The problems nation-wide and here have been caused by the decline in federal funding for affordable housing and zoning restrictions. There were very few units constructed between 1980 and 2010, and even fewer of the ones that were built were smaller, more affordable, units. A forum on homelessness that the League co-sponsored in 2016 identified a great need for housing that can reduce the number of homeless people. The proposal by the Valley Community Development Corporation is to help meet that need.
The summer and fall of 2018 were busy times for both our League and our neighboring Leagues. An extraordinary number of open seats were up for grabs in the state legislature, and in addition, Amherst was holding its first municipal election under its new home rule charter.
The Voter Registration (VR) Committee was busy this past year - mainly in the fall of 2018 - educating voters and potential voters about voter registration, absentee ballots in MA and other states, and the ballot questions.
Last year the state League established the legislative envoy program. Each local League was encouraged to have one or more persons designated to be contacts with our state legislators on state legislation.
The LWVA Health Care Committee (HCC) under chair, Barbara Pearson, continues the tradition established by longtime chair and super-advocate for health care reform, Jackie Wolf, who moved away from Amherst last year.
The League of Women Voters of Amherst celebrated its 80th anniversary on March 21, 2019, with an Open House at the Amherst Woman's Club, as well as updated editions of the LWVA Program Book and history.