Reports

The major projects of the Affordable Housing Trust, and the Coalition of which the League is a member, were continuing to advocate for proposed projects on Northampton Road and the combined project at the East Street School and Belchertown Road. There were also some forums on specific issues and some possible future locations for affordable housing projects.

The primary work of the committee for this past year has been following the relicensing process for five dams on the Connecticut River.

The LWVA’s Racial Justice Committee (RJC) has been meeting bi-monthly since April 2020. We are: Andrea Battle, Lydia de Faveri Spiegal, Rebecca Fricke, Meg Gage, Martha Hanner, Ash Hartwell, Bonnie Isman, Renee Moss, Marcie Sclove, and David Williams.

On March 22, 2021 we held a Zoom Forum of Groups working on racial justice. 185 people attended. This was the beginning of the Amherst Racial Justice Network (ARJN). We have taken more steps to develop ARJN and will see how it all proceeds.

Voter Engagement activity was high during 2021-2022 since all of Amherst’s elected officials were up for election in fall of 2021. Cynthia Brubaker led the team that organized nine candidate forums that ran from October 7 to October 21. These programs were broadcast live online via Zoom for public participation. Later, hundreds of viewers watched the recordings of the candidate events which were posted on the League’s web site by our webmaster Kathy Campbell. All candidates were surveyed with specific questions related to League programs.

Task Force to "Get Out the 2020 Census Count"

The concept of the Task Force began with the organization of the Town's Complete Count Committee in October 2019. We have been working and partnering our efforts with the Jones Library, the Senior Center, Rep. Mindy Domb, LWVMA, MA Counts/Voter Table and MA Immigration and Advocacy Coalition to ensure that Amherst, as the 9th hardest to count community in the state, receives its fair share of federal funding, fair share of Congressional seats, and accurate information for fair state and local redistricting.

Highlights of the year:

Membership

The Amherst League has 187 members in 159 households and 21 life members. This year members received a League history in honor of the 80th anniversary and a program booklet.

Members received cards appropriate to member's needs.

Submitted by Phyllis Lehrer

Health Care Committee

The Health Care Committee (HCC) has been stable in its membership this year, but had a minor re-organization. We started out (through February) in a continuing affiliation with the Amherst Area Hub of Western Mass Medicare for All. Then WMM4A announced that they were re-thinking the strategy of local hubs by geography and are opting for hubs by constituency (working through such venues as faith-based organizations, (medical) provider groups, universities).

The League supported two projects to add affordable housing in Amherst.

East Street School

This project to build between 15 and 36 rental units for low-income individuals and families at the site of the old East Street School has received approval and was put out for proposals to do the work. Unfortunately, no company wants to bid until the town does further research on the amount of hazardous materials in the existing building (mostly asbestos) and how much of the land is actually buildable (wetlands issues). Those issues have not been resolved yet.

The Committee was created to organize events celebrating two different but related events, the founding of the League of Women Voters on February 14, 1920, and the passage on August 26, 1920, of the 19th Amendment enabling women to vote.

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