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TABLE OF CONTENTS:
IN-LEAGUE at three (3) levels. Click immediately below for direct links...
Our "action" page for State and National positions here...
Direct link to ongoing news and a new topic, drones in the U.S.; link to Campaign Finance issue; link to LWVUS;
Direct link to website of LWVCT;
Direct link to LWV of Weston:
2013 Annual Meeting and Betty Hill Forum - read all about it here!
#1 -THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF WESTON, CONNECTICUT:
The League of Women Voters is a three tier organization--local, state and national. The Weston League was formed in
1962. For more information about what the League of Women Voters in Weston does...firstname.lastname@example.org
LWV of Weston "FORUM ON DEMAND" - why we hold it and when...
"Forum on Demand"Nov. 19, 2011 proved cathartic for the community we hope it will help get action...
CABLEVISION showed up with cameraman PLUS a reporter . Great ideas from our Weston citizens!
Picture story here.
LWV of Weston
"SPEAK UP" 2012
and the Charter. And no complaints about the school budget!
SPEAK UP 2012
VIDEO LINKS: 1
hour 44 minutes 25 seconds
LWV of Weston "SPEAK UP" - STANDING ROOM ONLY FOR 2011!
First 'Speak Up' that had to be re-scheduled because of snow...
The Town's Business Is Your Business: Direction From the People to Their Government
Total time: 1 hr 33 mins 50 secs
For Cable & DSL Users (245 MB): http://www.lwvweston.org/LWVSpeakup3-12-11CableVersion.wmv
For Dial-up Modem Users (36 MB): http://www.lwvweston.org/LWVSpeakup3-12-11ModemVersion.wmv
WATCH 'SPEAK UP 2010' NOW!!!
Our photo gallery and report click below...
Read FORUM coverage here!
Speak Up #19 over...find out who was on stage,the official count of crowd...
SPEAK UP 2010 VIDEO DIRECT LINKS BELOW
(Works best in Internet Explorer)
watching for Westonites interested in this year's budget process!
The Eighteenth Annual "Speak Up" quite a show!
Saturday morning, February 7, 2009, from 10:30am to 12 noon at Norfield Parish Hall was big!!!
"SPEAK UP 2009" Q&A SUMMARY HERE
WATCH 'SPEAK UP 2009" ONLINE NOW!!! LINK TO IT BELOW...
"OBSERVER CORPS" ON-LINE:
BACKGROUND RESEARCH ABOUT ISSUES AND ACTION;
League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization,
encourages informed and active
participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences
public policy through education and advocacy.
LWVUS "Mission Statement"
AT THE LWVUS
CONVENTION 2010 IN ATLANTA, THE GUEST SPEAKER, THANKING THE LEAGUE FOR
ITS SUPPORT IN
PASSING HEALTH CARE REFORM LEGISLATION, WAS THE SECRETARY OF H.H.S. SEBELIUS...
Remarks for Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
League of Women Voters
June 15, 2010
Thank you, Janis, for that nice introduction. Kansas women have a long history of leadership on women’s rights. Some of you probably
know that the first local League of Women Voters chapter wasn’t in New York. And it wasn’t in Chicago or Washington, DC. It was in
We in Kansas are very proud of our role in the women’s suffrage movement. Kansas was also one of the first states where women could
vote in local elections, one of the first states to give women the vote statewide, and one of the first states to ratify the 19th Amendment.
But my favorite story about the 19th Amendment comes from the middle of 1920 when it had already been ratified by 35 states. That meant
they were one state short, and the feeling was that it would all come down to Tennessee.
So supporters and opponents all descended on Nashville for the vote in the Tennessee legislature. And they had a vigorous debate.
The opponents claimed that if women got the right to vote, it would end the world as we knew it. To which I say: thank God it did.
But back then, the result was very much in doubt. And eventually, this huge, rambunctious debate came down to one state legislator,
Harry Burn, who was expected to vote against the amendment. On the day of the vote, he even wore a red rose on his breast pocket, which
was the symbol of the anti-suffrage movement.
But when his turn came on the floor, he voted yes – saying one word that gave a new voice to tens of millions of women around the country.
When he was asked why he voted yes afterward, he explained that in his shirt pocket, underneath the red rose, was a telegram from his
mother, telling him to do the right thing.
For the last 90 years, the League of Women Voters have been the mothers, daughters, sisters – and now husbands, sons, and brothers
too – telling America’s leaders to do the right thing.
When your neighbors want unbiased, straightforward information about the issues and candidates, they go to you.
In an age when it sometimes seems like political arguments are settled by who can yell louder, you give people a refuge where they can sit
down and study the issues, talk them over with their neighbors, and make their own decision.
These values are at the heart of being a citizen in a democracy. Which is why, 90 years after it was founded, when so many other civic
organizations have come and gone, the League of Women Voters is just as essential as it was in 1920.
In the years since then, you‘ve watched our country grow closer to its ideals. Many of the barriers that kept Americans – especially
African-Americans – from voting have been torn down from poll taxes to literacy tests. You saw Congress pass the Motor Voter Act,
which made it much easier for Americans to register to vote.
But there is still work left to be done.
When I was Governor of Kansas, for example, we were able to double the registration rates at motor vehicle agencies just by taking the
paper and pencil registration system and making it electronic. This shows that small changes can make a big difference in terms of
participation in our democracy.
That’s why the Obama administration fully supports the concept of offering voter registration services at Federal agencies, as permitted
by the National Voter Registration Act.
Three states have already asked our department for help signing people up to vote, and we’re working with them now to determine next
steps pursuant to the federal statute.
In the years to come, we will continue to work with groups like the League of Women Voters to secure Americans’ right to vote.
But you’ve always believed that what you do with your right the vote is just as important as having it.
Over the years, the League has strongly supported legislation that moves America forward – that expands opportunity, takes on big
challenges, and carries the hope of a better future for our children and grandchildren.
That’s why you understood how important it was to pass the Affordable Care Act.
This is not a new fight. When Teddy Roosevelt ran for President in 1912, national health insurance reform was on his platform right next to
giving women the right to vote.
Over the years, other Presidents tried. FDR thought about it. President Truman made it a priority. Presidents from Nixon to Clinton gave it
And every time, the forces of the status quo won out.
But this year was different. After years of feeling like they had less and less control over their health care, Americans came to believe that
the most dangerous course, the riskiest course was doing nothing. And that we couldn’t put off common sense reform any longer. And
with the help of groups like the League of Women Voters, we passed one of the great pieces of progressive legislation in American history.
Now, I know that no one has studied this issue more closely than you. But I want to take a few minutes to talk about what this law will
mean for American families.
First, it means that no matter what happens, every American will have access to affordable health insurance. It doesn’t matter whether you
lose your job or your spouse loses their job or you retire or you decide to start your own business or you have a preexisting condition,
you’re going to be able to get health coverage.
This is going to give every American peace of mind. But it’s especially important for women.
As you know, women are more likely to work part-time. We’re more likely to work in areas like retail where employers often don’t offer
health insurance. We’re more likely to depend on our spouses for health coverage.
Overall, less than half of women have the option of getting health insurance through their employer.
That means women have been vulnerable to ending up in an individual insurance market where your choice is often between one plan
that costs too much and another that has huge gaps in coverage.
The Affordable Care Act will give these women better choices by creating a new health insurance marketplace where they’ll be able to
easily find and compare plans.
You’re not going to have to ask “Where am I going to find health insurance?” ever again. And there will be generous tax credits to make
sure everyone can afford these plans.
That’s one change.
A second is that the Affordable Care Act will hold insurance companies accountable with tough new consumer protections.
Before this law passed, insurance companies had almost all the power when it came to deciding whether you got insurance or what it
If they decided you had a preexisting medical condition, they could refuse to cover you.
They could charge you up to 50 percent more just because you were a woman.
Even with these higher charges, these plans were often missing key benefits. Eighty percent of plans didn’t cover maternity care. And
many of them made you pay a sizable co-pay for key preventive services like mammograms.
The result was that over the last two years, one in five women over fifty hasn’t received a mammogram. Given that the five-year survival
rate for breast cancer is 98 percent when it’s caught early and as low as 23 percent when it’s caught late, that’s a fatal shortcoming.
But that wasn’t even the worst part.
Because even after you paid extra because you were a woman and paid extra for critical preventive care and paid out of your own pocket
for maternity benefits, insurance companies were still allowed to cancel your insurance when you got sick. All they had to do was find one
mistake in your paperwork.
Earlier this year for example, a reporter discovered that the country’s largest insurance company had a computer program that specifically
targeted women who had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer in order to try to take away their coverage.
But under the Affordable Care Act, that’s changing. We’re giving Americans more control over their health care.
First, beginning in 2014, it will be illegal for health plans in the new marketplace to deny you coverage based on your medical condition.
In the meantime, we’re working with states to set up a temporary insurance option that will be available to all Americans who have
preexisting conditions and no health coverage. The days when the people who needed health insurance most were shut out of the market
are coming to an end.
Second, we’re going to make it illegal to charge women more just because they’re women. It’s not right. It’s not fair. And we’re going to
put a stop to it.
Third, you won’t have to spend any more time scouring the fine print because all new plans in the health insurance marketplace will have
to provide a basic set of benefits including maternity care.
Fourth, we’re going to eliminate the co-pays for key preventive services like mammograms because no one should have to skip a
life-saving test because they can’t pay.
And fifth, we’re ending the practice of canceling someone’s insurance when they get sick. That ban will go into effect this fall, but I’m
pleased to say that many of our biggest insurance companies have agreed to stop this practice right away.
These changes will give you the rights and protections you deserve. They’re going to put power back in the hands of consumers. They’ll
put you in charge of your health care, not some insurance company.
That’s going to be the ultimate legacy of this law.
Over the last year, groups like the League of Women Voters have played an invaluable role by educating Americans about these changes.
You’ve explained new provisions and answered questions. It hasn’t been easy. I don’t have to tell you that there have been a lot of people
out there trying to confuse and scare Americans.
And no one’s been targeted with more misinformation than America’s seniors. That’s why we’ve been making a special effort over the
last few months to get seniors accurate information about their health care.
The fact is, the Affordable Care Act strengthens Medicare by closing the prescription drug donut hole, improving the quality of care,
increasing access to key preventive services and by cracking down on waste and fraud to extend the life of the trust fund.
And the more seniors learn about these benefits, the more they want to hear. This month, we’ve received as many as 30,000 calls a day
about the new law at our 1-800-MEDICARE hotline compared to an average of 150 a day last month.
We’ve already begun an aggressive outreach campaign to reach these seniors from a brochure we mailed to every Medicare beneficiary to
a tele-town hall the President held last week where seniors from across the country called in to ask their questions.
But groups like the League of Women Voters have an important role to play too. We need you to be a resource for seniors and all
Americans who are confused or have heard conflicting information. People trust you to give them the facts with no spin. The reputation
you’ve built after ninety years of hard work on behalf of American democracy means you’re one of the most effective messengers out
there on public policy.
It’s not a coincidence that one of the new special interest groups created to attack health insurance reform called itself the League of
So I want to thank you for all your hard work on behalf of the Affordable Care Act. It’s a tremendous accomplishment.
But I’m also here to tell you that our work isn’t over. You understand this. The League of Women Voters was created right before the
passage of the 19th amendment. Some people might have said it was a strange time to start a group focusing on women and democracy.
After all, women were already poised to get the right to vote.
But you knew that passing the amendment was just the first step. There was still hard work to be done to fulfill its promise. That’s also
true for the Affordable Act.
We’re on the right track. But we’ve still got a long way to go. And we’ll need your help to get there.
A new way to check
out what League is up to! Or should we say Leagues, plural!
LWVUS National Popular Vote Compact Study Update
culmination of work on the NPV study in CT was a subject of discussion
at LWVCT Convention 2009.
While respecting the internal nature of
"concensus"procedures, in the spirit of open govenment/open
League, a formal letter of satisfaction about virtual LWVUS Council AND dissatisfaction with the way
the most recent National Study was conducted (in part, below, a letter from LWVCT to LWVUS):
Click here for the list of questions exactly as they are presented in the...NPV Compact/Study Response Form.
Please note that when you have completed the Response Form, you will have an
opportunity to indicate the number of participants as well add comments (150 words maximum).
The deadline for responding is May 1, 2009.
Click here for all NPV Compact Study documents.
...link to "Impact on Issues; Civics Education Curriculum
Find here a link ("sign in") to e - Newsletter:***
LeaguE-Voice - on-line newspaper - when you visit the link, you can sign up to be on e-info list.
The League got started when women got the right to vote--in 1920. Click HERE for link to the whole story!
The "horses mouth" when it comes to non-partisan politics, joins coaltions on subjects such as Campaign Finance Reform...
click HERE to read more...LWVUS CONTINUES FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY
Beginning with ethics.
NEW - Health Care in CT
E - Sources of Information
ALWAYS GOOD TO REMEMBER FINE VICTORIES!
Preservation effort still going strong - LWVCT in Coalition:
Testimony of Cheryl Dunson, Drinking Water Specialist - Victorious in 2004 Session with Endangered Lands Coalition!
CGA Public Health Committee
Public Hearing March 4, 2004
Support for SB 465
There are few
government actions more fundamental than ensuring a plentiful and
drinking water supply for its citizens. As far
back as 1956, the League of Women Voters of Connecticut recognized that this most necessary of natural resources cannot be taken for
granted. We adopted a strong position in support of policies and programs that preserve and protect water resources and watershed
lands and based upon this longstanding position, the League urges your support for SB 465.
Franklin wisely noted “When the well’s dry, we know the worth of
Recent experience with the frequency and
severity of droughts in our state and the Northeast region points to the need to maintain sources of supply. Potential terrorist actions
against our nation speak against “consolidating” water supplies; proverbially “putting our eggs in fewer baskets” would make our
supplies more vulnerable to attack. Unforeseen public health threats, for example the unexpected and virulent SAR (sudden acute
respiratory syndrome) outbreak, may require an increased need for water usage. The ability of our state to ensure water for its citizens
will depend in no small measure upon maintaining our multiple sources of supply that can be called upon in time of need. SB 465 will give
the Commissioner of Public Health the much-needed authority to assess the future water needs of the entire state, not just the water
company’s service area, before approving an abandonment of a surface water source and surrounding acreage.
While the importance
of the reservoir forestlands in protecting the quality of our water
is well recognized, equally important is
the role these forested areas play in the recharging of area groundwater supplies for citizens on wells. Reservoir lands are located in
areas originally conceived as “rural” and now rapidly are being developed.
water utility industry has changed over time, the public interest in
water supply lands has not. We ask that the
Committee also take into account that these lands were acquired from Connecticut’s citizens under the pressure of eminent domain and
the cost of the land acquisitions were paid for in rates charged to water company customers. You can't blame a company for doing
business, but the laws that promote the sell-offs of our reservoir lands need to be changed. It is prudent and essential that the
Commissioner be given the ability to evaluate the long-term needs of our state when rendering a decision on abandoning a supply of
were formed for the purpose of selling water, not land. The proposed
will not affect the companies’ ability to
profit from the sale of water. The League of Women Voters of Connecticut urges your support of the passage of legislation that will
permanently safeguard our State’s sources of drinking water and protect the forestlands that surround them. Please vote yes on
SB 465 “AAC Water Supply Abandonment.”
Cosponsors as of 3/5/04 of SB 465 “An Act Concerning Water Supply Abandonment”
Rep. Claudia M. Powers, 151st Dist.
as of 3/5/04 of SB 371 “An Act Concerning Water Company Lands”
bill calls for a simple change to the rate rule to
award water company shareholders the majority of the benefits for conservation land sales that will protect pristine water company lands,
not for sales that allow for development.)
L. Stillman, 38th Dist.
Rep. Livvy R. Floren, 149th Dist.
Rep. Lile R. Gibbons, 150th Dist.
Rep. Christel H. Truglia, 145th Dist.
Sen. William H. Nickerson, 36th Dist.
Rep. Claudia M. Powers, 151st Dist.
Rep. Antonietta Boucher, 143rd Dist.
Rep. John Mazurek, 80th Dist.
Other environmental subjects :
Did you miss "Good Riddance Day" 2008? Click here to the Town of Weston website for other regional locations in 2008.
Westonites and others told power company how they feel about overhead proposal...
Link to Sewage Treatment Impact Committee...Item #1 on the November 15, 2001 Referendum provides for funding improvements
to septic fields and a tertiary treatment plant on the Schools campus...safe disposal of household hazardous waste--when April
comes, can "Good Riddance Day" at DPW be far behind?
SCHOOL VOUCHERS...Supreme Court decided last year in favor of Cleveland voucher program...For background, click HERE
CenterEdge Project HERE ...click on map of Connecticut to get more indepth information used in this study -LWVCT in coalition.
2003 agreement; important implications for CT Budget - Office of Fiscal Analysis report HERE.
Affordable Housing land use appeal law changes pass in 2002 "short session" as P.A. 87: http://www.cga.ct.gov/
News of relatively recent use of previously existing law;
For background:July 3, 2000 study of Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals;
Weston's affordable housing challenge...at Conservation; at Planning and Zoning.
ISSUES TO MONITOR:
GUESS WHAT? Campaign
Finance Reform perversity in CT.... The CT Office of
Research has published a staff paper regarding public funding of campaigns: Sources of Public Funding of Political
LEAGUE ISSUES...SAME OLD
STATE OF CONNECTICUT PLAN OF CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT 2004-2009 approved in 2005!
C&D PLAN 2013-2018 UP FOR APPROVAL
WHAT WILL BE COMING OUT OF P&D IN 2013?
Smart Growth/ Property Tax Bill does not pass in 2004 Session but parts of it did in 2005...http://www.cga.ct.gov/olr/
Commission proposes tax changes
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) September 30, 2003 New Haven REGISTER- A commission on property tax reform is recommending
shifting almost $1 billion in education costs from the towns to the state.
Members of the states Blue Ribbon Commission on Property Tax Burdens and Smart Growth Initiatives unanimously adopted its
report Monday. The report recommends the tax shift to reduce reliance on the property tax, which fuels competition between
towns for tax growth, encourages sprawl and threatens the rural character of the state.
Separately, the commission recommended that cities and towns be reimbursed at 100 percent for property tax exemptions at a cost
of $250 million. The report further states that there will be little taxpayer support for tax reform unless there is a commitment to
more efficient delivery of services to cut the cost of government.
New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr., (who then ran for Governor), chairman of the commission, said he was "excited" that the
vote was unanimous. "I think the real job is not to let this get defined as Lets just raise more taxes, but to understand the real
issues are the quality of life, the air that we breathe and the character of our communities."
SSA 02-13,, AAC Blue Ribbon Commission on Property Tax Burdens and Smart Growth Incentives (effective
upon passage [which it did not]); "Responsible Growth" new bill in 2008 got through the State Senate but not
This act establishes a 17-member commission to evaluate smart growth incentives and disincentives passed. The
commission's final report, with findings and recommendations, must be filed by October 1, 2003...done; but not yet
fully implemented (2008).
SOURCES OF INFORMATION:
FAVORITE PLACES OF THE LWV OF WESTON:
CT WEBSITE: http://www.ct.gov/
Shortcut to CT LEGISLATURE: http://www.cga.ct.gov/
Best place to understand in depth what is going on during a CT Legislative Session...Office of Legislative Research Internet
Discussions of regionalism - find link HERE.
Interested in N.Y.C. metropolitan area Regional Planning?
Weston Public Schools
Other places to visit: Link HERE - for those who want hands-on volunteering experience!
ConneCT - State of Connecticut Website contains, as was said above, links to everywhere you would want to go for Connecticut
governmental information--also, check out collection of e-photographs of the state...
Governor Malloy - link to Connecticut index page
Go directly to the Connecticut General Statutes..http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/Statutes.asp.
CT Office of Legislative Research: http://www.cga.ct.gov/olr/
CT ETHICS COMMISSION: http://www.ethics.state.ct.us/
CT Elections Enforcement Commission: http://www.ct.gov/seec/site/default.asp
CT Siting Council: http://www.ct.gov/csc/site/default.asp
Source for weather reporting: http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov/iwin/graphicsversion/rbigmain.html
Congress close to home - the House of Representatives - Rep. Himes.
Patriot Act and League activity from the past.
U.S. Department of State, Official Web Site
The United Nations on-lineFor news media links most commonly employed:
Westport NEWS is at: http://www.westport-news.com
Connecticut POST is at: http://www.connpost.com/
The Hartford COURANT is at:ctnow.com
Cable News Network (CNN)
More unofficial information ABOUT WESTON, and please note that opinions appearing on this just mentioned Internet link and some
others (non-governmental) found on ABOUT WESTON are not the opinions of the LWV of Weston.