Archives for April 2016

April 2016 Awards to Four Local Leagues

Congratulations to the four Leagues awarded Daniel Scharfman Citizen Education Grants. The total amount dispersed in this cycle for the four grants was $1,000.00

For information on the grant program, click here.

The grant program offers funds to help Leagues carry out events and projects in the areas of citizen education and voter service. Generous contributions to the Lotte E. Scharfman Education Fund have made this successful grant program possible. Please consider donating to the fund. Donations can be made through the website, lwvma.org. A big thank you to those of you who have donated in the past, making this grant program possible.

LWV Cape Ann:  Public Forum on the November 2016 referendum questions

This is an educational forum for the voters of Cape Ann explaining the referendum questions that will appear on the November 2016 ballot. LWV Cape Ann plans to involve high school students in researching and developing the discussion points, one student for the PRO and one for the CON in each presentation. If all three Cape Ann high schools participate, LWV Cape Ann will do the presentation three times in three separate locations.

LWV of the Springfield Unit of the Northampton Area: Candidate meet and greet for Hampden County Sheriff

In 2016, Voters in Hampden County will elect a sheriff for the first time in 42 YEARS. The Springfield Unit of the LWV of Northampton Area is planning an educational event followed by a candidate meet and greet in the “candi-dating” format pioneered by the LWV of Southwest Missouri to maximize voter contact time and allow for more in-depth discussion with primary candidates.

LWV Norwood: Norwood Public Schools Financing Study

The Norwood League of Women Voters elected to study the financing of the Norwood Public Schools. Each year, the School Committee is asked to prepare a budget and the appropriate funding of the schools has become very difficult. The funding being provided by the Town of Norwood and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has left the School Committee with some very difficult choices.  The League elected to study this issue to determine why there was a continual problem and what needs to be done to provide adequate funding.  Norwood is one of many towns facing a financial strain with regard to funding public schools.

*A report on the study is available, please contact the LWVMA office.

LWV Westford:  “A Guide to Town Meeting” booklet

The Westford League edits and prints a booklet named “A Guide to Town Meeting.” This 28-page booklet describes the entire process of Town Meeting for Westford.  It includes sections on the participants, articles and motions, the debate, and voting.  It is an invaluable reference for voters who have just moved to Westford, or are unfamiliar with the way Town Meeting is run locally.  As procedures and rules change, League members have worked on the document to keep it up to date. The League prints and distributes this booklet at Town Meeting.

LWV Takes Strong Stance on Money in Politics

The League of Women Voters has strengthened its stand on the damaging role of big money in political campaigns and the political system.

The national League (LWVUS) has specifically called for:

  • Full public financing of Congressional as well as Presidential elections;
  • Abolishing Super PACs and spending coordinated or directed by candidates, and
  • Restrictions on direct donations and bundling by lobbyists.

In addition, LWVUS set these broader goals to combat the influence of money in politics:

  • Enhance political equality for all citizens;
  • Protect representative democracy from being distorted by big spending in election campaigns;
  • Provide voters sufficient information about candidates and campaign issues to make informed choices;
  • Ensure transparency and the public’s right to know who is using money to influence elections; and
  • Enable candidates to compete equitably for public office.

These actions resulted from a two-year study of money in politics and input from local Leagues around the country. That study led to the drafting of a new League position broadening the League’s traditional focus on preventing corruption and undue influence in government and leading to these specific calls for action.

“League members believe in the power of women to create a more perfect democracy and our recent study and new position statement on Money in Politics will reenergize and focus their work at every level of government,” said League President, Elisabeth MacNamara.

League of Women Voters of Massachusetts members actively pushed for an update of the position shortly after the 2010 Citizens United ruling, in an effort spearheaded by Concord-Carlisle League member, Becky Shannon.

Needham League member Corlette Moore McCoy and Concord-Carlisle League and LWVMA Board member Launa Zimmaro served on the national committee developing the study that led to the new position.

LWVMA President Jean Cherdack stated, “This has been a long, but gratifying journey. The new position provides an even stronger foundation for our efforts to make democracy work for all.”

The League of Women Voters has been a leader in seeking campaign finance reform at the state, local, and federal levels for more than four decades, supporting the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1974 (FECA), working for the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), and participating in numerous court cases, including Citizens United v. FEC (2010).

 

Mother’s Day 2016: Honor a Special Woman and Support the League!

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 5.49.40 PMFor a $25 donation, we will send a card to a special woman in your life, wishing her a Happy Mother’s Day and letting her know that a donation to the League has been made in her name.  This is a great opportunity for you to recognize a mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, aunt, niece, cousin, friend…or anyone else!  Donations will go to our Citizen Education Fund to support our voter service and education programs anMother Knows Bestd are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.  Simply include the name and address of the recipient(s) on the form below and we will mail the card directly to her. Orders must be received by April 29, 2016 to be delivered by Mother’s Day (this year, May 8).   [Read more…]