Thursday, Sept. 14
"Extreme Events and Climate Change: What We Know and What We Can Do,"  New England Aquarium's Simon IMAX┬« Theatre, 7 p.m. 

Friday, Sept. 15
LWVMA Board Meeting, Westwood Public Library, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. 

Tuesday, Sept. 26
National Voter Registration Day

Wednesday, Oct. 4
"The Health Benefits of Renewable Energy Choices: A Role for Carbon Pricing,"  Winchester Town Hall, 7 p.m. (6:30 p.m. refreshments)

Saturday, Oct. 14
League Leader Lunch, The First Baptist Church, Worcester, 9:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 19
"Greening the Grid: Preparing for Our Clean Energy Future," Lexington Public Library, 7 p.m. 

Tuesday, Oct. 24
Day on the Hill, Great Hall, State House, 9:30 a.m. until noon

Saturday, Nov. 4
"Extreme Events and Climate Change: What We Know and What We Can Do," Falmouth Public Library, 1 p.m.
From Our Co-Presidents

Dear League Members,                

Energized by the wave of new members drawn to the League of Women Voters across the nation since the November 2016 election, 100 state and national League leaders from 43 states came together at the biennial Council of the League of Women Voters U.S. in June. The topic at hand was a renewed vision for the League as it approaches its 100th anniversary.

Mindful of the League's proud heritage, the assembled leaders focused on the goal of creating an even more vibrant League with critical impact in the 21st century, reclaiming our reputation as the premiere defender of democracy and the authoritative voice on the election process, as well as registering and turning out new citizens and the next generation of voters representative of the entire U.S. population.

To achieve this vision by 2020, the League will strengthen the bond among local, state and national Leagues, emphasizing diversity, a modern infrastructure, and the nimbleness of a "movement" mindset. Simultaneously, we reaffirm our foundational values as a nonpartisan organization devoted to informed citizen participation in government to make democracy work for all.

Council's focus was consistent with the preview of the League's growth initiatives which LWVUS Executive Director Wylecia Wiggs Harris shared with us at LWVMA's April convention. Convention attendees contributed in focus group sessions; the data from these sessions formed the basis of our Board retreat in June, and the board has selected three key areas to guide our work in the coming biennium: member engagement, governance and leadership development, and measurement of our impact.

At all levels of League, the mood is energetic, with the prospect of change leading to growth viewed as positive and significant for a bright future for the League.

The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts looks forward to collaborating across all levels of the League to strengthen our organization, raise our profile and increase our impact.

In League,

 Linda Matys O'Connell   Mary Ann Ashton 
LWVMA/LWV Boston Climate Forum at Aquarium Sept. 14

LWVMA and LWV-Boston are excited to team up with the New England Aquarium and UMass Boston School for the Environment for "Extreme Events and Climate Change: What We Know and What We Can Do."

The forum will be at the Aquarium's Simons IMAX┬« Theatre Thursday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. This event is the second in the LWVMA   Climate and Energy Solutions Series, and is also part of the Aquarium's Lecture Series. Dr. Ellen Douglas, will discuss our changing climate, what changes may be in the future for Boston and beyond, and plans for how to adapt to these changes.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required through the Aquarium's website.
Climate-Energy Series Continues through the Fall

In addition to the Aquarium forum, three forums in the LWVMA Climate and Energy Solutions Series are scheduled in collaboration with local Leagues.           
  • Oct. 4, 7 p.m. (6:30 refreshments), Winchester Town Hall: "The Health Benefits of Renewable Energy Choices: A Role for Carbon Pricing"; Speaker: Dr. Jonathan Buonocore (Harvard School of Public Health). Click here for flyer.
  • Oct. 19, 7 p.m., Lexington Public Library: "Greening the Grid: Preparing for Our Clean Energy Future"; Speakers: Dr. Ariel Horowitz (Synapse) and Megan Herzog (Conservation Law Foundation). Click here for flyer.
  • Nov. 4, 1 p.m., Falmouth Public Library: "Extreme Events and Climate Change: What We Know and What We Can Do"; Speakers: Dr. Ellen Douglas (UMass Boston School for the Environment), Stephanie Madsen (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), and Dr. Robert Max Holmes (Woods Hole Research Center).
The first forum, "On the Path to 100% Renewable Energy," was co-sponsored by LWV-Worcester Area in May and is posted on YouTube. The LWVMA Steering Committee for Environmental Action and Advocacy coordinated this forum series.
League Leader Lunch Coming Up Oct. 14

Each fall League leaders from across Massachusetts gather at our League Leader Lunch to learn, share and be inspired by our fellow members.

This year's lunch will be Saturday, Oct. 14, at The First Baptist Church of Worcester, 111 Park Ave. in Worcester, and is co-sponsored by the Worcester Area League. We'll start with coffee at 9:30 a.m., and meet from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

We hope you will mark your calendar and join us! One program highlight will be a panel discussion from three of the leaders who have recently formed Leagues in Franklin County, Berkshire County and Greater Lowell.
New Leagues, New Members around Massachusetts

In May, we highlighted the LWVMA's 8% membership growth from February 2016 to February 2017. The increase was recognized as "a recent surge in grass roots activism and a desire for civic engagement." We are now thrilled to report that since February 2017, a mere six months later, we have seen another 13% increase in membership. Much of the growth has come from new Leagues that have been launched in Berkshire County, Franklin County and Framingham, with another starting the ground work in the Greater Lowell area. Existing Leagues are also continuing to add new members.

Established Leagues, including Amherst and Northampton, have stepped up and provided substantial support organizationally and financially to help the new Leagues get started. This growth has been encouraged and mentored by Marilyn Peterson, past membership chair; Jean Cherdack, past president; Karen Price, field service director; Brynne Gorman, membership and community engagement manager; and Meryl Kessler, executive director.

Please click on the links below to read about the exciting start-up work of our three newest local Leagues:
Make the League's Voice Heard on Beacon Hill
Organize your carpools and put your lobbying hat on. It's time to make democracy work! Day on the Hill, LWVMA's annual lobbying day is Tuesday, Oct. 24, in the Great Hall at the State House. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. and the program runs from 10 a.m. to noon.

We are working on a strong program, focusing on four of the priorities voted at Convention: automatic voter registration, carbon pricing, immigration and criminal justice reform. We will also have a short training on how to lobby before you go off to see your own Senator and Representative.

Look for detailed information on both the program and registration in an email next month.

Nothing makes a bigger impression on legislators than an in-person visit from constituents. Your presence at Day on the Hill will greatly increase the League's clout as we work to pass the legislation we are supporting.
Support Automatic Voter Registration!
Getting Automatic Voter Registration (AVR)passed during this legislative session is a priority for LWVMA! League members can play a key role: write a letter to the editor of your local paper to support AVR. You can find a template for a letter from an individual here. Please sign up here to let us know that you are submitting a letter to your local newspaper, so we can track our statewide outreach and impact. There's a fact sheet on automatic voter registration here.  
The Citizen Lobbyist Handbook Available
LWVMA has created a new handbook, The Citizen Lobbyist, explaining the legislative process in Massachusetts and detailing the most effective ways to communicate with legislators at all levels-local, state and federal. Take a look here.

And we hope you have seen our newest publication, Mass. League Action Newsletter, emailed to all members the first of each month. If it isn't in your inbox, please let us know, and we'd also love your feedback at The Action Newsletter offers ways League members can take action in areas they are interested in.
Participate in National Voter Registration Day 
On Tuesday, Sept. 26, organizations from all over the country will hold National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) events. Y ou can learn more about the day's activities, the support and materials available, and how to register here .

LWVMA and LWV Boston will be registering voters on Boston City Hall Plaza. If your local League is planning an event on or around NVRD, please let  Brynne Gorman know so that the LWVMA office can publicize it. And remember to share your photos with us!

The League of Women Voters is a major partner nationally in National Voter Registration Day, and the League has been the single largest on-the-ground partner in this event since 2012.
New LWVMA Board Assignments
The LWVMA Board elected at the April Convention has set up several standing committees. If you are interested in working with any of these committees, please contact these committee chairs.
  • Membership: Kate Boland
  • Governance: Marilyn Peterson
  • Finance: Andrea Kozinetz
  • Communications: Linda Matys O'Connell
  • Development: Mary Ann Ashton
  • Voter Service: Judy Zaunbrecher and Kris Eastman
  • Program and Action (includes Legislative Action Committee): Nancy Brumback and Karen Price
  • Human Resources: Mary Ann Ashton and Linda Matys O'Connell
  • Ballot Question Study: Karen Price and Donna Hooper
LWV 100th Anniversary Toolkit Available 
The LWVUS 100th Anniversary Committee has developed the 100th Anniversary Toolkit  to help every League participate in our 2020 centennial campaign. This Toolkit includes anniversary logos, social media graphics, messaging guidelines and more to help you get started with the celebration.
If your local League is planning an event related to the 100th Anniversary - or if there's something from our rich history you think is important to highlight - we want to know about it. To share your stories or if you have any questions about the Toolkit, please contact our communications team:
What Would Alice Paul Do?
Take a look and listen to these fun podcasts,  What Would Alice Paul Do?, from a couple of national League volunteers, with tips on how Leagues have dealt with areas such as advocacy, membership, engaging new volunteers, and the nonpartisan issue. 
LWVUS Seeking Board Nominations
Nominations for the 2018-2020 LWVUS national Board of Directors and the 2018-2020 Nominating Committee are now being accepted. Click here  to find more information about these critical roles and then fill out the form if there's a person you'd like to nominate or if you would like to apply yourself. The deadline for applications is Sept. 30.  
Verizon Email Addresses
If you have a Verizon email address and it is changing, please send your new email to the LWVMA office so you don't miss our communications.
The Mass. League Voter is distributed to all LWVMA members. Anyone can request the Voter by clicking here. Please review this Update for articles of interest to your League and include them in your local Bulletin.

133 Portland Street Boston, MA 02114 | 617-523-2999 |