January 2018 Scharfman Grants to Four Local Leagues

Four local Leagues received Daniel Scharfman Citizen Education grants in January 2018:

LWV Arlington: LWVA co-sponsors an annual Candidates’ Night with a Town of Arlington Committee called Vision 2020. LWVA is responsible for contacting/inviting candidates to attend the event where they present their ideas and respond to questions from attendees. The event, held in Arlington Town Hall and open to the public, covers local positions such as Selectmen, School Committee, Housing Authority, Town Clerk, etc. LWVA prepares the Voter’s Guide for Candidates’ Night, a printed pamphlet that contains a picture, brief biography and response to questions posed by LWVA for each candidate. LWVA is responsible for the cost of printing about 200 copies of the Voter’s Guide, which is available as a handout at Candidates’ Night, and also distributed to town libraries. LWVA also pays for the cost of sending a postcard to all Town Meeting candidates inviting them to Candidates’ Night, and for printing tent-style name tags placed on tables in front of candidates at the event.

LWV Boston: LWVB publishes an annual Guide to Elected and Appointed Officials. This request is to help toward the 2018 update. The intention is to print 2,500 and to distribute in a wide variety of paces including libraries,  local  community associations, neighborhood block watch groups, District City Councilors and in response to direct requests.

LWV Concord-Carlisle: LWVCC will host former Ambassador Wendy Sherman as its speaker on Sunday, January 21, 2018, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m., at the Concord Academy Chapel, 166 Main Street, Concord, MA.  Ambassador Sherman will share her experiences and observations about our country’s international positions, with a local emphasis on civic education. Ambassador Sherman’s areas of expertise include Asia, economics, global affairs, North Korea nuclear program, security strategy, and international security and defense. Her travels and experiences in Russia, Syria, Iran, and other countries as an American ambassador on the world stage will enlighten the attendees with a global, yet local, perspective on democracy and public policy. This program will be free and open to the public. The program will be publicized and videotaped for later online access.

LWV Springfield: The city of Springfield is smarting from a series of high-profile cases of proven and alleged police misconduct, some involving brutality against minority citizens. In the wake of a particularly controversial case, the Springfield City Council called for the reinstatement of a civilian police commission to oversee the department. The mayor vetoed the council’s action and the two sides are at an impasse over a highly politicized issue. The controversy finds the public with little background knowledge to go on to understand the difficult question of how to oversee the Springfield Police Department and hold it accountable to the citizens. The Springfield LWV Unit has done research in the extensive and well-developed literature on available models of civilian oversight around the nation and will offer a series of four objective, educational community forums throughout the city in February to present the various oversight models and facilitate informed citizen discussion.The Springfield LWV Unit is training community facilitators in the National Issues Forums format, which it will utilize for these conversations.