The League's Future: Presidents' Message

League members find ourselves in an interesting position. We are witnessing many of the social and environmental laws that LWV and other organizations fought so hard for being eroded. The League is experiencing some growth in membership from people who are interested in correcting this trend, but in many cases, the "old League" is not meeting their needs. Instead we see numerous organizations popping up that seem to be usurping “our” agenda. What is the answer? 

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Focus on a Local League: Anne Arundel County

Anne Arundel County League: Mobilizing To Inform Voters

LWVAAC is determined to maximize the impact of its Annapolis-centric membership in reaching and informing voters throughout Anne Arundel County this election year. League volunteers who are both certified registrars and trained VOTE411.org instructors will offer their services to libraries and community centers in all parts of the county. In May, LWVAAC will host a panel discussion to address the public’s concerns about election security. A videotape of the program will be posted online, and offered for viewing by other organizations and communities. Prior to the general election, our League will sponsor public forums for the General Assembly candidates in legislative districts 30, 31, 32 and 33, once again videotaping and posting each session online.

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A Look at Legislative Day 2018

On March 6th League members filled West One in the Miller Senate Office Building to attend LWVMD’s 2018 Legislative Day. Some members and friends visited their legislators to tell them about the League’s legislative priorities, while others toured the Senate and the State House, learning about how our state government operates. We shared the feedback we received from our legislative visits and discussed key bills affecting our legislative priorities. For our speaker on the budget, we had “two for the price of one.” Ryan Bishop, Director of the Office of Policy Analysis of Legislative Services, began the presentation about the FY2019 budget and the structural budget outlook, revenue and spending, potential impacts of federal tax reform and potential legislative issues. After a delay due to action in the House of Delegates, Victoria Gruber, the new Executive Director of the Department of Legislative Services, joined Mr. Bishop for an extensive question period.

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Legislative Testimony: How it Works

Now is the time we act on the legislative priorities we developed last fall and on other issues based on state and/or national consensus positions. Some bills have already had hearings. For example, the League testified for HB 152, the Secure and Accessible Registration Act (SARA). By registering to vote through a convenient dual-purpose application at the time of routine and necessary transactions with certain state and local agencies, voters won’t have to worry about registration deadlines or application submissions. Also, name and address changes will be automatically sent to election officials allowing them to keep voter rolls current.

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Focus on a Local League: Baltimore City

Baltimore City League: Focused on Youth Voter Registration

Voter Registration: The Baltimore City League wanted to prioritize high school voter registration and voting this year. A grant from the LWV Education Fund (LWVEF) has provided an additional incentive. To help us identify schools that might be underserved in voter registration, we contacted League member, Julia Baez, Executive Director of Baltimore’s Promise (a collaborative for youth programs). She helped us work with the Baltimore City Public Schools Office of Family and Community Engagement which put us in contact with Community School Coordinators in five high schools—Ben Franklin, Patterson, Frederick Douglass, Reginal Lewis, and Western. We will also return to Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) where we have been registering voters around National Voter Registration Day.

 

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Presidents' Letter: Many Ways to Engage

During the past few weeks I have had the privilege of testifying before the 2018 Maryland General Assembly Session on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Maryland. Nancy Soreng, former LWVMD President, and I have testified on several election bills and will be testifying on more as the session evolves. It is interesting to note how little in-person support, either pro or con, these bills receive. It seems that the League of Women Voters is one of the few go-to organizations that legislators count on to speak to the important topic of election and voting reform.

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Beware the Ides of March

March 15th is rapidly approaching. All consensus study reports for our PRIMARY ELECTION study must be in by March 15th. At this point only one local League report has been received. Hopefully your League has scheduled a date for your consensus meeting. All material needed for the study are on the Primary Study webpage here.

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Focus on a Local League: Mid-Shore

Talbot Co SealMid-Shore League: Streamlined and Moving Forward!

The Mid-Shore League has been incorporated since 1968, first as the League of Women Voters of Talbot County, and now as the League of Women Voters of the Mid-Shore. The name change came about after we expanded our membership to include two neighboring counties, Caroline and Dorchester. This expansion has increased our reach while at the same time presenting several challenges.

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President's Letter - Making Democracy Work

“Making Democracy Work” is all about process, not about “ends.” I came to this realization as I considered today’s topsy-turvy political climate. Those in power seem to believe that the ends justify the means. Else, why would anyone believe that limiting the number of people able to vote in our democracy would produce a better final result? 

 

2017-19 LWVMD Presidents

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Meet the Young Professional Policy Volunteers

 



Our YPV’s have been hard at work gearing up to help LWVMD on their issues during session, but you might be wondering, “Who are these ‘Young Professionals’ joining us?” Well wonder no more, here are our 2017-18 LWVMD Policy & Education Young Professional Volunteers:

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Focus on a Local League: Frederick League, Active and Growing

FOLL FrederickAs with most local Leagues, the Frederick County League continues to have an increase in membership, with approximately 30 percent of the new members being men. The other exciting things in our League recently have been our first City election forum co-sponsored with The United Way, ethics reform, and our 287g (a partnership between Frederick’s Sheriff’s Office and ICE/Homeland Security) study group.

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Winter Workshop Sessions

 

The Winter Workshop on January 20th (snow date, January 27th) at the First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ellicott City will feature two sessions this year. The first gives attendees a choice of “Preparing for Elections: Forums and Debates” or “Non-Profit Treasurer's Seminar.” For the second session, attendees will choose between “How to Run a Condo Election” or the “Treasurer's Seminar.” A light breakfast will be served, and a catered lunch will include a speaker. We’re excited to discuss these important issues and hope to see you there - Click here to get signed up online OR here to download and mail a registration form! Early bird sign up lasts until 1/15!

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My Experience Participating in a Study Group as a Newbie

Dona Sauerburger Primary Studay“What did I get myself into?” I thought, after I had volunteered to serve on the LWVMD Primary Election Study Committee. I was brand-new to the League and didn’t know anything about it, other than it had something to do with women and voting (hey, I’m a woman and I vote, so I belong!)One of the first things that I learned when I joined, to my delight, is that LVW members include men as well as women! 

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President's Letter - A Focus on Non-Partisan Leadership

Only a holiday or two now separate us from 2018 - an election year! As Elections approach our League work shifts subtly from policy advocacy and voter registration to other important forms of voter service like voters’ guides and public forums. As a League member, elections bring you the quandary of choices on how you should act publicly. Will you work to support a specific candidate in the coming season or will you be focused on voter registration and conducting forums?

2017-19 LWVMD Presidents

 

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Report for Report from State Circle

Would you like to volunteer, but need something you can do mostly from home?

 Do you want to work on a legislative subject of particular interest to you?  



Consider being a reporter for Report from State Circle (RSC), our publication that provides the public with information on what kind of bills are before the Maryland General Assembly (MDGA) approximately every two weeks during session. 

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