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Fall 2009




                                  conversation
the Close to Home network




                            joi...
Meet Barbra:
A Member, A Survivor
Support, passion, fun events, commitment, good food,             Barbra says…
community:...
EPOCA NEWS
                 Your newsletter from Ex-Prisoners Organizing for Community Advancement | Spring 2010
         ...
Got grease?
Biodiesel business already has 18 contracts with local restaurants
More needed before in-house processing of w...
SPRING 2010




      41 WEST STREET, STE 700
         BOSTON, MA 02111
           617-542-8683
       WWW.MASSVOTE.ORG
  ...
You are bringing awareness about the census where it’s needed most…
          MassVOTE Organizes 40 Community Groups
     ...
Sponsored by you…                                                     5-4 Decision Lets Flood
       MassVOTE’s youth team...
You Help A High School
    Senior Dream Big for the
            Future…
Young Civic Leader,
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giving
 What story is behind your giving?
 Which causes ignite your passion—
 or break your heart?               passion
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“    We wanted to provide more affordable
                                                                          “   Ou...
Successful EPOCA Campaign Expands                                                                                      How...
Have you met Steve?
Denied work for two years due to CORI, EPOCA member                                                   ...
Spring 2009 G Volume 2 G Number 2




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Pity. It’s 100% Curable.

Noah Is Part of the Cure!                                Are You?
Noah Johnson was shocked by th...
Your Newsletter from the National Network of Abortion Funds • www.nnaf.org • Fall 2008


42 Seaverns Avenue • Boston, MA 0...
2 | Network News | spriNg 2008                                                                      Connecting Rights to R...
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Using your money to get their money out of politics…
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How To Keep Your Newsletter Out Of The Recycling Bin - Samples Of Good Newsletters
How To Keep Your Newsletter Out Of The Recycling Bin - Samples Of Good Newsletters
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How To Keep Your Newsletter Out Of The Recycling Bin - Samples Of Good Newsletters

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More than 75% of donors want newsletters from the organizations they support. In fact, they are the one of the most valuable donor relations you have for keeping supporters connected to your work.
Yet, surveys show that donors aren’t reading them. Why? Because a compelling newsletter is hard to find.
Come hear what makes a great newsletter and how to avoid the most common mistakes.
In this session, we’ll cover:
* How to make your newsletter “donor centered”
* What counts as news and what doesn’t
* The importance of headlines
* What your designer probably doesn’t know about design
* And more…
You’ll leave with concrete strategies for decreasing the odds that your newsletter will go straight from the mailbox to the recycling bin.

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How To Keep Your Newsletter Out Of The Recycling Bin - Samples Of Good Newsletters

  1. 1. Fall 2009 conversation the Close to Home network join the The newsletter of Calls to Massachusetts Domestic Violence Hotline Double Spike due in part to increased public awareness Calls to the state domestic violence hotline have doubled in the • Close to Home’s high-impact public awareness campaigns last four years. Safelink, the hotline, received 9,781 calls between reach tens of thousands of people in Dorchester alone each January and July 2009 alone. The recession has increased risks year. for those in violent relationships, especially women and kids. • Our Youth Team is swamped with requests for their violence Cuts to state services people in violent relationships with fewer prevention workshops. They go to after-school programs, ways to get help. And, economic struggles can exacerbate an youth clubs, local nonprofits, and neighborhood associations. already abusive relationship. Core topics include how to be an “active bystander” and how to intervene in the life of a friend. It’s not the cause or an excuse. It’s an unfortunate reality – • Knitting circles and meringue classes are just two ways that violence increases when times are tough. But, you should know Close to Home forms social networks in a neighborhood. there is also a good reason for the Intergenerational and cross-cultural, spike in calls – increased public You can find out more about these activities build trust and create awareness of domestic violence. space to talk. More importantly, they More people are seeking support for preventing domestic violence result in people watching out for each themselves. And others are naming in your neighborhood by other after they walk out the door. violence when they see it. Some call the hotline to help a friend, a calling Elizabeth Reardon Unfortunately, the economy isn’t going relative, the woman upstairs. at 617-929-5151. to recover overnight. And, more state budget cuts to critical services are Close to Home believes everyone – you, me, your neighbors, looming. So, people are going to be my family…everyone – has a role to play in preventing domestic depending even more on their neighborhood support networks. and sexual violence. And, our innovative work in local People are going to be depending even more on those “close neighborhoods with real people has raised awareness at home to home.” and across the state.
  2. 2. Meet Barbra: A Member, A Survivor Support, passion, fun events, commitment, good food, Barbra says… community: these are all reasons why people get involved with I am part of Close to Home. And once you get involved, you often stay. Close to Home “because it Barbra Trybe has lived in the Fields Corner neighborhood is a forum of Dorchester for many years. Just last year, she got actively where I can talk about my needs and my issues as a survivor involved with Close to Home. of domestic violence in a supportive, nonjudgmental arena. Being a part of this initiative keeps me grounded and Barbra has experienced domestic violence in her own life. She has also spoken publicly about how being a part of Close to stable. It lessens the feelings of abandonment and isolation, Home has given her the strength to acknowledge and forgive her associated with this pervasive social issue and helps me to father’s abusive behavior. keep on keeping on a wholesome and healthy life’s journey. Close to Home is my communal extended family.” Here she is, in her own words… Phi’s Story: Rockin’ the International Conference! The trip to Germany with Close to Home was an experience This was my first time unlike no other, but the most memorable moment to me was presenting at a conference when I was presenting with at a conference, called “Ways out with Aimee. The level of of Domestic Violence – An International Perspective” with sophisticated information Aimee Thompson [Close to Home’s Executive Director] and that she presents with made me very nervous and not to my fellow co-worker Daniel Fairclough in front of about 100 mention many of our audience members do not speak English. professors and social workers from around the world. However after everything was said and done both Daniel and I were showered with praise at our level of professionalism and how we presented the information. Never have I thought that Close to Home Youth Team is in my life I would be praised by social workers from the Middle an International Sensation. East and college professors from Germany. They remarked on how we were better than most presenters our age. This summer, the Close to Home Youth Team and staff were invited to Germany to present at a two-day confer- Usually Daniel and I would do teen trainings that comprise ence for social workers on violence prevention. They also of teens from 13-21, but never to a group of well-educated met with other high school students, visited local service adults that work in the same field as we do. In the end, agencies, saw the Berlin Wall and the Holocaust Memorial, having a chance to share our model and ideas about healthy and so much more…Thank you for allowing us to take relationships and domestic violence prevention was good advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity! enough for me, but meeting people from around the world wasn’t bad either! Phi Tran is a member of Close to Home’s Youth Team. He is 17 and a senior at Boston Latin School.
  3. 3. EPOCA NEWS Your newsletter from Ex-Prisoners Organizing for Community Advancement | Spring 2010 5 Pleasant St. Worcester MA 01609 | 508-410-7676 | www.exprisoners.org You stuck with us for 64 months and... Five-year campaign to reform CORI system on the brink of victory; State Senate overwhelmingly approves bill THIS PAST November, the State Senate passed CORI reform by a vote of 26 to 12. The overwhelming support wasn’t a coincidence. We had you as our secret weapon. You supported 64 months – more than five years! – of grassroots campaigning, lobby days, phone banks, rallies, and marches. You made this victory possible... And, we couldn’t be more grateful. As you may know, criminal records – also known as “CORIs”– punish thousands of people every year. People who have paid their debt to society. People who have gotten their lives back on track. CORIs make it nearly impossible to find a job or an apartment. EPOCA members take a quick break from working the This bill will make sure that honest people aren’t discriminated halls of the State House to pose for a picture with the Senate against for mistakes they made years ago. lead sponsor of CORI reform legislation, Senator Harriette At a recent meeting, EPOCA volunteers were talking about what Chandler (D – Worcester). In November, the State Senate CORI reform will mean in their lives. Liz, a new member, said, “For passed the measure by more than a 2-to-1 margin. me, CORI reform means being able to get a job.” Liz finished serving probation years ago. But, she still attends lectures at the Career Center because she can’t get a job since she has a CORI. Under EPOCA’s legislation, Liz’s record would be sealed immediately. That means she won’t have to wait another day before she can earn a paycheck and support her family. Because of you, Liz and thousands of people like her now have hope for a life they can be proud of – a life with a job and an apartment to call their own. The only obstacle in their way is getting House Speaker Robert DeLeo to introduce the bill for a final vote! What does CORI reform mean House Speaker Robert DeLeo is stalling on bringing to members of EPOCA? our bill up for a vote in the House of Representatives. That’s why we’re organizing a “Breaking the Chains “To me, it means respect.” – Juan of CORI” parade on June 5th. For more info on this “A second chance.” – Lanh event, contact EPOCA Organizer Delia Vega at “It would mean dignity.” – Jenny (508) 287-8430. Hope to see you there! How you make a difference... Cassandra’s Story: Volunteer finds new passion and inspiration at EPOCA I JOINED EPOCA because I wanted to be as positive and determined about something as Delia Vega (Delia is EPOCA’s community organizer and my mentor). But I caught on quick to EPOCA’s style of making real political change possible. I jumped right in to door-to-door voter registration for the 2008 election. When Obama won, I felt like I helped make it happen and it felt great. I hold on to that feeling and I run with it. I am loving my new role as the Communicator on EPOCA’s Board of Directors. My job is to encourage our hundreds Because of your support and her involvement with EPOCA, of members to get involved, come to membership meetings, Cassandra Bensahih has found her passion – motivating others attend our rallies, and step up to leadership roles. to get active and work for change. In the last few months, I have led trainings for EPOCA members and the community on “Oppression and Power,” and “Leadership Development and One-to-One Conversations.” But beyond the nuts and bolts of helping our movement grow, I love all my friends at EPOCA. They really care about me. No wonder we’re so powerful together. Thanks to your support, I have found a new calling: organizing the community to make positive changes for all of us.
  4. 4. Got grease? Biodiesel business already has 18 contracts with local restaurants More needed before in-house processing of waste oil into fuel can begin unemployed because of his criminal record, Steve Denson now delivers recycled vegetable grease to “green” businesses all over New England. Together with other EPOCA members, at the end of 2009, Steve launched “Empower Energy Cooperative, Inc.” You may remember reading about this endeavor in our last newsletter... Five hard workers who employers wouldn’t give a second look because of their criminal records now have jobs they love, growing a business that they cooperatively own and operate. They currently have contracts with 18 restaurants in Worcester that recycle their leftover oil into environmentally- friendly fuel. Among the 18 are Piccolo’s, Irish Times, Annie’s Clark Brunch, Coral Seafood, Robert’s Fish and Chips, Weintraub’s Jewish Deli, Tatnuck Square Pizza, Becker College, the Miss Worcester Diner, and Wild Willies. For now, Steve and his co-workers are selling the grease they collect to a third-party processor. That’s because they aren’t collecting enough grease to make the production costs worthwhile. But, Empower hopes to start collecting waste oil from many more restaurants soon. Then, they will have enough Sarah Assefa, a member of EPOCA and the Empower Energy Cooperative, transports a jug of waste oil for recycling to begin converting the oil into fuel in their own processing into fuel. Empower Energy was started by a collective of five machine, which Steve helped to build. They just need a who were unable to find work because of their criminal records. “critical mass” of restaurant contracts to get going! Do you know a restaurant interested in recycling their waste oil? Please contact You are taking us places Steve Denson at (508) 304-0139 or email that we never imagined... dnsnmaddie@yahoo.com to find out more EPOCA breaks the silence about domestic violence ever started talking about one thing and it led conversations about all kinds of other things that you might Board of Directors have never imagined? That’s kind of how EPOCA’s Women’s Group was born... • Cassandra Bensahih, The group originally came together in October 2008 Communicator because women at EPOCA realized they had concerns that • Hannah Caruso, Treasurer weren’t being raised at the general membership meetings. • Steve Denson, Coordinator Things like having trouble finding childcare, being in bad • Ecclesiastes Hall, Advisor relationships, and generally needing support during hard • Andrew Hausermann, Secretary times. But, the strength and empowerment they gained from • Benito Vega, Vice President each other simply by coming together led them to confront • Joseph Yandle, President other issues in their lives as women. Domestic violence starting coming up as a topic quite often. Mission Statement Through a partnership with a local agency, EPOCA members learned the early warning signs of unhealthy We are ex-prisoners, along relationships, where to seek help, and how to talk to friends with allies, family and friends, and family about abusive situations. coming together to create The group also realized that conversations about domestic resources and opportunities for violence should not just be happening with women. We’re those who have paid their debt proud to tell you that we brought this issue to EPOCA’s full to society. membership for education and discussion. Together, we are all learning that so-called “personal problems” have deep-rooted social causes. And, that my struggle for justice is connected to his, which is connected to hers, which is connected to yours...
  5. 5. SPRING 2010 41 WEST STREET, STE 700 BOSTON, MA 02111 617-542-8683 WWW.MASSVOTE.ORG MassNews You wanted immediate action. MassVOTE responded… 5-4 Decision Lets Flood of Corporate Campaign Money Drown Citizens like You With your support, MassVOTE takes steps to defend democracy I N JANUARY, the Supreme Court overturned a 63-year ban limiting cor- porate spending in federal elections. The decision – Citizens United vs. The Why fill out Federal Election Commission – gives Exxon, Halliburton, and Goldman Sachs the power to spend unlimited money to protect their friends and defeat their the Census? political opponents. We asked for your thoughts, and more than 180 of you immediately “It’s about money and responded. power,” said Norman Inspired by your passion and your vision, MassVOTE took two essential steps in the defense of a free and fair democracy… Eng, key MassVOTE • On March 5, MassVOTE sent nearly 29,000 emails asking you to support partner in Census Congressman Mike Capuano’s work on The Shareholder Protection Act. The Outreach efforts. bill would require a shareholder vote before any corporation can dump its money into federal elections. More than 40 community organizations sponsored • MassVOTE is planning a conference call featuring Congressman Capuano MassVOTE’s Census Outreach and Brenda Wright, Managing Attorney for the National Voting Rights Institute, to answer your questions about how you can bring democracy event on March 20 in Dorchester. back into the hands of the people. Read more on page 2. Read more on page 3.
  6. 6. You are bringing awareness about the census where it’s needed most… MassVOTE Organizes 40 Community Groups to Help Residents Fill Out Census ➟ Focus on “Hard to Count” Communities DID YOU KNOW? For every person who doesn’t return the Census, your community loses $2,000 each year in government funding. And, since the Census won’t be done again for another 10 years, that’ll add up to a loss of $20,000 per person over the next decade. Norman Eng meets with fellow census specialist, Ricardo Telemaque, and Michael Curry, master of ceremonies, for MassVOTE’s March 20 Census Event in Prince Hall. W HY FILL out the Census? “It’s about money and “We could lose a seat in Congress power,” said Norman Eng, key MassVOTE partner in Census unless we make sure every person Outreach efforts. “It’s 10 minutes and 10 questions. If you don’t do it now is counted. We’re going all out.” you have to wait another 10 years to Cheryl Crawford MassVOTE’s Organizing Director fi x it.” Norman was one of 10 speak- ers at MassVOTE’s Census Outreach languages helped neighbors fill out rials and training they need to get event on March 20 in Dorchester’s the form. The NAACP, Oiste, the Chi- people to fi ll out the Census. On April Prince Hall. nese Progressive Association, and the 10, MassVOTE led a March to the More than 40 community organi- Boston Workers Alliance were among Mailbox. Volunteers handed out fly- zations sponsored the mass effort to the groups sponsoring the event. ers at standouts in high-traffic areas get every person counted in this year’s Your support allows MassVOTE and marched from five directions to Census. Census Bureau Specialists to bring nonprofits, businesses, and Boston’s Grove Hall, encouraging fluent in Spanish, Haitian-Creole, churches across the state the mate- people to send back their Census. Portuguese, Vietnamese and other Tell MassVOTE What You Want If you have not yet received your MassVOTE 2010 survey, please contact Andrea Jamison at (617)542-8683 ext. 203 or andrea@massvote.org. 2
  7. 7. Sponsored by you… 5-4 Decision Lets Flood MassVOTE’s youth team lobby for change of Corporate Campaign Money Drown Citizens Bill Would Make It Easier for Teens Like You (continued) to Vote To quote a few of you who wrote ➟ in to express your outrage at the 68 Visits with State Legislators Moves Bill Out of Supreme Court decision: Committee into House of Representatives Bill August of Cambridge D ID YOU KNOW that five states let teens register to vote at 17? Your very own MassVOTE is one step closer to adding one more “The decision weakens the state — Massachusetts. integrity of our democracy Representative Ellen Story (D-Amherst) has sponsored a Pre-Registration bill by allowing disproportionate that would let 16 and 17 year olds register to vote early so they will be ready to levels of corporate campaign cast their ballot as soon as they turn 18. expenditures that could “When we’re out teaching Civics to youth, we want the tools to register unjustly drown out the very teens right on the spot,” said Ada Fuentes, MassVOTE’s Young Civic Leaders people who make up the nation coordinator. and who the Constitution is You gave our youth, staff, and volunteers what they needed to make 68 visits intended to protect.” to the State House to discuss this bill one on one with state legislators. Not to mention all the calls and letters… And you got the bill voted out of committee Jay Berger of Agawam with a positive “ought to pass” recommendation. “Have all of us contact our state Now the pressure is on to secure the 81 House and 21 Senate votes needed to legislators…This should be an pass the bill before the summer recess. agenda item.” MassVOTE’s Young Civic Leaders helped create the bill with the help of State Ann D’Angelo of Springfield Representative Story because they don’t think government listens enough to the “Only the people can stop this voices of teens. Many teens cannot register to vote at the RMV because they get lunacy which seems to have their licenses right when they turn 16. And programs to register high school stu- affected even the highest dents aren’t as effective as they could be because most high school students are court in the land. Where are too young to register under current law. our leaders???” In 2004, 81% of registered 18-24 year olds voted but only 58% were registered. Imagine what a difference this bill could make in 2010 and 2012! In the 2008 Presidential Election, 3.1 million citizens voted. In the January 2010 U.S. Senate Special Election, only 2.2 million voters came out. The biggest drop in turnout occurred in low income communities and communities of color. See how your community did! Check out our YOU interactive turnout maps at www.massvote.org/maps CAN JOIN OUR FAIR ELECTIONS TEAM. Call Cheryl Crawford (617)542-8683 ext. 211 Or send your ideas to: fairelectionsagenda @ massvote.org Median Household Income 1/19/2010 MA Special Election, from 2000 US Census Brown v. Coakley 3
  8. 8. You Help A High School Senior Dream Big for the Future… Young Civic Leader, Board of Directors Lisa Wang Carmen Arce-Bowen Organizer, Public Policy Institute How You Make a Difference Celina Barrios Ponce (Chair) “M A S S V O T E Northeastern States Organizer, R E A L L Y teaches you “At school, you do your National Immigration Council how to execute some- section and you’re done… Sonia Chang-Díaz thing, how to come up with a project State Senator, Second and follow through with it to the here, you learn to Suffolk District end. It comes with a certain amount effectively communicate Rachael Cobb of achievement. You really learn a Professor of Government, lot about what you can do, and the with others and to work Suffolk University things you didn’t think you could do, as a team.” Adam Friedman you can…when you’re pushed.” communities, register voters, work Web Developer, Boston Herald Lisa Wang is a leader. A straight for election reform, and teach their A student and captain of her high Maria Gonzalez peers the civic skills to be powerful, Television Reporter, Univision school speech team, Lisa is one of voting citizens. eight outstanding teens participat- Kim M. Janey According to Lisa, planning for ing in MassVOTE’s Young Civic Lead- Director of the Boston School MassVOTE’s “Civies” Event has made Reform Project, ers program. Your support provides communication and team work Massachusetts Advocates paid internships for high school crucial. The April 22 event honored for Children sophomores, juniors, and seniors outstanding youth organizations Hiep Nguyen (Treasurer) from low-income urban neighbor- across Massachusetts. Youth create Principal, HQ Nguyen CPA LLC hoods in Greater Boston. the entire event, from writing its Through Young Civic Leaders, Alethea Pieters (Clerk) budget and inviting guests, to mak- Assistant Director, Massachusetts you are giving teens the tools they ing the program and working with Recovery Office need to become leaders in their com- news media. It’s an event by youth munities and to excel in the class- Deborah Shah (Vice-Chair) for youth and you make it possible. room. Then, they go out in their Independent Consultant Duamarius Stukes Director of Housing and Assisted Living, WHERE IS MASSVOTE WORKING? Executive Office of Elder Affairs Jeffrey Thomas Boston Holyoke Revere Director, Partnership for Brockton Lynn Somerville Democracy and Education Cambridge Malden Springfield Phi Truong Everett Medford Waltham Student, Boston University; Young Civic Leaders Alumna Fall River Plymouth Watertown Gloucester Quincy Worcester ** Affiliations listed for and more… identification purposes only 4
  9. 9. giving What story is behind your giving? Which causes ignite your passion— or break your heart? passion How does your generosity take you generosity by surprise? When you invite the Fairfield County Community Foundation to be your philanthropic partner, you gain access to expertise and innovation that bring about real change. Your charitable desires are transformed into smart philanthropy. Your giving becomes more meaningful, and more effective at producing the most good from each dollar. And you make a difference in your own backyard.
  10. 10. “ We wanted to provide more affordable “ Our old apartment was not safe, housing for women and children, and were impressed we could accomplish but now our new home is so beautiful. ” so much by leveraging our giving. ” C harlotte and John Suhler of Darien went from being charitable donors to hands-on philanthropists after reading a 1999 research study by the Foundation’s Fund for Women and Girls. U ntil last spring, Ana Rodriguez and her seven-year-old daughter Genesis had to tiptoe through a housemate’s bedroom to get to the one they shared. Street noise, cockroaches and bedbugs made their sleeping fitful. “The study showed that the most outstanding need for women in Fairfield County was housing,” Charlotte said. “It really hadn’t Ana, a single mother who immigrated from Honduras 10 years been discussed that much as a need before.” ago, couldn’t afford anything better than the rundown rental unit Today, Charlotte plays a central role with the Foundation, 19 in Stamford. other private funders, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation “Just a one-bedroom apartment is very expensive–$1,200 or (LISC) and Fairfield County nonprofit affordable housing more,” she said. developers to bring safe and affordable housing to families. But a chance at a new life came when New Neighborhoods Inc., As a progression of their involvement with the Fund for a nonprofit affordable housing developer in Stamford, bought the Women and Girls, Charlotte and John were founding members of building where they lived, with plans to tear it down and build the Fairfield County Collaborative Fund for Affordable Housing, new, affordable housing. initiated by the Foundation in 2005. Grants from the fund provide New Neighborhoods relocated tenants to other affordable operating support to nonprofit affordable housing developers, such housing it owns in Stamford. Ana, who’s worked as a hotel as New Neighborhoods Inc., so they can focus on buying land housekeeper for eight years, was moved to a newly renovated and building new, affordable units. The Collaborative Fund is apartment. Her rent is now 30% of her salary, which is the managed by LISC. To date, Fairfield County nonprofit developers government definition for affordable housing. have 1,000 affordable housing units in the pipeline and manage Sitting in her spotless living room, Ana still can’t believe the 1,083 existing units. change in her life. She no longer worries about her daughter’s “It’s a way a relatively small amount of money can make safety at home. Genesis plays at a playground on the property and a difference,” Charlotte said. “If someone has $5,000 to give, attends a good school nearby. and they are concerned about the issue, they can donate to the “Last week, my daughter was running around the apartment,” Collaborative Fund and have an impact.” Ana said. “She ran over to the window, leaned out and yelled, ‘I’m happy! I’m happy!’” 6 www.fccfoundation.org
  11. 11. Successful EPOCA Campaign Expands How’s this for new math? 1 + 1 = 50 EPOCA member reaches new heights, completing Job Opportunities for Thousands “one-to-one” conversations with potential members Grassroots pressure triumphs over political opposition Benito Vega found EPOCA one year ago. He watched skeptically before jumping As of June, someone with a criminal record is no chance. You gave EPOCA the strength to overcome in. Today, he’s in a league of his own. longer automatically disqualified from working for the status quo in Worcester – our #1 obstacle to This past May, Benito became the first EPOCA member to have 50 “one-to- the city of Worcester victory. one” conversations with potential new members. Criminal records – also known as “CORIs” – Worcester’s City Manager tried to sabotage When Benito has a “one-to-one” with a potential EPOCA member, he asks punish thousands of people every year. People EPOCA’s bill many times. This is an unelected how the CORI system affects their life. This way, people begin to understand who have paid their debt to society. People who position. Can you say, “Abuse of power”? But... injustice through their own experience. Benito also lets them know about the work have gotten their lives back on track. People like EPOCA’s grassroots pressure was too much for EPOCA is doing. He invites them to get involved. Tricia, Tom and María. him much to handle. Our campaign was unstop- Your support allowed EPOCA to train Benito how to engage volunteers one- Tricia is still haunted by an 8-year-old charge for pable. And, one unforgettable event pushed us over to-one. Through his 50 “one-to-ones,” Benito recruited dozens of new members. having marijuana on her. She is 26. She has a little the top... Some of them are moving into leadership roles. They are educating legislators. girl who’s two. She just went back to school. But, We unveiled a petition signed by 4,000 – a peti- They are running trainings. They are even recruiting more new volunteers! Because she can’t even get a call back for a job. tion that extended the whole length of City Hall! of you, even more EPOCA members will reach Benito’s level of leadership. Tom has been clean and sober for 10 years. He With the power of the people behind them, the City can’t get a job because of a drug-related CORI. Council voted unanimously to support EPOCA’s When María’s husband attacked her, she hit him proposal. and ran. She couldn’t afford a good enough lawyer Now, CORI checks are not done until after EPOCA Launches to get cleared on self-defense. Now, she has a CORI someone has been offered a job. and can’t find a job to support her family. She relies And, the job offer can only be rescinded if the Biodiesel Business on public assistance. person has an arrest record for something directly People are far less likely to commit new crimes related to the specific job they are being hired to do. “Green” venture creates more if they can find a home and a job. Research proves Thanks to your support, blanket rejections of jobs for people with CORIs it. But, CORIs make it hard to find an apartment. anyone with a CORI are history for city employers Impossible to find a job. in Worcester. You’ve heard the expression – “If Mohammed will Now, because of you – it’s a little easier. Thanks not go to the mountain, the mountain must come to your support – Tricia, Tom and María have a to Mohammed,” right? Well, that’s exactly what EPOCA’s members did... Do you know the most common If employers won’t hire people with CORIs, we’ll EPOCA’s Mission Statement: reasons people have CORIs? start our own business and hire them! We are ex-prisoners, along with allies, Knowing you’d be with us every step of the way, family and friends, coming together to People with a history of substance abuse EPOCA has created our own biodiesel business. It’s create resources and opportunities for or addiction often have CORIs from called – “Empower Energy Cooperative, Inc.” those who have paid their debt to society. drug-related arrests before they got into This is not only an environmentally friendly and recovery. sustainable venture. It’s also creating green jobs EPOCA Board of Directors: for people with CORIs. Jobs that won’t have to wait for - Hannah Caruso, Treasurer Even if you are wrongfully accused of a CORI-friendly legislation. Fair and dignified jobs. - Steve Denson, Coordinator crime and the case is dismissed, you will Fuel production for the general market is not yet un- - Steve Freedman, Advisor still have a CORI record. derway. But, because of you, we look forward to creating - LaJuana Hobbes, Communicator many good jobs in the near future. And, “Empower” is - Erica Richmond, Secretary Kids who are just 18 or 19 and get into a structured as a worker cooperative. That means all work- - Benito Vega, Vice President fight or get caught at the wrong party are ers will own a piece of the business. Everyone will benefit - Joseph Yandle, President haunted by those mistakes for decades. equally from the profits of their work. Talk about a win-win-win! 2 3
  12. 12. Have you met Steve? Denied work for two years due to CORI, EPOCA member EPOCA NEWS thrives helping others with records find jobs Your newsletter from Ex-Prisoners Organizing for Community Advancement | Fall 2009 5 Pleasant St. Worcester MA 01609 | 508-410-7676 | www.exprisoners.org Steve Freedman’s criminal record cost him countless human service jobs for two years. Today, he works at Worcester’s One Stop Career Center as an Employment Specialist. The New Leaf Program is EPOCA’s job training service for people 72 State Legislators Support Proposal to Reform Broken with criminal records, created in partnership with the Career Center. CORI System — Threats to passage still loom In the past two years, New Leaf has helped more than 100 former prisoners find jobs. And, that was with just 30 employers willing to “2009 is the year for CORI reform!” That’s some- Broad policy change like this never happens over consider an applicant with a criminal record. thing we are used to hearing around the office. Not night. But, we get closer every year. And, with your Now, by connecting New Leaf with the 328 new city contractors this time. Last April, those words were shouted by support, EPOCA will keep fighting until we push accepting applicants with CORIs, there are thousands more job State Senator Harriette Chandler at an EPOCA rally this bill through! opportunities every year. to 300 people. Steve helps people with criminal records get those jobs. He leads The CORI Imagine you get arrested for marijuana possession in 1987 and get workshops on writing a resume, looking for jobs, and interview skills. system punishes Then, he works one-on-one with participants. He helps them look for people who have three years probation. You’ll still have a record -- aka a CORI -- until 2010. jobs and get job training. already paid their Under our legislation, your record would be sealed 7 years after you start We can’t wait to tell you more about how he’s able to make your debt to society. probation. That gives you 16 more years to work and support your family. vision of a more just world a reality! Imagine you get ar- rested for marijuana possession in 1987. You serve three years of proba- tion. You’ll still have a criminal record until 2010. Fire Destroys EPOCA’s Office — Under EPOCA’s legislation, your record could be Successful EPOCA Campaign sealed 7 years after you start serving your probation. Creates Jobs for Thousands Organization strengthened through rebuilding That gives you 16 more years to work and support (story on page 2) your family. Have you ever been ripped from sleep in the middle One of our closest allies, Neighbor to Neighbor, EPOCA members wanted a well-respected, pow- of the night by the phone? Phone calls at that hour opened their doors to us. This propelled our city or- erful lead sponsor for our legislation to reform the never bring good news. On March 26th, Steve dinance campaign forward as we were able to work CORI system. Who better than Senator Chandler, a O’Neill, EPOCA’s Director, got one of those calls. together more closely than ever before! Worcester Democrat and assistant vice-chair of the An electrical fire had engulfed the office. And, EPOCA’s membership exploded at this new Senate Ways and Means Committee. The next day EPOCA was homeless. Our old centrally located spot! Once she was on board, we educated, lobbied office destroyed by smoke damage. Our contact lists After seeing all the benefits of being located and recruited a team of 72 co-sponsors to back her covered in toxic chemicals. downtown, EPOCA decided to make it our perma- up! Now, because of you, a real second chance for We started to rebuild. Our next meeting was held nent new home. Stretching ourselves to cover the thousands of people and their families is closer than in a parking lot. extra expense, we just signed a lease for an office ever. After several years of campaigning and your Only your generosity got us through this desper- space overlooking City Hall. A perfect spot to watch dedicated support – EPOCA’s bill has a real chance ate time. their every move... of victory in the next few months. Unfortunately, the Governor only favors a watered-down CORI reform bill. And, Speaker of the House does not see CORI reform as a priority. Volunteers from the EPOCA women’s group celebrate You can find out more about EPOCA’s In our next newsletter, you’ll read about EPOCA members have scheduled meetings with the the passage of our ordinance that prohibits the city of Empower Energy Cooperative by calling how EPOCA’s Women’s Group is raising Governor’s Office, the Speaker of the House, and Worcester from automatically disqualifying job applicants Sarah Assefa at (508) 579-6916. awareness about domestic violence. the Senate President in October. We are working simply because they have a criminal record. More than with them to make sure our bill is brought up for 350 city employers now accept applicants with CORIs, Stay tuned... up from only 30 before the ordinance passed. a vote. 4
  13. 13. Spring 2009 G Volume 2 G Number 2 “We Never Thought This Could Happen” The LaFavors Thank You for Helping to Save Their Son’s Life In a matter of two weeks, Kerry and Keri LaFavor went from celebrating their son’s graduation to worrying by his “I got right by his hospital bed. “This could be your child, your grandchild, face and said, ‘Tony, or the neighbor down the street,” says Keri LaFavor. they’re taking you in a helicopter to a place that can help By the time they arrived in St. Paul, Gillette’s neuro- you.’ A tear ran surgery team was placing a monitor inside Anthony’s down his face. skull. The device tracks pressure on the brain. “They I know he heard me.” asked me if I wanted to keep some locks of his hair,” A s they neared the local hospital, Keri – Keri LaFavor LaFavor tearfully recalls. “I couldn’t believe what LaFavor held out hope that her son was fine. But fear consumed her as she was happening.” stepped through the doors. “They were scrambling, and no one looked me in the He Fought for Survival eye,” she remembers. “We live in a quiet, small The LaFavors next saw their son in Gillette’s Pediatric town. If they’re rushing, it’s bad.” Intensive Care Unit (PICU). “There was just one spot — a small square on the right side of his chest Anthony LaFavor had been in a severe car accident. — that wasn’t covered in equipment,” LaFavor The emergency team was prepping him for air remembers. “It was hard not to think the worst.” transport to St. Paul. “They were hand-pumping More Stories air into his lungs,” LaFavor recalls. “I got right by In the PICU, nurses and doctors fought minute by of Inspiration his face and said, ‘Tony, they’re taking you in a minute to control the pressure on his brain. “It was helicopter to a place that can help you.’ A tear almost two weeks before it felt safe to hope that he Inside! ran down his face. I know he heard me.” might live,” LaFavor says. “Then the hard work The Waskeys started.” experience Life Changes in a Flash Gillette’s mission Now He’s Fighting for His Future Page 2 Anthony — who’d graduated from high school just two weeks before the accident — had taken After 18 days in the PICU, Anthony began rehabili- Nick walks on a job delivering pizzas for the summer. “When tation with daily physical, occupational and speech new legs the phone rang that night, I thought it would be therapy. At the time, he wasn’t talking and couldn’t Page 2 Anthony asking for directions again,” LaFavor use his arms and legs effectively. But he was strong Noah is part of says. Instead, a police officer asked where to tow — a reality that often proved challenging. “He the cure Anthony’s smashed car. could be very aggressive because of his brain injury,” Page 3 LaFavor continued on Page 4
  14. 14. Pity. It’s 100% Curable. Noah Is Part of the Cure! Are You? Noah Johnson was shocked by the teacher’s warning. “With wide eyes, he said, ‘Really? I can get in trouble like the other kids?’” Jackie Johnson remembers with a laugh. Noah had been caught running down the halls at other kids. Although he could school. “Of course I told Noah that I expect him to walk, he was almost always the behave, but inside I was smiling,” she says. “I last one in line. But that changed never thought I’d have to tell him to slow down!” when he received a walker at Gillette. “The extra support They Said He’d Never Walk meant that he couldn’t just Seven years ago, a doctor told the family that Noah walk, he could run,” says would never walk, talk or sit up. He had been diag- Johnson. “I don’t think his nosed with cerebral palsy — a complex condition teacher knew what to that arises from damage to the brain. “We were do with him!” devastated,” Johnson remembers. “It felt as if there was no hope.” And With Your Help, He’s Biking! You Can Be Then the family came to Gillette. Johnson says Last summer, Noah Part of the Cure! the difference was stark. “They never told us what received a new bike thanks to Noah is one of two boys featured in Noah wouldn’t do,” she says. “They were too busy contributions made to Gillette’s new television commercials about focusing on what he could do.” adaptive sports fund. The youngest Gillette. The message is clear: of five siblings, he now can keep up pity is curable, and you can make it happen. Watch the ads and Now He’s Running with his brothers and sisters on a bike read more inspiring stories at At 3, Noah defied the odds and took his first steps built specifically for his needs. www.curepity.org. There, you during a therapy appointment at Gillette. “You’ve can sign up to receive a free never seen so much crying and cheering,” Johnson “Noah can never be cured of his window cling with the Cure Pity cerebral palsy,” Johnson says. “But logo. And don’t forget to sign says. “I felt that anything was possible.” Gillette is helping him live a full life. up for Gillette’s e-news updates. Show the world that you’re proud When Noah started school a few years later, his one The joy in his face is incredible.” to be part of the cure! complaint was that he couldn’t keep up with the Start Your Own Fundraising Campaign! Create a personal fundraising page! Are you looking This new option lets patients, families and donors raise support online with personalized Web pages. for a simple and You can raise funds in honor or memory of a loved one or in celebration of a special milestone in your life. effective way Get started in three simple steps: to get involved G Create a page by visiting G Personalize your page by G Share your page by uploading at Gillette? www.gillettechildrens.org/ uploading pictures and writing your entire address book and personalpages and clicking a short message about why e-mailing a personal invitation on “create a page.” you’re fundraising for Gillette. to your family and friends. Your personal page also includes a guest book so that your family and friends can encourage you with supportive notes. Get started today! You’ll be making a difference in the life of a child. 3
  15. 15. Your Newsletter from the National Network of Abortion Funds • www.nnaf.org • Fall 2008 42 Seaverns Avenue • Boston, MA 02130-2865 • Tel. 617-524-6040 • Fax. 617-524-6042 Your support pushed us over the top… $3,010,000 Abortion Funds distribute $2,600,000 record amount of funding • More than $3 million given out Funding given out to women increased • More than 21,000 women assisted 2006 2007 $400,000 over last year. Last year – thanks to you – the Network and our member Funds gave out a record-breaking $3.01 million to 21,158 women who couldn’t afford to pay for their abortion. This is a $400,000 increase over the previous year – a 15% jump. Two Funds join forces to help While we gave out more money than ever, the number of woman in shelter women helped stayed about the same as the year before. You know these are tough economic times. Wages are stagnant. Yet MarisoL, a 31-year-oLd woMan in texas, was living the cost of abortion care is rising. This means that we needed in a shelter with her four-year-old daughter. She had to give larger grants to women in order to bridge the gap. no job and no money when she found out she was By increasing the amount of our grants, the Network pregnant. Marisol needed $400 for her first trimester and our Funds ensure that each woman can make the choice abortion. One of our local Funds in Texas was able that’s best for her. And this increased support from us would to pay for half. A grant from the Network’s National not be possible without your increased support to us. Reproductive Justice Fund covered the other half. So, we thank you… and 21,158 other women do too. Sponsored by you… truly. It’s free for our Funds to come thanks to you. Activists from across the country attend the Network’s Annual Organizing Summit • Member Funds gather to share advice, strategies, and best practices • Trainings held on volunteer recruitment, Board members, Fund activists and organizational allies spend some rare abortion counseling, and issue advocacy down-time together during the Network’s Annual Organizing Summit. More than 130 people attended the 4-day event. 109 abortion Fund activists... 23 organizational allies... 18 workshops... and one rowdy banquet... it’s the Network’s Annual Organizing Summit! Our 2008 Summit was held this past June in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. This inspirational, energizing weekend allowed Fund activists to network and bond with their sister Funds from across the country. But, it wasn’t all fun and games. There were also four days of intensive trainings, strategy sessions, panels and plena- ries. We held sessions on everything from volunteer recruit- ment and organizational development to reproductive justice and policy advocacy. And, we were lucky enough to have the Alliance for Justice, the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Pro-Choice Public Education Project, and the National Latina Institute Our keynote speaker, Laura Villa Torres, brought an international perspec- for Reproductive Health there to share their expertise. tive to our 2008 Summit. Laura is a founding member of Decidir, a coali- All to make sure that our member Funds are even bigger, tion of youth dedicated to raising awareness about abortion among young bolder, and stronger next year... people in Mexico.
  16. 16. 2 | Network News | spriNg 2008 Connecting Rights to Resources Your support of the Network’s hyde – 30 years is enough! Campaign put a national spotlight on economic barriers to abortion… Gathering for Immigrant Women’s Abortion Access Project 15,000 signatures delivered to Congress to restore Medicaid funding for abortion • Overwhelming support shows nationwide strength of campaign ON the 35th aNNiveRSaRy Of Roe v. WADe, members of the Hyde – 30 Years Is enough! campaign took the capitol by storm. more than 15,000 petition signatures were delivered to congress in support of restoring medicaid funding for abortion. this widespread response shows the nationwide support for removing economic barriers to abortion. Gladys and Arline Gould attended the the hyde amendment was originally passed in 1976. it prohibits the 2nd Annual Rosie Jimenez Gathering, use of federal medicaid funding for abortion. exceptions are made in cases an event organized by the Hope Fund in of rape, incest and danger to the life of the woman. most states have also Rhode Island, one of our member Funds, banned medicaid funding for abortion. and Connections Co-op, a women’s interpreters cooperative. This event pro- moted the Immigrant Women’s Abortion Access Project and was held to com- New threat emerges… memorate the death of the first woman known to die of an illegal abortion after Passage of Indian Health Service bill the Hyde Amendment was passed. delayed by anti-choice politics • latest chapter in long history of u.S. controlling reproductive lives of Native women This may seem unbelievable but it’s true… aNti-chOice POlicymakeRS have injected language prohibit- Women like Natasha ing the use of indian health Service (ihS) funding for abortion into the indian health care improvement act. this past february, the uS Senate are grateful for your passed an amendment banning the use of ihS funding for abortion except in the cases of rape, incest of a minor, or life endangerment. the house of support Representatives is now poised to do the same. this is only the latest in a long line of assaults on the reproductive lives of NataSha, a young woman from louisiana Native american women. in the 1970s, Native women were subjected to forced with two children, called us last Wednesday sterilization by the indian health Service. and, in the 1980s, Depo Provera was afternoon. She was raped while her husband given to “mentally impaired” Native women without their consent. was in iraq and had just been released from these amendments also duplicate existing policy which already unfairly the hospital after attempting suicide. Natasha restricts coverage of abortion by ihS. ihS is subject to the hyde amendment, was online looking for ways to self-abort first passed in 1976, which prohibits federal Medicaid dollars from being when she found our number. She had made used to pay for abortion, except in cases of rape, incest and danger to the an appointment at a clinic but cancelled it life of the woman. because she couldn’t come up with the $400 she needed. the Network referred her to a rape crisis center and also connected her with our member funds to ensure that she would Want a quick and easy way to sustain the have the money she needed to pay for a safe, Network? Go online to donate quarterly or even legal abortion at her local clinic. She said that monthly! Sign up once and you never have to she couldn’t believe that we were willing to www.nnaf.org think about it again… help her. and by “we,” we mean you.
  17. 17. 4 planned parenthood of rhode island • summer 2007 Decisions. For your health. For your world. Founded a decade ago with money from the Prospect Hill Foundation Welcome to Rhode Island! and The Rhode Island Foundation... A Big Fat D Anna Quindlen ignites “Liberal” little state voted “Most crowd at Teen Health Hostile” in New England to women’s reproductive rights. Will this year see Center celebration improvements? We’re off to a bad start. where should you live right now, as far as full-service women’s health care is concerned? “The United States remains the last great developed nation Any New England state but Rhode Island, without a system of child care,” she charges, “but there’s no apparently. government response in sight.” Noxious legislation here unduly intrudes on a woman’s easy access to reproductive health newsweek columnist anna quindlen, care and family planning, says the 2007 Report mother of three, electrified an audience at Card on Women’s Reproductive Rights, issued the Rhode Island Convention Center on by watchdog NARAL Pro-Choice America. April 10 with her appeal that officials pay How are the neighbors doing? more than lip service to the needs of our Connecticut, Maine and Vermont all earn children. straight As. New Hampshire trails close behind Ms. Quindlen “was harshly critical with a grade of B+. Massachusetts is little better of the Bush administration and others than mediocre, with a C+. But Rhode Island is in Washington” for their platitudes and New England’s legislative dunce, barely scrap- cash-starved health and education initia- ing by with a D. tives, the Providence Journal reported. “We love the platitudes: ‘Children are our future. They are the promise of to- Local bills we’re watching morrow. Our children are our chance at Right now, two bills before the R.I. immortality,’” she said. “But this is a na- legislature merit close watching. Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, tion that loves the notion of children but Anna Quindlen “Certificate of birth resulting in doesn’t really like the reality of kids. stillbirth” — Opponents of legal abor- “Public policy follows the easier road, in which Head Start is underfunded tion have used similar legislation to but prisons are a booming business, in which welfare cuts are all the rage and expand the concept of “fetal person- subsidized daycare is a cul-de-sac. Then we wonder why our kids don’t do bet- hood,” and thus chip away at a woman’s ter and our families fall apart.” rights. In this case, though, PPRI staff Her appearance in Providence marked the 10th anniversary of PPRI’s and Rep. Edith H. Ajello submitted an Teen Health Center. PPRI opened the Center in 1997 with a generous contri- amendment to the bill that strictly de- bution from the Prospect Hill Foundation and The Rhode Island Foundation. fined stillbirth as “the naturally occur- The Teen Health Center provides confidential contraception and sex ed coun- ring intrauterine death of a fetus.” The seling to females and males 13–22. Fees are on a sliding scale for those without new language neutralizes the bill’s value insurance. as a rhetorical tool against abortion. The goals of the Teen Health Center include fewer unwanted pregnancies The “24-hour waiting bill” has and lowering the incidence of sexually transmitted infections among Rhode raised its ugly head again. This annually Island’s youth. raised, and so far annually defeated, bill requires a woman to mull her decision to have an abortion for an additional 24 Donors: Your gifts fund 100% of our effort to protect women’s hours after she’s spoken with a medical counselor, “just in case.” The paternal- reproductive health care here in Rhode Island. It is our privilege to istic and demeaning implication: the act as your eyes, ears, and voice with legislators and other policy- woman hasn’t yet given her decision makers. Thank you for your steady enough serious thought. PPRI strongly support. Everything we achieve in opposes this bill. this arena depends on you.
  18. 18. MassNews faLL 2010 41 WEST STREET, STE 700 BOSTON, MA 02111 617-542-8683 News for the Donors, Volunteers, and Supporters of MassVOTE WWW.MASSvOTE.ORG Who Make This All Possible. Your gifts go to make sure With your donations… every vote is counted… MassVOTE is building the largest MassVOTE Get-Out-The-Vote machine in state conducts first-ever history for this fall’s elections independent audit of Massachusetts ➟ Nearly 100 organizations prepare to hit the streets M voting machines assVOte Is tuRnIng uP the heat for election Day. Your ➟ Historic first sparks staunch opposition from contributions are at work, build- ing the biggest get-out-the-vote machine this Secretary of State state’s ever seen! ➟possible next step as Lawsuit considered almost 100 groups from Boston to spring- field have been assembled. this includes groups like the Disability Policy Consortium, Massachusetts transgender w ItH YOuR BaCkIng, Political Coalition, Pioneer Valley Planning Committee in springfield, and the MassVOte recently naaCP’s worcester branch. conducted the first-ever and, your support is allowing us to provide these organizations with state- independent audit of an election of-the-art technology to track voters better than ever before. Fully trained and machine in Massachusetts. equipped, volunteers are hitting the streets statewide — organizing door to door In June, using the Public and registering voters. Records law, your team at Mass- to kick off our get-Out-the-Vote campaign, MassVOte’s Young Civic leaders VOte asked to see all 1,007 anony- trained and led more than 150 youth in voter registration drives, focusing on mous ballots cast in a randomly Boston in July and springfield in august. selected precinct in shrewsbury High-income, suburban white voters are much more likely to vote than low- during the 2010 special election for income people of color in the cities. In the January special election to replace ted u.s. senate. kennedy, voter turnout was over 70% in areas like Dover and Hingham. that 1,002 ballots were correctly same day, only 40% of Boston and 25% of lawrence voted. the story was the same counted. On the remaining five, around the state. Read more on page 2. with your help, the story will be quite different this november.
  19. 19. Using your money to get their money out of politics… Campaign Finance Reform: What you’ve made possible Victory on National ➟ Opinion polls, statewide conference calls, petition drives – oh my! Popular Vote and Bilingual Ballots! l ast wInteR, MassVOte • Congressman Michael Capuano sent you a survey and asked and voting rights expert Brenda Thanks to you, MassvOTE was able wright from the Democracy Pro- to support Common Cause and the you, what issue that we work gram at Demos, a national think Chinese Progressive Association on is most important to you? an to pass two important pieces of overwhelming number of you said tank, joined us for a conference legislation this year. “campaign finance reform.” You want call. they answered your questions corporate money out of politics. so about campaign finance reform and the Citizens’ united ruling. ➟ The National Popular Vote, if passed by enough states, will give do we. the presidency to the candidate Here’s what your financial support • In July, you may have been who wins the most popular votes has allowed us to do, so far: among our crews of volunteers nationwide. Massachusetts is the on Centre street in Jamaica 6th state to pass this legislation. • In May, MassVOTE conducted Plain and Broadway in southie. a poll with suffolk university to find out what the public thinks Clipboards in hand, you asked people what they thought about ➟ The Bilingual Ballots Law will protect voting rights about Citizens’ united — the Janu- the role of big money in politics. by extending the use of English- ary 2010 supreme Court decision More than 800 people agreed Chinese and English-vietnamese that lets businesses spend unlim- that something needs to be done ballots in Boston’s Chinatown and ited amounts of money in federal other neighborhoods through 2012. and signed our petition. elections. Four out of every five Massachusetts residents agree without you, none of this would with you — and oppose the ruling. have been possible. with you, any- thing is possible. first-ever independent audit of Massachusetts voting machines (CONTINUED fROM PAGE 1) the voters had mismarked their bal- and town election officials to deny lots. But their intent, in all five cases, our requests for additional audits. seemed clear. as your newsletter goes to press, while this may affirm your confi- we’re looking at our options. we may dence in the count, it also highlights bring a lawsuit. we may push for new the importance of well-trained poll legislation. One thing is for sure — we workers and clear signs at the polls won’t give up. to instruct voters how to mark their as Charles stewart, Political ballots. after all, as al gore knows science Professor at MIt, says, “Post- all too well, miscounting 1 in 200 election audits of voting machines ballots can make a huge difference are now a best-practice among states in a close election. who are interested in making sure sadly, your own secretary of that the machines remain in good An uncounted ballot discovered during MassvOTE’s audit of Special state doesn’t agree. the office- shape and that election procedures Election results from January 2010 in holder responsible for the integrity were followed.” Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. This first- More than half the states in the of the electoral process opposes our ever independent audit of your voting machines in state history was shut attempts to ensure that the state’s u.s. require random audits of voting down by Secretary of State William voting machinery is working prop- machines after elections. Galvin after reviewing just one precinct. erly. secretary Bill galvin told city 2
  20. 20. Your financial support pushes us up Beacon Hill time and again… MassVOTE stormed the State House in support of voter pre-registration bill ➟ Youth voter registration allow led the charge to in advance of your 18th birthday “I ’M tHe next geneRatIOn and I want to be taken seri- ously,” says shaughnessy Cole, a 17 year-old senior and one of MassVOte’s Young Civic leaders. “But, right now, politicians have no Rayanna West, a 15 year-old Young Civic Leader with MassvOTE, visits Senator Robert Hedlund incentive to care about what we think. to ask him to support pre-registration. Pre-registration would let 16½ and 17 year-olds register we’re fighting to pass pre-registration to vote early — and make your lawmakers take younger constituents more seriously. so they’ll listen to us.” TOP LEfT: With your support, “Pre-Registration Chocolate Bars” were delivered to legislators Pre-registration would allow 16½ throughout the State House. Hershey nutrition details were replaced with facts on how pre- registration would impact youth engagement in voting. and 17 year-olds to register to vote before their 18th birthday. Massachusetts, due to out-of-date registration laws. every day this year, your donations sent MassVOte Right up to the closing bell of this year’s legislative volunteers, interns, and staff to the state House to tell session, on July 31, your gifts enabled us to keep up the legislators why getting youth registered to vote early is so fight for pre-registration. while the session ended without important. a final vote, MassVOte isn’t giving up. and neither are letting teens your friends in pre-register “Seeing these youth up at the State House, day the legislature… means fewer 18 “when this year-olds will after day – they’re inspiring.” session began, need to register State Rep. Mike Moran no one was talk- at the last min- ing about pre- ute. and, fewer will miss the deadline and end up unable to registration. now, it’s on everybody’s radar screen. we’ve vote on election Day. got momentum and we’re going to get this done next year,” Current programs to register high school students just said ellen story, the bill’s lead sponsor and a state Repre- don’t work. sentative from amherst. no one knows that better than our Young Civic leaders, “seeing these youth up at the state House, — they’re nine high school students who work part-time at Mass- inspiring,” said Representative Mike Moran, the Chair of VOte thanks to your committed support. the Young Civic the House Committee on elections laws. “while we didn’t leaders teach their peers about democracy and voting. and pass pre-registration this time, I’m looking forward to they’ve learned that very few teens can actually register in working with you to get it done.” MASSVOTE NEEDS YOU! Are you ready to knock doors, hold signs, or register voters? There are so many ways for you to get involved with MassvOTE this election season and beyond. for more info, contact Manolia Charlotin at 617-542-8683 x201 or mcharlotin@massvote.org 3

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