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.

Help LWVMA Recruit Our Next Executive Director

The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, a non-profit, non-partisan civic organization, seeks a dynamic, experienced Executive Director to help lead it into its second century empowering voters and defending democracy.

Since its founding in 1920, LWVMA has been a respected and trusted voice for citizen participation in our democracy.  With 46 local Leagues throughout the state, LVWMA has been at the forefront of efforts to empower and educate Massachusetts voters and effect change on a wide range of issues. The League of Women Voters is a three-tiered membership organization that operates at the national, state, and local levels. Membership in the League is open to men and women of all ages.

Summary Job Description

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director is the key management leader of LWVMA, serving as the public face of the League with the President/Co-Presidents.

Key Areas of Responsibility

  • Overseeing the operations, finances, and programs of two interlocking 501(c)(3) and (c)(4) organizations
  • Leading fundraising efforts including major donor solicitation, corporate donor gifts, and grants
  • Developing and executing a plan to communicate the League’s mission and priorities to a variety of constituencies
  • Promoting relationships and collaborations with other non-profit, business, government and civic groups
  • Working in collaboration with the Board of Directors, statewide Committees, and local Leagues
  • Representing LWVMA at the national level
  • Supporting legislative advocacy
  • Executing educational forums and events
  • Growing and diversifying LWVMA’s membership
  • Managing a small staff in Boston

Skills/Qualifications

  • Commitment to the League’s mission
  • Strong oral, writing, organizational and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to establish positive working relationships with staff, board, volunteers, donors, media, and community leaders
  • Experience fundraising from major donors, corporations and foundations
  • Experience with budget oversight, audit preparation and review
  • Experience in event planning and management
  • Proficiency in Word, Excel, Quickbooks, database and website management
  • Experience in the non-profit sector
  • Prior work with volunteers
  • Bachelor’s degree required; graduate degree a plus

The position is full time.

Salary: Compensation commensurate with experience; health benefits and paid time off

Interested candidates should provide a cover letter and resume to HumanResources@lwvma.org.

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.

“The Climate Change Challenge” LWVMA Student Video Contest Winners Announced


March 29, 2019/ Boston, MA
 – The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts (LWVMA) has announced the winners of “The Climate Change Challenge” Student Video Contest.

The winners are:

First Place:  “The Urban Shade Tree: Nature’s Air Conditioner” by Madeleine Lombard, Four Rivers Charter Public School

Second Place:  “Rising Sea Levels” by Sophia Orlando, Rockport High School

Third Place“How Composting Helps the Environment” by Jessica Elmhurst, Walpole High School

Honorable Mention:

“Help Us To Put A Stop To Global Warming” by Kira Perry and Feyza Achilova, Dartmouth High School

“Get Greener: One Step at a Time” by Benten Niggel, Noah Dzeidzina, and Matthew Campbell, Nauset Regional High School

“Sip From The Side” by DJ Charles, Concord Academy

“Catchy Solutions To Air Pollution” by Kate Guttilla, Needham High School

“Little Things” by Noor Issa, Durfee High School

“Plant Based For The Climate” by Jinnie Mannion, Maynard High School

“Heal The World” by Nickolas Qvarnstrom, Wyatt Gaynor, Richard Ramsay, and Sam Cipro, Nauset Regional High School

“The Climate-Diet Connection” by Nina Yee, Izzy Drayer, Anda Gravlin, and Olivia Kierstead, Needham High School

“Climate Change” by Trevor Nunes, David Drew, Cole Roderick, Brandon Bowman, and Bud Driscoll, Falmouth High School

“Switch To Reusable” by Emily Kociubes and Elizabeth Herzog, Bedford High School

LWVMA invited Massachusetts high school students to create videos with content that raises public awareness about one aspect of climate change and suggests a course of action. The winning entries were selected from a large group of entries from across the Commonwealth. A panel of judges scored each video on criteria including clarity of message, memorability, presentation, and creativity.  The winners will receive awards of $500 (first place); $250 (second place); $100 (third place); and $50 (honorable mention).

“The League has been advocating for issues of the environment for decades. We couldn’t be happier to join with and amplify the voices of high school students. Collectively we can make a difference on climate change,” said LWVMA Executive Director Michelle Kweder.

“We are all inspired by the creative visions of the many high school students who shared their messages of climate action through this contest,” said Mary Ann Ashton, president of LWVMA. “The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts hopes these videos engage everyone throughout the Commonwealth to take action to lessen the impacts of climate change.”

An award ceremony to honor the winners will be held on April 11 at 3:45pm at the Massachusetts State House, Room 428. Please RSVP to LWVMA Administrative and Program Associate Taylor Grenga at tgrenga@lwvma.org.

The contest was sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts Citizen Education Fund, which supports programs designed to encourage the active and informed participation of citizens in democracy and increase understanding of public policy issues. Additional support for this program was provided by the Salem Five Charitable Foundation.

LWVMA Responds to Speaker DeLeo’s GreenWorks Plan

On February 22, 2019, Massachusetts Speaker of the House, Robert DeLeo, unveiled a plan, dubbed GreenWorks, to invest $1 billion over ten years to cities and towns in Massachusetts for climate change related programs. A GreenWorks bill is expected in the House soon. LWVMA responded to this news with the following letter to the the Governor, the Speaker, the Senate President, the Chairs and Vice Chairs of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture, and the Chairs and Vice Chairs of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy.

Climate Change Response Letter for Website