunity: “The ‘Grow Me’ Coaching Method” (Reminder)


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


  • Agriculture Study (Final Reminder)
  • LWVUS Coalition List (NEW)
  • White House Summit on Working Families (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.

Can I underwrite some of the cost of attending LWVUS Convention with education fund monies?

Yes, you can use Education Fund money for up to 25% of your Convention costs (including registration fee, travel, and hotel).

While at convention, you need to track that 25% of your time was spent participating in educational activities (training tracks, panel discussions, educational caucuses).

If your League holds its education fund account with LWVEF, you may submit a withdrawal request to be reimbursed AFTER Convention.

If you have suggestions for specific webinar topics, please send them kmcfarland@lwv.org.


Convention 2014

Webinar Opportunity: Learn more about National Convention (NEW)
Register for our Convention webinar on Wednesday, May 14th at 3:00 pm EDT, entitled Get the most out of Convention: Power the League at all Level. This session will help you learn more about the business of the convention, opportunities for networking fun, speakers, and programs planned.

Important Information for Candidates for LWVUS Office (NEW)
The Campaign Oversight Committee (COC) is committed to ensuring that campaigns for LWVUS Board of Directors and Nominating Committee are conducted in a fair and open manner to enable the membership to make informed choices at the 2014 Convention. In January, Marlys Robertson - Chair (CO), Nancy Eitreim (WA) and Donna Lauffer (KS) were appointed to serve on this committee. The Campaign Policies for Candidates for LWVUS Office outline the procedures for running for national League office. All candidates, including those who might be nominated during the first plenary session, should become familiar with these policies. To learn more, read this memo from the Committee or contact COC staffer Kelly McFarland Stratman at kmcfarland@lwv.org. Information about the nominated slate of officers and directors is available online.

How to Contact the Resolutions Committee (NEW)
A process about how to advance a resolution at National Convention will be presented to delegates at Convention 2014 as part of the Convention Rules. The Resolutions Committee referenced in the proposed rule has been appointed. They include: Jennifer Waggoner (CA) -- Chair, Nancy Brown (OH), Darlene Hicks (TX), Toni Larson (LWVUS), and Janis McMillen (LWVUS). Any questions about the process or specific proposals can be directed to the Committee at resolutions@lwv.org.

Book Your Room at the Omni 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!


Education Fund - Elections

VOTE411 -- New Webinars Available (NEW)
Good news: Updated webinars for VOTE411’s Voters’ Guide Software are now available. The Voters’ Guide Software allows state and local Leagues to gather and publish candidate information with ease, consistency and visibility. These webinars provide helpful information and training for Leagues currently using the software and for Leagues interested in learning more about this tool. The webinars currently available are: Basic Training, Spreadsheet Upload, GIS Data, Mail Merge, Alternate Languages, Creating Ballot Measures, Exporting Races and Importing Races through a Spreadsheet. All webinars can be found at the bottom of this page. For more information about these webinars or if you have any questions about VOTE411 and how you can get involved, contact Megan Brown (mbrown@lwv.org).

Plan Ahead for Effective Voter Registration (Reminder)
Whether you’re visiting high schools to register voters this spring, planning for National Voter Registration Day 2014 (sign up at www.nationalvoterregistrationday.org), or gearing up for other registration activities, now is the time to gather your team and start mapping out your work. Browse our tips for voter registration drives here, and be sure to make use of our helpful visibility template materials and follow-up scripts for reminding voters about upcoming primary election dates.




Many Leagues have just completed or are in the process of completing studies. Make sure that part of the wrap-up of a study is to submit it and any new position to the Clearinghouse--the great resource that features League studies in more than 50 subject areas.

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. The description section could have "Resulting Position:" and the position statement or a link to the position. 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” (Reminder)
League leaders are invited to join us for a webinar entitled “The ‘Grow Me’ Coaching Method” on Thursday May 1 at 12:00 pm EDT (11:00 am CDT, 10:00 am MDT, and 9:00 am PDT). This webinar will dive more 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.



Congressional Recess is a Time to Ask Congress to Move the Voting Rights Act Forward (Reminder)
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 (Reminder)
Earlier this month, 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.



Agriculture Update (Final 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 (you need to be logged in to access the discussion forums). Contact Agriculture Update Chair Norman Turrill at LWVTurrill@mac.com if there are more questions.

LWVUS Coalition List (NEW)
The LWVUS Board met in April and approved the updated version of the League of Women Voters Coalition List. Here you are able to locate information on the League’s official partnerships and coalition memberships. View the entire list online.

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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