July Opportunities for Action
Ranked Choice Voting Lobby Day
Let your Senator and Representative know you’d like to see ranked choice voting in Massachusetts! There will be a Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) lobby day Tuesday, July 16, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Great Hall of Flags at the State House, Boston.

Hear from speakers why we need RCV, then spread the word to your own legislators. We’ll be lobbying for two bills:  S.414/ H.719 to implement RCV for all state and federal elections in Massachusetts (except President) and S.420/ H.635 to allow cities and towns to adopt RCV for local elections. Here’s a fact sheet. Register for lobby day here.

Push for Election Day Registration
To keep up the momentum from our Election Day Registration lobby day and recent joint committee hearing, please contact your state Senator and Representative and let them know you support this important voting reform, a League priority. EDR lets eligible citizens register to vote when they come to the polls and show the required identification; there is no reason for our current requirement to register 20 days before an election. And over half the people who use EDR in states which have it are actually already registered to vote but find there is a problem with their registration—a typo in their name, the wrong address—when they get to the polls. EDR lets them fix that error and vote, without resorting to a provisional ballot. EDR is a commonsense, proven election reform, already in use in 21 states. Massachusetts should be next.

Follow up on Abortion Rights
A sea of bright pink shirts demonstrated the support for H.3320/ S.1209 An Act to remove obstacles and expand abortion access, commonly known as the ROE Act, at its June 17 hearing. But the opposition continues to flood legislators with inaccurate and incendiary messages. If you haven’t done so, please contact your state Senator and Representative and tell them you support this bill. It’s important to contact them even if you know they support the ROE Act so they can use that constituent support to convince their colleagues that the majority of voters in Massachusetts favors abortion rights.

The ROE Act would remove the requirement that minors have either parental or judicial consent for an abortion; would add a diagnosis of a fatal fetal anomaly as a reason for an abortion after 24 weeks, and would establish safety-net coverage for abortion for people excluded from MassHealth. Such coverage already exists for all other pregnancy-related care.

If you are interested in actions beyond contacting your legislators, visit the ROE Act Coalition action site.

Protest Detention of Refugees
Jen Muroff, LWVMA legislative specialist for immigration, invites League members to join her at the Boston Lights for Liberty vigil to demand an end to human detention camps or to participate in a vigil near you or to light a candle in your own front yard. The vigil will be Friday, July 12, with candles lit at 9 p.m., though events may begin earlier. Details on the Boston vigil are still being finalized; you can email Jen Muroff closer to July 12. You can find Massachusetts locations at www.LightsforLiberty.org.

Learn How Facebook Can Help Your League 
LWVMA staff members Brynne Gorman and Taylor Grenga are offering a webinar on how local Leagues can start a Facebook page or tweak the one they have. The webinar, "Engage Your Community and Grow Your Membership Through Facebook: Join the Conversation!" will be Tuesday, July 16, at 4 p.m. You can register for the webinar here and will then receive instructions for signing in. After the event, this webinar will be available along with all the other LWVMA webinars in our webinar library.

Interested in Family Suffrage?
While delegates at the June LWVMA convention did not decide to do a study on family suffrage, Robin Chen, a member-at-large who proposed the study, is offering ways to become more familiar with the topic. Family Voting refers to voting rights for minors and adults without individual capacity. To be notified about an information session or if you're interested in a reading/discussion group, contact Robin Chen.  

Information about Bills We Follow
A list of the almost 100 bills LWVMA is following in this session of the legislature is available on our website. When a hearing is scheduled on a bill, we submit written testimony, and you can find that testimony in the bill listing. To find out a bill’s current status, click on the bill number to get to its page on the legislature’s website, then look under the Bill History tab. If you have questions about a bill, or want to be active in supporting it as it goes through the legislative process, you can contact the specialist by emailing specialists@lwvma.org with the specialist name in the subject line.

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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