CALENDAR
Friday , Jan. 26
LWVMA/LESF Board Meeting, Framingham Main Library, J Program Room, 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 31
Deadline to update LWVUS Roster
Wednesday, Jan. 31
Automatic Voter Registration Lobby Day, Massachusetts State House, Room 428,  9:30 a.m. until 12 p.m.  
Thursday, Feb. 1
"Get in the Game and Vote" Student Video Contest kick-off
Thursday, Feb. 15
Moderator Training, ActonTV Studios, 7 p.m.until 9:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 1
Deadline to return LWVUS Program Planning materials
Saturday, April 28
LWVMA Spring Conference
HAPPENING NOW
Lights! Camera! LWVMA Student Video Contest!
 
For its fifth annual student video contest, LWVMA invites high school students to create 30-second public service announcements to motivate voters for Massachusetts' Fall 2018 elections.  
                
The contest,  Get In the Game and Vote, is open to all high school students in Massachusetts.  Top winners will be awarded $500, $250, and $100 prizes, and their videos will be publicized statewide.
                
Entries must be submitted online from February 1 through March 31 at  www.lwvma.org.  Judging will take place in April, and winners will be announced in May.  Official rules and further details are available at  www.lwvma.org.

League members can help publicize the video contest at high schools in their area.   A toolkit and flyer to download are available on our website here.  Emails about the contest will be sent to Massachusetts high schools, but may not reach the people you know. Please email personal contacts (high school administrators, educators, students) directly using the suggested email.  Your League can also send a letter to the editor about the contest and post information on your website and Facebook page. The information you need is in the toolkit.  
                
And if you are interested in helping to judge the videos,  contact LWVMA Executive Director Meryl Kessler.
Save the Date:  LWVMA Spring Conference April 28

Concerned about the state of our democracy? Want to learn from experts about steps we can all take to strengthen our democratic institutions and processes?

LWVMA is planning a conference dealing with the issues challenging our democracy on Saturday, April 28; we will have details on time and location shortly. This event is a new approach to the state League's spring programming that will substitute  a conference on contemporary issues, open to both League members and the public, for the Council program usually held in the year between state conventions.   Please plan to join us!
Regional Field Service Meetings Continuing

The LWVMA Field Service program provides opportunities for local League leaders to meet, share, and plan within defined geographical areas. The goal of the program is to support local League leaders, strengthen local Leagues and encourage regional collaboration.
                
If you are not able to attend a meeting in your region, you are welcome to attend in another region. Materials for the meetings are posted on the Field Service webpage.
                
Remaining Winter Field Service meetings:
Merrimack Valley/North Shore: Thursday, Jan. 25, 8:30-10:30 a.m. Friendly's, Peabody. Contact Karen Price.

Metro/South: Saturday, Jan. 27, 12-2 p.m., Westwood Library. Contact Kate Boland.

West: Saturday, Feb. 3. 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Mocha Maya's, Shelburne Falls. Contact Nancy Polan

Metro Northwest/Central; South Shore, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard; and Metro West meetings were held earlier in January. For questions, please contact Field Service Director Karen Price.

For further information on the Field Service program click here . 
ADVOCACY
Come to Automatic Voter Registration Lobby Day Jan. 31
    
We need your help! Please join LWVMA and our election coalition partners for an  Automatic Voter Registration Lobby Day to tell our legislators that we want to give all eligible citizens a voice in our democracy.

When:  Wednesday, Jan. 31 from 9:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.

Where: Room 428 of the Massachusetts State House.

We will be working hard to get the AVR bill out of the Joint Committee on Election Laws and to the floor of the House for a vote. Nothing makes as strong an impression on legislators as in-person visits from constituents.

Lobby Day sign-in starts at  9:30 a.m. , and the program begins at  10 a.m.  You'll be briefed on the AVR bill (H.2091/S.373) and on how to effectively lobby your legislators. At  11:15 , participants will attend pre-arranged meetings with their legislators.

Support Safe Communities Act
    
Take action to support the Safe Communities Act, which protects the civil rights of all state residents regardless of immigration status. Watch for an action alert soon on a Safe Communities Act Day of Action, which will involve telephoning legislators on Jan. 31.
Legislative Envoy Program Taking Shape
    
It's not too late to become a Legislative Envoy!  We are looking for one or two interested members in each local League to become envoys.  Is there someone in your League who would like to take a more active role with the League's activity at the State House?

Learn more about the program here.   If you know someone who is interested or has further questions, ask them to contact Colleen Kirby, the program's administrator.

The Legislative Envoy Program will kick off later this month.  
ELECTIONS & VOTING
Attend Moderator Training Feb. 15
  
Moderator training will be conducted Thursday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m.  The training session will be held at Acton TV, 16 Craig Road, Acton, MA.  Jo-Ann Berry and Stefani Traina, veteran League moderators, will lead this training.  Both new and experienced moderators are encouraged to attend.  
                
The session will be videotaped so the training can be rolled out across the state.  Voter Service will be looking for local trainers and mentors to assist in this roll out.
                
                
If you are unable to attend this session, but are interested in participating in a regional training at another location, please contact LWVMA Voter Service Chairs  Judy Zaunbrecher or  Kris Eastman.
THE TO-DO LIST
LWVUS Roster Update Time 

The member count deadline is fast approaching! You need to update your League's roster in the LWVUS membership database to ensure correct per-member-payment billing for FY2018-19 by Wednesday, Jan. 31.
                
Please double check all of your active members' contact information in case it has changed since your last update. Also, LWVUS has launched its new website, and all state and local League information on that site is pulled directly from the database. Please ensure your League's leadership roles are updated under the "manage relationships" tab. You can access the database here. A database user manual is available here.
                
If your League recruits new members or if contact information changes for current members after Jan.31, please make changes in the database as soon as possible. LWVMA periodically checks the US database for new members and adds them to our state communications list. We don't want any new members to miss the State League's action alerts, newsletters, invitations, etc.
                
If you have any technical problems or if you need to designate a new roster manager, please email LWVUS at rostersupport@lwv.orgBrynne Gorman in the LWVMA office is also happy to help if you have any questions.
State Expert Available to Explain Campaign Finance Rules
  
If your League is planning a workshop on running for office, note that Jason Tait, communications director for the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, is available to explain the state's campaign finance requirements for local elections.  The Office of Campaign and Political Finance is an independent state agency that administers the state's campaign finance law. Established in 1973, OCPF is the depository for disclosure reports filed by candidates and political committees.  You can reach him at Jason.tait@state.ma.us.

If you want to see his presentation, here's a link to a Sudbury LWV workshop in early January; his part starts about minute 41.

LWVUS Program Planning Information
  
The LWVUS Program Planning Leaders' Guide is now available. Responses from local and state Leagues are due by March 1. Program planning will lead to adoption of a program of education and action at Convention 2018 in Chicago in June. Questions should be directed to Karen Nicholson, chair of the LWV Education and Advocacy Committee. 
LWVUS Guidance on Working With Outside Groups  
  
LWVUS has issued guidance for Leagues which want to partner with other groups such as the Indivisible groups which have formed in the "democracy space" for such events as forums, networking opportunities, lobby days and voter registration drives. 
                
As LWVUS notes, "With many new groups entering the political advocacy circle, League members may be feeling unsettled about how to handle so many groups entering 'our space.' However, this influx of new groups presents an excellent opportunity for potential partnerships and spreading the League's mission and message to a wider audience."
                
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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