A Voice for Citizens, a Force for Change
June | 2022
Message from the Steering Committee
A Joint Message From The Steering Committee
The Steering Committee met with outgoing and incoming members at a transition/orientation session. Plans for the year were outlined with programs developed by the Racial Justice Committee and the Judy Brooks Discussion series. Additionally, although there are no Amherst elections this midterm election season, there is a contest for sheriff coming up at the Primary Election in September, and a candidates forum is in the works. Plans are also being made for a September in-person get together followed by a virtual opening meeting at a date TBA.

The major event this summer is the Booksale which will be in person after a Covid hiatus. Books will be collected in July and the sale will be held the last weekend of July and the first weekend in August. The sale is an ideal opportunity to recruit new members and satiate the most dedicated book lovers out there!

Our League needs a spokesperson person and voter engagement duo or trio, so consider jumping in and joining us.

We’re really pleased and excited to have four new members joining us on the Steering Committee, but it is hard to say goodbye to members retiring from the Board, especially when they have so many decades of League knowledge and experience and we have so much enjoyed working with them! Goodbye to Cynthia, Kathy, Bonnie, Ann, and Janice. 

As you can see the committee is working to keep members informed and involved with the ultimate goal of making democracy work. Please step forward and join us in our efforts— Come on in! The water’s nice!

~ Your Steering Committee
Action Items and Upcoming Events
Are You Ready For
📚The Book Sale!!!!  📚
Our League and the entire Western Mass community have been waiting for this "annual" event for two years. You may have been a part of our previous book sales or you might be eager to get involved in one. Well now is your chance to participate in our only fundraising event of the year, the one that helps to sustain all of the League's activities and philanthropy.  

It's a Happening Thing
July 29,30,31 and August 5 and 6
Fort River School Gymnasium 

Think About What You'd Like to Do

A lot of effort? YES! But fun too—connect with League members old and new, make new friends, talk about and find books you always wanted or didn't know you wanted, laugh, converse, be part of an endeavor that brings great satisfaction and is always successful.

What's Next?

  • Tell everyone you know about the upcoming book collection and sale. Remember we only take books in good shape--not old, not moldy. Would you be willing to buy it? 
  • Check out the upcoming mini bulletin for sign-up information: jobs, time slots, ways to help.
  • Make note that the set up and organizing at the Fort River gym begins 2 weeks before the actual sale.

See you in July!!!
News from our Committees
Greetings from the Racial Justice Committee (RJC) for June 2022
The next Judy Brooks Conversation Series program will be in June, but the date is not yet set. Please keep an eye out for this interesting program with Debora Bridges, Curator of the Civil War Tablets and History, and Carlie Tartakov, longtime Amherst resident and League member.

Please join the town festivities for Juneteenth, including the Juneteenth Heritage Walking Tour from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 18. More programs will be held on the Town Common on Sunday, June 19, starting at 12:00 noon.
Community Reception:  LWVA hosted a town-wide reception at Groff Park on May 22, to welcome the new directors and their teams for the Community Responders for Equity, Safety, and Service (CRESS) and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Departments. It was a resounding success, with over two hundred participating in the fun, food, and music. And given that it was an exceptionally hot day, Groff Park’s shade and new water park added to the comfort level.

Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Educational Suggestions:

Ezra Klein, from the NY Times’ Podcast, interviewed Ta-Nehisi Coates and Nikole Hannah-Jones recently. It was an excellent interview with these two outstanding scholars: find it here.
From LWVMA: Advocating for Offshore Wind Energy

LWVMA and our partners in the New England for Offshore Wind Coalition encourage swift action on H.4524/S.2842, An Act advancing offshore wind and clean energy. In the final version of the bill, we urge the Conference Committee to include: responsible development and expansion of offshore wind, infrastructure and investment in clean energy development, and reform of offshore wind procurement. Read the Coalition’s letter to the Conference Committee here.
From LWVMA: Watch Climate Meets Transportation

Did you miss it? Watch Stepping Up Now: Climate, Transportation and Equity, A virtual forum to advance climate-focused transportation policy. Learn how climate, transportation, public health and equity come together in this webinar co-sponsored by LWVMA and Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA). View the program: 
Save the date: The Book Sale presents a wonderful opportunity to recruit new members and distribute voter information.

We will send out an electronic sign up sheet in a few weeks asking for volunteers to staff a membership outreach table for 30 minutes, an hour or longer, your choice. Duties include greeting people, offering material and answering any questions. 

We will have a tent, chairs, and water. 

~Phyllis Lehrer
2022 Committee Annual Reports
Annual Report: The League of Women Voters in Amherst has 155 members including 25 multi-household members.
Support Common Start Bill with Playdate Rallies in June

Rally to call for access to affordable, high-quality early education and child care at kid-friendly playdates/activities around the Commonwealth, organized by the Common Start Coalition in support of the Common Start Bill (H.605/S.362). For Western MA, there is a playdate at Springfield College on Monday, June 20, 6–8 p.m. The LWVMA is a member of the Common Start Coalition; see League testimony on the bill here.

MA Coalition for Juvenile Justice Hybrid Lobby Day, June 21

Join us for a hybrid day of action to advocate for bills including LWVMA legislative priorities Raise the Age (H.1826/S.920) and Expungement (H.1531/S.980). A briefing to prepare for Lobby Day will be held via Zoom on June 16. Please contact LWVMA specialists Nancy and Lucy at criminaljustice@lwvma.org for more details.
Local Leagues and Advocacy: New Resource

How can your League take action on issues that matter to you? How do you find out if a local matter is supported by League positions? Do you need a study? What if it is a federal or state issue? A new comprehensive guide to local League advocacy is now available to help you navigate these questions. It summarizes information included in the recent Advocacy 101 webinar, and includes a reference list with links. Look it over—it will remind you of the many ways local Leagues can act, while respecting the direction to “speak with one voice.” View this resource here.
League of Women Voters Welcomes Bipartisan Agreement
to Curb Gun Violence in Our Communities 

Press release of June 13, 2022:

WASHINGTON —League of Women Voters of the United States CEO Virginia Kase Solomón issued the following statement welcoming the US Senate’s bipartisan framework to reduce the threat of gun violence in our schools and communities.  

"Today we are pleased to see a bipartisan group of senators working together to pass legislation that will serve and protect the American people. We commend those senators who have upheld their oath of office by working across party lines to find common ground on an issue the American public overwhelmingly supports. We know that comprehensive legislative reform must still be passed to reduce gun violence and increase public safety for our nation. This agreement, which would be the most historic gun safety measure in the last thirty years, is good progress towards this goal and will save lives. In the wake of the recent gun violence, we urge the Senate to move forward with this legislation to ensure that the horrific mass shootings of our children and our communities come to an end."
LWV blog post on the Economic Cost of Climate Change
Demonstration for universal suffrage CCBYNCSA
Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters are arrested by the police during one of their many demonstrations for universal suffrage.
CC BY NC SA. Retrieved from NDLA, https://ndla.no/subject:1:06270029-7aa7-4a7a-b383-128b275ff150/topic:2:184811/resource:1:92884

This monthly message is for anyone interested in the League, not just members. If you know someone who might be interested, forward this message and invite them to subscribe themselves, using the link below.
The Editor of the LWVAmherst e-Bulletin, Jessica Ryan can be contacted here. The Associate Editors are Trish Farrington and Susan Millinger; Assistant Editors are Janice Ratner, Phyllis Lehrer, and Kay Fite who checks the links. Contributors to this month's e-Bulletin include LWVA members, Elisa Campbell, Elizabeth Davis, Trish Farrington, Bonnie Isman, Phyllis Lehrer, Susan Millinger, and Marcie Sclove. Material on LWVMA and LWVUS comes from the website lwvma.org and lwvus.org, respectively, selected by Susan Millinger.