Thursday, June 16 to Sunday, June 19
LWV Convention, Washington, DC
Friday, June 24
LWVMA/LESF Board Retreat, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 8
Massachusetts State Primary
Tuesday, Sept. 27
National Voter Registration Day
Plans Underway for Fall League Leader Event
Fall is the time when local Leagues kick off the League year. The Membership Committee is planning an event in September specifically designed for local League leaders to put more "kick" in their kick-off. There will be workshops on timely topics and opportunities to share ideas and concerns. Details of the event will be distributed during the summer. If you have any questions, please contact Marilyn Peterson, Membership Chair.
Congratulations to April Scharfman Grant Winners
Four Leagues received Daniel Scharfman Citizen Education Grants in April. The grant program offers funds to help Leagues carry out events and projects in citizen education and voter service. Generous contributions to the Lotte E. Scharfman Education Fund have made this successful grant program possible.  

The April grants went to LWV Cape Ann for public forums on the November 2016 ballot questions involving high school students debating the issues; LWV of the Springfield Unit of the Northampton Area for a candidate meet-and-greet for Hampden County Sheriff; LWV Norwood for Norwood public schools financing study; and LWV Westford for "A Guide to Town Meeting" booklet. Details on these projects and on the grant program are available here.
Introducing the Nominating Committee
The LWVMA Nominating Committee has been formed and will soon be working on determining our 2017 slate of officers and directors for presentation at the May 2017 Convention. Committee members are Lee Bona, chair, Worcester Area LWV; Wendy Manz, Lexington LWV; Marlene O'Brien, Wellesley LWV; Marilyn Peterson, Acton Area LWV; and Lynn Wolbarst, Sharon-Stoughton LWV.

Please don't hesitate to contact any one of the members if you have questions, concerns, or - best yet - a recommendation for 2017 board positions at [email protected]. We will be in touch soon!
Thank You for Your Support!
Over the last year, our members and local Leagues have supported LWVMA in a number of ways. As we reach the end of our fiscal year, we want to thank you for all you have done:
  • We truly appreciate the financial support from members across the state.  Thank you for your many individual contributions as well as the gifts from the following local Leagues:  Amherst, Cape Cod Area, Concord-Carlisle, Hamilton-Wenham, Needham, Newton, Northampton Area, Plymouth Area, Shrewsbury, Topsfield-Boxford-Middleton, Wellesley and Winchester.
  • Thank you for the Leagues that made calls for Phonathon: Acton Area, Concord-Carlisle, Hamilton-Wenham, Lexington, Needham, Newton, Northampton Area, Sudbury, Wellesley and Winchester.
  • Many thanks to everyone who voted for the League of Women Voters Lotte E. Scharfman Memorial Fund as part of the Boston Globe's GRANT program, which provides Massachusetts nonprofits with free advertising space in the Globe.  With your support, we have won space for a "Get Out the Vote" ad this fall!
Eight LWVMA Members are "Unsung Heroines"

Congratulations to the eight League members who will be honored as Unsung Heroines of 2016 by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women. Jean Childs of Wellesley, Ellen Harde of Westford, Kathleen Hobson and Marcia Johnson of Newton, Judy Jacobi of Marblehead, Shaari Mittel of Brookline, Ruth L. Moorhouse of Springfield, and Frances J. Osman of Acton will receive the award at the State House on June 22. According to the Commission, "this event pays tribute to extraordinary women from across the Commonwealth who work hard to better their communities without fanfare or recognition. Unsung Heroines do not make the news, but they truly make a difference."
Does Your District Have a September Primary Race?
Check out the 2016 list of candidates for State Representative and State Senator posted in our Voter Service Toolkit to see if there are contested primary or November elections in your district.

If you have candidates competing in a race in the Sept. 8 primary, there are two things you'll want to consider:
  • Should you hold a Candidates' Forum before the Sept. 8 primary?  You might want to consider this, especially if there is a contest for the primary, but then no contest for the general election.
  • Do you want to submit a specific question to ask candidates in your district for the Voters' Guide we'll publish in VOTE 411?  We will be developing a couple of questions to ask all primary candidates throughout the state, but if you would like to ask a question that is particular to your candidates for the September primary, we'll need you to submit that by July 15.
Voter Service Reminders
National Voter Registration Day
In addition to submitting questions for any Sept. 8 primary candidates, we will have another opportunity for local Leagues to submit questions for VOTE 411 for the general election Nov. 8.

National Voter Registration Day is Sept. 27. Let us know if your League has plans for the day, and how we can help.

The Voter Service Toolkit has a list of upcoming dates and events, which we'll continue to revise. Please take a look at all the information in the toolkit. If you have suggestions about additional information you'd like to see in the Toolkit, contact Mary Ann Ashton, Voter Service Chair or Meryl Kessler, Executive Director.
Thank you for encouraging Massachusetts Voter Engagement (MOVE 2016).
Final Push for Our Legislative Agenda
We scored a triumph when a strong public records access bill was passed and signed by the Governor at the end of May.

Several bills we have been working on are still active. While the current session officially ends July 31, the lawmakers are taking the last two weeks of July off for the two national political conventions, so most of the work will be finished by mid-July.

Please encourage your members to respond to Action Alerts during these important weeks!

Among the bills still waiting a vote are the pay equity bill, which has passed the Senate but needs a push to get through the House; the disability insurance equity bill, currently an amendment to the budget; the pregnant workers fairness bill; a ban on toxic flame retardants which passed the Senate but still must pass the House; several criminal justice reform bills; and an important omnibus energy bill just released from the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy and flagged by Speaker DeLeo as a priority for this legislative session.

Tell LWVMA About Your Board Changes
Please let the LWVMA office know the names of your newly-elected board or steering committee once you've held your annual meeting this spring. We want to make sure everyone is added to the League Leader Directory and is put on the distribution list for LWVMA communications to local leaders. Send your information to Brynne Gorman.
A reminder also to update the national database whenever new members join your League during the year. Otherwise they will not start receiving communications from LWVUS until you do your end-of-year national database update in January. Please send that contact information to Brynne at the LWVMA office as well so your new members receive Action Alerts and the Mass. League Voter and can become active participants in League activities.
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. 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 study materials and consensus questions to local Leagues by October 1. Please distribute 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.

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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