Working Groups

The 2021-22 Working Groups are moving forward on program priorities approved at Annual Meeting in June 2021 and formulated at Opening Meeting in September. League members have the opportunity to influence the selection of issues and join a group. We welcome new members as we plan and execute public forums, informational meetings, community events, and campaigns.

Environmental Issues and Climate Emergency

The Environmental Issues and Climate Emergency working group invites members to join us as we focus on statewide environmental bills for the 2021-2022 legislative session. Our plans are to:

  1. Work for Zero Waste by reviewing and tracking Plastic bills currently under consideration in the legislature, educating our League and Acton Area residents about the bills and advocating for the passing of select bills. These include raising and expanding the plastic bottle fee, restricting polystyrene and plastic utensils, reducing plastic bag pollution and demanding producer responsibility for funding collection and recovery of materials they use and sell.

  2. Keep our members updated on any progress on environmental justice and stretch codes in "An Act Creating a Next Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy"… to be referred to from now on as the Roadmap.

Facilitator Carolyn Platt cwplatt3@gmail.com

How Local Government Works

The How Local Government Works working group invites members to join us as we address local challenges facing our member towns.

  1. Study and engage Member Towns to assess governmental changes experienced during the Pandemic that can be applied to town board meetings in the future. Discuss how the meetings can be improved and become more accessible to a larger number of residents without having to attend In Person.

a. Use the Acton hybrid model to share with other member towns. Acton allows in person paired with remote access for the main boards. Calculate the cost of using hybrid versus in person. Encourage local cable stations to broadcast more board meetings.

b. Reach out to other Leagues and Towns to see what changes they have made or are considering to adapt to remote/in person meetings. Check with Mass. Moderators Association to see what changes, if any, are being made in their towns. Is anyone proposing changes to voting at Town Meetings, e.g. remote?

c. Read the Expanding Public Participation document that summarizes the responses that the League of Women Voters Acton Area gathered from our member towns (Acton, Boxborough, Hudson, Littleton, Maynard, Stow) about how Board and Committee meetings have been held in the past two years, the associated costs for remote meeting support, and the benefits and challenges.

  1. Roll-out the updated Acton Know Your Town. The Know Your Town is nearly complete. Efforts will be made to put links to the KYT on the Town and School Websites and Community groups. We can consider hosting a Community Education Class, a Town forum, or School presentations to raise interest in knowing more about your town.

  2. Provide information to individuals considering running for local or state office or serving on town boards. Update the current LWVAA presentation "How to run for office." Make it generic enough to run in all member towns via zoom. Here are the documents for Acton.
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    How to Run for Office: Acton
    -
    Candidate Checklist: Acton

Facilitator Marilyn Peterson mpeterson@corneliuspeterson.com

Fostering Conversations about Change in the Community

The Fostering Conversations about Change in the Community working group invites new members to join us as we engage in our communities.

  1. When the LWVMA DEI (Diversity, Equality and Inclusion) training is available, offer that to members

  2. Participate in outreach (membership) to organizations such as the renters’ group forming in Acton and request to get on the agenda at as many town committees as possible

  3. Update the "How to Run for Office" to reflect the barriers faced by Black people, any person of color, and women

  4. Find a balance of inward looking to discover what we have done and to find the gaps. Listen.

  5. Promote the efforts of the ABRJC (Acton Boxborough Racial Justice Collaborative)

Facilitator Jo-Ann Berry joann.berry29@gmail.com

Student Involvement in Civic Education

The Student Involvement in Civic Education working group invites new members to join us as we

  1. Work with Mary Price Maddox, ABRHS teacher, to support a civics-related essay contest. Likely support needed will be judging/prizes.

  2. Distribute new League bookmarks to all high schools in our member towns

  3. “Save the Bee” – let’s not let another year go by without our Civics Bee; evaluate in January, and if it can’t safely be held inside, change to planning outdoor event later in the spring

Facilitator Kristina Rychlik krychlik@mac.com