CALENDAR
Saturday, April 27
Local Environmental Action Conference, Worcester State University, 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 30
Deadline to submit Globe GRANT vouchers
Thursday, May 30 Convention registration deadline
Friday, June 7 - Saturday, June 8 LWVMA 2019 Convention, Westford Regency Inn
From Our President

Dear League Members,                

Spring days and warmer weather mean many of you are busy educating voters for town elections and town meetings. This spring also brings us closer to our bi-annual state Convention, in Westford June 7 and 8. I hope that many of you will join us for an opportunity to learn and network with each other.

Our legislative specialists have sorted through the thousands of bills filed for this legislative session and are deciding which we will work on. Many of you participated in lobby days, and there will be more coming up as hearings are held on these bills. We appreciate your willingness to reach out to your legislators and let them know your priorities.

The LWVMA Board formed two statewide committees which are guiding us to build a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive League as we begin to celebrate our 100th anniversary in 2020. Each of these groups offers a quick overview of their work, and ways that you can be involved. There will be continuing opportunities for all of us to participate in the months ahead.

Growing our League and expanding our reach requires that each of us commit to participating in areas that are important to us and to supporting the work of LWVMA with a financial contribution as you are able. Our Spring Appeal is underway and we'd welcome any contribution that you are able to make to support our work. A generous grant from a donor will match your contribution until June 30.

On behalf of the entire Board, thank you for everything you do for the League, and we look forward to seeing you at Convention.


In League,

Mary Ann Ashton
HAPPENING NOW 
Convention: 100 Years: Looking Back, Moving Forward

Have you made your plans to join us for Convention June 7 and 8?  
 
Friday's program kicks off with a panel discussion on the promise and perils of election technology, featuring Charles Stewart from MIT, Michelle Tassinari from the Massachusetts Secretary of State's office, and Dana Chisnell from Center for Civic Design. LWVUS CEO Virginia Kase will share her perspectives on the work of the national League. During a cocktail reception, League members can network and meet the candidates for the state Board. Bill McKibben, nationally known author, environmentalist, and activist, will keynote the banquet.
 
Saturday's session will include a review of the last two years of LWVMA activity and look forward to the next two years. A panel discussion with newly-elected legislators will include Sen. Becca Rausch, Rep. Tram Nguyen, Rep. Nika Elugardo, and Rep. Natalie Blais. Our lunch speaker, Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, is the Victor S. Thomas Professor of History and of African and African-American Studies and the chair of the Department of History at Harvard University. She received the 2014 National Humanities Medal for "illuminating the African-American journey."
 
On both days, Local League Showcases will give each local League and unit a chance to highlight their work with a one-minute presentation of an event or initiative from the past two years. This is a great opportunity to get new ideas by learning about the work of our fabulous local Leagues.
 
All League members are welcome and encouraged to participate in Convention for one or both days and pricing is available for several different options. Pricing is also available for the banquet only, and you can bring non-member guests to the banquet as well.   Only official delegates from local Leagues and MAL units vote in the plenary sessions , but other League members are welcome as observers. Click here for information and registration.

Rooms for Friday night are available at the Westford Regency for $129 (plus tax), a special rate for LWVMA available until  May 8. To receive our special rate, you must call 978-692-8200 and ask for the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts Convention rate. You will not receive this rate if you book directly on the hotel's website or a third-party website. 
Like Your Vote, Your Gift Counts

League members do a lot. You register voters and educate your community through candidates' forums, voters' guides, and educational events. You take action by assuming local leadership roles and advocating at all levels of government - from your city or town, to Beacon Hill, to Capitol Hill. You undertake serious study so that we may take thoughtful positions that truly advance an agenda of good government. You establish, build, and govern strong local leagues that give us power on Beacon Hill.
 
To support all of this work, one of our members has stepped forward with a matching gift of $30,000.  She recognizes the importance of the true interconnectedness of the local and state Leagues - that our strength is interdependent. She wants to help us do even more, together.
 
Between now and June 30, every gift you give to LWVMA will be matched $1 to $1.  So your vote may count once, but today your gift counts twice. Please donate today.
 
If you have a question about making a gift, email Michelle at  mkweder@lwvma.org  or call her at 857.452.1712.
  DONATE
Check Out Our Video Contest Winners

The winners in our high school video contest, "The Climate Change Challenge," have been chosen, and their videos are posted on our website . See what the youth have done with this crucial issue! We had 95 entries from more than 250 students around the state .
100th Anniversary News

The League of Women Voters is turning 100 in 2020!    LWVMA is making plans to celebrate the founding of the LWV and LWVMA and the passage of the "right to vote" 19th Amendment. LWVMA has established a 100th Anniversary Committee to make recommendations for a Fall 2019 educational event and a signature event in Spring 2020 and to develop other activities to promote the League and the important anniversaries throughout 2019-2020.
 
The 100th Anniversary Committee has formed three sub-committees to focus our work and is looking for volunteers for these sub-committees.

Read more...
DEI Committee Begins Work

The LWVMA Board established a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee to develop strategies to continue to move the League toward being a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization. LWVMA initially started this work in 2001 and has had multiple committees over the years. The new committee reviewed the earlier efforts and started its work in January.
 
The committee will address LWVMA DEI policy, member resources, possible advisory board, educational workshops and forums, collaborating and partnering with our community members, and other strategies that can be implemented by LWVMA and local Leagues as appropriate. Committee members are Kate Boland (Chair), Vedna Heywood, Patty Shepard, Karen Callanan, Cindy Ku, and LWVMA Executive Director Michelle Kweder.  
 
We encourage all League leaders and members to listen to the past LWVUS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion webinars. There are two more, scheduled for April 25 and May 23, so sign up and join the conversation!
ADVOCACY
LWVMA at Work on Beacon Hill

The Legislative Action Committee has been identifying which of the thousands of bills filed in the legislative session that began in January LWVMA will support (or oppose).   You can find the list of bills on our website here . Some bills still will be added, and LWVMA testimony on each bill will be listed on the website as hearings are held and testimony is submitted.
 
We will keep you updated on action you can take to support this legislation via the Mass League Action newsletter that you receive the first of every month. Take a look at it and pick an action (or two) on issues that are important to you. We will also send action alerts to members when action is needed between those newsletters. Plan to attend a lobby day or hearing to make your voice heard and boost the League's presence on Beacon Hill.
 
Our League Day on the Hill lobby day will be in October; we'll let you know when we have a specific date. We found October is a better time in the legislative cycle than the spring.  During spring of the first year of the session (right now), the specialists are still working on bills and testimony, and by spring of the second year, many of the bills may have died in committee.  And legislators are preoccupied with the budget in the spring.  In October, hearings are winding up and the joint committees are debating the bills and deciding which to report out of committee.  Our efforts are much more effective then. 
Actions on the Environment

LWVMA is co-sponsoring the Local Environmental Action Conference again this year. The conference is at Worcester State University, 486 Chandler Street, Worcester, Saturday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
 
As a member of the League, you can get discounted tickets by registering here . Your $35 ticket gives you a full day of learning and inspiration and includes lunch.
 
The LWVUS Price on Carbon task force is sponsoring a webinar, "Cap and Trade is Alive and Well: Carbon Markets Around the World," Thursday, April 25, 2-3 p.m. Eastern time. Sign up here for this webinar.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
LWV Amherst Sponsors 1-2-3 Girls LEAD
 
By Rebecca Fricke, LWV Amherst
Last fall, the League of Women Voters of Amherst sponsored a girls' leadership program called 1-2-3 Girls LEAD!  Amherst Regional High School teachers nominated over 100 girls who had different backgrounds and interests but were not known leaders in the school; 23 of those girls attended.
 
LWVA members Cynthia Brubaker and Rebecca Fricke designed the fast-paced program to include activities and facilitated discussions to help the young women gain confidence, learn skills, and practice techniques which are important for effective leadership. The group spent a considerable amount of time identifying an impressive list of the issues the girls care about and qualities of a good leader. Read more...
LWV Needham Forms High School Club
 
By Karen Price, LWV Needham
The League of Women Voters of Needham at Needham High School Club was conceived shortly after LWVUS, followed by LWVMA, announced there would be no per-member-payments for student members. In the summer of 2018, the LWV Needham board began exploring the possibility of engaging a group of high school students. We were lucky when our scholarship winner that year recommended his younger sister!
 
One of our members, a Needham High social studies teacher, agreed to be the faculty advisor, and a group of five, later nine, sophomore girls initiated and joined the club and the League.
 
One of the club's first activities was speaking at the LWV Needham Ballot Question Forum in the fall of 2018. Four students represented the two sides of Questions 2 and 3. They spoke to the reasons for voting yes or no and answered questions from the audience. Read more...
Three Leagues Receive Scharfman Grants
 
Three local Leagues received Daniel Scharfman Citizen Education grants in February for voter service and education projects. Congratulations to LWV Harvard, the Salem Unit, and LWV Sudbury. A detailed description of their projects is here .
Framingham is Official
 
The board of directors of LWVUS has officially recognized Framingham as a local League, the final step in the process. LWVMA recognized Framingham in February. We salute Stephanie Deeley, president, Mary Kate Feeney, vice president, and their team for their work creating our newest League. The Framingham League has held candidates' nights and public forums as Framingham made the transition from a town to a city, and it produces a cable television program, Informed Framingham.
Check Out Our Annual Report
 
LWVMA's annual report for fiscal year 2017-2018 is now available.  Take a look here.
Watch an LWVMA Webinar!
 
If you missed any of the webinars LWVMA has produced, they are all now available on our website here Webinars available include "It's Happening. It's Now. The Climate Reports of 2018," with Professor Michael Oppenheimer; a presentation on ranked choice voting by Adam Friedman, executive director of Voter Choice Massachusetts; and how the League works with the legislature.
 
The Mass. League Voter is distributed to all LWVMA members. Anyone can request the Voter 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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