A Voice for Citizens, a Force for Change
February | 2023
Message from the Steering Committee
A Message From Chair of the Month, David Shanabrook
I suppose it will come to no one's surprise that when the treasurer is the chair of the month the theme will be money. And so it is.

This also happens to be the time of the year when we begin to form our budget for the next fiscal year, so budgeting is the theme of the month. Which brings up an important point which may need clarification: while most of us celebrate the new year on January 1, businesses tend to start their "fiscal" year on July 1. I have always imagined this is just Wall Street trying to confuse Main Street, but let's not go down that road as we have more important things to consider.

A short explanation of our budget process: in February the Treasurer reaches out to the Committees and Boards asking if they will need more or less money next year, those numbers are considered and organized by the budget committee who returns the draft budget back to the Steering Committee for approval in April, and finally upon their consent, to the all local members in May in time for the June Annual

There are two ways to look at a budget, one is that it represents how an organization spends money, but the other is how the organization wants to spend its money. Just as a corporation might guide their future by funding research over sales, we can guide our Local through our
budget process.

That is the message I have given to the committees and chairs and that will be part of the Steering Committee's discussion at our March meeting. Therefore, it is also the
message I give to you all.

~ David Shanabrook, SC Chair of the Month
To My Valentine: Love Me, Love My Vote by Ellen Clapsaddle. Wolf & Co., Philadelphia. [MS-0857] Johns Hopkins University Women's Suffrage Collection aspace.library.jhu.edu/repositories/3/resources/1433. Licensed under CCBY NC ND
Upcoming Events
Members Meeting for Program Planning Possible Position on Death with Dignity and Study of Reparations? Participate in Amherst League Program Planning Virtual Meeting: Date Changed to March 9 at 7 p.m. [read on]
Amherst Council on Aging: Thursday, February 23 at 5:00 p.m. a special meeting to discuss the results of the Age and Dementia Friendly Project. Preregistration is not required.
Virtual meeting via Zoom, join at this link.
News from our Committees
CONNECTICUT RIVER COMMITTEE: Connecticut River Cleanup pulls 37 tons of trash out of the river!...And relicensing of five Connecticut River dams nears end [read on]

RACIAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE: Join us for our upcoming Judy Brooks Conversation series, for thoughtful discussions about issues affecting our community....And don't miss our upcoming opinion piece in The Gazette, "Uncomfortable Truths and Democracy in Amherst" [read on]

SACAC COMMITTEE: Youth led Amherst Climate Justice Alliance launches plans to accelerate climate action with kickoff event at the Jones Library in Amherst to introduce the alliance of over 10 local organizations working for climate, racial and economic justice; Amherst climate action updates; and a full run down of climate activist groups in Amherst and what they are advocating for [read on]

CHARTER REVIEW TASK FORCE: Coming soon! The Charter Review Task Force will be sending its survey of the charter form of government this month. The long version will be sent to elected and town officials.The short version will be available on the League web site.
Opportunities to Advocate From the Legislative Action Committee (LAC)

Interested in Advocating for Women’s Issues? The LWVMA Legislative Specialist on Women's Issues seeks League members who will advocate for Women's Issues bills when the need arises.  
The scripts/email letters are written for you. You would be asked to use these templates to contact your legislators or the governor. Bills need as many legislators as possible on board to help secure their success. Over 6,000 bills get filed every session so it is necessary to have solid support from many legislators to get them voted out of committees and on to a vote in the two chambers.  
Reproductive healthcare, wage equity and other policies important to women are on the docket! Contact Jan Soma to be added to the list of League advocates.  
Interested in Housing Advocacy? Sign up to receive updates on housing bills from legislative specialist Lori Stewart. Contact Lori for more information.
Become a Legislative envoy: Did your town elect a brand-new state representative or state senator? Build a relationship with new or returning legislators as a Legislative Envoy for your local League. Envoys connect the LWVMA Legislative Action Committee with local Leagues and legislators. Read more about the program. Contact Mary Cummings, Program Coordinator, for more information.
Register to attend two Legislative Action committee-related programs: March 21: How the MA Legislature Works and March 29: Bills LWVMA supports 
On the transition to central control of dues: From President Dr. Turner: I am pleased to announce the new phase of our transformation journey: Framing the Future. The blueprint has been created and the plan has been developed — now it is time to start building the frame! Therefore, it is time for all of us to roll up our sleeves and go to work. There will be four key working groups: the Business Model Working Groupthe Data Working Groupthe Functional Specification Working Group, and the League Capacity Working Group LWVMA is identifying members of LWVMA

Preferences, Traditions and Requirements at 103!: Anniversaries and birthdays create important opportunities to reflect on our history, relationships, and cultural identity as an organization. Exploring these issues will help build more meaningful and effective interactions among us and in the community, illuminating new opportunities and pathways forward as well as identifying potential barriers to participation. Understanding these concepts also allows us to minimize unnecessary conflict and better navigate times when conflict is healthy and unavoidable. Expect an introduction of PTR concepts and group discussion among participants.
There are three virtual sessions on February 18, 21, and 23, each 90 minutes. You must apply to participate in one of the sessions. Apply here!

This monthly message is for anyone interested in the League, not just members. If you know someone who might be interested, forward this message and invite them to subscribe themselves, using the link below.

Darcy Dumont, At-Large
Trish Farrington, At-Large
Rebecca Fricke, At-Large
Marla Jamate, Social Media
Phyllis Lehrer, Membership
Susan Lowery, At-Large
Susan Millinger, LWVMA and LWVUS liaison 
Leslie Nyman, Recorder
Deanna Pearlstein, Event Organization
Jessica Ryan, e-Bulletin editor
David Shanabrook, Treasurer
The Editor of the LWVAmherst e-Bulletin, Jessica Ryan can be contacted here. The Associate Editors are Trish Farrington and Susan Millinger; Assistant Editors are Phyllis Lehrer, Sue Lowery, and Kay Fite who checks the links. Contributors to this month's e-Bulletin include LWVA members: Elizabeth Davis, Darcy Dumont, Sue Lowery, Susan Millinger and David Shanabrook. Material on LWVMA and LWVUS comes from Mass League Action newsletter and lwvma.org; League Update and lwvus.org, respectively, selected by Susan Millinger.