December Opportunities for Action
Act NOW on Climate Change and Immigration:
The release of two urgent reports on the looming impact of climate change and the relentless criticism directed at immigrants and refugees, along with the government's actions on our border with Mexico require your immediate action. Below are specific ways you can respond to these two crises. Please take the suggested actions. Make sure your legislators at all levels know their constituents care deeply about climate change and immigration.

Climate Change:

As voters, we need to tell our own elected officials that climate change is a top priority for us, their constituents, and we expect our elected representatives to do what is urgently needed now. The latest  UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report and the  U.S. government's National Climate Assessment make it abundantly clear that the future of the United States and the world is literally in our hands.

Please email or call your elected representatives, national and state, and insist they make climate change a top priority. It is also critical to contact Governor Baker and President Trump. This call to action should reach all incoming members of our legislature and Congress, including newly-elected members, before new energy and environmental bills are submitted in January so those bills get immediate attention.

The LWVMA Steering Committee for Environmental Action and Advocacy has developed three scripts. Please use one of the prepared scripts or develop your own. Local Leagues are also encouraged to send a letter, email, or call in the name of your League. You will find the scripts and contact information by clicking here.

Immigration:

Please take two actions on immigration. Contact your U.S. Senators and Representative to protest current anti-immigration activities at the border. Submit a comment to the Department of Homeland Security by Dec. 10 opposing the proposed "public charge" rule; detailed instructions follow.

To oppose federal actions at the border, including spraying tear gas at migrant women and children, housing unaccompanied teens in camps with non-certified staff, and attempting to limit asylum claims, call your U.S. Senators and Representative to register your concern.

You will find a script and contact information, plus information on the "public charge" rule, by clicking here.


Climate Change Webinar:

World-Renowned Climate Scientist to Discuss Climate Change Reports in LWVMA Webinar

Professor Michael Oppenheimer, a long-time participant in the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and an internationally-recognized authority on climate science, will brief League members on the recent UN and U.S. government reports on climate change in an LWVMA webinar Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 4 p.m. Be sure to save the date and stay tuned for registration information.

The LWVMA Environmental Action and Advocacy Committee is hosting this webinar with Professor Oppenheimer following the October special report from the UN International Panel on Climate Change and the November release of the Fourth National Climate Assessment by the U.S. government, which warn in stark language that the impact of climate change is upon us, that it affects us no matter where we live, and time to act is running out. What does meaningful action look like? What are our best options for action? Can we summon the political and social will to take the actions necessary?

Oppenheimer is the Albert G. Milbank professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University and the director of the Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School. He was recently featured on Living on Earth and the  PBS News Hour.

Ballot Question Process Study

Watch the webinar:  The Ballot Question Process Study Committee presented a webinar on conducting the LWVMA study four times in October and November. Eighty-four members from 31 local Leagues/Units, plus several from LWV of Maine, joined one of the webinars. The webinar is now available on YouTube and on the study  webpage .

The Consensus Response Form for the study is ready for local Leagues to report the results of their consensus meetings, to be held between Dec. 1 and Feb. 15. The online response form asks for your consensus results for each question and comments after each question, and general comments at the end. A  Word version of the form with submission instructions is available on the study webpage so you can see the questions and prepare a draft or a version for board approval prior to submission.

The Consensus Response Form is due by Feb. 16. Questions? Email  bqstudy@lwvma.org.

Be a UN Observer

From LWVUS: Our LWVUS UN observers are preparing for the 63rd Meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations in New York March 11-22. CSW is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively devoted to promoting women's rights, documenting the reality of women's lives throughout the world, and shaping global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women. We are looking for League delegates who will attend a minimum of 4-5 days of CSW and will participate in all varieties of sessions, including commission meetings and side events. Delegates are responsible for all transportation, accommodations, and meals. If you would like to attend, please send a short statement of interest to  dorsey.michelle@hotmail.com . The deadline to apply is Dec. 31.
 
Learn About Barriers to Voting

In case you missed the LWVMA webinar on "Barriers to Voting" with Professor Erin O'Brien of UMass Boston, you can watch it  here .  Professor O'Brien presents an excellent overview of systemic voting barriers as well as policy reforms that can help get out the vote. 

Civics Education Bill Passes!

Governor Baker signed the civics education bill after the legislature made some minor revisions.  Many thanks to Karen Mazza and Terry Yoffie, education specialists, who worked hard on this bill, and to all of you who urged your legislators and the Governor to pass it.  See the press release from the Massachusetts Civic Learning Coalition, of which LWVMA is a member, here .

What an Election Season!
               
Leagues all across Massachusetts had a busy fall election season! Congratulations to all who worked so hard to make democracy work. Enjoy this video, and thanks to Brynne Gorman for putting it together.

LWVMA: Registering, Engaging, and Protecting Voters in 2018
LWVMA: Registering, Engaging, and Protecting Voters in 2018
 
The LWVMA Action Newsletter is distributed to all LWVMA members. Anyone can request the Action Newsletter by clicking here. Please review this Newsletter for articles of interest to your League and include them in your local Bulletin.

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