March Opportunities for Action
About the Action Newsletter:
The Action Newsletter is emailed to all members during the first week of each month. It is designed to provide members with the information they need to take action or get involved, covering requests for action on bills, lobby days, rallies, and other League events. We suggest you choose one or two items for action. The items included in the newsletter fall under LWVMA Program Priorities:
  • Improving Elections 
  • Empowering Voters and Fostering Civic Engagement 
  • Advocating for Justice and Equality 
  • Addressing the Climate Emergency 
  • Advocating for Equitable Access to Basic Human Services 
These priorities are referenced for each item as a way to orient you as you survey the list. Thanks for helping to move LWVMA priorities forward!

Volunteer Opportunities for YOU

Priority: Climate Emergency
Barriers to Regional Decarbonization Webinar March 23
The LWVMA Environmental Action and Advocacy Committee invites you to a webinar, Barriers to Regional Decarbonization, on Wednesday, March 23 at 4 p.m.

Regional cooperation is essential to meeting our clean energy goals. The road to decarbonization faces challenges from long-established regional rules that favor fossil fuel interests and stand in the way of clean energy. Join us to learn who is in charge of these regional practices, what their impact is, and how we can meet these challenges. Our speaker is Melissa Birchard, Regulatory Attorney for Power Grid Reform, Acadia Center. Co-hosted by League of Women Voters of Massachusetts and Elders Climate Action. 

Register here

Priority: Civic Engagement
Be a Bill Booster
The Legislative Envoy program is an opportunity to learn about the legislative process and League-supported bills, and get to know your own legislators and their staff. See the Envoy program description here. Please notify your League’s leadership that you are volunteering to represent your League and contact Envoy Coordinator Mary Cummings to join the program. We are seeking at least one Envoy from each League.

Priority: Civic Engagement
LWVMA Not Taking Stands on 2022 Ballot Questions
The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts is not taking stands on the 2022 Massachusetts ballot questions. This means that League members may participate in Yes or No campaigns as individuals but should not do anything to make the public think that the LWVMA or a Local League has endorsed a Yes or No campaign. See more information about the decision here

Advocacy that Depends on YOU

Priority: Justice and Equality
Bill on Gender Parity and Racial and Ethnic Diversity Needs Your Help
Please contact your state Senator to ask them to move S.2077, “An Act to Ensure Gender Parity and Racial and Ethnic Diversity on Public Boards and Commissions”, favorably out of the Senate’s Ways and Means Committee. The bill would ensure that Massachusetts appointed public boards and commissions broadly reflect the general public with regard to gender and race. (View League testimony here). Here is a template letter:

Dear Senator [NAME],

As a constituent and a member of the League of Women Voters of [YOUR TOWN], I am writing to ask for your support for “An Act to Ensure Gender Parity and Racial and Ethnic Diversity on Public Boards and Commissions”, S.2077, currently before the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Please ask Chair Michael Rodrigues to report S.2077 out of Committee so that it can be taken up on the Senate floor as soon as possible.
     
Currently women and people of color are vastly underrepresented on our public boards and commissions. This is a problem because we know that public boards and commissions have outsized impact on the direction of our policies and initiatives on education, health and human services, housing and economic development, labor and workforce development, public safety, and more. Without various viewpoints and voices to inform public leadership, we risk putting in place less effective policies. S.2077 will address this issue.

Thank you,
[YOUR NAME]

In addition, you can contact Senate Ways and Means Chair Michael Rodrigues here urging him to quickly and favorably report S.2077 out of Committee and move the bill onto the Senate floor for a vote.

For additional detail see this letter from Parity on Board, our coalition partner. 

Priority: Equitable Access to Basic Human Services
Healthcare Bill Action!
LWVMA Healthcare Specialists are working with our coalitions to try to get all Representatives and Senators to co-sponsor H.1267/S.766, Medicare for All in Massachusetts (single payer health care coverage for all Massachusetts residents). This priority bill has important DEI dimensions. It is important get it to the floor for a vote.

Check here to see whether your legislator is a sponsor of H.1267/S.766, Medicare for All in Massachusetts. If your Representative and Senator are NOT LISTED, call or email them to request they co-sponsor the bill. Repeat until their name appears on the co-sponsor list. A suggested “P.S.” for your email: “Waiting Patiently for Equitable Healthcare Coverage is the Luxury of the Privileged”.

If your legislator’s chief-of-staff knows nothing about the bill, suggest watching LWVMA's "Meet the Healthcare Specialists" here or contacting the LWVMA with more specific questions.

Massachusetts Legislation Update:
Many of our bills were voted favorably out of a joint committee—see list below. Others received extensions giving the committee more time to act. Some were sent to study, meaning there will be no action on them this session. Those will be listed separately on the League website.  

Progress on our bills in February
LWVMA Bills that were reported favorably out of committee in February
H.202/S.111 An Act improving emergency housing assistance for children and families experiencing homelessness 
H.1428/S.898 An Act codifying the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program/An Act relative to the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program
H.199/S.96 An Act to Lift Kids out of Deep Poverty 
H.311/S.176 An Act to mandate domestic violence and sexual assault awareness education for aestheticians, barbers, cosmetologists, electrologists, hairdressers, manicurists, and massage therapists
H.715/S.298 An Act to Promote Student Nutrition 
H.1794/S.1022 An Act to prevent the imposition of mandatory minimum sentences based on juvenile adjudications
H.3289 An Act to expand the Bottle Bill
H.3302 An Act to promote offshore wind energy and renewables
H.898/S.530 An Act relative to maintaining adequate water supplies through effective drought management
H.920/S.527/S.505 An Act improving municipal water infrastructure
H.897/S.529 An Act protecting water systems through the labeling of flushable wipes
S.1387 An Act restricting toxic PFAS chemicals in consumer products to protect our health
H.851/S.524 An Act preserving open space in the Commonwealth
H.2960/S.1986 An Act increasing the conservation land tax credit
S.46 An Act establishing the Massachusetts Information Privacy Act
H.3658/S.2402 Resolutions for a United States Constitutional Amendment and a limited amendment proposing convention (LWVMA Opposes)
H.2437/S.1562 An Act relative to crime gun data analysis and reporting
H.2329/S.1386 An Act relative to accelerating improvements to the local and regional public health system to address disparities in the delivery of public health services
S.2289 An act relative to work and family mobility during and subsequent to the COVID-19 emergency
H.264/S.142 An Act providing a bill of rights for people experiencing homelessness
H.1290/S.761 An Act to streamline access to critical public health and safety-net programs through common applications
H.2978/S.1899 An Act relative to regional transportation ballot initiatives
H.3157/S.2077 An Act to ensure gender parity and racial and ethnic diversity in public boards and commissions
H.1984/S.1164 An Act relative to the defense against abusive waivers
S.1445 An Act to access disposable menstrual products in prisons, homeless shelters and public schools
H.673/S.318 An act relative to healthy youth

LWVMA Bills that passed the House in February
H.3456 An act relative to work and family mobility during and subsequent to the COVID-19 emergency
 
See League testimony on these bills here.

Actions for LEAGUE LEADERS

Priority: Civic Engagement
Participate in LWVMA's School Civics Project
LWVMA encourages every local League to participate in the new LWVMA School Civics Celebration Project. Partnering with schools to celebrate student civics work will support civics education, help amplify the voices of youth, and establish a vital and visible League partnership with schools and young people.
 
One or two people are needed to serve as the point people for your local League’s participation in this project, working with your local Board and members. Please send names to Taylor Grenga.
 
More Resources: 

Priority: Elections
Increase Voter Registration!
Increase Voter Registration! Click on this link, share on your local League Facebook page, and add your town's details on deadline date, election date, and the phone number of your Town Clerk.

Priority: Civic Engagement
Does Your League Need Speakers? Use Our Experts!
Our Legislative Action Committee’s specialists are willing to present to your League on LWVMA-supported legislation in Criminal Justice, Healthcare, Climate, Racial Justice, Immigration, Women’s Issues, and more. Ideal for Annual Meeting or general programs for your members. Programs can be tailored to your League. See areas and bills here. Sample previous "Meet the Specialists" presentations here. Contact the Legislative Action Committee here.

Priority: Civic Engagement
Count the Ways Your League Matters
We need volunteers to collect data on your League’s activities. Numbers matter and by collecting data on a state-wide basis, we will be able to measure our collective League impact. This, in turn, will help bring in new members and leaders, do more effective fundraising, and ultimately sustain the League throughout Massachusetts.

To achieve this goal, we need a designated person from every League to submit data for each local League activity. See the data collection form, the user guide, and other materials here.

Check in with your local League leadership to volunteer for this crucial task and then notify Brynne Gorman.

Priority: Civic Engagement
LWVMA hosts Local League Town Hall March 30th
How is 2022 shaping up for your League? Let's talk about it! We are interested to know what the top 2 items/topics/issues are for your League this year and how LWVMA can be of assistance. Please register here for the town hall and note your top 2 items/topics/issues on the registration form. The agenda for the town hall will be based on what you want to discuss. 

Priority: Civic Engagement
National Convention Set for June 23-26
LWVUS has published the first call for our 55th Annual Convention June 23 – 26, 2022. More information can be found here. Find your number of delegates here.
How to Contact Your Legislator: You can find phone numbers, email addresses and office addresses on the legislature’s webpage for your Senator and Representative. Go to www.malegislature.gov and click on the Legislators tab. If you don’t know who your legislators are, click here.
The LWVMA Action Newsletter is distributed to all LWVMA members. Anyone can request the Action Newsletter by clicking here. Please review this Newsletter for articles of interest to your League and include them in your local Bulletin.
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