November 2020

LWVMA is changing the way we reach leaders of local Leagues. This will be the final emailed League Leader Update. See the home page of our website under News for League Leaders; that column will be updated continuously so news is more current than in monthly newsletters. Please bookmark that column for easy access. And refer your League members to the adjacent column of news for members.
HAPPENING NOW
Cheers to 100 Years!
LWVMA is celebrating our past and shaping our future with a virtual birthday party Sunday, Dec. 13! Join us at 1 p.m. for a very special program by donating and registering here.

Please share the details about this event with your League members so that we can have a "virtual" full house. And spread the word!

  • Share our Facebook event post here to your League (and personal) Facebook pages. Periodically check the LWVMA Facebook page (@lwvmass) and engage with our Birthday Gala posts by commenting, liking, and sharing them.
  • Please follow us on Twitter (@lwvma), retweet, comment, and like our Birthday Gala Twitter posts.
  • Please follow us on Instagram (@lwvma), comment, and like our Birthday Gala Instagram posts.
  • Please include these hashtags in your social posts about the event: #LWVMA100YEARS #LWV100 #LWVMA
  • See our most recent email invitation here. Post the email and attached logo on your websites, website calendars, and include it in your bulletins. Here’s the official page for the event.  

Participate in LWVMA Program Planning
Local Leagues, Units, and Members-at-Large (MALs) can propose action priority areas, goals, and possible studies for LWVMA for the next biennium through state program planning. Local Leagues, Units, and MALs will submit program recommendations to LWVMA by March 25. The LWVMA board will consider these recommendations and draft a recommended program, and the membership will vote on the program at Convention 2021 in June.

Local League boards should plan to schedule program planning prior to mid-March. The Program Planning Guide will be available in early January. LWVMA will be offering one webinar about the Program Planning process in mid-January. Registration will be required, and you will get an email with the link to join. More info to come!

Help Raise $100K for 100 Years
Please help raise $100,000 for our 100th year by participating in this year’s LWVMA fall appeal and Phonathon. By having your local League make calls during the Phonathon, 10% of the total funds your League raises will go back to your League. Even if your League has not participated in recent years, this would be a great year to join the effort!

If you know your League will participate in Phonathon, please contact Taylor Grenga. Further details about this year’s Phonathon will be coming soon.
ELECTIONS & VOTING
What an Election! Thank You All!
Thank you to all local League members across the Commonwealth who worked hard during election season to get out the vote, educate voters about the new election law, help election officials, work at the polls, publicize dropbox locations, and everything else. Big thanks as well to our election officials who stepped up to meet the challenges presented by the new voting rules and by dealing with the pandemic.

Record Voting Turnout in Massachusetts
Voters in Massachusetts set a record for the highest turnout election cycle in history this year! As of Nov. 12, 3.46 million individuals (72% of registered voters) voted in the Nov. 3 general election. Approximately 41% voted with mail ballots returned by mail or dropbox, 28% voted early in-person, and 31% voted in-person on Election Day. Temporary election reforms made this year, including expanded vote by mail and extended early voting, helped us have a safe, secure, and accessible state election. The Election Modernization Coalition, which includes LWVMA, urges the legislature, Secretary of the Commonwealth, and Governor to make these reforms permanent. See the Election Modernization Coalition’s statement.
ADVOCACY
Watch for Legislature Action Alerts
The state legislature is moving into its final weeks; the session ends the first week in January. The push is on to adopt a budget and pass at least those bills that have already passed both chambers and are in conference committee.

With this tight timetable, you will be seeing a number of action alerts from LWVMA as bills come up for a vote or to get bills to the floor. Please respond to those alerts, even if there are several of them! There’s not much time left.

We are hoping to see the ROE Act expanding abortion access passed as an amendment to the budget; the House budget has already passed with that amendment and it is pending in the Senate budget. We want two conference committees to report strong climate change and police reform bills out for a floor vote now.

When you see an Action Alert, now is the time to take action!
THE TO-DO LIST
Scharfman Grant Deadline
The next deadline to apply for a Scharfman Citizen Education grant is Monday, Jan. 11. Find information and an application here.

Remove Images that May Have Copyrights
One Massachusetts League has already had to pay for using copyrighted images on its website. Please click here for LWVUS guidance on avoiding the problem. Pattye Comfort, LWVMA executive director, will be sending additional information shortly; if you have a question meanwhile, email Pattye.

Update Your Bylaws
At the 2020 national Convention, four amendments to the first three articles of the LWVUS bylaws were adopted by the delegates. The first three articles of bylaws at all levels of the League are identical. So the amendments to those three articles need to be incorporated into your local League bylaws as soon as possible. You can find the amended first three articles of LWVUS bylaws here, and update your own bylaws to match Articles I, II and III.

Leagues do not have to vote to adopt these changes since all Leagues are required to mirror these three articles in their bylaws. This link is to a webinar explaining the bylaw changes and adopting a DEI policy.

Fill Out LWVUS Survey
From LWVUS: Our ability to tell our individual and collective League stories hinges on state and local Leagues collecting and reporting data. To this end, LWVUS is launching our Semi-Annual Survey. Through this effort, we will better understand League activities during the election season, plans for upcoming legislative cycles, and internal processes. We will also seek to highlight successes and challenges Leagues might be facing. Please complete the survey online by visiting this link.

Each League should designate one person to fill out the survey. Please note that you must complete the survey in one sitting to avoid any technical glitches. You can find a Microsoft Word version of the survey to fill out first in preparation on the League Management Site. Review the LWVUS webinar from November 5 (Passcode: LWVUS2020!) to hear more about the survey.
The League Leader Update is distributed to local League board members and LWVMA leaders. Please review this Update for articles of interest to your League and include them in your local Bulletin.
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