Great Time at the 2017 League Leaders’ Lunch

This fall’s League Leaders’ Lunch in Worcester offered more than fifty leaders from around the state an opportunity to learn, network, and share.  The day’s agenda included an update on what’s been happening at LWVMA and LWVUS, a presentation on League advocacy (how it works and what you can do), and a panel discussion with League leaders from three of our new units in Franklin County, Central Berkshire County and Greater Lowell.

“Ordinary women and men doing extraordinary things” summed up the comments from three of our new League units at the League Leaders lunch.  The panel included Marge Michalski, Treasurer, Franklin County unit; Kathie Penna, President, Central Berkshire unit; and Sabrina Heisey, leader of the Greater Lowell unit.  Each shared their impetus for forming a League unit and identified the League’s non-partisanship and focus on issues as two of the most important reasons why they chose the League as a vehicle for their engagement.

The new League units shared their perspectives about how they got started, and why forming a League was the channel for their activism.  Their enthusiasm was infectious; their facile use of communications and social media gave all of us some ideas to energize our own League members.

After lunch, everyone had an opportunity to share in small groups one idea that their League has done to engage new and existing members.  LWVMA staff offered a quick overview of the resources that the website and the office have to offer all our members.

Many thanks to our co-host Worcester League, who made us feel welcome in a great venue in a central location.

Presentations

What’s new at LWVMA and LWVUS – Year of Growth
League Advocacy: How It Works and What You Can Do
Sharing Roundtable Notes
LWVMA Staff: Who We Are, What We Do, and How We Can Help You

Handouts

Local League Basics
LWVMA Information and Links
Tools for Local Leagues
Field Service Regions
The Citizen Lobbyist Handbook
Legislative Envoy Program
2017 LWVMA Advocacy Agenda
Priority Bills
League Supported and Opposed Legislation
Voter Service Committee Update
LWVMA Funding Chart
What Would Alice Paul Do Flyer
Upcoming Events in 2017

2017 Convention Roundup

Delegates and observers from local Leagues across Massachusetts shared the experience of Convention 2017, “The Future of Democracy: Facing the Challenges,” with thoughtful discussion of the future of the League and how to best serve all of our new members and the greater community, a look into the thinking of the youngest members of the legislature, speakers on the role of newspapers and the state of democracy, and a glimpse into the changes coming to the League from the national level on down.

We are pleased that Mary Ann Ashton of the Acton Area League and Linda O’Connell of the Springfield unit of the Northampton League will be LWVMA co-presidents for 2017-2019.

The convention also conducted the League’s business, electing officers and a new board, approving a two-year state study on the ballot question process, defining our action priorities and action items for the next two years, and approving a new position on charter schools.

To read more on each of these topics, please click on the links below:

New officers and board

New state study

2017-2019 Action Priorities and Action Items

Charter school position

Focus groups on the changing League

Convention speaker reports

Volunteer sheet

 

LWVUS 52nd Convention: Change and Action

LWVMA sent 32 delegates to Washington, DC, last month for the 52nd LWVUS National Convention. Our delegates joined over 700 other League members for workshops and caucuses, riveting speakers and panelists, and a hands-on election 2016 training, plus a banquet featuring author and journalist Ari Berman, who spoke about his book on the Voting Rights Act. We also elected new national leadership, adopted a budget (no US per-member-payment increases this year or next), and committed to strategically align around our national program – the campaign for Making Democracy Work®.

Key themes of convention were change, focus, engagement, and urgency.  In her speech, LWVUS CEO Dr. Wylecia Wiggs Harris emphasized the need to embark on an organizational change journey that focuses on accelerating the pace of change within the League and adopting a bias toward action, taking advantage of alternative engagement opportunities, focusing our agenda, and wrestling with the tough questions of whether our current structure and approaches reflect a 21st century organization. Over the next few weeks, LWVUS will be posting materials, handouts, transcripts and videos in the Convention 2016 section of the LWV.org website. You can view LWVMA’s submission to Roll Call of the States here.

Six LWVMA members participated in the national Lobby Day, speaking with Senators Warren’s and Markey’s staffs, as well as with Congressmen on the need to restore the Voting Rights Act.

LWVMA Council on April 30 at Clark University

The 2016 LWVMA Council “Massachusetts Voter Engagement (MOVE) 2016: Join the Movement!” was held Saturday, April 30, 2016 at Clark University in Worcester. Council this year focused on voter engagement during the 2016 election cycle and featured:

      • A kick off of LWVMA’s voter engagement campaign, MOVE 2016 (Massachusetts Voter Engagement 2016;
      •  A panel discussion, “The Massachusetts Electorate: Who’s Not Participating and What Will It Take to Reach Them?” with:
        • Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Director, CIRCLE (The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement), Tufts University, a research center that focuses on young people in the United States, especially those who are marginalized or disadvantaged in political life.
        • Eva Millona, Executive Director, MIRA (Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Coalition),  the state’s largest organization representing the foreign born, and co-chair of the National Partnership for New Americans, the lead national organization focusing on immigrant integration.
        • Nathaniel Stinnett, Founder and CEO, Environmental Voter Project, a non-partisan non profit using data analytics and behavioral science to identify and mobilize non-voting environmentalists.
      • Two workshops:  From Climate Talk to Climate Action and Charter Schools in Massachusetts

MOVE 2016 Information

MOVE 2016 slides
MOVE 2016 summary
Massachusetts Election Reforms and Call to Action

Workshop Presentations and Handouts (coming soon)

Charter Schools in Massachusetts: presentation by the Charter School Study Committee
From Climate Talk to Climate Action

Local Leagues Donate to LWVMA

LWVMA is grateful to the local Leagues who made donations to the LWVMA at Council 2016: Amherst, Cape Cod Area, Concord-Carlisle, Hamilton-Wenham, Needham, Newton, Northampton Area, Plymouth Area, Shrewsbury, Topsfield-Boxford-Middleton, Wellesley, and Winchester.