October 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: Speaker Mariano is Keynote Oct. 27
We are thrilled to announce Massachusetts House Speaker Ron Mariano as our keynote speaker for Day on the Hill, our virtual lobby day for League members to advocate for League bills with their own legislators. The virtual event, entitled  ”Facing the Challenge: Voting, Climate, Early Education, Healthcare”, will be held Wednesday Oct 27, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. The keynote will be pre-recorded. Featured bills are:
  • Elections and Voting: The Votes Act H.805/S.459
  • Environment and Climate Change: H.3302/S.2155 (Promotes offshore wind)
  • Education: Affordable Early Education and Childcare H.605/S.362 (The Common Start bill) 
  • Healthcare: Medicare for All in Massachusetts H.1267/S.766
Register for Day on the Hill here. Don’t miss it! The more League members who attend, the more clout the League has on Beacon Hill!

Priority: Justice and Equality
March with LWVMA to Defend Reproductive Rights Oct. 2
LWVMA is co-sponsoring two marches in Massachusetts as part of the nationwide effort to defend reproductive rights -- this Saturday, Oct. 2.This day of action is in response to the enactment of Texas’ SB8, and is timed to demonstrate broad support for reproductive rights, access, and justice before the Supreme Court reconvenes on Oct. 4. Please join us!

Western Mass & Boston Events: 

We would love to have your photos if you attend. Please send photos to Brynne at bgorman@lwvma.org and we will share them over social media.

Priority: Elections
VOTES Act Lobby Day Moved to Oct. 13
We have just learned the Senate will be voting on the VOTES Act Wednesday, Oct. 6, so the election modernization coalition is moving our lobby day for that bill out a week, to Wednesday, Oct. 13, at the same time, noon to 1:30 p.m., when the focus will shift to persuading the House to pass a strong bill.

Please register here for the Oct. 13 lobby day.  If you have already registered for Oct. 6 and plan to come Oct. 13, you do not need to register again.

The Senate Ways & Means Committee reported out a strong version of the VOTES Act Thursday, Sept. 30, now numbered S.2545, and a vote is scheduled for Oct. 6. The bill includes same day voter registration and a jail-based voting provision along with making permanent the popular pandemic voting reforms related to voting by mail and expanded in-person early voting. We and the coalition will be monitoring the amendment process before the floor vote and the vote itself. You can watch the voting on Oct. 6 by clicking on the camera icon next to the Senate session listed on the Hearings & Events section of the legislature home page.

Priority: Justice and Equality
Legislative Briefing: "Ending Life Without Parole" Oct. 14
The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts is co-sponsoring the legislative briefing "Ending Life Without Parole," on Thursday Oct. 14 at 12 p.m. via Zoom. The briefing will cover League-supported bill H.1797. Please invite your state legislators to attend the briefing. Details on how to register, script for contacting legislators, and more information is available here.

Also, please ask your state Senator and state Representative to co-sponsor the Raise the Age bills, S.920/H.1826, An Act to promote public safety and better outcomes for young adults. Please go to the action alert here for more information and to complete this action.

Please ask your state Senator and state Representative to co-sponsor bills, S.980/H.1531, An Act relative to expungement of juvenile and young adult records. Please go to the action alert here for more information and to complete this action.

To sign up for our criminal justice reform mailing list to receive additional information and more frequent updates, please email Nancy Bettinger and Lucy Costa at criminaljustice@lwvma.org
Priority: Justice and Equality
Please Support LWVMA's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiative!
Thank you to all who have already donated to fund LWVMA's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Initiative. We mailed every member a Summer Appeal Letter, and our goal is to have 100% member participation in this crucial and transformative initiative that will propel us into our next 100 years! 

Did you know that LWVMA applies a "DEI lens" to every bill we support or oppose? Your support makes possible the legislative work we do day in and day out. Check our 2021 legislative priorities here

Your DEI gift will also help fund:
  • DEI training for local League leaders 
  • DEI training for LWVMA board and staff 
  • Recruitment and marketing to grow and diversify 

Your support is critical to build staff and local League capacity to meet the challenge of our next century of work together.

Please show your support for this state-wide DEI Initiative by making a gift today!
Priority: Civic Engagement
Lowell Votes is Seeking Help to Attract and Register New Voters
Please help Lowell “Get out the Vote” before their local election occurs at the end of October. For more information or to volunteer on Oct. 12 and Oct. 26: 
  • Registering Voters here 
  • Calling Voters here

Priority: Civic Engagement
Act on Nuclear Fuel Storage Danger
Swift passage of the bill to monitor the disposal of spent nuclear fuel (S.1507/H.2254, An Act Relative to Monitoring Dry Casks of Spent Nuclear Fuel) is critical to keep everyone in the Commonwealth safe from spent nuclear fuel at the decommissioned Pilgrim Nuclear power station. The dangers were outlined in a webinar Sept. 14. (Watch the recording here; see toolkit here.) For details about actions you can take, see the Action Alert here.

Priority: Justice and Equality, Elections
Update on Redistricting
LWVMA is a member of the Drawing Democracy Coalition. The coalition has released its Unity Maps for the Massachusetts State House and State Senate which can be seen here. The proposed new district maps for the Legislature would add nine House districts and four Senate districts where people of color represent the majority of the population. The proposal has been submitted to the Joint Committee on Redistricting, co-chaired by Rep. Michael Moran and Sen. William Brownsberger, which is leading the legislative effort this fall to redraw state and federal political boundaries based on the 2020 Census. See the press release here.

Priority: Justice and Equality
Update on the HOMES Act
The HOMES Act (S.921/H.1808) would automatically seal all eviction cases as soon as they are filed until an allegation is proven, to help tenants avoid the stigma of an eviction record. Women are evicted 16% more often than men, and the mere presence of an eviction case can be a serious obstacle to accessing housing as online court eviction records are used as a free, unregulated tenant screening tool that follows a tenant for life regardless of the merits or outcome of the case. The hearing on the HOMES Act, S.921/H.1808, was held Aug. 3. (See LWVMA testimony here.) A fact sheet can be found here
  • Sign up to receive updates on the HOMES Act.
  • Contact your legislators and urge them to support this bill. 

Priority: Equitable Access to Basic Human Services
Homework on Medicare for All in Massachusetts—for Day on the Hill
In preparation for Oct. 27 Day on the Hill and Medicare for All (H.1267/S.766), our healthcare specialist has assigned homework here. Please do calculation #1 and know the fact in #2.

Priority: Civic Engagement
Catch Up with Recorded "Meet the Specialists" Sessions
Watch “Meet the Specialist” programs to learn about bills LWVMA is supporting this session.
  • Women’s Issues (Aug. 11) View the recording here.
  • Criminal Justice (Aug. 25) View the recording here; link to the slide deck here.
  • Elections (Aug. 26) View the recording here.
  • Gun Violence Prevention (Sept. 13) View the recording here.
  • Affordable Housing (Sept.19) View the recording here.

Priority: Civic Engagement
Legislative Envoy Program...Become a Citizen Lobbyist
This three-year-old LWVMA program is “revving up” again up this fall with a new coordinator, Mary Cummings of the Arlington League. Volunteer envoys provide a direct link between the state League’s Legislative Action Committee and local Leagues, so that local Leagues can help influence the legislators who represent them. See Program description here. Please notify your League’s leadership that you are volunteering to represent your League and contact Envoy Coordinator Mary Cummings at mcummings@lwvma.org to join the program. 

Priority: Civic Engagement
LWVUS Board Nominations Open
The national League is seeking volunteers to join the 2022–2024 LWV Board of Directors and the Nominating Committee. All applications must be submitted by Oct. 29. Apply for the Board of Directors here and the Nominating Committee here.
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.
90 Canal Street, Suite 414, Boston, MA 02114 | 857-452-1715
 lwvma@lwvma.org | www.lwvma.org