Making Democracy Work

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The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization encouraging the informed and active participation of citizens in government. It works to influence public policy through education and advocacy.

How to Run for Office booklet

** Transparency Forum - Wednesday, March 22 **

The Problem of Transparency and Accountability in Politics

The League of Women Voters in Brookline is hosting a talk about The Problem of Transparency in Government on March 22nd.

"... special interests are the near-exclusive beneficiaries of increased transparency in the lawmaking process..."

James D'Angelo Researcher at the Kennedy School Harvard University

Wednesday, March 22 Brookline Town Hall 333 Washington Street Room 103

6:30 p.m. refreshments 7:00 p.m. talk followed by questions

Here is a link to more information about the issue: http://www.congressionalresearch.org/

This is is a quote from this link:

THE LAW

The 1970 Legislative Reorganization Act (LRA) thrust transparency on Congress before the terms "transparency" and "accountability" were even in vogue. Coming into effect with the 92nd Congress in January of 1971, the LRA fundamentally changed the way federal law is drafted. All previous legislation (from the 1787 Constitution to the 1789 Bill of Rights to the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1970 Environmental Protection Act) was drafted, debated and amended in committees behind closed doors.

Indeed, for nearly 200 years, these committees weren't just closed to the public, but they also denied access to the President, the press, bankers, oil companies as well as other members of Congress. This didn't just apply to the markup sessions, it also applied to all voting in committee. To this day we don't know how John F Kennedy, Lyndon B Johnson or James Madison voted on a single amendment when they were congressmen.

Coming to America: An Educational Forum on Immigration Rights

As part of the Sister City Program the Brookline League is one of the co-sponsors of this Community Forum on Immigrant and Refugee Rights.

This Forum is free and open to the public.

RSVP is recommended: https://tinyurl.com/ImmigrationSisterCity

Questions: brooklinesistercity@gmail.com

Sunday, March 26, 2017 3-5pm Brookline Senior Center, 93 Winchester Street


League of Women Voters of Brookline Meets with U.S. Representative Joseph Kennedy

Members of the Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters of Brookline (LWVB) met with U.S. Representative Joseph Kennedy, D-MA 4th District, at his Newton office March 13th. The purpose was to discuss the commonalities between positions that after in-depth study have been endorsed at any level of the League (US, MA, Brookline) and the Issues being addressed by Rep. Kennedy.

Rep. Kennedy emphasized how important it is to have constituents call his office around issues, and especially when difficult debates are going on to know that his constituents "have his back" (e.g. during GOP's "Obamacare" replacement bill debate in the House, Energy and Commerce Committee, where Kennedy forcefully argued against the replacement bill).

The Brookline Chamber of Commerce, Town of Brookline and the LWVB are co-sponsoring a Congressional Update with Rep. Kennedy at the Coolidge Corner Theater, June 2, 2017, from 8:00 + 9:30 a.m., open to the public.

Betsy DeWitt, Janice Kahn, Joel Shoner, Cong. Joseph Kennedy, Diana McClure, Shaari Mittel, Margaret Bush

Second Friday Discussion Group - April 14th

Join us at Panera Bread in Coolidge Corner on the 2nd Friday of each month for coffee and conversation about issues that interest you.

League of Women Voters of Brookline

Coffee & Conversation
Friday April 14th, 9:30 AM
2nd Friday @ Panera's Coolidge Corner

How (and Why) to Run for Office - February 8th

How (and Why) to Run for Elective Office Workshop

The workshop was well attended with lots of questions about the process of running for Town offices.

CLICK HERE FOR THE How to Run For Office Booklet:

Co-sponsored with the Brookline Negihborhood Alliance and the Town Meeting Members Association.

LWVB Consensus Meeting on Charter Schools

The League of Women Voters of Brookline held a consensus meeting about the Charter School Study done by the Massachusetts League on Sunday, January 8, 2017. Betsy Munzer and Sandy Ostroy led the discussion of the consensus questions. The results will be tabulated and sent on to the State League. The State League will release the final results in June.

Betsy leading the consensus meeting.
Betsy leading the Consensus Meeting

Ballot Question Forum

The League of Women Voters of Brookline hosted a forum on October 19, 2016 on the four questions that will be on the November ballot.

It was held in Hunneman Hall at the Brookline Library on Washington Street at 6:30 pm.

The speaker, Marianne Ashton, Voter Service Chair, League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, presented both sides of ballot questions 1, 3 and 4. Brookline League member Sandy Ostroy presented the information for question 2. Each presentation was followed by questions and discussion from the audience,

To view sample ballots: http://www.brooklinema.gov/138/Election-Information

Sandy Ostroy leading the discussion on the Charter Schools ballot question.

LWVB Registers Students to Vote at Brookline High School

Members of the Brookline League spent a couple hours registering students at Brookline High School to vote. In coordination with Ann Collins, librarian at BHS, there was considerable interest shown by the students.

BHS students registering to vote.

Opening Meeting

The League of Women Voters of Brookline held their annual Opening Meeting on September 28, 2016 in Hunneman Hall at the main branch of the Brookline Library on Washington Street.

The speaker was Emily Thorson, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Boston College. Her very informative and certainly timely talk was on Debunking Political Rhetoric.

LWV President Margaret Bush introducing the speaker

Dr. Emily Thorson Speaking on Debunking Political Rhetoric

To view the talk on BIG: https://brooklineinteractive.org/league-of-women-voters-opening-meeting-debunking-political-rhetoric-092816/

LWVB Annual Meeting

The LWVB Annual Meeting was held on Wednesday June 29, 2016 at the VineRipe Grille.

Meryl Kessler, Executive Director of the Massachusetts League, gave an overview of what is happening at the state level and how the State League and local Leagues can work together during this election year.

LWVB President, Margaret Bush, followed with a summary of all the things accomplished by the Brookline League during the past year.

Our featured speaker, Erin Chute Gallentine, Brookline's Parks and Open Space Director, gave an excellent talk about Brookline's Legacy of Parks, Open Space and Challenges for the Future.

Her talk was followed by a short business meeting.

Erin Gallentine speaking at Annual Meeting

Brookline High School Students Win 2nd Prize in the LWVMA's "YOUth Should Vote!" Student Video Contest

A team of 15 League member judges has selected the winners of LWVMA's "YOUth Should Vote!" Student Video Contest, part of LWVMA's election 2016 statewide voter engagement campaign. Over 300 students participated in the contest, and the winning videos were selected from entries submitted from across the state.

Two Brookline High School students won second prize.

Makena Binker-Cosen and TJ Mukundan, Brookline High School

To view their entry (Big Dreams): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csUpFdGbFkE&feature=youtu.be

To see all the winners:

https://lwvma.org/lwvma-announces-winners-of-youth-should-vote-student-video-contest/

LWVMA Panel Discussion

The Massachusetts League hosted a panel discussion on

"The Massachusetts Electorate: Who's Not Participating and What Will It Take to Reach Them?"

The panelists were...

Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Director, CIRCLE (The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement), Tufts University, a research center that focuses on young people in the United States, especially those who are marginalized or disadvantaged in political life.

Eva Millona, Executive Director, MIRA (Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Coalition), the state's largest organization representing the foreign born, and co-chair of the National Partnership for New Americans, the lead national organization focusing on immigrant integration.

Nathaniel Stinnett, Founder and CEO, Environmental Voter Project, a non-partisan non profit using data analytics and behavioral science to identify and mobilize non-voting environmentalists.

The video of the discussion can be seen here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzZ0KYCfjL61ZWtGd2ZwMUFkQ0U/view?pref=2&pli=1

Land Use in Brookline

The League of Women Voters has decided to focus attention on the important issue of land use in Brookline this year. This section will list relevant meetings, events and background information on this topic.

Complete Streets Study Committee will hold a public hearing on the Brookline Complete Streets Policy drafted dated 1-11-2016. Committee members will present a summary of the Brookline Complete Streets Policy. Following the presentation members of the Complete Streets Study Committee will take public comment on the proposed draft policy under consideration. Draft policy is available for download at http://www.brooklinema.gov/transportation.

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LWVB Panel Discussion on Affordable Housing

Watch the video of Dec. 9 program on Affordable Housing on BIG (Brookline Interactive Group): http://brooklineinteractive.org/lvw12915

The following links provide an overview of the December 9th panel discussion about affordable housing along with the slide presentations:

Affordable Housing Overview

Affordable Housing Chapter 40-R

Affordable Housing Panel - Challenges and Opportunities

Pine Street Inn Presentation

Discussion of possible sites for a ninth elementary school LINK to Boston Globe article on this meeting: http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/regionals/west/2015/12/04/one-agrees-where-brookline-should-build-ninth-school/hlSkZT5ohVpG4Udn9fOJ2H/story.html
Civic Moxie Presentation Link: http://www.brooklinema.gov/documentcenter/view/8308

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Anthony Flint, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, speaking at the League's Opening Meeting can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/obIYdg8ZlL0

The following article about Opening Meeting by League member Diana McClure appeared in the Tab: http://brookline.wickedlocal.com/article/20151014/OPINION/151017920

The following opinion piece in the Tab by League members Janice Kahn and Betsy DeWitt explain why the League has chosen to focus on the issue of land use in Brookline this year: http://brookline.wickedlocal.com/article/20150923/NEWS/150928065/ And a more recent column entitled, "Affordable Housing Where Do We Go from Here" http://brookline.wickedlocal.com/article/20151201/OPINION/151209749/2011/OPINION

Election Reform in Massachusetts

Please read the article by League member Diana McClure published in the TAB:

http://brookline.wickedlocal.com/article/20140610/OPINION/140619886/2012/OPINION

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