Programs, Studies and Actions by the LWV-Needham.
Through research, public forums, and advocacy the Group will create and endorse a vision of mobility that balances our dependency on automobiles with public transit, walking, and biking alternatives. Areas of focus include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Improve public transportation options within Needham and to neighboring communities
- Support school programs that encourage safe, clean and efficient transportation
- Promote biking as a safe, clean and healthy alternative to cars
- Improve the number and quality of town sidewalks, crosswalks and off-street paths
The Group's efforts are consistent with other local efforts, such as the Green Streets Initiative in Cambridge (http://www.gogreenstreets.org) and national programs such as Complete Streets (http://www.completestreets.org). In the words of Complete Streets:
"The streets of our cities and towns are an important part of the livability of our communities. They ought to be for everyone, whether young or old, motorist or bicyclist, walker or wheelchair user, bus rider or shopkeeper. But too many of our streets are designed only for speeding cars, or worse, creeping traffic jams."
According to the 1995 Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey, 25% of all trips are made within a mile of the home, 40% of all trips are within two miles of the home. These are walkable and bikeable distances. Furthermore, 50% of the working population commutes five miles or less to work. And yet nationally more than 82% of trips five miles or less are made by personal motor vehicle.
The goal of the LWVN Transportation Group is to reduce the number of trips made by cars in Needham. If you would like to join this group please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. To download a copy of this Mission Statement click here.
"Envisioning a Sustainable Needham" was the theme of the 2009 Fall Forum, planned by the Climate Action Committee and co-sponsored by Green Needham Collaborative. People came to learn about ideas and plans for making Needham a sustainable community.
Featured speaker: Paul Lukez - award winning architect, urban planner, and author of Suburban Transformations.
Environmental Fair: Plans for Needham's future - included alternative modes of transportation, production of local foods, fabulous forest footpaths, and "smart growth" in downtown Needham.
For a copy of the event flier, click here.
For more information on the event, click here.
10% Energy Challenge
LWV-Needham, as a founding member of the Green Needham Collaborative, encourages Needham residents to participate in the 10% Energy Challenge to reduce their energy use and save money. Join us by submitting plans to reduce your carbon footprint. Possible actions include unplugging a second refrigerator, replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents, reducing flying or driving miles, adding vegetarian meals to the weekly menu, or taking other actions presented by the 10% Energy Challenge.
It takes only a few minutes to make your personal energy-saving plan. Go to Green Needham Collaborative and click on "10 Percent Challenge." League members should enter LWVN as your group.
Fall Forum October 2008
The Climate Action Committee featured the internationally acclaimed food activist, Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet and many other books. She informed us how to choose foods that promote health and help reduce global warming. An accompanying environmental fair featured various local food-related efforts, such as the Needham Community Farm committee, local community supported agriculture, the neighborhood farm project, and promoters of "edible landscaping." As a bonus, we provided some great vegetarian recipes! For more information about Frances Moore Lappé click here.
Community Solar Challenge
We did it! Together we won solar panels for Pollard
Many thanks to all the League members who supported the Needham Solar Challenge by donating and by spreading the word to family, friends, and neighbors. The campaign was a success far beyond our expectations. With a total of 281 new contributors to the New England Wind Fund, a large amount of money was raised for supporting wind power, and Needham has earned an array of 12 solar panels which the Town plans to install at Pollard Middle School. Plus, since each contribution to the New England Wind Fund triggers a matching amount paid into an energy fund for Needham, the Town will have over $21,000 to spend on clean energy and energy efficiency projects. The Town has been officially notified of the award and is reviewing the details. We hope to be celebrating the installation before the year is out. Stay tuned!
Global Warming: How You Can Made a Difference
The 2007 Fall Forum, which took place on October 17, 2007, was an ambitious and lively event that offered a wealth of information on how individuals can take action to fight climate change. Global Warming: How You Can Made a Difference attracted 120 people, a number that attests to the increasing awareness of climate change.
The keynote presentations given by Larry Chretien, executive director of the Mass. Energy Consumers Alliance, can be seen by clicking here.
The keynote was followed by four breakout sessions: Solar Energy in the Home, Cutting Home Energy Use, Fuel Efficient Cars, and A Citizen-based Approach to Global Warming.
This LWV-Needham study focused on the Stephen Palmer building and the land on which it rests. The Study Committee investigated the history and current status of the building and site. The land and building constitute important public resources located in the center of town, and we know that the Town is short of space to meet many of its needs. This case, studied in depth, offers background for thinking about other properties as well.
The League of Women Voters of Needham conducted this study in 2008 and 2009. In April, 2009, LWVN held two consensus meetings to review the report of the study committee and to reach consensus, guided by prepared consensus questions. The results of these meetings led to an official position that the LWVN has adopted:
The research materials have been organized into a binder that is available at the Needham Public Library.