Happy National Voter Registration Day!!!

It’s National Voter Registration Day!! Look for League members out and about registering new voters!

Click here for more information on events and information nationwide!

Sudbury LWV Forum on Marijuana Use

The League of Women Voters of Sudbury cordially invites you to attend an

educational forum, Marijuana in Massachusetts, on Sunday, November 8, at the

Goodnow Library from 2:30-4:30 PM. Panelists will be State Senator William

Brownsberger; State Representative Hannah Kane; Robert Moura, Director of

Pharmacy at Emerson Hospital; and Mike Fitzgerald, Founder and CEO of New

England Grass Roots Institute. There will be a discussion of possible legislation to

de-criminalize marijuana for recreational uses as well as the use of medical

marijuana under the current Massachusetts laws.

Click below for a flyer.


Brookline LWV Opening Meeting: Land Use

On Wednesday, October 7, the League of Women Voters of Brookline (LWVB)

will host a public meeting in Brookline Town Hall featuring Anthony Flint, a

fellow and director of public affairs at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (and

Brookline resident), who will speak on current strategies for land use planning.

Citizen education and voter services are at the core of the LWVB mission. The

LWVB has committed to make “land use” a priority for activity in the coming

year. The Brookline League will be hosting informational meetings, convening

panels of experts, and working in many ways to inform Brookline residents about

proposed projects that can impact quality of life, open space, affordable housing,

neighborhood preservation, traffic and transportation, and more.

Brookline is a fully built-out community, with very limited land available.

Currently there are many pressures for development or redevelopment, both public

and private. Reflecting these pressures, the town has a number of land use studies

either in progress or scheduled over the next 12-18 months:

  • a review of possible sites for a 9th elementary school and for high school expansion;
  • a housing production plan for affordable housing;
  • a reconsideration of the Centre Street parking lot;
  • a review of possible sites for expansion of the Coolidge Corner Library;
  • a review of long-term uses for Town-owned facilities;
  • a review of the status of large private land holdings;
  • a review of possible eminent domain actions; and
  • a study by MIT graduate students of the eastern section of Rt. 9/Boylston Street

The MIT study area is already being impacted by a hotel under construction,

having Devotion students in the previously empty Old Lincoln School, and the

approved redevelopment at Brookline Place, scheduled to begin this month.

Coolidge Corner will soon be feeling the impact of the renovation and expansion

of Devotion School. South Brookline is feeling pressure from the proposed

Brookline League of Women Voters

Opening Meeting

construction of nearly 200 housing units at Hancock Village under 40B, the state

comprehensive permit statute.

There is an immense demand for residential units in the Boston metro area, and

40B allows a developer to bypass local zoning in return for providing at least 20%

of affordable units. Brookline is seeing a significant increase in proposals for

multi-unit housing by private developers invoking 40B because the Town does not

meet the requirement that 10% of total units must be affordable by state-defined

income eligibility. The 10% target is difficult to achieve in a built-out community.

In fact, Brookline has actively supported affordable housing through inclusionary

zoning, local initiatives such as the mixed income housing at St. Aidan’s and on

Fisher Hill, and, by creating an Affordable Housing Trust Fund that supports local

projects such as Pine Street Inn’s enhanced lodging house units and the Housing

Authority’s new units on Dummer Street.

Brookline has a long history of being in the forefront on planned land use and

development. The Lindens, with two landscaped parks in Brookline Village, is the

first planned subdivision (1843) in the United States. The pioneering Frederick

Law Olmsted firm of landscape designers and urban planners, located in Brookline

from the 1880’s until 1948, influenced development decisions, as did the early

introduction of streetcar lines in the 1880’s. The Town formed the first Planning

Board (chaired by Frederick Olmsted. Jr.), campaigned for the Massachusetts

Constitutional Amendment establishing municipal zoning in 1922, and adopted the

first Zoning By-law in the state. The Town has published five Comprehensive

Plans since 1959, a Preservation Master Plan (1983), Parks and Open Space Plans

in 2000, 2005 & 2010, and many intermediate studies.

More recently, the LWVB initiated Future Search in 1998, a participatory process

that led to the creation of the Brookline Neighborhood Alliance and kicked-off the

Town’s last Comprehensive Plan, 2005-2015. Given all the studies and proposals

in the pipeline, it seems timely for the LWVB to initiate a process of thoughtful

public discussion on how Brookline is managing the tools currently available for

land use planning.

Get involved. Join us at the community discussions and educational forums that

will be scheduled in the months ahead. And come to our Opening Meeting on

October 7th, 6:30 PM at Brookline Town Hall, 6th Floor. It will also be broadcast

live by Brookline Interactive Group.

Betsy DeWitt, Upland Road, and Janice Kahn, Craftsland Road, are members of

the Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters of Brookline


Westwood and Needham League Events

Two of our neighboring LWV chapters are sponsoring some terrific forums in the coming weeks. The first is a Forum on Human Trafficking hosted by the Westwood, Walpole and Dedham League.  It is at the Endicott Estate on September 15th. Click below for more information and a flyer.
The second one is a Forum on Money in Politics hosted by the Needham League at the Needham Library on October 15th. Click below for more information and a flyer.

Norwood LWV Chateau Fundraiser, September 17!

Chateau fundraiser flyer 0917215

Click the link and print the flyer for our second annual Chateau fundraiser. On September 17, 2015, the Norwood LWV will receive 20% of the total bill to help our voter service efforts! Offer is good for takeout, too!

We hope to see you there!

Regional Study Updates

Click here for a flyer describing the LWVMA’s regional study updates. We are looking at Money in Politics and the Constitutional Amendment process.

Voter Service Information from the LWVMA

Guide for Local Leagues on Massachusetts Election Reforms

The Massachusetts League of Women Voters has developed a one-page Massachusetts Election Reforms 2015-16: A Guide for Local Leagues, which is attached to this post and located on our website in the Voter Service Toolkit (look under Member Resources).  This easy reference outlines the timetable for the reforms enacted as part of the 2014 Election Modernization Law: online voter registration, early voting, and pre-registration of teens.  The guide outlines when each of these goes into effect and the impact of each on our local leagues.

Massachusetts Election Reforms 2015

Also, we are very excited that the LWVMA is planning to launch the Vote411.org Online Voters’ Guide for Massachusetts for the 2016 calendar year.  VOTE411.org Online Voters’ Guide, a customizable digital resource developed by the national League of Women Voters (LWVUS), will allow Massachusetts voters to access personalized ballot information – for statewide races, state legislative races, and U.S. Congressional races – simply by entering a street address. Voters will also be able to access in-depth information about candidates (including candidates’ responses to questions created by LWVMA) and ballot measures, an online voter registration tool, local and state voting requirements and rules, a polling place finder, and videos of candidate debates. We will be working out the details in the coming months, and there will be many opportunities for local league and state league collaboration on this exciting voter project.

Please check out our link at the top of the page for Online Voter Registration!


Invasive Plant Forum Coming in September

Invasive Plants: Not Just a Nuisance

Do you know why invasive plants are harmful beyond our gardens, extending to the local food web? Are you curious about which invasive plants are in our area? How can we recognize them? How can we eliminate them from our own yards and community?

Dr. Eric Olson, an expert on invasive plants, will address these questions on Friday, September 18 at 9:30 a.m. in the Needham Public Library, at the League of Women Voters of Needham’s first League Friday Forum of the season. You’re invited to come and learn more about this important topic.

Dr. Olson is a professor in the Sustainable International Development Graduate Program at Brandeis University, with a PhD in evolutionary biology and ecology, specifically in the ecology of “tri-trophic” interactions: host plants, the insects that feed on these plants, and the wasps, birds, and other predators that feed on those insects. He also teaches courses in water & sanitation, climate change, ecotourism, environmental impact assessment, and environmental health.

A question and answer period will follow. Light refreshments will be served at 9:30and the speaker will begin at 9:45. The event is free and open to the public.



Happy Fourth of July! Spread the word about Vote411!

Independence Day marks the birth of our nation and the signing of the Declaration of Independence that outlined the key tenets that our Constitution would be based on. In addition to the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, our founding fathers also envisioned people having the power of our democracy in their hand.

Help celebrate these core American values by making sure everyone you know is registered to vote. Help someone register to vote today!

It is up to us to ensure we have a more responsive and effective government, not one at the mercy of big donors who can hide their identities and shell out massive contributions buying access and influence over our elected officials. You can help drown out the influence of money – urge your friends and family to register to vote and to weigh in on the issues that matter most to them.

Every year, the League of Women Voters empowers millions of voters in local, state and federal elections. For 95 years, we’ve been committed to making sure all eligible voters are registered, have the information they need to participate in elections and have their vote counted. Every election, whether local, state or federal, is important to ensuring our laws and policies reflect the values and beliefs of our communities.

Each Election Day, millions of voters head to the polls to be heard on the issues most important to them – don’t let anyone be left out.
Voting brings us together as Americans – it is the one time when we are all equal. Every vote counts and our votes make a difference. Share VOTE411.org with your networks and remind the people in your life to update their voter registration information or register for the first time.  

Thank you for Making Democracy Work®.

Jeanette Senecal
Senior Director of Elections
League of Women Voters


P.S. Rooted in the movement that secured women the right to vote, the League of Women Voters has always been committed to registering, educating and turning out voters – and we’re not stopping now. To help us continue this vital work, please make a donation today. Your support helps the League keep VOTE411.org online and available in communities across the country.

Walk Around Norwood’s Historical Neighborhood!

Walk Around the Historic Neighborhood

The Norwood Historical Society will host a walking tour of the neighborhood surrounding its headquarters at 93 Day Street on Wednesday, June 24, beginning at 7:00 pm. Join local historians Bob Donahue and Patti Fanning as they talk about local sites including the Masonic Temple, the Sanborn block, and the former homes of Joseph Day, Joel Baker, and Lyman Smith. And, there will be a few surprises as we peer into Norwood’s past. The tour will begin and end at the Day House where refreshments will be served. Free and open to the public. For more information call the Norwood Historical Society at 781-762-9197 or check the website at www.norwoodhistoricalsociety.org