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January News for Members

Interested in raising funds for your local League? Try Phonathon!

Participating in the annual Massachusetts League-wide Phonathon is a great way to raise money for your local League and the LWVMA. For each donation LWVMA receives as a result of your Phonathon call/email, your local League will receive 10% of that donation. All the Phonathon materials will be ready during the week of January 10th. If you are interested in participating in Phonathon, contact Taylor here.

 

Seeking Volunteers: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion/Membership Task Force

Are you interested in working on new member recruitment to grow and diversify your own League and deepen the collective impact of the League state-wide? Do you have ideas about how we can turn our commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) into action so that our membership reflects that commitment? LWVMA is forming a new joint DEI/Membership Task Force to work on the membership goals outlined in our 3-year strategic plan. If you are interested in joining this new task force, please contact Pattye Comfort here.

 

Volunteer to Collect Data on Your League’s Activities

Numbers matter and by collecting data on a state-wide basis, we will be able to measure our collective League impact. This, in turn, will help bring in new members and leaders, do more effective fundraising and ultimately sustain the League throughout Massachusetts.
To achieve this goal, we need a designated person from every League to submit data for each local League activity. See the data collection form, the user guide and other materials here.
Check in with your local League leadership to volunteer for this crucial task and then notify Brynne Gorman.

 

Nominating Committee Seeks Candidates

The Nominating Committee is seeking suggestions for nominations to the 2022-2024 LWVMA Board. This is an opportunity for League members to step up and help shape the League’s impact on the state level. Click here for a nomination form. Please submit nominations by Friday, February 25, 2022. Contact the Chair of LWVMA’s Nominating Committee, Sharyn Roberts via email or 617.259.0132 with questions or for more information.

 

Looking for Motivated LWVMA Activists to be Legislative Envoys

Our Legislative Envoy Program is designed to ensure that our voice is heard on Beacon Hill and our members are kept informed about the progress of our League bills. Our Senators and Representatives should know what the over 3,000 LWVMA members ask of them and why. At the same time, our members should know what our priority legislation is and how it is progressing in the legislative process. The Legislative Envoy Program keeps information flowing and our legislation moving through the legislative process.
The Legislative Envoy Program is designed to have at least one member from each League as its Legislative Envoy serving as a conduit, connecting the state League, local Leagues and legislators. Envoys will be connected to the Legislative Action Committee (LAC) for periodic updates from legislative specialists. Envoys will receive instruction in best practices for advocacy and briefings on the legislative process.
Legislative Envoys are the voice of their local League. They develop a working relationship with their League’s State Senators and Representatives and keep up with the progress of LWVMA priority bills on Beacon Hill. See the program description here. Please notify your League’s leadership that you are volunteering to represent your League and contact Envoy Coordinator Mary Cummings to join the program. We are seeking at least one Envoy from each League.

 

Climate Action Depends on State Action…

…And state action depends on your action at this critical time! With the fate of the federal Build Back Better Act in question, action on climate and energy at the state level is critically important. After enactment of a groundbreaking climate and energy bill last March, implementation has been painfully slow. The League-supported bills described below will help make the new law a functioning reality.
We have until February 2 to get these important bills out of joint committee and keep them “alive” for legislative consideration. The climate and energy bills we view as most important at this time are all in the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy (TUE). You will find League testimony and summaries of each bill under Environment—Climate Change and Energy.
Please contact your legislators and ask them to contact the chairs of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, Senator Michael Barrett and Representative Jeffrey Roy, to report the three listed bills favorably out of their Committee before the February 2 deadline. Don’t delay! Call and email today so your voice of support can be counted!
H.3302: An Act to promote offshore wind energy and renewables and S.2155: An Act relative to enhancing reliability of renewable resources in the Commonwealth (Same bill; different titles).
A clean energy future depends on a clean source of energy. The New England coast has a bountiful supply of wind energy. Boosting clean renewable energy sources will boost efforts to decarbonize our economy.
H.3350/S.2202: An Act relative to building energy and decarbonization
Buildings represent the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, a close second to emissions from transportation. Massachusetts is way behind in reaching its goal to decarbonize the building sector and needs to significantly ramp up its efforts around energy efficiency of new and existing buildings and electrification of the building sector.
H.3298/S.2148: An Act relative to the future of heat in the Commonwealth
This bill offers a path forward for gas utilities by allowing them to become clean energy distribution utilities as they transition off gas. Several pilots have already been approved, and major cities are asking for pilots in their jurisdictions.

 

Act Now to Advance Three Healthcare Bills

Three small but consequential bills need your help immediately. Please contact the committee chairs for each bill and request that the bill be voted swiftly and favorably out of committee.
H.2341/S.1519 Out of Hospital Births: (Bill corrects a “catch- 22” so a woman is allowed to use her health insurance for an at-home birth.
Joint Committee on Public Health Chairs:
H.2979/S.788 Family Care Givers Tax Credit:
Joint Committee on Revenue Chairs:
H.2271/S.1517 Community Immunity Bill (A process bill that changes no laws)
Joint Committee for Public Health Chairs:
Want more information on these bills? Watch the first 30 minutes of Meet the Health Care Specialists December 8 recording here.

 

Urgent—Ask Your Legislators to Co-Sponsor the Right to Counsel Bills

On October 12, the Right to Counsel bill (S.874/H.1436) was heard by the Joint Committee on Housing. The bill would ensure that when facing eviction, low-income tenants and owner-occupants of 1 to 3 family homes receive full legal representation. The League submitted written testimony noting the devastating effects of evictions on women, particularly mothers and women of color, and the relief that a right to counsel program could provide. Large property owners, teachers, and public health professionals are all weighing in to support a right to counsel program. The fact sheet on the Right to Counsel and women is here.
Momentum is building and the bill has nearly 80 supporters at the State House. Find out if your legislator is a co-sponsor here.
  • If your legislator is a co-sponsor, thank them! See template email here.
  • If your legislator is not a co-sponsor, ask them to co-sponsor. See template email here.

 

National Convention Set for June 23-26

LWVUS has published the first call for our 55th Annual Convention June 23 – 26, 2022. More information can be found here.

 

LWVUS Program Planning Information Available

As the first step in the Program process that will culminate in adoption of LWVUS organization-wide program at Convention 2022, the Program Planning Leaders Guide and Survey response form is now available for Leagues to use at their program planning meetings in early 2022. The input of League boards will help shape the proposed program of study and action that will be debated and voted on by convention delegates. Program planning reports forms must be returned online by Tuesday, March 1, 2022. Each League is entitled to one response, and individual member responses are not accepted. You can access the Leader’s Guide here and the 2022 Program Survey here.