A Letter from Mass NOW’s President
Dear Mass NOW Community,
With the legislative session in Massachusetts slated to wrap up in just two weeks, advocates are doubling down on efforts to advance policies that protect our communities. Here are the latest developments on a number of state policies and proposals that Mass NOW is fighting for:
- Police Accountability: On Tuesday, the Massachusetts Senate passed a police reform and racial justice omnibus bill. The bill includes important provisions that would limit qualified immunity when officers violate a person’s civil rights, press pause on government use of face surveillance technology, and set limits on use of force. Now, we need the Massachusetts House to act quickly before the legislative session ends. Join the ACLU of Massachusetts and email your state representative in support of increasing police accountability.
- Immigrant Rights: The Safe Communities Act, an important bill to protect immigrant rights, advanced out of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security. Join the MIRA Coalition and email your lawmakers today in support of the Safe Communities Act.
- Maternal Equity: The Massachusetts COVID-19 Maternal Equity Coalition, which Mass NOW is a proud member of, released a set of policy recommendations for how to improve maternal health for birthing people in Massachusetts.
On top of that the Massachusetts Menstrual Equity Coalition has a surprise to release Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday on social media…! If you haven’t already, make sure you check out the beautiful new coalition website mmecoalition.org.
Let’s keep the pressure up these next two weeks in support of our intersectional feminist policy agenda. Thank you for being with us in this fight.
In feminist solidarity,
Sasha Goodfriend, Mass NOW President
National NOW Update
It has been a month since the State Presidents have called on the National NOW Board to remove Toni Van Pelt from her role as President and we hear we are still one vote short of the 2/3 majority needed. Toni has yet to even acknowledge the accusations against her by 21 current and former staffers and is continuing to run the National Action Center business as usual. No notice has been sent to members or leaders about when the National NOW conference will be held and believe this is an intentional weaponizing of the bylaws.
Yesterday we sent out an action alert on social media about the need to ensure your membership registration in order to vote for the National NOW Board elections and encourage you to do the same.
Stay tuned for information about how the state presidents will be organizing to prepare for the rescheduled National NOW 2020 Conference! In the meantime, check out removetoninow.org and please email our National NOW Board Representative Myra Terry (firstname.lastname@example.org) about why you think Toni Van Pelt is not fit to be President of the National Organization for Women.
Upcoming Feminist Events & Programming
This week, we’re excited to share some incredible feminist programming our partners are hosting this summer.
Girlhood to Sisterhood Academy
Saturday, July 18th – Saturday, August 22nd
This virtual six-session empowerment workshop series encompasses interactive opportunities to give girls the space to engage with each other and guest speakers to creatively discuss topics like Black/Brown girl magic, self-esteem, and self-love.
Mass NOW is beyond thrilled to be sponsoring 10 girls to attend the Girlhood to Sisterhood Academy.
Black Feminist Study Hall: River Crossing
Sunday, July 19th, 1 PM – 3 PM
The Black Feminist Study Hall is an exploratory working group / political education initiative grounded in study, citation, and conversation. Black Feminism is one of the most important theoretical frameworks and political analyses we have in the struggle for collective liberation. Created by Print Ain’t Dead, Mass NOW’s Feminism in Action grantee, and Jovonna Jones, this gathering takes root in the perspectives and experiences of Black women.
Note: This event is open to everyone – but please recognize that the space is made for / centering women of color, and specifically Black women.
Suffrage 100 MA: Massachusetts Blue Bird Day
Sunday, July 19th
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.
Join the Suffrage 100 MA Community in sidewalking and plastering social media with Blue Birds to remember the suffragists!
Black Mothers Matter: Child Care is Social Justice
Monday, July 20th, 7-8 PM
Join Neighborhood Villages and March Like a Mother for Black Lives for a live, virtual conversation moderated by Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley centered on the experiences and voices of Black mothers featuring experts in health care, child care, and parent advocacy.