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League of Women Voters

The League Update


NOVEMBER 20, 2014

Dear Friend,

This evening, President Obama is expected to announce an executive order limiting the deportation of many undocumented immigrants, based in large part on familial relationships to U.S. citizens. As you know, the League has studied the immigration issue and developed a position on deportation of unauthorized Immigrants already in the United States. The League supports a system for such immigrants to earn legal status, and the League does not support deporting such immigrants with no history of criminal activity until such a path to legal status is achieved. The President’s executive order is an exercise of discretion that the League position clearly anticipates.

The exercise of such discretion is often overlooked as a means to achieving desired ends. Discretion in the execution of the law, often referred to as prosecutorial discretion, is essential to the just and efficient allocation of scarce resources at every level of government. In the area of immigration, federal authorities must constantly choose which cases to pursue; in addition they rely on local law enforcement authorities to arrest and house undocumented immigrants. Those local authorities have discretion as well. Often those local authorities are elected officials whose decisions reflect the culture and needs of their communities. For example, this morning in my local newspaper there is article about a local sheriff who has declined to hold detainees in the local jail for deportation. This sheriff is not alone, either here in Georgia or elsewhere in the country.

Elected officials depend on input from the community to inform the exercise of their discretion in determining where to focus public resources. In the area of immigration, the League believes that law enforcement resources should not be wasted on deporting law-abiding immigrants regardless of their legal status. We can make that position known in Washington and in our state and local communities as well. Prosecutorial discretion offers the community an opportunity to shape sensible policies that reflect our values and promote the interests of justice.

In League,


NOTE: There will be no League Update on Thursday, November 27, 2014 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. The League Update will resume on Thursday, December 4, 2014.

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.



  • Tell the FEC What to do About Citizens United (NEW)
  • League Encouraged by U.S. Senate Vote on Keystone XL Pipeline (NEW)
  • Last Chance for Action on EPA Clean Power! (FINAL REMINDER)


  • Tips on Renewing Members (NEW)
  • Success Story: LWV of Moscow, ID Holds Speaker Series; Increases Membership and Public Knowledge (NEW)
  • Individuals Give the Gift of League this Holiday Season (REMINDER)
  • Database Challenges — Keep Going and Win Prizes for Your Leagues! (REMINDER)


  • Free Materials if you Complete Our Election Season Activities Survey (REMINDER)


  • Social Security Toolkit Available for Leagues (NEW)
  • Sale Prices on Holiday Gifts at the LWV Store (NEW)


Tell the FEC What to do About Citizens United (NEW)
The Federal Election Commission (FEC), the federal agency in charge of our nation’s campaign finance laws, is now receiving public comment about steps they should take “to address corruption in the political process.” The FEC can do something to stop the secret money polluting our elections and end coordinated expenditures by outside groups. Take action now to tell the FEC to act and enforce the law.

League Encouraged by U.S. Senate Vote on Keystone XL Pipeline (NEW)
The U.S. Senate voted on Tuesday to defeat S. 2280, a bill that would have approved the Keystone XL Pipeline. It was a close, 59-41 vote, that the League called “a decision that puts the health and safety of Americans ahead of blind reliance on fossil fuels.”

Last Chance for Action on EPA Clean Power! (FINAL REMINDER)
The deadline to comment on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed regulation to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants is December 1st. The proposal puts the U.S. at the forefront of the fight against climate change, but the EPA needs your input in order to finalize this groundbreaking proposal. Join the League in supporting the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan—send a comment to the EPA by the December 1 deadline!


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

My League wants to take action on an issue before our city council.  Can we base our action on a LWVUS position or do we have to do our own local study?

Use the LWVUS position!  There are over 58 LWVUS positions, many of which are vertical positions that local and state Leagues can and do use. Local Leagues are able to use applicable local, state and national positions to take action at the local level. Impact on Issues is your best resource for information on LWVUS positions and we are currently selling this publication at a reduced rate of $4.00 (plus S&H)! Please visit our online League Store to purchase your copy today as supplies are limited. The 2014-2016 edition of Impact will be available in 2015. Check future League Updates for suggestions from the LWVUS Program Planning and Support Committee for ways that Leagues are making an impact in their communities using League positions.


Tips on Renewing Members (NEW)
Read this Memo on Membership Renewal from December 2013 (scroll down the page) for tips and suggestions on renewing members. This is one of the monthly training tip sheets provided through the Membership and Leadership Development program (MLD) and supported by the Fund for Local League Growth. Make sure to click on the Resources at the bottom of the document to access the sample renewal letter and interest surveys! They have been updated to reflect the 2014-2015 Fiscal Year.

Success Story: LWV of Moscow, ID Holds Speaker Series; Increases Membership and Public Knowledge (NEW)
In Moscow, Idaho students from the University of Idaho, residents of the town as well as from the surrounding area have had the opportunity to learn about a wide array of important topics for years now, thanks to the League of Women Voters of Moscow. The LWV of Moscow sponsors a weekly speaker series with topics ranging from international relations to local issues of importance at the community level. Held in accessible locations and with interesting speakers to spur conversations, these talks have been well attended and resulted in membership growth for the League. You can read more about this great series of success on the Members Resource website.

Let Individuals Give the Gift of League this Holiday Season (REMINDER)
Looking for the perfect gift this holiday season or do you want to offer friends of the League a great way to honor someone they care about?  Encourage individuals to give the gift of strengthening democracy by donating to League.  You can find lots of great ideas for participating in #GivingTuesday on their website as well as some League specific tools and templates on the Member Resources website. Leagues should take advantage of this national nonprofit opportunity to encourage individuals to make a donation to League this holiday season.  Upload this card template to your League’s site and allow donors to immediately print out a card that they can give to the recipient of the gift.  This will allow individuals to give throughout the holiday season.  (Leagues are encouraged to thank and acknowledge donors through their regular mechanisms for all donations to the organization.)

Database Challenges – Keep Going and Win Prizes for Your Leagues!  (REMINDER)
We are tracking some great progress by local and state League Database Managers, and there is still time to qualify to win prizes. Challenge #1: you can win a $40 gift card for your League if you can update all of your active League members’ membership expiration dates by January 31, 2015. Challenge #2: If you have 85%+ of your active League members’ birthdates entered into the Member Roster by January 31, LWVUS will send you some great items from our League Store! Read further instructions in this document on our website. If you have any questions or need assistance updating your League’s roster, download the user manual or contact Membership@lwv.org.


Free Materials if you Complete Our Election Season Activities Survey (REMINDER)
Please take a few minutes to fill out our Election 2014 Voter Services Activities Survey and tell us what your League did to engage voters this year. Your answers will help inform our future trainings, materials and resources for Leagues and grant programs, enable us to better highlight Leagues’ work from across the nation, and allow us have more productive conversations with potential partners to benefit all levels of the League. Your feedback is important to us! Any League completing the survey before December 19 will be offered *FREE* VOTE411.org sports bags as part of our thanks for filling it out.


Social Security Toolkit Available for Leagues (NEW)
Have you ever wondered what the American public thinks about Social Security? The National Academy of Social Insurance has the answers – including a new toolkit When to Take Social Security: It Pays to Wait, and a new public opinion study on Social Security. Hosting a League event in the near future? Contact karnold@nasi.org  to receive materials or have a Social Security expert speak to your members.

Sale Prices on Holiday Gifts at the LWV Store (NEW)
The holidays are fast approaching and we have plenty of great gift items for your friends, families, and loved ones. Visit the League Store to see what is available. We are offering a limited time special rate on Tumblers/Magnets at $7 per tumbler/$2 a magnet (while supplies last)! Remember you must place your order by December 15th to receive it in time for Christmas.

Donate to the League and support our work.