Marie Gauthier, Franklin County

The Franklin County unit of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts was formed as a direct response to the 2016 elections and the need I felt to be a more active contributor to the civic life of my community. The response was a collective roar of enthusiasm, and we grew quickly.

So far we’ve hosted forums on running for local office and how to discern fake news, as well as several voter registration drives. With 130 members, we are coping with the challenge to channel that enthusiasm and keep our members feeling engaged and connected.

We hold monthly open meetings that include some educational aspect to encourage attendance. The Amherst League’s Health Care Committee has made a presentation, retired State Rep. Ellen Story spoke to us on her experiences in the legislature, and we’ve also conducted tutorials on writing letters-to-the-editor and phone banking. We’re currently coordinating our first fundraiser, a civics trivia night to be held at the local Elks Club in October. State Rep. Paul Marks has already agreed to be one of our emcees.