Making Democracy Work

Action and Advocacy

We are truly a grassroots organization...

The League of Women Voters takes action on an issue or advocates for a cause when there is an existing League position that supports the issue or speaks to the cause.

Positions result from a process of study. Any given study, whether it be National, State, or Local, is thorough in its pursuit of facts and details. As the study progresses, a continuing discussion of pros and cons of each situation occurs. Prior to the results of the study being presented to the general membership, study committee members fashion consensus questions that are then addressed by the membership.

Additional discussion, pro and con, takes place as members (not part of the study committee) learn the scope of the study. After the members reach consensus, the board forms positions based on that consensus.

It is the consensus statement -- the statement resulting from the consensus questions -- that becomes a position. Firm action or advocacy can then be taken on the particular issue addressed by the position. Without a position, action/advocacy cannot be taken.

Plymouth Local League Positions

LOCAL PROGRAM 2007 Plymouth Area LWV, Plymouth, MA

1. EDUCATION (adopted June 2006)

The Education goal of the Plymouth Area League of Women Voters is to advocate for a school system that will effectively educate all students to meet high academic standards and prepare them to become responsible citizens in the 21st century.

A. Facilities: To support this goal, the League of Women Voters recognizes that school facilities must not only accommodate, but enhance learning by providing a safe and healthy environment that is both flexible and adaptable. Facilities should, by design be adjustable for service as centers for the entire community. Serious consideration must be given to a plan that prepares all students for the technological changes that have taken place along with those yet to come. Therefore, the Plymouth Area League of Women Voters supports a school building program that will remedy sub-standard facilities and eliminate overcrowded conditions. A strategic plan is needed to provide a safe and healthy environment that is conducive to learning. In addition, a comprehensive approach to maintenance of both new and old facilities should be established and practiced in earnest. Studies have revealed that factors such as class size, school size, natural light, acoustics and indoor air quality can dramatically affect learning ability. Therefore, a resolution on school facility needs is required to ensure quality education for all students who attend Plymouth area schools. The League will continue to monitor and take necessary action on the resolution of space needs and proposed building programs in all Plymouth area schools. The League supports quality academic and vocational education in facilities that at a minimum meet accepted standards, and at best promote, inspire and encourage in all students, a desire for knowledge that propels them to search for more. The League supports the operation of multiple high schools in Plymouth.

B. Health and Family Living Curriculum-Support a quality health and family living curriculum in the Plymouth Area Schools.

  • Support and give leadership to the Health and Family Living Curriculum.
  • Advocate to reinstate such a curriculum and monitor it.

2. ZONING BY-LAWS

  • Support the enforcement of the 1973 Zoning By-Laws as amended in the town of Plymouth and monitor any proposed changes and their impact on town growth.

  • Support the review and update of Plymouth's zoning by-laws.

3. CHARTER IMPLEMENTATION

  • Support the review and update of Plymouth's Town Charter.

4. FAMILY CRISIS CENTER

A. Continue to support a crisis telephone and center for battered spouses, battered children and rape victims.

B. To promote public education and awareness that supports an integrated response to domestic violence; supports and acknowledges the expertise of local battered women's shelters; and strives to create a Commonwealth where family violence will not be tolerated.

5. HAZARDOUS WASTE

A. Continue to monitor, identify and locate in the Plymouth area the possible existence of hazardous waste materials, including nuclear, and their methods of disposal.

1. Support a preliminary assessment.

2. Support testing and monitoring of private groundwater wells where there is significant evidence of contamination.

3. Recognize the need for hazardous waste emergency equipment to deal with fire or a spill and support funding such equipment.

4. Support local supervision and monitoring of Plymouth area's businesses generating, transporting, storing and disposing of hazardous wastes and support effective security programs.

5. Encourage citizens to participate in the reporting of suspected illegal dumping and/or transportation of hazardous wastes.

6. Support development of environmentally sound waste disposal sites in the state of MA.

6. AQUIFER PROTECTION

  • Support League anti-pollution goals involved in the development of the lake management protection plans.

7. LIBRARY

  • Continue support of the operation of a public library system in the Plymouth area which meets or exceeds state standards for staffing, space and materials.

8. SOLID WASTE

Promote increased source reduction and recycling and decreased reliance on land filling and incineration.

  • support public education of all age citizens through a multi-media approach
  • support of recycling throughout the schools(K-12) by the school committees and administrations to involve school personnel as well as various student or parent organizations
  • promote concepts of recycling and responsible solid waste management in public, private, and business sectors through education and utilization of creative public relation tools
  • support monitoring of activities of the townwide recycling committees
  • support the recommendations or activities from the town committees when they are consistent with state and national LWV positions on waste management issues.

9. PILGRIM

A. Decommissioning:

  • Urging the town of Plymouth to devote resources to the ACTIVE planning for decommissioning of Pilgrim and play an educational role regarding this issue.

B. Emergency Response:

  • Urging more actual simulations to better prepare citizens and test the adequacy of the plan. The plan would more likely be successful with practice in the areas of communication, sheltering, and transportation. The Plymouth Area LWV should pursue an educational role with regards to the emergency response plan.

C. Waste Storage:

  • Work to educate the community about the problems regarding radioactive waste and urge local, state, and federal legislators to move toward the resolution of the waste disposal issue.

D. Cancer/Leukemia Study:

  • Encourage ongoing and additional health studies by local, state and national agencies. Continue investigation of the impact of Pilgrim on the people in the Plymouth area.

10. Affordable housing

The Plymouth Area LWV endorses the active coordination of the following Plyhmouth Committees and Boards to achieve Attainable Housing for Plymouth: Affordable Housing Committee (established by Selectmen 9/1/03), Board of Selectmen, Community Housing Inc., Community Preservation Committee, Housing Authority, Planning Board and Redevelopment Authority.

The LWV of Plymouth Area encourages the use of the following strategies to maximize affordable housing opportunities:

A. Zoning Options: Inclusionary zoning, mixed use zoning districts, accessory dwelling units, Incentive zoning, Overlay Zoning, Development on substandard lots

B. Adaptive re-use

C. Preserving existing affordable housing

D. Building on town and school owned land

E. Preserving existing affordable housing should be a priority