SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM LWVMA'S 
CO-PRESIDENTS
Like you, all of us at the state League are working to cope with the hour-by-hour challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Our staff is working remotely and we are trying our best to collaborate virtually instead of in-person. We hope that you and your families are - and remain - safe and healthy during this unprecedented situation. We realize that all of you are cancelling long-planned events; scrambling to figure out how to continue your critical work in this new reality and are dealing with uncertainty regarding municipal elections. We want to offer the following resources/information as you navigate your way through this crisis:
League Work During the Pandemic
 
We urge you to take all necessary steps to keep your members and the public safe. If you are interested in holding meetings online, LWVMA may be able to assist with the technology for that. Email Brynne Gorman for further details. In addition, here's a guide to online meeting services available from LWV Oregon.

LWVUS offers LWV Coronavirus Prevention Guidance for Leagues, including information on elections and voting and on holding events. LWVUS is also offering a blog post, "Voting in a Time of Coronavirus". Feel free to direct voters to this blog post as they weigh their voting options.
Updating Local Elections in VOTE411
 
If your local town election this spring will be postponed or otherwise changed because of the coronavirus pandemic, please send the updated information to LWVUS' VOTE411 team so that online voters' guide can be updated.

Information on election changes should be emailed to Megan Brown, mbrown@lwv.org , the VOTE411 coordinator. She needs this information, and be sure to include your contact information in case she has questions:
  1. The old date of the election 
  2. The new date for the election
  3. The new registration deadline (if it's changed)
  4. The locations for the elections (cities/counties/etc.)
  5. The type of election (primary/general/special/etc.)
  6. Any other information that voters might want/need to know
LWVMA's 100th Birthday Gala Postponed
 
We have decided to postpone this event which was originally scheduled for May 31st at the Sheraton Four Points hotel in Norwood. We are working to reschedule, so stay tuned for a new date. In the meantime, our 100th Anniversary Committee members are developing some interesting ideas to bring to you as virtual events. We will keep you posted!
LWVMA Seeks Suspension of Absentee Ballot Restrictions
 
LWVMA has asked Secretary of State William Galvin to suspend the restrictions on voting by absentee ballot during the coronavirus situation.  Read our letter and the press release here.
New England Regional Conference Cancelled
 
This year's New England Leadership Development Conference, planned for April 4-5 in Wells, Maine, for New England Leagues has been cancelled.
We are exploring offering some of the planned events in webinar form. If this is something you would participate in, please email Mary Ann Ashton and be specific about which speaker(s) you would want to hear from:
  1. Virginia Kase, CEO, LWVUS: the place of the LWV in the national landscape
  2. Yanna Krupnikov, associate professor, political science, Stony Brook University: why people don't vote and the most effective ways to change that
  3. Mufalo Chitam, Executive Director, Maine Immigrants' Rights Coalition: cooperation among groups to achieve shared goals
  4. State Senator Melanie Levesque: the important role of legislation in voter engagement.
If you have already registered and paid, you will hear from the LWVME office. If you have already made a reservation at the Hampton Inn, please call the hotel to cancel it, 207-646-0555.
Moderator Training Postponed
 
With the coronavirus danger and closing of many venues, LWVMA is now hoping to hold Moderator training in late April. Once we have a better understanding of the situation, we will send out dates and times for trainings.
2020 Census: Counting and Coronavirus

The Census is proceeding under the original timetable even though the country is dealing with the coronavirus. Tips and ideas on how to adjust your "Get out the Count" activities and protect the health of volunteers and the public are in the 2020 Census Toolkit Please join the LWVMA Census 2020 email group to receive updates, ask questions, and share ideas. Contact Brynne Gorman to join.
CALENDAR
Tuesday, March 31 Last day to enter Teen Voting Rights Challenge student video contest
Tuesday, April 14 Last day to submit Scharfman Citizen Education Grant applications
Saturday, June 13 LWVMA Council, 10 a.m., Framingham State University
Thursday, June 25 - Sunday, June 28 LWVUS 54th National Convention, Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.
HAPPENING NOW
LWVMA Council June 13

Save the date for the LWVMA Council  Saturday, June 13 at 10 a.m.  at Framingham State University. We intend to hold this free event, but are continuing to monitor the situation and planning for any changes that may be necessary to protect the health and safety of our members, staff, and community.
Be a Judge!

This year's student video contest, the Teen Voting Rights Challenge, asks high school students throughout the Commonwealth to make a 30-second video answering the question "Should 16-Year-Olds Have the Right to Vote?"
 
Consider being a judge for this contest. You will receive a link to all the videos and information on how to rank them. All the work is done in April from your own computer on your schedule. If you want to be a judge, email Taylor Grenga.
Who is the League? Presentation for Local Leagues

The LWVMA Membership Committee has developed a presentation, Who Is the League?, for local League use. The presentation is available in PowerPoint and PDF formats. It includes a short video about the formation of the League in 1920, and slides that describe the League, its mission, and its activities. The presentation concludes with video clips of League members telling why they joined. A version of the PowerPoint without the videos is available. Suggested uses include new member events, annual and opening meetings, presentations to community groups, and presentations to new or potential members. 
 
The files, including a usage guide and a speaker's script, can be downloaded here.
100th Anniversary Video and Events

LWVMA is preparing a video to commemorate its 100th Anniversary. We would particularly like to include photos from your 100th Anniversary events, Day of Action, or anything else you may have done this year. Please send 1-3 photos to lwvma@lwvma.org. They should be photos that can be displayed on the LWVMA website as well.

The good news is we have a great calendar of local League events for the League's 100th Anniversary. The not-so-good news is many of the wonderful events scheduled for March and April have been canceled. If you have an event on the calendar that has been canceled, please email 100thanniversary@lwvma.org, and we will remove it. We will keep the event on file in hopes you may be able to reschedule. And, if you have events coming up, please continue to send them to us. There is still a lot of 2020 left!
LWVUS Files Climate Change Brief

LWVUS, along with LWV Oregon, has filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Juliana v. US, a case that challenges the government's lack of climate change action and the impact it will have on future generations.
 
"We stand with the young plaintiffs in demanding our government protect their future. Climate justice cannot wait," said LWVUS president Chris Carson. See the complete statement here.
MassDOT Salutes LWVMA

The Partners in Transportation Diversity Committee at the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has selected LWVMA for its 2020 Community Recognition Award as part of its national women's history month celebration. "The League of Women Voters' notable efforts for women's voting rights, diversity, and inclusion goes hand in hand with our theme, 'Valiant Women of the Vote,'" the committee said.
LWVUS NEWS
National Convention Update

Join LWVUS for our 54th National Convention in Washington, DC, June 25-28. Please check the Convention section of the League Management Site for information as it is added.  Registration is now open. Please read the information on this page before registering, as our options and process have changed. 
 
LWVUS is offering several add-ons to Convention registration: 
  • Lobby Day Thursday, June 25 ($20) - The fee will provide access to training and materials prepared by the Advocacy and Litigation team and the post-Lobby Day debrief.
  • Local Arrangements Committee Fundraiser ($45) - All are invited to attend a performance by the improv comedy group The Capitol Steps Friday evening. Proceeds from ticket sales go to the League of Women Voters of the National Capital Area. See instructions on the registration page to add this ticket.
  • Convention attendees are invited to choose one of these add-ons for Saturday evening. Neither is included in the registration cost and a ticket will be required. 
    • There is an optional $110 add-on fee to attend the gala at the Hyatt Regency on Saturday evening. The gala will include a reception with a cash bar, dinner, and a guest speaker. 
    • There is an optional $60 add-on fee to attend the reception at the Washington Court Hotel Saturday evening. The reception will include a cash bar, hors d'oeuvres, and guest entertainers.

If you have any Convention questions or concerns, contact cdavis@lwv.org

DEI Webinars

LWVUS will continue its diversity, equity and inclusion webinar series in 2020. The webinars will be offered on Zoom videoconference to allow more interaction and encourage members to join live as they are able or watch the recordings. Leagues are encouraged to watch recordings together and use them as a guide towards dialogue on DEI.
 
Our next DEI webinar is scheduled for Thursday, March 19, at 7 p.m. Registration for this webinar and recordings and materials for past webinars are  available on the League Management Site.
Other LWVUS Webinars

The LWVUS Advocacy and Litigation team has scheduled a series of webinars through the spring. Please join us to talk about the Census, the Equal Rights Amendment, Democracy Reform in Congress and around the country, and for a litigation and advocacy wrap up. Check out all of the webinar descriptions on the League Management Site and register today!
 
The next webinar in the series is on the Equal Rights Amendment, Wednesday, March 25. Legislation removing the ratification deadline on the ERA passed the House and is now in the Senate. This legislation is needed to remove the ambiguity around the deadline and bring it closer to taking effect.
THE TO-DO LIST
Scharfman Grant Deadline

The next deadline to apply for a Lotte E. Scharfman Citizen Education Grant is Tuesday, April 14. Details and an application are available here .
Nominating Committee Seeks Candidates

The Nominating Committee is still taking suggestions for the 2020-2021 LWVMA Board. At the end of this League year, the Board will be losing six seasoned members, and be going forward with a new board and a new Executive Director. This is an opportunity for League members, particularly those with long League experience, to step up and help carry us into the new decade. Contact the Nominating Committee at  nominating@lwvma.org to suggest yourself or another League member.

Click here for a description of the board member position and here for a nomination form. 
DEI Committee Update

The DEI committee is compiling information about the various alliances we have established and programs we have done in the past or have scheduled for this year with other organizations that are supporting our DEI policy and initiatives. Please email one of the co-chairs of the DEI Committee,  Elizabeth Foster-Nolan or Vedna Heywoodso we know of your current connections/alliances, including the contract person at your League and at the other organization. This will be very helpful as we move forward with DEI initiatives and allow the committee to support local League initiatives. We will not contact your connections but will use this information as a database to coordinate efforts and know who to reach out to at a local League if we have an idea for a collaborative. We would also like to know of any DEI events you are planning for this year, or have done in the last year. 
Add VOTE411 to Your Website

Consider adding a link to the League's online voters' guide, VOTE411.org, on your League's website and publicizing it on your Facebook page. See the link on the LWVMA home page. People can get candidate information, check voter registration status, find polling locations, learn who state and local elected officials are, and register to vote.
 
Local League webmasters can either install a widget or QR Code or upload a graphic and have it link to VOTE411.org. Here is the widget code and QR instructions. Here is the link to download the graphic, and then make sure that the graphic links to www.vote411.org. If you have questions, contact Brynne Gorman
Need Info on Candidate Forum?

If a local League would like a member of the LWVMA Voter Engagement Committee-Lee Bona, Tanya Roy and Elizabeth Foster-Nolan-- to speak to their board or membership about candidate forum and moderator rules and guidance, please email.
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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