CALENDAR
 
Tuesday, April 17
Daniel Scharfman Grant Deadline

Tuesday, April 17 Voter Registration Drive at MIT's Day of Action, Stata Center, 32 Vassar St., Cambridge, 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 28
LWVMA Spring Conference, "Beyond the March: Women Leading the Way in Massachusetts," Clark University, Worcester, 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
Friday, May 4
LWVMA/LESF Board Meeting, Lexington Community Center, 39 Marrett Rd., from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

Friday, May 11
High School Video Contest winners announced.

Friday, June 28-Sunday, July 1

LWVUS Convention, Chicago

HAPPENING NOW
Don't Miss Our Spring Conference!
 
Register now for "Beyond the March: Women Leading the Way in Massachusetts," LWVMA's spring conference Saturday, April 28, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Clark University in Worcester.

Join us to hear keynote speaker Congresswoman Niki Tsongas with a take on what's happening in Washington, and an impressive roster of speakers, including the women recently elected as mayors of Newton and Framingham, on how to effect change in Massachusetts. You'll be inspired and energized! See the entire program here

Please register here  before the April 24 deadline. And encourage your members and friends to come; the conference is open to the public.    
New LWVMA Online Voters' Guide is Coming in July!

Voters Guide
The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts will introduce a new Online Voters' Guide to voters throughout Massachusetts for the 2018 state primary and general elections. The LWVMA Voters' Guide is a customizable digital resource that uses the BallotReady platform, replacing the Vote411 online guide in Massachusetts. BallotReady has been purchased by LWVMA and is available at no cost to our local Leagues!

BallotReady will allow Massachusetts voters to access personalized ballot information - for all candidates on the ballot from Governor and U. S. Senator down through county positions such as district attorney, plus all the ballot questions - simply by entering a street address. Voters can access in-depth information about candidates, including candidates' responses to questions created by LWVMA.  They will also find information on ballot questions, an online voter registration tool, local and state voting requirements and rules, and videos of candidate forums.

Voters can "Make a Plan to Vote" with this new platform. It will show voters where and when to vote, email or text calendar reminders to show up and vote, and is easily sharable on social media.

The Voters' Guide will be League of Women Voters of Massachusetts custom-branded and will be available in both desktop and mobile platforms.

Look for more information soon about LWVMA Online Voters' Guide and our bigger effort to engage and educate voters in 2018.

We need support from you and your League to successfully roll this out.

First, volunteer to develop questions for the candidates and about the ballot questions. We are recruiting members for this effort through May 31, so we can develop questions in June, submit to the candidates in late June, and prepare the Voters' Guide for its July 31 debut. Please contact Judy Zaunbrecher or Kris Eastman to volunteer.

Second, start planning how to publicize the LWVMA Online Voters' Guide. LWVMA will need local Leagues to spread the word throughout your communities.  An FAQ will be developed and posted online in early May on our new Online Voters' Guide.

We look forward to working with you. For more information, please contact Kris Eastman and Judy Zaunbrecher, LWVMA voter service co-chairs, or Meryl Kessler, LWVMA executive director.

Invite an LWVMA Board Member

LWVMA Board members are eager to visit with your local League!

We'd like to have one of our Board members come to one of your meetings sometime before 
the end of June.

Why are we doing this?
We are coming to listen to you. We'd like to learn about events, actions, and priorities you are working on. We'd like to hear what concerns you, and how you think we could better support your work. Learning more broadly about the variety of things local Leagues are engaged in educates all of us about the exciting work that you are all doing.

How can my League sign up for a visit?
We've set up a Google doc for you to fill in. You can let us know the date for a good meeting for us to visit; it's your choice whether that is a membership  meeting (maybe Annual Meeting?) or a board meeting. We'd like the opportunity to listen to you, so while we love visiting your events, we'd prefer an opportunity where you can talk and we can listen. Please fill out the Google doc form or email Mary Ann Ashton if you have a specific Board member you'd like to invite. Or you can just let Mary Ann know the date and she will see which of our Board members might be available. We look forward to having a chance to visit with your League soon!
ELECTIONS & VOTING
Keep Us Posted on High School Voter Registration
    
As you register students to vote in your area high schools this spring, please let the LWVMA office know how many new voters you signed up!  Send your tally and the name of the high school to Meryl Kessler, executive director.  And we love to get photos as well!

Remember you can now pre-register 16- and 17-year-olds to vote.  You use the same voter registration form, but make sure you have the newest version which indicates people filling it out must be at least 16, not 18.  You can see the new version here to check. Students can also register or pre-register online at www.registertovoteMA.com if they have a driver's license. 

LWVUS offers a guide to high school voter registration here. And LWVMA offers a general Voter Service Toolkit here.

Volunteer to Register MIT Students
    
LWVMA has been invited to conduct a voter registration drive at MIT's Day of Action Tuesday, April 17, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Stata Center, 32 Vassar St., Cambridge. Help engage young people in the democratic process. No voter registration experience is needed; training will be provided on Tuesday. Shifts in the morning and afternoon are still available. Please contact Judy Zaunbrecher, LWVMA voter service co-chair.
ADVOCACY
Oppose U.S. Census Citizenship Question
  
Help oppose the addition of a question on citizenship status to the 2020 U.S. Census. The national League has issued a strong statement condemning this last-minute decision by the Commerce Department.

LWVUS has put together talking points for state and local Leagues to use when addressing the citizenship question in the 2020 Census. LWVUS is working on a petition to Congress and will roll out additional materials soon.
THE TO-DO LIST
Daniel Scharfman Grant Deadline   
  
The next deadline for Daniel Scharfman Citizen Education grant applications is April 17. Local Leagues can apply for grants up to $250 for a project; three or more Leagues collaborating on a project can apply for up to $500. Leagues are limited to one grant each fiscal year. The application and requirements are here.
Update on Per-Member Payments

As you develop your budget for the next fiscal year, please note there will be no change in per-member payments (PMPs) at the state level for the fiscal year starting July 1. The national PMP will be determined at the LWVUS convention at the end of June.

For planning purposes, you can use the current national PMP of $32, realizing there may be a slight adjustment. State PMPs remain individual, $23; second in household, $5.75; and student, $2.30. The national PMP rate for student League members is one half of the rate of other members.  No PMP is required at the state or national levels for 50-year-plus members.
LWVUS Convention in June in Chicago
  

Has your League picked delegates to the national convention in Chicago? Every local League is entitled to one voting delegate, with an additional delegate for every 50 members. So if your League has up to 49 members, it is entitled to one delegate; 50-99 members, two delegates; 100-149 members, three delegates, and so on.

The 53rd National Convention is June 28-July 1 in Chicago. All available information on the convention  can be found here. Please contact membership@lwv.org with any Convention-related questions or concerns.
  • Registration is open! You can register online here. The Early Bird Registration rate is $450.
  • Explore Chicago: The LWV of Illinois has arranged discounted architecture tours for Convention attendees. There will be two opportunities to take part in a river cruise and one opportunity for a walking tour. More information can be found here.
The League Leader Update is distributed to local League board members and LWVMA leaders. Anyone can request the Update by clicking here. Please review this Update for articles of interest to your League and include them in your local Bulletin.

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