Congratulations to the six Leagues awarded Daniel Scharfman Citizen Education Grants in June. The total amount dispersed in this cycle for the six grants was $1,447.
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 Melrose, “Fall Forums”
LWV Melrose will host at least two forums this fall to educate voters about the candidates as well as the issues. The local election is in November 2015. The elections are for 14 local seats (three school committee, three aldermen at large, seven ward aldermen, and mayor) as well as for one or more ballot questions. Multiple panels and at least two forums will be desirable and necessary to handle the large number of candidates. The forums will be open to the public, free of charge. The forums enable members of the public to submit questions to the candidates and hear their views. The forums will be filmed to be shown repeatedly on the local access television channel.
LWV Needham, “Timeline Project”
In honor of its 75th anniversary, LWV Needham is creating a timeline of the past 75 years. The timeline will be displayed in a public place (most likely the Needham Library or the Needham Historical Society) and at a League event open to the public at Needham Town Hall in November 1, 2015. The timeline will educate the public about the past achievements of LWV Needham, put into perspective with national and world events at the time.
LWV Shrewsbury, “Historical Reenactment”
The Shrewsbury LWV will invite Sheryl Faye, an historical re-enactor who performs as famous women, including Eleanor Roosevelt, to perform during the Spirit of Shrewsbury Fall Festival. The goal is to initiate and open up a multiyear program to help prepare the residents of Shrewsbury for the 100th anniversary of the League. This event is open to the general public and perfect for both genders and all ages.
LWV Springfield Unit of Northampton, “Voter Education Activities”
The newly formed LWV Springfield unit of Northampton received support for voter education activities aimed at increasing visibility and establishing the LWV as a premiere source of voter information in Springfield. The Springfield Unit will purchase an LWV banner to take to voter registration drives, carry in parades, and display at community events. And, to ensure that the new League unit is represented at the premiere summer events attended by the greatest number of low-turnout voters, the grant money will also be used for event fees for non-profit table/booth participants.
LWV Waltham, “Sandwich Boards”
LWV Waltham will purchase two sandwich boards, which will be used to publicize LWV Waltham public events. During the past two years, this local League has presented several public events that have been publicized in the local newspaper and on local cable television. Citizens who do not view these local media may not be aware of these meetings. Purchase of these sandwich boards will allow LWV Waltham to publicize these events by placing signs in high-traffic areas and will greatly increase the visibility of LWV Waltham and its educational events.
LWV Worcester, “Naturalization Ceremony Materials”
The Worcester Area LWV received funding to cover materials and postage costs related to its participation in naturalization ceremonies in Central Massachusetts. This League has played a key role in these ceremonies for close to 15 years and, prior to this year, participated annually in five ceremonies in Worcester and three in north Worcester County. At each, League members greet each candidate personally, distribute voter registration forms, and give each candidate printed materials and an American flag. Before the swearing-in takes place, League members give a welcome address from the stage, review each line of the registration form with the candidates, and answer questions. After each ceremony, the League collects completed registation forms and mails them with a LWV cover letter to appropriate city or town halls. In Worcester alone, the Worcester Area LWV distributed 3500+ materials, forms and flags this past year.