It’s August and here in the Southeast, children are going back to school. As the school buses start to roll through communities all across the country over the next few weeks, we can be helping voters understand how important the Clean Power Plan is for our children and their future. Already, polluters and their allies across the country are lining up to delay implementation of this plan through court action. It will be up to all of us to remind our state and local leaders that this is a matter of urgency.
The health of our children depends on getting this right. The action is now in the states where the Environmental Protection Agency’s flexible approach permits state governments to customize their plans to fit the overall goals laid out by the agency. The League can play an important role in encouraging states to take advantage of this opportunity to address the needs of their residents and protect public health.
This is also the start of the political season. The presidential primary campaigns are already heating up as are some local and state elections. National Voter Registration Day is a little more than a month away, and we hope to have at least fifty more Leagues sign up before the September 1st deadline. The League has been a leader in this important initiative since its inception in 2012 and this year is no exception. As we all know, voter registration is the key to participation in the democratic process.
In this year, when we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and as we look towards the first presidential election since the Supreme Court gutted key provisions of that law, it is more important than ever that we do everything in our power to make sure that every eligible voter is registered. That’s why when President Obama marked the 50th anniversary of the VRA, he highlighted the need to celebrate National Voter Registration Day and register as many new voters as possible.
Registration is the key to voting and voting is the key to ensuring that the issues that matter to our communities are decided by the many and not by the few. The League has been Making Democracy Work® for 95 years by understanding these realities and taking action to engage our communities. What we do makes all the difference.
In This Issue:EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS | EDUCATION FUND - KEY STRUCTURES OF DEMOCRACY | MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP | ADVOCACY | COMMUNICATIONS | DONATE
League Leaders: 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.
EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS
DEADLINE APPROACHING: National Voter Registration Day: Join 200+ Other Leagues on September 22! (REMINDER)
Time is running out to sign up to host a voter registration drive in your community on September 22nd and be part of National Voter Registration Day! Leagues must sign up by September 1 in order to receive free posters and stickers to help promote your voter registration event. Join hundreds of Leagues and other groups in celebrating democracy nationwide this year. Additional training opportunities and toolkits will be made available once you sign up. Contact Maggie (Duncan) Bush, email@example.com, with questions.
Voter Registration Webinar Training Tuesday, 8/25 at 2pm EDT (NEW)
Want to learn how other Leagues are making the most of their voter registration activities? Looking for ideas on maximizing visibility for your League during the upcoming election season? Interested in hearing more about National Voter Registration Day? Join us for a FREE voter registration webinar training on Tuesday, August 25th at 2pm EDT. Sign up today!
EDUCATION FUND - KEY STRUCTURES OF DEMOCRACY
Constitutional Amendment Study Guide Available (NEW)
The Constitutional Amendment Study Guide is now available for Leagues. The Guide includes the Consensus Questions as well as Pro and Con Arguments, background materials and Points of View. In addition to the Study Guide, brief synopses of two articles by the committee on viewpoints on amending the Constitution espoused by Professors Kathleen Sullivan and Adrian Vermeule are also online.
Sample Money in Politics Voter Template (REMINDER)
A sample template is now available for Leagues to use in state and local Voters outlining how your League can take part in the Money in Politics (MIP) Review. For questions or further information, contact Study Chair Barbara Zia at MIPCommitteeChair@lwv.org.
MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP
Recommend a Leader Who Embraces the Future (NEW)
Step up to recommend other members or yourself as one of the LWVUS officers, directors, and/or LWVUS Nominating Committee members. Deadline of September 30 is fast approaching. The Nominee recommendation form must be completed before anyone recommended can proceed with the process. Just submitting a name is not sufficient. The general skills and experiences needed include the same general areas as those for local and state Leagues: communications, advocacy, savvy in technology, policy-making teambuilding, planning, strategic and critical thinking and development. Be a partner in EMBRACING THE FUTURE: LEADING THE WAY. The LWVUS is an exciting place to apply your skills.
Video of National Council Presenters Available (NEW)
Council 2015 featured several outstanding speakers! Two of them spoke about our core democracy-building work: Professor Erin O’Brien spoke about voting access and reforms and Professor Dan Tokaji spoke about the new “soft money.” Their PowerPoint presentations as well as video footage of their talks are now available. Additional video footage, including that of LWVUS President Elisabeth MacNamara’s remarks, will be available soon.
A Huge Thank You to Our Summer 2015 Interns (NEW)
As summer starts to draw to a close, we are saying goodbye to our two wonderful summer interns. Elizabeth Ahrens from Tufts University and Anne Gleich from the College of Saint Benedict & Saint John’s University spent the summer with LWVUS working on a variety of different projects including blogging about their own civic experiences, researching voting rights issues, and helping with and participating in National Council. We are so lucky to have had them! Read more about LWVUS intern experiences and if you know of an undergraduate student interested in interning with LWVUS, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. If your League is interested in starting an internship program of your own, you can find more information on that process in Chapter 3 of the Young People’s Task Force Toolkit.
EPA Announces Final Carbon Regulation (REMINDER)
Last week, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and President Obama unveiled the final regulation limiting carbon from coal fired power plants! The Clean Power Plan will improve public health while saving lives, creating jobs and protecting our environment. League supporters have generated over 90,000 comments and letters in support of this historic regulation. Please show your support by signing our thank you card to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and President Obama thanking them for their leadership on this important regulation. You can also see our press release and blog for additional information on this life-saving regulation.
National Voter Registration Day Template Press Release Available (NEW)
Leagues participating in National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) 2015 on September 22nd can start now to generate visibility for their activities and events by downloading and customizing this new template press release.
Draft Social Media and Images for 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act (UPDATED)
Last Thursday, August 6, we celebrated 50 years since the Voting Rights Act (VRA) became law. The national coalition has been having Twitter storms every Thursday at 1 pm ET to keep the pressure on Congress to restore the VRA. Join the celebration by tailoring these draft Facebook and Twitter messages for your Leagues. Help beat the drum by using the hashtag #RestoreTheVRA.
Websites: Why Consider a New Website in 2016? (REMINDER)
In 2014, we asked users of the League Easy Web (LEW) web hosting service how to make it better. Based on League member feedback, the new LEW, coming in 2016, will make a typical League website even better! For example, you will be more likely to have people visit your website from search engines. Your site will meet higher accessibility standards (for vision impairment, for example). Sharing content between Leagues means no more double entry! Reports and alerts to help you improve your site will be included. A media library will liven up your site. Multiple accounts with different access levels will be permitted. Read this comparison flyer to learn more of the differences between the current LEW, the new LEW, and Wordpress (a popular alternative). Training webinars will be announced this fall. Contact email@example.com for more information.