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October News for Members

House Speaker Mariano Keynotes LWVMA Day on the Hill

Massachusetts Speaker of the House Ronald Mariano will deliver the keynote address at Day on the Hill, the League’s lobby day, Wednesday, Oct. 27. In keeping with the day’s theme, Facing the Challenge: Voting, Climate, Early Education, Healthcare, the virtual lobby day will focus on four League priority bills for this session:
  • The VOTES Act: H.805/S.459 voting reform and same day voter registration
  • Climate Change: H.3302/S.2155 offshore wind and renewable energy
  • The Common Start bill: H.605/S.362 early education and affordable childcare
  • Healthcare: H.1267/S.766 Medicare for all in Massachusetts.
Day on the Hill will be held on Zoom from 10 a.m. to noon, with Speaker Mariano’s remarks via video, and presentations from the League’s legislative specialists on the featured priority bills. The meeting will then break into regional groups to allow those attending to contact their own legislators in support of the bills. Register for Day on the Hill here.
 

Catch Up with Recorded “Meet the Specialists” Sessions

  • Women’s Issues (Aug.11) View the recording here.
  • Criminal Justice (Aug. 25) View the recording here; link to the slide deck here.
  • Elections (Aug. 26) View the recording here.
  • Gun Violence Prevention (Sept. 13) View the recording here.
  • Affordable Housing (Sept 18) View the recording here.
 

Advocacy 101 featuring Beacon BLOC

Learn the ins and outs of virtual lobbying! Beacon BLOC (Building Leaders of Color), a group of Beacon Hill legislative staff members, will present tips on lobbying in the age of COVID-19.  
 
Become better prepared for our Oct. 27 LWVMA Day on the Hill virtual lobby event by learning effective methods to promote League bills with your legislators. (For more information on Day on the Hill, click here)
 
If you are you interested in the LWVMA Legislative Envoy program, Advocacy 101 will provide you with an introduction to lobbying.  
 
We are heading into the part of the legislative session where bills are coming out of committees and heading to the floor for a vote. It’s the time when constituent voices can be most effective. Learn how to make your voice heard.
 
REGISTER HERE for Advocacy 101 Wednesday Oct. 20, 6 PM
 
Beacon BLOC is a collective of staffers and residents advocating for anti-racist and justice-centered systems within the Massachusetts State House. By advancing cultural change within the Massachusetts Legislature, Beacon BLOC aims to build a racial justice-centered staff community.
 

Act on Nuclear Fuel Storage Danger

Swift passage of the bill to monitor the disposal of spent nuclear fuel (S.1507/H.2254, An Act Relative to Monitoring Dry Casks of Spent Nuclear Fuel) is critical to keep everyone in the Commonwealth safe from spent nuclear fuel at the decommissioned Pilgrim Nuclear power station. The dangers were outlined in a webinar Sept. 14. (Watch the recording here; see toolkit here.) For details about actions you can take, see the Action Alert here.
 
 

Update on Right to Counsel Bills

The League is supporting bills that would provide for legal representation for tenants in eviction proceedings, H.1436/S.874. Currently assigned to the Joint Committee on Housing, these two bills have been co-sponsored by 70 Senators and Representatives; the hearing has not yet been scheduled. The Boston Globe recently published an op-ed advocating for the immediate implementation of a right to counsel program, noting that between January 2020 and August 2, 2021, 20,000 new eviction cases were filed, with 93% of all defendants unrepresented compared to only 15.4% of landlords. For a fact sheet click here. For articles about right to counsel click here.
 

Legislative Briefing: “Ending Life Without Parole” Oct. 14

 
The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts is co-sponsoring the legislative briefing “Ending Life Without Parole,” on Thursday Oct. 14 at 12 p.m. via Zoom. The briefing will cover League-supported bill H.1797. Please invite your state legislators to attend the briefing. Details on how to register, script for contacting legislators, and more information is available here.
 
Also, please ask your state Senator and state Representative to co-sponsor the Raise the Age bills, S.920/H.1826, An Act to promote public safety and better outcomes for young adults. Please go to the action alert here for more information and to complete this action.
 
Please ask your state Senator and state Representative to co-sponsor bills, S.980/H.1531, An Act relative to expungement of juvenile and young adult records. Please go to the action alert here for more information and to complete this action.
 
To sign up for our criminal justice reform mailing list to receive additional information and more frequent updates, please email Nancy Bettinger and Lucy Costa at criminaljustice@lwvma.org
 

 

 

Lowell Votes is Seeking Help to Attract and Register New Voters

Please help Lowell “Get out the Vote” before their local election occurs at the end of October. For more information or to volunteer on Oct. 12 and Oct. 26: 
  • Registering Voters here 
  • Calling Voters here

Legislative Envoy Program…Become a Citizen Lobbyist

This three-year-old LWVMA program is “revving up” again up this fall with a new coordinator, Mary Cummings of the Arlington League. Volunteer envoys provide a direct link between the state League’s Legislative Action Committee and local Leagues, so that local Leagues can help influence the legislators who represent them. See Program description here. Please notify your League’s leadership that you are volunteering to represent your League and contact Envoy Coordinator Mary Cummings at mcummings@lwvma.org to join the program. 
 

Update on Redistricting

LWVMA is a member of the Drawing Democracy Coalition. The coalition has released its Unity Maps for the Massachusetts State House and State Senate which can be seen here. The proposed new district maps for the Legislature would add nine House districts and four Senate districts where people of color represent the majority of the population. The proposal has been submitted to the Joint Committee on Redistricting, co-chaired by Rep. Michael Moran and Sen. William Brownsberger, which is leading the legislative effort this fall to redraw state and federal political boundaries based on the 2020 Census. See the press release here.
 
 

Update on the HOMES Act

The HOMES Act (S.921/H.1808) would automatically seal all eviction cases as soon as they are filed until an allegation is proven, to help tenants avoid the stigma of an eviction record. Women are evicted 16% more often than men, and the mere presence of an eviction case can be a serious obstacle to accessing housing as online court eviction records are used as a free, unregulated tenant screening tool that follows a tenant for life regardless of the merits or outcome of the case. The hearing on the HOMES Act, S.921/H.1808, was held Aug. 3. (See LWVMA testimony here.) A fact sheet can be found here
  • Sign up to receive updates on the HOMES Act.
  • Contact your legislators and urge them to support this bill. 
 

Homework on Medicare for All in Massachusetts—for Day on the Hill

In preparation for Oct. 27 Day on the Hill and Medicare for All (H.1267/S.766), our healthcare specialist has assigned homework here. Please do calculation #1 and know the fact in #2.

LWVUS Board Nominations Open

The national League is seeking volunteers to join the 2022–2024 LWV Board of Directors and the Nominating Committee. All applications must be submitted by Oct. 29. Apply for the Board of Directors here and the Nominating Committee here.