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Category: Front Page News

Updated Bottle Bill Signatures Certified

Dec 16, 2013

With the Secretary of State’s office making it official, the Campaign to Update the Bottle Bill announced that its initiative petition qualified today with well over the required amount of signatures. The top signer of the petition, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino said: “This is an important day for the City of Boston and for the entire Commonwealth. The passage of this bill will help clean up our neighborhoods, expand recycling, and save cities and towns money at a time when we need it the most.”

The Secretary of State’s office issued a letter saying the petition had garnered a total of 94,950 certified signatures, 35% more than the required 68,911 to qualify. “While an initiative petition drive is never easy,” commented Janet Domenitz, Executive Director of MASSPIRG, “collecting signatures for this bill, which is so widely supported by the public and so long delayed by the Legislature, felt like making a touchdown.” The coalition collected 130,000 signatures (prior to certification).

The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts (LWVMA), a key organization in the petition drive, deployed members all across the state. “This issue knows no boundaries,” said Lynn Wolbarst of Sharon. “Our League members in Amherst and Gloucester are as enthusiastic as those in Martha’s Vineyard.” LWVMA collect 20,000 of the signatures through a collaborative effort among 36 local Leagues.

The petition drive succeeded with help from many local and state organizations, including the Environmental League of MA, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and the West Boylston Solid Waste Action Team, among others.

Read what the media is saying about this latest success!


Jan. 28 Forum CANCELLED

Updated January 27, 2015 (10:30 p.m.):  Due to the blizzard, the Jan. 28 panel discussion is CANCELLED.  We hope to reschedule this event.  Please check back shortly for the new date.

How is the marked rise in economic inequality affecting civic participation and political expression in the United States? Is the growing gap between the very wealthy and everyone else influencing whose voice is determining political and policy issues? What are the implications of extreme economic inequality for the democratic ideal of “one person, one vote”?

Please plan to attend the panel discussion, “Economic Inequality and Political Participation — Whose Voice Is Heard?” co-sponsored by LWVMA and Bentley University’s Valente Center for the Arts and Sciences on Wednesday, January 28, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Bentley University, 175 Forest Street, Waltham.  The panel will take place in Bentley’s Wilder Pavilion (Adamian Academic Center 165).

Noah Berger, Executive Director, Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center; Hahrie Han, Associate Professor of Political Science, Wellesley College; and Kay Schlozman, J. Joseph Moakley Professor of Political Science, Boston College will be the speakers. Juliet Gainsborough, Associate Professor of Political Science at Bentley, will moderate, and Bentley President Gloria Larson will help us introduce the event.

This forum is free and open to the public, but we are asking LWVMA members and their guests to pre-register to ensure sufficient seating.  Consider inviting students from your high school to attend the forum with you.

Please click here to let us know you’re coming and bringing others. And click here to download an event flyer.

Questions? Please contact the LWVMA office at 617-523-2999 or

LWVMA Joins Transportation Coalition

LWVMA has joined the Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA) coalition. T4MA is a nonpartisan, diverse coalition of Bay State organizations working together to create safe, convenient, and affordable transportation choices for everyone in Massachusetts.  Its 30 members have expertise in transportation, affordable housing, social justice, public health, the environment, planning and smart growth.  Member organizations include the Conservation Law Foundation, MASSPIRG, Metropolitan Planning Area Council, and the MBTA Advisory Board.  See the coalition website

T4MA is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by providing low-carbon transportation choices throughout the commonwealth. It also works to ensure that the transportation system provides a path to economic opportunity for those without cars, like youth, seniors, and low-income residents. It supports maintaining and growing an affordable and robust public transportation system, completing streets with bikeways and sidewalks, and developing walkable neighborhoods around transit.

T4MA’s major issues reflect LWVMA’s transportation position adopted in May 2013, particularly: Support a transportation system to move people and goods which includes a variety of transportation modes, with emphasis on increased public transportation services and other viable alternatives to reduce vehicle miles traveled; is efficient, convenient, and cost effective; is safe and secure; serves all segments of the population and diverse geographic needs; minimizes harmful effects on the environment; is integrated with land use; and is supported by extensive public education.

T4MA’s stated positions are:

  • Our transportation system is a vital part of our economy, providing economic opportunity and ensuring everyone can get where they need to go.
  • Massachusetts needs a transportation network that offers safe, affordable, and convenient choices to our residents and businesses, including public transportation, sidewalks, and bikeways.
  • People without cars, including youth, seniors and low-income residents, should have the opportunity to get to the schools and jobs that will help them pursue their dreams.
  • Transportation investments should enhance mobility, expand economic opportunity, reduce pollution and greenhouse gases, and support healthy, sustainable communities.
  • Public stewards of transportation funds should be held accountable for wisely, fairly and transparently using public dollars.

LWVMA Joins Amicus Brief for US Supreme Court McCullen v. Coakley

The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts has joined an amicus brief, along with 31 other organizations, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a Massachusetts law establishing a buffer zone around abortion clinics. View the full amicus brief here. Below is a press release on this action or click here for the PDF of the document.


BOSTON–The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a Massachusetts law establishing a buffer zone around abortion clinics.

The League has joined an amicus brief filed in the case of McCullen v. Coakley. The plaintiffs in that case seek to overturn the buffer zone law as an unconstitutional violation of free speech.

The case is expected to be heard by the Supreme Court in January.

The law establishing a 35-ft. buffer zone at abortion clinics was passed in 2007 to combat harassment and violence at the clinics. Two clinic employees in Brookline were murdered in 1994.

“The buffer zone does not restrict anyone from expressing their views. It insures safe passage to a clinic for patients and employees, protecting their constitutional right of access free from intimidation,” said Anne Borg, LWVMA co-president.

The LWVMA’s position on women’s reproductive rights dates back to 1972. The League has joined several amicus briefs in abortion rights cases before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and was a co-plaintiff in a case against Operation Rescue for physically blocking clinics.

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Politics of Food: LWV Lexington Panel Discussion Feb 7

Posted Feb 2, 2014

The Politics of Food: Why Should We Care?

Friday, February 7, 2014; 9:15 AM
Community Room, Carey Memorial Library, 1874 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington, MA

Everyone has a personal relationship with food, but not everyone is aware of the politics and policies that surround the origins of our food and how it actually travels to our plates. Recently, the State of Massachusetts awarded the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) a contract to create a state-wide food policy.

So what is a food policy and why should we need one? Will it affect our local farmers, our thriving farmer’s market and community based food programs? Will it improve the quality of our food and the efficiency and fairness of food distribution?

Join us for a lively panel discussion on this topic. Our panelists include: Jim Wilson owner of Wilson Farm, Liza Connolly, co-founder Kids Cooking Green and Board Member of Lexington Farmers Market, Charlie Radosolovich (the “Rad Urban Farmer”) and Lauren Yaffee, Owner of Meadow Mist Farm.

For more info, click here.