Archives for February 2017

LWVMA Co-sponsoring Criminal Justice Reform Forum March 25

LWVMA Is pleased to co-sponsor a forum on criminal justice reform, “The Politics of Justice: Comprehensive Criminal Justice Reform in Massachusetts,” along with the Leagues in Arlington and Winchester.

The forum will be Saturday, March 25, 12:45-5:00 p.m., at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, 630 Massachusetts Ave. in Arlington Center.   You can preregister here.

Speakers will include:

  • Sen. Will Brownsberger on the Council of State Governments omnibus bill
  • Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan on restorative justice
  • Idris Abdullah of Teens Leading the Way on juvenile justice
  • Sen. Ken Donnelly on mental health issues and pretrial reform
  • Cassandra Bensahih of Jobs Not Jails on the Justice Reinvestment Act
  • Rahsaan Hall of the ACLU‑MA’s Racial Justice Program on the racial implications of this season’s proposed legislation.

There will be also time for networking and action opportunities, and Bill Gardiner, Colleen Kirby and Rep. Dave Rogers will offer an optional 30-minute workshop on interacting effectively with legislators.

This forum is organized by the Mass Incarceration Working Group and co-sponsored by 25 organizations.  Questions?  Email

New “Money In Politics” Toolkit Now Available

The new Money in Politics Toolkit from LWVUS is now available. This latest version represents the culmination of many years of work on this critical area of League advocacy.

As stated in the introduction of the kit: “YOU have a right to know WHO is running for office, WHO is raising money for WHICH candidates, HOW MUCH money are they raising, and HOW that money is being spent. YOU have a right to elections that are free from corruption and undue influence. CANDIDATES have a right to a fair and equitable contest that promotes strong citizen participation. WE ALL have a right to a democracy that works for all. Reform starts at home! Dive into how your community and state regulates money in politics and then advocate for reforms where needed. We’re here to help! Use the ACTION Kit to get you started.”

The Action Kit, sample letter to the editor, and questions for elected officials can all be found here. It’s time to take this action to the next level! The Action Kit will be an invaluable resource for local Leagues and all concerned citizens working to take on this issue.

LWVMA Environmental Committee Awarded Grant!

We’re pleased to announce that the LWVMA Environmental Advocacy and Action Committee has received a $2750 grant from the New England Grassroots Environment Fund to expand our outreach and public education efforts on environmental issues to local Leagues and the public .

The role of the Environmental Advocacy and Action Committee is to create a coordinated, state-wide plan of action to advance meaningful clean energy policy in the Commonwealth. The Committee includes local League members from around the state who will work within their local Leagues and League regions to share information and resources with League members and the general public through forums, webinars, print and social media, etc.

The grant will help build the Committee’s outreach capacity and development of educational resources.

For more information about the work of the Committee, contact Launa Zimmaro  or Karen Price.

January 2017 Awards to Three Local Leagues

Three Leagues received Daniel Scharfman citizen education grants in January.

LWV Arlington received a grant for its Candidates’ Night. LWV Hamilton Wenham received a grant for a program bringing books about civics to elementary schools. LWV Plymouth received a grant for its civics bee.

The next deadline to apply for a Scharfman grant is April 17. Information and an application form are available here.