June 11, 2015
A visit to Des Moines, Iowa on a lovely spring weekend makes it easy to see why candidates are so eager to spend so much time in that state. Aside from the high visibility caucuses, Iowa is just a lovely place to go, especially if you have the privilege of doing so for a meeting of the League of Women Voters. I was honored to attend state convention last weekend in Des Moines and to once again see first-hand all the great work League volunteers are doing Making Democracy Work® in every state and hundreds of local communities.
In the lead up to any convention there is always tremendous work to do and the LWVIA and the local arrangements committee in the LWV of Metro Des Moines did an outstanding job of planning this convention right down to the last detail, including getting great visibility for the event. I was delighted to do my part with an interview that appeared in the Des Moines Register, but the in-coming co-presidents Bonnie Pitz and Deb Turner surpassed themselves with radio, television and print media interviews prior to the meeting.
The 100 attendees began arriving on Friday afternoon for a caucus focused on organizing an Inter League Organization to address the regional water issues on the Upper Mississippi River. An after dinner social for convention delegates and guests was well attended and terrific fun. The convention was held at Des Moines University and featured a wares mart with tables staffed by many League coalition partners, a silent auction as well as a lunchtime story-telling presentation about Edna Griffin, an African American leader in Des Moines who in the 1940’s publicly protested the color bar at a local business and through a lawsuit overturned that bar for every business in Des Moines.
The convention rather unexpectedly coincided with sine die of the Iowa legislature. The League, of course, was very active during the session that was prolonged by disagreements over the budget. Online voter registration which was a priority for the League this year did not pass both houses but hopes are high for next year. Voter registration was a priority for every local League as we heard during an action packed roll call and the state League worked successfully to use VOTE411.org for voters’ guides. With graduation season upon us, it is a great time to celebrate voting! Send our graduation e-card to the young people in your life who may need to register to vote or update their registration.
There is no denying that I have the best job in League and that fact is reinforced every time I have the privilege of visiting a state or local League. Our grassroots volunteers are truly community miracle-workers. I look forward to attending convention in Minnesota this weekend and seeing many of our state leaders at Council in Washington next week. In the meantime, thank you for all you do.
NOTE: There will be no League Update next week, June 18, 2105, as LWVUS staff and delegates will be gathering just outside of Washington, DC to get Council 2015 underway. The League Update will return on Thursday, June 25 with updates from Council and more!
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:
MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP
- Webinar Opportunity: Messaging for Impact (NEW)
- Embracing the Future: Leading the Way (REMINDER)
- Leadership Transitions (NEW)
EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS
- 2015 State Legislative Update: Pro-Voter Reforms Outpace Attacks on Voting Rights (NEW)
- Share our Graduation E-Card and Encourage Young People to Register to Vote! (NEW)
EDUCATION FUND - KEY STRUCTURES OF DEMOCRACY
- Three Resources Available Online - Redistricting Task Force (NEW)
- History of Campaign Finance Chart Available - Money in Politics Review (NEW)
- League Supports "Lobbying and Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2015" (NEW)
- Tell Your Representative to Redefine Coordination (REMINDER)
- Is Your League Website a Fresh Feast or an Old Fish? (NEW)
- Happy Annual Meeting Month: League Clearinghouse for New Studies (REMINDER)
MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP
Webinar Opportunity: Messaging for Impact (NEW)
Join branding expert Michelle Molloy and LWVUS staff on Wednesday, July 1 at 3 pm ET for this session about how to generate visibility and communicate strategically for impact. During this session, you will learn how to talk about our amazing 95-year history while building the organization for the future. To register, click here.
Embracing the Future: Leading the Way (REMINDER)
The Nominating Committee is looking for League leaders who will not only embrace the future, but will be the ones to lead us there. You can assist us in reaching this goal. Know someone you think would be a great member of the 2016-2018 national League leadership team (LWVUS Board and Nominating Committee)? Talk to them, get their permission to recommend them as nominees, and complete this short nomination form. Deadline for submitting forms is September 30, 2015. Additional information, references and a resume are due by November 15. Be sure to read the process and timeline documents for additional information.
Leadership Transitions (NEW)
At this time of leadership transitions, many local and state Leagues may be working hard to ensure a seamless succession. Be sure that your League’s efforts/successes to build capacity don’t fade! While written specifically for the Membership & Leadership Development (MLD) program, this April 2015 guidance has useful tips for all transitions especially in helping League leaders think about building strong relationships, identifying common goals and defining success.
EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS
2015 State Legislative Update: Pro-Voter Reforms Outpace Attacks on Voting Rights (NEW)
Over the past 10 years, our country has seen a steady increase in the attacks on voting rights sweep across the states. However, an overview of this year’s activities in the states shows that, so far, 2015 has bucked this trend.
Share our Graduation E-Card and Encourage Young People to Register to Vote! (NEW)
Graduation season is a great time to celebrate voting! Send our graduation e-card to the young people in your life who may need to register to vote or update their registration. Consider also sharing this e-card message with League members, teachers, administrators, partners and others in your networks to help spread the word about the importance of voting. For more ideas on engaging young people in civic life, check out our High School Voter Registration training manual.
EDUCATION FUND - KEY STRUCTURES OF DEMOCRACY
Three Resources Available Online - Redistricting Task Force (NEW)
The LWVUS Redistricting Task Force (RTF) was appointed to assist LWVUS in assessing what might be needed and develop materials for Leagues to use in redistricting efforts across the country. The RTF has just posted three resources for Leagues to use when considering redistricting efforts in their own states and localities. The resources include an FAQ, glossary and listing of resources from outside sources. All of the documents can be found on the Redistricting Task Force page of the League Management site.
History of Campaign Finance Chart Available - Money in Politics Review (NEW)
The History of Campaign Finance Chart, which outlines key statutes, actions and court cases in the 20th and 21st centuries, is now posted on the League Management website. The chart provides a comprehensive overview of the evolution of campaign finance law through Congress and the Supreme Court. The chart, as well as Definitions for Money in Politics Terms can be found on the Money in Politics Review page. For inquiries on the MIP Review, you can contact Barbara Zia at MIPCommitteeChair@lwv.org.
League Supports "Lobbying and Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2015"(NEW)
The League sent a letter to the U.S. Senate with other reform groups expressing support for the Lobbying and Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2015. This legislation, sponsored by Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) would limit the ability of lobbyists to use bundled contributions to buy influence with members of Congress.
Tell Your Representative to Redefine Coordination (REMINDER)
It’s time to close the loopholes in our campaign contribution system and strengthen the rules prohibiting coordination between candidates and outside spending groups. Tell your Representative to cosponsor and support HR 425, the “Stop Super PAC -- Candidate Coordination Act” introduced by Representatives David Price and Chris Van Hollen.
Is Your League Website a Fresh Feast or an Old Fish? (NEW)
Imagine that a new friend invites you over for a lunch, but serves you leftovers from last month. No one would think that is acceptable! Why is it ok for your website to stink like an old fish? When you see a League calendar full of exciting upcoming events, you feel like you’re invited to a feast. Don’t let out of date content cause your League to look incompetent and uninviting online. We’re adding features to the new League Easy Web (LEW) system to help our users be sure to keep their website up-to-date. Come talk one-on-one at LWVUS Council during optional breakouts from 8-9pm Friday evening and 1:45-3pm Saturday afternoon. Bring your laptop; we’ll have wifi! All Leagues are invited to try the LEW system for free: just contact us.
Happy Annual Meeting Month: League Clearinghouse for New Studies (REMINDER)
Donate to the League and support our work.
New studies adopted at your annual meeting? Jumpstart those new items by visiting the League 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. Do you have studies, including those on local issues, completed? Post them to the Clearinghouse to benefit other Leagues. Note: the Clearinghouse accepts positions without their supporting 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!