Amherst League of Women Voters

A Voice for Citizens, a Force for Change

December 23, 2017
In This Issue:



January 1, 2018: Happy New Year to All LWVAmherst Members & Friends!
January 15,  2 p.m. [note time change],
Book Group discussion of Jane Glover's
Mozart's Women, 23 Greensleeves, Jane Price hosting. 
January 16, 2-3:30 p.m., LWVA Board Meeting, Amherst Room, Jones Library. Open to all members.
January 20,  Women's March, Northampton. Contact Barbara Pearson about rides and signs. 
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. See LWVMA News below.  
February 10, 12:30 p.m., LWVA Birthday Lunch for members and their guests, Ginger Garden, corner of Rte 9 and University Ave.   
March 1, 7 p.m., Forum on Proposed Charter, ARMS.
March 15, 7 pm., Candidates' Night, ARMS.
June 28-July 1, 2018, LWV National Convention, Chicago.   
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LWVA News: Recent Accomplishments
Human Rights Day Program Cosponsored by the Amherst League  
The Amherst League was proud to co-sponsor , with Amherst Amnesty International Chapter 128, a program commemorating the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration was adopted on December 10, 1948, now celebrated as Human Rights Day.
U.S. Representative James McGovern, a long-time advocate for human rights, spoke to a full house in the Woodbury Room at Jones Library on December 10th.

Historical Note:
League member Eleanor Roosevelt chaired the committee which drafted the Universal Declaration. Her insistence that it be a declaration, not a treaty, is believed to have been an important reason for its subsequent influence.

Civic  Opportunities: Service on Town of Amherst Boards, Committees and Commissions: Part 2   
    Town Boards & Committees: Vacancies as of 12/13/17
The following is a follow-up to the article in last month's e-bulletin about vacancies in the Town's boards, commissions and committees. Here are two of the eighteen currently listed as having vacancies. Please consider applying for these open positions.  
Go to these websites for more information:  Here is a link to the list of vacancies, which is visible as a download. Here is a link to a list of the current members of these committees: scroll down to committee(s) of interest.   
Conservation Commission (1 vacancy)
The Conservation Commission is responsible for numerous matters related to conservation planning and land management. The Commission helps update the 5-year Open Space and Recreation Plan, administers State and Town Wetland Protection statutes, and helps with the acquisition of land.  
Downtown Parking Working Group (2 vacancies)
The Downtown Parking Working Group (DPWG) has been meeting for slightly over a year to identify short, medium, and long range strategies to maximize the efficien,cy and availability of the existing downtown parking supply. The group was formed to research and prioritize approximately twelve strategies that were identified in 2014-2015 after a series of public meetings about parking. The strategies were synthesized from public comments that ranged from better signage to rate changes to planning for a parking structure. The DPWG has formulated its current recommendations as Phase 1 of a multi-phase process to help improve the parking system in the town center.
[Above descriptions are taken from the Town website. ]
 -Elizabeth Davis
Write Letters Urging Governor Baker to Restore Funding to Craig's Doors
The LWV Amherst has been asked (by John Hornik, of the Amherst Municipal Affordable Housing Trust) to write to the Governor to support the funding of Craig's Doors; as you probably know, that funding was recently frozen . The Board agreed that this program falls under the National League's public policy positions on meeting human needs.  President Rebecca Fricke wrote a letter from the Amherst League; letters from individuals are also needed.
If you need information on the work of Craig's Doors, click here.
Here are the positions of the National LWV which apply to this situation, as listed in the Amherst LWV's Program Book:
Meeting Basic Human Needs:
Support programs and policies to prevent or reduce poverty and to promote self-sufficiency for individuals and families.  
Support Services. Provide essential support services.
Housing Supply.  Support policies to provide a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family.
Write to:
Governor Charlie Baker
Massachusetts State House
Office of the Governor
Room 280
Boston, MA 02133
Please also cc the following:
Jay Ash, Secretary
Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
One Ashburton Place, Room 2101
Boston, MA 02108
Chrystal Kornegay, Undersecretary
Department of Housing and Community Development

Sen. Stanley Rosenberg
State House, Room 332

Rep. Solomon Goldstein-Rose
State House, Room 277

Harriett Chandler, Acting Senate President
State House, Room 356 
Boston, MA, 02133
Robert DeLeo, Speaker of the House
State House, Room 356 
Women's March in Northampton, January 20
The anniversary of the Women's Marches of 2017 will be celebrated in Northampton by a march sponsored by the Pioneer Valley Women's March.  LWV Amherst has agreed to be a cosponsor. 
Though the march is still in the early planning stages, LWV Amherst member Barbara Pearson has agreed to organize our participation. Contact Barbara, who will be coordinating rides and signs. Find your pink pussy hat!  
Health Care Committee Leadership Change
For a number of years, Jackie Wolf has played an active role in the Amherst LWV's Health Care Committee, notable for its work for Single Payer Health Care.  Because Jackie is planning to move away, she has relinquished the chair to Barbara Pearson. Many thanks to Barbara for being willing to take over. Barbara is now the contact person for the Health Care Committee. You can reach her by email.   

Lobby Day for Automatic Voter Registration
LWVMA is planning a Lobby Day on January 31, 10 a.m. to 12 noon at Room 428 of the State House. LWVMA is encouraging people to attend-- and also to write letters to legislators and to local newspapers.
For more information, see the Automatic Voter Registration homepage at Included there are templates for letters.   
Regional Field Service Meeting in Western Massachusetts on Feb. 3
Nancy Polan is Field Service Rep for Western Massachusetts. Contact Nancy  if you are interested in coming to the meeting on February 3rd. Place: Mocha Maya's. Shelburne Falls; time: 10 a.m. to 12 noon. This should be an especially interesting meeting because of the new League groups in western Massachusetts.
For more information on Regional Field Service Meetings, click here. 

Interested in the 53rd National Convention, "Creating a More Perfect Democracy"? Place: Chicago, at the Hilton Chicago; Time: Thursday, June 28- Saturday, July 1. Click here for more information.

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