Making a difference

Making a difference

Kay J. Maxwell

The LWVUS Board and I want to highlight 2003’s successes that you will read about in more detail in this issue. It is important for us all to toot our own horn when we are making a difference!

Due to the efforts of Leagues around the country, the League now sits on 40 state Help America Vote Act (HAVA) planning committees. LWVUS has produced fact sheets, a provisional ballot monograph, and held HAVA conference calls among state League leaders. In Congress, we’ve been fighting for full HAVA funding and helped secure confirmation of the new Election Assistance Commission (EAC).

The December Supreme Court decision upholding the main features of the MeCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) was a huge win for the League and voters (pp. 2 and 7). Leagues have been active on initiatives in their states and on the Our Democracy, Our Airwaves program. LWVUS and national reform organizations launched a fall campaign seeking major improvements in the presidential campaign finance system.

Last congressional session we joined concerned organizations in successful opposition to the energy bill. LWVUS scored another victory in keeping the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWAR) free from drilling. The hard work of Leagues kept ANAVAR protected for now.

On Title IX we fought back proposed regulations that would have undermined two decades of progress ensuring equal opportunity for women in education, including athletic programs.

Through our partnerships with “The People Speak” and “By the People,” selected Leagues hosted dialogues about foreign policy and America’s role in the world.

Our education efforts flourished League leaders attended the Congressional Conference on Civic Education as delegates and DNet was re-launched in early January for the 2004 elections.

Building on previous work engaging America’s youngest voters, the League continues efforts with the Youth Vote Coalition and Smackdown Your Vote! LWVUS recently produced a VOTE brochure targeting young and first-time voters.

2003 also launched the LeaguE-Voice, a monthly electronic newsletter reaching a growing list of League members, supporters and public audiences. To subscribe, simply send a blank e-mail to

The past year has been a busy one and Election Year 2004 promises to be even more so. The update of our position on Selection of the President has been progressing, with concurrence forms due from all League members by March 1st (pp. 12-13). And, do plan to watch “Iron Jawed Angels,” an IIBO original film that highlights the drama around final passage of the 19th Amendment. It will be shown on February 15th at 9:30 p.m. EST on HBO.

The board and I want to wish you all the best and express our sincere appreciation for the opportunity to lead the League. We look forward to seeing you at Convention 2004 (see pp. 14-15).

COPYRIGHT 2004 League of Women Voters

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group