League of Women Voters of NYS


August 2017

From the State President
One of the most pleasant tasks of being state board president is visiting local Leagues all over this amazing state of ours.  While the glow has not yet faded from my last visit - in this case, to the Schuyler County LWV in the Southern Tier/Finger Lakes - let me share all the things that League did to make it such a great occasion. 
THEY HAD A CLEAR GOAL.  They wanted to rejuvenate their League by charging up current members and getting some new ones.
THEY HAD A TEAM.  Four members made up a coordinating committee and other members supported them.
THEY USED THEIR ASSETS.  Located on one of the Finger Lakes, Seneca Lake, they used a fine winery that overlooked a huge flower garden, vineyards and the lake. They mined their old League lists and personal connections throughout the county to develop a targeted invitation list. Word-of-mouth helped too. 
THEY PICKED THE RIGHT PLACE AND TIME  The Atwater winery they chose was not only beautiful, with great wines, but was physically accessible to all and had an owner who was delighted to work with them to make the occasion successful. He charged no fee either! They also figured out that the summer was better than the fall for such an event.
THEY MADE IT WELCOMING:  It was FREE and the big spread of food was homemade and really good!  Members and the winery owner and staff mingled and made people feel comfortable. They invited a state League person (me) to make it not just about them but still about the League.  And they had many younger speakers and audience members - and men as well as women - who asked and answered good questions.  It was both substantive and happy.
One of the organizers has already reported that three people there that night have become members (or rejoined) and three others who couldn't attend but got the invitation have signed up too. "And it went exactly the way we wanted it to," she said. Congratulations to all!
They won me over not just for the League but also for the whole area. The central town of Watkins Glen has a lot of charm, much of it not even connected with the famous race track, and the lake and the gorges and the rural country all around made me want to go back, rent a cottage, and spend a relaxing week there just staring at Seneca Lake. And I now have new friends at the Chamber, the winery, the WG Harbor Hotel and the WG mayor's office - and elsewhere in the county - to check in with. Thank you, Schuyler County!   
  Glenda Gephardt, president, speaking at left. Current Watkins Glen, Sam Schimizzi,  is 2nd to the right from Glenda.
Dare Thompson, President
League of Women Voters of NYS
 darethompson@gmail.comTel: 518-465-4162
Facebook: League of Women Voters of NYS
Twitter: @LWVNYS
Women's Equality Day
August 26th
National Voter Registration Day
September 26
Vote 411
League Day at the United Nations
Nov. 16
Travel with the League
Click here  for trips and itineraries.
Voter Services
Judie Gorenstein, judieL728@aol.com
During the past year, it became evident that past LWVNYS voter guide policy on CANDIDATE NIGHTS needed to be clarified and amended. Leagues were confused as to whether different kind of events, i.e,debates, forums, meet the candidate nights, etc. all needed to follow same rules.  Many local leagues had questions and were confused as to the different rules for candidate nights for federal candidates vs other candidates.  While we had stipulated that there could be no "Empty Chair" for federal candidates based on FEC and FCC regulations, we had only strongly recommended that all leagues do the same for other candidates. There were leagues that followed our recommendations and there were some who did not.  Thus, there was not one format all leagues followed. Inconsistencies can only lead to confusion.
The LWV has always been recognized as being the experts in running candidate debates. Now with the polarized political climate, it is more important than ever that we continue to be the gold standard. The LWVNYS board, after careful consideration of both the intent and wording, has voted unanimously to adopt these two policies.
LWVNYS Policy on Voter Services: Candidate Events and Primaries (adopted July 2017)
It is extremely important that all leagues throughout New York state speak with one voice, have clear and consistent policies, and adhere to our nonpartisan policy.  Therefore "open or empty" chair candidate meetings will not be allowed at any level of League for any elected position. Any League sponsored public event that invites a candidate for elected office will be considered a candidate meeting. A candidate meeting with only one candidate physically present is an "open or empty" chair candidate meeting.
Any league holding a candidate meeting  for a party primary for  elected office, must offer to hold a candidate meeting  for any party that has a primary for that elected office. This will ensure that the League is not perceived as supporting or opposing a party.

Constitutional Convention Education
Sally Robinson, robintwins@gmail.com
A wealth of information on the ballot proposal question on whether to hold a constitutional convention, including articles in favor and against the proposal, is available on the state League website at http://www.lwvny.org/programs-studies/con-con-edu.html. This page is often updated with new articles and one concerning the myth of losing public pensions has just been posted ( click here). Feel free to share part or all with your members and the public. It summarizes the issue very well.  
Celebrating "Votes for Women" Exhibit at NYS Museum

For more information on tickets and benefactor support options, click here
c all the state League office (518-465-4162) to make a reservation .
The Syracuse League has created a short educational, video that encourages people to vote. You can watch the video below.

Most of the local Leagues have taken a break from programs during the summer months. They are all very busy with voter registration drives, planning for candidate events and getting Vote411 ready and live! Go to the list of local Leagues on the state website and click on the website links to see what everyone is doing - click here:  http://www.lwvny.org/LLresources/LLcontacts.html
League of Women Voters of New York State
62 Grand Street, Albany, NY 12207
Tel: 518-465-4162;  FAX: 518-465-0812
Website: www.lwvny.org
Facebook: League of Women Voters of NYS
Twitter: @LWVNYS