If you walk, run, bike, drive or take public transportation in Massachusetts, you want to be on the State House steps Tuesday, April 2, to support improved transportation. Urge your legislators to approve dedicated transportation funding that is adequate to fix roads and bridges, stave off mass transportation fare hikes and service cuts, invest in transportation services for youth, seniors and the disabled, create bike paths and sidewalks across the state, maintain the transportation system, and modernize for the future.
Join the rally on the State House steps at 10 a.m., with speakers from across the state addressing transportation issues, then drop off letters and talk with your legislators about supporting more funding.
The rally is sponsored by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. Several local Leagues have worked with MAPC on transportation issues, and LWVMA’s current transportation position backs efforts to improve mass transit and secure adequate funding for transportation. Information on transportation issues is available on the MAPC website http://www.mapc.org/transportation.
The LWVMA board has voted to support or oppose some of the bills filed in this legislative session. Program and Action Specialists have researched the bills and will be following their progress. Information on the progress of bills will be updated as they progress through the legislative process. Follow this link to keep up with the legislation.
Current legislation topics being followed include water quality, recycling, and the environment; election and campaign finance reform; health care financing; civics education, and supporting low-income families to become financially stable. Additional topics to be investigated over the coming months include gun control, fiscal policy, agricultural initiatives, and voting rights.
Comedian Jimmy Tingle and the Sierra Club present “The Battle for the Bottle Bill,” Saturday, April 6 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Regent Theater in Arlington, an evening of comedy, conversation, music, and action! A Rally to Increase Recycling! LWVMA is a sponsor of this event, to raise funds to continue the battle to expand bottle deposits to non-carbonated beverages.
General Admission is $15 in advance,$20 on Saturday, $10 for students and seniors and $25 including a Meet & Greet with cash bar and complimentary appetizers at “Not Your Average Joe’s.” Click here for information or advance tickets.
Friday Banquet: Meira Levinson Dr. Meira Levinson writes about civic education, multiculturalism, and youth empowerment. Her latest book, No Citizen Left Behind, argues that the United States suffers from a civic empowerment gap that is as shameful and anti-democratic as the academic achievement gap targeted by No Child Left Behind.
Saturday Lunch: Margery Eagan. Margery Eagan is a longtime columnist with the Boston Herald, a talk radio host, and a frequent guest on CNN, ABC, Fox News, and WGBH’s Friday “Beat the Press” program on Greater Boston. Her radio show, which she co-hosts with Jim Braude, recently moved to WGBH Radio.
Growing and retaining members: It’s all about visibility
Create and Maintain a League Facebook Page 9:20-11:55 2 hrs 35 mins
Advocating for environmental issues
League Moderator Training 9:20-11:55 2 hrs 35 mins
We have to fix that! Updating the way we run elections
Making an Impact in Your Town or City
Effective lobbying from our LWVMA positions
Events that engage young people: Civics Bee, Yellow Rose Events
Think beyond Candidates’ Night
Money in Politics: Last year’s issue or still a problem?
FRIDAY 2:00-3:15 pm
Growing and Retaining Members: It’s All about Visibility Dee Ortner (LWV Concord-Carlisle) and Karen Price (LWV Needham) This workshop will focus on ideas for attracting and retaining members through event calendar planning and special membership programs. Topics and materials will include membership strategies, calendar planning, event preparation, event advertising, and event funding.
Advocating for Environmental Issues Launa Zimmaro (LWV Concord-Carlisle) and Lynn Wolbarst (LWV Sharon-Stoughton) LWVMA Program and Action Specialists This workshop will focus on legislation, enforcement, funding, and other areas that League members can have an impact on environmental issues locally and statewide.
We have to fix that! Updating the way we run elections Cheryl Crawford, director of MassVote, and Nancy Brumback (LWV Sudbury) will discuss pending election reform legislation, why we need it, and how we can improve voting in Massachusetts.
SATURDAY (DOUBLE SESSION) 9:20-11:55 am
Create and Maintain a League Facebook Page Elizabeth Handler (LWV Needham) and Natalie Kassabian (LWVMA staff) This double-session workshop is for local Leagues that want to start a Facebook page but don’t know where to begin, or for Leagues with a Facebook page that is created but not being used. Registered participants must bring a laptop computer with wireless capability, 1-10 digital photographs of League events, League calendar (if available). You will each set up a Facebook page and learn the different capabilities and strategies for updating, friending, sharing, etc. This workshop is limited to a maximum of 18 people and pre-registration is required.
League Moderator Training Jo-Ann Berry (LWV Acton Area) and Stefani Traina (LWV Andover-North Andover) This double-session workshop is for members who want to become an official “League-trained moderator.” The session covers how to prepare for a candidate or issue forum, moderating with confidence, tips and pointers, with plenty of opportunity to practice (with a friendly audience!). A minimum of 8 must register in order to hold this workshop and a maximum of 15 people will be accepted.
SATURDAY 9:20-10:35 am
Making an Impact in Your Town or City Carin Kale (LWV Hamilton-Wenham) and members of Lexington LWV This workshop will focus on ways that Leagues can have an impact in their cities or towns beyond Voter Service events. The session will include presentations on successful League sponsored local initiatives and will provide pointers on who to work with and how to make things happen locally. Come learn about Lexington’s annual “Community Conversation” that is co-sponsored with other community groups and has drawn over 160 participants. And come hear about how the Hamilton-Wenham League works directly with town officials from both communities to influence change.
Events That Engage Young People: Civics Bee and Yellow Rose Events Bonnie Glass (LWV Sudbury) and Cindy Nock (LWV Concord-Carlisle) This workshop will focus on two types of events that will include engaging youth and promoting visibility. The Civics Bee has had many benefits: kids who excel in civics get recognition, civics learning is reinforced, the audience learns, and the local leagues gain visibility with an age group of women (moms of middle and high schoolers) that we would like to attract as members. Learn how the Sudbury, Wayland, and Weston Leagues developed this annual contest between intergenerational teams from the 3 towns. Yellow Rose Events raise our historical consciousness by highlighting the history of influential women in US History. Learn how to use the Yellow Rose Event Kit to hold an Event which might be a book club, movie night, panel discussion, brainstorming forum, or celebration. Learn how to engage High School and College students and even women in their twenties through nineties by using the tools and resources in the Yellow Rose Event kit. The League of Women Voters was founded on the premise that once women got the vote they needed to be educated voters. Part of that education needs to be learning about how women have and will influence the direction of our country.
Money in Politics: Last Year’s Issue or Still a Problem? Rebecca Shannon and Jackie Wolf (LWV Amherst) This workshop will provide members and Leagues with materials they can use to bring this issue to local Leagues. The issue will be presented and tools will be discussed and distributed.
Effective Lobbying from Our LWVMA Positions Carole Pelchat (LWV Greater Haverhill) and Carolyn Lee (LWV Sudbury) This session will have two themes: 1) being an effective lobbyist using LWV positions to strengthen arguments, and 2) having productive, convincing conversations with your local officials, representatives and senators. As a well-respected non-partisan organization, we are listened to by our elected officials. The positions we take matter, but we still need to make our cases strongly while listening to and addressing concerns voiced about those positions. You can effect more change by being prepared and presenting LWV positions. Expanding upon the materials and presentation from the 2013 Day on the Hill, this workshop will help you make your case, while clarifying when we can lobby as the LWV and when we must carefully present ourselves as individuals.
Think Beyond Candidates’ Night Nancy Brumback (LWV Sudbury) and Kelly Cox (LWV Worcester) Candidates’ Nights are important, but there can be more to voter service. We’ll give you ideas in such areas as cable television programs, public service announcements, holding run-for-office workshops, voter registration drives and more.
Convention Planning Committee
Karen Price, Co-Chair Membership and Local League Services Committee, LWVMA VP, Needham LWV
Marilyn Peterson, Co-Chair Membership and Local League Services Committee, LWVMA DIrector, Acton Area LWV
Lora Goldenberg, Bedford LWV
Carin Kale, Hamilton-Wenham LWV
Cindy Nock, Concord-Carlisle LWV
Natalie Kassabian, LWVMA staff
If you would like to join the planning committee or make suggestions for Convention 2013, contact Karen Price.
LWVUS has announced some information on the “Agriculture Update” study.
The Agriculture Update will focus narrowly on: 1) current technology issues in agriculture including genetically modified organisms (GMOs), herbicides, pesticides, agriculture water pollution, aquifer depletion, antibiotics in livestock, and accurate food labeling; and 2) current agriculture finance issues including consolidation in agriculture industries, crop subsidies and the federal agricultural regulatory process.
The timeline gives Sep 2013-Apr 2014 as the period during which state and local Leagues may form study committees, examine study materials, hold public meetings, hold consensus meetings, etc.
Local League Participation
Remember to include this study as you plan your calendars and activities for next year. Also, consider joining together regionally for study committees, public meetings, etc. This is a great opportunity to participate in the discussion of this important national issue!