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What a year.

There’s never been a more important or motivating time to be part of the League of Women Voters and 2019 was filled with great moments for our democracy. Here are a few of my favorite highlights from the year:

  1. 2019 kicked off strong, with the U.S. House of Representatives passing H.R.1, the For the People Act, in January. This sweeping democracy reform bill would make elections fairer and put power back in the hands of the American people. But we still need the U.S. Senate to follow the House and pass this important piece of legislation. Take action by contacting your Senators to demand a hearing on the For the People Act. 

HR1 passage
  1. The League celebrated Women’s History Month with a reception on Capitol Hill for the female members of Congress—honoring the record number of women serving in the House and Senate this year. We were proud to hear from many female representatives, so many of whom got their start in politics through the League.   

MOC Women of Congress event
  1. The Supreme Court’s ruling that the citizenship question cannot proceed in the 2020 Census was a major win for protecting democracy. Now it is vital that we double our efforts to ensure the most complete possible census count, with a focus on hard-to-count communities. Help us get ready for Census Day (April 1, 2020) by pledging to be counted and educate your community about the importance of the 2020 Census. 

  1. Over the summer we relaunched VOTE411.org, the League’s “one-stop-shop” online voter resource that has supported millions of voters with nonpartisan election information. This year we revamped the site to provide even more voters with localized information about primary and general elections, polling locations, voter ID requirements, and much more. 

Informing voters empowering people vote411
  1. Another high point for me in 2019 was the launch of She Is Me, a digital campaign created for our 100th anniversary, to celebrate the League’s century of work through the real-life, inter-generational stories of our supporters and activists. You can follow the campaign hashtag #SheIsMeLWV on social media to learn more and read about the work of real League leaders. 

She is Me
  1. Once again serving as the largest on-the-ground partner of National Voter Registration Day, holding more than 500 voter registration events, and registering thousands of new voters—during a so-called “off-election year”. 

  1. The  first hearing on D.C. statehood in more than a quarter-century.  The introduction of H.R. 51 is a historic opportunity to ensure that DC residents are no longer disenfranchised. Take action by signing our petition to support DC statehood today! 

DC Statehood Hearing
  1. In October, I had the honor of testifying before Congress on voting rights and elections. It is the duty of government to protect the rights of voters and to encourage participation in our political system, not create barriers that prevent participation. Watch the testimony here. 

  1. Launching the People Powered Fair Maps™ program, our landmark nationwide redistricting initiative was a major highlight of 2019. For decades, redistricting has been a focus area of the League and a critical component of our Campaign for Making Democracy Work ®. This fall we launched People Powered Fair Maps ™ in partnership with all 50 state Leagues and the District of Columbia to ensure millions of voters from coast to coast take back the power of our democracy. 

People Powered Fair Maps
  1. Last but certainly not least, to close out 2019, in December the U.S. House overwhelmingly passed H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act, by a bipartisan vote. The VRAA is needed to ensure that preclearance can go back into effect so that all eligible Americans are able to vote on Election Day. As the VRAA advances to the Senate, we look forward to working with Senators to ensure full passage of this vital legislation.   

This work wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of our committed League members, volunteers, and engagers. Your support has helped launch many important moments for our organization and our democracy—and 2020 is only going to be bigger, better, and stronger. 

Next year will bring  the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, the League’s centennial celebration, and quite possibly, the most consequential presidential election of our lifetimes. With primary elections just around the corner, we’re fast-tracking our voter registration program to register hundreds of thousands of new voters by Election Day 2020. Our litigation and mission impact teams are hard at work, standing ready to fight back when the rights of voters are threatened by cynical or even illegal voter suppression efforts. And we’re training volunteers nationwide to roll out a visibility and education strategy to make sure everyone understands what’s at stake next year. 

Thank you for standing with the League to protect the rights of voters—and ensure our elections remain free, fair, and accessible. Thank you so much for everything you do to empower voters and defend democracy all year long.  

We’re excited to see all we accomplish together in 2020.