Flyer 4th district cong forum
Blue Bird Day, July 19:
On July 19, 1915, “Suffrage Blue Bird Day,” approximately 100,000 colorful, tin 12” x 4” Blue Birds were pinned up around the state in an effort to promote passage of an upcoming Nov. 2, 1915 referendum that would have expanded the vote (federal, state and local elections) to women. Unfortunately, the Massachusetts referendum failed, and Massachusetts women did not gain the vote until the 19th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution was ratified in 1920.
Let’s plaster social media with Blue Birds and remember the suffragists! This is a great activity for all ages. Check Suffrage100MA website for info on how you can get involved, including how to draw a Blue Bird.
Over 1,100 delegates across America joined the virtual convention and stayed through the inevitable Zoom challenges to discuss, debate, and vote. We welcomed in a new board, led by incoming president, Dr. Deborah Turner, of the Des Moines Metropolitan League. Dr. Turner has served on the Finance committee, Governance Committee, and chaired the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee, in addition to chairing the Board of Trustees of the League of Women Voters Education Fund. The new LWVUS Board.
Finances: the LWVUS is in good shape with 6 months of operating expenses in reserves. Per Member Payments was held at $32. There was a lengthy discussion on whether or not to admit students for free, what the definition of a student should be and whether this discriminates against young people who go straight into the workforce or an apprenticeship. They retained the definition of student, full time or part time at an accredited institution, which could be a trade school. The local League does not pay PMP for students, but the local League can set dues at any level.
Program Motions Adopted:
- A non-recommended item, the abolition of the electoral college by Constitutional amendment as a LWVUS action focus for the 2020-2022 biennium. The motion PASSED on 681 yay, 458 nay votes (There was a debate that this undermined current LWVUS action for the National Popular Vote.)
- Concurrence on the Transfer of Federal Public Land. The motion PASSED on 885 yay, 207 nay votes (There was debate that LWVUS should focus on voting issues)
- Voter Representation/Electoral Systems Concurrence to support electoral systems at each level of government that encourage participation, are verifiable and auditable and enhance representation for all voters be adopted. The motion PASSED on 1064 yay, 79 nay votes
- To retain all current LWVUS positions in the areas of representative government, international relations, natural resources and social policy. The motion PASSED on 1157 yay, 25 nay votes
- The proposed LWVUS program for 2020-2022 Campaign for Making Democracy Work®: ensuring a free, fair and accessible electoral system for all eligible voters by focusing on Voting Rights, Improving Elections and advocacy for the National Popular Vote Compact, Campaign Finance/Money in Politics and Redistricting and to continue to work on urgent issues: Climate Change, the Equal Rights Amendment, Health Care, Gun Safety, Abolition of the Electoral College and Immigration. The motion PASSED on 1139 yay, 30 nay votes
- We resolve that the LWVUS reaffirms our commitment to Immigration reform, for efficient, expeditious immigrant entry into the United States. The League stands in solidarity with immigrants and our immigrant rights community partners. Congress must take immediate action to pass common sense, fair immigration policies that end the crisis at our borders, end the separation of families, ensure their health and safety, and provide a clear path to citizenship, including DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) young people. The motion PASSED on 1,092 yay, 12 nay votes
- We Resolve First, That the League advocates against systemic racism in the justice system and, at a minimum, for preventing excessive force and brutality by law enforcement. We also call for prompt actions by all League members to advocate within every level of government to eradicate systemic racism, and the harm that it causes; We Resolve Second, That the League help our elected officials and all Americans recognize these truths to be self-evident; that Black, Indigenous and all people of color (BIPOC) deserve equal protection under the law; and that we demand solutions for the terrible wrongs done, so that regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, disability, and gender identity or sexual orientation we may truly become a nation “indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”. The motion PASSED on 1094 yay, 32 nay votes
- Resolved, that the LWVUS calls for an immediate, wide-scale, mobilization by the United States, to restore, protect and fund an ecologically sustainable environment and climate, based on an interrelated approach that is environmentally sound, science based, just and equitable, dedicated to adequately addressing the scale and speed of the global climate change emergency. The motion PASSED on 1,091 yay, 21 nay votes
Resolutions Committee Report The resolutions committee was presented with five resolutions. They ruled that two of them did not fit the criteria for resolutions. We passed the other three – see above.
Contributed by LWV Newton delegates Bonnie Carter and Lucia Dolan
Dear LWV Members,
I’m sure you have watched the events of the last week with as much sadness as I have. Black people across this country continue to be the target of police violence. It is not enough to stand in solidarity with the Black community. We must take action to deconstruct systemic racism everywhere. We honor George Floyd’s life by committing to deepening our anti-racism work throughout the League. Today LWVUS issued the following statement:
The League of Women Voters grieves the murders of George Floyd and the countless other Black lives that have been tragically taken at the hands of rogue law enforcement officers who are rarely held fully accountable for their actions.
We also mourn those who have lost their lives or been harmed, mentally or physically, as a result of America’s pervasive culture of anti-blackness. The systems of oppression that have perpetuated the myth of white supremacy in our country must be dismantled if we are ever to become the nation we pledge to be — indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
As an organization whose mission is to empower voters and defend democracy, we stand in solidarity with all Black communities. The League shall do so not only by speaking out against racism in all forms, but by doing the work required of us to be anti-racist. We are committed to listening to and amplifying Black voices, and educating ourselves and our children on the historic and ongoing systemic racism that plagues this country. The League acknowledges, painfully, that America is a nation founded on racism. Therefore, all who live in this country must contribute to and participate in organizations actively working to achieve full liberation and inclusive freedom. We must all advocate for anti-racist policies at every level of government.
We join the League of Women Voters of Minnesota in calling on law enforcement officials to provide transparency during this investigation, and to seek justice for George Floyd, his family, and his community.
Finally, we echo the call of our partners at the NAACP: we must all vote in November – the road to change lies at the ballot box. We commend the Minnesota, Minneapolis, and St. Paul Leagues for their leadership in their communities at this trying time and the national office stands with you. You can read the Minnesota League statement here.
We commend the Minnesota, Minneapolis, and St. Paul Leagues for their leadership in their communities at this trying time and the national office stands with you. You can read the Minnesota League statement here.
In these trying times, the League’s commitment to democracy requires us to speak out against racism and violence. I hope you will join me in this commitment by doing the work required of us to be an anti-racist organization.
Dear LWVN Members,
The League has an opportunity to make face masks for Good Shepherd Community Care and the Newton Food Pantry. For those who are interested, we will provide pre-cut rectangles and elastic. All you need to do is sew! I recently made about 25. Trust me when I say that it is super easy.
Please join in this important effort by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and arrangements will be made to get the materials to you.
Thank you to all who can help with this important initiative.