LWV bulletin Jan. 07.indd by fdh56iuoui


                   Wo r c e s t e r A r e a L e a g u e o f Wo m e n Vo t e r s
                   P.O. Box 20201, Worcester, MA 01602         w w w. l w v w o rc . o r g
           Worcester, Massachusetts                 Winter, 200 6-7
           President: Betsy Johnson 508-829-3313    Bulletin: Susan Durham
                      bjohnson825@yah oo.com                       508-829-6658
           Membership: Barbara Kohin                         Manny Zax 508-755-3960
                       508-756-7713                                 mczax@charter.net
                       Sue Moynagh, 799-5444

                                  CALENDAR                  2007
Sunday, Jan 21      Jane Fund – Annual Meeting and Luncheon
11:30 – 2:00 pm                 Maxwell Silverman’s, 25 Union Street, Worcester,

Tuesday, Jan 23     Board Meeting, Barbara Mercier’s 835-1719
5:30 pm             22 Angel Brook Drive, West Boylston

Saturday, Jan 27    Program meeting, Jean Bolz’s, 21 Lantern Lane,
9:30 – 11-30 am     Worcester, 753-7112, “Conversations on End of Life” Christine McCluskey

Tuesday, Jan 30     Voter Service Training by LWV of Mass
4:30 – 6:30 pm      Worcester Public Library

Tuesday, Feb 27     Board Meeting, Charlotte Zax, 125 S. Flagg St.
5:30 pm             Worcester, 755-3960

Sunday, Mar 4       Forum on Affordable Housing in Worcester,
2:00 – 4:00 pm      Worcester Public Library

Tuesday, Mar 27     Board Meeting, Sally Levinson’s,
5:30 pm             15 Westwood Drive, 757-9009

Thursday, Mar 29 Training on Lobby Initiatives and Guidelines by
7:00 – 9:00 pm   LWV Mass, Briarwood Community Center, 65 Briarwood Circle, Worcester

Saturday, Apr 21    “Health Care Issues,” by Amherst LWV, La
10:00-12:00 am      Maison, Assumption College, Worcester,

Tuesday, Apr 24     Board Meeting, Kathleen Paracer’s, 150 Nola Dr.
5:30 pm             Holden, 829-4460,

Monday, May 14     LWV – Worcester Annual Meeting,
5-8 pm             Worcester State College
           MESSAGE FROM BETSY                         faced with it in their homes and neighborhoods.                                                                  face. Most people agree that affordable housing
                                                      Many become desensitized to the effects of vio-                                                                  for those with very low incomes and for the dis-
I am often asked,I suppose because of my long lence. Many fear that adults can not help them.                                                                          abled is in very short supply here. Some claim that
association with the League, “How is it going these As a consequence, more and more young people                                                                       even those of moderate means are unable to find
days?”, the subtext being “Is it still alive?” My an- are arming themselves.                                                                                           housing without cutting back on other necessities.
swer is that it still is very much alive, although in                                                                                                                  Economists define the maximum households can
a considerably different form from what it used to          Boisvert asked four things of us:                                                                          “af-ford” to spend on housing as the total house-
be. When I first joined, in the mid-sixties, there Time: volunteer, be a foster parent or grandpar-                                                                     hold in-come less the amount needed to cover ba-
were well over three hundred members, we wore ent, pay attention to the children who need us.                                                                          sic needs (food, clothing, transportation and medi-
hats and gloves to meetings, and we were fea- Money: There are a million good causes.                                                                                  cal care). The federal government (HUD) calls
tured on the Social Page. Very few of us worked Prayer: the power of prayer, the power of support                                                                      housing affordable if it costs no more than 30% of
in real jobs, and so the League became our job, or and of fellowship is invaluable.                                                                                    a household’s income.
our graduate degree. That degree of committment Finally, he asked the League to vigorously en-                         LWV tea, December 10, 2006
has, of course, changed, as women used some of dorse gun control legislation, particularly legis-                         view of audience                             In reality, because the cost of meeting basic needs
the opportunities and rights for which we fought to lation that would get handguns off the streets. He                                                                 is relatively fixed, most very-low-income house-
move into the workplace full time. But the core is said Boston’s Mayor Menino was likely to propose                                                                    holds can afford to spend even less than 30%.
still viable: we inform ourselves and the public on such a bill in the coming year, and he pledged his            LWVM AFFORDABLE HOUSING STUDY:                       Using HUD’s definition, 21.5% of Massachusetts
the issues of the day, and lobby to effect good gov- own support and assistance in promoting study,               PART I WHY AFFORDABLE HOUSING?                       house-holds had housing affordability problems in
ernment. We”re lean and mean. (Well, sort of.) discussion, and/or whatever might be needed to                  By Jane Nash, LWVM Affordable Housing Study Committee   1999.
And very much still here. What doesn’t change get such legislation passed. He was passionate                                         co-chair
with the times dies, and the League is nowhere about the need for this and firm about the very real                                                                     In August 2006 the State House News Service re-
ready to abandon its mission. Keep it up!!            dangers gun violence presents to many children             The purpose of the Massachusetts League’s             ported that Massachusetts is adding new housing
                                                      every day.                                               study of affordable housing is to learn about ma-       at one of the slowest rates in the nation. According
                           By Betsy Johnson                                                                    jor Massachusetts legislation that encourages and       to them, “Massachusetts added 15,953 units of
                                                      Presented with this challenge, 2007 may well be          enables communities to provide affordable hous-         housing between July 1, 2004 and July 1, 2005 or
HOLIDAY TEA A GREAT SUCCESS                           an invigorating year for the Worcester League.           ing for residents. The LWVM Affordable Hous-            a 0.6 increase as compared to the 1.5 percent in-
                                                                                                               ing Study Committee has a wealth of research to         crease of overall growth in the nation.” When one
       We could hardly miss. The weather was                 By Janet Shainheit and Mara Pentlarge             share. For the next six months, through your local      subtracts the housing lost through demolition or
perfect; the food was tasty; our speaker was great.                                                            League Bulletin, the Committee will share its find-      “expiring use” there has been a net loss of afford-
A large number of Worcester Leaguers, their                                                                    ings in an abridged form for easy reading. We urge      able housing state-wide.
spouses, and guests from the Shrewsbury LWV                                                                    you to keep these articles in preparation for the
came together on an early December afternoon                                                                   consensus meetings starting in Septem-ber 2007.         Why affordable housing matters to all citizens
for our annual Holiday Tea. It was one of the best                                                             Sources will be provided at the end of each article     Diverse communities are described as those that
ever.                                                                                                          and on the LWVM website (www.lwvma.org) for             include people of all income levels and skills. Such
                                                                                                               further study.                                          communi-ties are seen by many as healthy com-
       The highlight was speaker Maurice Bois-                                                                                                                         munities. Some see diversity as a social need al-
vert, President and C.E.O. of YOU, Inc., the lead-                                                             Along with these Bulletin articles, information         lowing citizens to live in a community more like the
ing child welfare and behavioral health organiza-                                                              will be available in the Massachusetts Voter, the       world at large.
tion in Central Massachusetts which has served                                                                 monthly League Leaders Update, and with the
troubled and at-risk children, adolescents, and                                                                packet of our findings to be distributed to each         In addition, others see a diverse community as a
families for thirty-five years. Moe reminded us that                                                            League in June 2007. In fall 2007, the Commit-          practical necessity. Several recent news articles
the League had been part of the organization’s                                                                 tee will hold regional forums to prepare for local      claim that the lack of affordable housing is caus-
founding, thanked us for this, and then went on to                                                             League consensus.                                       ing skilled workers and seniors to look for housing
talk about what should be done now.                                                                                                                                    out of the state. News articles and Gov. Romney
                                                                                                               Affordable housing needs in Massachusetts               claim that the loss of skilled workers is having a
       Today’s youth struggle with is a far more                   Betsy, Maurice, Sally                                                                               negative effect on Massachusetts’ ability to com-
violent world than the one of 1966. Children all                                                               Few deny the need for more affordable housing           pete economically. Employees who work in many
too often suffer serious trauma. They witness vio-                                                             in Massachusetts. Housing is the largest single         suburban communities often cannot afford to live
lence on television, and, too frequently, they are                                                             ex-pense low and moderate income households
                                                                                                                                                                              Worcester Area LWV, Worcester, MA Winter 07.P 3
                                                          Worcester Area LWV, Worcester, MA winter, 2007.P 2
where they work.                                                 AUTHOR FEATURED
                                                        AT JANE FUND ANNUAL MEETING JAN.21                                                           THE BOARD      2006-2007
Consequently, more towns are becoming less di-
verse. The hometown of the past where peoples of        Judith Arcana was a Jane, a member of Chi-             President     Betsy Johnson             bjohnson852@yahoo.com                 829-3313
all economic levels and skills lived within the same    cago’s pre-Roe feminist underground abortion
community is becoming obsolete. Since 1969 and          service. She is a writer whose poems, stories          VP Admin.     Sally Levinson            Slevi70@aol.com                       757-9009
the enactment of Chapter 774, Massachusetts             and essays have been widely published for over
has recognized the necessity of affordable hous-        thirty years. Judith’s new book of poems and           VP Prog.      Melanie Demarais          Demarais@Assumption.edu               856-0720
ing in every city and town. There is agreement on       prose monologues, What if your mother, illu-
the need and advantages of affordable housing,          minates a constellation of motherhood themes,          Secretary     Kathleen Paracer          kmparacer@verizon.net                 829-4460
but the methods of providing it are contested. The      including abortion, adoption, and the contem-
                                                                                                               Membership Barbara Kohin                Bkohin@fastdial.net                   756-7713
articles that will follow this one will address the     pory biotechnology of childbearing.                               Sue Moynagh                  Smoynagh549@aol.com                   799-5444
laws for and the challenges to increasing afford-
able housing.                                    Mathew F. Erskine, Trustee of the Margaret E.                 Bulletin      Sue Durham                sfdurham@aol.com                      829-6658
                                                 Sherman Trust, will be awarded The 2007 Ju-                                 Manuel Zax(offboard)      mczax@charter.net                     755-3960
Websites: www.chapa.org; www.nlihc.org; www. dith Fleming Henshaw Award.
macdc.org; www.mass.gov/dhcd; www.mhp.net                                                                      Treasurer     Bettie Brewer             bettie.brewer@verizon.net             792-2821
                                                 League members are invited to the meeting
Sources: Scott, Janny and Randal C. Archibold. and luncheon buffet at Maxwell Silverman’s, 25                  Voter Service Barbara Mercier (ch.)     Bmerc0194@aol.com                     835-1719
“Across Nation, Housing Costs Rise as Burden.” Union St, Worcester on Sunday, January 21,                                    Mara Pentlarge            mara@pentlarge.org                    852-4239
New York Times, October 3, 2006.                 11:30 – 2:30 pm. Tickets for the lunch are $40.                             Debra Starr               starrstus@msn.com                     770-0912
                                                 The program at 1:00pm is free and open to the
                                                                                                               Pub. Relat.   Lee Bona                  Lbona@msn.com                         853-1124
Norton, Michael P. and Kyle Cheney. “Mass Adds public.                        By Kathleen Paracer
                                                                                                               Webmaster     Ginny Scarlet             ginny.scarlet@charter.net             855-2555
Housing Units at One of Slowest Rates in Nation,
Census Data Shows.” State House News Ser- A videotape of the “Celebration of Worcester Women in                At Large      Hannah Laipson                                          752-1204
                                                 Politics” sponsored by the Worcester League and the
vice, August 2006. <www.statehousenews.com> Worcester Women’s History Project is available for loan.                         Mary Porter               porternb@charter.net          978-838-2432
Greenberger, Scott S. “Romney Targets Housing If interested, contact Barbara Kohin 508-756-7713.                             Anne Oehling              oehling324@aol.com            753-2505
Shortage.” Boston Globe, January 7, 2004.                                                                                    Charlotte Zax             mczax@charter.net             755-3960
                                                                                                                             Betty O’Neil              westwoods1@charter.net        829-3813
                                                               LWVA HOLDS NEWS-MAKING
                                                                                                                             Linda Rosenlund           lindabr@charter.net           853-9015
                                                                 CANDIDATES’ FORUM                                           Janet Shainheit           Janet.Shainheit@worcesteracademy.org
                                                        On Tuesday, September 12, 2006, the Worces-
                                                        ter Area League of Women Voters hosted a               Nom. Com.     Jean Bolz (offbd)         jbolz@aol.com                         753-7112
                                                        candidates’forum at the Worcester Public Li-                         Carolyn Dik (offbd)       ckdik@charter.net                     753-2152
                                                        brary. At 6:00 pm state senator candidates,
                                                        Harriet Chandler and Deirdre Healey, and state
                                                        representative candidates, John Fresolo and
                                                        Melissa Murgo participated. At 7:00 pm, Jo-
                                                        seph Early, Jr. and Daniiel Joseph shea, candi-
                                                        dates for the office of district attorney answered
                                                        questions. These forums were well attended
                                                        and covered by the Worcester Telegram and
                                                        Gazette and Channel 3 TV News. Questions
                                                        were formulated by members of the Voter Ser-
                                                        vice Committee: Sue Moynagh, Deb Starr,
                                                        Mara Pentlarge and Barbara Mercier.
  Barbara Mercier at candidates’ forum, Sept. 12,2006
                                                                                 By Barbara Mercier
                                                             Worcester Area LWV, Worcester, MA Winter 07.P 4                                                               Worcester Area LWV, Worcester, MA Winter 07.P 5
P.O. Box 20201
Westside Station
Worcester, MA 01602

           The mission of the League of Women Voters is to encourage the informed and active
           participation of citizens in government and to influence public policy through education
           and advocacy.

To top