Programs, Studies and Actions that the LWV-Needham is participating in.
Preliminary information in anticipation of this study is available at the LWVMA website.
In April 2013, the LWV-Needham hosted The Influence of Money on Our Democracy: What Can We The People Do?, a talk given by Harvard Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig. He discussed the corrupting influence of money on the decisions made by our elected officials, especially in the US. Congress.
The slide at right was the last image at Professor Lessig's talk and encouraged attendees to participate in the organization Rootstrikers.
In 1985, the LWV Needham adopted a position in favor of more restrictive residential zoning. However, no information could be found in our archives to describe the study, the consensus, or what the term "restrictive" was trying to convey. The Residential Zoning Study Committee did masterful work in the poring through the prodigious amount of records, making sense of them and compiling them in a way we laymen could begin to understand. The Studies Coordinators helped bring it all together for the League's consideration at a November 17 meeting.
After discussion about our present need to be positive, proactive, protective of the integrity of the town, limiting the amount of land to be used, character of the neighborhood, visuals for the entire street (not just the one house), affordable housing (40B), the following consensus was defined, to be approved by the board: Support zoning in residential districts to prevent lots with minimal frontage and irregular shapes.
In March 2013, the LWVN held a Forum on Residential Reconstruction with a panel that included Lee Newman, Needham Planning Director; Meaghon Jop, Wellesley Planning Director; Stephanie Maiona, Senior Vice-President - Commercial Lending at Needham Bank; and David Roche, Needham Building Inspector. The discussion included: What control/input Needham has over reconstruction in our residential areas; what other communities are doing; and what the economics are of reconstruction versus renovation.
Should there be a national curriculum? ...and national assessments for our students? Would a greater federal role lead to unfunded mandates? Would it ensure more equitable funding for all students?
This 2010-2012 LWVUS Study materials and a link to the updated position can be found at the LWVUS website.
Our local Consensus Meeting was on Thursday, October 13, 2011, at the Needham Historical Society. We invited Don Gratz, Chair of the Dept. of Education at Curry College and former member of the Needham School Committee, and Susan Bonatiuto, Needham Public Schools Administrator, to serve as our experts as we deliberated together.
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.
The LWVUS position on immigration can be found at the LWVUS website.
View a newspaper cartoon about the LWV-Needham and Understanding Town Finances.