Amherst League of Women Voters

A Voice for Citizens, a Force for Change

October 28, 2017
In This Issue:



November 14, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Single-Payer Health Care Lobby Day, State House. See LWVMA links below for more info.
November 14, 7-8:30 p.m., National Security Presidential Power and Holding Government Accountable, talk by Western New England University School of Law professor and  LWVA member Sudha Setty, Large Activity Rm, Bangs Center.
November 16, 2-3:30 p.m., LWVA Board Meeting, 61 Pondview Dr. Open to all members, but please call 253-5039 or email if planning to attend.
November 20, 3 p.m., Book Group discussion of Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front, Applewood. Janet Chevan, host.
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LWVA News: Coming Events 

Membership Renewal Status
As of this date, approximately 120 members of the Amherst League have renewed their membership, leaving 80 non-renewed members. If you have not yet renewed your membership, please do so as soon as possible. If you no longer have it, the renewal form can be found on the League website . If you would like to have a hardcopy sent to your address, contact Dick Kofler by phone (256-3517) or email   

Citizen Petitions Supported by LWVMA

Nine of the citizen petition articles headed for the November 2018 state ballot are supported by League positions.Active signature gathering is taking place in our area now for two of these petitions: the petition for raising the minimum wage, and that for establishing paid family and medical leave.
240,000 signatures are needed by 11/22 to get on the 2018 statewide ballot. If you haven't yet had a chance to sign, these petitions will be available:
Other petitions supported by LWVMA: three deal with political transparency/spending and financing and four with clean and renewable energy. Read these at LWVMA's guide   to the initiatives or . 

Talk on National Security, Presidential Power and Holding Government Accountable November 14
I n a talk stemming from her recently published book, National Security Secrecy: Comparative
Effects on Democracy and the Rule of Law,  Professor Sudha Setty will address excessive government secrecy in the name of counterterrorism as part of the legal, political, and public response to the September 11 terrorist attacks.  She will also discuss how these responses are reflected in several current events, including the Trump administration's changes to its drone strike policy, the limits of freedom of information act requests, and potential shifts to U.S. policies regarding detention of U.S. citizens. Click here for a fuller description of the talk's content.

Sudha Setty, a member of the LWVA, teaches national security law and comparative constitutional law at Western New England University School of Law, where she has twice won teaching awards. Additional information about the speaker can be found here.

LWVA News: Recent Accomplishments

National Voter Registration Day, September 26

LWVAmherst members Judy Brooks and Cynthia Brubaker registering voters at the Amherst Survival Center.

Two co-sponsored events at the Hitchcock Center:
                                         on Carbon Pricing and Zero Waste

Both events described activities to reduce the use of fossil fuels in order to reduce the damage to the health of humans and their environment as fast as possible. The presentation (September 27) on Carbon Pricing by Mary Jo Maffei of the Carbon Pollution and Rebate Committee of Climate Action Now (CAN), and Mark Hart of Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) explained the organizations' goal to reduce dependence on fossil fuels used in heating and transportation through legislation which would rely on market forces. CAN works for state legislation, CCL for national. For further information, click here for CAN and here for CCL

Moving Toward Zero Waste (October 19) provided information about Zero Waste and encouraged local residents to join Amherst's efforts to reduce waste. Zero Waste goes beyond recycling and reusing to emphasize the importance of reduction of consumption. Consumption emissions: the greenhouse gases (as well as toxic chemicals) produced when the objects we buy are produced, transported, and disposed  of in waste facilities are the main concern. An impressive amount of data was presented through informative videos and the presentations of Stephanie Ciccarello, Sustainability Coordinator from Sustaining Amherst and John Root, chair of Amherst Recycling and Refuse Management Committee. Click here for more information about "Toward Zero Waste Communities."

Legislative Reception at Applewood, October 6

The panel: Rep. Solomon Goldstein-Rose*, President of the Senate Stan Rosenberg*,  D.A. Dave Sullivan, Amherst Select Board Chair Doug Slaughter, Amherst Town Manager, Paul Bockelman* [*=  LWVA member.]

The Audience.
Stan with constituent

A Thank you the Members of LWVA recently received

President Rebecca Fricke thought you would like to see the appreciative thank you note we received from Jim Lescault. (The Board had given Amherst Media a special gift this year, towards programming.)
To the Membership of the League of Women Voters of Amherst,

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Amherst Media and our dedicated staff, I wanted to extend our gratitude for your generous gift in addition to your continued organizational membership.

Having just past my tenth year as Executive Director, I can honestly say the work Amherst Media has done in conjunction with the LWV far exceeds any other local organization.  When I arrived in Amherst, there already existed a LWV member produced show with years of experience.

The Amherst LWV continues to lead in promoting public educational programming and forums relevant to all.  I thank you for your support of local cable programming and your leadership in providing community dialogue.


Jim Lescault

LWV Amherst's activity in town government: an example

Peggy Roberts addressing TMCC (Town Meeting Coordinating
Committee) on October 24, 2017. 


LWVA Website apprentices needed
The LWVA Communications team is looking for apprentice web masters for LWVA web site.  Training provided.  Required:  logical thinking, good at detail, reasonable level of comfort with computers, and willingness to spend two to four hours per month working on the site.  Not required:  experience with web site design or management.  Training provided.  Bonus:  if you are still in the labor force, familiarity with the Drupal platform, which you will gain, is worth putting on your resume.  Contact Kathy Campbell if you are interested in finding out more.
Photographers needed for Facebook and the e-bulletin
Are you willing to take a few pictures at an LWVA sponsored or co-sponsored event and send them to the Facebook page editor and the e-bulletin editor? We would certainly appreciate any pictures you might take, whether regularly or occasionally.


Health Care Lobby Day

Save the date for a single-payer health care lobby day Tuesday, Nov. 14, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the State House. Mass Care is sponsoring the event to support Medicare for all and will offer information sessions and updates on pending legislation.  According to the LWVMA October Action Newsletter,
there will be more information in the November Action Newsletter, not available at press time. You can find the Action Newsletters under LWVMA Newsletters.  Scroll down the page to Mass. League Action. There is additional information on the LWVMA Calendar.  Click on November 14 for details. 
Automatic Voter Registration
AVR is a legislative priority for LWVMA. You can get your questions about it answered at this site. Note that S373/H2091 is sponsored by Northampton's Rep. Peter Kocot as well as Sen. Cynthia Creem. For the text of the bill, click here. 

Recent statements from National LWV on health care:

On White House executive order to end health care subsidies: click here to read President Chris Carson's statement.

On Trump administration attack on women's right to contraceptive care: read LWV statement.

A Case of Gerrymandering discussed in LWV blog:

LWV v. Rucho: NC's Historic Opportunity to End Gerrymandering (entry dated 10/20/17). Read about it here. 

Historic note: Elbridge Gerry of Marblehead was an important early Massachusetts political figure. Signer of the Declaration of Independence, as member to the Constitutional Convention he refused to approve the constitution.  As governor, he was responsible for redistricting the state to favor his party, which gained us the name of the practice. He deserves to be remembered for more than 'gerrymandering.'
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