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John Reed at Zion Union Heritage Museum. A Cape Cod Times photoJOHN REED WAS a GUIDING FORCE to UNITY on CAPE COD
A remembrance by Jeanne Morrison, LWVCCA Co-President

The League of Women Voters of the Cape Cod Area is saddened by the loss of a well-respected and valued community partner and human rights champion. John Reed, President of the Cape Cod Chapter of the NAACP and the Zion Union Heritage Museum, passed away on February 10th. We offer our deepest sympathies to his wife Karen and his family. John was a friend to the League. He was a guiding force building unity among all peoples in our community. He helped open the doors to diverse communities, bringing people together to advocate for voting rights, voter education and civic engagement. John also participated in and co-hosted forums with LWVCCA on immigration and racial justice. He was instrumental in getting people of color to register to vote, go to the polls, run for office, attend town meetings, and serve on committees. He consistently provided support to elected officials and demanded accountability for addressing the needs of their constituents, especially the underserved. John assisted multitudes of residents in their time of need. He was a force of conscience and a pillar of strength in the community. Many league members had long standing relationships with John as an educator, mentor and community leader. Comments shared by some of our League members include…

“He was a great advisor; I loved his no nonsense attitude on how to navigate the REAL world.”
“John was a committed and inspirational leader.”
“John Reed was my friend, my mentor and an advocate for my ESL students at Barnstable High School. I had such admiration for all the community work he did. If there was a problem, he would bring people together. If a student needed help, he would try to solve their problem. If a student was discriminated against, he would intervene. Everyone knew him, throughout the whole school system. He was a tower of strength.”
“John was my mentor and friend who taught me to serve my community, and shared a lifetime of lessons with me.”

He will be missed but his memory is etched into the community for many decades to come. The impact of his life’s work has fostered a legacy of community engagement and service carried out by many people he has taught and guided throughout his lifetime.

From the Cape Cod Times:
"Remembering John Reed Cape Cod Mentor, Leader, Civil, Rights Champion"

If you can't access that article, view a PDF Here.

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The first event in our Dr. Florence Seldin “Democracy Is Not a Spectator Sport” Speaker Series:

/image of young people holding 'VOTE' signs, and text "Youth Power: Claiming our Future woth Our Vote"

Keynote:Ruby Belle Booth, Election Coordinator, CIRCLE (Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University) speaking about the importance and the power of the youth vote and data about how it is making a difference. Ruby also previews the report “Growing Voters” to explain how schools and the community can work together to prepare young adults for voting. Ruby Belle Booth is also a fellow at the non-partisan Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School, where she focuses on civic learning and voter engagement.

Panelists:  Our panelists speak about what motivates them to vote and why they think other young adults should vote. They share their thoughts about making voting more accessible to young people.

  • Maryanna Crawley, Junior at Barnstable High School
  • Ben Stoloff, First year law student, resident of Needham, and grandson of Florence and Ira Seldin
  • Allison Carter, Young professional and League member
  • Thalles DeSouza, student at Cape Cod Community College:
  • Asher Hamilton, Coordinator of Life Fitness Department, Cape Cod Community College
  • Rosemary Shields, LWVCCA Co-Chair of Voter Service, speaking about resource information for voters

View the recording here: https://youtu.be/h4Nd19VMtkM?t=1

Or, go to links and individual speakers' segments of the recording here:
Links to resources and individual speakers' segments in the recording.

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LWVUS President Dr. Deborah Turner and CEO Virginia Kase Solomón have issued a powerful joint statement and pledged to “continue to fight until the right to abortion is restored.
Our lives depend on it.”

LWVUS, LWVMA, and LWVCCA Speak Out on Leaked Supreme Court Draft Opinion

On May 5, the LWVUS spoke out about the leaked draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade: "If this draft opinion holds...it not only strips women and pregnant people of their personal autonomy...it will open the door to erode more fundamental rights." 

The same day, the LWVMA thanked the Massachusetts state legislature: "...for passing, in 2020, the ROE Act, legislation that codified the right to an abortion in Massachusetts regardless of any U.S. Supreme Court decision."

In the May 8 issue of the Cape Cod Times, LWVCCA President Suzanne Brock spoke out, too, as a guest columnist. Read her column on the LWVCCA website here.
Or see the original article at the Cape Cod Times Website

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Cape Cod Legislators 20222022 Legislative Breakfast with Cape and Islands Legislators

The LWVCCA recently held its Annual Legislative Breakfast –online this year—with the Cape Cod and Islands delegation.

The League thanks our legislators for their attendance, collegiality, and thoughts about the legislation that we’ve been advocating for during the 192nd legislative session.

Thank you to Senator Susan Moran, Representative Tim Whelan, Representative Kip Diggs, Representative Sarah Peake, Representative David Vieira, Representative Dylan Fernandes, and Representative Steven Xiarhos for taking the time to comment on several pending pieces of legislation — Election Day Registration, the Common Start bill, gender, racial and ethnic parity on public boards and commissions, and radioactive waste dumping in Cape Cod waters — and on other issues, such as housing, climate change, and the need for engagement in local government.

Watch the recording here:

2022 LWVCCA Legislative Breakfast











Image of children above LWVCCA and Commo Start Coalition logos

On February 5, 2022, the League of Women Voters of the Cape Cod Area and the Cape and Islands Chapter of the Common Start Coalition presented a panel discussion highlighting how parents, childcare providers, members of the business community, and Massachusetts lawmakers have worked together to develop model legislation—called the Common Start bill—that addresses the need for high-quality, affordable  early education and childcare on the Cape and a “common start” in life for all Massachusetts children.

Speakers included:

  • State Senator Susan Moran and State Representative Kip Diggs
  • Amy O'Leary, Strategies for Children
  • Noelle Pina, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce
  • Debra Murphy, Cape Cod Community College
  • Rafaela Fonseca, Family Child Care Program Provider 
  • Lynda Allen, Crystal Garden Children's Learning Center
  • Janae Mendes, a Yarmouth Port parent
  • Eileen Elias, League of Women Voters of the Cape Cod Area
  • Sandy Faiman-Silva, Cape and Islands Chapter of the Common Start Coalition

Follow this link to see a List of Resources and Links referenced during the forum
Follow this link to see Panelists' Biographies.

The panelists shared their viewpoints on the Common Start legislation’s funding proposals, its impact on the Cape’s workforce, and its professional development opportunities.

More than 50 attendees—in addition to the 22 members of the panel, planning committee, and translators—learned why passing this pending bill is important to Cape Cod. Many asked for suggestions on how to contact their legislators in order to promote passage of the bill and to share their personal stories about the need for this legislation.

The virtual program—available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese—was open to the public by advance registration. To hear a recording of the event, with closed-captioning in either English, Spanish, or Portuguese, click here:


Flyer for the Barnstable County Human Right Commission Awards BreakfastThe Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission Annual Human Rights Awards Breakfast 

The Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission (HRAC) held its Annual Human Rights Awards Breakfast on Friday, December 10.  Jeanne Morrison was the moderator. The theme was  “Honoring the Wampanoag Nation — Keepers of the Earth.”

An article about the event was published in the Cape Cod Times. Excerpts from that article are below.

By uplifting the Wampanoag nation and tribal youth, Jeanne Morrison said this year’s Human Rights Awards Breakfast will “honor the heritage, culture, wisdom and guidance of Native people.”

“If anybody fights for human rights, it’s indigenous people,” said Morrison, a member of the Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission. “From heritage and culture to our Constitution, to street names that run through Barnstable County — it’s all due to the cultural and environmental legacy of Wampanoag people.”

To her knowledge, Susan Quinones, Barnstable County Human Rights coordinator, said it’s the first time the commission has honored the Wampanoag tribe in this way and said the recognition is “a long time coming.”

“The Wampanoag nation are the keepers of the earth. We think it's time to recognize the tribe and focus on the culture and the environmental contributions of the Wampanoag tribe.”

To read the article on the Cape Cod Times website, go to this link: https://tinyurl.com/yhk3j7as

To see a PDF of the article on the LWVCCA website, go to this link: https://tinyurl.com/3pd3uebd