CALENDAR
Wednesday, Sept. 4
LWVUS Town Hall, 6 p.m.
Friday, Sept.20
Boston Youth Climate Strike
Tuesday, Sept. 24
National Voter Registration Day
Thursday, Oct. 17 Day on the Hill, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 26
League Leader Lunch, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Co-Presidents' Message

August 26 marks the 99th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment and kicks off the League's year-long centennial, which includes the 100th birthday of the national and state League of Women Voters.  As we celebrate and commemorate this year, we are each looking for ways to affirm the League's work and recommit ourselves to the work that is still to be done to ensure that our League is an inclusive and welcoming organization that is dedicated to ensuring that we remove the obstacles to voting and civic engagement for everyone.

We'll be adding resources for the 100th Anniversary to our website.  The first installment is a toolkit for local Leagues to provide some ideas about ways to celebrate and commemorate, and an invitation to add your ideas to the list.

Mark your calendars now for a busy fall, with Day on the Hill and the League Leader Lunch both coming up in October.  We're working on plans for an educational and inspirational event to focus on expanding our electorate.  Those of you in Massachusetts cities have important preliminary and general elections in September and November.  And last but not least, we'll be sending out our Annual Fall Appeal, asking you to make a financial contribution to support our state League in its work.

At our Convention in June, we passed a resolution declaring a Climate Emergency and committing ourselves to undertake actions to address this emergency in a timely way.  We are pleased to announce that the LWV of Massachusetts is a sponsor of the Youth Climate Strike on September 20, and you can read below about ways to become involved with this event.  Additionally, our Environmental Action and Advocacy Committee has developed an action plan, which includes Sustainability Guidelines to help all of us plan League meetings and events that ensure that we are "walking the walk" about our commitment to the environment.

Finally, we invite you to learn about a 50-state campaign which the LWVUS is launching next week to ensure fair redistricting maps for everyone.  LWVMA Board of Directors voted to participate in this campaign at our meeting last week, and we'll be providing you with more particulars about ways that you can get involved.  To learn more about the campaign, tune in to a town hall forum on the campaign on Wednesday, September 4, at 6 p.m.

We value the work that each of you does to empower voters and defend democracy.  We look forward to seeing you at one of our fall events.


In League,





Mary Ann Ashton and  Judy Zaunbrecher
LWVMA Co-Presidents
HAPPENING NOW 
Day on the Hill Needs You

Organize your carpools and put on your lobbying hat. It's time to make democracy work!
 
Day on the Hill, LWVMA's annual lobbying day, is Thursday, Oct. 17, at the State House, with a program from 10 a.m. to noon, followed by time to visit your own Senator and Representative.

Senator Karen Spilka, the Senate President, is our keynote speaker. You'll also hear from legislative  specialists on our legislative priorities-Election Day registration, the climate emergency, education  funding and reproductive rights. Look for registration information soon.  
 
Nothing makes a bigger impression on legislators than an in-person visit from constituents. Your presence at Day on the Hill will greatly increase the League's clout as we work to pass the legislation we support.
Action Plan on Climate Emergency

We are pleased to announce LWVMA is an official sponsor of the Boston Youth Climate Strike , set for Friday, Sept. 20! The strike is being organized and led by youth and youth leaders are asking for our help. Check this link frequently for updates on the Youth Climate Strike on Sept. 20, for specific details as they develop and to register when details are set.  Please share information about the Climate Strike and the event registration link widely within your networks. 

The strike is a global effort powered by youth of all ages around the world, with thousands of students striking on Fridays since March to bring meaningful attention and political action on the climate emergency confronting us. These young people are asking for our help as adults. LWVMA is doing its part to support their effort as part of the larger plan of action described below.

At the June LWVMA Convention, League members unanimously supported a  Climate Emergency Resolution . To begin acting on the resolution, the LWVMA Environmental Action and Advocacy Committee developed a plan of action, approved by the LWVMA Board on July 26. The plan, available here , sets two immediate goals of developing a detailed mobilization plan, including proposed actions at both the state and local levels, and developing a communications plan.

To meet the goals, the committee is offering seven specific actions for state and local Leagues to work on, including supporting the Boston event tied to the  Global Climate Strike , asking local governments to adopt climate emergency language, including climate emergency questions at candidate forums, promoting voting as a way to influence policy change, and developing ways to raise awareness of the climate emergency issue within our membership and throughout our communities.

Sustainable Practices Guidelines: As part of the climate emergency action plan, the committee drafted Sustainable Practices Guidelines, available here, for the League at both the state and local levels to consider in their planning and operations. The guidelines encourage implementation of zero waste and low-waste practices at League events. Take a look at the guidelines and see how you, your League, and other organizations you work with might make changes to contribute to a more sustainable future.

League Action on Gerrymandering

LWVUS is launching a 50-state + DC campaign to end partisan gerrymandering: The People-Powered Fair Maps Campaign. All League members are invited to tune into a town hall forum on the campaign on Wednesday, Sept. 4 at 6 p.m. to learn more.
 
The national board has authorized half a million dollars to launch this campaign, and every state League will receive some of that funding through grants. This work will look different in each state. The town hall forum will be recorded and available for those unable to participate Sept. 4.
 
In announcing the campaign, LWVUS president Chris Carson said, "In June, the Supreme Court ruled that partisan gerrymandering is a political question because no fair test exists for courts to determine when partisan gerrymandering has gone too far. That means all federal courts will be hands-off even when redistricting intentionally decreases the voting power of voters based on their political party.

"Because redistricting has long been a priority issue of the League and a signature part of our Campaign for Making Democracy work, we cannot sit back and wait for the court to change. We do not have to rely on the Supreme Court to solve partisan gerrymandering. There are other paths to creating fair maps nationwide - and the League of Women Voters is the best organization positioned to accomplish this." 
100th Anniversary News

All local Leagues and League members have 100th anniversaries to celebrate! The three  anniversaries in 2020 are LWV, LWVMA, and the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.
 
One way to get ideas about recognizing the anniversaries is to see what other Leagues  are doing. The LWVMA anniversary committee has assembled a   100th Anniversary Local League Toolkit   to share ideas, experience, and materials. We hope this will be your first stop with everything you need to get started. It links to the other toolkits, state and national resources, books, films, exhibits, and local League programs.
 
This Toolkit is a living document, and members are encouraged to contribute. Email 100thanniversary@lwvma.org to share an event, suggest a good resource, etc.
ELECTIONS & VOTING
Participate in National Voter Registration Day

On Tuesday, Sept. 24, organizations from all over the country will hold National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) events. Y ou can learn more about the day's activities, the support and materials available, and how to register here .
 
The League of Women Voters is a major partner nationally in National Voter Registration Day, and the League has been the single largest on-the-ground partner in this event since 2012.
Does Your City Have a Fall Election?

If your League is organizing candidate forums or voter registration events this fall, please check out our  Voter Service Toolkit  on the LWVMA website. There are resources that will help you plan a successful candidate forum, including tasks for planning, timing schedule, moderator script, ground rules, and sample questions. Please also let us know the date for your candidate event (email  lwvma@lwvma.org ) so that we can add your dates to our calendar. Our new Voter Engagement co-chairs,  Tanya Roy  and  Lee Bona , would be happy to help answer your questions.
 
We are working with several local Leagues to publish candidate information for the Nov. 5 election on VOTE411.org .  In the meantime, check out the election information available on the new VOTE411.org website. If you are interested in working with LWV Massachusetts to publish candidate information for your general election on Nov. 5, please contact  Mary Ann Ashton  for more information.
2020 Census Action Update

LWVUS sponsored a policy and advocacy webinar covering the 2020 Census and a recording  is now available. In addition, check out LWVUS' census topic page  and  census action kit
 
In Massachusetts, planning is under way. Census data determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives. In the Commonwealth, this data drives the distribution of over $16 billion in federal funding; Massachusetts risks losing up to $2,400 for each person not counted.
 
We encourage local Leagues and League members to join their local Complete Count Committees. You can find your local Committee  here . If your city or town is not listed, it has not yet shared information with the state. You can find more information on the 2020 Census  here . If you are interested in helping to coordinate information sharing among local League volunteers about the Census, please contact Mary Ann Ashton .
AROUND THE LEAGUE
Three Leagues Receive Scharfman Grants
 
Three local Leagues received Scharfman Citizen Education grants in April and June for voter service and education projects. Needham LWV helped prepare "birthday bags" with voting information for high school students turning 18. Westford LWV used a grant for a Westford Town Meeting banner and printing Town Meeting sandwich board posters. Hamilton-Wenham LWV is working on a project: 100 Reasons Why: Photographic Portraits of Past and Present Members of the Hamilton-Wenham League of Women Voters.
LWVUS DEI Webinar
 
LWVUS is offering a look at  "League History Through a DEI Lens," presented by past LWVUS president Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins, Thursday, Aug. 29, at 7 p.m.  Register here.
LWV Launches She Is Me
 
LWVUS has launched an online campaign to re-introduce the League of Women Voters to new audiences in our 100th year. This campaign, called She Is Me, features stories of real League members, their work, and their commitment to defending democracy. You can read about the campaign and see how your League can participate with the She Is Me toolkit available on the League Management Site . LWVUS has a  webinar on the toolkit  as well. A recording is available here
"Looking Back, Moving Forward": An Overview of LWVMA 2019 Convention
 
A Climate Emergency Resolution citing many specific indicators of climate change won strong support at the LWVMA convention in June. Delegates at the convention also adopted new positions on the ballot question process in Massachusetts and on immigration. We changed our bylaws to create staggered terms for board members. Going forward, half the board will be elected at Convention and half at Council, in alternate years. And we elected a new board. Click here for a review of Convention activities and actions.
A Report from LWVUS Council
 
Mary Ann Ashton and Judy Zaunbrecher, LWVMA co-presidents, joined League leaders from 44 states and the District of Columbia at the 2019 LWVUS Council in Leesburg, VA, in June. Under the theme "The Power of Our Transformation," Council gave League leaders an opportunity to participate in strategic conversations about the future of the League.
 
Presentations, workshops, and discussions were focused on progress made on the transformation journey since the 2018 Convention, including advancing a clear strategic focus, developing a more inclusive culture, building a healthier League network, and increasing capacity at all levels. Highlights from the 2019 Council highlights are available here and you can view the presentations here .
LWVUS Convention Date
 
The national League of Women Voters Convention will be held in Washington, DC, June 25-28, 2020.
National League Nominations
 
Applications are now available for the 2020-22 LWVUS Board and nominating committee. To learn more, review the FAQ and job descriptions or contact the nominating committee
 
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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