Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Campaigns have a regrettable tendency to bring out the divisiveness in political discourse. Last night was an example of divisiveness in Waltham's own election. Councilor At-Large Kathleen McMenimen made some disturbing accusations against the League of Women Voters of Waltham. In response to these recent accusations, I want to express my unwavering support for the dedicated members of our local League of Women Voters. It is disheartening to witness such attacks, particularly from someone holding the position of Council President.
In a lengthy letter, Councilor At-Large Kathleen McMenimen presented accusations that are speculative and regrettably, the attacks continued by implicating some of the most esteemed non-profit organizations in our city. She failed to provide any substantial evidence or valid reasons to cast doubt on the integrity of this well-regarded, women-led civic engagement organization.
In a time when Waltham no longer has a local newspaper, these forums represent one of the few opportunities for voters to directly hear from candidates about their priorities and their positions on vital issues. It’s written into their mission statement: “The League of Women Voters (LWV) is a nonpartisan, grassroots nonprofit dedicated to empowering everyone to fully participate in our democracy. “
Waltham's League of Women Voters chapter has been organizing these candidate forums for decades. The organizers have taken significant measures to ensure transparency in question development and an impartial facilitation of the forums. They take this responsibility seriously and have the track record to prove it. Any reputable candidate should welcome the chance to openly share their perspectives with the public. Criticizing the organizers of an open forum seems to suggest a reluctance to participate in the process and raises questions about one's motives.
Regrettably, Councilor Kathleen McMenimen is not the only Councillor making unfounded allegations. If you observe incumbents abstaining from this process, it is not due to baseless conspiracy theories. It is because they do not respect the democratic process, transparency, or the voters of Waltham.
Waltham's League of Women Voters will commence its candidate forums tonight (10/17) with the At-Large candidates. On Thursday, they will host School Committee Candidates, and on the following Thursday, October 26th, they will conduct a forum for Mayoral candidates.
I’ll see you there.