September 2016 Newsletter

Dear Members,  

Welcome to the LWVFC 2016-2017 program year.

The Board of Directors and Management Team have been at work this summer planning our activities and events.

A Presidential election year is very important and always a busy time for the League and 2016 is no exception.   Over the summer, the Voter Service Committee and volunteers began handing out registration and absentee ballot information.  They also plan a special registration event on September 27 - National Voter Registration Day.  Local Leagues are asking congressional candidates to respond to specific questions - the answers to which will be found on the LWV website in mid-September.  Candidates' responses also will be incorporated into our printed "Voter's Guide" this fall.

Local Affairs and Program committees are planning forums on issues that will be on the fall ballot.  The September 18 program examines the pro and con positions around the proposed State Constitutional amendment on Right-to-Work.  On October 16 the Local Affairs forum will discuss the Falls Church Library Renovation Referendum.  Additional forums on money in politics and local transportation matters are being planned for the spring.

Please drop by or volunteer at the League's information booth during the September Taste of Falls Church/Fall Festival at City Hall. 

As you see this will be another active year.  If the League is to continue as a vibrant and contributing voice in local affairs, providing timely and non-partisan information to voters, we need and welcome your participation to make this happen.  There are many ways to be involved.  Currently, the Local Affairs Committee is looking for volunteers to research and draft position papers for their scheduled forums. Our Fall Festival booth needs a few more volunteers and  help with community outreach and communication efforts is always welcomed. 

Thank you and enjoy the coming year. 

The Management Team


The League of Women Voters of Falls Church will host a forum Sunday September 18 to review a proposed amendment to the Virginia Constitution regarding so-called "right-to-work" laws. The forum will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Falls Church Community Center, 223 Little Falls Street. 

Currently, state law prohibits labor agreements that make membership in a union or organization a condition of employment. On the November 8 ballot, Virginia voters will be asked whether the state's Constitution should be amended to incorporate similar language. 

The LWV forum will feature Stanley Greer, senior research associate for the National Institute for Labor Relations Research and editor of the "National Right to Work Committee Newsletter," and Daniel Duncan, executive secretary-treasurer of the Maritime Trades Department of the AFL-CIO. After the speakers make brief presentations, the forum will be opened up for comments, questions and discussion. 

The program is free and open to the public.  For more information on the proposed constitutional amendment, check the League's comprehensive online voters' guide,


The League of Women Voters of Virginia's annual fall workshops are scheduled for Saturday, September 17, 2016  from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn in Charlottesville, VA.

The workshops feature expert speakers and provide an opportunity for networking with other League members from around the Commonwealth. 

Keynoting this year's workshop will be Meg Heubeck, UVA Center for Politics, Director of Instruction for the Youth Leadership Initiative.  Her address is entitled "Promoting Civic Participation in an Age of Polarization."

Individual workshop topics include:
  • The two proposed Constitutional Amendments: 
    • 1) Right to Work 
    • 2)Tax Relief for Surviving Spouses of First Responders
  • How to Use & Promote Vote411
  • How to run Effective Candidate Events - experienced League members will share their successful experiences
  • LWV-VA Fracking Study Committee Report
  • LWV-VA Gun Safety Task Force Update

The LWVFC can reimburse the registration fee for any members who attend and will help arrange carpools for the drive to Charlottesville.
The Registration Form can be found here.  Or, contact  Linda Garvelink, LWVFC Inter-League Liaison, at 703-853-0766 or at

June 16 - 19, 2016

Martha Cooper & Linda Garvelink represented LWV-Falls Church as our delegates to the 2016 biennial LWV National Convention. They heard thought-provoking speakers and learned a great deal about League operations, mission, and goals.  We were challenged to work to "Make Democracy Work for ALL."  For the complete "Delegates' Diary" of the entire event, including speech and caucus summaries, please   click here   

The Convention accepted a change to the LWV bylaws Article lll, Sec 2a.  Voting Members.  The section now reads:

Persons , at least 16 years of age, who join the League shall be voting members of local Leagues, sate Leagues and of the LWVUS.... The rest of the article is unchanged.

LWVUS (outgoing) President Elizabeth McNamara gave another stirring and challenging opening address:
  • The League fights for voting rights for ALL the same way our foremothers fought for suffrage in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
  • Our goal is free, fair and accessible votes for all.  We work to get information to people so they can cast well-thought-out and educated ballots.  
  • The League is fighting Big Money in Politics and for redistricting reform.
  • We are working to make democracy work for ALL
  •  Carrie Chapman Catt, founder of LWV, said that the vote is a symbol of equality.  The League's mission is to get all citizens to vote and to use their vote well. 
Wylecia Wiggs Harris, the LWVUS executive director, stressed the need for LWV to CHANGE; we must:
  • Embrace change and new means of engagement
  • Diversify our membership and reach rising voters.
  • Adopt communication methods that have been shaped by the new generation.
  • Have a bias toward action.
  • Represent the diversity of the U.S. population. 
Chris Carson, LWVUS President, said:
  • In the next 2 years LWVUS will work to improve the redistricting process and continue the fight the influence of Big Money in Politics, including helping Leagues propose and push for limits on campaign financing at state and local levels.
  • LWVUS will continue to help state & local Leagues develop new leaders and expand memberships through the Membership & Leadership Development (MLD) program. 
  • State and local Leagues, as well as LWVUS, must engage their communities through social media.  However, we will not abandon the personal-touch. 
  • State and local Leagues are called upon to register voters in record numbers.  
  • State Leagues may become training centers for leadership development, membership recruitment techniques, and training in the use of social media.
  • The League is facing change but "...our greatest progress has come out of challenging and difficult times."
The next LWV National Convention is scheduled for June 2018 in Chicago on the Miracle Mile! For materials from the 2016 convention go to:

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Department of Elections is now enabling customers to apply electronically to register to vote at DMV's 74 customer service centers and five mobile offices throughout the Commonwealth.  This will eliminate most paper registrations originating from DMV, improve the accuracy of data entry, decrease processing times for registrations and reduce the transfer time of completed forms from DMV to local registration offices.

Virginians have been able to apply to register to vote at DMV since 1996, and a majority of Virginians who apply to register to vote or change their addresses do so through DMV transactions. Each year, DMV submits more than 500,000 paper voter registration applications to the Department of Elections.

DMV's new electronic voter registration application process, will make the voter registration process quicker and easier for the customer. It also will drastically reduce the amount of time DMV employees spend printing, sorting, auditing and mailing paper voter applications. This work can take two to four hours per day for the assigned DMV employee at each office, time better spent on direct customer service.

In addition, the new system also enables DMV customers who need to update their address with both agencies to do so electronically on DMV's website,, rather than having to complete and mail a paper voter application.

With the old system, a customer who indicated an interest in applying to register to vote at DMV would be given a paper voter application to complete. DMV would mail that application to the Department of Elections which would then mail it to the customer's local general registrar to complete the voter registration process.

"These upcoming changes will not only make the registration process more flexible, efficient and portable, but it will reduce the administrative burden for registrars," Virginia Commissioner of Elections Edgardo Cort├ęs said. "We are excited to work with DMV officials as they modernize this process and thank them for their continued partnership in providing registration opportunities for Virginians." 

In This Issue:


2016-2017 LWVFC Board and Off-Board Members 


Management Team

 Martha Cooper

Wendy Frieman

Linda Garvelink

Judy Parente



Programs Co-Chairs

Robert Crowe

 Johannah Barry


Local Affairs Chair

Wendy Frieman



 Jody Acosta



Ruth Rodgers


Voter Service Co-Chairs 

Membership Co-Chairs


Liaison to NCA 

Ellen Gross


Administrative Team

Ellen Salsbury

Edith Holmes Snyder

Edith Snyder 

Special Projects

Madalyn Cafruny

Genie Flahie

Bunny Jarrett

Marty Meserve

Jane Scully









Saturday, Sept. 17
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
*Volunteers Needed*

Saturday, Sept. 17
9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
LWVFC COMMUNITY FORUM: State Constitutional Amendment "Right to Work Laws vs Encouraging Collective Bargaining"
Sunday, September 18
3 - 4:30 p.m.
Falls Church Community Center

Tuesday, Sept. 27
5 - 7 p.m.
West Broad Apartments Lobby
*Volunteers Needed*


Presidential debate: 
 Monday, Sept. 26, 2016
Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.

Vice Presidential debate: 
Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016
Longwood University in Farmville, VA

Presidential debate: 
Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016
Washington University in St. Louis

Presidential debate: 
Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016 
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Monday, Sept. 19
7-8 p.m.

The League of Women Voters Fairfax Area will host a televised candidate forum for the 8th Congressional District (which includes City of Falls Church) on Fairfax County's Public Access TV's "Inside Scoop" program.  

All three candidates have agreed to participate.  The event will be live streamed over the internet - check the website for further information on how to view the event at:

Congratulations to Ann McCleary who was honored this spring as a 50 year member of the League of Women Voters.  Ann was an active and involved member in Michigan and continued her involvement when she moved to Falls Church.

Thank you, Ann, for your active support and advocacy on behalf of both Leagues!

Many Thanks  to Sandy Tarpinian for donating the children's book "E is for Election Day" by Gloria Garvis to the Falls Church City Library on behalf of our local League.  

The book is a fun and engaging A to Z tour of the American electoral process. The author introduces relevant and contemporary aspects of election season in an informative and child friendly way.  More information on the book can be found here.

In Remembrance:  Lew Phillips

The Falls Church League of Women Voters mourns the death of long time member, Lew Phillips.  We remember his service and extend our sympathy to his family.


You can always view (or share) our programs from the videos housed on our website:

Either use the link above or, from the Home Page, select "Positions, News, Videos" from the left side menu, then select "Past Program Videos."   

About Us

The League of Women Voters Falls Church is a non-partisan organization that serves the citizens of Falls Church City through encouraging informed and active participation in government, working to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influencing public policy through education and advocacy.

A Voice for Citizens and a Force for Change in the United States.