January Opportunities for Action
Tuesday, Jan. 1, marked the last day of the legislature's 2017-18 session; the 2019-20 session began Wednesday, Jan. 2. Look for information about the League's priorities for the new two-year legislative session in the Mass. League Voter e-newsletter later this month. For more information about how the legislature works, see below to register for our webinar on January 29.
Sexual Health Lobby Day Jan. 17

Join LWVMA, Planned Parenthood, and other organizations for Sexual Health Lobby Day at the State House Thursday, Jan. 17 , and encourage the new legislature to pay attention to reproductive rights and sexual health issues.  

Meet in the Great Hall of the State House at 10 a.m. for information on the issues, and then head out to talk to your own Senator and Representative. Please  RSVP here  so you can be matched with your legislators.

Building on successes protecting reproductive rights in the last session, we will be asking the legislature to finally pass the Healthy Youth Act, so public schools offering sex education use a curriculum that is comprehensive, medically-accurate, LGBTQ-inclusive, and teaches about consent and healthy relationships. We will also be seeking a bill to expand access to safe and legal abortion in the face of federal challenges.

Sexual Health Lobby Day organizers need volunteers to work as greeters and assist with registration. If you can help, here's the  volunteer form .

HR 1: The Federal Bill to Revitalize Democracy

The incoming U.S. House of Representatives will start off with HR 1, a comprehensive package of democracy reforms, developed by the League and partner organizations, to strengthen voting rights and reinforce democracy. The  key elements  of HR 1 are to expand voter registration, implement fair redistricting, outlaw voter purging and restore the Voting Rights Act.

LWVUS is particularly urging that HR 1 include a key provision-a small donor public financing system-to reduce the undue influence of big money in our politics.

We urge each of you to contact your U.S. Representative and ask him/her to support a strong version of HR 1 that includes a provision for small donor public campaign financing. Even though Massachusetts Representatives are expected to back HR 1, it's important to contact them and show constituent support. It helps them persuade their colleagues to act when they can say they have heard from hundreds of voters about this bill.

You can use this  LWVUS form  to ask for support on the small donor financing position. You can also visit or call your Representative at his or her district offices or in Washington, using the information  here . Call before you visit district offices to make sure someone will be there. Contact information for new Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley and Lori Trahan will be added as soon as it is available.

Ask the Governor to Sign These Bills

On the last day of the legislative session, two bills we have been supporting for years passed both houses! They are now awaiting the Governor's signature.

One bill will remove gender disparities from privately-purchased disability insurance policies, which will particularly benefit self-employed women. Disability policies purchased through corporations are already gender-neutral.

The other bill will ban certain toxic and ineffective flame retardants in Massachusetts, chemicals that are particularly harmful to young children and firefighters.

Ask Governor Baker to sign these two bills. You can email the Governor using this  form , or call 617-725-4005 during office hours.

LWVMA Offering Webinar on the Legislative Process

As the new session of the legislature begins, LWVMA is offering a webinar on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 7:00 p.m.  to explain how Massachusetts' two-year legislature works and how the League, through its Legislative Action Committee, chooses the bills it will support (or oppose) and follows them through the session. Nancy Brumback, LAC chair, will present the information.

Please sign up for the webinar here  and you will receive the link to use to join the webinar.

Famed Scientist to Discuss Climate Change in Webinar

Princeton University Professor Michael Oppenheimer, a long-time participant in the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and internationally-recognized authority on climate science, will review the recent UN and U.S. government reports on climate change in an LWVMA webinar Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 4 p.m. 

To register, use this link . You will then receive an email with information on joining the webinar. You can download a flyer here .

Oppenheimer is skilled and experienced at explaining these topics in terms everyone will understand. These reports warn in stark language that the impact of climate change is upon us, that it affects us no matter where we live, and that time to avoid severe consequences is running out.
  • What’s new in these two recent reports?
  • What needs to be done to prevent the catastrophic scenarios in the reports?
  • What are our best options for action?
  • How can we summon the political and social will to take the actions necessary?
The webinar is hosted by LWVMA’s Environmental Action and Advocacy steering committee.

Women's March in Boston Jan. 19

The 2019 Boston Women's March: Until All Voices Are Heard  will take place Saturday, January 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Boston Common. Please join us on this worldwide day of action as we make our voices heard in support of civil rights for all communities. Look for more information from LWVMA in the coming week.

Commemorating the Boston Protest of 1919

The Women’s Suffrage Celebration Coalition of Massachusetts will commemorate the centennial of the last arrests in Boston during the 72-year suffrage movement on Thursday, Feb. 28 , at noon at the State House in Boston. LWVMA and several local Leagues are part of this coalition.

Nearly 100 years ago, on Feb. 24, 1919, 25 women were arrested for protesting President Woodrow Wilson during his visit to the Massachusetts State House and at a parade in his honor. Most were imprisoned in Boston's Charles Street Jail. The protest was to lobby Wilson to pressure the U.S. Senate to pass the 19th Amendment. 

Check the event page of the WSCC website for updates.

Check Out LWVUS Climate Change Blog

Following the release of two important reports on climate change, LWVUS urges League members to read our blog highlighting the reports and check out the LWVUS Toolkit for Climate Action to find ideas about getting involved in your community. That blog was written by Launa Zimmaro, LWVMA’s legislative specialist on climate change and energy!
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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