LWVMA 2019 Convention Overview

The New Officers and Board:
Delegates to convention approved a change in our bylaws to create staggered terms for board members. Going forward, half the board will be elected at Convention and half at Council, in alternate years. To get this system going, several board members were elected to one-year terms instead of two-year terms; those positions will be up for election as two-year terms at our Council meeting in 2020.

  • Co-president, 1-year: Mary Ann Ashton, Acton Area
  • Co-president, 2-year: Judy Zaunbrecher, Concord-Carlisle
  • Secretary, 2-year: Cindy Ku, Sudbury
  • Treasurer, 1-year: Andrea Kozinetz, Newton
  • 1st VP, 2-year: Kathy Leonardson, Marblehead
  • 2nd VP, 1-year: Lee Bona, Worcester Area
  • Director, 1-year: Kate Boland, Hingham
  • Director, 1-year: Nancy Brumback, Sudbury
  • Director, 2-year: Elizabeth Foster-Nolan, member-at-large
  • Director, 2-year: Hartell Johnson, Greater Haverhill
  • Director, 2-year: Jennifer Muroff, Needham
  • Director, 2-year: Tanya Roy, Wellesley
  • Director, 2-year: Amy Smith, Topsfield/Boxford/Middleton

New Positions:
The delegates approved the position on the initiative and referendum process in Massachusetts that resulted from the ballot question study. LWVMA can now take action in this area and the study committee has suggested some possible next steps.

>Delegates also approved a position on immigration in the state, adopting by concurrence a position of the League of Women Voters of Illinois.

Climate Emergency Resolution:
Climate Emergency Resolution citing many specific indicators of climate change won strong support at convention. The resolution states: “We as delegates of Massachusetts local Leagues assembled at the 2019 LWVMA Convention call upon the LWVMA Board and local Leagues to advocate for declarations of ‘Climate Emergency’ and urgent relevant action by state and local governments.” In keeping with this resolution, please see our letter to The Boston Globe, drafted by Launa Zimmaro, which ran Sunday, June 16.

Speakers:
Noted environmental activist Bill McKibben issued a call to take action now to slow the damage and prevent more impact from fossil fuel pollution, including joining young people around the world in climate strikes September 20. McKibben described the League as having a special role to play because of its stature as a trusted voice.

Virginia Kase, CEO of LWVUS, emphasized the power of women to make significant social change and the efforts the League at the national level is taking.

Dr. Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, a Harvard historian, discussed the role of black women in the suffrage movement.

A panel on Election Technology: Promise and Perils reviewed the status of election security in Massachusetts, the ways we might vote in the future, and the impact ballot design can have on election results. More information here.

A panel of new state legislators-Sen. Becca Rausch, Rep. Mindy Domb, Rep. Nika Elugardo, and Rep. Tram Nguyen-reviewed why they ran for office, their legislative priorities, and the outlook for League priority legislation on Beacon Hill.