The following are the remarks given by LWVN president Marcia Johnson at our 2022 Annual Meeting which was held virtually on June 12, 2022:
As they say in show business…TAKE III. Yes, this is our third virtual annual meeting. By now we all are getting pretty comfortable with the technology, but I still want to give a shout-out to Theresa Fitzpatrick and Lisa Mirable who as our technical and event planning team make our meetings, such as this, run smoother than they might otherwise. As much as we wanted to have our meeting in-person and are disappointed, the Board felt it was too risky given the increasing Covid Omicron numbers.
As we reflect on this past year, which I think we all had hoped would be calmer, healthier, and productive, we now find that once again, we have Covid hanging over our heads and hearts. Our country is divided more than ever, and now our economy is shaky at best, especially for those with middle and low incomes. To cap it off, there is a war…in Ukraine and on democracy.
So, what kind of impact has this had on League priorities, let’s take a look:
- During this year, we saw the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021 and the Freedom to Vote Act fail to pass the Senate.
- Here in Massachusetts, The Votes Act has passed both the Senate and House. Currently it is in a conference committee. The major sticking point is election day registration.
- Most recently there was the SCOTUS leak about Roe V. Wade most likely being over-turned. Now this is not surprising, but it was a gut punch to women.
- The Senate was unable to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act.
- Here in Massachusetts, abortion is legal for up to and in some cases beyond 24 weeks under the ROE Act, which was passed in December 2020.
- And now with two mass killings, there is slim hope for gun control in the US Senate.
In Massachusetts we are fortunate that our state government protects our civil and human rights more so than at the national level. So as League members it is important that we all pay attention to what is happening, and our MARCOM team is committed to keeping you informed as to what the state and national Leagues are doing to regarding civil and human rights…..remembering that Democracy is not a spectator sport.
Let’s now turn back to Newton and what the League has been doing to address issues and opportunities right here at home. This year, this report is taking a different approach and listing a program area and what topic meetings, advocacy, and League Presents were done to educate and influence city leadership and community members at-large. I will not go through everything, as you can read the reports that begin on page 8 but rather will highlight a few of our priorities: Read more →