LWVMA Info on Saturday’s March Ror Our Lives

The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts salutes and stands with the student organizers of March For Our Lives (MFOL) events across Massachusetts on March 24.  We join them in their call to take action on gun violence by passing commonsense gun laws.

We are also inspired by the response of our members to MFOL. We know that some Massachusetts League members will be taking part in events in their communities on March 24, while others are planning to attend MFOL Boston

To help those planning to attend MFOL Boston, here is the most recent information that we have about the event:

  • The MFOL Boston event will begin with a march from Madison Park High School (75 Malcolm X Blvd, Boston) to the Boston Common at 11 a.m.  The march route is approximately 2.5 miles.
  • Boston Common opens to the public at 12 p.m.
  • The rally on the Common will begin at 2 p.m.
  • If you would like to meet up with other League members who are going directly to the Common, please meet at 1:30 p.m. at the “Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Regiment” sculpture on Beacon Street, opposite the General Hooker entrance to the State House. Wear League buttons or clothing to recognize each other.
  • For the most up-to-date information, go to the MFOL Boston Facebook.

Many of you have also expressed interest in helping to register voters at MFOL Boston on March 24.  While LWVMA has teamed up with the students to offer them advice and expertise as they plan for voter registration on the Common, the students themselves are running the registration activities in Boston.

If you are interested in registering or pre-registering voters on the Common at MFOL Boston, you can sign up here, and the students will let you know if you have been selected to participate and provide additional details.

The students are also hosting an optional information session this Wednesday, March 21st from 5:30-7:30 at 26 West St. in downtown Boston.  Those new to voter registration drives are particularly encouraged to attend.

We will continue to update our members about the MFOL Boston event (including the information session Wednesday) as new information becomes available.

Thank you again for taking action to prevent gun violence.

Questions?  Please email lwvma@lwvma.org or call 617-523-2999.

Wondering what you can do to support gun control? Here are some ideas!

This information came from LWV of Massachusetts.  Please note that volunteers are needed to register voters at the upcoming march on March 24th (see below).

  • Educate yourself and community members about the laws that Massachusetts has already enacted.  Massachusetts has already enacted laws that require a permit to purchase, require an owner license, require a carry permit for handguns, prohibit assault weapons, restrict magazine capacity, and require background checks for private sales.  Additional resources for understanding the current laws can be found here.  Marblehead League members put together a resource guide to educate themselves about the issue, and they’ve shared it with the rest of us.  It was completed in December, so there is more news and links that could be added, but it’s a great place for other Leagues to begin. LWVMA is a member of the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, and there are resources on the coalition’s website
  • Offer to register students to vote during one of the school walkouts on March 14 at 10 a.m. (#NationalSchoolWalkout). You can find out if schools in your area are participating here. Leagues that are interested in offering voter registration should contact the students organizing and the school administration first; in most instances, this walkout will be a very brief 17-minute demonstration, so the time may not work for registration on this particular day. Perhaps you can offer another opportunity to register students, leveraging their engagement around this issue. The LWVMA office has postcards on how to register to vote online and on pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds, which you can make available to schools. If you would like to request postcards for the March 14 event, please contact Brynne Gorman by Monday, March 5.

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From the Northampton LWV: Act in Opposition to Oil and Gas Drilling along our Coastlines by March 9

The following information was received from the Northampton, MA League of Women Voters:

Let’s all respond to the repeated action alerts from LWVUS to comment on expansion of oil and gas drilling along U.S. coasts.  LWVUS has provided excellent resources for action at www.lwv.org including a letter co-signed by LWVUS to Secretary Zinke, background and talking points, and a powerful letter to Zinke from the Lower Caper Fear, North Carolina LWV at bettergov.nc.lwvnet.org/files/position_on_off_shore_drilling.pdf .           

We must act quickly. The public comment period to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) ends March 9.  See link below. 

Our MA legislators are leading the way in voicing opposition to this plan. Gov. Baker co-signed a bipartisan gubernatorial letter opposing drilling on the Atlantic coast.  On Feb. 28th Senator Ed Markey ad Congressman Seth Moulton, Gov. Charlie Baker, and the entire Massachusetts Congressional Delegation (full House and Senate) sent a letter to Secretary Zinke https://www.markey.senate.gov/news/press-releases/markey-and-moulton-lead-entire-massachusetts-delegation-with-governor-baker-in-calling-for-an-end-to-offshore-drilling-proposal

 This is an opportunity for the League to create a groundswell of support.

Our strength rests on the public visibility of our actions.

Our strength rests on the actions taken by each one of us.

 We call on you to submit online comments to the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) at: https://www.regulations.gov/BOEM-2017-0074 docket is ‘National Outer Continental Shelf Program.

Webinar from LWVMA: “Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living”

LWVMA Climate and Energy Solutions Series Webinar with John Rogers, Union of Concerned Scientists

WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 27, 4 p.m. 

WHERE: Attend the forum without leaving your home!

How can each of us live Cooler and Smarter? Can our own lifestyle choices really make an impact on climate change? While the routine decisions that shape our days-what to have for dinner, where to shop, how to get to work-may seem small, collectively they have a big effect on global warming. But which changes in our lifestyles might make the biggest difference to the climate? 

Join us for a discussion with John Rogers, senior energy analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists, and co-author of Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living. He will present science-based guidance on the most effective ways to cut your own emissions by 20% or more, and explain why your individual contribution is a vital part of addressing one of society’s greatest threats.

Register in advance for this webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.  

Host: LWVMA Environmental Action and Advocacy Steering Committee

Support for webinars: New England Grassroots Environment Fund

So what are the League’s positions on gun control?

This statement below is from the national League website.  For a history of the League’s study and action on gun control, click here: LWVUS on Gun Control

The League’s Position

Statement of Position on Gun Control, as Adopted by 1990 Convention and amended by the 1994 and 1998 Conventions:

The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that the proliferation of handguns and semi-automatic assault weapons in the United States is a major health and safety threat to its citizens. The League supports strong federal measures to limit the accessibility and regulate the ownership of these weapons by private citizens. The League supports regulating firearms for consumer safety.

The League supports licensing procedures for gun ownership by private citizens to include a waiting period for background checks, personal identity verification, gun safety education and annual license renewal. The license fee should be adequate to bear the cost of education and verification.

The League supports a ban on “Saturday night specials,” enforcement of strict penalties for the improper possession of and crimes committed with handguns and assault weapons, and allocation of resources to better regulate and monitor gun dealers.

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