CALENDAR
Thursday, Oct. 19
"Greening the Grid: Preparing for Our Clean Energy Future," Cary Memorial Library, Lexington, 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 24
LWVMA Day on the Hill, "Moving the Needle on League Priorities," Great Hall, State House, from 9:30 a.m. until noon

Monday, Oct. 30
LWVMA/LESF Board Meeting, Worcester Public Library, Banx Room, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 4
"Extreme Events and Climate Change Boston and Cape Cod: What We Know and What We Can Do," Falmouth Public Library, 1:00 p.m. until 2:30 p.m.
HAPPENING NOW
Make the League's Voice Heard at Day on the Hill Oct. 24

Our annual "Day on the Hill" lobby day, Moving the Needle on League Priorities, will be Tuesday, Oct. 24, in the Great Hall of the State House, with coffee at 9:30 a.m. and the program starting promptly at 10:00 a.m. After the program ends at noon, plan to meet with your own Senator and Representative.

Please encourage your members to attend and make the League's voice heard.
 
Keynote speakers will be two of the top women in the legislature-Rep. Patricia Haddad, Speaker Pro Tempore of the House, and Sen. Cynthia Creem, Assistant Majority Leader of the Senate.

The program will focus on legislation in four priority action areas we voted at the April convention:
  • Elections and voting: Automatic Voter Registration bill
  • Climate change and the environment: Carbon Pricing bills
  • Immigration: Safe Communities bill
  • Criminal justice reform: Newly-released Omnibus bill
We will also have a brief how-to-lobby session so League members are prepared to talk to their legislators.

View the information packet for Day on the Hill here
 
Please register in advance here. If you register on or before Oct. 19, the office will let your legislators know to expect a visit from you between 12:30 and 1:00 p.m., after the formal program ends. You can also contact your legislators directly to let them know you will be on Beacon Hill that day.
Next Two Climate and Energy Solutions Forums: Preparing the Grid and Extreme Weather Events
  
The last two events in the LWVMA Climate and Energy Solutions Series
will be in Lexington and Falmouth.    Reach out to other groups in your region! Add these events to your League calendars and social media sites! Spread the word!
 
 
Click here for information and a flyer for the Falmouth forum
Nov. 4.
 
Click here for information and a flyer for the Lexington forum
Oct. 19.
  
 
Please Support Our Fall Appeal - We Depend on You!


By supporting our Fall Appeal, you will sustain the essential work of LWVMA and also earn money for your own League. For a contribution by October 20, your League will receive 10-15% of the amount! And donors to Fall Appeal will not be called for Phonathon. You also have the option of signing up as a monthly supporter.

Why contribute to the Fall Appeal?

These times demand renewed commitment to democratic principles and activism. With your support, LWVMA is leading the way, fighting for what's right on election reform, climate change, immigration, and criminal justice reform. And our Education Fund is nourishing grassroots democracy by registering voters, organizing candidate debates, publishing voters' guides, and holding issues forums. 
LWVMA is also supporting the startup of several new Leagues around the state.

But our movement requires sufficient funding to succeed. Membership dues do not cover all of our expenses, and we rely on our supporters to help close the gap.
Click here to see how our resources were spent in 2016-2017. To donate online, click here. To print a donation form, click here. Thank you in advance for your support!
ADVOCACY
New Legislative Envoy Program Kicks Off in January
    
LWVMA is creating a corps of Legislative Envoys to link local Leagues with our legislative efforts at the State House and make those efforts more effective. We are looking for one or two interested members in each local League to become envoys. The program begins in January.

Initially, LWVMA will pilot a small group of envoys from different local Leagues who will be responsible for building relationships with the State Representative and Senator in their districts and engaging their local Leagues. We plan to grow this group over the next several years.

Read more about this opportunity for your interested members to get involved at the state level here, and encourage them to contact Colleen Kirby, the program's administrator.
Have You Written a Letter in Support of AVR?
   
Passing Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) is one of LWVMA's legislative priorities this session. Please support AVR by writing a letter to the editor of your local paper. You can find a template for a letter from your League  here . Please sign up  here  to let us know that you are submitting a letter to your local newspaper, so we can track our statewide outreach and impact. There's a fact sheet on AVR  here. 

Encourage your members to call their state Representative and express their support for automatic voter registration. The time is NOW.
Ranked Choice Voting
   
We have received several inquiries lately about ranked choice voting and the League position.

There is a national League position in favor of what was called "instant runoff" voting when the position was adopted and is now called ranked choice voting (RCV).  That position applies to Leagues at all levels--national, state and local. The LWV of Maine, in fact, was a major supporter of the ballot question in that state last November, when Maine became the first state to approve RCV.

Here's the League position from Where We Stand that refers to that 2005 LWVUS position: "Voting systems should be easy to use, administer and understand, encourage high voter turnout, encourage real discussion on issues, promote minority representation, and encourage candidates to run. When electing someone to a single executive office at the state level, such as governor or attorney general, including primary and general elections, the voting system should require the winner to obtain a majority of the votes. The League supports instant runoff voting. Cost and complexity make two-round runoff not acceptable."

LWVMA is in contact with Voter Choice Massachusetts, a group considering a ballot question on ranked choice voting in Massachusetts. You can learn more about their efforts
here and about ranked choice voting generally from Fair Vote here . LWVMA is not currently working on RCV.  
 VOTING & ELECTIONS
Rocking National Voter Registration Day
  
Local Leagues across the state organized voter registration events around National Voter Registration Day Sept. 26, registering new voters at shopping malls, high schools, colleges, libraries, farmers' markets and harvest fairs. The new Framingham League even registered voters at a 5K charity run! LWVMA and LWV Boston worked together at Boston City Hall Plaza.

These Leagues posted their registration events on the LWVMA website: Boston, Framingham, Cape Cod, Wellesley, Central Berkshire County, Lexington, Springfield, Hamilton-Wenham, Amherst, Sudbury, Northampton Area, Melrose and Needham.

LWVUS noted the League is once again on track to be the largest on-the-ground NVRD participant nationally, with at least 350 local Leagues around the country holding registration activities.
 AROUND THE LEAGUE
Great time at League Leader Lunch! 
  
This fall's League Leader Lunch in Worcester offered more than 50 leaders from around the state an opportunity to learn, network, and share. The day's agenda included an update on what's been happening at LWVMA and LWVUS, a presentation on League advocacy (how it works and what you can do), and a panel discussion with League leaders from three of our new units-in Franklin County, Central Berkshire County and Greater Lowell.

"Ordinary women and men doing extraordinary things" summed up the comments from the leaders of those League units. The panel included Marge Michalski, treasurer, Franklin County; Kathie Penna, president, Central Berkshire; and Sabrina Heisey, leader, Greater Lowell. Read more...
LWVMA Leadership Change
  
Linda Matys O'Connell has informed the Board that she is unable to continue in her positions as Co-President and Director of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts. The Board has accepted her resignation with regret, but it is our hope, and hers as well, that she will be able to resume her involvement with LWVMA in the future. This was a difficult decision for her, and we respect her decision, but will miss her voice. We thank her for her work and wish her the best.

The Board has activated our Nominating Committee, which normally would not begin work for another year, and asked them to help us identify League members who could be appointed to the board in the near future to help us with our work. If you are interested, or know someone who might be, please contact the Nominating Committee.
First Call for LWVUS Convention Next June
  
The League of Women Voters' 53rd National Convention will be held at the Hilton Chicago in Chicago Thursday, June 28, through Sunday, July 1, 2018. More information and the full first call is available here .
THE TO-DO LIST
Treasurers: File tax return!
  
Treasurers please note! All Leagues must file an annual tax return with the IRS no later than the 15th day of the fifth month after the close of your tax year. If your fiscal year ended on June 30, your local League treasurer MUST file your e-postcard by Nov. 15. Failure to file for three consecutive years will result in the revocation of your League's tax-exempt status. Leagues that receive less than $50,000 in income can electronically file form 990-N (the "e-postcard"). The Form is short and easy to complete.

Our website has detailed information about the
responsibilities of local League treasurers in the "Member Services" section. Please contact Executive Director Meryl Kessler if you have questions.
Membership Chairs: Update Information  
  
All local League membership chairs, please make sure you have sent the contact information for your new members to Brynne Gorman at the LWVMA office, so those members receive our newsletters and other information. Please update your LWVUS roster as well if necessary.  
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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