Review of 2018-2019

List of LWVAmherst’s Main Activities in 2018-19

1.  New organization

In June we began an experiment with a steering committee of 9 replacing elected officers. Most of the nine steering committee members have their own portfolio(s) others are at-large members; in addition, they share the chairing of the meeting and oversight of activities, which rotates every month.

2. Election activities

  • In the spring of 2018 the Town of Amherst voted to change from a representative town meeting to a town council of 13. Therefore, the Amherst League held events for candidates for the new council, both for the ten seats of district councilors and separately, for the three at-large seats. This was a two-stage election; the preliminary election held with the Democratic primary (no Republicans were running) and the November election.
  • In addition, there were important state elections: to replace a one-term ex-Democrat, choosing not to run again as local Rep, and to replace our longtime state Senator. LWVA joined area media outlets as a panel member for a Candidates' Forum between the primary candidates for Third Hampshire District.
  • Held a Brown Bag presentation and discussion on the Ballot Questions

 3. Voter registration was active throughout the spring, summer, and fall in over 10 locations, including all three of the Colleges and the University. 

4. Regional Participation:

  • LWV Amherst took the lead in creating an Inter-League Connecticut River study/action committee.
  • Three members of the Steering Committee represented the Amherst LWV at the Field Service (Regional)Meeting in Southampton on January 12;
  • Three members of the Steering Committee attended a regional reception for the new LWVMA Executive Director, Michelle Kweder, in Haydenville on April 14.

5. Participation in State Activities:

  • LWV Amherst was represented at the Fall Leader Lunch in Harvard, MA
  • The Ballot Question Process Study committee prepared for and held consensus meetings. The consensus meetings were held on January 24 and 26.
  • Annual Program Planning Meeting, this year for LWVMA and LWVA, February 25.

6. Local leadership/activity:

  1. "Girls Lead: 1,2,3," organized by Rebecca Fricke and Cynthia Brubaker, a program encouraging high school women students who hadn’t previously been leaders to learn some leadership skills. It was extremely well-received: more students applied than could be accepted, and the participants gave positive reviews.
  2. LWVA reinstituted its Observer Corp on Dec. 10, 2018, on the first meeting of a new form of town government. Town Council meetings are covered, with the intention of covering other areas e.g. Schools, Libraries, and committees.
  3. LWVA voted in favor of joining the Amherst Municipal Affordable Housing Trust Coalition, a newly formed group of organizations to advocate for affordable housing initiatives.  Subsequently, LWVA co-sponsored a forum on Affordable Housing, November 1, 2018
  4. Beginning of a weekly news and public service program, “LWVA’s Byline with Stan Rosenberg,”  on local access cable television, featuring major players in local and regional positions interviewed in 1/2 hour segments. LWVA officially is the 'producer' of “Byline” which Adrienne 'coordinates.’
  5. The annual February LWV Birthday Luncheon featured a keynote address by newly elected Rep. Mindy Domb (Hampshire 3rd District). Rep. Domb is a member of LWVAmherst
  6. Brown Bag Lunch/ Presentation and Discussion with Peter Demling on regionalizing the Amherst and Pelham elementary schools, February 27
  7. Amherst LWV 80th Anniversary Open House at the Amherst Woman’s Club, March 21