July 2017  Ohio League Leader Upd ates

1. Fair Districts Campaign Updates

2. 2017 Statewide Ballot Issue Information

3. LWVO/EF State Board Retreat Report
a. Changes to the LWVO Nonpartisan Policy
b. Changes to the LWVO Diversity Policy
c. Want to serve on a committee?
d. Citizens' Climate Lobby

4. Updates from LWVUS
a. Reminder: Sign up for National Voter Registration Day 2017
b. New Resources for National Voter Registration Day
c. Continue Opposition of Senate Health Care Plan

5. League Comments on Pence Kobach Commission Data Request

6. All-Member Conference Call for August

7. Please update your local League board contacts

8. Grant Opportunities
a. Women's Voices
b. Voter Participation Forums
c. Online Voter Registration Outreach to College Students

9. ACLU Jail Voting Toolkit and Training

10. Welcome, Licking County At-Large Unit!

11. Event of Interest:
United States of Women event coming to Columbus

1. Fair Districts Campaig n  Updates
Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio and  the Fair Di stricts =  Fair E lections Coalition are thril led to  announce that in one month redistricting reformers from all over Ohio collected  more than 100,000 signatures and 8 counties are already over the 5% threshold. Click here to read more. 

We are also excited to host a booth at the Ohio State Fair to register voters and collect Fair Districts petition signatures. Sign-up here to v olunteer at our booth. Click here to see the photos.

Volunteers around the state working on Fair Districts asked for a way to connect with one another and share ideas, so we set up a closed group on Facebook for volunteers. Click here to join the group.

Transport help wanted: We are looking for volunteers to help transport Fair Districts petitions between Columbus and other parts of Ohio. If you happen to be driving back and forth for other events (concerts, conferences, sporting events, etc.) and would be willing to deliver a box or two, please give us a call at the LWVO office at 614-469-1505. Thanks!

2. 2017 Statewide Ballot Issue Information
Two citizens' initiatives have qualified for the statewide ballot in 2017, Marsy's Law (also known as the Crime Victims' Bill of Rights) and the Ohio Drug Price Relief Act.

Marsy's Law is an initiated constitutional amendment that is certified for the ballot as Issue 1. This would repeal and replace a section of the state constitution addressing the rights of crime victims.

The Ohio Drug Price Relief Act is an initiated statute certified for the ballot as Issue 2. This would require state agencies to pay no more for prescription drugs than the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The LWVO State Board is reviewing these measures in order to compile the Voter's Guide, which we expect to publish in early September. We will publish it on Vote411 and send to local Leagues to include in local print guides. If you receive questions about statewide ballot issues, let them know a voter's guide is forthcoming.

3. LWVO/EF State Board Retreat Report
Our new 2017-2019 LWVO/EF state board held a two-day retreat meeting in July to plan for the exciting League year ahead.

a. Changes to the LWVO Nonpartisan Policy:  The LWVO board reviewed our Nonpartisan policy, as all Leagues are urged to do yearly. We made two changes. Read the   updated policy, with  new language in red.

b. C hanges to the LWVO  Diversity Policy:  The LWVO Board also revised and strengthened our Diversity policy. Click here to read the new version with changes in red.

c. Want to serve on a committee?
Do you have emerging leaders who are looking for ways to get more involved and grow their leadership skills? The board welcomes non-board members to apply to serve on various committees. These include: Advocacy and Education, Budget and Finance, Bylaws, Communication, Development, Diversity, Investment, and Membership. Please contact Carrie Davis at cdavis@lwvohio.org if you or a member of your local League is interested.

d.  Citizens' Climate Lobby At our convention  in May we learned about Citizens' Climate Lobby (CCL),  a "non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change."  During our board meeting in July, the LWVO Board agreed that we would share more information about CCL, whose goals are in alignment with the LWVUS position on climate change, and encourage LWVO members to learn more about the CCL carbon fee and dividend proposal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the Citizens' Climate Lobby,"we exist to create the political will for climate solutions by enabling individual breakthroughs in the exercise of personal and political power."

The "consistently respectful, non-partisan approach to climate education" espoused by CCL is designed to create a "broad, sustainable foundation for climate action across all geographic regions and political inclinations."  CCL is similar to LWV in its approach to legislative action, by building upon shared values rather than partisan divides. CCL empowers supporters to "work in keeping with the concerns of their local communities towards the adoption of fair, effective, and sustainable climate change solutions."

The carbon fee and dividend proposal, supported by a strong, bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus (Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur of Ohio just joined the caucus in July) is a "national, revenue-neutral carbon fee-and-dividend system that would place a predictable, steadily rising price on carbon, with all fees collected minus administrative costs returned to households as a monthly energy dividend." 

We urge our members to read the materials at the Citizens' Climate Lobby website and ask your elected representative to join the caucus, to better work for meaningful, effective legislation to reduce climate change emissions.  A report summarized in Nature makes it clear that we have very little time to act: 2020 is a hard deadline. 

4. Updates from LWVUS
a.   Reminder: Sign up for National Voter Registration Day 2017
National Voter Registration Day is Tuesday, September 26 and 125 Leagues nationwide have already signed up to participate!  Sign up your League as a partner in this incredible celebration of democracy. All you need to do is agree to host a registration event in your community on 9/26, or otherwise publicize the importance of voter registration. Join thousands of organizations, elected officials, celebrities, and other partners - including hundreds of participating state and local Leagues - by signing up today!  The League has been the single largest on-the-ground grassroots partner for NVRD since 2012. Let's keep up the trend!
b.   New Resources for National Voter Registration Day
Here are a few key online resources to support your organizing.
The  Partner Tools  page is ready on the National Voter Registration Day website. The partner tools page is a one-stop resource center for everything you'll need to hold a successful event or promotion. Included in the toolkit are:
c.    Continue Opposition of Senate Health Care Plan
Update:  The final vote on the early hours of July 28, 2017, makes moot the update here, but we include this information as context for the ongoing debate over health care coverage.

The U.S. Senate's plan  to cut health care for 22 million Americans, cut Medicaid and reduce access to health care for women has failed to proceed. Senate leadership was unable to garner enough support for the legislation, withdrew the legislation and decided to move forward with a plan to  repeal the Affordable Care Act   (a.k.a a "skinny repeal") without a replacement plan that also failed to pass. This is yet another small victory in the fight to maintain quality affordable care for all Americans.
d.   League Comments on Election Integrity Commission Data Request
Last month, the so-called Election integrity Commission (EIC), co-chaired by Vice-president Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, requested all states to provide the voter information including the names, addresses, dates of birth, political party affiliation, past voter history, and even partial Social Security numbers of registered voters in every state. LWVUS has an online petition opposing false allegations of voter fraud, guidance for local Leagues to talk about the commission, and a statement calling the request a giant fishing expedition meant to distract from the real issue of voter suppression. The League stands with those state leaders who have already come out to support their voters and refuse these requests from the EIC. Earlier this month, the League also joined  a letter   sent to all 50 Secretaries of State condemning and opposing the data request by President Trump's advisory commission. The League continues to stand with the election officials who have rejected the request for sensitive information and urges those that have not responded to carefully consider future responses to the commission.
The Brennan Center for Justice has put together an  informative memo outlining the legal risks involved with providing voter information to the Commission. A number of lawsuits have been filed to block the release. Click here to read more. 

5. All-Member Conference Call for August
Join us for our August all-member conference call on Tuesday,  August 1, 12-1 pm

Topic: Protecting Fair Elections

The first half of our call will be about the U.S. Election Integrity Commission (the Pence-Kobach Commission), and we will be joined by LWVUS Grassroots Advocacy Manager Jessica Jones Capparell, who will provide an update and national perspective.

The second half of our call will focus on the Fair Districts campaign, with an update on signature totals, today's press release highlighting our record-breaking volunteer petition effort, and organizing plans as we head into August and September.

CALL-IN NUMBER: 866-740-1260 
PIN: 4691505# 
The recording of the all-member call will be available in the  LWVO online member area following the call until the end of the month. Please note that the call recording is intended for LWV members and guests (just like the calls) and, therefore, should not be shared with anyone outside the League family. Thank you. 

6. Please update your local League board contacts
With local League annual meeting season here again, don't forget to send the state ( lwvoinfo@lwvohio.org) and national ( RosterSupport@lwv.org) offices your updated board roster to ensure notifications, action alerts and other information are distributed correctly.

7. Grant Opportunities
With the new League year beginning and the next school year not far off, Leagues may be thinking about opportunities for events and programs. To that end, there are a few current and potential funding opportunities to consider:

a. Women's Voices - Through partnership with the Women's Fund of Central Ohio, LWVO is excited to announce the second year of the Women's Voices: Training the Next Generation of Women Leaders project. In response to feedback from local Leagues, we are adjusting the program to run over the school year instead of the calendar year.  Being ready to hit the ground running when school begins requires planning throughout the summer. Please contact the LWVO office for more information and to apply.

b. Voter Participation Forums - Thanks to a grant from LWVEF, we are glad to announce pass-through funds for local Leagues and At-Large Units to hold forums based on the "Where Have All The Voters Gone?" discussion guide on low voter participation from the National Issues Forum Institute. With the election of a new Ohio Secretary of State on the minds of many voters next year, this is a great opportunity to start dialogue and build awareness of issues surrounding voting. Grant application and program modules will be released soon. Please contact the LWVO office for more information and how to apply.

c. Online Voter Registration Outreach to College Students - LWVO has also received grant funds to support local Leagues and At-Large Units in conducting outreach to community college and technical school students promoting online voter registration. We hope to secure additional grant funding to expand this outreach to traditional colleges and universities as well. Please let the state office know if you are interested in participating and if you have relationships with faculty or administration at any local universities, colleges, community colleges, and technical schools. We would like to partner on a joint state & local LWV effort to reach students during back-to-school.
8. ACLU Jail Voting Toolkit and Training
Recently ACLU Ohio launched their newest voting rights publication, " Voting in Jail: An Organizer's Toolkit ."   This toolkit is a resource for organizations and activists who are interested in registering eligible voters at their county jail. As many of you know, individuals currently serving time for a misdemeanor or those awaiting trial can vote while incarcerated!
In addition to providing this publication, ACLU Ohio is holding comprehensive trainings throughout the state that will provide an overview of Ohio's voting and voter registration laws, discuss establishing a relationship with jail and election officials, and how to effectively organize a team of volunteers. Everyone will have access to the tool kit and several other resources through the ACLU Ohio website here   

If your local League is interested in participating, please contact Carrie Davis at cdavis@lwvohio.org  and she will connect you.

9. Welcome, Licking County At-Large Unit!
Long-time Leaguers may remember that there used 
to be a local League iLicking County, and we are thrilled to welcome them back. Like many areas, Licking County is experiencing a surge of new members expressing interest in LWV's Making Democracy Work, and the new Unit also has the guidance of more experienced League members eager to have a local presence. If you are interested in joining the at-large unit, please contact Pam Wilson at pamswil@yahoo.com.

10. Event of Interest:  United State of Women event coming to Columbus
Following the United State of Women summit held in Washington, D.C., last summer, and the incredible turnout for the Women's March in January, the United State of Women has planned a series of regional events around the country to bring women together to train and organize to work on our issues.

Our partners at the Women's Fund of Central Ohio (also a nonpartisan group) is the lead organization hosting the upcoming United State of Women event in Columbus, Ohio, on August 12 and 13, 2017.
Read more about it and sign up here:  https://www.theunitedstateofwomen.org/galvanizeohio/

LWV Ohio will have a table at the Engagement Fair. Stop by and say hello!

The League of Women Voters of Ohio | 17 South High Street | Columbus, Ohio 43215 | 614-469-1505