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Newton League of Women Voters Looks to Create Group to Study City Charter

The League voted at its annual meeting last week to start a signature drive to put the question of a Newton Charter Commission on the 2013 ballot.

The League of Women Voters Newton (LWVN) agreed last week to work on creating a charter commission, a group that will study the city's charter and review how the city's government operates. 

In a press release issued Monday, June 4, the LWVN announced its plans to start a signature drive that would ask residents to support placing the question of a Newton Charter Commission on the 2013 ballot.

The LWVN voted in favor of starting the drive at its annual meeting on May 30, 2012.

"It has been 41 years since the citizens of Newton conducted a formal review of how our city government works, and much has changed in our community and our society since then," the press release read.

According to the press release, the LWVN conducted its own study of the charter in 2009-2010 and later voted at its 2010 annual meeting to amend several of LWVN's positions, which listed ways to improve Newton government operations. These positions and ideas would provide a foundation for a potential charter commission, the press release said. 

Throughout the signature campaign, which will start on election day in Nov. 2012, the LWVN plans to provide education for Newton residents on how charter commissions work and what past charter commissions have done in the city. 

According to the press release issued, the LWVN is still in the planning stages of the signature drive, but hopes to gather more than 8,000 signatures citywide.

"LWVN is hoping to gather a diverse group of volunteers and to cooperate with other organizations in Newton to make this campaign successful," the press release said.

For more information on the LWVN, visit the group's website or email Co-Presidents Anne Borg and Sue Flicop at info@lwvnewton.org.

schlock June 05, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Nice to see the ladies club is active on this matter. Over the many decades since the suffrage movement, their numbers have been dropping. An extra boost could come from the formation of a male voter's association - but what would we call it?
Adam Maleson June 22, 2012 at 06:26 AM
If you look at the League of Women Voters' website they claim not to be a gender-specific organization now, despite the origins of the organization. I personally don't know why it continues to operate under this name which surely is obsolete, and does not change its name to something more fitting to its current purpose. For instance consider, how the Boys' Club changed its name a couple decades ago to the Boys And Girls Club. Suffrage was a century ago. Perhaps before the L.W.V. launches its petition drive to review the Newton City Charter, they should review their own charter and consider renaming their organization. I don't make this suggestion facetiously either. It may well be that the League of Women Voters will have much easier success reaching their City Charter signature goals if they solicit signatures under the guise of a less restrictive sounding name, such as The League Of Newton Voters. I think it is indeed time for voters to review Newton's city charter. But even more so, it is time for the League of Women Voters (come on, it's not 1919, you've come a long way baby . . .) to review their own charter, and reconsider the wisdom of maintaining an archaic group name. They may well recruit more dedicated members to their organization if they make it sound no longer gynocentric.

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