CALENDAR
Friday, Dec. 16
LWVMA/LESF Board Meeting, North Hill, Needham, from 10:45 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 23
Free student trial membership enrollment deadline
Monday, Jan. 9
Deadline to apply for Daniel Scharfman Citizen Ed Grant
Tuesday, Jan. 15
Phonathon concludes
Tuesday, Jan. 31
Sex Education Bill Lobby Day, 9:30 a.m., The State House
Tuesday, Jan. 31
Deadline to update League roster in LWVUS database
Wednesday, Feb. 1
Student Video Contest Kick Off
Wednesday, Feb. 1
Deadline to submit charter school study consensus reports
Friday, Feb. 10
Deadline to submit state program planning recommendation forms
Friday, April 28 - Saturday April 29
LWVMA Convention, Sheraton Hotel, Framingham
Have a wonderful holiday season  
and our best for the New Year!

The LWVMA Board and Staff 
HAPPENING NOW
Lights! Camera! Take Action!
  
Get ready--the fourth annual LWVMA high school video contest kicks off in February! This year's theme is "Making Democracy Work in My Community." Students will be invited to submit two-minute videos highlighting citizen-led efforts to nurture democracy at the local level. We will publicize the winning videos via social and traditional media and use the videos to inspire young people to take action where they live, to encourage them to use their voices to effect change, and to be active participants in the democratic process. 

Please help spread the word. In the past, local Leagues have played a key role in publicizing the contest in their communities. Stay tuned--we will send out more information in January, including a toolkit with ideas to help promote the contest.
Regional Field Service Meetings Coming Up
 
The LWVMA Field Service program provides opportunities for local League leaders to meet, share, and plan within defined geographical areas. The goal of the program is to support local League leaders, strengthen local Leagues and encourage regional collaboration.

Winter Field Service meetings:
  • Metro West: Saturday, Jan. 14, 10:15 a.m.-1 p.m., NewTV, Newton. Contact Sharyn Roberts
  • West: Saturday, Jan. 14 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m., Mocha Maya's, Shelburne Falls. Contact Nancy Polan
  • Metro/South: Saturday, Feb. 11, 10:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Westwood Library. Contact Karen Price
  • Metro Northwest, Sunday, Jan. 29, 1 p.m., location to be determined. Contact Lora Goldenberg
  • Merrimack Valley/North Shore: Tuesday, Jan. 24, 8:30-10:30 a.m. Friendly's in Peabody. Contact Karen Price
  • South Shore, Cape Cod, and MV: Tuesday, Jan. 10, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., private home in Falmouth. Contact Phyllis Walsh.
  • Central: To be determined. Contact Karen Price.
For questions, please contact Field Service Director Karen Price.
For further information on the Field Service website click here.
Free Trial Student Memberships
 
Looking for a great holiday gift for a student? Give
the gift of civic engagement! A six-month League Member-at-Large trial membership is now FREE for students until Dec. 23. After six months, LWVMA will contact the student to see if she/he would like to officially join for one year at the student rate of $25. If there is a local League in the student's town, the student's contact information will be sent to the local League's membership chair. 
 
To sign a student up now, click here. If you have any questions, please contact Brynne Gorman.
LWVMA Convention -- in Just 4+ Months 
 
Have you got April 28 and 29 on your calendar yet for LWVMA Convention 2017 at the Framingham Sheraton? If not, do it today! Remember, this is the time when local League delegates gather to hear distinguished speakers, approve program for the next biennium, elect a new board of directors, approve the budget, and network with leaders from across the state.

Watch for more details as we finalize featured speakers and provide opportunities for local Leagues to participate. For now, make plans to have your League well-represented at LWVMA Convention 2017. It will be a blast!
League Gifts for the Holidays
 
LWVMA offers a wide variety of League logo items, just in time for holiday gift-giving or as thanks for speakers at your events. In addition to favorites like the rhinestone LWV and VOTE pins, you'll find shirts, tote bags, mugs, water bottles, note cards and other items. Perfect for the League members on your list! Start your holiday shopping here.
ADVOCACY 
2017 Day on the Hill Moving to Fall 
  
Day on the Hill, LWVMA's annual lobby day at the State House, will be shifted from its usual spring date to the fall for 2017. The Gardner Auditorium in the State House is undergoing renovation and is not available when we planned to meet, nor were other State House locations.

In the fall, we will have a comprehensive list of the bills LWVMA will be following in the two-year legislative session that begins in January, those bills will have been assigned to joint committees, and legislators will be receptive to our efforts on behalf of those bills.

We will be planning a strong program as part of Day on the Hill, so encourage your League's members to attend.

In the meantime, your League can meet with your Senator and Representative in your community and advocate for the bills we are backing. As the Legislative Action Committee reviews the bills that will be filed in January (some 6,000 bills are expected to be filed!) and selects the ones we will follow, information on those bills will be posted on the LWVMA website.

You can find suggestions for meeting with your legislators
here.
Working with Represent.Us

Several local Leagues have asked about recent requests from Represent.Us asking Leagues to sponsor non-binding resolutions at town meetings calling for campaign finance reform. Represent.Us is a national, non-partisan organization that many Leagues around the country have worked with.

Represent.Us is working to build support in Massachusetts for state legislation to close loopholes in Massachusetts campaign finance regulations. It is also working to have the American Anti-Corruption Act, a model for possible legislation, introduced in Congress. To do that, the organization is asking if local Leagues would sponsor a resolution at town meetings in support of such legislation.

Local Leagues are welcome to take on this effort if they wish to do so. LWVMA would encourage Leagues introducing such resolutions to modify the wording from Represent.Us to indicate the resolution is a petition from the League of Women Voters of that town. The state League will act on campaign finance reform legislation when it is introduced in the legislature.

You can learn more about Represent.Us here, see a sample resolution here, and get information on the Massachusetts effort specifically here and by emailing the Boston chapter. For more information on the American Anti-Corruption Act, visit their website.   
Lobby Day for Sex Education Bill
 
Feel the need to Do Something? As the new session of the legislature begins in January, LWVMA is joining 30 other advocacy groups for a Sexual Health Lobby Day Tuesday, Jan. 31, at the State House, starting at 9:30 a.m. It's more important than ever that Massachusetts legislators take action to protect and increase access to birth control, comprehensive sex education, and confidential health care.
 
Among the target legislation is a bill for comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education, a bill we have been working to have passed for years. It made it through the Senate last session; it's time to get this done.
 
To RSVP for Sexual health Lobby Day, click here. Watch for an Action Alert with details closer to Jan. 31.
ELECTIONS & VOTING
Report on Use of VOTE411 
 
For the first time this year, LWVMA was able to offer VOTE411.org to voters throughout the state for our Presidential primary in March, state primary in September, and general election in November. Many local Leagues also offered a VOTE411.org Voters' Guide for spring municipal elections, and LWVMA sponsored a Voters' Guide in Framingham, our largest town in Massachusetts, during its spring election.

Our Voters' Guides were accessed by nearly 40,000 voters in 330 of the Commonwealth's 351 municipalities throughout the year. The largest number of users came from Boston, Cambridge, and Framingham, but the list below shows that voters throughout the state tapped into this great resource. For the general election, the participation among candidates was not as great as we had hoped, but the final Voters' Guide included complete responses to questions from 141 candidates for statewide offices as well as pros and cons for the four ballot questions. Read more...
Early Voting Proves Popular 
 
The Secretary of State's office has posted information about Early Voting statistics. 
THE TO-DO LIST 
Upcoming Deadlines
 
Please keep these League deadlines in mind:

January 9: Applications for Daniel Scharfman Citizen Education grants for local Leagues are due. For information, click here .
February 1: Charter school study consensus reports due to
consensus@lwvma.org. Information and response form are here.
February 10: State program planning recommendations due to program@lwvma.org. Program planning guide and response form are here.
Time to Update Your Roster
 
Update your Roster
You can update your roster in the LWVUS membership database regularly from now until Jan. 31, 2017, to ensure correct per-member-payment billing for FY2017-18. Always include membership expiration dates. Have questions or need help? A user manual can be accessed
here or contact Brynne Gorman 
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.

133 Portland Street Boston, MA 02114 | 617-523-2999
 lwvma@lwvma.org | www.lwvma.org
STAY CONNECTED: