January Opportunities for Action
Happy New Year!
Make a resolution to take at least one League action every month!
Lobby for Election Day Registration
Let’s honor the 100 th anniversary of the League and women’s right to vote by passing Election Day registration (EDR) in Massachusetts. Join LWVMA and our election modernization coalition partners in a lobby day to push for EDR Tuesday, Jan. 28, at the State House.

Meet in Room 428 at the State House at 9:30 a.m. for registration, with a briefing on the EDR bills at 10. The coalition will set up meetings with legislators for those who register in advance here . You will meet with your state Representative at 11 a.m., and state Senator at 11:30. 

Every election, Massachusetts denies eligible voters the ability to register or update their information on Election Day. Two out of three of those prevented from casting a ballot are actually registered but are ruled ineligible because their registration contains simple errors that could be fixed with EDR.
We have to act to ensure that EDR legislation is reported out of committee and gets to the floor for a vote.  Register now to lobby Jan. 28 .

Climate Action Lobby Day Jan. 14
Urge your legislators to pass meaningful climate legislation now! Join LWVMA and our coalition partner, Mass Power Forward, in a lobby day Tuesday, Jan. 14 to push legislators to act on climate change bills by the Feb. 5 deadline.

Register now, using this form, and the lobby day organizers will arrange meetings with your legislators. Indicate your League affiliation on the form.

Meet at the Paulist Center, 5 Park Street, at 10 a.m. for a briefing before going to the State House. Launa Zimmaro, LWVMA climate change specialist, will be at the briefing. Additional details on the day’s schedule will be sent when available to those who register.  

Let’s make this the strongest showing yet for climate action in this legislative session. There is no time to waste. 

Youth Justice Lobby Day Jan. 21
LWVMA will cosponsor a Youth Justice lobby day with Citizens for Juvenile Justice to support four juvenile justice bills Tuesday, Jan. 21, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. in Room 437 at the State House. Please RSVP here and plan to join Colleen Kirby, our criminal justice reform specialist. There will be a mini lobbying training and packets with fact sheets for legislators.

These are the bills on the agenda that LWVMA is supporting:
  • S825/H3420 To gradually raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction 
  • S940/H1486 To revise how the criminal justice system deals with those under 25 
  • S900/H1386 To expunge certain charges against juveniles
  • S1014/H1493 To decriminalize consensual adolescent sexual relations
These four bills will improve outcomes for juveniles and young adults by focusing on rehabilitation tailored to what works for this age group. They recognize young people as a distinct population where second chances are more likely to work.

Safe Communities Act Hearing Jan. 24
A hearing on the Safe Communities Act, H3573/S1401, will be held Friday, Jan. 24, at 11 a.m. in Gardner Auditorium at the State House before the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security. Please come and show your support if you can. Otherwise, please call or email your own Senator and Representative on Jan. 24, and let them know that you and the League support the Safe Communities Act and our immigrant neighbors.

We expect this hearing to last most of the day, so advocates are organizing supporters to attend in shifts to make sure there is always a packed auditorium. RSVP using this form to let us know when you can come. See the Facebook event page. Jennifer Muroff, LWVMA immigration specialist, will testify. If you come to the hearing, stop by your legislator’s office to show your support.  

LWVMA Day of Action Feb. 6
On February 14, 2020, the League of Women Voters will celebrate the actual 100th birthday of our founding. To celebrate our legacy, support the anniversary plans already scheduled, and amplify our League voice, LWVUS is holding an official Day of Action. 

LWVMA is planning a State House Day of Action to celebrate the League Thursday, Feb. 6. We invite all members to join us in Room 428 at the State House at 10 a.m. We’ve invited Governor Baker, Speaker DeLeo and Senate President Spilka to speak, and will honor those legislators who are members of the League. We will also distribute reminders to all legislators that passing Election Day voter registration is a good way to celebrate this anniversary. And there will be birthday cake. 

Many of our local Leagues also have events scheduled to mark this important date, and you can participate in your own League’s Day of Action as well. Check out the Day of Action Toolkit to help your League plan its local event!

2020 Census
The 2020 Census counts starts in less than 90 days. You can help ensure a complete count in your communities or volunteer to help in communities that are hard to count. Here are two actions you can take:
  • Watch the 2020 Census webinar featuring Carly Bari, Partnership Specialist, US Census Bureau. 
  • Attend "Train the Trainer" session on Census Messaging conducted by the City of Boston and MIRA on Wednesday, January 8, 2 to 4 pm at Boston Public Library. RSVP here.

Juvenile Justice Forum in Worcester
Colleen Kirby, LWVMA’s criminal justice reform specialist, will be a speaker at a forum on juvenile justice sponsored by the Worcester League Wednesday, Jan. 29, 5:30-7 p.m.

The forum, “Examining the MA Juvenile Justice System,” will be at the First Baptist Church, 111 Park Ave., Worcester.  Other speakers and panelists are Rep. Mary Keefe;  Sophia Hall, Attorney/Class Action Suit for Juvenile Records Expungement, Lawyers for Civil Rights; Ruth Rovezzi, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Youth Services; and Leon Smith, Director, Center for Juvenile Justice.  Bridgette L. Hylton will be the facilitator.

Progress Update
Three of our bills have passed one chamber of the legislature and are in the other:
  • H3846 The Greenworks bill to provide a mechanism for funding mitigation, resilience, and adaptation measures, passed House and is in Senate
  • H3500/S1230 To ban toxic flame retardants, passed Senate, is in House
  • H3118/S2042 To improve bicycle and pedestrian safety, passed Senate, is in House

Several bills have been reported favorably out of joint committees and will move on toward a vote. The deadline to report bills out of committee is Feb. 5; those that are not reported out or don’t receive an extension are no longer active in this session. These bills are now out of committee:
  • H761/S464 To promote environmental justice
  • H832 To implement 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act, a roadmap for 2050
  • H2865/S1935 To define highly energy-efficient buildings
  • H1948/S1332 To license midwives for out-of-hospital births
  • H1853/S1235 To evaluate and regulate medical step therapy protocol
  • H1959/S1274 To make menstrual products available without cost in schools, prisons and shelters
  • H1288/S775 To increase the production of low-and middle-income housing
  • H102/S36 To set floor for welfare benefits and reduce child poverty
  • H104/S37 To repeal family cap on welfare benefits
  • H751/S490 To create statewide sewage discharge notification system
  • H1781, S1645 To permit a “water-banking” fee on large-scale water users
  • H1173/S678 To create a common application for safety-net services
How to Contact Your Legislator:   You can find phone numbers, email addresses and office addresses on the legislature’s webpage for your Senator and Representative.  Go to   www.malegislature.gov  and click on the Legislators tab.  If you don’t know who your legislators are, click  here .
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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