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It’s hard to believe, but it’s almost time to flip the calendar to 2012. In the coming year, we will be active on many fronts, but with special emphasis on providing the public with all the information they need to navigate the election system, learn the issues, and vote for the candidates of their choice.
None of our successes from this year would be possible without the incredible support of our board, members and supporters. Thank you. All of our state and local Leagues around the country have been working tirelessly in their communites to create change. While we are only highlighting a few of their stories to show you the work they have done, their work continues to have great impact. Let's take a look back at some of the highlights from 2011.
Across the country, 38 states have introduced or passed legislation that would make it significantly harder for people to vote – imposing voter IDs, cutting back on early voting, erecting barriers to voter registration. League President Elisabeth MacNamara spoke to a Congressional panel about the dangerous implications of these restrictive laws. You can also see Florida League President, Deirdre Macnab appear on MSNBC's Politics Nation with Al Sharpton talking about LWV Florida's decision to stop registering voters as a direct result of Florida's new restrictive third-party voter registration laws.
The League’s High School Voter Registration program, VOTE411.org and nationwide youth engagement efforts were highlighted in the November cover story of Leadership for Student Activities, a national magazine reaching tens of thousands of school administrators and advisors.
Earlier this month, we launched our brand new website. Along with its new look, we’ll be bringing you more content on the issues you care most about – and give you more opportunities to spread the word about the League’s work.
This spring, the League launched the Promise campaign, asking members of Congress, community leaders and any individual to make the promise for clean air and public health. Leagues around the country went to work, encouraging members of their communities to Make the Promise and stand up for clean air. You can make the promise at www.peoplenotpolluters.org.
Seven of the twenty participants in the 2009-11 Legislative Fellows Program ran for elective office in the elections held in Colombia and Brazil in October 2011. Four were elected - three in Colombia and one in Brazil. The Ligue des Electrices Tunnisienes, our sister organization, played a pivotal role in educating and observing the historical elections held in Tunisia also in October 2011. One of our participants from Armenia in the program "Coaching NGOs in Armenia" won first prize on an essay contest held in September in Armenia on the importance of clean communities.
Around the country, state and local Leagues are working to make sure that the redistricting process is fair and transparent. To showcase one League's work, LWV Virginia sent a message to statewide media urging state leaders to follow their constitutional obligation of finalizing a congressional redistricting plan before the end of the year. Not doing so could force the state to move its primary schedule and generate massive confusion for voters and local elections officials.