League of Women Voters of Boston
October 2016 Volume 1, No. 1
“The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization of women and men, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.”
Welcome to the first Newsletter of a new era for the revitalized League of Women Voter of Boston.
We held our 95th Annual Meeting on June 21, 2016, and the following people were elected to office.
2016-2017 Leadership Team
Jane Bowers janemcba [at] aol.com
Kerry Costello, Secretary kcostello [at] aps1.net
Amy Gitlin agitlin2 [at] verizon.net
Clare Hayes rosindhu [at] aol.com
Ellen Hilly jeevesandhazel [at] rcn.com
Shelia Martin martinshelia3 [at] gmail.com
Allentza Michel alleymichel [at] gmail.com
Florence Slepian FlorenceSlepian [at] hotmail.com
Helen Waldorf hawaldorf [at] aol.com
Judith Wright, Treasurer judi.wright1 [at] gmail.com
2016-2017 Charitable Trust
Rosemary Jones, Chair rosekajo [at] earthlink.net
Suzan Chatis suzan.chatis [at] yahoo.com
Amy Gitlin agitlin2 [at] verizon.net
2016-2017 Nominating Committee
Jude Hutchinson, Chair jhzw [at] mac.com
LWVB Address: PO Box 180654, Boston, MA 02118
Newsletter Contact: Judith Wright judi.wright1 [at] gmail.com 617-262-5689
Mark Your Calendar
October 18, 6:30 p.m. Open Board Meeting, Olmsted Place
161 So. Huntington Ave., Jamaica Plain
October 25, 6:30 p.m. Open forum on the ballot questions
Curtis Hall, 20 South St,, Jamaica Plain
All are welcome at the forum on the ballot questions. Please spread the word and bring your friends.
We are looking for technical help with our newsletter. If you have expertise in this area and would be willing to help the Boston League, please contact Judith Wright at judi.wright1 [at] gmail.com.
Voter Registration Events
All Volunteers welcome—contact:Judith Wright at judi.wright1 [at] gmail.com
October 2, 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The Boston League has a table in the ACS CAN tent at The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Boston at DCR Hatch Shell, 47 David G. Mugar Way, Boston. Volunteers will be drawing walkers in to sign petitions, register to vote, and join ACS CAN. They expect about 10,000 at the event.
Early Voting is now available in Massachusetts. Go to www.MassEarlyVote.com for this information. Please note that one can early vote by mail.
"You may vote early in person at any early voting location in your city or town, or you may choose to vote early by mail. If you would like to vote by mail, go the above site and download the application, complete the application, and mail it to your local election official. Ballots will be mailed out at the beginning of the early voting period, on October 24th. If you qualify to vote absentee, you may submit an absentee ballot application instead. Absentee ballots will be available by early October."
Also, there will be a state-wide lookup for hours for each community online in mid-October.
Boston’s Hours and information can be found here: https://www.boston.gov/news/early-voting-locations-boston-2016-election
If you are eligible to vote to vote absentee and wish to do so the absentee ballot application can be found here: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/absentee_ballot.pdf
Other Voting Advice from the League of Women Voters
Avoid using email and fax for delivering your vote. Voting by email and fax is legal for Mass citizens living outside of the United States, both civilian and military, but this is a very insecure system and the protections are inadequate. Even secure systems get penetrated as evidenced by the recent hack of Yahoo;s 500 million users. The best way to stop these votes from being hacked is to send ballots by postal mail. Those who vote by email or fax must waive their right to a secret ballot.
An online copy of the Secretary of States Redbook with information on the 4 Massachusetts Ballot Questions for the November 8, 2016 election can be found here: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/IFV_2016.pdf
Boston Has a Fifth Question on the Ballot
Shall Boston accept sections 3 to 7 inclusive, of Chapter 44B of the General Laws, as approved by the City Council, a summary of which appears below?
Sections 3 to 7 of Chapter 44B of the General Laws of Massachusetts, also known as the Community Preservation Act (Act), establish a dedicated funding source to enable the City of Boston to (1) help meet affordable housing needs; (2) create and rehabilitate parks, playgrounds and athletic fields; (3) preserve land for outdoor recreational uses and conservation areas; and (4) preserve and rehabilitate historic buildings and resources.
In Boston, the funding source for these community preservation purposes will be a surcharge of 1% on the annual property tax assessed on real property beginning in Fiscal Year 2018; plus other funds that may be committed by the City for community preservation purposes pursuant to Section 3(b) 1/2 of Chapter 44B; and annual distributions made by the state from a trust fund created by the Act. The Commonwealth provides funds only to communities adopting the Act.
If approved, the following will be exempt from the surcharge: (1) property owned and occupied as a domicile by any person who qualifies for low income housing or low or moderate income senior housing as defined in Section 2 of the Act; (2) $100,000 of the value of each taxable parcel of residential real property; and (3) $100,000 of the value of each taxable parcel of class three, commercial property and class four, industrial property as defined in Section 2A of Chapter 59. A taxpayer whose tax is reduced by an abatement or exemption will receive a reduction in their surcharge in proportion to the reduction.
Upon acceptance of the Act by the voters, a Community Preservation Committee will be established to study community preservation needs, possibilities and resources, and to make annual recommendations on spending the funds.
LWVMA Charter School Study Materials
The materials for the LWVMA Charter School Study will be posted on the website https://lwvma.org/ on or about Oct. 1. All members will receive an email with links to that material as soon as it is available. The documents will include an introduction to the study; Fundamentals of Charter Schools explaining how charter schools were established and how they work; Funding of Charter Schools explaining the funding process; an additional reading list and bibliography, and the actual consensus questions.
League members are encouraged to read these materials and to plan to attend a consensus meeting to do the charter study. We encourage all local Leagues to hold a consensus meeting so your members can discuss these issues and so that we have a true statewide consensus of our members' views.