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Category: Front Page News

League of Women Voters of Massachusetts and League of Women Voters of Boston Statement on Boston City Council Election

Oct. 27, 2021

PRESS CONTACT: Pattye Comfort, pcomfort@lwvma.org, 857.452.1712

BOSTON — Today, League of Women Voters of Massachusetts President Elizabeth Foster-Nolan and League of Women Voters of Boston President Kerry Costello released the following statement relating to the Boston City Council election:

“The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts and the League of Women Voters of Boston (collectively, “The League”) wish to set the record straight with regard to our nonpartisan policy, our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy and our Racial Justice Resolution in light of statements emerging from the Boston City Council election.  For more than 100 years, the League has operated as a nonpartisan organization and never endorses or opposes candidates for publicly elected office.  The League is committed to providing trusted information to voters in this nonpartisan manner, and any inference to the contrary by a campaign or candidate is simply not accurate.

Additionally, the League rejects racist tactics employed by any candidate to attack an opponent based on their voting record or race.  A key legislative priority of the League is to remove systemic barriers to voting, and that is why we are working to pass the VOTES Act in the Massachusetts legislature, which will empower individual voters and increase access to the ballot for all throughout the Commonwealth.  Moreover, the League advocates against structural and systemic racism and we are committed to working at the local, state and national level to eradicate these injustices and the enormous harm they have caused.”

To read the League’s nonpartisan policy, click here.

To read the League’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion policy, click here.

To read the League’s Racial Justice Resolution, click here.

LWVMA Day on the Hill postponed to November 3rd

Due to power outages throughout the Commonwealth, our Day on the Hill virtual lobby day has been postponed one week to November 3rd from 10 a.m to noon. If you have already registered, you do not need to do so again.

Massachusetts Speaker of the House Ronald Mariano will deliver the keynote address at Day on the Hill.

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 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.

Speaker Mariano has represented the 3rd Norfolk District, comprised of Quincy, Weymouth, and Holbrook, since 1991.  He was elected Speaker of the House in December 2020 after serving as Majority Leader since 2011.

Throughout his career, Speaker Mariano has championed legislation related to health care, criminal justice, gun control, and education. He was a key architect of the Commonwealth’s landmark health care reform bill of 2006, which became the model for the national Affordable Care Act.  He was the lead negotiator for Massachusetts’ 2014 gun safety reform bill and the subsequent ban on bump stocks.  A former teacher in the Quincy public schools and school committee member, he strongly supports education legislation.  Throughout his career he has been a proponent of LGBTQ rights, civil rights, and ensuring access to reproductive justice and women’s health care.

10/27/2021

A Clean Energy Future Powered by Wind

Register for Offshore Wind: Game Changer for Net Zero: November 4 4:00-5:00 PM

The future of renewable energy in New England is tied to wind power. The LWVMA Environmental and Action Advocacy Committee is hosting a webinar on the potential of offshore wind as a major resource as society transitions off fossil fuel. Our guest speaker is Susannah Hatch, the Regional Lead for New England for Offshore Wind, which is a growing and broad-based regional coalition that aims to drive deeper regional collaboration and expanded commitments to responsibly developed offshore wind.

Registration required. REGISTER HERE.

Download flyer below.

Offshore wind flyer

 

Register for the League Leader Event

 
Register now for our annual League Leader Event on Saturday, November 6, 9:00 to 11:00 am. This year’s theme will be “Leadership Development.”
 
The event will kick-off with a poetry reading by Alondra Bobadilla. In January 2020, Alondra was named Boston’s first-ever Youth Poet Laureate. Alondra uses her writing to highlight social issues that impact her and her community. She is 18 years old and a student at UMass Boston. 
 
Beth Chandler, President & CEO of YW Boston, is our keynote speaker. Beth joined YW Boston in November 2012, with more than 20 years of experience in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors. In August 2018, she was appointed President & CEO. Her breadth of work experience encompasses program development, delivery and evaluation, business development, and operations.
 
We will also have two interactive sessions, “Local League Governance Models” and “Attracting and Supporting New Leaders.” All attendees will have the opportunity to attend both sessions. The goal of these facilitated sessions is to give you the opportunity to share ideas with your fellow League leaders on these important topics. 
 
We would love to have representation from all of our 47 Leagues! Please register here.
 

Drawing Democracy Coalition Outlines Legal Rationale for Joining Brockton, Randolph, Stoughton and Avon in One Senate District

BOSTON –  As the deadline for finalizing Massachusetts’ redistricting maps rapidly approaches, the Drawing Democracy Coalition is outlining a legal rationale for the State Senate to join Brockton, Randolph, Stoughton and Avon into one district. Yesterday, Lawyers for Civil Rights Boston (LCR), a steering committee member of the Drawing Democracy Coalition, sent a letter to Senate President Karen Spilka and Redistricting Committee Co-Chair Senator William Brownsberger arguing that the Senate is legally able – and potentially required by law – to do this based on redistricting principles that dictate keeping communities of interest together.

“The Legislature can and must recognize and respect the communities of interest that exist in the Brockton/Randolph/Stoughton area. Residents of those cities are tied together through a shared interest in economic mobility and home ownership, along with common immigrant backgrounds,” said Oren Sellstrom, Litigation Director for LCR, who co-authored the letter with LCR Executive Director Iván Espinoza-Madrigal. “While it is also the case that those areas have a relatively high percentage of Black residents, recognition of the community of interest that binds them together is in no way impermissible for that reason. To the contrary, refusing to consider those interests based on an overly-cautious concern that this would constitute impermissible racial gerrymandering would itself be a violation of the law.”

The letter outlines a legal rationale that supports the overwhelming input from community members, advocates and elected officials at last week’s redistricting hearing calling for the Senate to reconsider their proposed districts for the Brockton area. 

“The proposed Senate districts for Randolph, Brockton and Stoughton are unjust and unfair. They do not allow room for equitable representation, overlook the needs of the largest BIPOC communities on the South Shore in the midst of a pandemic and dilute their voting power,” said Randolph Town Councilor Katrina Huff-Larmond. “The Senate has an obligation to redraw these districts in a way that will build trust and encourage BIPOC folks to see opportunities to make social change.” 

“The legislature missed a vital opportunity to ensure that the BIPOC communities of Brockton, Randolph and Stoughton can elect candidates of their choice,” said Anabel Santiago, lead organizer for the Brockton Interfaith Community. “It just makes sense to follow Drawing Democracy’s recommendation to combine these  three communities into one Senate district because of their shared interests around homeownership and economic mobility. Instead, the Senate proposed combining Brockton and Randolph with less similar communities, making it harder for BIPOC voters to have their voices heard among supermajorities of white voters. The Senate should reconsider these districts and give the people of Brockton, Randolph and Stoughton the representation they deserve.”

The Drawing Democracy Coalition is also urging members of the public to continue making their voices heard about the proposed maps by submitting public comment to the Redistricting Committee. The deadline is today, Monday, October 18th, at 5 pm. Drawing Democracy also has letter writing campaigns set up for residents to ask their legislators to support the coalition’s recommendations for the State Senate and State House.

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