Co-Presidents' Message

Dear League members,

The League of Women Voters celebrates the 100th anniversary of its founding on February 14, and all League members are encouraged to participate in a Day of Action to celebrate our 100 years of activism. Many Massachusetts Leagues are planning local events, and LWV Massachusetts has planned a day of legislative celebration and action on Thursday, February 6. Details are below; come join us if you can as we celebrate with our state leaders and ask legislators to ensure that everyone can vote by passing Election Day Registration.
 
LWV Massachusetts is planning our own 100th birthday celebration closer to our actual May birthday, so watch your inboxes for an announcement about upcoming plans. Many of our local Leagues have contributed their plans and events to our Anniversary Calendar, and there are other resources on our website about 100th anniversary celebrations, history, book lists, and more.
 
We appreciate all the ways you live our League mission to empower voters and defend democracy. We are proud to march forward with you into a year of activism to celebrate 100 years and look to the work ahead for the next 100 years.

In League,





Mary Ann Ashton and  Judy Zaunbrecher
LWVMA Co-Presidents
HAPPENING NOW 
Come to LWVMA's Feb. 6 Day of Action

On February 14, 2020, the League of Women Voters will celebrate the actual 100th birthday of our founding with a Day of Action at the national, state and local League levels. As part of that celebration,  LWVMA is planning a State House Day of Action Thursday, Feb. 6.
 
We invite all members to join us in Room 428 at the State House at 10 a.m. Speaker DeLeo and Senate President Spilka will speak, and we will salute those legislators who are members of the League. We will also distribute a reminder to all legislators that passing Election Day voter registration is a perfect way to celebrate this anniversary. And there will be birthday cake.
Student Video Contest Coming in February

This year's student video contest will ask high school students throughout the Commonwealth to make a 30-second video answering the question "Should 16-Year-Olds Have the Right to Vote?"
 
We will post information about the theme and the contest rules on our website by Feb. 1, and send information to all League members and to high schools and community cable TV stations throughout Massachusetts. The contest will be open until March 31. Winners, who receive a cash prize, will be announced May 1, and there will be a ceremony for winners in June.
 
Watch for the details and help us spread the word!
Watch for Major LWVMA Spring Events

LWVMA will be holding two major events this spring- a gala celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Massachusetts League's founding in May, and our Council meeting during our non-convention year. We are still making plans and arrangements, and will be sending out more and more details in the coming months, but we hope you will participate in and enjoy both!
ADVOCACY
Support Election Day Registration, Safe Communities Act

Two important lobbying opportunities are coming up in the next few days. Please come.
 
Let's honor the 100th anniversary of the League and women's right to vote by passing Election Day registration (EDR) in Massachusetts. Join us in a lobby day to push for EDR Tuesday, Jan. 28, at the State House. Register now to lobby Jan. 28.

If you can't come to lobby day, please take a minute and send an email to your state Representative and Senator now, asking them to pass Election Day registration this session. We need to push this to the top of their to-do list.

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 election modernization 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.
 
A hearing on the Safe Communities Act, 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. Jennifer Muroff, LWVMA immigration specialist, will testify. Come and show your support if you can. Otherwise, please call or email your own Senator and Representative 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. If you come to the hearing, stop by your legislator's office to express your support.
ELECTIONS & VOTING
U.S. Census Update
 
The 2020 Census will be the first census conducted online. On March 12 households will receive a letter from the U.S. Census Bureau inviting them to complete the form online, by mail, or on the phone. Self-response will start on March 12 and end on July 31, with a big push for Census Day on April 1. Help spread the word to your family, friends, and neighbors in your communities to make sure that we have a complete and accurate count. Check out our 2020 Census Toolkit for tools and information.
 
And take a look at the LWVUS Census Action Kit . The Action Kit has been updated to include resources from the American Library Association, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and more! Most of the resources focus on helping Leagues during the "get out the count" phase of the Census.
Moderator Training
 
LWV-trained moderators conducting candidates' forums are a key part to making sure democracy is not a spectator sport. The moderator subcommittee of the LWVMA Voter Engagement committee understands that more members would like to become trained moderators and that current moderators would like a refresher course. We will be working with local Leagues to set up moderator training sessions. Once dates and locations are set, we will send out registration information. Our goal is to have trainings in several regions starting in February. To help plan locations, please email Brynne Gorman if you would like to attend moderator training.  
AROUND THE LEAGUE
Nine Leagues Receive Scharfman Grants
 
Nine local Leagues received Lotte E. Scharfman Citizen Education grants in October. They are Bedford, Cape Ann, Cape Cod Area, Greater Haverhill, Melrose, Norwood, Plymouth, Westford and Winchester.  You can read more about the Scharfman grant program and the projects these Leagues proposed on our website here .
New England Regional League Conference
 
League members from the six New England states (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut) are invited to the annual New England Regional League Conference, Saturday and Sunday, April 4-5, at York Community College in Wells, ME. The focus of the conference and its speakers will be understanding and overcoming barriers to voting among those who are disenfranchised and those who are disinterested. Look for more details and the announcement of registration around Feb. 1.
Nominate a Teacher for Civics Ed Workshop
 
Help improve civics education with the Harvard case study method. In 2019, 50 League chapters in 22 states nominated nearly 80 outstanding high school teachers to attend an all-expenses paid professional development workshop at Harvard Business School. Led by Professor David Moss, a pioneer in the use of the case method to teach U.S. history, government and civics, the August 2019 workshop was such a success that the Case Method Project will host another one this year, August 16-18, 2020, for League-nominated teachers.
 
For more information about the project, please visit the resource page on the LWV Greenwich website. For details about how to nominate teachers, key dates, and deadlines, please see this page.

Teachers must be nominated by April 1. All expenses will be covered for teachers once they arrive at Harvard, including hotels, meals, training and materials. This is an excellent opportunity for social studies teachers in Massachusetts, whose travels costs to Cambridge would be minimal, so help LWV Greenwich reach out to those in your communities who might be interested.  For additional information, please contact Deirdre Kamlani, LWV Greenwich.  
National League Convention in June
 
The League of Women Voters' 54th national convention will be held at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill & Liaison in Washington June 25-28. LWVUS invites League members to save these dates and plan to join fellow passionate and engaged League leaders for our biennial national gathering. LWVUS will open registration and the portals to book hotel rooms early in 2020. Read the First Call on the League Management Site.  
 
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.
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