The Massachusetts legislature takes a breather in August, but there are still actions you can take. Be sure to take a look at our new handbook, 
The Citizen Lobbyistexplaining the legislative process in Massachusetts and how to influence it. Thank you for your response to the suggested activities and action alerts to date; you make a difference. Enjoy the rest of the summer and get ready for an active fall!   
August Opportunities for Action
 
Environment:

Register now for LWVMA's Climate and Energy Solutions Series forum at the New England Aquarium's Simons IMAX® Theatre Thursday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public, but you must register through the Aquarium's website. Don't miss out!

LWVMA and LWV-Boston are excited to team up with the Aquarium and UMass Boston School for the Environment for "Extreme events and climate change: What we know and what we can do." Dr. Ellen Douglas of UMass Boston will discuss our changing climate, what changes may be in the future for Boston and beyond, and plans for how to adapt to these changes.
 
Save the Dates for our other Environmental Forums: The three other forums in this series will be Oct. 4 in Winchester, Oct. 19 in Lexington, and Nov. 4 in Falmouth.
 
LWVUS Carbon Pricing Webinar: T he LWVUS  Price on Carbon Steering Committee  and PriceonCarbon.org will host a webinar Monday, Aug. 28, from 4 to 5 p.m. with Dr. Robert Litterman, former partner and head of risk management at Goldman Sachs. RSVP 
here; registration is limited to 100 participants.

Elections and Voting:

Getting Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) passed during this legislative session is a priority for LWVMA! League members can play a key role: write a letter to the editor of your local paper to support AVR. You can find a template for a letter from an individual here and for a letter from a League herePlease sign up here to let us know that you are submitting a letter to your local newspaper, so we can track our statewide outreach and impact. There's a fact sheet on automatic voter registration here. 
 
Celebrate Women's Equality Day by registering voters. The Women's Suffrage Celebration Coalition, which includes LWVMA, celebrates Women's Equality Day Thursday, Aug. 24, in the Boston Public Garden from noon to 2 p.m.  The League will be registering voters and we need some volunteers. If you'd like to help, please contact Mary Ann Ashton. For information on the event,
 
Immigration:

Support Safe Communities Act: The Supreme Judicial Court just ruled that state and local law enforcement cannot hold people solely on the basis of a federal civil immigration detainer, one of the more controversial areas of the Safe Communities Act. A Boston Globe editorial urged the legislature to pass the Safe Communities Act, S1305 / H3269 , and you can see the LWVMA testimony on the bill here.
 
Continue to persuade your legislators to sign on to the "Dear Colleague" letter described in this Action Alert (it is not too late).  You can also use Facebook's Town Hall feature to find your state Representative and Senator and post the Globe editorial on their pages, urging them to support the Safe Communities Act. Make sure to get your Constituent badge before you post, so they know you're in their district!
 
Progress Update:
 
What happened on our bills last month:
  • The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act was signed into law by Governor Baker July 27.
  • The sex education bill, An Act relative to healthy youth, passed the Senate and is now in the House Ways & Means Committee.
  • Two basic human needs bills were reported favorably out of joint committees: H101 creates a common application to apply for safety-net services, and H695 establishes a bill of rights for homeless people.
  • A bill to increase the amount of moderate- and low-income housing, H673/S723, was reported favorably out of joint committee.
 
The LWVMA Legislative Update is distributed to all LWVMA members. Anyone can request the Legislative 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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