November Opportunities for Action
About the Action Newsletter:
We suggest you choose one or two items for action. The items included in this newsletter fall under LWVMA Program Priorities:
  • Improving Elections
  • Empowering Voters and Fostering Civic Engagement
  • Advocating for Justice and Equality
  • Addressing the Climate Emergency
  • Advocating for Equitable Access to Basic Human Services
These priorities are referenced for each item as a way to orient you as you survey the list. Thanks for helping to move LWVMA priorities forward!

Priority: Civic Engagement
Day on the Hill Rescheduled: Wednesday, Nov. 3
Widespread power outages forced us to move our virtual Day on the Hill lobby day from Oct. 27 to Wednesday, Nov. 3, from 10 a.m. to noon. If you have already registered for Day on the Hill, you do not need to register again; your link is still good. If you find you can now attend Day on the Hill, you can still register here

House Speaker Ron Mariano will be the keynote speaker for the event, “Facing the Challenge: Voting, Climate, Early Education, Healthcare.” Featured bills are:
  • The Votes Act: H.805/S.459 voting reform and same day voter registration
  • Climate Change: H.3302 offshore wind and renewable energy
  • The Common Start bill: H.605/S.362 early education and affordable childcare
  • Healthcare: H.1267/S.766 Medicare for All in Massachusetts
Breakout sessions will include meetings with legislators and staff where possible or a chance to call your own Senator and Representative. For complete information, see the Day on the Hill packet

Priority: Civic Engagement
Annual League Leader Event—Join Us Nov. 6
The theme for this year’s League Leader event on Zoom is Leadership Development – and we will be featuring Beth Chandler, CEO of YW Boston, who will talk about attracting and supporting new leaders. Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in two interactive breakout sessions to further explore the leadership development theme. 

The event will kick off with a poetry reading by Alondra Bobadilla. Alondra was named Boston’s first-ever Youth Poet Laureate in 2020 and will be reading her poem “The 19th.”

When: Saturday, Nov. 6, from 9 to 11 a.m.
Where: On Zoom – Register HERE
Why: To get ideas for building new leadership in your League!

Priority: Civic Engagement
Our Collective Impact: Data Collection Sessions Nov. 9 and 10
You’ve heard the adage If you don’t count it, it didn’t happen. Please be part of our effort to assess the collective impact of League activities and programs throughout Massachusetts by counting what you do! Together with a focus group of local League leaders, we’ve developed a simple data collection form for Leagues to use for each activity and program they undertake throughout the year. Numbers do matter – and imagine the numbers we can generate if all Leagues are keeping track of how many attendees they have at programs, how many community partners they work with, how many voters they register, and on and on.

Join us for one of the informational sessions where we will walk through the data collection form and answer questions on the “how” of getting this done simply and easily. Both sessions will cover the same material.

Register HERE for Tuesday, Nov. 9 from 11 a.m. to noon
Register HERE for Wednesday, Nov.10 from 7 to 8 p.m.

Priority: Elections
Redistricting Efforts Win Applause
The Drawing Democracy coalition that LWVMA is part of salutes the work of the legislature’s Special Joint Committee on Redistricting, particularly noting the committee’s willingness to adjust the boundaries of the Brockton Senate district after the coalition objected to the original proposal. Here are links to the coalition’s press releases on the House district map and the Senate district map.

And here are the maps originally reported by the redistricting committee for the House and the Senate. The revised versions were not available on the legislature website.  The committee still has to unveil its map for the Congressional districts.
 
Priority: Climate Emergency
Offshore Wind Webinar Nov. 4
The future of renewable energy in New England is tied to wind power. The LWVMA Environmental Action Advocacy Committee is hosting a webinar on the potential of offshore wind as a major resource as society transitions off fossil fuel.

Be sure to register for Offshore Wind: Game Changer for Net Zero Thursday, Nov. 4 at 4 p.m. Our guest speaker is Susannah Hatch from the Environmental League of Massachusetts. She is the regional leader for New England for Offshore Wind, a growing and broad-based regional coalition that aims to drive regional collaboration and expanded commitments to responsibly-developed offshore wind. Registration is required. For more information, click here.

Priority: Justice and Equality
Solitary Confinement Webinar Nov. 4
Please invite your legislators to attend this upcoming briefing on H.2504/S.1578, a bill the League supports to curtail solitary confinement in prisons. Speakers include the lead sponsors of this legislation, people who have been directly impacted by the use of solitary confinement, and a research scientist with clinical expertise. 

Solitary Confinement by Another Name is Still Solitary is sponsored by Massachusetts Against Solitary Confinement and the Massachusetts Legislative Criminal Justice Reform Caucus. The program is Thursday, Nov. 4, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. Register here to attend and send the registration link to your legislators: 
https://tinyurl.com/EndSolitary-Now 

To learn more about criminal justice legislative priorities, please contact League specialists Nancy Bettinger and Lucy Costa at criminaljustice@lwvma.org

Priority: Justice and Equality
Updating Police Reform Webinar Nov. 10
How is the police reform law being implemented in Massachusetts? Please join us on Wednesday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. via Zoom for a briefing on Implementing the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) System in Massachusetts

POST Commissioner Chief Michael Wynn will brief us on the work of the new POST Commission and the implementation of the use of force standards and certification process across the state’s 351 municipalities. Chief Wynn, Chief of the Pittsfield Police department since 2007, was appointed to serve as a POST Commissioner by Governor Baker and presented the de-escalation and use of force regulations to the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association annual conference. Register here.

Priority: Elections
Act on the VOTES Act
Please call or email your Representative and ask for support for same-day voter registration as part of the House version of the VOTES Act. The VOTES Act passed the Senate and, now numbered S.2554, is in the House Ways & Means Committee. That committee will draft its version of the bill, and we want it to include same-day voter registration. The House has blocked same-day registration in the past. Make sure your Representative knows same-day voter registration is important to you.

Priority: Equitable Access to Basic Human Services
Support Public Health Services Bill
Please ask your Senator and Representative to support H.2329/S.1386, An Act related to accelerating improvements in the local and regional public health system to address disparities to the delivery of public health services (SAPHE 2.0). See our testimony.

This bill mandates that all laws and public health policies of Massachusetts be followed in every community in the state, providing public health services to all residents equitably. It establishes sustainable state funding, which has already been included in the budget for the next two fiscal years. Had this system been in place before the pandemic, we could have received our vaccines in our own town, and contact tracing and uniform data collection would have been in place.

Reassure your local board of health and town government that the only changes for them are: (a) increased ability to make coalitions with surrounding towns to share staff and (b) state funds will be available to hire the public health nurse(s) and social worker(s) needed to comply.

Priority: Equitable Access to Basic Human Services
Medicare for All Bill Needs Your Help
Please continuously lobby for the passage of LVWMA priority bill H.1267/S.766, Medicare for All in Massachusetts. This bill will be featured at Day on the Hill Nov. 3. Use what you learn about Medicare for All by attending or use information in the lobby day packet while you continue to lobby your legislators. Talk with your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors about the bill. It is important that all voters be well-informed and ready to advocate for this important legislation. Next month’s newsletter will share common excuses people use to not support the bill and how to counter them.

Priority: Civic Engagement
It's Time for Accurate Sex Education
An Act relative to healthy youth H.673/S.318 has been in the legislative pipeline for over 10 years. Thirty-eight members of the Senate recently voted to pass this bill, which is now in the House Ways & Means Committee. The House has historically blocked this bill after the Senate has passed it. Please contact your state Representative and urge them to pass this bill this session.

There is abundant research showing that our youth need education that helps them learn correct facts about their sexuality. This education can help them have more fulfilling relationships and reduce sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies. Since consent will be a part of the curriculum, students will also be less likely to see coercion/violence in sexual relations as acceptable. Twenty-two states already require scientifically correct sex education in their schools. See our testimony.

News from LWVUS
Send Your National Voter Registration Day Results
Was your League one of the 400+ Leagues participating in National Voter Registration Day Sept. 28? Please take a few minutes to report your results. By completing this survey, you ensure all your success gets cataloged in the upcoming 2021 National Voter Registration Day Report. Your expert partner insight is the bedrock of how the event will continue to grow for years to come. Take a few minutes to complete your survey today.

National Convention Set for June 23-26
LWVUS has published the first call for our 55th Annual Convention June 23 – 26, 2022. We are going hybrid this year, with opportunities to participate both in person in Denver or online from anywhere. More information can be found here, and we will be posting more to the LWVUS League Update and on the LWVUS League Management Site in the coming weeks. Please email cdavis@lwv.org if you have questions.

LWVUS Program Planning Information Available
As the first step in the Program process that will culminate in adoption of LWVUS organization-wide program at Convention 2022, the Program Planning Leaders Guide and Survey response form is now available for Leagues to use at their program planning meetings in early 2022. The input of League boards will help shape the proposed program of study and action that will be debated and voted on by convention delegates. Program planning reports forms must be returned online by Tuesday, March 1, 2022. Each League is entitled to one response, and individual member responses are not accepted. You can access the Leader’s Guide here and the 2022 Program Survey here. For questions about program planning, email progplan@lwv.org.
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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