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Category: Front Page News

Upcoming Climate Events

LWVMA is hosting two events this month related to climate and energy. Join us to learn more about regional and statewide climate policy and how we as advocates can make a difference:

May 20th, 4 PM—The Transportation and Climate Initiative: Improving The Regional Economy and Health For All

Rhode Island and Connecticut are at a critical point in advancing the Transportation and Climate Initiative. Join The League of Women Voters of Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts to learn how we can all help reduce pollution and invest in modern, clean, regional transportation solutions. Register for this webinar co-hosted by the Transportation Team of the LWVUS Climate Interest Group, The Acadia Center, Green Energy Consumers Alliance, Ceres, and Transportation for Massachusetts here.

May 24th, 4 PM—The Race to Zero Emissions: MA Next Generation Climate Law and Clean Energy & Climate Plan

The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts Environmental Action and Advocacy Committee is hosting a discussion about the new Massachusetts climate legislation with John Rogers from the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Matt Rusteika from the Acadia Center. The discussion will center on the goals of the new climate law, strategies to achieve those goals, the critical role of the regional electrical grid, and our role as advocates. Register to attend this meeting here.

VOTES Act Virtual Lobby Day Draws Hundreds

BOSTON — Over 300 advocates signed up to lobby from all across the Commonwealth capitalizing on a virtual lobby day to support “An Act Fostering Voter Opportunities Trust, Equity, and Security.” i.e. the VOTES Act. Sponsored by the Election Modernization Coalition, the event featured remarks from bill sponsors Representative John Lawn and Senator Cindy Creem, along with Gladys Vega from La Colaborativa and Tanisha Sullivan from the NAACP Boston.

A full recording is available here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PcFsulX8iypAE5aoDW37anruq4_f8ytX/edit 

The bill has over 100 legislative sponsors including over 50% of House members and 50% of Senate members. According to the filers and advocates, it is a top priority for the 192nd General Court, and should be passed early in the session to ensure its reforms are available to voters in the fall 2021 municipal elections. 

Mail-in voting, expanded early voting, and other provisions included in temporary legislation passed last session are set to expire at the end of June 2021. 

“It’s critical that we ensure reforms that already worked for voters, and that voters expect will be available to them again, are in place for our upcoming municipal elections and future state election,” said Representative John Lawn (D-Watertown).

“The VOTES Act takes a comprehensive look at the state of elections in Massachusetts,” said Senate Majority Leader Cindy Creem (D-Newton). “Even with mail-in voting, Bay Staters still face barriers to participation like our 20-day registration deadline. That’s why we include Same Day Registration. Incarcerated eligible voters – who are disproportionately Black or people of color – face undue barriers to casting a counted ballot. That’s why we include jail-based voting provisions. And our voter registration infrastructure needs work so the job of facilitating elections is easier on clerks, and our elections are more secure — that’s why we expand post-election audits and include a deadline by which the State must join 31 other states in participating in the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC).” 

Advocates on the call had pre-arranged Zoom calls and phone calls with their representatives and senators while others did phone-banking in break-out groups. The message was clear: the VOTES Act needs a swift public hearing and passage to guarantee access, equity, and security for the fall elections.

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The Election Modernization Coalition is composed of the ACLU of Massachusetts, Common Cause Massachusetts, Lawyers for Civil Rights, the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, MASSPIRG, MassVOTE, and the Massachusetts Voter Table.

 

“Democracy Challenge” Student Video Contest Winners Announced

The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts (LWVMA) has announced the winners of its “Democracy Challenge” Student Video Contest!

The winners are:

First Place: “Democracy Will Persist” by Caitlin Duffy, The Academy at Penguin Hall

Second Place: “United is Power” by Maya Baudrand, Stoneleigh Burnham School

Third Place: “Stand Up” by Julia Valanzola, The Academy at Penguin Hall

Additionally, LWVMA wishes to recognize Wellesley High School with our Catalyst Award for their extraordinary participation in the “Democracy Challenge” contest.

LWVMA invited Massachusetts high school students to create 30-second videos demonstrating what they learned about our democracy in 2020. The winning videos were selected from a group of 125 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); and $100 (third place).

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.

LWVUS Supports 100% Clean Energy by 2035

On April 26th, the League of Women Voters of the United States joined a broad-based group of over 150 local and national climate, health, faith and clean energy organizations in support of a 100% Clean Energy Standard as part of the sweeping infrastructure bill, the Jobs for Economic Recovery Act of 2021 pending in Congress.

A 100% clean energy standard would accelerate the transition to zero carbon power from the nation’s energy producers. Major power companies have indicated their support for working with the Administration to set a federal clean energy standard aimed at slashing emissions 80% by 2030. Including a clean energy standard provision in the infrastructure bill would be a game-changer for reducing health damaging pollution from energy generation, while boosting the production of clean, renewable energy and associated jobs for all.

See the letter here.

Join our People Powered Day of Action—A just democracy depends on fair redistricting

April 29 is LWV’s  People Powered Day of Action–a nationwide day of advocacy for redistricting processes that eliminate partisan and racial gerrymandering. All state legislative and congressional districts are being re-drawn now and will be in place for the next decade. Here in Massachusetts, our goal is to ensure a fair and transparent process that guarantees equity for all voices in the Commonwealth.  LWVMA and LWV Amherst are hosting a webinar with Massachusetts Special Joint Committee House Redistricting Chair Michael Moran and former Senate President and Redistricting Chair Stan Rosenberg. Please join us on April 29th at 7 PM to learn how you can get involved! Register here.
Check out LWVMA’s toolkit for concrete action steps you and your local Leagues can take to advocate for a fair redistricting process here in Massachusetts.