Thursday, Aug. 18
VOTE411 Primary Election Voters' Guide available online
Tuesday, Aug. 30
Local League Survey Responses Due
Thursday, Sept. 8Massachusetts State Primary
Saturday, Sept. 17
League Leader Lunch, Hingham Community Center, 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 27
National Voter Registration Day
Welcome New League Leaders!
Local League leaders play a very important role in our three-tiered organization. Not only do you help manage your own League, but you also act as liaisons to the state League and as connectors to other local Leagues.

LWVMA uses two main methods to communicate with League leaders and to help you communicate with each other-a monthly newsletter and a Google group. 

First, as a League leader, you will receive this e-newsletter, the League Leader Update, in your inbox once a month. This newsletter will provide you with vital information to help run your League, news about the state League's advocacy and voter service work, updates about other state League activities and events, and important information from LWVUS.

Second, you have been enrolled in the League leaders Google group, a way to communicate with other League leaders across the state. This group was created by LWVMA so that League leaders can share local League successes, events, problems, and other points of interest with each other. Discussion is encouraged, so feel free to send a question or raise a topic that will be relevant to other League leaders. No one should hesitate to send a message to the group with a reminder or announcement that you think the group as a whole would be interested in. Please observe basic rules of etiquette and help contribute to a healthy, productive atmosphere in the group. If you would like to unsubscribe or if someone else from your League would like to join the group, please email Brynne Gorman.

Network with Fellow Leaders at Sept. 17 Lunch
Kick off the new League year at the League Leader Lunch Saturday, Sept. 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hingham Community Center in Hingham.

League Leader Lunch is the traditional start of League activities for the year. Newly-elected and returning League leaders come together to learn about exciting upcoming activities, to share ideas and challenges that local Leagues face, and to make important connections with other Leagues. It's a "don't miss" event.

Some of the topics that we'll be covering:
  • Ballot Questions: presenting pros and cons to the public
  • Charter School Study: organizing and running consensus meetings
  • Election 2016: sharing your plans and ideas
  • League Basics: resources to help run your local League
Hosted by the LWVMA Board of Directors and LWV Hingham, the event is our way of saying "Thank You" for the important work you do to further our mission. There is no charge for this event and no limit to the number who can attend from your League.

Please RSVP by Sept. 10. Download an event flyer here.
LWVMA Positions on Ballot Questions
There will be four questions on the statewide ballot Nov. 8. LWVMA is taking a stand on only one of them, opposing the additional slots parlor. The League does not have positions on the issues in the other three ballot questions, on charter school expansion, farm animal containment practices and legalization of marijuana.

Our decisions on these questions are based on policy positions taken after study of issues at the state and national levels and consensus by League members.

Here are the questions, in the order they will appear on the ballot, and the League's stand on each. Read more...
VOTE411 Primary Voters' Guide Coming This Week
Our statewide Voters' Guide for the primary election Thursday, Sept. 8, will be available Aug. 18 on Primary candidates have responded to our invitation with basic background information and answered questions. The Voters' Guide for the primary presents information on candidates who are facing an opponent in the following races: U.S. Congressional Representative, State Senator, State Representative, Governor's Council, Sheriff, and a few scattered county offices. 

While local Leagues will not have to prepare Voters' Guides for your towns, we would welcome your help in any of the following ways:
  • Send a Letter to the Editor of your local newspaper publicizing
  • Put the VOTE411 widget on your League website.
  • Submit questions for races in your area for the general election; deadline for questions for the General Election Voters' Guide is Monday, Sept. 5.
Please let Mary Ann Ashton know if you have any questions about, or want to share other ideas about getting out the word about the online voters' guide.
National Voter Registration Day is Sept. 27. What's Your Plan?

National Voter Registration Day
On Tuesday, Sept. 27, organizations from all over the country will hold National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) events. This single day of efforts will create pervasive awareness of voter registration opportunities - and is the perfect opportunity for your League to hold a registration event. If you are 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 pictures with us!
Reminder to Coordinate Regional Candidate Forums
If you are planning a Candidate Forum this fall, please consider joining with other local Leagues who are part of a candidate's district. A regional candidate forum will provide a broader audience and a more vibrant forum. Sharing the workload means more hands to help with publicity, logistics, and questions. There are materials on the LWVMA website in the
Voter Service Toolkit which can answer your questions and get you started, including tools for debates and forums, and policies about candidate forums.

Please send information about your forums to Brynne Gorman so that we can keep an ongoing calendar of election events on the LWVMA website. It's also helpful to promote your events on to help spread the word to more voters in your community. To do that, send the following information to Megan Brown: event title, offices covered, date, time, location (venue name and address) and any other information voters might need so we can help secure additional visibility for your efforts!
Teens Can Pre-register to Vote
LWV Sudbury HS Voter Registration
The teen pre-registration law passed in 2014 went into effect Aug. 1. People 16 and 17 years old can now submit a voter registration form to their local election official, who will place their name on the list of pre-registrants. They will receive a pre-registration notice by mail, confirming receipt of the application. Pre-registration may be done online, by mail, or in person at any voter registration location. When the person turns 18, the local election official will send confirmation that the person has been moved from the list of pre-registrants to the list of registered voters.

When you do voter registration drives, you can now pre-register those teens, but make sure they understand they cannot vote until they turn 18. Please be sure you use the new voter registration forms, which note that people can register when they are 16. Use the same form to register teens and people over 18. Discard any old forms you may have. Check this link to see what the new form looks like.
How to talk about Clinton's candidacy
During this election cycle, we can expect that more than one of us will be approached by a reporter who will want to know what the League of Women Voters thinks about how women will vote or how we react to a woman as a candidate for a major party.

At the LWVUS Convention in June, there was a discussion about this topic, and LWVUS has posted some guidance and talking points about how League leaders should respond if a reporter asks these questions.

Above all else, it is important to emphasize what the League means when we say we are "non-partisan": we take positions on issues, not candidates. We do not endorse, support, or oppose candidates or political parties.
Leagues Need to Update Bylaws
Bylaw Changes
During the 2016 LWVUS Convention, delegates approved amendments to Article III, Section 2 of the bylaws to change the description of Voting Members from "Citizens at least 18 years of age" to "Persons at least 16 years of age":

Article III, Section 2. Types of Membership.
A. Voting Members. Persons at least 16 years of age who join the League shall be voting members of local Leagues, state Leagues, and of the LWVUS; (1) those who live within an area of a local League may join that League or any other local League; (2) those who reside outside the area of any local League may join a local League or shall be state members-at- large; (3) those who have been members of the League for 50 years or more shall be life members excused from
the payment of dues.
B. Associate Members. All others who join the League shall be associate members.

LWVUS policy requires consistency in the first three articles of the bylaws of all Leagues (state and local) with the LWVUS bylaws. Each League, therefore, is required to amend its bylaws to conform to the LWVUS change.

Have your board review and approve the changes In Article III, Section 2, Types of Membership at your next board meeting. Because this is a conforming amendment, it is not necessary to bring this issue to all members for a vote of approval.
This Year's Scharfman Grant Deadlines
The four deadlines this year for local Leagues to apply for Daniel Scharfman Citizen Education Grants are Oct. 17, Jan. 9, April 17 and June 12. The grant program offers funds to help Leagues carry out events and projects in citizen education and voter service. Information on the grant program requirements and an application are available here. If you have questions, please contact Sue Abramsgrant committee chair.
Don't Forget to Fill Out the Local League Survey!
We need your response to the local League survey emailed July 7 by
Aug. 30.

Please designate one person in your League to fill out both parts of this survey: the names and contact information for your 2016-2017 board or steering committee, and information about your League's activities in the past fiscal year (July 2015 to June 2016) for inclusion in our annual report.

You can find the survey here and either print it out or fill it out online.
Make Plans to Do Charter School Study
We strongly encourage all local Leagues to participate in the state charter school 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.
Accessing LWVUS Member Resources
LWVUS has made it easier for you to access information on its website. All resources for members and Leagues are now located on the LWVUS "League Management Site" at Instructions on how to use the site effectively can be found here.  
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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