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League of Women Voters

The League Update


JANUARY 15, 2015

Dear Friend,

Monday, we commemorate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. In light of recent protests of the treatment of racial minorities by police departments around the country, we should take the opportunity on this solemn occasion to renew our commitment to ensuring that every eligible voter has free and fair access to the polls. In many communities this year, voters will go to the polls to choose the very local officials who set the policy and tone for law enforcement. While so much media attention is focused on the presidential race nearly two years away, League members know that these local elections matter more in so many ways. Let us resolve to do all we can to get our communities engaged and involved in finding solutions to the problems that continue to plague us.

Next Tuesday, our nation’s first African American president will deliver his 5th State of the Union address and for the third time, the League invites you and your friends and neighbors to join us in playing State of the Union (SOTU) bingo. Download this handy tool for following President Obama’s speech and tracking the issues that he mentions. For those who are on Twitter, don’t forget to follow the League and to tweet your followers on Tuesday night. This is an easy and fun way to track how the President’s speech and agenda for our nation match up with League priorities.

Finally, next week we mark the anniversaries of two landmark Supreme Court decisions: Roe v. Wade and Citizens United. In the forty-two years since the Roe decision, the League is proud of its ongoing role in the fight to support and protect women’s reproductive rights. The fight tao limit big money and stop secret money in our elections continues. It has been five years since the Citizens United decision and the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the federal agency in charge of our nation’s campaign finance laws, has done practically nothing to address the U.S. Supreme Court’s disappointing decision, which unleashed the secret and unlimited spending. We must continue our efforts to stop secret money from overrunning our elections.

While we have much to do on so many fronts, we also have many allies and many tools at our disposal. This is a new year and it is time to roll up our sleeves and Make Democracy Work®!

In League,


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.



  • League Joins Amicus Brief in Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar (NEW)
  • Obama Administration Releases New Proposed Methane Regulations (NEW)
  • League Urges Senators to Stand up for the Environment (NEW)
  • LWVUS Climate Change Toolkit Updated! (NEW)


  • New and Improved High School Voter Registration Training Manual (REMINDER)


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


  • Update Your Rosters! (REMINDER)
  • League Can and Should be Fun! (NEW)


  • Sign Up for Program Planning and Support Webinar! (FINAL REMINDER)
  • Opportunity to Attend Commission on the Status of Women Session at United Nations In March 2015 (REMINDER)
  • Clearinghouse: State and Local Program Planning? Here’s the Plan (NEW)


League Joins Amicus Brief in Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar (NEW)
The LWVUS and the League of Women Voters of Florida joined an amicus brief in the case of Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case on January 20, 2015. The case focuses on the constitutionality of prohibitions on direct solicitation by candidates for judicial office. The brief argues that the public must have confidence in the independence and impartiality of judges. Many state Leagues throughout the country work on the issue of judicial elections.

Obama Administration Releases New Proposed Methane Regulations (NEW)
This week, the Obama Administration proposed limits on methane emissions from new sources within the oil and gas industry as part of the Climate Action Plan unveiled by the President in 2013. In a press statement, the League called the proposal “a critical step forward in the fight against climate change” while urging the Administration to “go further and include cuts to emissions from existing sources of this pollutant.”

League Urges Senators to Stand up for the Environment (NEW)
The League sent a letter to the U.S. Senate urging Senators to defend our vital natural resources and protect public health against pollution. Members of the LWVUS Lobby Corps will also deliver this letter in their visits to select offices on Capitol Hill.

LWVUS Climate Change Toolkit Updated! (NEW)
The LWVUS Climate Change Toolkit has been updated to include new resources. Visit the toolkit for resources on how you can increase awareness about and present solutions to fighting climate change in your own community.


New and Improved High School Voter Registration Training Manual (REMINDER)
LWVEF updated its popular Empowering the Voters of Tomorrow training manual for 2015! This publication features a step-by-step guide for conducting effective high school voter registration drives. The manual is also chock-full of customizable planning checklists, template media statements, talking points, activity ideas and other materials to help you stay on track and get the most out of any registration event. Thanks to the many Leagues and other partners who provided feedback. Let’s get to work registering new voters this spring. Our research shows that early spring is THE time to visit high schools and get students registered and ready to vote—so download the manual and get started now.


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

How do we note on our membership roster that one of our long-time members is now a 50-year member?

As a benefit, Leagues are not charged annual PMP for honorary members. To denote honorary members in the database, you can change their member code. Additionally, we can send a certificate of congratulations to the 50-year member directly or to a leader of your League to present at an upcoming League event. Please contact membership@lwv.org and allow two weeks for processing. Any long-time member also can be honored with a donation to the Fund For Local League Growth. Note the honoree’s contact information in the appropriate box.


Join Us for LWV State of the Union (SOTU) Bingo! (NEW)
Mark your calendar for Tuesday, January 20th, because we’re back with State of the Union Bingo! Download your game board (four in total), grab your friends and spread the word to join us on 1/20 when we live-tweet the SOTU and track how the President’s speech aligns with the League’s legislative priorities. Follow both @LWV and @VOTE411 and use the hashtags #LWV and #SOTU to play along.Don’t forget to tweet us photos of your boards and watch parties. Good luck!


Update Your Rosters! (REMINDER)
Keep up the good work to ensure that your League’s member database is as up-to-date as possible!  Summary sheets (the online document that shows your League’s official membership count) are LIVE.  Any changes that you make to your members’ records will be reflected on that page.  The LWVUS Bylaws state that the summary sheets “freeze” on January 31, 2015.  The member count listed at that time will become the official membership count for your League for FY2015-16.  In other words, that number determines the number of voting delegates that your League may send to state convention and what your League will be billed for PMP (per member payment) starting in July 2015.  And don’t forget all of the prizes you can win for updating your member database! For assistance on working in the database, download the user manual or contact database@lwv.org.

League Can and Should be Fun! (NEW)
When asked what their favorite part of League is, many people respond that it’s the people they meet and the bonds they create with other people in their community that keeps them coming back to League. Time and time again, we hear that League members continue to be a part of our organization because they think the League is FUN! They enjoy the good people, lively conversations, and the ability to learn from the others in the League. You can find great tips and tricks for making your next meeting fun and for engaging new leaders in the December 2014 MLD Monthly Guidance. This is one of the monthly training tipsheets provided through the Membership and Leadership Development program (MLD) and supported by the Fund for Local League Growth.


Sign Up for Program Planning and Support Webinar! (FINAL REMINDER)
The LWVUS Program Planning and Support (PP&S) Committee will put on a webinar January 21 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. PP&S Committee Chair Barbara Zia, and Advocacy Chair Chris Carson will outline the basics of the League's program process. The webinar is designed to help Leagues understand League program from A to Z, including how to use national positions to take action locally. You can register for the webinar here. For further information or questions, contact Betsy Lawson at blawson@lwv.org.

Opportunity to Attend Commission on the Status of Women Session at United Nations in March 2015 (REMINDER)
The fifty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 9 to 20 March 2015. Members of the League of Women Voters are invited to attend any or all of the session. We are limited to 20 attendees and registration will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. To register please contact suzanne.maltz6@gmail.com. This year's theme is Beijing +20. The LWVUS will be sponsoring a special panel discussion during the CSW: Women Parliamentarians: Achieving Economic & Social Improvements. Along with our partners (BPW and PPSEAWA), we are working with the governments of Chile, Germany, Philippines and Turkey to host and co-sponsor the event. Additionally, the League will host a reception for our delegation during the first week of the CSW59.

Clearinghouse: State and Local Program Planning? Here’s the Plan (NEW)
With the start of the New Year, many Leagues often focus attention on state and local program planning. Visit the League Clearinghouse, a great resource for program planning, which features League studies in more than 50 subject areas that provide 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

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