October 2020

LWVMA is changing the way we reach leaders of local Leagues. This emailed League Leader Update format will continue through November then we will switch to a website news location. See the home page of our new website under News for League Leaders; that column will be updated continuously so news is more current than the monthly newsletters. Please bookmark that column for easy access. And refer your League members to the adjacent column of news for members.
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. Since this is a milestone year, with an aggressive fundraising goal, we will hold a Zoom training to go over the nuts and bolts of participating in Phonathon. Even if your League has not participated in recent years, this would be a great year to join the effort! Please join us for the Zoom training on Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 6:30 p.m., by registering here.

If you know your League will participate in Phonathon, please contact Taylor Grenga. Further details about this year’s Phonathon will be coming soon.
Who is Your Birthday Gala Honoree?
Planning for LWVMA's 100th Virtual Birthday Gala on Sunday, Dec. 13, at 1 p.m., is well underway and we are looking for your help to make this event special.

We would like to recognize a remarkable local League leader from each League across Massachusetts—someone from your League any time in the past 100 years who has made substantial and lasting contributions to your local League, to the Massachusetts League, or to the national League.

Please use this form to let us know who your League would like to recognize. We are asking for all submissions to be made by Saturday, Oct. 31.

Click here for more details on the Birthday Gala and to register. Thank you for helping to make the 100th celebration memorable!

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 Article I, II and III.

League Leader Event Recap
Almost 100 local League leaders participated in the Oct. 17 League Leader Lunch event, held online via Zoom—the first time ever. Keynote speaker Prof. Charles Stewart of MIT's Election Lab gave a fascinating talk, Are We Prepared for the Election? Learnings from the Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project. This was followed by three breakout sessions—fundraising, retaining and recruiting members, and doing a DEI assessment for your League. While there was no lunch, the first 90 people to register received an LWV VOTE411 mask to encourage voter education and participation while promoting good pandemic safety habits. Professor Stewart's talk was recorded and is available here.

Avoid Zoom Bombing
Suggestions on how to avoid or minimize the risk of having your candidate forums (or other Zoom meetings) attacked by Zoom bombing are available here in a document from Karen Price, LWV Needham president.

LWVMA at Boston Book Festival
The Boston Book Festival is going on through Oct. 25 and it is all virtual this year. LWVMA is an exhibitor in the Virtual Marketplace as a sponsor. If you would like a diversion into the world of books and book talks, check out the Virtual Marketplace here.

Annual Report Available
Take a look at LWVMA’s 2018-2019 annual report, now available on our website here.
Guidance on Election Result Issues
LWVUS is working on contingency planning for election threats and its post-election strategy. LWVUS is an active partner of the National Task Force on Election Crises, a cross-partisan group of more than 50 experts dedicated to ensuring a free and fair 2020 general election. LWVUS CEO Virginia Kase sits on this task force board. Over the last six months, the group has held multiple strategy sessions and created and disseminated multiple resources to help navigate this election cycle, and it stands ready to engage appropriately as situations play out.
Since July, LWVUS has also engaged a group of local, state, and national League leaders to develop possible scenarios and review where the League can best serve our democracy, if any of these potential scenarios should come to pass. Follow LWVUS on OutreachCircle for action alerts, rapid response messaging, and other important notifications.
We encourage local leaders to reach out to LWVMA at lwvma@lwvma.org if they have an election issue that needs to be sent to the national office.
Current LWVUS election-related talking points include:

Election Protection Volunteer Opportunities
Are you concerned about trouble on Election Day? LWVMA is partnering again this year with Lawyers for Civil Rights to make sure the election runs smoothly and fairly. There are three options for volunteering this year:
  • Statewide hotline: Troubleshoot election-day issues from your home
  • Mobile field program: Independently observe multiple polling locations for outdoor violations
  • Social media and news monitoring: Monitor news and social media platforms to report election-day issues
League members are always an important part of the election protection volunteer corps. Help support voters in real time. Click here to volunteer.

LWVUS is offering help on dealing with polling place issues. Join the LWVUS Organizing team for “Protecting Democracy: Active Bystander Training” on Oct. 29, at 3 p.m. This training will cover de-escalation techniques to safely address tense situations at polling places to ensure every voter can exercise their right to vote safely. Click here to register.

Lyft Discount for Election Rides
To help reduce barriers to voting, Lyft is offering a 50% discount on Election Day. Use code 2020VOTE to take 50% off (up to $10) one Election Day ride to a polling place or ballot dropbox. Please promote this in your communities.

Get Out the Vote Phone Banks
Our partners at MassCounts and the Mass Voter Table are sponsoring phone banks to various communities in Massachusetts to get out the vote. Sign up for weekly phone and text banks to get out the vote on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

Here are other phone banks to join:

VOTE411 is Now Updated!
Find Massachusetts' candidate and election information for the Nov. 3 general election at VOTE411.org, the League's national online voters' guide. VOTE411 covers races from U.S. Congress through state legislator and contested county races. Information on the two state ballot questions is included.

Please help promote VOTE411.org. Find the VOTE411 widget and installation instructions for your League webpage here. LWVUS is offering this VOTE411 QR code to promote VOTE411.

Publicize Ballot Dropbox Locations
Town clerks and city election officials have installed secure dropboxes where voters can deposit their mail ballots rather than relying on the Post Office. Please publicize the location and availability of those dropboxes on your website and social media and in any election work you do. Locations can be found from town clerks’ offices or the Secretary of State website.

Election Resources
Here are some resources you can use to put information on this year's elections on your website:

The Secretary of State has several website addresses for voting information that are easy to use, especially for promoting information to voters, letters to the editor, and social media.
The “red book” of official voter information is available here.

LWVMA Stands on 2020 Ballot Questions
The LWVMA Board voted on stands on the two statewide ballot questions that will appear on the November ballot.
  • Ballot Question 1: Right to Repair Law. LWVMA takes no stand on this question.
  • Ballot Question 2: Ranked Choice Voting Initiative. LWVMA supports this initiative and urges a YES vote.
You can read the full summary of LWVMA's stands on these ballot questions, find 2020 ballot question resources, and ballot question guidelines for local Leagues here. LWVMA encourages local Leagues to educate voters and advocate for ranked choice voting.
LWVUS Semi-Annual Survey
By demonstrating our impact, we strengthen our brand, position the organization to remain relevant for the next 100 years, and garner additional resources to support our initiatives. 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 Oct. 22. Register for the semi-annual survey webinar on Thursday, Nov. 5, where we will discuss the survey more in depth. More information about the survey is available on the League Management Site or by contacting Amilcar Guzman.

DEI Resources
The diversity, equity, and inclusion section of the League Management Site has been reorganized and added to the top-level menu. Visit the DEI section on the League Management Site and explore these resources.

2021 Legislative Priorities Guidance
The Advocacy and Litigation department offers its finalized Legislative Priorities Guidance document to state and local Leagues. The Guidance provides valuable information on the League’s anticipated priorities for 2021 state and local legislative sessions across the country. Using input we received from League leaders during our August policy webinar on legislative priorities, and additional information from previous legislative surveys, we have created this document to help you frame your work for next year. Please be on the lookout for an upcoming survey where you will be able to share your legislative priorities with the national office next year. The Legislative Priorities Guidance can be read online.

Upcoming Policy Webinar Schedule
Check our page on the League Management Site to see a listing of all future and past webinars from the LWVUS Advocacy and Litigation team. Webinars cover everything from setting Legislative priorities, putting together action alerts, policy briefings on legislative issues, and preparing for your next legislative session. Currently, webinars are scheduled out through January 2021.

Governance & DEI Webinar: DEI Policy
Join LWVUS on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. for a webinar on governance and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Register today!
The webinar will cover:
  • The Bylaws Amendment passed at the 2020 Convention that involves the DEI policy  
  • The LWVUS DEI Policy and the language included in it  
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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