Show Your Support for the Proposed Austin Street Plan


Join LWVN in supporting the current plan for the proposed Austin Street plan!  The specifics of the plan can be found here:  For those of you who have been following the process, the current plan keeps all the spaces in the lot currently, as well as reduces the size of the building and the number of units.

How You Can Help

  • Please tell members of the Board of Aldermen that you support this important project.  If you send an email to City Clerk David Olson at, he will forward it to the entire board.  
  • Show your support in person by attending and speaking at the public hearings on Tuesday, June 2 and June 9th at 7 pm in the Aldermanic Chamber of Newton City Hall.  

Please note:  No one connected with Austin Street Partners or the LWVMA participated in LWVN’s decision-making process.  Because an LWVMA staff member is related to the developer, anyone with direct ties to LWVMA was recused from the discussion and vote.


Save the Date: June 10th Topic Meeting on Constructive Disagreement

Please join us for our next Topic Meeting:

Constructive Disagreement:  How to better manage public conflict
Wed, June 10, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
NewTV, 23 Needham St., Newton

Brown-bag lunches welcome

All across Massachusetts, municipal officials, volunteers, and neighborhood organizations are on the frontline working to solve complex problems related to budgets, education, land use, the environment, economic development, public works, public safety, public health, and more. It requires the active participation of multiple parties and stakeholders to achieve comprehensive solutions to problems and to ensure that the solutions are consistent with a community’s stated visions and goals.

In addressing these complex problems, it is often necessary to confront and tackle serious public conflicts. Those conflicts can be sensitive, are often contentious, and sometimes persist over a long period of time, restricting the ability to move forward or leading to impasses. In order to better manage public conflict, it may be crucial for municipalities to engage officials at all levels of government, including state and federal officials, along with individual citizens, and the entire gamut of local groups and organizations, in needs assessment studies, in-depth public discussions and conflict resolution workshops.

The Massachusetts League of Women Voters and the Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration have both been working hard to actively intervene in such conflicts and also provide training in best practices to restore healthy civic discourse. Our speakers this month will be:

  • Madhawa (“Mads”) Palihapitiya – Associate Director of the Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration
  • Marilyn Peterson – Co-President, League of Women Voters of Massachusetts

Each speaker will speak for 15 minutes on work that other communities have done and the results achieved to date. This will be followed by open discussion among all attendees.

League members are also encouraged to read the MOPC report “Legislative study: Massachusetts municipal conflict resolution needs assessment”, which may be found at

Action Alert from LWVMA

Ask Governor Baker to keep Massachusetts a Leader!

LWVMA has asked Governor Charlie Baker to revise Executive Order 562, which requires all agencies within the Executive department to review every regulation under their jurisdiction. The order applies to over 75 agencies, authorities and departments in the Executive branch.

Please add your individual voice to this request by contacting the Governor’s office directly.

Executive Order 562 specifies that all regulations not in compliance with the provisions of the order automatically sunset on March 31, 2016, and that “only those regulations which are mandated by law or essential to the health, safety, environment or welfare of the Commonwealth’s residents shall be retained or modified.”

The League, in a letter, urged the Governor to require that agencies hold public hearings and provide for public comment periods before regulations are changed or eliminated.   The League supports and encourages regular and objective reviews of state regulations to assure that they are clear, relevant and effective in accomplishing their intended results. The League feels strongly, however, that reviews and proposed changes include an opportunity to allow input from interested parties and to assure that citizens are aware of pending changes in regulations. It may be extremely difficult for agencies to carry out a review of all regulations in a public manner by that March 31, 2016, deadline, and necessary regulations should not be eliminated simply because of time constraints on the process.

For more info go to: LWVMA Action Alert

LWVN Board Votes to Support New Austin Street Plan

At our May meeting, the LWVN Board voted in favor of supporting the new plan for the Austin Street parking lot.  This plan keeps all current parking spaces, reduces the height of the proposed building, and reduces the number of residential units.  The plan also creates a mixed-use development with one-level living near public transportation and shops.

LWVN will be making public statements at the upcoming Austin Street development hearings on June 2 and June 9 at 7 pm in the Aldermanic Chambers in City Hall.  We encourage you to join us at these meetings to show your support as well as to send emails and letters to your Aldermen.

Annual Meeting this Thursday at 6 pm

There’s still room if you can make it to LWVN’s Annual Meeting this Thursday, May 28, at the Durant-Kenrick House, 286 Waverley Avenue.  Food and conversation start at 6 p.m., with the business meeting starting at 7 p.m.  Hope to see you there!   $25 at the door to cover food and location.

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