LWV Cape Ann

LWVUS statement addressing the police murder of George Floyd and violence against Black people everywhere:

The League of Women Voters grieves the murders of George Floyd and the countless other Black lives that have been tragically taken at the hands of rogue law enforcement officers who are rarely held fully accountable for their actions.

We also mourn those who have lost their lives or been harmed, mentally or physically, as a result of America’s pervasive culture of anti-blackness. The systems of oppression that have perpetuated the myth of white supremacy in our country must be dismantled if we are ever to become the nation we pledge to be—indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

As an organization whose mission is to empower voters and defend democracy, we stand in solidarity with all Black communities. The League shall do so not only by speaking out against racism in all forms, but by doing the work required of us to be anti-racist. We are committed to listening to and amplifying Black voices, and educating ourselves and our children on the historic and ongoing systemic racism that plagues this country.

The League acknowledges, painfully, that America is a nation founded on racism. Therefore, all who live in this country must contribute to and participate in organizations actively working to achieve full liberation and inclusive freedom. We must all advocate for anti-racist policies at every level of government.

We join the League of Women Voters of Minnesota in calling on law enforcement officials to provide transparency during this investigation, and to seek justice for George Floyd, his family, and his community.

Finally, we echo the call of our partners at the NAACP: we must all vote in November – the road to change lies at the ballot box.

Join us Saturday July 11th at 10:00 AM!

Due to COVID-19 policy, we will be meeting using Zoom, online or by phone. Everyone is welcome. If you did not receive an email invitation to the meeting and would like to attend, email LWVCapeAnn@gmail.com. See the calendar below, and our Meetings web page for details.

Candidates Debate in the Election for Rockport Selectmen

Rockport has rescheduled its municipal election for June 30. The only contested race is two positions for a three-year term on the Board of Selectmen. Here are the five candidates in alphabetical order, along with the brief bios they provided:

Ross Charles Brackett, 27 Main St.

Ross Brackett is well known in Rockport as the co-owner of Brothers’ Brew Coffee Shop. A graduate of Rockport High School in 2008 he majored in business management in college.

Carol A. Cooke, 171B Thatcher Rd.

Carol Cooke has lived in Rockport for 15 years. She works remotely as a consultant writing proposals for small businesses to win state and federal contracts. She is interested in maintaining Rockport’s attractive the natural resources and open spaces.

Paul F. Murphy, 21R Pleasant St.

The only incumbent, Paul Murphy has served 11 years and is currently chair of the Board of Selectmen. He has been a school administrator for 30 years, saw all three of his children through the Rockport School System, and served as Chairman of the School Committee before becoming a Selectman.

Charles Seavey, 18 Frank St.

Charley Seavey moved to Rockport a wee lad in 1947 and after 50 years of residing in other places decided to stay. He has been an intelligence officer, a student, a librarian, a university professor and a social sciences scholar. He describes himself as a problem solver, a projects guy and a planner.

William R. Wagner, 147 Granite St.

Before retiring to Rockport Bill Wagner had a 40 year career of leadership in financial management and planning in a broad range of companies for Fortune 500 start-ups. He has a degree in Aerospace Engineering from MIT and a Masters in Management from MIT, and served 6 years on the Rockport Finance and Capital Improvement Planning Committees, during which time the town budget presentation to voters was significantly improved and clarified.

We organized and recorded a Zoom debate with all five candidates. You can view the debate at this link. Afterwards 1623 Studios recorded an interview with our debate moderator Hannah Kimberley from Gloucester, which you can view at this link.

Registered voters can download an application to vote by mail with this link.

Upcoming Events

Recent Big Event:  a Gun Forum

Gloucester High School, Saturday, December 15th, 2019
Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Cape Ann
Free and open to the public


  • Greg Gibson, author and father of a shooting victim
  • Mark Nestor, decorated Vietnam War veteran and commander of the Lester S. Wass Legion Post
  • Jim Wallace, president of the Massachusetts Gun Owners Action League (G.O.A.L.)


  • John Bell, former Mayor of Gloucester and US Army Officer

The goal of the Forum was to have a respectful public discussion and hear from different sides about this emotional and serious national issue.  All questions and comments were written and screened. View the video here.

Gloucester’s “Horribles” Parade July 3rd

Gloucester LWV

photo courtesy of Glenn Parker

2019 Annual Meeting at Scout Hall in Rockport

Laura Harrington spoke on her dynamic musical comedy of politics, power and persuasion “The Perfect 36”, about the struggle to persuade 36 states to ratify the 19th amendment, granting women the right to vote. She is the author of two novels, Alice Bliss and A Catalog of Birds.

2018 Election Archive

2018 Annual Meeting at American Legion Post 3 in Gloucester

Mark Nestor, Major Retired U.S. Army, spoke on “The Second Amendment Can Co-Exist with the Safety of Our Schoolchildren.”  Nestor was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam and believes that our gun laws can be changed with the support of veterans organizations. State Senator Bruce Tarr gave a brief update on legislation. A good question-and-answer session with the audience followed.


Participate in elections and town meetings.

If you have a driver’s license, you can register online (where you can also check your voter registration status).

Ballot girls 2017 (2)
Cynthia Bjorlie MD and Gloucester High School students Emily Frick and Haley Johnson
We have done projects with Gloucester High School in 2016 (debate of the 4 questions on state ballot) and in 2017 (involvement in Gloucester City Council campaign and election).  Students are being introduced to politics from the local level on up.

We promote fair campaigns.

The League of Women Voters of Cape Ann sponsors a Fair Campaign Initiatives for an upcoming election. As part of the initiative, candidates for public office are asked to sign a Fair Campaign Pledge. The Fair Election Practices Campaign was first established by the League of Women Voters in the 1970s and the League of Women Voters of Cape Ann has joined other leagues across the country to promote issue-oriented and civil campaigning among candidates for public office.

Our most recent event was a forum for the Gloucester city council election. The election was November 7, 2017.

We award scholarships.

Over the past 11 years, we have awarded $15,000 in scholarships to high-school students in Gloucester, Rockport, and Manchester-Essex.

We invite interest and membership.

See our Meetings web page for information about time and place for our monthly meetings. Please feel free to attend our meetings. If you decide to join, membership is $48 per year for women or men. Checks payable to the League of Women Voters of Cape Ann can be sent to:  June Michaels, LWVCA Treasurer, P.O. Box 244, Rockport, MA 01966. For other information please use the contact form below, or email us at LWVCapeAnn@gmail.com.

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