New Year greetings from M Street!
2008 was an incredibly busy and rewarding year for us here at the national office, and 2009 holds much promise!
In this Voter, we have included a special article highlighting our myriad, extremely successful Election 2008 activities. Apropos of this, I'd like to commend the wonderful, cooperative work of the LWVUS/EF staff. Working together, we produced results to which we can lay claim with pride! And, of course, we could not have accomplished so much without the support and additional efforts of all of you, members and Leagues, across the country. Please read "League in Action: Election 2008 and Beyond" on p. 13, and give yourselves a big pat on the back for a job well done!
In the election reform arena, the Public Advocacy for Voter Protection Project (PAVP) continues its work through mid 2009 and you can read all about its accomplishments to date in the special article. In Step Up on p. 17, we turn the spotlight on lobbying and advocacy by two state Leagues.
In addition, do read about our non-election related activities (the Education Fund and Advocacy news in the League Matters section, and Hill Bulletin).
In global democracy, with renewed funding from the Open World Leadership Center, the League can offer pass-through grants for the 2009 Civic Hosting Program for delegations from former Soviet Republics, including Ukraine, Russia and Azerbaijan. The League and the Armenian Assembly of America's one-year project on coalition building in Armenia completed its first training session in November.
The League is expanding its work on government transparency and accountability through a second grant from the Herb Block Foundation.
On the advocacy front, work continues on League priorities including DC Voting Rights, lobbying and ethics reform, campaign finance reform and global climate change. The League is also encouraging state and local League leaders to meet with their newly elected and returning members of Congress in order to develop a working relationship and gauge support for issues important to the League. The League's advocacy priorities for 2009 will be determined when the LWVUS Board meets in late January.
This Voter's cover story examines the concept of "redistribution of wealth." We also have an article revealing some interesting state-specific 2008 presidential election voting demographics. Sounding Off addresses the challenges of diplomacy and the global economy that the new administration faces.
My best wishes to you for a Happy New Year!
Nancy E. Tate,
LWVUS Executive Director