Spring 2018 Update
"Beyond the March" Conference Speakers Share Insights, Inspiration, and Ideas for Action 
Panelists (from l to r) Worcester City Councilor Sarai Rivera, Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller, Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer, and moderator Lisa Wong, Deputy Director of the Asian American Civic Association and former Fitchburg mayor, discuss local politics.

Women have long played a key role as agents of change here in Massachusetts, and today women especially are feeling energized to "do something" to fix political institutions that are widely perceived as broken.  

Our full-day conference on April 28, 2018,  Beyond the March:  Women Leading the Way in Massachusetts, brought together elected officials, an historian, political scientist, and 150 citizen activists from across the state to explore lessons from women's activist past, the key role of women leaders today, and concrete steps we can all take to strengthen our democracy going forward.

Speakers included Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, who delivered the keynote address; Barbara Berenson, author,  Massachusetts in the Woman Suffrage Movement: Revolutionary Reformers; Lisa Wong, Deputy Director, Asian American Civic Association, former Mayor, Fitchburg; Ruthanne Fuller, Mayor, Newton; Yvonne Spicer, Mayor, Framingham; Sarai Rivera, City Councilor, Worcester; and Daniel Ziblatt, Professor of Government, Harvard University, co-author,  How Democracies Die.

Tsongas encouraged women to run for office at all levels of government, noting that  "the impact women have is unmistakable, but the reality is that women still make up a marginal percentage of office holders nationwide."  Running for office, Tsongas said, "sets the stage in other ways to become involved, if you are not successful in the first round ... be the change we want to see in the world ... use all the tools our democracy affords us. They are many."

Students from Across the State Honored at State House Video Contest Award Ceremony
LWVMA honored winners of its 2018 high school video contest at a June 5 award ceremony at the Massachusetts State House.

With friends, family, teachers, and legislators on hand, students from across the state received awards for their public service announcements created for our "Get in the Game and Vote!" contest.

The  winning videos will be used to encourage eligible Massachusetts voters to register and vote in the 2018 primary and general elections.

The first place winning video was from Concord Academy; second place was from Nauset Regional High School; and third place was from Quincy High School. There were also nine honorable mention awards; the Catalyst Award went to West Roxbury Academy.

The award ceremony at the State House featured inspiring reflections on civic engagement by State Senator Jamie Eldridge. Several other state legislators--Rep. Cory Atkins, Rep. Tackey Chan, Rep. Lori Ehrlich, Rep. Ken Gordon, Rep. John Lawn, Rep. Sarah Peake, Rep. Dave Rogers,  Rep. Thomas Stanley, Sen. Brendan Crighton, Sen. Julian Cyr, Sen. Cindy Friedman, Sen. John F. Keenan , and Sen. Mike Barrett--awarded citations to students from their districts.

We are grateful for the support from the Salem Five Charitable Foundation and the Lincoln and Therese Filene Foundation for this program.

League Continues Beacon Hill Push to Bring Automatic  Voter Registration to Massachusetts
LWVMA Executive Director Meryl Kessler with Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin and coalition partners at March press conference at the Massachusetts State House.
LWVMA continues to push for a vote on the Automatic Voter Registration bill (H. 4230) before July 31, the end of the  formal legislative session.  It's crunch time--and we need your help!

AVR will modernize our voter registration system to make it more accurate, secure and cost-effective. AVR shifts voter registration from an opt-in to an opt-out system. If passed, every eligible citizen who goes to the RMV or other state services agencies would automatically be registered to vote, unless they decline, and up to 700,000 new voters would be added to the rolls in Massachusetts

In January, LWVMA and its partners in the Election Modernization Coalition hosted an AVR lobby day at the State House, where Attorney General Maura Healey joined hundreds of citizens and dozens of organizations in urging the legislature to pass AVR as soon as possible this session. 

In February, the Joint Committee on Election Laws  favorably reported out the AVR bill, an important step toward bringing  AVR to Massachusetts.

Now, H.4230 is in the House Ways and Means Committee, and both houses of the Massachusetts legislature must pass this legislation by  July 31 and send it to the governor for his signature.  

Our goal is to bring the  AVR bill to a vote as soon as possible.  To help move this legislation to a vote, please contact your state legislators and let them know you want #AVRinMA today!
Support LWVMA by June 30 and Double Your Gift
Thanks to a generous donor, all donations to LWVMA or our Citizen Education Fund until June 30 will be matched dollar for dollar up to $20,000. And if you donate $50 or more, will we send you our new "Democracy Is Not A Spectator Sport" bumper sticker.

We are halfway to our goal, and need your help. Your support will enable us to continue to empower voters and defend democracy right here in Massachusetts.    Please give now .
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