Northshore Magazine

Northshore April 2020

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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59 APRIL 2020 North Shore is committed to changing that. Leading Ladies, led by Therese Melden of Manchester and Beverly residents Kim Woods, Mary Barthelmes, and Judith Klein, is dedicated to encouraging women to use their voices through their votes. The group, started last November, is visiting schools, community centers, and other locations to share information about common concerns and to help people register to vote, while also making the case for the importance of voting. "Not everyone knows that more women in this country are eligible to vote than men," Melden says. "We believe that most women care about the same issues: the safety and well- being of children, education, climate change, gun violence, healthcare, and equity. If all women vote, they can be a powerful influence on public policy. There are many groups working to get out the vote; we aim to complement their work but also find our own niche as a local women's group devoted to common issues." In February, Leading Ladies traveled to the State House to lobby for Election Day Voter Registration, a bipartisan bill that would allow thousands of people to vote who were unable to in the last election. Another stop was the REAL literacy project in Lynn, where they spoke with new citizens about the responsibilities of voting. Next on their winter agenda were appearances at local high schools, such as The Academy at Penguin Hall in Wenham and The Governor's Academy in Newbury, to meet with students and register them to vote. Leading Ladies also set up a table at the Cabot Theatre in Beverly during the screening of "Little Women," where they distributed voting information and polled people about the issues of most importance to them. Leading Ladies is the action arm of We are America the Beautiful (WAATB), a nonprofit group started by Melden and Woods in 2016. "If knowledge is power, then we thought that community meetings would be an obvious antidote," Melden says. "The goal of WAATB is to encourage people to be informed about issues." WAATB hosts events every other month in locations in Beverly, Hamilton, and Manchester, with speakers on topics including social issues and the election process. The speakers at the free events are often professors at Boston area universities or directors of local "If knowledge is power, then we thought that community meetings would be an obvious antidote. e goal of WAATB is to encourage people to be informed about issues." — Therese Melden, Leading Ladies FIND NEW INSPIRATION FOR AN OLD SPACE (781) 231 - 4200 mccormick-kitchens.com 1161 Broadway (Route 1 S) Saugus, Massachusetts CONSULTATION & DESIGN ALWAYS FREE OF CHARGE & COMMITMENT

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