Breaking Barriers Forum at Boston College

Breaking Barriers

This Friday at Boston College Law School’s Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy:  BREAKING BARRIERS:  GENDER POLITICS IN GOVERNMENT.  Panelists are Katherine Clark, Kerry Healey, Evelyn Murphy, and Jane Swift.

Please click the link above for a flyer and more information.

Democracy Under Siege Forum at Harvard University

Democracy Under Siege
Thursday, October 29, 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Tsai Auditorium, Harvard University
CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

A Scholars Strategy Network Forum

What Changes in Business Organization Mean for American Democracy
Jacob Hacker, Stanley B. Resor Professor of Political Science, Yale University

Thwarting the Majority: Unequal Voice and Gridlock in American Democracy
Martin Gilens, Professor of Politics, Princeton University
Benjamin I. Page, Gordon Scott Fulcher Professor of Decision Making, Northwestern University

The Hard Right Tilt — Roots, Results, and Remedies
Theda Skocpol, Victor S. Thomas Professor of Sociology and Government, Harvard University; Co-founder and Director of the Scholars Strategy Network
Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, Ph.D. Candidate in Government and Social Policy, Harvard University

This event is co-sponsored by the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy

Upcoming LWV Events in Massachusetts

The Sudbury League is holding an educational forum on Marijuana in Massachusetts Sunday, Nov. 8, at2:30 p.m.

Marijuana in Massachusetts.flyer

The Needham League is Co-sponsoring this program with Green Needham Collaborative this comingThursday, October 22 at the Needham Library beginning at 7:30 pm.  Attached is a flyer.

GNC Food waste flier

At a time when many Americans suffer from hunger, up to 40% of food of the food in the U.S. goes uneaten — culled as imperfect and unsalable by producers, discarded by grocery stores, uneaten by restaurant & cafeteria customers, and thrown away in people’s homes. As daunting as the problem seems, there are solutions that offer multiple benefits. These solutions will be the subject of a presentation co-sponsored by Green Needham Collaborative and the Needham League of Women Voters. “Too Good to Waste: Creative Solutions for Reducing Food Waste” will be presented on Thursday, October 22, 7:30 the Needham Library.  Joshua Cook, Green Business Specialist for the Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection, and Greg Smith, the Superintendent of the Needham RTS, will speak about state and local actions to reduce food waste. Food waste reduction tips for households will also be provided.
Lastly, The UN is celebrating its 70th Anniversary and the LWVUS has been asked to be a part of it, as founding members of the organization.  Actually our efforts in 1944 were instrumental in urging the Senate to ratify the UN charter and to gain support within the US State Department (which wasn’t onboard). Eleanor Roosevelt is also featured prominently highlighting the work she did with League of Women Voters as a past member of the LWVNY Board and LWVUS Chair of the “Legislation” (which I believe was the precursor to the Advocacy) Committee–for stirring her political non-partisan passions & needed when she helped to create the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  I do hope that you’ll have an opportunity to “attend” via on  this Thursday, October 22 at 11am.

Message from the new LWVUS President

Click here to read the welcome message from the National League of Women Voters’ new President!


Norwood League Social with the New Norwood High School Principal

The Norwood League of Women Voters is pleased to provide an informal opportunity to meet and greet Norwood High School’s new principal, Jonathan Bourn, and hear his comments and vision for the future of Norwood High’s educational programs. Members of the public who are interested in this program as well as the league are most welcome to attend. The social takes place on Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at 7:15 p.m. at Bertucci’s Restaurant (in their private function room), Route One, Norwood. Refreshments will be served. Please contact Toni at 781-769-7865 or to reserve your seat.

2015 NLWV Kickoff

League of Women Voters’ Position on Gun Control

The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization that supports voter education and access to voting rights. We do not support candidates, although we will support positions and policy. We decide to take positions on certain legislation and policy after careful and thorough study, and consensus meetings held in ALL of our local chapters, who then submit their consensus position to the national League, and a position is written and published.

In light of the shockingly repetitive recent national tragedy involving a school shooting, here is the position the League of Women Voters holds on gun control measures in the United States.

Statement of Position on Gun Control, as Adopted by 1990 Convention and amended by the 1994 and 1998 Conventions:

The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that the proliferation of handguns and semi-automatic assault weapons in the United States is a major health and safety threat to its citizens. The League supports strong federal measures to limit the accessibility and regulate the ownership of these weapons by private citizens. The League supports regulating firearms for consumer safety.

The League supports licensing procedures for gun ownership by private citizens to include a waiting period for background checks, personal identity verification, gun safety education and annual license renewal. The license fee should be adequate to bear the cost of education and verification.

The League supports a ban on “Saturday night specials,” enforcement of strict penalties for the improper possession of and crimes committed with handguns and assault weapons, and allocation of resources to better regulate and monitor gun dealers.

For more information on ALL the League’s positions on policy and societal issues, please click here to read further.

Thank you for all that you do to support voter rights and the League’s voter education work.

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.