CALENDAR
Thursday, November 15 Deadline for treasurers to file e-postcard with IRS
Friday, December 14 LWVMA Board Meeting
Saturday, December 15
Deadline for submitting "100 Reasons" videos

Friday, June 7 - Saturday, June 8
LWVMA 2019 Convention
HAPPENING NOW
Save the Date for LWVMA Convention
 
Mark your calendar and plan to attend the state League's Convention Friday and Saturday, June 7-8, 2019.  We're planning an interesting program to go with such League business as electing a new Board.
Seeking Nominations for LWVMA Board

The LWVMA Nominating Committee has begun its work putting together a slate of officers and directors for the LWVMA Board, to be presented to League members at the 2019 Convention in June. The current Board has worked to improve our strategic planning and financial accountability and to welcome diverse viewpoints and experience. We want to ensure that the Board continues to be creative, energetic and open to new ideas. For that, we turn to you!

Please take a look at the Board Member Job Description and Board Member Application. We encourage you to read the information, then nominate yourself or another talented and committed local League member to serve on the LWVMA Board of Directors and/or the LWVMA Nominating Committee. The applications are due Dec. 15.

The Nominating Committee will also contact League leaders across the state for names of possible nominees. Please feel free to  reach out to any of the committee members via the nominating committee email, nominating@lwvma.org: Wendy Manz, chair, Lee Bona, Sharon McCarthy, Ellen Goguen, and Andrea Kozinetz.
Help Make Our Phonathon a Success!
 
Many thanks to the donors to our Fall Appeal for your generous support! Our annual Phonathon fundraiser is getting under way to reach members who have not yet contributed. Thank you in advance for saying "Yes!" when you receive a call from a fellow League member. Our success depends on you!

Several local Leagues have already volunteered to make calls. Will your League help? This is a win-win opportunity for local Leagues: your League will earn 10% of the contributions solicited by your team. If your League would like to participate or for more information, please contact Brynne Gorman.
Join the Ballot Question Process Study
 
The just-finished election included three ballot questions that left voters scratching their heads! And that points to the need for our current ballot question process study.

For Question 1 on nurses staffing, many said they did not know why or how voters should be expected to decide this issue. This question may break the record for the most expensive ballot question, set in 2016 by the charter school question at $44 million. Question 1 is currently at $38 million, with the final expenses yet to be reported.

For Question 2 on a commission to consider constitutional amendments, we heard "Now what is this going to do?"

And for Question 3 on transgender rights, the first referendum on an existing law to come before us in decades, we heard, "Why are we voting on this?"

All three questions met the legal requirements to get on the ballot. But are we happy with this process, developed 100 years ago? Can and should LWVMA advocate for change? LWVMA has no positions on the ballot question process, and yet it is major part of our state elections and our voter service/citizen education efforts. Read more.
Why Did You Join the League? Share Your Reason
 
As part of LWVMA's 100th Anniversary celebration, we are inviting Massachusetts League members to submit a short video-a "vlog" -that completes the following question: "I joined the League of Women Voters because...."

These videos are meant to share one of your personal reasons for joining the League. We hope to hear from as many voices as possible!  Throughout the year, we will roll your reasons out on our website and social media outlets under the hashtag #100Reasons.

Join us in starting the celebration of the League's 100th Anniversary!  Here are the simple instructions  for creating your 15-second video, sample videos, and instructions for sending it to us.

Deadline for submitting your vlog to 100Reasons@lwvma.org is Saturday, Dec. 15!

Questions? Contact  Meryl Kessler  or  Kate Boland .
Two Committees Need Volunteers

LWVMA is forming two statewide committees, following up on discussions at the LWVUS Convention and at our most recent League Leaders Lunch.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee: This committee will develop a set of strategies to help the League build a more diverse, equitable and inclusive organization. These strategies might include forums and educational workshops as well as other recommendations, and will leverage the work of other organizations and local and national Leagues.

100th Anniversary Committee: This committee will develop priorities and activities to guide the celebration of the founding of the League of Women Voters and the passage of the 19th Amendment in 2020. The committee will make a recommendation to the Board on the feasibility of a signature event to enhance the League's role in informing and educating people in our communities about this event and about the work that is still to be done to increase access to the ballot. The committee will also recommend other activities to promote the League statewide, and develop a list of activities and resources that can be used by local Leagues.

Both committees will be expected to come back with initial recommendations by May 1, 2019, so that these can be shared at our 2019 Convention.
 
If you are interested in one of these committees, please submit to Mary Ann Ashton a brief statement of your interest by Friday, Nov. 23. Your submission should state why you are interested in the committee, including what you hope can be accomplished, and how your interests and/or skills match with the work of the committee.
Volunteer at the Massachusetts Conference for Women

LWVMA will again be exhibiting at the  Massachusetts Conference for Women at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 5 and 6. Over 10,000 women are expected to attend this annual conference where LWVMA will be able to share what we stand for, do, and have accomplished!

Volunteers are needed during the afternoon Dec. 5 and during the day Dec. 6 to staff the LWVMA booth. Contact Kris Eastman or  Meryl Kessler.
ELECTIONS & VOTING
LWVMA 2018 Voters' Guide Engaged, Educated 
Voters
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
In the weeks leading up to the Massachusetts primary and general elections, the LWVMA online voters' guide was a vital source of information for thousands of Massachusetts voters. Almost 23,000 users visited the LWVMA InformedVoterMA.org guide between July 30 and Nov. 6. These users engaged in almost 30,000 sessions and had over 62,000 page views.
 
Just as important as the statistics was the personal feedback we received. One user emailed: "I'm just writing to say a big thank you to LWV-MA for your enormously helpful and easy-to-use online voter guide. I'm a 27-year-old Massachusetts voter, and my mother and I both used your voter guides during the primaries and for the general election. I especially appreciate the nonpartisan information about both sides of the ballot questions.  Thank you and please keep up the good work!"
Listen to Prof. Erin O'Brien on "Barriers to Voting"

In case you missed our webinar on "Barriers to Voting" with Professor Erin O'Brien of UMass Boston, you can watch and listen to it here .  Professor O'Brien presents an excellent overview of systemic voting barriers as well as policy reforms that can help get out the vote.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
Ten Leagues Receive Scharfman Grants

Ten local Leagues around the state received Daniel Scharfman Citizen Education grants in October for voter service and education projects. Congratulations to LWV Brookline, Central Berkshire Unit, LWV Chelmsford, LWV Concord-Carlisle, LWV Franklin County, LWV Greater Haverhill, LWV Hamilton-Wenham, Springfield Unit, LWV Waltham, and LWV Wellesley. A detailed description of their projects is here.

The next deadline for grant applications is Jan. 15. Local Leagues can apply for grants up to $250 for a project; three or more Leagues collaborating on a project can apply for up to $500. The application and requirements are here .
League Leaders Lunch Recap
LWVMA Vice President Marilyn Peterson moderating a League Leader panel.

Sixty-six League leaders from across the Commonwealth attended the October League leaders lunch, co-hosted by the Harvard League.

The robust program included an update of what's happening at LWVMA and LWVUS; presentations on advocacy and voter service work; and the LWVMA ballot question study. The Lunch also featured two outstanding panels: one that focused on building partnerships to address our expanding commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and a second that highlighted three Leagues who have employed three different governance models to ensure their League's sustainable leadership.

In preparation for our 100th anniversary, we launched our #100 Reasons initiative, which will capture short videos highlighting the many reasons members join the League. Please see the article about the #100Reasons initiative above and check out examples that were shown at the Lunch.

All of the documents and resources from the lunch are on the LWVMA website.
THE TO-DO LIST
Let LWVMA Know About Your Election Activities
   
Congratulations on your very busy and productive election season!  You should all be proud of the amazing work you and your Leagues completed in the 2018 election cycle.

LWVMA would like to capture the extent of our collective work this year to measure the full impact of our work in Massachusetts.   We're asking each local League to send the following information to Meryl Kessler as soon as possible:
  • The total number of voters your League registered this calendar year.
  • The date and location of any candidate or ballot question forum your League held if it does not appear on this list.  (If your forum does appear on this list, we already know about it.)
  • Any other activities your League sponsored to educate and engage voters this year.
Please have one person from your League send in this information.
LWVUS 2018 Election Activities Survey
   
LWVUS is asking all Leagues to complete its post-election survey. This survey, our best source of data and critical information about the election-related activities of state and local Leagues, is used to develop helpful resources for Leagues, identify areas of needed training and support, and measure the full impact of our organization's work to protect, register, and engage voters in 2018. Please have someone from your League take a few minutes to fill out the survey . Where you do not have exact numbers available, estimates are fine.
Treasurers: File E-Postcard by Nov. 15!
   
Treasurers please note! All Leagues must file an annual tax return with the IRS no later than the 15th day of the fifth month after the close of your tax year. If your fiscal year ended on June 30, your local League treasurer MUST file your e-postcard by Nov. 15. Failure to file for three consecutive years will result in the revocation of your League's tax-exempt status. Leagues that receive less than $50,000 in income can electronically file Form 990-N (the "e-postcard"). The form is short and easy to complete.

Our website has detailed information about the responsibilities of local League treasurers and filing this tax form. Please contact Executive Director Meryl Kessler if you have questions.
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