The House of Representatives recently named members to the Joint Committee on Election Laws. There are a lot of new faces — do you see your State Senator or Representative’s name? In the coming week voting bills will be assigned to this committee and in the coming months these bills will have hearings. As those hearings are scheduled we’ll keep you posted. Hearings are a great opportunity to come out to the State House to show support. You can also send a quick email or make a call to your legislator highlighting the importance of the bills.
You might have seen in the news that 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act — and MassVOTE’s Executive Director, Cheryl Clyburn Crawford, has been making the rounds. She’s had an opportunity to participate in several panel discussions as well and provide remarks on the topic. Most recently she the chance to keynote at UMass Boston’s Black History Month Celebration. This anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come on voting rights in the US and also what work still needs to be done. Thank you for standing with MassVOTE as we continue the fight for voter justice.
Democracy for Nonprofits
In February, MassVOTE invited 10 community-based organizations to apply for our Civic Engagement Initiative “emerging grantee” program. MassVOTE will provide technical assistance for the groups while they are implementing their issue advocacy campaigns over the next few months. Technical assistance includes helping to shape their messages, organize strategies and tactics, while also providing a space to share what they are learning.
We have begun the planning of Phase Two of the Boston 500 program for 2015. The Boston’s city elections this fall are quickly approaching. We are pleased the Garrison Trotter Neighborhood Association in Roxbury/Dorchester has endorsed the B500 program and association members are signing on as participants to help turn their friends, family, and neighbors out to vote this year.
Young Civic Leaders
With February being Black History Month the Young Civic Leaders carved out time last month to reflect and discuss leading figures in African-American history. They also kicked off planning for their major projects this year including their Annual Civies Awards (where they honor the community engagement work of their youth peers); pre-registration implementation planning; and a youth-focused fundraiser to raise funds supporting the upcoming pre-registration campaign.
A Year in Review
October/Early November Round-Up