Archives for July 2017

LWV To Host Major Climate Change Forum at New England Aquarium Sept. 14

As the climate changes and global temperatures rise, extreme weather events like Hurricane Harvey are becoming more frequent.  As a coastal state, Massachusetts is increasingly at risk from dangerous storms and a rise in sea level.  Professor Douglas will provide an in-depth look at the climate changes that have already occurred as well as those that scientific models predict for the future.  She will also provide information about plans to address and respond to climate change, delving into these questions:

  • What have we observed from our changing climate?
  • What changes are in our future?
  • What plans are in the works to adapt to these changes?

A Question and Answer session will follow.

Click here for an event flyer.  All concerned citizens are encouraged to attend!

This event is part of the Aquarium’s Lecture Series and of LWVMA’s Climate and Energy Solutions Series. It is free and open to the public. Registration is required through the Aquarium’s website.

Co-hosted by the New England Aquarium’s Lecture Series, the League of Women Voters (LWV) of Boston and LWV of Massachusetts, the UMass Boston School for the Environment.

For a list of partnering organizations for the Climate and Energy Solutions Series click here.

Election Modernization Coalition Applauds Ruling On Voter Registration Deadline

Boston,MA/July 24, 2017–A decision handed down today by a Suffolk Superior Court judge opened a huge window that has been shut to many eligible voters. As a result of a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Massachusetts, MassVOTE, and the Chelsea Collaborative, Judge Douglas Wilkins ruled that the 20-day voter registration deadline in Massachusetts disenfranchises thousands of potential voters and is unconstitutional.

As organizations that have worked tirelessly together for many years to remove barriers to voting, we are thrilled with this decision and we applaud the work of the plaintiffs and their attorneys. We are also gratified that the decision refers to the successes of early voting and online voter registration, reforms for which we advocated for years.

We still have more barriers to voting in Massachusetts than we should tolerate, and more solutions—such as automatic voter registration and election day registration—than we are using. We look forward to continuing our work to make democracy thrive in Massachusetts.

Pam Wilmot, Common Cause, Massachusetts

Meryl Kessler, League of Women Voters, Massachusetts

Beth Huang, Mass Voter Table

Janet Domenitz, MASSPIRG

Cheryl Clyburn Crawford, MassVOTE

Jonathan Cohn, Progressive Massachusetts

LWVMA Thanks Secretary Galvin for Refusing to Comply with Voter Record Request

The League strongly condemns the recent request from President Trump’s Election Integrity Commission for voter records, including private information, from all 50 states; at the same time, LWVMA applauds Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin for refusing to comply with the request and has sent him a letter thanking him for his stance.  We encourage LWVMA members to also contact Secretary Galvin to thank him for his refusal to comply with the commission’s request.

The letter to Secretary Galvin from LWVMA Co-presidents Mary Ann Ashton and Linda Matys O’Connell reads:

July 5, 2017

Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
McCormack Building
One Ashburton Place, Room 1719
Boston, MA 02108

 

Dear Secretary Galvin,

The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts applauds you for your refusal to turn over voter records to the Election Integrity Commission, as reported in several media outlets this past week.  We thank you for your continuing efforts to ensure that voters’ right to privacy and to vote are protected in our Commonwealth.

The League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) has issued a strong statement condemning this week’s request from Kris Kobach, vice chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, for state voter records.  We agree with you that the law in the Commonwealth has established that the voter record is not a public record, and stand firmly with you that these records should not be released and that voter’s privacy should be protected.

With our partners in the Election Modernization Coalition, we have worked with your office to improve and protect elections, and recognize that you are committed to ensuring that there are no opportunities for voter fraud or for voter suppression in our state.  We thank you for your many efforts on behalf of the Commonwealth’s voters, and look forward to continuing to work with you.

Sincerely yours,

Mary Ann Ashton                                                       Linda Matys O’Connell
Co-president                                                               Co-president

June 2017 Joint Award to Three Local Leagues

Three Leagues jointly received Daniel Scharfman citizen education grant in June 2017.

The Sudbury, Wayland, and Weston Leagues received a grant to cover costs associated with their 9th Annual Civics Bee in April 2017. The event was also co-sponsored by the Sudbury Curtis Middle School Parent Organization.

The Civics Bee educates both participants and the public about how our US, state, and local governments work.  Public school middle and high school Social Science teachers supported the Bee by coaching student participants. Inter-generational teams of adults, middle school students, and high school students from the 3 towns competed to answer questions about civics.  This year, 49 total students, adults, and coaches participated. Material covered in school is reinforced and covered in more depth as students study for the Bee. Topics covered include the US Constitution, the three branches of federal government, and the three towns’ local governments.  This year the special topic was the Supreme Court, with extra questions about landmark court cases.  Questions on how to register to vote and how to vote are asked every year.

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