CALENDAR
Monday, December 2 Safe Communities Act Hearing, 10 a.m., Gardner Auditorium, Massachusetts State House
Thursday, December 5 LWVMA Census Webinar, 2 - 3 p.m.
Friday, December 13 LWVMA and LESF Board Meeting, 10:30 a.m., Sudbury Police Station
Tuesday, January 14 Scharfman Citizen Education Grant Application Grant Deadline
HAPPENING NOW
Welcome Pattye!
 
Our new Executive Director, Patricia Comfort, has joined us this week. Pattye has spent her career working in the public interest, most recently serving as Executive Director of the Women's Bar Association and Women's Bar Foundation of Massachusetts. She joins LWVMA with extensive experience managing a nonprofit, collaborating with members and Board, and in education and advocacy. You can reach Pattye at pcomfort@lwvma.org .

Along with interest in a broad range of membership and advocacy issues, Pattye brings insight and expertise in women's issues. She has worked throughout her career to empower underserved constituencies. In addition to her most recent position with the Women's Bar, she has worked with the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation and with The Fund for the Public Interest. Pattye holds a B.A. in political science from Boston College and a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.

Members of the LWVMA Board look forward to introducing Pattye to our members, our local Leagues, and to our many partners in the community over the next few months.
Commemorating Our 100th Anniversaries
 
One idea--hold an event with Girl Scout (and Boy Scout) troops. Start by finding the people in your city or town connected to scouting organizations. Here are two events local Leagues are planning:
  • Hire a storyteller who portrays a suffragist(s) or other impactful woman to give a performance for all troops.
  • Arrange for the Scouts to participate in a play, acting out key events leading to the passage of the 19th Amendment.  Prior to the event, assign each troop an event (or events) and ask them to create a skit.  At a town wide event, all the skits together will tell the story.
 
Show the film Standing on My Sisters' Shoulders - Women of the Civil Rights Movement. The film is 60 minutes long, which allows time for discussion. Consider inviting a knowledgeable discussion leader and showing it during February for Black History Month or March for Women's History Month. This award-winning documentary tells the story of the Mississippi Civil Rights movement from the point of view of its remarkable and courageous women.
 
For more ideas, check out the 100th Anniversary calendar, toolkit, and video.
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.
Nominating Committee Seeks New Board Members
 
Our LWVMA Nominating Committee has begun putting together a slate of LWVMA officers and directors, to be presented to League members at the 2020 Council Meeting in the spring.  Our convention in June voted to create staggered two-year terms for Board members, so that approximately half the Board seats will be open for nominations each year.  This year we are looking for candidates for Treasurer and Secretary as well as board members.
 
Next month we will send out a description of the Board Member position and a Board Member Application for you to review. In the meantime, think about which of your fellow League members would be well-suited to serve at the state level, and be prepared to nominate yourself or another talented and committed local Leaguer to serve on the LWVMA Board of Directors and/or the LWVMA Nominating Committee. Our future depends on our ability to attract new League leaders.

The Nominating Committee will contact League leaders across the state to request names as we work to develop a 2020-2021 slate.  Please feel free to reach out to any of the committee members at  nominating@lwvma.org: Wendy Manz, Chair, Lee Bona, Sharon McCarthy, Jean Cherdack, and Kathy Leonardson.
League Leader Lunch Materials Available
 
Thanks to all who attended this year's League leader lunch in Worcester and to the Worcester League for its help. We had about 70 attendees representing 33 different Leagues and units. We heard about the "state of the LWVMA" from co-presidents Mary Ann Ashton and Judy Zaunbrecher; panel discussions on civic engagement opportunities for local Leagues and local League interest action groups; a presentation and group discussion with Elizabeth Foster-Nolan on the LWVMA's new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) policy; and an update from Karen Price on 100th Anniversary activities and resources. 
 
You can download presentation materials from the LWVMA website. The 100th Anniversary toolkit and other resources are  here.
ELECTIONS & VOTING
LWVMA Plans Webinar on Census Effort

LWVMA will host a webinar Thursday, Dec. 5, 2-3 p.m. on helping with the 2020 U.S. Census. Carly Bari, Partnership Specialist for the Census Bureau, will educate us on how the census will be conducted, the resources available on the Census Bureau website, and answer your questions. You will need to register for the webinar here.

Additionally, the State Complete Count Committee is sponsoring several Train the Trainers workshops around the state. Learn more about these workshops and register by clicking on the links below:
Nov. 13,  Hyannis at the Barnstable Town Hall
Nov. 14,  Nantucket at the  PSF Training Room
Nov. 15,  Martha's Vineyard at Vineyard Haven Library
Nov. 18,  Worcester at the Blackstone Heritage Corridor Visitor Center
Nov. 19,  Springfield at the Barney Carriage House
Nov. 19, Pittsfield at the Berkshire Immigrant Center
Nov. 20,  Brockton at the  Brockton War Memorial Building
Nov. 20,  New Bedford at the New Bedford Public Library
Nov. 21,  Boston at the Roxbury Community College (registration coming!)
 
The 2020 Census starts on April 1, 2020--less than five months away. The census data will determine critical decisions such as political representation and the distribution of $675 billion of funding for education, health care, public transportation, roads, buildings, and other critical resources.
LWVUS Census Update

The League of Women Voters is now listed as an official partner organization of the U.S. Census Bureau for the 2020 Census. The League's name will be included on the public list of partners and used in presentations by the Census Director, along with the other 750 national companies/corporations/non-profits. It is estimated that the total number of national, state, and local partners will be 300,000 by March.
 
The American Library Association has published its guide, Preparing My Library for the 2020 Census. This year, LWV is specifically named as a reliable community group doing work in this space, and we encourage all Leagues to consider using your local library for census and redistricting presentations and events.
LWVUS Proposes an Electoral Systems Position

Local Leagues should be receiving program planning materials from the national League this month. The LWVUS board has recommended a concurrence on an Electoral Systems position that will be voted on at the national 2020 convention June 25-28. The concurrence will be presented as part of program planning work for the convention. This proposed concurrence is not a study; it is a fully-formed position based on the language of many state and local LWV positions, which were arrived at following state and local studies.
 
The national board asked a committee to develop this position because the LWV has positions on a multitude of public policy issues decided by our elected representatives, however, we do not have a position on how we elect the representatives that make those public policy decisions. The board notes that this method of developing a position is a pilot project as the LWVUS Board explores new ways to adopt and/or update LWVUS positions. 
 
The proposed position in brief states: Support electoral systems at each level of government that encourage participation, are verifiable and auditable, and enhance representation for all voters. For the full position, a glossary of terms, and pro and con arguments, click here.
ADVOCACY
Hearing for Safe Communities Act

Please alert interested League members that a hearing on the Safe Communities Act H3573 / S1401 will be Monday, Dec. 2, at 10 a.m. in Gardner Auditorium at the State House. Come pack the auditorium and support the immigrants and their children affected by this bill. Jennifer Muroff, our legislative specialist on immigration, will testify.
 
Proponents expect the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security hearing to last most of the day, so they are urging supporters to sign up for shifts so the auditorium is always full. Click here to register for a shift or to find out other ways to help.
THE TO-DO LIST
Next Scharfman Grant Deadline

The next deadline to apply for a Lotte E. Scharfman Citizen Education Grant is Tuesday, Jan. 14.  Details and an application are available  here .
First Call for LWVUS Convention

The League of Women Voters' 54th national convention will be held at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill & Liaison in Washington June 25-28, 2020. LWVUS invites League members to save these dates and plan to join fellow passionate and engaged League leaders for our biennial national gathering. 
LWVUS Offers Youth Voter Registration Grants

The League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF) announces a 2020 Youth Voter Registration project. As part of this project, LWVEF will award pass-through grants to state and local Leagues to undertake voter registration activities in high schools, community colleges, and alternative/vocational schools in underrepresented communities.
 
Grant applications are due by midnight Dec. 13, and grant decisions will be announced before the holidays. Grants will only be considered for Leagues targeting at least five schools during spring 2020. Leagues must agree to undertake activities in a nonpartisan fashion and must also agree to collect contact information from registrants in order to conduct Get-out-the-Vote follow-up. See the application for additional information.
LWV Impeachment Process Resource

LWVUS has published an article explaining the process of impeachment. This nonpartisan reference document is meant to inform voters. LWVUS will not be making a public statement on impeachment at this time, but will reevaluate that decision as the process unfolds. For Leagues looking to inform the public about the process of impeachment, LWVUS recommends sharing this article.
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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