League of Women Voters of NYS


February 2020

Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.

We seem to be doing a lot of corrections today! So sorry for any confusion! Here's a corrected version .  The Issues and Advocacy section has now been updated for this month's news.

President's Message
Join us, Tuesday, March 10, 5:30-8:30 PM, in Albany to celebrate and honor our former Legislative Director, Barbara Bartoletti. All of the funds raised will support the advocacy and education initiatives of the Leagues Education Foundation. Click here to make your reservation.
MEET-UP: Regional Training Workshops
LWVNYS is hosting regional conversations to make our grass roots stronger starting:
March 7, New York City,
March 14, Rochester,
March 21, Binghamton, and
March 28, Albany
This is an opportunity to meet with your LWVNYS leaders and join the conversations about the resources we have and the resources you need to support your Local League's activities to get out the vote, engage our youth in voting and open the doors to new members and supporters and diversify our outreach and our organization to be more inclusive of the people in our communities. Come to regional trainings to share your stories with other Leagues in your region and ask your state Leaders questions. We have a lot to do this year with 3 elections, keeping up the pace to further election and ethics reforms and educating our communities about the census and redistricting. I hope to see you all. Register here
Choose your delegates now and book your hotel through the LWVUS website. I will host a call for all NY delegates, one month before the convention to answer, or get answers to any questions you may have before we get to convention.

Suzanne Stassevitch, President
League of Women Voters of NYS
[email protected] Tel: 518-465-4162
Facebook: League of Women Voters of NYS
Twitter: @LWVNYS
Champion of Change: Barbara Bartoletti
Annual Advocacy Training Day
Regional Training Workshops
The League of Women Voters of NYS invites  all members to come to training workshops being held throughout the state on  Saturdays from 9:30-3:00 in March. All members are invited to attend any or all of the workshops. All local League board members are  strongly encouraged to attend at least part of the day. Lunch will be provided and will allow for informal networking among the attendees. 
Locations and Dates:
  • March 7, New York City, 4 West 43rd Street, New York, $35
  • March 14, Rochester Area, Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word, 597 East Ave, Rochester, $25
  • March 21, Binghamton Area, Union Presbyterian Church, 200 East Main Street, Endicott, $25
  • March 28, Albany Area, McKownville Methodist Church, 1565 Western Ave, Albany, $25
9:30 Registration and Welcome
10-11 am Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Beyond Just Race: How do we include more?
11:15 to 12:15 Two workshop sessions
Get Out the Vote: How do we get more people to vote?
After Parkland: How to keep the youth engaged?
12:30-1:45 Lunch and networking and legislative update
2:00 - 3:00 Two workshop sessions
Stats and Lines: Get everyone counted and represented fairly
Hot, Hot, Hot: Attracting and engaging your community with the League
All members are welcome to register online at: https://secure.lglforms.com/form_engine/s/HOhq-CqnO8wQHzms7-w8Kg or click here to download the registration form and mail it in to the state office. These are a great opportunity to hear what other Leagues are doing and how you can accomplish even more!
Issues and Advocacy
Sally Robinson, [email protected], and Jennifer Wilson, [email protected]
Constitutional Convention Position Update
At the State Convention in June, the delegates approved an update to the State League's position on a Constitutional Convention. The purpose of this update is to determine whether there is member agreement on deleting the first sentence of the League's 1993 Constitutional Convention position, as revised June 2015.
The first sentence to be deleted is below:
"The League of Women Voters of New York State does not support or oppose the holding of a constitutional convention."
Attached you will find the materials for consideration by your local League of this update:
  • Current Constitutional Convention Position
  • Background and Other Information
  • Update Form to be Returned to the State League office by March 1, 2020
  • A new document with more detailed explanation of what a vote NO or a vote YES means on this position.
Individual Responses on Constitutional Convention Position Update
With the adoption by the state League Board of a new process for consensus and concurrence, individuals may now participate in these processes, such as the Con Con position update, as an individual if their local League is not participating. See the attached document for the reporting form to be completed by individuals participating.
National Day of Action
On February 14th the New York State League took part in a nationwide day of action in celebration of the US League's 100th anniversary. In New York State, League members and individuals took action by advocating for funding for early voting in our state budget. The NY League created a Take Action Toolkit to empower our members to take action using sample social media posts, graphics, and sample call scripts and emails to legislators to advocate for increased funding in the state budget for early voting. We held a member-wide webinar and a post day of action survey. We heard from local Leagues from around the state about their actions calling, emailing, and writing their legislators and using social media to share information about the importance of funding early voting in New York State.
Advocacy Around Governor's Executive Budget Proposal
Following the January State of the State, the Governor released his executive budget proposal for FY 2020-2021. In February, the New York State League testified and submitted testimony regarding financing education, funding for voting and elections, and New York's first independent redistricting commission to the joint legislative budget committees.
In addition to providing testimony, the League encouraged local Leagues to meet with their state representatives over the February break to discuss our priority issues in the executive budget proposal.  Issues in the legislative packet included funding for voting, ethics and campaign finance, the independent redistricting commission, and court reform. We are continuing to collect responses and will share a report after all lobbying forms have been collected.
February Lobby Days
On February 25th the League participated in a court simplification lobby day hosted by the Simplify the Courts coalition. The League partnered with social service organizations, legal reform groups, and other good government partners to advocate for the restructuring of New York State's courts.
Yesterday the League participated in a lobby day to support the Anti-Corruption amendment, an amendment to establish a thirteen-member commission that would replace both the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) and the Legislative Ethics Commission LEC, to oversee the legislative and executive branches. The league participated in a press conference and attended meetings with legislators to urge them support of the legislation.
LWVNYS Advocacy Training and Lobby Day: May 5th
The League's annual lobby day is scheduled for May 5th in Albany NY. We will be lobbying on a number of different reforms ranging from voting rights, government ethics, campaign finance, health care, education, and more. Mark your calendar and stay tuned for our sign up form. 
Explanation of League's Position on Proposed Voting Systems
The League's explanation for not taking an immeidate position on the request by ES&S for certification of a new voting system to the State Board of Elections is here.

Voter Services
Judie Gorenstein, [email protected]
The calls by members of LWVNYS voter service committee to all local leagues and MAL Units have been made and very well received.  The calls enable us to all work together in reaching our goals of registering voters, educating them, and then turning out the vote. 
 This is what leagues conveyed to us: 
  • They appreciate the outreach and think developing this working relationship with one committee person will be helpful.
  • They are all aware of importance of being and being perceived as being nonpartisan.
  • They are planning their voter registration drives and candidate events.
  • They requested more templates to be used for printouts.
  • They have found toolkits helpful and if they had not looked at them, will do so.
  • They know GOTV (Get Out the Vote) is important and either have plans or will begin thinking of  how to GOTV.
  • They want to GOTV but many feel lack of resources( both financial and or volunteers). 
  • They want ideas to help them recruit new members and a larger media presence.
This is what LWVNYS Voter Service is doing in response:
  • We will continue to have follow up calls and send emails.
  • We have updated toolkits with new voter registration form .
  • We created a new one page flyer IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR VOTERS 
  • We have shared templates  leagues have created; i.e., palm cards for Suffolk County ILO and posters from LWV of Albany
  • We are applying for grant from LWVUS to get resources to help us and you GOTV
  • We will be having a GOTV workshop and a session for recruiting new members at each of the four regional training meetings .
This is what we need leagues and MAL Units to do
  • Share with us now what you are doing or ideas you have to GOTV. (These will be added to GOTV toolkit)
  • Attend GOTV workshop at regional meetings and bring your ideas and come ready to brainstorm with others.
Together we will meet the challenges facing us this year.  We will maintain our gold standard in registering and educating voters and in addition will GOTV!

2020 Election Dates and Deadlines
Presidential Primary   April 28, 2020
             Early Voting   April 18 - April 26
             Deadline for Voter Registration   April 3 in person and/or postmarked
             Applications for Absentee Ballot April 21 postmarked; April 27 in person
Congressional and State Primaries June 23, 2020
             Early Voting   June 13 - June 21
             Deadline for Voter Registration   May 29 in person and/or postmarked
             Application for Absentee Ballot   June 16 postmarked; June 22 in person
General Election   November 3, 2020
               Early Voting   October. 24 - November 1
               Deadline for Voter Registration   October 9 in person and postmarked
              Application for Absentee Ballot   October 27 postmarked; November 2 in person
Local League News
The state League office has been incredibly busy recently with the legislative activity and budgets, the March 10 event honoring Barbara Bartoletti, planning the regional training workshops in 4 locations across the state, planning for Students Inside Albany, applying for and finding grant money to share with all of our local Leagues for the 2020 elections (more about that later), and more!

So, we apologize but didn't get to collating local League news items this month. But, if your local League has been sending your own newsletters to [email protected] as we have suggested, you can read everyone's newsletter and great accomplishments right from our state website at: https://my.lwv.org/new-york-state/news/nys-local-league-bulletins.

Hope you're all getting ready for a busy year - 3 elections with 30 days of voting and lots more!
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
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