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January News for Members

Ask the Governor to Sign Major Climate Change Bill

Both bodies of the legislature approved the climate change bill, An Act Creating a Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policypresented by the conference committee on Jan. 4. Please email Governor Baker and ask him to sign this important legislation. Use this form to email the governor or call (617) 725-4005. Ask him to sign An Act Creating a Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy (S.2995).
 
Talking points:
  • reinforces the Commonwealth’s efforts to steadily and permanently reduce its greenhouse gas emissions at the scale and pace that science demands 
  • codifies the goal of Net Zero emissions by 2050
  • codifies a comprehensive definition of environmental justice to ensure protections for overburdened communities
  • maximizes our ability to fairly and efficiently achieve climate goals that will build a thriving economy that creates jobs, protects health, and benefits all of us

Register for Jan. 19 LWVUS Program on Renewable Energy

The League of Women Voters U.S. Climate Team’s Renewable Energy Group invites you to attend a presentation Jan. 19 at 12 noon by Dr. Martin Keller, director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and president of the Alliance for Sustainable Energy. Dr. Keller will speak on the state of renewable energy research and capacity in the United States, followed by a Q&A session. Register here.
 
Visit the LWVUS Climate Team website to learn more about the League of Women Voters’ national effort on climate.
 

Do You Have “Issues?” You Need LWVMA Program Planning

Are there issues you consider especially important? Winter is the time for local Leagues, Units, and Members at Large to participate in planning what LWVMA will focus on in 2021-2023. 
 
Every other year, the LWVMA Board, with the help of the Legislative Action Committee, proposes 4 or 5 main areas of action and advocacy. This year the Board is suggesting possible goals within these main action areas. Local Leagues are asked both to approve or suggest changes to the action priorities, and to prioritize the specific goals listed in these areas. All members should expect to receive a list of the priorities and goals in January; the full Guide to Program Planning will be sent to League and Unit leaders and members-at-large (MALs). 
 
Studies of possible new positions, reviews and updates of current positions, and concurrences with the positions of other states can be proposed during Program Planning. Local League leaders will schedule program planning activities for your league with responses due to LWVMA by Mar. 25. 
 
For those new to Program Planning or wanting a refresher, a webinar is scheduled for Jan. 12, at 7 PM. Register in advance here
 
Questions? Contact the Program Planning co-chairs, Marie Gauthier or Susan Millinger
 

Transparency in the New Legislative Session

We’ve had several inquiries about efforts to revise the legislature’s rules to improve transparency. The legislature will adopt its rules for the 2021-22 session as it begins its work in January. LWVMA is working with legislators on rules change proposals in a way that also permits us to support our legislative agenda for the new session. We are working in parallel with other good government groups, but not in combination with them. Watch for possible action alerts on this issue as the process unfolds.
 
We’ve particularly been asked if we are working with Act on Mass and if local Leagues can work with them. We are not working with Act on Mass in order to maintain our non-partisan position. Their pledge includes endorsements by both legislators and candidates for office. Our Leagues run many candidate forums for state legislature, and we issue the nonpartisan Vote411 voters’ guide. To do that, we have to be seen as absolutely impartial. If we were to support such an issue pledge, it would be logical to infer that we also support candidates and legislators who agree to the pledge and oppose those who do not. Other groups such as Progressive Massachusetts and, obviously, Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts, endorse candidates, so we are not working directly with them.  
 
It is fine for League members to participate in Act on Mass and other organizations as individuals, but not as League representatives.
 

Nominating Committee Seeks Candidates

The Nominating Committee is seeking suggestions for nominations to the 2021-2023 LWVMA Board. This is an opportunity for League members to step up and help carry us into the new decade. Contact the Nominating Committee at nominating@lwvma.org to suggest yourself or another League member or for more information. 
 

Did You Miss LWVMA “Cheers to 100 Years” Gala Celebration?

If you registered for LWVMA’s 100th Virtual Birthday Celebration, but were unable to join us on December 13th (technical difficulties? too busy that day?), you can view the recording on our unpublished YouTube channel. Please email Brynne Gorman to obtain the viewing link and password.
 
And click here for the powerful sizzle reel highlighting 100 years of LWVMA accomplishments – please feel free to share this far and wide! 
 

Post-Election Audit is Complete

Massachusetts has completed its required post-election audit of the Nov. 3 election, with a hand recount of 3% of the Commonwealth’s precincts, 66 precincts in all, selected in a random drawing. Of those precincts, 47 reported no change in the count from the total posted before the audit. Voters need to have confidence in election results. Post-election audits of the vote provide reliable evidence of the accuracy of election day tallies.  
 
You can read the report from the Secretary of the Commonwealth here
 
To see the actual data from the audited precincts, click here.
 

Volunteer for Phonathon: Bring Us Over the Finish Line of Raising $100K for 100 Years!

It’s not too late for your local League to sign up for the LWVMA Phonathon. This is a great way to enhance your local League’s fundraising efforts, as a portion of the funds raised will go back to your local League. Please contact Taylor Grenga who will supply you with everything you need to participate. 
 

Join Statewide DEI Peer Discussion Group

Join your LWV colleagues across the state to learn more about what your local League can do to further its work on issues of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. We will meet online several times a year to share ideas, experiences, and resources. The group will be coordinated by Patty Shepard (Winchester) and Amy Cooper (Central Berkshire County), both of whom are members of the LWVMA DEI Committee. If you would like to participate, please email Patty Shepard and/or Amy Cooper.
 
 

Thank Your Legislators

The legislative session ends on Jan. 5, 2021. Take time to thank your legislators for their service these past two years. The new two year session starts Jan. 6.