Making Democracy Work


Date & Time        Place        Description
Friday, June 11, 2010-Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Atlanta, GA LWVUS National Convention. For more information, click here.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Needham Public Library Community Room LWVN Annual Meeting. Broadcasts, Blogs, and Bites: The Changing Face of Journalism

With the surge in Internet news, social networking sites, 24-hour television news soundbites, and blogs, and the decline in news sources such as newspapers and broadcast news, how can we, in our quest to be well-informed citizens and voters, ensure that the media sources we select are fair and accurate?

Kara Miller, professional journalist, will discuss the changing face of journalism. Many of you will recognize Kara as a regular guest panelist on Greater Boston's Beat the Press, which is on every Friday evening. Currently she teaches at Babson College and writes for the MetroWest Daily News and In the fall, she will be a Professor of Journalism at UMass Dartmouth.

Come hear what she has to say on the timely topic. Guests are welcome as well.

Saturday, May 22, 2010
11:00am - 6:30pm
Lasell College, Newton, MA State Council 2010. 90 Years of Making a Difference - Happy Birthday LWVMA

For more information

Tuesday, May 11, 2010
  State Senate Special General Election. Candidates:

Peter Smulowitz, Needham physician, Democrat.

Richard Ross, State Representative, Wrentham, Republican.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010
  Special Primary and Town Election. Click here for a copy of the Voters Guide.
Monday, April 5, 2010
7:00pm Candidate Meet and Greet and 7:30pm Candidate Forum
Broadmeadow School Candidates Night. On April 5, LWVN will host a Candidates' Night (with co-host LWV Wellesley) for the State Senate candidates, both Republican and Democratic. All three candidates have agreed to participate, as well as a LWV-trained moderator.

The three declared candidate are:

Lida Harkins, State Representative, Needham, Democrat.

Peter Smulowitz, Needham physician, Democrat.

Richard Ross, State Representative, Wrentham, Republican.

See flyer for details

Program for the evening

Thursday, March 18, 2010
  LWVN Annual Book Review. If We Can Put a Man on the Moon by William Eggers and John O'Leary (for anyone who cares about the future of democracy).

John O'Leary is a Needham resident and current member of the Needham School Committee.

"The American people are frustrated with their government - dismayed by a series of high-profile failures (Iraq, Katrina, the financial meltdown) that seems to just keep getting longer. Yet our nation has a proud history of great achievements: victory in World War II, our national highway system, welfare reform, the moon landing. We need more successes like these to reclaim government's legacy of competence. In If We Can Put a Man on the Moon, William Eggers and John O'Leary explain how to do it. The key? Understand - and avoid - the common pitfalls that trip up public-sector leaders during the journey from idea to results. The authors identify pitfalls including:
- The Partial Map Trap: Fumbling handoffs throughout project execution
- The Tolstoy Syndrome: Seeing only the possibilities you want to see
- Design-Free Design: Designing policies for passage through the legislature, not for implementation
- The Overconfidence Trap: Creating unrealistic budgets and timelines
- The Complacency Trap: Failing to recognize that a program needs change

At a time of unprecedented challenges, this book, with its abundant examples and hands-on advice, is the essential guide to making our government work better."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010
  Deadline for filing nomination papers with the Secretary of State. The Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex District includes Millis, Needham, Norfolk, Plainville, Wrentham, North Attleboro, Sherborn, Wayland and some precincts in Franklin, Wellesley, Attleboro and Natick.

Candidates are required to collect a minimum of 300 certified signatures in order to appear on the ballot.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010
  Deadline for submitting nomination papers to local registrars of voters or election commissioners.. The Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex District includes Millis, Needham, Norfolk, Plainville, Wrentham, North Attleboro, Sherborn, Wayland and some precincts in Franklin, Wellesley, Attleboro and Natick.

Candidates are required to collect a minimum of 300 certified signatures in order to appear on the ballot.

Thursday, February 4, 2010
7:00pm short take and 7:30pm meeting
  Board Meeting. All members are welcome.

On Feb. 4 at 7:00 pm before the Needham League's Board Meeting; Ruth Griffin, Food Service Director of the Needham Schools, will speak about the responsibilities of providing a healthy lunch for all schools. She will give an overview and explanation of how the lunch program meets the nutritional requirements for 3000 children and what her responsibilities entail. All members are inviited to attend this presentation. There will be time for questions.

Saturday, January 30, 2010
First Parish Unitarian Church
23 Dedham Avenue
Real Food Potluck. Mark your calendars and plan to join League members and guests at our Real Food Pot Luck on Saturday evening, January 30. This midwinter social promises to be a festive affair with music, wonderful prizes, good food and conversation as we celebrate the Needham LWV's sustainable initiatives.

$5.00 per person, spouses and adult guests are welcome.

Please RSVP by responding to the Evite

Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Needham High School Media Center Human Rights and Health Care Reform in the United States. Speaker: Alicia Ely Yamin, JD MPH, MPH , "currently the Joseph H. Flom Fellow on Global Health and Human Rights at Harvard Law School and an Instructor at the Harvard School of Public Health. She also serves as Special Advisor to Amnesty International's global campaign on poverty: Demand Dignity (in particular, in relation to the right to health) and as Executive Editor of the international, peer-reviewed journal, Health and Human Rights."

Speaker: Thomas H. Lee, MD, is professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School, Network President Partners Healthcare System, Internist and Cardiologist Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Both of these people are highly accomplished speakers who can offer a unique perspective on health care systems in other industrialized countries as well as our emerging reform efforts here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010
  US Senate Election. Candidates on the ballot for the Special Election:

Scott Brown (R) For more information, click here.

Martha Coakley (D) For more information, click here.

Joseph L. Kennedy (I) For more information, click here.

Because municipal offices will be closed for Martin Luther King's birthday Jan. 18, the day before the election, voters have until 5 p.m. Friday (Jan 15) to apply for an absentee ballot.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Residents who will be unable to get to the polls may apply for an absentee ballot by downloading an application at the Needham Town Clerk's website or by visiting the Town Clerk's office. Ballots are already available in the Town Clerk's office and voters may complete an absentee ballot and vote in the same visit.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009
  Special Election. Special State Primary and a ballot question for a debt-exclusion override

Candidates on the ballot for the Democratic Special State Primary:

Mike Capuano (D) - Congressman, Ex-Somerville Mayor & Attorney

Martha Coakley (D) - Attorney General & Ex-Middlesex County District Attorney

Alan Khazei (D) - Philanthropist & Community Activist

Steve Pagliuca (D) - Venture Capitalist & Boston Celtics Basketball Team Co-Owner

Candidate on the ballot for the Republican Special State Primary:

Scott Brown (R) - State Sen., Ex-State Rep., Ex-Wrentham Selectman, Attorney & National Guard Veteran

Jack E. Robinson (R) - Politician (Note: we have no website link for this candidate.)

Note: There are also several independent candidates that have announced their intention to run for this seat and may be on the Special State Election Ballot. One, in particular, is Joseph L. Kennedy who should not be confused with Joseph P. Kennedy [son of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Kennedy]. Joseph P. Kennedy is the Director of Citizen's Energy Corporation and announced on September 7th that he is not running for this Senate seat.

Ballot question for a $27.4 million debt-exclusion override

A ballot question for a $27.4 million debt-exclusion override to renovate the Newman School, $8.6 million of which will be state reimbursed, is now headed to the voters after the Board of Selectmen unanimously took up the School Committee's recommendation for the request. The renovation is primarily to replace the Newman School's heating and ventilation system.

Sunday, November 15, 2009
The Courtyard Restaurant at the Boston Public Library, Copley Square LWV of Boston 90th Anniversary. The guest speaker is Amy Ryan, President, Boston Public Library. A tour of the library's "special treasures" will follow.

Please RSVP by sending the following information (name/address/number of people/telephone/email address) to Event Chair Ila Cooper:

Although there is no charge to attend the event, donations are very much appreciated

Sunday, November 8, 2009
Bowker Auditorium at UMass Amherst Candidate Forum. The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts will sponsor a candidate forum in Bowker Auditorium at UMass Amherst on Sunday, November 8th at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7:00pm Bob Paquette, host of Morning Edition, on WFCR and WNNZ, NPR News and Music for Western New England, headquartered in Amherst, will moderate the forum.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
  International Day of Climate Action. Have you thought about growing your own vegetables but are daunted by the task of digging up turf to create a garden? The League may be able to help! On October 24, the International Day of Climate Action, a League "team" will be participating in a local environmental work day. Our project will be to promote locally grown food. Using the "no-dig" method, we can help change an area of grass into a garden which will be ready to plant in the spring.

We will have a knowledgeable gardener to advise you about what (and when) to plant, spacing, fertilization, etc.

Monday, October 19, 2009
Newman Elementary School Auditorium Fall Forum. "Envisioning a Sustainable Needham", planned by the Climate Action Committee and co-sponsored by Green Needham Collaborative. Come learn about ideas and plans for changing Needham into a sustainable community.

  • Featured speaker:Paul Lukez - award winning architect, urban planner, and author of Suburban Transformations.

  • Environmental Fair: Plans for Needham's future - including alternative modes of transportation, production of local foods, fabulous forest footpaths, and "smart growth" in downtown Needham.

Click here for more information.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
First Parish Unitarian Church Parish Hall
23 Dedham Avenue, Needham Center
Green Line Extension Forum. Green Needham and The Needham Heights Neighborhood Association Present: A Transportation Forum to discuss the Green Line Extension to Needham

Unlocking our economic development potential and enhancing our quality of life.

Topics: Enhancing transportation options, cost effective community oriented transit, economic development, bicycle and pedestrian access, traffic and parking.

Monday, September 7, 2009
Rally will Start on Boston Common
near Park Street Station
Look for the League Banner and March with us to Copley Square to show our support for Real Health Care Reform Now!
Labor Day Rally in Support of Health Care. The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts strongly supports retaining the Public Option as an essential part of Health Care Reform. Our nation needs this Public Option as a safety net. It should provide quality and affordable healthcare coverage to all U.S residents regardless of pre-existing conditions, employment status and ability to pay. Without a Public Option there is no incentive for private insurers to provide quality care at a reasonable rate and maximize the percentage of our premium dollars for actual health care. Show our members of Congress that the LWVMA supports Health Care Reform and wants them to pass Health Care Reform with a Public Option Now!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Curry College (Milton, MA)
1071 Blue Hill Avenue
Milton, MA 02186
Town Hall Meeting on Health Care Reform with Rep. Stephen Lynch.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Somerville High School Auditorium (Somerville, MA)
81 Highland Avenue
Somerville, MA 02143
Town Hall Meeting on Health Care Reform with Senator John Kerry.