League of Women Voters of Sudbury
PO Box 338
Sudbury, MA 01776
The League of Women Voters of Sudbury is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. We influence public policy through education and advocacy.
- Civics Bee for the past five years in cooperation with the Wayland and Weston Leagues, with teams composed of middle school and high school students and adults from each town
- Candidates’ Nights for spring election of town officials and school committee members for the past 57 years
- Candidates’ Nights for state legislature races
- Voters’ Guides for local and state legislature races published in the Sudbury Town Crier and on our website
- Public forums on health care issues every year
- Annual voter registration drive at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School
- Sponsorship, with the National Park Service and neighboring Leagues, of the annual River Steward Award to honor individuals and organizations of the Sudbury-Assabet-Concord watershed
- A public forum on the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling and campaign financing
- A float in Sudbury’s Fourth of July parade, last year supporting expansion of the bottle bill and the year before proclaiming Voters are Heroes
- A How To Run for Office workshop before town elections
Our Latest Project
After a local study on the impact of historic preservation efforts and the Community Preservation Act in Sudbury, the Sudbury League has facilitated a new level of cooperation among the various groups concerned with historic preservation in town and encouraged exploration of the feasibility of a town museum. To generate interest in a museum, the Sudbury League and the historic groups sponsored a walking tour of the town’s center in September and a public forum in February to show off historic artifacts, including a Colonial-era ballot box in which citizens deposited black or white balls to indicate their vote on an issue. We are continuing to advocate for a town museum.
Long Term Contributions
- The Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable is a regional organization that supports shelters for victims of domestic violence, works on legal services for these victims, and educates teens, parents, seniors, clergy, teachers and others about the causes, symptoms and solutions to bullying and domestic violence. The Sudbury League started the Roundtable after a local study of domestic violence and continues to support its work even though the Roundtable is now an independent organization.
- The Sudbury League was the driving force behind extended-day programs in the town’s elementary schools back in the 1980s.
- The Sudbury League proposed major revisions to the conduct of the town’s open annual Town Meeting that streamlined the process by limiting the length of presentations and that opened the meeting up to more comment by abolishing the requirement that speakers be scheduled in advance.
- The Sudbury League publishes a guide to Town Meeting.
- The Sudbury League holds its annual meeting in June and a local program planning meeting in the spring.
- We have a League book group that meets monthly, reading both fiction and non-fiction selected by book group members in September.
- We publish a monthly bulletin, except during the summer, that is distributed to members by email.
- We hold a warrant review meeting for members before Sudbury’s annual Town Meeting in May to decide which warrant articles we support, and we publicize that support before Town Meeting.
Participation in LWVMA and LWVUS
The Sudbury League participates actively in such LWVMA events as Day on the Hill, Council and Convention, and program planning. We participated in the LWVUS Membership and Leadership Development Program in 2011. We also work on LWVUS studies, including the recent privatization study and the upcoming agriculture study.
Sudbury members active in state roles are Nancy Brumback, LWVMA director and trustee of the Lotte E. Scharfman Citizen Education Fund; Susan Abrams, Scharfman trustee, and program specialists Judy Deutsch, health care, and Carolyn Lee, good governance. Carolyn is also a member of the state budget committee.
The League of Women Voters of Sudbury was organized as a provisional League in March, 1956, and officially became a full League on March 4, 1957.
For 57 years, the League of Women Voters of Sudbury has sponsored Candidates’ Nights for both town and state legislative elections to acquaint Sudbury residents with candidates for those offices. The Sudbury League has also held public forums on issues of interest to the town, including health care reform, affordable housing, development in Sudbury and emergency preparedness.
Among its many activities over the past five decades, the Sudbury League has drafted procedures to streamline Town Meeting, supported a town swimming pool, established the Domestic Violence Roundtable, and studied and made recommendations on walkways, recreation, library facilities, town development and extended-day programs. The League has published booklets on Town Meeting rules, permitting procedures, and health care resources. And its members have always been actively involved in town and community organizations, projects and committees.
For our 50th anniversary celebration in 2007, the Sudbury League asked Helen Marie Casey, a past president, active member and published poet, to write a poem to commemorate the event. Here is her celebration of all the League does:
I was not a willing convert to belief in equal rights for women … I was at last aroused to the necessity of demanding the ballot for woman.
Abigail Scott Duniway
The dishes started the journey when she did, April of 1852.
Straw-packed and idle, they bumped across Missouri, Nebraska, Wyoming.
They slept deep inside a feathered bed. Reckless, they crossed the Rockies,
wagon wheels complaining of the load. The oxen did their best. Merciless
fever rode deadpan in the wagons. And fear. There were mosquitoes, large
and ravenous. Abigail learned to grieve, her mother and her brother victims
on the trail. Hardship made a home among them consuming cattle, dogs,
now and then a wornout horse. Sometimes shoes, or shawls, gave up.
Graves marked the Overland Trail. They were a sorry lot
when they reached the pines and alders of the Great Northwest.
She taught school before she chose a sweetheart, married him, birthed
six babies, a newspaper, books, ideas with spurs. Abigail Scott Duniway,
suffragist, crossed each mountain in its turn, forded the streams, and lived
to vote. It was not magic, the vote. More like the ornamented dishes: fragile
wealth; functional; wanting to be used; stubborn.
©Helen Marie Casey