BULLETIN 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Membership: Barbara Kohin Manny Zax 508-755-3960 508-756-7713 email@example.com Bkohin@fastdial.net Sue Moynagh, 799-5444 Smoynagh549@aol.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 829-6658 Sherman Trust, will be awarded The 2007 Ju- Manuel Zax(offboard) email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 852-4239 New York Times, October 3, 2006. 11:30 – 2:30 pm. Tickets for the lunch are $40. Debra Starr firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 978-838-2432 Greenberger, Scott S. “Romney Targets Housing If interested, contact Barbara Kohin 508-756-7713. Anne Oehling email@example.com 753-2505 Shortage.” Boston Globe, January 7, 2004. Charlotte Zax firstname.lastname@example.org 755-3960 Betty O’Neil email@example.com 829-3813 LWVA HOLDS NEWS-MAKING Linda Rosenlund firstname.lastname@example.org 853-9015 CANDIDATES’ FORUM Janet Shainheit Janet.Shainheit@worcesteracademy.org 798-3227 On Tuesday, September 12, 2006, the Worces- ter Area League of Women Voters hosted a Nom. Com. Jean Bolz (offbd) email@example.com 753-7112 candidates’forum at the Worcester Public Li- Carolyn Dik (offbd) firstname.lastname@example.org 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 LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS 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.