CALENDAR
Wednesday, January 23
Single-Payer Lobby Day, State House Grand Staircase, 11 a.m.
Thursday, January 24 Justice & Renewable Energy for All Lobby Day, State House Room 437, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Tuesday, January 29 "How the Legislature Works" Webinar, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, January 30 Safe Communities Lobby Day, State House Room 437, 1 - 3 p.m.
Wednesday, February 6
Climate Change Webinar, 4 p.m.
Tuesday, February 26 Ranked Choice Voting Webinar, 7 p.m.
From Our President

Dear League Members,                

Happy New Year to each of you - 2019 certainly brings us many challenges for our democracy and many ways in which we, as League members, can dig in to make a difference.
 
If you're someone who likes to visit your legislators at the State House and gather with other advocates interested in specific issue areas, then join us for Lobby Days at Beacon Hill on health care, energy and immigration.  If you're feeling overwhelmed by the cold weather and would prefer to educate yourself about important issues, then take advantage of one of our three webinars coming up in the next few weeks.  Here you can learn more about the recent climate change reports from a world-renowned expert, better understand how the legislative process works, or hear about ranked choice voting.  If you'd like to reach out to high school students in your community, then share information about our Climate Change Challenge Video Contest with your high schools, local cable TV stations, or others in your community.
 
Whatever you decide, find something that matches your interests and passions.  We are grateful for everything that each of you does, and for your support throughout the year.  Together we are making a difference.

In League,

Mary Ann Ashton
HAPPENING NOW 
Bill McKibben to Keynote LWVMA Convention

Noted environmentalist Bill McKibben will be the keynote speaker at the state League's convention Friday and Saturday, June 7-8. McKibben will speak at Friday night's banquet.

LWVMA's biennial convention will be held at the Westford Regency Inn in Westford, just off Interstate 495. We encourage every local League to send their voting delegates, and other members are urged to come as observers.

McKibben is an author, environmentalist, and activist. He is a co-founder and senior advisor at 350.org, an international climate campaign that works in 188 countries around the world. He is the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and a former staff writer for the New Yorker who continues to write numerous magazine articles.  

Watch for more details about our convention program, and plan to participate in setting the League's priorities and electing its board for the coming two years.
Video Contest: The Climate Change Challenge

For its sixth annual student video contest, LWVMA invites high school students to create 30-second videos to raise public awareness about one aspect of climate change and suggest a course of action to help save the planet.  

The contest,  The Climate Change Challenge, is open to all high school students in Massachusetts. Entries must be submitted online from Jan. 25 through March 8 at  www.lwvma.org. There are cash prizes--$500 for first place, $250 for second, $100 for third and $50 for honorable mention. Winners will be announced in late March.

Please help us get the word out. You can download a flyer and post it in your community, and share information on Facebook and Twitter.  Also, please contact people you know in your local high schools.  All the information you need is here on our website.

If you would like to help judge the entries, please let Taylor Grenga in our office know.
Check Out Our Annual Report

LWVMA's annual report for fiscal 2016-2017 is now available. Take a look here. The 2017-2018 annual report will be available soon.
Deadline Extended to Share Your Reason for Joining LWV

We have had members ask if it is too late to be a part of our #100 Reasons campaign. No, it isn't!

The deadline for submitting your video to  100Reasons@lwvma.org  has been extended to Friday, March 1. Here are the simple instructions  for creating your 15-second video, sample videos, and instructions for sending it to us.

As part of LWVMA's 100th Anniversary celebration, Massachusetts League members are urged to submit a short video-a "vlog" -that completes the following sentence: "I joined the League of Women Voters because...."

These videos are meant to share one of your personal reasons for joining the League. Throughout the year, we will roll your reasons out on our website and social media outlets under the hashtag #100Reasons. Take a look here at some of the Reasons so far.
ADVOCACY
The League and the Legislature

A new two-year session of the Massachusetts legislature began Jan. 2, to run through the end of 2020, with most of the work scheduled to finish July 31, 2020.

If the workings of the legislature are a bit of a mystery, LWVMA is offering a webinar on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 7 p.m. to explain how the legislature works and how the League, through its Legislative Action Committee (LAC), 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 here and you will receive the link to join the webinar.

LWVMA's legislative priorities this session start with continued reform of our election processes, including Election Day registration, expanded early voting, more robust audits of elections, election security, and ranked choice voting.  We will also focus on bills to combat climate change and energy use.  A third priority is reform of the foundation budget formula to finance education. Read more...

World-Renowned Scientist on Climate Change Reports

It's Happening. It's Now: The Climate Reports of 2018
Find out more in a webinar with Professor Michael Oppenheimer, Princeton University, a world-renowned climate scientist.

The LWVMA Committee for Environmental Action and Advocacy presents this webinar on the two major climate reports of 2018 on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 4-5 p.m. The reports are the UN IPCC Report and the US National Climate Assessment Report .

To register for this webinar click here . After submitting your registration, you will receive an email with registration information. For further information,  click here .
Lobby Days on Health Care, Energy, Immigration

A number of organizations that LWVMA works with have scheduled lobby days at the State House over the next two weeks as legislators begin their work on bills in the new session. Please consider participating in these events at the State House:
  • Single-Payer Health Care: Wednesday, Jan. 23, 11 a.m. at the Grand Staircase
  • Justice & Renewable Energy for All: Thursday, Jan. 24, 10:30 a.m. at Paulist Center, 5 Park St., for speakers and information, 11:30 a.m. assemble in room 437, State House, followed by meetings with legislators. To register click here.
  • Safe Communities Act: Wednesday, Jan. 30, 1-3 p.m., room 437, State House. RSVP here.
ELECTIONS & VOTING
LWVMA 2018 Voters' Guide Engaged, Educated Voters
 
In the weeks leading up to the Massachusetts primary and general elections, the LWVMA online voters' guide was a vital source of information for thousands of Massachusetts voters. Almost 23,000 users visited LWVMA's InformedVoterMA.org guide between July 30 and Nov. 6. These users engaged in almost 30,000 sessions and had over 62,000 page views.
 
Just as important as the statistics was the personal feedback we received. One user emailed: "I'm just writing to say a big thank you to LWV-MA for your enormously helpful and easy-to-use online voter guide. I'm a 27-year-old Massachusetts voter, and my mother and I both used your voter guides during the primaries and for the general election. I especially appreciate the nonpartisan information about both sides of the ballot questions.  Thank you and please keep up the good work!"
Questions about Ranked Choice Voting?
 
LWVMA will host a webinar about ranked choice voting (RCV) on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. Adam Friedman of Voter Choice Massachusetts  will discuss the legislation being introduced to bring RCV to our state, then answer questions. Voter Choice Massachusetts is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization formed to champion RCV in Massachusetts after Maine passed the first statewide RCV law in November 2016.

Please sign up here and you will receive the link to join the webinar.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
Ten Leagues Receive Scharfman Grants
 
Ten local Leagues around the state received Daniel Scharfman Citizen Education grants in October for voter service and education projects. Congratulations to LWV Brookline, Central Berkshire Unit, LWV Chelmsford, LWV Concord-Carlisle, LWV Franklin County, LWV Greater Haverhill, LWV Hamilton-Wenham, Springfield Unit, LWV Waltham, and LWV Wellesley. A detailed description of their projects is here .
Amherst and Melrose Leagues Honored
 
The Amherst and Melrose Leagues of Women Voters have recently received recognition for all the good work they do.

The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce presented its A+ community service award to the Amherst League, noting it has promoted political responsibility for more than 75 years.

The Amherst League also received the Jean Haggerty Award for Community Service from Amherst Media, the area's cable television provider.

Melrose Mayor Gail Infurna and the Board of Aldermen joined together in a resolution to honor the Melrose League of Women Voters, which has served the city for 70 years.

"The Melrose League has been instrumental in the creation of a municipal recycling program, the cleanup of Ell Pond, and the establishment of the Melrose Human Rights Commission and the Melrose Alliance Against Violence. The League further promotes responsible citizenship through voter registration, offering rides to the polls, producing candidate forums for all contested local elections, and meeting with the Mayor for an annual discussion of the State of the City," the resolution stated.

"We congratulate the Melrose League of Women Voters on their 70th anniversary," Michael Zwirko, president of the Board of Aldermen, read from the resolution, "and offer our gratitude for the hard work they have done, and continue to do, to make Melrose a better community and each one of us a better citizen, and further, we wish them many more years of success."
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 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.
New LWVMA Office and Phone Number
 
LWVMA's office has moved to 90 Canal Street, Suite 414, Boston, MA 02114 in Boston. The email address remains lwvma@lwvma.org. The new phone number is 857-452-1715.
 
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.
90 Canal Street, Suite 414, Boston, MA 02114 | 857-452-1715
  lwvma@lwvma.org | www.lwvma.org
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