Friday, May 20
LWVMA Board Meeting, Forbes Library, Northampton, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Monday, June 6
Student Video Contest Award Ceremony, MA State House, Members' Lounge, 11:00 a.m. to Noon
Thursday, June 16 to Sunday, June 19
LWV Convention, Washington, DC
Friday, June 24
LWVMA/LESF Board Retreat, Alumni House of Framingham State University, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Check Out the Video Contest Winners!
A team of 15 League member judges has selected the winners of LWVMA's "YOUth Should Vote!" Student Video Contest, part of LWVMA's election 2016 statewide voter engagement campaign. Over 300 students participated in the contest, and the winning videos were selected from entries submitted from across the state. The winners are:

First Place:  Matthew Walak and Kevin Zheng, Natick High School (The Reminder Machine)
Second Place:  Makena Binker-Cosen and TJ Mukundan, Brookline High School (Big Dreams)
Third Place:  Marko Deperalta and Allen Zhou, Bedford High School, (Our Right)

Beginning in late summer and leading up to the November election, LWVMA will widely distribute and publicize the winning videos and others from the contest as part of a statewide youth get-out-the-vote campaign.  At that time, local Leagues will also be encouraged to share the videos via social media and local cable access stations. Read more...
Upcoming Field Service Meetings
The LWVMA Field Service program provides opportunities for local League leaders to interact within defined geographical areas. The goal of the program is to support local League leaders, strengthen local Leagues and encourage regional collaboration.

Here's the schedule for the spring Field Service meetings:

  • West: Held Saturday, May 14.  
  • Metro/South: Saturday, June 4, 2-4 p.m., site TBD. Contact Karen Price.
  • Metro Northwest: Sunday, June 5, 2-4 p.m., Concord Library lower level conference room. Contact Lora Goldenberg.
  • Metro West: Saturday, June 11, 10:15 a.m.-1 p.m., NewTV, Newton. Contact Sharyn Roberts.
  • Merrimack Valley/North Shore: Monday, June 20, 8:30-10:30 a.m., Friendly's in Peabody. Contact Karen Price.
  • South Shore, Cape Cod, and MV: June, time and place TBD. Contact Phyllis Walsh.
  • Central: No meeting this spring

For the current list of Leagues within each Field Service region and representatives click here.
For questions, please contact Field Service Director Karen Price

Plan for Charter Schools Study This Fall
As you develop your League's schedule, please plan to participate in the State League study on charter schools. Unlike the national studies with the possibility of hundreds of local Leagues participating, we have 43 local Leagues in Massachusetts. We strongly encourage all local Leagues to participate in this study in order to reach a true consensus of our state membership on this important issue. Once we have that consensus, the state League can develop a position on charter schools that will, in the future, allow us to support, oppose and suggest changes in legislation, to testify on Beacon Hill on more creative funding proposals and on governance and accountability issues, to take stands on ballot questions, and to play a more active role in this discussion.
The Charter School Study Committee expects to send consensus questions to local Leagues by October 1, along with study materials and information.   Please recruit someone in your League to form a committee and be responsible for distributing the study materials to your members as you receive them. And set a date for your League's consensus meeting on this topic. The consensus report will be due back to the study committee on Feb. 1, 2017.
An Empowering, Energetic Council
LWVMA Council 2016 at Clark University in Worcester was a roaring success from the colorful red, white and blue centerpieces (thanks to Brynne), to the informative workshops on charter schools and climate change, to a provocative panel discussion on why registered voters don't vote and what we can do about it, to the kick-off for our exciting MOVE 2016 election initiative.

Materials from the presentations and a video of the panel discussion can be accessed on our website. Several local Leagues have scheduled a viewing of the panel video with their membership. It's a good opportunity for a spirited discussion on an issue more important than ever this election cycle. Please click here for all of the LWVMA Council materials, including a link to that video.
Welcome to our Summer Interns

Please join us in welcoming two college interns to the LWVMA office this summer! 

Carolyn Amir, a rising junior at Boston University, will assist with and other election-related programs. She is pursuing a joint degree in psychology and philosophy and has volunteered on congressional campaigns in 2010, 2012, and 2014. 

Michaela Giandello, a rising junior at Suffolk University, is majoring in government with a focus on law and public policy.  She will also be supporting our voter engagement programs.
Wanted: Your Help in Passing Legislation
As the legislature moves into its few weeks, many of the bills we are supporting are still bottled up in committees-including bills on access to public records, pay equity for women, automatic voter registration, carbon pricing, and criminal justice reform.

LWVMA is encouraging legislators to move on these bills, with letters from LWVMA to the relevant committees and participation in lobby day rallies.

League members can play a critical role in advancing these good bills. Please encourage your members in your bulletins and at your annual meetings to respond by contacting their legislators when they receive an Action Alert. We will be using Action Alerts increasingly in the coming weeks, both to try and push bills out of committee and to build support when the bills finally do reach the House and Senate floors for a vote. Every phone call and email is important.
Your League Can Act on Pipelines
Several local Leagues have asked whether they can take action on construction of natural gas pipelines in their area. There are a number of LWVUS positions that local Leagues can use. A local League board would have to vote to take a specific action based on these existing positions, but there is no need for any study or consensus prior to such a vote.

Please check the extensive LWVUS positions on natural resources here to find positions that could apply to a proposed pipeline, including consideration of environmental, public health, social and economic impacts of proposed plans and actions; and protection of private property rights commensurate with overall consideration of public health and environmental protection. See particularly the section labeled Energy for League positions favoring a reliance on renewable sources of energy rather than fossil fuels and on Land Use. You can also enter "Keystone Pipeline" in the search box on the LWVUS home page,, to see the arguments the national League made against that project.
Can You Help with Questions for the Candidates?
Would you like to ensure that all Massachusetts voters have up-to-date information about the candidates on their ballots this fall?

We are looking for volunteers to help draft questions for all Congressional and State House candidates. Let us know if you're interested by contacting Mary Ann Ashton or Meryl Kessler. We'll be organizing a couple of conference calls before the end of May, and then working over the next few months via phone and e-mail. Local Leagues will have an opportunity to contribute specific questions for their legislators as well. All of the information will be available to Massachusetts voters for the September primary and November general election through our online platform, will also include information about ballot questions as they become finalized over the next couple of months. Read more...
Membership and Renewals
At your annual meetings this spring, as you think about program for next year, also think about your existing members and how to make it easy for them to renew their membership.

While some Leagues have their members renew at annual meeting and others at opening meeting in the fall, the fail-safe way to be top-of-mind is to send out renewal letters. Send letters to current members as well as to those whose membership lapsed over the past several years. You will be surprised at the response.

Check out the "Membership Tools" section of our website here for guidance on member renewals and to see a sample membership renewal letter.

Reminder: Please notify the office whenever new members join your League. We want to make sure they get our communications.
Per-Member Payment Update
No PMP Increase
The LWVUS Board has recommended that there be no per-member payment (PMP) increase for the next biennium, FY2016-2018. The final budget will be approved at Convention 2016 in June. LWVUS notes that, if you have questions regarding the recently mailed FY2015-2016 invoices, or your member counts based on the Jan. 31 deadline, please email
[email protected].

The LWVUS PMP rate is $32. The national PMP rate for student League members is one half of the rate of other members.

There will be no increase in state PMPs. State PMPs will remain individual, $23; second in household, $5.75; and student, $2.30. No PMP is required at the state or national levels for 50-year-plus members.

The League Leader Update is distributed to local League board members and LWVMA leaders. Anyone can request the Update by clicking here. Please review this Update for articles of interest to your League and include them in your local Bulletin.

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