Amherst League of Women Voters

A Voice for Citizens, a Force for Change

January 27, 2018
In This Issue:

January 29, 3 p.m., Special Board Meeting (if necessary), Amherst Room, Jones Library. 
January 30, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Sudha Setty on "Secrecy, Surveillance and National  Security: A Conversation on Gov't Accountability," Jones Library.  
January 31, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Automatic Voter Registration Lobby Day, MA State House, Rm 428.   
February 3, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., LWVMA Winter Field Service Meeting, Mocha Maya's, Shelburne Falls.     
February 10, 12:30 p.m., LWVA Birthday Lunch for members and their guests, Ginger Garden, corner of Rte 9 and University Ave.  Remember to send in check by Feb 2!  
February 13, 6:30-8 p.m., Speakers, Coming Together to Protect Critical Services, Amherst Survival Center, 138 Sunderland Rd.       
February 14,  12:00-1:00 p.m., Program Planning Meeting, Amherst Room, Jones Library.
February 14, 1-2:30 p.m., Board Meeting, Amherst Room, Jones Library. All members are welcome to attend.  
February 19, 2:30 p.m.,  Book Group Discussion of Strangers in their Own Land at  Maija Lillya's, 23 McIntosh Drive. NOTE CHANGE OF TIME
March 1, 7 p.m., Forum on Proposed Charter, Amherst Regional Middle School.
March 7, 7:30-3 p.m., Board Meeting, Woodbury Room, Jones Library. All members welcome. 
March 15, 7 pm., Candidates' Night, Amherst Regional Middle School.
April 6, Time TBA, Civics Fest, Amherst Regional High School. 
June 28-June 30,  LWV National Convention, Chicago.   
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LWVA News: Coming Events

Reminder to Members: Checks for Birthday Lunch are DUE FEBRUARY 2.
Check for $16 made out to LWV of Amherst mailed to P.O.Box 2372, Amherst, MA 01004.

Amherst League Co-Sponsors Talk by Sudha Setty,  Constitutional Law Expert

"Secrecy, Surveillance, and National Security: A Conversation on Government Accountability,"  7-9 p.m., January 30 at the Jones Library. Co-sponsored by Critical Connections, The Karuna Center for Peacebuilding, and the LWVA.

Professor Setty, Associate Dean for Faculty Development & Intellectual Life and Professor of Law at Western New England University School of Law, discusses her recent book, National Security Secrecy: Comparative Effects on Democracy and the Rule of Law (Cambridge University Press, 2017.)

In 2018, as the Trump administration doubles down on its national security strategy, how do we ensure the rights of all Americans are protected? How can we hold the government accountable when it resists oversight and transparency? How should we understand the tradeoff between security and privacy? What models do other democracies offer to guarantee government accountability and the rule of law when it comes to national security?

Join us to hear LWVA member Setty discuss these important issues. The LWVA members who were able to attend Setty's talk on November 14 remarked on its clarity and informativeness.
Coming Together to Protect Critical Services: Connecting People to Food, Health Care, Community

Tuesday, February 13, 2018, 6:30-8 p.m., Amherst Survival Center, 138 Sunderland Road.

The guest speakers are Keith Barnicle, staff, Congressman Jim McGovern; Michelle Geoffroy, Advocacy, Food Bank of Western MA; Michael Knapik, Governor Charles Baker's western MA office. The moderator is the Honorable Ellen Story, former State Representative.
This program is cosponsored by the Amherst League of Women Voters and the Amherst Survival Center. Some readers may remember the excellent program on this topic held last year by the Amherst Survival Center. Join us for updates and analysis of the situation a year later.

Program Planning Meeting, February 14, Amherst Room, Jones Library    
Every year, early in the year, leagues hold meetings to discuss what issues they would urge either the state or the national League to focus on in the coming year. (In even years, the National League is given input; in odd years, the Massachusetts League.) This year, LWVUS has so much already on its plate that it has requested we not send in our priority issues. Therefore, we can focus on the second purpose of the Program Planning meeting, the shaping of our own program for the year. Join us in the Amherst Room of the Jones Library to share ideas about what topics we should focus on, what programs we should have in 2018.  

LWVA News: Recent Accomplishments

Northampton Women's March, January 20, 2018
We hope you could be in Northampton January 20, along with several thousand other concerned citizens to feel the positive energy of the Pioneer Valley Anniversary March.  Official co-sponsor the League of Women Voters of Amherst teamed with the Leagues in Springfield and Northampton to underscore the theme of the March, "Hear Our Voices, Hear Our Votes." 


Trish Farrington, Rebecca Fricke, Barbara Ford, Joan Rabin, Diana Stein.


Barbara Pearson at Voter Registration Booth by City Hall

At the Activities Fair

Jackie Wolf and her team handed out a big stack of the new postcards for ON-LINE REGISTRATION before the march started; Barbara Pearson and Cindy Senk (Spfld) tended the VOTER REGISTRATION BOOTH on the sidewalk next to the rally stage; and Osa Flory (Noho), Cynthia Brubaker and colleagues represented LWV at the ACTIVIST FAIR in the UU Church basement after the rally.  We only registered 7 future voters (!), but got a lot of visibility for the Leagues and for voting.

For local and national coverage, with photos, click here . For bios of the speakers at the rally, click here .

CALL for LWVA Moderators

The LWVA has again been asked to provide moderators for "Meet Your Precinct Town Meeting Candidates," Saturday, March 17 at the Amherst Regional Middle S chool, 170 Chestnut Street.  This event is a pre-election opportunity for any and all Amherst residents to meet their Town Meeting candidates and learn their views on the issues facing Amherst.  
Five moderators are needed for Precinct 1-5 meetings, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; five moderators are also needed for the afternoon sessions for Precinct 6-10, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sponsored by the Town Meeting Coordinating Committee and the Subcommittee on Policies and Procedures.
If you are interested in being a moderator, call Adrienne Terrizzi at 253-5039 for more information, or click here to email her.
On the subject of candidates, read on....

Civic  Opportunities: Service on Town of Amherst Boards, Committees and Commissions: Part 3    
New Town Meeting Committee
Consider a new committee beginning this spring: the Town Meeting Advisory Committee, or TMAC. Its nine members are not required to be Town Meeting members.
The responsibilities of TMAC will be to investigate how the Town Meeting warrant articles would affect the Town if passed.  (Town finances will not be covered, since they are reserved for the Finance Committee.) It will also analyze the benefits and impacts to the Town of warrant articles, and report findings to Town Meeting. The principal focus will be on analysis of pros and cons.  
Its nine members must be Town of Amherst residents, but as noted above, are not required to be Town Meeting members. The term of service will normally be three years.  Nomination can be by self-nomination or nomination by the Moderator or the TMCC.  Contact: John Hornik, (413) 256-8854.   
Candidates for Town Meeting   
Interested in Becoming a Town Meeting Member? Contact the Town Clerk's office by email or by phone (259-3035), or. In addition: 
For information about Town Meeting membership, click here 
For information about running for Town Meeting, click here.     
The deadline for getting your name on the ballot as a candidate for Town Meeting is February 6, 2018. Sign up in the Town Clerk's office in Amherst Town Hall. You must be a registered voter in the Town of Amherst. All it takes is one signature. If you have any questions, contact the Town Clerk  at 259-3035 or by email, or email
the Town Meeting Coordinating Committee here.   
Looking for Republicans, Democrats and members of other Parties to Participate in a Daylong Workshop
This Day-long Dialogue on April 14, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., is intended for 
16-25 participants.

Its goals:
1)     To deepen understanding of those with political convictions different than your own
2)     To increase capacity for respectful listening
3)     To decrease dehumanization and stereotypes that have arisen especially in this election cycle
4)     To establish the environment for working together on shared goals  
We are looking for people from all sides of the aisle, - Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Green Party - who would like to spend a day together learning how to dialogue with those with whom you disagree. The underlying goal is to deepen the capacity for listening and understanding each other, and as a result, to be able to work together on issues. Paula Green, an expert dialogue facilitator, will be guiding us through the day of activities and dialogues.
Please contact Rebecca Fricke if you are interested in participating:  by phone 413-687-8722 or email. 

The January 2018 issue of Mass League Voter (click here to access it) lists the four
areas for legislative advocacy on which LWVMA is focused this year: automatic voter registration, safe communities, comprehensive criminal justice reform, and carbon pricing/energy bills. Criminal justice reform is with a conference committee to combine the House and Senate versions, but your help is urgently needed to get bills related to the other three priorities out of joint committees. Join us on January 31 at the State House to lobby for automatic voter registration, and call your legislators to request action on immigration and climate change legislation.  
LWVMA is creating a corps of Legislative Envoys to link local Leagues with its legislative efforts at the State House and make those efforts more effective. It is looking for one or two interested members in each local League to become envoys.
Click here for more information on the program; click here to contact the program administrator, Colleen Kirby. 

Interested in the 53rd National Convention, "Creating a More Perfect Democracy"? Place: Chicago, at the Hilton Chicago; Time: Thursday, June 28- Saturday, June 30. Click here for more information.

To see how LWVUS is responding to political developments, check out the newsroom
for the latest press releases.
This monthly message is for anyone interested in the League, not just members. If you know someone who might be interested, forward this message and invite them to subscribe themselves, using the link below.