December 20, 2012
In This Issue:
- GLOBAL DEMOCRACY
- Global Democracy 9th Forum for the Future Reaches Consensus on Declaration(NEW)
- US Supreme Court to Hear NVRA Sec. 5 Case on February 27th 2013 –(NEW)
- Texas Photo ID may go to the US Supreme Court– Lower Court sides with LWVTX (NEW)
- Leagues Registered Tens of Thousands – Make Sure You’re Counted! (LAST CHANCE!)
- Award for TV Stations Serving the Public: Deadline Jan 11, 2013
- League Calls on President Obama to Lead the Fight on Climate Change (NEW)
MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP
- Win a Prize from LWVUS for Updating the Expiration Dates in Database! (NEW)
- Hold Off on Transferring Member Records (NEW)
- THERE IS STILL TIME: Ruth S. Shur Fellow Nominations Due Jan 7, 2013
COMMUNICATIONS – MAKING CONNECTIONS
We are all deeply distressed by the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut and share in the country’s grief. As leaders in your community, remember that the League of Women Voters is singularly well suited to gather disparate members of the community together to discuss difficult issues and work to find common ground to solve problems. At the same time, there will be opportunities to take action through legislation at the state and federal levels. Members of the U.S. House and Senate have already signaled their intent to introduce legislation to reinstate the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines when the 113th Congress meets in January and President Obama has asked Vice-President Biden to oversee a task force that will develop new gun control and mental health policies. The Task Force report is expected in January. Since 1990, the League of Women Voters has had a position to protect the health and safety of citizens through limiting the accessibility and regulating the ownership of handguns and semi-automatic weapons, and we supported the original ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines when it was passed in 1994. The League’s health care position also states that every U.S. resident should have access to a basic level of quality care that includes, among other things, mental health care. As the League has done throughout our history, we know that real solutions to serious problems are not easily achieved, but the combination of our thoughtful understanding of these issues combined with our respected reputation to facilitate challenging discussions among people in our communities and with policy makers, puts us in a place of offering the best of what we are to a nation yearning for solutions. We will be looking for opportunities to share the League’s views as this very complex debate progresses. In the meantime, you can reach out to your representatives when they are home to express the League’s view that there is no role for assault weapons or high-capacity magazines in civilized society.
***SPECIAL NOTE*** The Leaders' Update is taking a holiday break next week. We will be back on January 3! Happy Happy Holidays!
Global Democracy 9th Forum for the Future Reaches Consensus on Declaration (NEW)
After a year of preparatory meetings, government, civil society, and private sector representatives from the Broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) region and the G8 countries reached a hard-fought consensus on a Final Declaration at the 9th Forum for the Future in Tunis, Tunisia on December 13. Read more here.
Building consensus for the 2012 Declaration—which focused on this year’s themes of women’s empowerment, economic governance and entrepreneurship, and freedom of expression and association—was a two-part process: first, civil society and private sector participants met to draft their own ultimate recommendations to be shared with governments, then foreign ministers met to debate and wordsmith the final document. Read more here. The civil society and private sector meeting—two grueling days of statements, counterstatements, and cajoling—was led by the League of Women Voters, the NGO partner of the United States government for the 2012 G8-BMENA Initiative. For more on the Final Declaration, see the event’s foreign-language press coverage.
US Supreme Court to Hear NVRA Sec. 5 case on February 27, 2013 – (NEW)
The US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on February 27, 2013 in a lawsuit that challenges a central provision of the Voting Rights Act – Section 5. The case, Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, is one of the highest-profile voting rights cases in decades. Read more here.
Texas Photo ID may go to the US Supreme Court – Lower Court sides with LWVTX (NEW)
On Monday December 17 a three-judge panel in DC granted the state of Texas motion for a final judgment in a case, Texas v. Holder, challenging the Texas photo ID law. The court denied preclearance of the law thus siding with LWVTX which is deeply involved in the case. The State of Texas quickly appealed the decision to the US Supreme Court. As for the constitutional challenge to Section 5, the court issued a stay pending the outcome of the Shelby County v. Holder case mentioned above. Read more here.
Leagues Registered Tens of Thousands – Make Sure You’re Counted! (LAST CHANCE!)
Leagues reported registering more than 35,000 voters through national LWVEF grant programs and National Voter Registration Day. In addition, more than 35,000 individuals utilized the VOTE411.org online registration tool, thanks to the many of you who promoted VOTE411 in your communities! How many people did you register to vote? What else did you do to engage voters this year? Help us quantify our organization’s full impact: fill out our Voter Service Feedback Survey before the end of the year!
Award for TV Stations Serving the Public: Deadline Jan 11, 2013
Is there a TV station in your community that worked hard during the election to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics by providing the facts to citizens? Please encourage the General Manager or News Director to apply for the "Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism.” More information is available here. Build on your relationships with local media. It’s good for our democracy and good for your League!
League Calls on President Obama to Lead the Fight on Climate Change (NEW)
Today, the League sent a letter to President Obama asking him to lead the fight for climate change. President Obama can take steps to limit harmful pollutants, using his existing regulatory authority to save lives and our environment. President Obama has the power to lead the U.S. and the world through the greatest environmental challenge of our generation.
Tell the President to lead the fight on this important issue here and read our statement
MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP
Win a Prize from LWVUS for Updating the Expiration Dates in the Database! (NEW)
We’re adding another prize opportunity for your League! Update ALL the expiration dates on member records in the national database for your League by January 25 and be eligible to win a $25 Staples card! All Leagues who have updated the expiration dates by January 25 will be placed in a drawing. The five winning Leagues will be announced in the Leaders’ Update.
Remember to enter to win our other contest by reaching out to prospective members who participated in your League events this election season! Email a list of your League’s prospects (the names and contact information of prospective members) to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 4, and your League could win some great visibility tools: LWV buttons! Prospects will NOT be contacted by LWVUS. Please ASK these prospective members to join your League!
Hold Off on Transferring Member Records (NEW)
As we have alerted state/local Leagues in past years, please hold all transfer of member records until after February 1, 2013. If records are transferred to other Leagues now, the receiving League will be assessed the PMP for members who have paid dues to their present League. The transferring member’s record should remain on your roster through January. We will transfer records for you after February 1, 2013. Please contact Betty Taira at BTaira@lwv.org or Lela Sallis at LSallis@lwv.org with questions.
THERE IS STILL TIME: Ruth S. Shur Fellow Nominations are Due Jan 7, 2013
Get involved in building stronger Leagues nationwide by nominating yourself or a League member you admire to become a part of the Ruth S. Shur Fellows team. Complete the online nomination form by January 7, 2013. To learn more watch this informational webinar recorded last week. Email SSanders@lwv.org with questions.
Communications - Making Connections
WANTED: Active, online community members to participate in the new League Forums!
The League’s aging discussion list technology will be replaced by a new online community built exclusively for League members and leaders. Members interested in learning more are welcome to view a recorded webinar introducing the new Forums. Why should you join? Tip#1: The new Forums will provide you with more control over what ends up in your inbox.
Visit the Forums: Go to www.lwv.org, click on Login. Once logged in, use the link in the left navigation bar or go to http://forum.lwv.org. (You will need to be logged into the lwv.org system to use the Forums.)
Support the Membership and Leadership Development Program (NEW)
“I wouldn’t trade my League experience for anything!” This holiday season, we hope that you will reflect on the personal gifts the League has given to you and consider making a gift to the Fund for Local League Growth (FLLG). As this quote reminds us, League is an experience like no other! The FLLG is a special fund solely designated to build the League’s infrastructure and support the Membership and Leadership Development program. The Membership and Leadership Development program is helping to ensure that the League’s future is vibrant, healthy and strong. Thank you in advance for your support during this season of giving!
Donate to the League and support our work.