The following program was approved at LWVN annual Meeting on June 14, 2020
The Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters of Newton recommends adoption of the following program for 2020-2021:
1. All program positions approved by the membership at the June 2020 Annual Meeting and listed on lwvnewton.org/action/lwvn-program-and-positions.
2. Continuation of outreach, observation, education, and advocacy regarding changes to the Newton City Charter.
The Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters of Newton recommends the following local action priorities for 2020-2021:
1. CPA: Review CPA (Community Preservation Act) applications. It is our intent to place a greater focus on CPA proposals and establish a more flexible and consistent methodology in how we accomplish this goal. In addition, the League will review how CPA funds are being utilized by the city in relation to the purpose and intent of the Community Preservation Act.
2. Observer Corps: Expand our Observer Corps.
3. Municipal Finance (chairperson needed)
a) Review the municipal budget to show how the City is obtaining, spending, and investing funds
b) Educate the community about how the Mayor’s office and the Finance Committee of the City Council set priorities and how the decision model impacts budget decisions.
c) Engage members and inform Board on issues related to LWVN municipal finance positions.
a) Build on the successful efforts of our 2020 Civics Challenge by organizing and promoting community-wide civics challenges annually. The goals of the civics challenges are to foster a greater understanding of government, increase voter participation and engagement, and build community on a non-partisan basis.
b) Explore the possibility of a civics challenge oriented around the secondary schools which would have the added benefit of educating our younger citizens about their civic responsibilities, preparing them for their roles as future voters, and encouraging greater civic engagement.
c) Engage members and inform the Board on local, state, and national education positions related to goals of the League.
5. Environmental Issues and Transportation
a) Support reducing vehicle miles traveled with transit-oriented development, improvements in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, and in public transit.
b) Support reducing pollution from transportation.
c) Support transition to sustainable energy, i.e. minimize reliance on the gas grid, detect and repair gas leaks, insulate more buildings, and mandate electrification of new buildings.
d) Educate and update our community on issues related to trash and recycling.
e) Lobby for environmental legislation with other local Leagues and grassroots organizations.
f) Hold educational forums on environmental and transportation issues.
a) Attend meetings of the Newton Election Commissioners.
b) Help to publicize new early voting options.
c) Hold a poll workers’ party to thank the workers after the municipal election.
d) Work to ensure transparency regarding the work of the commission.
7. Voter Service
a) Organize and manage forums for contested state offices in the 2020 election. We will partner with NewTV to continue updating our approach and incorporate technology into the format.
b) Continue efforts to register new voters through attendance at various events around Newton, including the Farmer’s Markets, village days, high school, and college events.
c) Create opportunities to help people to engage in issues and advocacy at local, state, and national levels, e.g. voting by mail, shortening the registration deadline to 10 days before the election, pushing forward more early voting options for all elections, removing all barriers for absentee voting, etc.
8. Land Use and Housing Committee
a) Champion local zoning reform in harmony with established local, state, and national League positions.
b) Work with city officials to ensure transparency and effectiveness relative to the establishment and implementation of Newton’s Inclusionary Zoning lotteries to ensure that the disadvantaged communities have equal access to affordable housing.
c) Stay informed of local land use and housing proposals, be prepared to make comments, ask questions, support, or oppose according to LWV positions.
d) Examine and work with the state League to support state level housing and zoning legislation.
e) Assess effectiveness and relevance of LWVN housing and land use positions.