Tuesday, March 19 "Women in Leadership: Massachusetts Trailblazers" forum, 7 p.m., Edward M. Kennedy Institute
Thursday, April 4 LWVMA Board Meeting
Saturday, April 6 - Sunday, April 7 New England Regional Leadership Development Conference, York Community College
Thursday, April 11 Student Video Contest Awards Ceremony, Massachusetts State House
Tuesday, April 23 "Driving Down Emissions: Massachusetts and the Regional Transportation and Climate Initiative" webinar, 4-5 p.m.
Tuesday, April 30 Deadline to submit Globe GRANT vouchers
Friday, June 7 - Saturday, June 8
LWVMA 2019 Convention
Welcome, Michelle!
A warm welcome to our new Executive Director, Michelle Kweder! 

Michelle brings two decades of non-profit, public sector, academic, and political leadership experience, as well as a commitment and passion for the League's non-partisan work in empowering voters and strengthening civic engagement with our democracy.

She holds a B.A. in English with a concentration in Women's Studies from Hamilton College, an MBA from Simmons College, and a Ph.D. in Business Administration, Organizations and Social Change from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. For the past 11 years she has had her own consulting practice, working with numerous non-profit organizations, and has held positions at both Simmons University and Harvard Law School. She is a resident of Somerville.

She joined LWVMA March 11, and will build on the work of our previous Executive Director, Meryl Kessler, who leaves March 15.  You can reach Michelle at
Convention 2019: Looking Back, Moving Forward
First call to LWVMA's biennial convention went to all members March 8, and we hope to see representatives of every local League and unit at convention Friday and Saturday, June 7 and 8, at the Westford Regency Inn in Westford. Click here for full details and to register.

We're planning a stimulating program, keynoted by our banquet speaker, environmentalist Bill McKibben, Friday night.  There will also be a panel discussion on "Election Technology: Promise and Perils;" a presentation from the new CEO of LWVUS, Virginia Kase; and a panel featuring women newly-elected to the state legislature.  

Each League or unit is entitled to at least two voting delegates at convention. Local Leagues with more than 50 members are entitled to one additional voting delegate for each additional 25 voting members or fraction thereof.  A delegate sign-up sheet and information on sharing unused delegate slots with other Leagues is on the website . All League members are encouraged to attend, even if they are not voting delegates.

Local Leagues will participate in our Local League Showcase at convention, each taking one minute to present a highlight from their past two years. Local Leagues making gifts to LWVMA will be featured on a poster at convention; a form for making those gifts is available for download here.
Students Respond with Climate Change Videos
Our student video contest, The Climate Change Challenge, drew 95  entries from more than 250 high school students across the state!  Our volunteer panel of judges (thank you!) will now select the winning videos, with plans to announce the winners March 29.  Those students will be honored at a State House ceremony April 11. The winning videos will be posted on our website and will also be shown at the LWVMA convention in June.
100th Anniversary Planning Underway
LWV is turning 100 in 2020!  And LWVMA is making plans to celebrate the founding of both the national and state Leagues in 1920 and passage of the 19 th amendment granting women the right to vote.   LWVMA has established a 100 th Anniversary Committee to develop a set of priorities and activities to guide the celebration.

The 100 th Anniversary Committee will make recommendations to the LWVMA Board for a Fall 2019 conference and a possible signature event in Spring 2020; it will also develop lists of other activities to promote the League and the important anniversaries throughout 2019 -2020.  A list of suggested activities and resources that may be used by local Leagues to celebrate and educate in their communities, as well a list of events planned by local Leagues and other groups throughout the Commonwealth, will be compiled.

We seek your input, recommendations, and participation!   Contact the committee at
  • Send us your thoughts and ideas for activities to celebrate the 100th Anniversary at both the state and local levels.
  • Let us know what your League has planned.  The Committee will share these events and ideas with other Leagues.
  • Volunteer to be a member of the 100th Anniversary Committee.  We would love to have members from across Massachusetts.  The committee meets via video conference, so you do not need to travel.
Kennedy Institute Celebrates Women Trailblazers

Hear from some of our state's rising women stars at the Kennedy Institute's Women in Leadership: Massachusetts Trailblazers forum Tuesday, March 19, at 7 p.m. at the Kennedy Institute.  LWVMA is a partner for this event. The program is free, but advance registration is required; doors open at 6 p.m. Free parking is available in the EMK Institute lot.

Panelists are City Council President Andrea Campbell, City of Boston; Mayor Kim Driscoll, City of Salem; State Representative Hannah Kane, 11th Worcester; State Representative Tram Nguyen, 18th Essex; and City Council President Damali Vidot, City of Chelsea.   
Please Support LWVMA's Spring Appeal
Many thanks to the over 600 members who donated to our Fall Appeal or Phonathon.  Your support plays a vital role in maintaining our robust operations and ensuring our continued impact.  

If you have not donated yet this fiscal year, please consider a contribution to our Spring Appeal.  A generous donor has agreed to match every dollar up to $30,000. Please help us reach our goal. You can download a donation form here
or donate online here .  Thank you in advance for your support!
Check Out Our Annual Report

LWVMA's annual report for the 2017-2018 fiscal year is now available.  Take a look at all the things we accomplished together.
Thanks for Participating in Ballot Question Study and Program Planning

Thanks to all local Leagues which participated in our major programming efforts: the study of the ballot question process and state program planning. Your input is extremely valuable as the LWVMA board makes recommendations for Program and Action heading into Convention 2019.

Thirty-six local Leagues participated in the study. The consensus responses were compiled and considered, and a committee drafted a new LWVMA position. The board has approved the draft position, and it will be put forward for a vote at Convention 2019. Watch for the position in the final call to convention in late April. The committee still has work to do--it will be determining actions that the League can take, short- and long-term, as a result of the new position.

Twenty-two local Leagues and two members-at-large participated in state program planning. The results will be compiled and presented to the board at its April meeting. The board will recommend Action Priorities, Study/Re-study and Concurrence to local Leagues, and the LWVMA program will be voted on at Convention 2019.
Who Is the League of Women Voters?

Who Is the League of Women Voters?
The LWVMA Membership Committee has developed a PowerPoint presentation, "Who is the League of Women Voters," for local League use. There's a short video on the formation of the League in 1920, followed by slides that describe the League, its mission and activities, and video clips of members revealing: "I joined the League of Women Voters because..."

Some suggested uses include new member events, annual and opening meetings, presentations to outside groups in your community, and one-on-one presentations to new or potential members.

The following files are available for download: LWV Membership PowerPoint, slide-by-slide script, and technical information. The files can be downloaded from this link and stored on a computer. To download, click on "Download" in the upper right corner . You are welcome to add slides that describe your local League and to adapt the presentation for your local League use.

Please download the file and take a look!
New Webinar on Transportation and Climate

A new webinar on climate change issues, "Driving Down Emissions: Massachusetts and the Regional Transportation and Climate Initiative," will be held Tuesday, April 23, 4-5 p.m., sponsored by the LWVMA Environmental Action and Advocacy Committee.

Jordan Stutt, carbon programs director for regional and state initiatives, Acadia Center, and State Rep. Lori Ehrlich will present an overview of the Transportation and Climate Initiative and legislative efforts underway in Massachusetts to develop a plan to ensure sustainable and equitable solutions. In New England, transportation comprises the largest source of emissions--39%. In December 2018, nine New England states and the District of Columbia announced an agreement to work collaboratively on a regional plan to reduce emissions from transportation.
Registration for the webinar is required. After registering you will receive an email with a link to join. Register here.
Legislation We're Following

The specialists on the Legislative Action Committee are busy processing the over-6,000 bills filed for consideration this session.  As the LAC discusses and votes on specific bills, the ones we will be following in the 2019-2020 session are being posted on our website here .  Bill summaries and testimony will be added on an ongoing basis.  Our annual Day on the Hill lobby day will be held at the State House in October.
Time to Plan Spring High School Voter Registration

It's not too early to contact high schools in your area and arrange to register students to vote later this spring.  Remember you can now pre-register 16- and 17-year-olds to vote. You use the same voter registration form, but make sure you have the newest version which indicates people filling it out must be at least 16, not 18.  You can see the new version here to check. Students can also register or pre-register online at if they have a driver's license.  LWVUS offers a guide to high school voter registration here .  
Moderator Training

Are you interested in training to be a League Moderator, or brushing up on your skills?  We offered three sessions last spring, and are gauging how many might be interested in a training session before next fall's municipal elections. If you are interested, please contact our Voter Service Chairs, Judy Zaunbrecher and Kris Eastman.  You might also consider observing a candidate forum in a location near you this spring when Leagues in many towns are holding candidate forums.
Help Us Win Boston Globe Ad Space

If you are a  Boston Globe  print or online subscriber, you can help support LWVMA through the  Globe 's GRANT program, which allows subscribers to help non-profits earn free advertising space in the  Globe
Globe subscribers have received or will soon receive a Globe GRANT voucher, either by mail or email. This voucher can be used to designate a non-profit to receive free advertising space in the Boston Globe Please select the  League of Women Voters Lotte E. Scharfman Memorial Fund!  

If you received a mailed voucher: Fill out your voucher and mail it to The Boston Globe using the envelope provided by April 30.  If you received an emailed voucher: Go to
by April 30 to submit your voucher. (You will need your Subscriber Number.)
Watch an LWVMA Webinar!

If you missed any of the webinars LWVMA has produced, they are all now available on our website here . Consider using one of them for discussion at a League meeting.

In the LWVMA webinar "It's Happening. It's Now. The Climate Reports of 2018," Professor Michael Oppenheimer presented the most important findings from the UN IPCC Report and the US National Climate Assessment Report.  If you have questions about ranked choice voting, see the webinar by Adam Friedman, executive director of Voter Choice Massachusetts, on how RCV works and the legislation to bring RCV to our state. If the workings of the state legislature are a mystery, take a look at "The Massachusetts Legislature: Who, What, Where, When, Why, How" with LWVMA Legislative Action Chair Nancy Brumback.
Nominate Outstanding High School Social Studies Teachers

Help improve civics education with the Harvard case study method.  The LWV of Greenwich (CT) has piloted a successful civics education program in partnership with local high schools, using cases from Harvard Business School Professor David Moss's recent book,  Democracy: A Case Study . Survey results from the pilot show significantly increased interest in voting, political engagement and constructive debate.

Leagues from around the country are now invited to nominate outstanding high school teachers to attend an all-expenses-paid professional development workshop
 at Harvard led by Professor Moss, which will equip them to facilitate case discussions in their classrooms and communities. Contact Deirdre Kamlani at  for more information.  
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.