March Opportunities for Action
Immigrants' Day at State House March 4

Lobby for immigrants’ rights at the 23rd annual Immigrants’ Day at the State House on Monday, March 4. Check-in and optional lobbying training begin at 10 a.m. The program, which will include Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and Senate President Karen Spilka, begins at 11 a.m. in the Hall of Flags, followed by information sessions on specific issues affecting immigrants and then visits to individual legislators. Register here to participate.

Civics Education Lobby Day March 5

Join us and our partners in the Massachusetts Civic Learning Coalition for the Civics Trust Fund Lobby Day on Tuesday, March 5, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the House Members Lounge at the State House.

Last session the legislature passed the civics education bill to fanfare and cheers. But the Governor's proposed 2020 budget does not include the necessary funding for the Civics Project Trust Fund, which would implement that legislation. Register here so meetings with legislators can be set up.

If you are unable to attend the lobby day, you can contact your state Senator and Representative and urge them to endorse $1.5 million in funding in the 2020 state budget for the newly-established Civics Project Trust Fund to support implementation of the civics education law. Information on the trust fund is available here.

Lobby for the Rivers Day March 28

Take action to support our rivers and waterways at the Lobby for the Rivers Day Thursday, March 28, at the State House, sponsored with our partners in the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance. Meet at 1 p.m. in Room 428 at the State House for an information session before talking to your legislators. Register here. For more information, contact Carolyn Lee, LWVMA water resources specialist.

State Money in Politics Commission Seeking Members

The successful Ballot Question 2 last November called for a statewide Citizens Commission on Money in Politics, which is now being formed. Interested citizens are urged to apply for this 15-member commission to research the influence of big money in elections and to make recommendations for the 28th Amendment. Its report is due before Dec. 31, 2019.

The application deadline is March 31, but citizens are urged to apply as soon as possible. If you apply, be sure to mention your League membership! Here is the application.

Attend International Women's Day Breakfast March 5

This year's 22nd Annual International Women’s Day Celebration focuses on “Feminists Take on Immigration: Addressing Root Causes, Urgent Needs, and Long-Term Solutions.” The breakfast event will be Tuesday, March 5, at Simmons College from 8 to 10 a.m. Speakers will include Daniela Bravo-Terkia, community activist and recipient of the 2017 Latino 30 under 30 El Mundo award; Eva Millona, Executive Director, MIRA: Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition; and Jeannette Huezo, United for a Fair Economy.

LWVMA is a partner for this event; if you go, look for Jen Muroff, our immigration specialist, and Tanya Roy, our women’s issues specialist. Tickets are $12, payable at the door, but advance registration is requested. You can RSVP here.

Kennedy Institute Celebrates Women Trailblazers March 19

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. 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.  LWVMA is a partner for this program.

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. This LWVMA webinar was publicized around the country resulting in 480 registrations. LWV Harvard held a local League “watch party” to view and discuss the presentation.
 
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. Voter Choice Massachusetts is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization formed to champion RCV in Massachusetts.

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.

Forum on Family Homelessness March 24

The Advocacy Network to End Family Homelessness will sponsor its 14th annual forum, “Caught in Family Homelessness: Parents tell their stories,” Sunday, March 24, 2 p.m., at Trinitarian Congregational Church in Concord. Several Leagues support this program. It is free and open to the public. Three mothers who experienced homelessness with their families will tell their stories, and housing advocates will discuss programs that work and the importance of advocacy. 

Help Us Win Boston Globe Ad Space

If you are a Boston Globe print or digital 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 BostonGlobe.com/GRANT by April 30 to submit your voucher. (You will need your Subscriber Number.) 

How Do I Address That Email?

We had a question from a League member about the proper way to address a legislator in an email. As she noted, "Back when dinosaurs walked the earth, the national League provided guidelines for writing letters and addressing envelopes, but I haven’t seen anything specifically for email."

So we asked Anne Ziaja, who heads the Senate Office of Education and Civic Engagement. Her recommendation: Each legislator can be emailed and referred to in the salutation as Dear Senator ___ or Dear Representative ___. For those in leadership positions, use their title: Dear Speaker DeLeo or Dear Senate President Spilka. If you are writing to the chair of a committee, the salutation can be Dear Chairman ___, especially if you are reaching out to a chair regarding legislation. For the executive branch, it’s Dear Governor Baker or Dear Lt. Governor Polito.  

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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