CALENDAR
Friday, July 27
LWVMA Board Meeting, Westwood Public Library, 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
Tuesday, July 31
End of formal session for Massachusetts legislature
Wednesday, August 1 Online Voters' Guide goes live

Wednesday, August 15 Deadline to register for Massachusetts primary
Tuesday, September 4
Massachusetts primary
Saturday, October 20
LWVMA League Leaders Lunch, Harvard Unitarian Universalist Church, 9 Ayer Road, Harvard, MA. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
HAPPENING NOW
Save the Lunch Date!
 
Please save Saturday, Oct. 20, for the LWVMA League Leaders Lunch. This year we will meet from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Harvard Unitarian Universalist Church, 9 Ayer Road, in Harvard, MA.  We hope to have representation from all Leagues and units. This lunch is a great opportunity for League leaders to meet, share ideas and socialize. This year's focus will be on diversity, equality, and inclusion.
League Stands on November Ballot Questions

Three ballot questions will be on the statewide ballot Nov. 6. The LWVMA board has determined that LWVMA will support a yes vote on two of them, and local Leagues can advocate for those two. Below are the three questions, in the order they will appear on the ballot, and our stands.
  • Question 1:  To pass a law relative to patient safety.  LWVMA takes no stand on this ballot question.
  • Question 2:  To establish a citizens commission concerning a Constitutional amendment to secure government of the people.  LWVMA supports this question and urges a YES vote.   
  • Question 3:  To retain the law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity.  LWVMA supports and urges a YES vote on this question.
For a description of these ballot questions and the League's reasons for its stands, see the article on our website here .  For guidelines on holding forums and preparing voter information on the ballot questions, click here .
Introducing New LWVMA Staff

Please join LWVMA in welcoming Taylor Grenga, our new Administrative and Program Associate, and Anna Liss-Roy, our summer Voter Education and Engagement Intern.
 
Taylor joined LWVMA in June. Prior to joining LWVMA, she attended Northeastern University and held internships at Planned Parenthood, Health Care For All, the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project, and WilmerHale. Taylor holds a B.S. in political science.  
 
Anna , a native of Wellesley, is a rising junior at Scripps College, where she will be editor-in-chief of The Scripps Voice , the student newspaper, next year.  She is assisting with outreach and publicity for our online voters' guide and other 2018 voting initiatives.
 
Brynne Gorman , our Membership and Community Relations Manager, will continue to work remotely for LWVMA, on a halftime basis, from her new home in California.
New CEO for LWVUS
    
Virginia Kase, chief operating officer of CASA, an organization at the forefront of the immigrant rights movement representing nearly 100,000 members, was introduced as the new chief executive officer of LWVUS at the national convention.  Chris Carson, LWVUS President, described her as "a passionate activist and advocate for social justice."
  
Kase addressed delegates at the Convention, emphasizing "We are the power of women."  In a dialogue with Carson, she spoke about the work of the League, how relevant we are today, and her excitement for the future. Kase brings more than 20 years' experience in the non-profit sector.  At CASA, she has driven the strategic growth, direction, and operations of the organization fighting for Latino and immigrant rights. Virginia started her career in nonprofits at 23 when she co-founded the Hartford Youth Peace Initiative to help reduce gang violence in her hometown of Hartford, CT.
 
An article on the national convention will be in the August Mass League Voter.
No Increase for LWVUS PMP

Delegates to the LWVUS Convention approved the recommendation that per-member-payment (PMP) to LWVUS stay the same for each of the next two years.  For each member, local Leagues will pay $32.  There is also no increase in the state PMP through June 30, 2019.
ELECTIONS & VOTING
Online Primary Voters' Guide Coming Aug. 1
 
The LWVMA Online Primary Voters' Guide will go live Wednesday, Aug. 1, and will include candidate information for all federal, statewide, district, and countywide offices that will be on the Sept. 4 state primary ballot.  The Voters' Guide provides a personalized ballot when users enter a street address and includes information on the candidates' backgrounds, stances on issues, endorsements, and responses to questions posed by LWVMA.  The Voters' Guide encourages participation in the election with a "Plan to Vote" tool that shows users where their polling place is, the hours it is open, and a feature to receive text messages reminding them to vote.  The platform is optimized for mobile devices.

Local Leagues are encouraged to promote the LWVMA Online Voters' Guide by posting the electronic "button" and link on League websites and Facebook pages, sending a press release and letter to the editor to local newspapers, and posting on Facebook and Twitter to spread the word throughout the election season.  LWVMA's Voter Service Toolkit
provides all of these resources. 

Remind Voters about Sept. 4 State Primary Election
 
The state primary election is Tuesday, Sept. 4, the day after Labor Day.  For many offices on the ballot, the elected official will be decided on Sept. 4, not Nov. 6.  In particular, many district races such as district attorney, state Senator and Representative, and Governor's Council have only one party with primary candidates, potentially leading to primary winners running unopposed in the Nov. 6 general election.  

Local Leagues can increase awareness about and voter participation in the Sept. 4 primary by:
  • Registering voters--the deadline is Aug. 15
  • Educating voters on how to get an absentee ballot
  • Educating local voters about the offices and candidates on the local ballot.  Look up the candidates for your districts at the Secretary of the Commonwealth website
  • Promoting the LWVMA Online Voters' Guide
  • Conducting and videotaping candidates' forums.  Share dates of forums with LWVMA to post on calendar
  • Submitting letters to the editor and op-eds to local newspapers promoting the election
  • Working with local election officials to publicize the local ballot and promote voting
  • Promoting registration and voting by placing flyers and signs in your community
  • Using social media to promote registration and voting
  • Sharing "Get Out the Vote" videos from LWVMA's Student Video Contest
The LWVMA Voter Service Toolkit provides resources for local Leagues to use in planning and carrying out voter education, voter registration, and get out the vote drives.  For more information, contact Voter Service Chairs Judy Zaunbrecher and Kris Eastman or Executive Director Meryl Kessler .

THE TO-DO LIST
Update Your Board Information
   
LWVMA needs the names, positions, and contact information (phone numbers and emails) of your local League's 2018-19 Board of Directors or Steering Committee.  We use that information to update our annual League Leaders' Directory, the distribution list for the League Leaders Update (this monthly e-newsletter, distributed to all League leaders across the state), and the League Leaders' Google Group (which permits leaders of local Leagues to share information and questions directly with one another).
 
If your local League has not already shared that information, please send it to  Taylor Grenga  in the LWVMA office as soon as possible.  One submission per local League, please!
Daniel Scharfman Grant Deadlines for Coming Year
   
The deadlines for local Leagues to apply for Daniel Scharfman Citizen Education Grants for the coming fiscal year will be Oct. 16, Jan. 15, April 16 and June 11.
 
The grants are designed to encourage local Leagues to carry out citizen education and voter service events and programs.  The requested amount for a single League or two collaborating Leagues working on the same project should not exceed $250. Three or more Leagues collaborating on a single project may request $500.
 
Detailed information on the grant program and an application form are available here .
Plans for Ballot Question Study Consensus
   
The LWVMA study of the ballot question process in Massachusetts will be ready for local Leagues to hold consensus meetings from Dec. 1 to Feb. 15. For more information, see the study webpage here
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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