November 6 Webinar Pipeline to the FUTURE Delivering Safe, Renewable Geothermal Energy to Massachusetts

The LWVMA Committee for Environmental Action and Advocacy is presenting a webinar on the FUTURE bill (H.2849/S.1940), featuring Massachusetts Senator Cynthia Creem, the bill’s sponsor, and Audrey Schulman and Zeyneb Magavi of Home Energy Efficiency Team (HEET) on Wednesday, November 6, 2:00 – 3:00 pm. Registration for the webinar is required. After registering you will receive an email with a link to join. Register here.

Download the flyer below.

FUTURE-webinar-flyer

Senate President Spilka Keynotes LWVMA Day on the Hill

Senate President Karen Spilka will be the keynote speaker at the League’s Day on the Hill lobby day Thursday, Oct. 17.

Day on the Hill, Time to Act, will focus on legislation in four priority areas:

  • Election Day Registration
  • The climate crisis
  • Education funding reform
  • Women’s reproductive rights

Day on the Hill is in Room 428 at the State House.  Registration and coffee begins at 9:30 a.m. and the program runs from 10 a.m. to noon.  Then League members will visit their own Senator and Representative.

Register for the lobby day here. The LWVMA office will notify legislators to expect visits from their League constituents who register before Oct. 11 after the morning’s program. League members can also make their own appointments with their legislators.

Register Now for League Leader Lunch

Kick off the new League year at the League Leader Lunch Saturday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (9:30 a.m. coffee) at the First Baptist Church of Worcester, 111 Park Avenue, Worcester. There is no charge for this event but registration is required.  Please RSVP  by Monday, October 21.

The League Leader Lunch is the traditional start of League activities for the year. Newly-elected and returning League leaders come together to learn about upcoming activities, to share ideas and challenges that local Leagues face, and to make important connections with other Leagues.

Some of the topics that we’ll be covering:

  • Panel on local League action groups: mobilizing your communities
  • Civic engagement opportunities panel
  • DEI policy, unconscious bias and the power of cultural change discussion
  • 100 Anniversary Toolkit
  • Vote 411, redistricting and LWVUS Council update

Hosted by the LWVMA Board of Directors and LWV Worcester, the event is our way of saying “thank you” for the important work you do.  There is a three person limit to the number of attendees per League. If more than three people from one League would like to attend, please  email us.

Action Plan on Climate Emergency UPDATED AUGUST 20, 2019

We are pleased to announce LWVMA is an official sponsor of the Boston Youth Climate Strike, set for Friday September 20th! The Strike is being organized and led by youth and youth leaders are asking for our help. Please register to participate in the Youth Climate Strike on September 20th, share information about the Climate Strike and the event registration link widely within your networks, and stay tuned for more specific details as they develop!

The Strike is a global effort powered by youth of all ages from around the world, with hundreds of students striking on Fridays since March to bring meaningful attention and political action on the climate emergency confronting us. These youth are asking for our help as adults. LWVMA is doing its part to support their effort as part of the larger plan of action described below.

At the June LWVMA Convention, League members unanimously supported a Climate Emergency Resolution. To begin acting on the resolution, the LWVMA Environmental Action and Advocacy Committee developed a plan of action, approved by the LWVMA Board on July 26, 2019.

The plan, available here, sets two immediate goals of developing a detailed mobilization plan, including proposed actions at both the state and local levels, and developing a communications plan.

To meet the goals, the committee is offering seven specific actions for state and local Leagues to work on, including supporting the Global Climate Strike on Sept. 20, asking local governments to adopt climate emergency language, including climate emergency questions at candidate forums, and developing ways to raise awareness of the climate emergency issue within our membership and throughout our communities.

As part of the climate emergency action plan, the committee drafted Sustainable Practices Guidelines, available here, for the League at both the state and local levels to consider in their planning and operations.  The guidelines encourage implementation of zero waste and low-waste practices at League events.

Letter to the Editor of the Boston Globe: No longer an issue of climate change–it’s a climate emergency.

LWVMA Energy and Environment specialist Launa Zimmaro and LWVMA President Mary Ann Ashton authored a Letter to the Editor of the Boston Globe that was published Sunday, June 16. The letter was in response to Yvonne Abraham’s June 8 column, “Fighting the good fight on the front lines of climate change.”

League of Women Voters of Massachusetts Announces New Leadership Team

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mary Ann Ashton, President
League of Women Voters of Massachusetts
857-452-1715

 

Mary Ann Ashton of Acton and Judy Zaunbrecher of Concord begin terms as co-presidents of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts (LWVMA) July 1.  Ashton and Zaunbrecher were elected, along with other LWVMA board officers and directors, at the biennial LWVMA Convention in Westford June 7 and 8.

The other Massachusetts League officers and their local Leagues are Kathy Leonardson, Marblehead, first vice president; Lee Bona, Worcester, second vice president; Cindy Ku, Sudbury, secretary; and Andrea Kozinetz, Newton, treasurer.

Elected as LWVMA directors are Kate Boland, Hingham; Nancy Brumback, Sudbury; Elizabeth Foster-Nolan, Weymouth; Hartell Johnson, Haverhill; Jennifer Muroff, Needham; Tanya Roy, Wellesley; and Amy Smith, Georgetown.

During Convention, League members from around the state learned about election technology from a panel of experts; were inspired by League of Women Voters national CEO Virginia Kase and keynote speaker environmentalist Bill McKibben; heard from a panel of recently-elected women legislators about life on Beacon Hill; and listened to Professor Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham of Harvard describe the role of black women in the suffrage movement.

The delegates approved a resolution identifying climate change as a “climate emergency,” and adopted positions on the state’s ballot question process and on immigration in Massachusetts.

The biennial Convention is the League’s opportunity to elect officers, approve a budget, and decide  action priorities.

The Massachusetts League will focus on legislation and action over the coming two years concentrating on improving elections, informing voters and promoting civics education,  strengthening government operations, climate change and the environment, and equality and justice.

The Massachusetts League and the national League celebrate their 100th anniversaries in 2020, along with the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.

LWVMA includes 47 local Leagues across the state. The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts is a non-partisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government and works to increase understanding of major public policy issues.

Additional information is available at www.lwvma.org.

Election Day Registration: The Next Voting Reform

LWVMA and our partners in the Election Modernization Coalition have targeted Election Day Registration (EDR) as the next reform in the state’s voting laws, following successful passage of Automatic Voter Registration in the last session of the legislature.

Election Day Registration is a proven, common sense reform already in place in 21 states.  It allows people who miss the 20-day deadline to register before elections to register and vote. And importantly, it allows registered voters who arrive at the polls to find there’s an error in their registration to fix that error and vote.

We have been busy on Beacon Hill to pass EDR. On May 15, the EMC hosted a briefing for legislators featuring Massachusetts Secretary of State Bill Galvin and Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap.  Maine has used EDR for over 40 years. On June 5, we hosted a Lobby Day. Most recently, on June 20, Legislative Director Nancy Brumback testified before the Joint Committee on Election Laws in support of EDR along with other members of the coalition.  

You can read the press release from the coalition on the committee hearing here.

LWVMA Supports ROE Act for Reproductive Rights

LWVMA joined its partners in the ROE Act Coalition as part of a marathon hearing at the State House June 17 on H.3320/S.1209 An Act to remove obstacles and expand abortion access, commonly known as the ROE Act.  Supporters of abortion rights, many in bright pink shirts, packed Gardner Auditorium and overflowed into the Great Hall and into other hearing rooms in the State House.

The Joint Committee on the Judiciary began hearing testimony on this bill at 3 p.m.  And the testimony kept coming from both sides of the issue. Tracy Brown, LWVMA’s legislative specialist on women’s issues, finally got her turn to testify at 8:20 p.m.!  

Along with Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and other defenders of reproductive rights, LWVMA continues to support this bill and urges League members and other advocates to contact state legislators to counteract the inaccurate and incendiary message from the opponents of abortion.

The ROE Act would remove the requirement that minors have either parental or judicial consent for an abortion; would add a diagnosis of a fatal fetal anomaly as a reason for an abortion after 24 weeks, and would establish safety-net coverage for abortion for people excluded from MassHealth.  Such coverage already exists for all other pregnancy-related care.

Framingham is Officially a League

The board of directors of the national League of Women Voters has officially recognized Framingham as a local League, the final step in the process.  The Massachusetts state League recognized Framingham in February.

We salute Stephanie Deeley, president, Mary Kate Feeney, vice president, and their team for their work creating our newest League.  The Framingham League has held candidates’ nights and public forums as Framingham made the transition from a town to a city, and it produces a cable television program, Informed Framingham.

LWVMA includes 47 local Leagues and units across Massachusetts.

Transportation and Climate Initiative Explained in LWVMA Webinar

April 23, 2019. Jordan Stutt (Acadia Center) and Preyel Patel (Chief of Staff for Rep. Lori Ehrlich) presented “Driving Down Emissions: Massachusetts and the Regional Transportation and Climate Initiative,” in the latest webinar in the LWVMA Climate and Energy Solutions Series.

The speakers described the Transportation and Climate Initiative and why it is important and discussed state legislative efforts to guide development of a sustainable and equitable plan for Massachusetts.

Watch the webinar: Driving Down Emissions: Massachusetts and the Regional Transportation and Climate Initiative.

View the webinar presentation.

Watch all the webinars and forums in the LWVMA Climate and Energy Solutions Series.