Response and Discussion on the recent Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act (VRA)

LWVUS President Elizabeth MacNamara wrote in her recent Leaders’ Update:

As pleased as we were with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Arizona v. ITCA last week, we are equally disappointed with the Court’s holding in Shelby County, AL v. Holder. By cutting the heart out of the Voting Rights Act, the Court has weakened our ability to keep our elections free, fair and accessible to every eligible voter while at the same time emboldening those who seek to create barriers to voting.

Already, states formerly subject to Section 5 preclearance are rushing to implement voter photo ID laws and discriminatory redistricting plans. The fight to protect the vote now involves not just the state legislatures, but Congress as well. Here at the LWVUS, we will be evaluating all our options, but it is important that League members take every opportunity to remind their members of Congress that voting rights are not a partisan issue and equal opportunity to participate in the greatest democracy in the world deserves the same bipartisan support that it has had since 1965.We have many tools available to us, as League leaders, to engage our members and our communities such as social media and email blasts, websites and newsletters. We need to create a national groundswell of support for protecting the right to vote.  

The Shelby County decision places the Supreme Court on the wrong side of history and it is up to us, as voters, to make sure that the decision is only another bump in the long road to fair and equal access to the polls. In the end, our fight to protect voters is always going to depend on voters getting informed and informing their elected officials that voting is the most precious right the Constitution guarantees.

With renewed conviction, let’s get out there and power our voices to power the vote in 2013, 2014 and beyond.

For more information, check out the article on the LWV national website regarding the VRA decision by clicking here.  On Point, by WBUR, also had an interesting discussion of the VRA from a southern perspective:  On Point. And Atlantic Cities also just came out with analysis.



Vote Tuesday, June 25 in the Special Senate and Municipal Election!

Remember to vote in the special election for US Senator from Massachusetts on June 25. Candidates include Gabriel Gomez (Republican), Edward Markey (Democrat), and Richard Heos (Twelve Visions). For information on voting, polls and absentee ballots, visit the Secretary of State’s website.

Be an informed voter! Look beyond the television ads and consider the positions and vision of each candidate. Two of the three full debates between Markey and Gomez are posted on YouTube. The second debate was held June 11 (click here). A final debate was held on June 18 (click here).

On Tuesday, Newton also holds a special election for Ward 1 Alderman-at-Large.  Voters will use a separate ballot; the only candidate in the municipal election is current Ward Alderman Scott Lennon.

Please note that the last day and hour to apply for an absentee ballot for the Special Senate Election and Special Muncipal Election is Monday, June 24, 2013 at noon

Remember: Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Three Local Leaders Receive National Recognition after 50 Years of Service

Tamara Bliss, Alice Wolpert and Sondra Shick, LWV's new 50-Year Members

Tamara Bliss, Alice Wolpert and Sondra Shick, LWV’s new 50-Year Members

Achieving a 50-year milestone is always an accomplishment. This year marks the 50th anniversary of membership in the League of Women Voters for Tamara Bliss, Sondra Shick and Alice Wolpert.

Although the League of Women Voters of Newton (LWVN) is more than 75 years old, the honorees all began their League experiences in other communities.  As they moved around the country, they sought out their local Leagues as a way of engaging in thoughtful discussion and activity while learning about their new communities.  They then brought these talents to LWVN.

  • While a member of the Boston League, Tamara Bliss was instrumental in setting up a Community Leadership Center in Jamaica Plain.  She moved to Newton and immediately helped to set up a conference on Affordable Housing. 
  • Sondra Shick’s involvement in Fair Housing and Education in Miami, FL meant she brought important skills to address the needs of Newton, her new community. 
  • Alice Wolpert joined the League in Columbia, MO and loved the discussion groups. During moves to other locations she was involved in getting-out-the-vote, and continues working on this today in Newton.

 “Through the unselfish commitment of leaders like Tamara, Sondra and Alice, the League remains a force for change in this community and others across the country,” said Sue Flicop, LWVN President. Their efforts were recently acknowledged by the US League of Women Voters President, Elizabeth MacNamara. Certificates were presented at the LWVNewton Annual Meeting, May 30, 2013.

Voter Registration Efforts Continue Through the Spring and Summer

In the recent weeks, LWVN registered 178 high school students from Newton North and South to vote! A very special thanks go to Sharyn Roberts, organizer and chair of the voter registration drive, along with volunteers Jo Corro, Marlene O’Brien, Tami Roberts, and Sue Rosenbaum. Great job everyone!

Voter registration work is a never-ending job, with our volunteers working at the recent village days and upcoming summer Farmer’s Markets at Cold Spring Park.  If you can help, please contact

LWVN welcomes its new 2013-2014 Board

LWVN is pleased to announce its new Board of Directors for the 2013-2014 term.  At the recent Annual Meeting, members voted unanimously to elect the following people:

President:  Sue Flicop

Co-Vice Presidents:  Ellen Glusman and Jo Corro

Treasurer:  Andrea Kozinetz

Secretary/Clerk:  Bonnie Carter

Directors:  Anne Borg, Ann Grantham, Linda Green, Rhanna Kidwell, Lois Levin, Sharyn Roberts and Sue Rosenbaum

Welcome and we look forward to working together in League for the betterment of our community!

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