It's time to TAKE ACTION! Make plans to join us at our daytime action meeting this Friday March 8 or the evening one on Monday, March 11. Read on for details of these and other activities and for an update from our Ranked Choice Voting champion.
Currently, families in Massachusetts who have a child while receiving welfare benefits do not receive increased benefits when that child is born. This denies state assistance to 8,700 children. Lift the Cap on Kids removes this policy. Reproductive freedom means having the right to choose if, when and how to have children and the right to have the number of children you want.
Wednesday, March 6:
Indivisible MA Statewide Call 8:00 - 9:00 pm
Representative Joe Kennedy (CD-4) will kick-off the call with an update on what’s happening in the House, including HR1. Following Representative Kennedy, there'll be a discussion of other topics of interest to MA Indivisible groups. You need to register in advance for this call. After registering, you'll receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the call.
Friday, March 8:
10:00 - 11:30 am
Roasted Granola @artlounge in Arlington
Join us for a lively presentation on Ranked Choice Voting by Jim Henderson, Board member of Voter Choice Massachusetts, a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to educating the Massachusetts public about Ranked Choice Voting. Light refreshments will be served. Park at the Stone Church across the street.
Monday, March 11:
Monthly Update & Action Meeting
7:00 - 8:30 pm
Bring your phone, laptop, or tablet to participate in an Environmental Voter Project texting campaign. Deborah Shah from EVP will be with us to present the issue, guide us through a tutorial, and answer questions. Their current texting project is for Gwinnett County, Georgia and they will soon be texting for several mayoral races in Florida.
We'll also hear an update from Bob, our champion for Ranked Choice Voting, and you can write postcards for Sister District MA/RI's voter engagement campaign and/or Postcards to Voters campaign for the Supreme Court seat in Wisconsin.
Postcard for the
Wisconsin State Supreme Court Election
The Wisconsin Judicial Election on April 2 represents an opportunity to elect a fair and independent judge to the conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court. Judge Lisa Neubauer will face off against Scott Walker’s former Chief Legal Counsel, Brian Hagedorn, who supported the many anti-democratic measures taken by the Walker administration, including the gerrymandered maps drawn in 2011. A liberal justice is retiring this year, leaving her seat open. If Judge Neubauer wins this seat, it will keep the court within reach for the next Supreme Court vacancy next year—when progressives may be able to take back a 4-3 liberal majority in time for redistricting.
Tuesday, March 26:
MI Book Club Meeting Lexington Community Center
7:15 - 8:45 pm
Join us to discuss One Person, No Vote by Carol Anderson, a timely study of voter suppression since the 2013 Supreme Court decision that gutted the Voting Rights Act. New members are always welcome and we provide a summary of the book for those who haven't had a chance to read it yet. Use this link to RSVP or to recommend other books to read. See the MI Book Club page for information on the books we’ve already discussed.
Learn more about Ranked Choice Voting
Several bills have been filed in the Massachusetts legislature to allow Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) for state or local elections. Bob, our RCV champion, explains what RCV is and how to find out if your state legislators support these bills:
Ranked Choice Voting, sometimes called Instant Runoff voting, is a system where you can vote for not only your first choice but also your second, third, or fourth choice etc. For example, if there are five candidates for an office, you can choose your first through fifth choices. If your first choice finishes last, your vote is transferred to your second choice. This process continues until someone has a majority of the vote. This amusing video shows how it works.
RCV can also be used when there are multiple winners for an office (such as the representatives for Lexington’s Town Meeting), but it's a little more complicated. See this video for an explanation. Seems confusing right? It is for the counting, but simple for the voters since the counting can all be automated.
RCV has been used for years in Cambridge and has recently been adopted in other cities such as San Francisco. It was used for the first time in a federal election in Maine last year and made a difference. Democrat Jared Golden won the seat in Maine's 1st congressional district instead of Republican Bruce Poliquin even though Poliquin received more votes, but not a majority, in the initial round. RCV is not a partisan issue, however, because in a different election it could help a Republican win. The point of RCV is that it is more democratic because the winner will have the support of a majority of voters.
Where do things stand in Massachusetts? There are two different bills in the Legislature: S.414 and H.719 would establish RCV in State and Federal Elections, excluding the Presidential election, while S.420 and H.635 would make it easier for cities and towns to adopt RCV for local elections. Click on the bill numbers to see if your representative is a co-sponsor or check out Voter Choice MA's Take Action page for details on the bills and maps showing the level of legislative support across the state.
Hooray for MI Champions!
We're grateful to have so many members agree to be champions for these important issues. Thank you! Keep reading this Muster, our website, and the appropriate channels in our MI Slack for updates on these issues and ways you can get involved.
Voting Rights: Fighting Voter Suppression and Gerrymandering - Melanie
2020 Election Strategy - Marisa
Reproductive Justice: MA's Roe Act, Healthy Youth Act, and LGBTQ+ sex ed. - Karyn
Green New Deal - Louis
MA Environmental Legislation: MA's bills on carbon pricing, 100% renewable energy, and environmental justice - Bob K.
Safe Communities Act - Sarah
MA's presidential tax transparency bill - Marci
Ranked Choice Voting - Bob A.
Criminal Justice Reform in MA - Freda
Gun Violence Prevention - Rina
If you're passionate about an issue and would like to help our members stay informed and take action, let us know!
The Muster is coming to your inbox on a biweekly schedule until later this spring. Meanwhile, keep checking theMI Calendar on our website for the most current line-up
of events and opportunities.