2017-2018 LWV Newton Program

2017 – 2018 Proposed PROGRAM

(Issues for Study and Action)

The Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters of Newton recommends adoption of the following program for 2017-2018:

  1. All program positions approved by the membership at the June 2017 Annual Meeting and listed on www.lwvnewton.org
  2. Support a yes vote in the November election on the proposed city charter. This will include, but will not be limited to, outreach, advocacy and education.

The Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters of Newton recommends the following local action priorities for 2017-2018

  1. CPA:  Review CPA (Community Preservation Act) applications
  2. Observer Corps:  Expand our Observer Corps.
  3. **Municipal Finance (pending new chair):
  1. Review the municipal budget to show how the City is obtaining, spending, and investing funds
  2. 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
  3. Review the state of resources for needs in education, infrastructure, economic development, municipal services, and other areas to understand possible future implications for capital investment and the operating budget.
  4. Provide data and insight on proposed funding sources, including local taxation, state aid, and other revenues.
  1. **Education (pending new chair):
    1. Support efforts to adjust school start times to better meet the health and educational needs of students.
    2. Monitor issues of equity and technology funding in the Newton Public Schools.
    3. Organize and promote a civics bee, to be held initially in one middle school with the goal of expanding to other middle schools, to promote interest in government and civic engagement.
  1. Environmental Issues:
  1. Waste Reduction
    1. Continue our efforts to improve recycling rates and reduce trash in Newton
    2. Review the single-stream recycling program. Single stream degrades the quality and ultimately the quantity of recyclables.
  2. Storm Water and Sewers
    1. Support sewer and stormwater surcharge rates at levels adequate for repair and maintenance
    2. Support prudent ways to encourage reduction of I/I (inflow/infiltration) into the sewers
  • Educate and update members on the principles and concepts of “surface area, water quality” and related terms to encourage “low impact development”
  1. Energy/Climate Change
    1. Support of a revenue neutral fee on carbon. Facilitate education through forums.
    2. Gas leaks. Support state legislation to reduce gas leaks and work to increase maintenance of gas lines in Newton
  2. Transportation
    1. Focus efforts on transportation changes that reduce vehicle miles traveled and increase safety for all road users.
    2. Continue collaboration with Newton Safe Sidewalks, the Mayor’s Transportation Advisory Group and other partners.
    3. Continue education through forums on urban transportation planning terms and principles.
    4. Support the system in place for implementing the Newton Bicycle Network Plan.
    5. Support and encourage the state League’s efforts regarding public transit and their other transportation priorities.
  3. Elections:
    1. Attend meetings of the Newton Election Commissioners.
    2. Help to publicize new early voting options
    3. **Hold a pollworkers’ party to thank the workers after the municipal election
  1. Voter Service:
    1. Organize and manage preliminary and general election forums for contested municipal offices in the 2017 election. We will work with NewTV to continue updating our approach and incorporate technology into the format.
    2. **Organize voter education around the charter vote in November, 2017.
    3. Continue efforts to register new voters through attendance at various events around Newton, including the Farmer’s Markets, village days, and high school senior days.
  2. Land Use and Housing Committee
    1. Champion local zoning reform in harmony with established LWV of Newton, Massachusetts and U.S. positions
    2. Stay informed of local land use and housing proposals, be prepared to make comments, ask questions,  support or oppose according to LWV positions
    3. Examine and work with the state League to support state level zoning reform


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