League of Women Voters of Scarsdale
Fall 2019

The League of Women Voters of Scarsdale (LWVS) is a volunteer,  nonpartisan political organization that promotes political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government.  The League is nonpartisan in that it does not support or oppose any candidate for public office; it is political in that it takes positions on selected governmental issues after serious member study and consensus.  
In This Issue

  • 10/15, Tuesday:
    • 9:30 a.m. - Membership Coffee, 50 Carthage Rd
  • 10/20, Sunday:
    • 3 p.m. - "A Conversation with Mimi Rocah", Scarsdale Woman's Club (Joint Event with Scarsdale Forum and Scarsdale Public Library)
  • 10/21, Monday:
    • 9 a.m. - Board Meeting, Village Hall, 3rd fl
  • 11/5, Tuesday:
    • Election Day
  • 11/8, Friday:
    • 10:00 a.m. Board Meeting, Scarsdale Golf Club
    • 11:30 a.m. Food for Thought Luncheon featuring Professor Ryan GoodmanScarsdale Golf Club
  • 11/12, Tuesday:
    • 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. CNC Election, Village Hall
  • 11/18, Monday:
    • 9:00 a.m. Board Meeting, Village Hall, 3rd Floor
  • 12/4, Wednesday:
    • 10:00 a.m. Briefing at the United Nations on Climate Change (LWVNYS Education Foundation, in association with United Nations Department of Public Information)
  • 12/9, Monday:
    • 9:00 a.m. Board Meeting
    • 10:30 a.m. Village Election Information and Consensus Meeting, Village Hall, 3rd Floor
  • 12/17, Tuesday:
    • TBD Book Discussion

Remember to vote!


General Election:
Tuesday, November 5, 2019  

Citizens Nominating Committee Election
Tuesday, November 12, 2019 
Village Hall
7 a.m. - 9 p.m.


Happy Fall and Welcome to the 2019 - 2020 League year! I am thrilled and proud to be the new President of this incredible, near 100-year community institution, the League of Women Voters of Scarsdale. The National League organization was founded in the year 1920, six months before the ratification of the 19th amendment, in order to support and help those who had fought for and won the right to vote. The League of Women Voters was formed to help these new voters understand various governmental issues and to make informed choices in their actions as citizens. 
During our current complex cultural and political climate, the Scarsdale League continues its nonpartisan political mission to promote democracy and engaged citizenship at local, state and national levels through advocacy, voter education and information efforts, as well as by supporting opportunities for citizen participation in government. 
The LWVS has a strong and varied Annual Program, which was presented, discussed and approved at our annual meeting in May. As an organization, we pride ourselves on a well-established, thorough and open-minded process of study, consensus and action. Through the consensus process, the LWVS examines all aspects of a particular subject and then tries to reach an agreement on which to base a position. When we study a topic, a study committee is formed to gather, organize and present factual information to our membership and the public. Following the presentation of gathered information, League members convene to discuss the pros and cons of an issue. We work to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to express an opinion and be heard. If our members reach consensus on an issue, the League then has a position on which to take action. Our process allows us to learn, inform, listen, participate and understand various perspectives on significant issues that affect our lives.

While the LWVS engages in and promotes advocacy and educational activities at the county, state and national levels, we pay particular attention to matters in our own local community. This year we will analyze and study the Scarsdale Village and School budgets, we will take part in a strong Youth Engagement program, and we will provide varied Voter Service programs, in addition to other initiatives. Some upcoming events include:
  • LWVS Membership Coffee featuring Professor Vanessa Merton and a Discussion of Current Immigration and Asylum Issues, Tuesday, October 15, 9:30 a.m., Private Home
  • "A Conversation with Mimi Rocah," Joint event with Scarsdale Forum and Scarsdale Public Library, Sunday, October 20, 3 p.m., Scarsdale Woman's Club
  • Food for Thought Luncheon featuring Professor Ryan Goodman, Friday, November 8, 11:30 a.m., Scarsdale Golf Club
To view our entire 2019 - 2020 program and event schedule, please see the Bulletin calendar or visit our website for more information. Please join us at one or all of our events! I hope that you become engaged in making democracy work for yourself and for our community. I look forward to seeing you during the year. Thank you for your continued support of the League of Women Voters of Scarsdale.

Best wishes,
Leah Dembitzer

Voter Service

Countdown to General Election

General Election: Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Early Voting: Saturday, October 26 - Sunday, November 3

The League of Women Voters of Scarsdale urges all eligible voters to vote in the upcoming general election. The offices up for election this year include:

Local: County Court Judge, County Family Court Judge, County Legislature District 5, Scarsdale Town Justice

For more information on the candidates, visit www.Vote411.org. If you have not registered yet, have changed your address, or will be away from home for the November 5th General Election, please keep the following important dates in mind:

Deadline Date
What is Due/Happening

Friday, October 11
  1. Last day to postmark your voter registration form. It must be received by the Board of Elections by Wednesday, October 16 for you to be eligible to vote in the November election.
  2. Last day to submit your voter registration form in person to your local Board of Elections or any state agency participating in the National Voter Registration Act for the General Election. If honorably discharged from the military or have become a naturalized citizen since October 12, you may register in person at the Board of Elections up until October 26.
  3. Last day to register to be eligible to vote during Early Voting (October 26 - November 3).
Wednesday, October 16
Any change of address form must be received by the Board of Elections no later than this date.
Saturday, October 26 to Sunday, November 3
Eastchester and Scarsdale voters may choose to vote early at the following polling place: Eastchester Public Library, 11 Oakridge Place, Eastchester, NY.  For more information, visit www.nyearlyvoting.org
Tuesday, October 29
Last day to postmark your application for an absentee ballot for the election, if requesting by mail.

Monday, November 4
  1. Last day to apply in person for an absentee ballot for the General Election.
  2. Last day to postmark your absentee ballot if you are mailing it. It must be received by your local Board of Elections no later than Tuesday, November 12.
  3. Military ballots must be received by Monday, November 18.

Tuesday, November 5
  1. General Election
  2. Last day to deliver absentee ballot in person by someone other than the voter to the local Board of Elections.

Members of the military, please visit www.elections.ny.gov/VotingMilitaryFed.html for information on registering and voting.

To learn more about the qualifications for voting, the registration process, determining current registration status, polling locations and absentee voting, please go to the League website at www.lwvs.org and click on Voter Information, or contact Voter Service Co-Chairs Beatrice Sevcik or Ronny Hersch at LWVSvoterservice@gmail.com. For information on Early Voting, visit www.nyearlyvoting.org or lwvs.org/early_voting.html. All information provided herein is from the New York State Board of Elections website at www.elections.ny.gov.

Early Voting in New York is Here!

Can't get to the polls on Election Day?  No problem.
This year, you can vote from 
Saturday, October 26 through Sunday, November 3.

Early Voting for residents of Scarsdale will be at
Eastchester Public Library
11 Oakridge Place, Eastchester, NY 10709

The Eastchester Public Library will be open for Early Voting:

Saturday, October 26:  12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, October 27:  12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday, October 28:  8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tuesday, October 29:  12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Wednesday, October 30:  8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Thursday, October 31:  12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday, November 1:  8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday, November 2:  12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday November 3:  12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

On Election Day (Tuesday, November 5), you must vote at your regular polling place when polls will be open 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
If you take advantage of Early Voting, you may not vote on Election Day.

For more information, visit the LWVNY Early Voting website at www.nyearlyvoting.org, or the LWVS Early Voting website at lwvs.org/early_voting.html.

Democracy is Not a Spectator Sport
Register! Get Informed! Vote!

Election Day is Tuesday, November 5, 2019.

NEW THIS YEAR: There are nine days of Early Voting, from Saturday, October 26 to Sunday, November 3.

For information on Early Voting, including your Early Voting polling site, visit www.nyearlyvoting.org.
The last day to register to vote in the General Election is October 11.

Upcoming Events


League of Women Voters of Scarsdale
Annual Membership Coffee

Tuesday, October 15th at 9:30 a.m.
50 Carthage Road, Scarsdale

Join us for coffee and conversation to learn about the League. We will have a special guest, Professor Vanessa Merton, who teaches at Pace University Law School and directs the Immigration Justice Clinic of John Jay Legal Servic es, Inc., in White Plains. Professor Merton will discuss the current crisis at the southern U.S. border as well as various aspects of immigration, including asylum. 

We look forward to seeing you at our membership coffee!

"A Conversation with Mimi Rocah"

Sunday, October 20 at 3:00 p.m.
Scarsdale Woman's Club

Joint Event with Scarsdale Forum and Scarsdale Public Library

Mimi Rocah is a Legal Analyst for MSNBC and NBC News, the current Distinguished Fellow of Criminal Justice at Pace University Law School, and a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. She will provide her perspective and insight on questions regarding the rule of law, criminal investigations, equal justice and the U.S. Constitution that dominate the current cultural and political conversation.

The conversation will be moderated by Leah Dembitzer, President of LWVS, and Dara Gruenberg, President of Friends of the Scarsdale Library and Co-Chair of Scarsdale Forum's Program Committee.

The League of Women Voters of Scarsdale

cordially invites you to the

Fall Food For Thought Luncheon

Friday, November 8 at 11:30 a.m.
Scarsdale Golf Club
Hartsdale, New York 10530

Featuring Professor Ryan Goodman

Ryan Goodman is the Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Professor of Law at New York University School of Law. His areas of research include International Human Rights, the Law of Armed Conflict, National Security Law and the Use of Force. In addition to his posts at the law school, Goodman is an associated member of the Department of Sociology and an affiliated member of the Department of Politics at NYU.

Before joining NYU Law School, Goodman was the Rita E. Hauser Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and director of the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School. In addition, he  served as special counsel to the general counsel of the Department of Defense (2015-16).

Goodman has published numerous articles in leading law reviews and has co-authored several books, including Socializing States: Promoting Human Rights Through International Law with Derek Jinks (2013) (winner of top annual book award by the American Society of International Law). Goodman's work makes significant contributions to the law of armed conflict, human rights law, and US national security law.

Goodman received his BA in government and philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin. He earned his JD from Yale Law School and a PhD in sociology from Yale University. He is a member of the board of editors of the American Journal of International Law, a member of the US Department of State's Advisory Committee on International Law, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also the founding co-editor-in-chief of the national security online forum, Just Security.

You may purchase your ticket(s) for the LWVS Fall Food for Thought Luncheon via check or PayPal by visiting http://lwvs.org/food_for_thought_fall2019.html. Tickets are $40 if ordered by October 30, and $20 for students.

Citizens Nominating Committee Election

Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Village Hall

The election for the Citizens Nominating Committee (CNC), the caucus of the Scarsdale Citizens Non-Partisan Party, will be held on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Village Hall. Those who are elected will join the continuing CNC members to serve staggered three-year terms followed by one year on the Procedure Committee.

The CNC plans to meet five or six weekday evenings beginning at the end of November to nominate candidates for the positions of three trustees and the village justice, who will appear on the ballot under the banner of the Scarsdale Citizens Non-Partisan Party in the March 17, 2020, Village election.

Although the deadline for applying to run for a position on the CNC has now passed, additional candidates will be accepted if fewer than two candidates are running for each position in that elementary school district. Please consult the Scarsdale Procedure Committee website (ScarsdaleProcedureCommittee.org) for further information and for an FAQ sheet about the nonpartisan system.

SBNC Candidates Sought

Petitions Due Monday, November 18, 2019

The School Board Nominating Committee (SBNC) is an elected group of 30 members who identify, propose and nominate qualified candidates to run for the Scarsdale Board of Education.

The 30 voting members represent each of the five elementary school neighborhoods. Each year, two members are elected from each of the five elementary school districts to serve a term of three years on the Nominating Committee, an additional year on the Administrative Committee, and a final year on the Joint Committee. The SBNC urges all qualified residents to help maintain our excellent Scarsdale schools and serve our community by volunteering to run for the SBNC.

To become a candidate, residents should complete a biographical form and submit it with a candidate petition with signatures from 10 residents in their elementary school area by Monday, November 18, 2019. More information and biographical and petition forms are available on the SBNC website, https://scarsdalesbnc.com/join-the-sbnc/.

The election of SBNC members will be held on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 in the Scarsdale Middle School auditorium lobby from 7 - 10 a.m. and 2 - 9 p.m.

Recent LWVS Events

Students Inside Albany

Rishabh Gharekhan and Andrew Morin, both Scarsdale High School students, were selected to attend the Students Inside Albany program sponsored by the League of Women Voters of New York State Education Foundation, Inc. & the League of Women Voters of Scarsdale. The 19th annual Students Inside Albany program took place from May 19-22, 2019, and brought almost 60 students from across the state to Albany to get a first-hand education about their state government. The program is designed to increase high school students' awareness of their responsibility in representative government and provide information about the tools necessary for meeting that responsibility. Below is their report on the experience.


The 2019 Students Inside Albany Conference

By Rishabh Gharekhan and Andrew Morin

"Hi! Are you guys going to Albany, too?" The chorus was repeated three or four times by pairs of newcomers as we waited in line for the 283 Empire Service train to Albany. As we boarded with the other friendly, open, and engaging students, it wasn't hard to start making friends as our train meandered through the picturesque Hudson Valley towards the capital.

Within twenty minutes of our arrival at the hotel a few blocks away from the capitol building, we introduced ourselves to rest of the 60 students from across the state (awaiting those from the far west, who suffered an eight hour rail delay on the train from Buffalo). These students, from the eastern tip of Long Island to Chautauqua county on the Lake Erie shoreline, from central Manhattan to deeply rural upstate communities, from the wealthiest suburbs in Nassau county to struggling northern post-industrial cities, had backgrounds that were truly representative of the incredible, often overlooked, diversity across the state, and provided an eye-opening break from the "bubble" of Scarsdale.

The conference itself began with initial presentation by Jennifer Wilson, the League's former legislative director on the workings of state government, after which we settled in to talk further with our fellow delegates across the state. Besides making personal connections, we also discussed a series of wide-ranging state issues: education funding equity, gun policy, and perhaps most divisively, drew battle lines for a three day long argument against Long Island's delegation concerning the location of the upstate-downstate border.

The next day, Albany Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy addressed our group, giving us room to ask questions and practice lobbying specific issues, notably the state's new plastic bag ban, as we prepared to shadow our own legislators that afternoon. In the State Assembly, we were able to shadow Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, a former President of the Scarsdale League of Women Voters herself, through the legislative session of the day. Listening in to her meetings with staff and committees on the Assembly floor, the assemblywoman showed us the long path between the drafting of a bill and its signature by the governor. We reviewed with her memorandums of opposition against legislation, spoke to general staff on committees she needed to get bills through and worked with her own committee on Corporations as she decided which bills to advance in the last weeks of legislative session. Through discussions with the Assemblywoman and her staff, we learned about her upcoming legislation concerning topics such as pet grooming and the abandonment of cemeteries: examples of subjects which don't grab headlines and are overlooked by the public despite being vital towards our day-to-day lives. Finally, we watched a series of votes on the day's agenda as the Speaker moved in a somewhat chaotic fashion through two dozen bills as we watched the scattered assemblymen pass legislation before us, showcasing the end of the long track laid out by Assemblywoman Paulin and her staff.

 After returning back to the hotel, we had another series of presentations. The first was given by was a member of the local library board and a county legislator. This opened our eyes to just how expansive public office can be. Not just including federal and state government, we learned how local issues dealt with by town and county offices affect our daily lives and how easy it can be to run for office yourself and make a difference. We were also presented to by the New York Public Interest Research Group and the Alliance for Quality Education, who besides educating us on our own issues and how they affect every corner of the state, taught us general strategies for advocating our own specific interests, continuing our discussion on lobbying and creating change.

The next day, we returned to the capitol to meet with our state senator's staff. With two other students from our Senatorial district, we ventured through the hallways of the Legislative Building in search of Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins' office. Upon entering her office, we were introduced many members of her team who discussed our local constituent issues as well as the major topics in Albany. Moving with two members of her staff, we continued our tour of the Capitol, entering the tucked-away legislative library before meeting the Leader herself as she emerged from a meeting of the Democratic Caucus. A larger-than-life figure, Leader Stewart-Cousins spoke to us about her journey to her position and her responsibilities before we were taken to the Senate chamber to watch the day's proceedings. Outside the chamber, we saw a different form of politics vivid example of the advocacy which we had been taught about as we encountered dozens of Green Light protestors, hoping to secure driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. We watched as several protesters were arrested and taken away, to loud cheers from their companions, discussing every aspect of the issue with our senator's staff and our fellow students.

The Students Inside Albany program was extremely rewarding. In addition to being academically stimulating, the program was a lot of fun, in parts due to the encouraged bonding with evening activities like bowling and foosball! In three days, so much was accomplished as we covered extensively every part of state government, from county legislators to the Court of Appeals. We walked in the footsteps of our legislators, joining them on the floor and in meetings with their staffs and colleagues. We toured the halls of power of New York State, from the courtrooms to the legislative chambers to the governor's office. We learned so much about specific issues and advocacy as a whole that has made us more engaged and more active citizens. But beyond the incredible levels of access and information given to us, the opportunity to meet so many bright and driven students from across the state was similarly unparalleled. We both made friends that we've kept in contact with in the weeks since the conference and connections that we will definitely preserve into the future.

LWV of Westchester

The LWVW, the Interleague Organization for Westchester, has continued its work over the summer on its high priority tasks: Voter Service and Westchester County Government.

Mary Beth Gose has updated the Vote411 website for the 2019 general election and it is now accessible on-line. All candidates who are running were contacted. The information published was that which the candidates personally submitted. The website will continue to have easily accessible and up-to-date information for the November general election. 

The printed Voters Guide will be mailed to all Scarsdale households having registered voters. Mid October is the much anticipated arrival time. 

For on-line voter information specifically related to you, visit  VOTE411.org . Information for both the Guide and VOTE411 is gathered by members from all Westchester leagues and is prepared under the supervision of LWVW. 

The County Government Committee continues to monitor the activities of Westchester government. The focus has been on issues impacting budget and financing. The LWVW annual review of the 2020 proposed Westchester County Budget will take place on Thursday, November 21, 2019, time and location to be determined. Leaguers are attending meetings of the ad hoc Complete Count Committee as it prepares for the 2020 census.

The Know Your Government Committee continues to offer presentations on media literacy to the public. The next area  of development for the committee will be efforts to educate the  public relating to the 2020 general election.

LWV of New York

League of Women Voters of New York State 
58th Biennial Convention

By Leah Dembitzer

I was honored to represent the League of Women Voters of Scarsdale and join leaders from all of the New York Leagues at the League of Women Voters of New York State 58th Biennial Convention in Albany in June. The LWVNY was founded on November 19, 1919, and was thus celebrating its 100th year at the convention. It was energizing and inspiring to attend information sessions on effective and ingenuitive voter service initiatives, as well as cutting edge youth engagement programs implemented by League organizations throughout the state. Listening to others and sharing ideas for the future of the League was an invaluable experience. 

I enjoyed two phenomenal speaker events, which exemplified the deep significance of informed action. The first speaker of note was DeNora Getachew, the Executive Director of Generation Citizen, who presented alongside Lori Campbell, a student selected to take part in Generation Citizen, an organization that promotes civics education in under-resourced high schools. The speakers conveyed the importance of supporting and empowering young people to learn and practice engaged citizenship. Getachew and Campbell conveyed how essential it is to show young citizens that it is possible to generate change through informed action. The LWVNY also hosted journalist and author, Elaine Weiss, who wrote The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote. Weiss' fascinating lecture gave rich and detailed stories of the suffrage experience as well as the founding of the League of Women Voters. In her talk, Weiss conveyed the League's central role in the history of voting and engaged citizenry in our country.

In addition to the varied and informative speaker events and workshops, the convention provided an opportunity for the New York Leagues to vote on the LWVNY slate, budget, bylaw amendments and annual program. One of the most fascinating aspects for me was to see firsthand the passionate, strong and active League leaders, who are not hesitant to stand-up and speak-up. Engaged citizenry, at its finest, is well-informed and courageous; and it is an essential means by which to create a more perfect democracy. At this historical moment, more than ever, the League of Women Voters is a vital organization to our country's citizens. I encourage everyone in our community to be an informed, engaged and active citizen and want you to know that the LWVS is here for you as a resource to enhance and enrich your citizen experience.

LWV Education Fund

Membership Announcements

Membership Renewal Reminder

Our membership renewal drive is currently underway.  If you have already renewed, thank you!  If you have not, please take the time to do so now.  The League thrives with your support!

To join, you may do either of the following:
  • Use the membership envelope mailed to you this fall.
  • Go to http://www.lwvs.org/Join.html and either renew online, or print out a membership form to pay by check.
If you have any questions, please contact Erika Rublin, LWVS Membership Chair, at LWVSmembership@gmail.com. Thank you!

Stay Connected!

New this year, our LWVS Bulletin will be published monthly and sent via eblast, posted on our website ( www.LWVS.org), Facebook page ( www.facebook.com/LWVScarsdale/), and Twitter feed ( twitter.com/LWVScarsdale). In an effort to be more environmentally friendly, only the Fall and Spring editions will still be printed and mailed to members.

To ensure that you receive our news directly, please provide your preferred email and physical mailing address when you renew your membership or join for the first time. Contact us at LWVSMembership@gmail.com with any questions about your membership status or to change/update your contact information.


The League is grateful for the support of all of its donors. Please note that the annual updated listing of our many generous supporters for 2019-2020 will appear in the 2020 Spring Bulletin.

LWVS 2019-2020 Calendar


Village of Scarsdale

As of July 2019



Marc Samwick, Mayor
   Term ends April 2021
Jane Veron, Deputy Mayor
   2nd term ends April 2020
Justin Arest
   1st term ends April 2020
Lena Crandall
   1st term ends April 2020
Jonathan Lewis
   1st term ends April 2021
Seth Ross
   2nd term ends April 2021
Rochelle Waldman
   1st term ends April 2021

Scott Silberfein, President
   2nd term ends June 2020
Pamela Fuehrer, Vice President
   2nd term ends June 2021
Karen Ceske
   1st term ends June 2022
Carl Finger
   1st term ends June 2022
Christopher Morin
   2nd term ends June 2020
Ronald Schulhof
   1st term ends June 2022
Alison Tepper Singer
   1st term ends June 2021

League of Women Voters of Scarsdale


President: Leah Dembitzer

First Vice President: Elissa Ruback

Second Vice President: Anne Lyons

Recording Secretary: Joan Frankle 
Corresponding Secretary: Amy Cooper

Treasurer: Debbie Miller

Committee Chairs

Advocacy: Alissa Baum* and Elissa Ruback*

Audit: Jacqueline Irwin

LWVS Budget: Nancy Michaels

School Budget: Elissa Ruback*

Village Budget: Leah Dembitzer*

Bulletin Editor: Dana Matsushita*

Eblast/Publicity: Amy Cooper*

Social Media: Joan Bowen*

Website: Diane Baylor

Finance Drive: Anne Lyons*

Winter Fundraiser: Diane Greenwald

School Election: Amber Yusuf*

Village Election: Diane Baylor*
Environment/Sustainability: Deb Pekarek

Hospitality: Kitt Rosenthal* 

Luncheons: Anne Lyons* 

LWVW Liaison: RenĂ©e Baylor* 

Membership: Erika Rublin* 

Membership Statistician: Diane Baylor*

Nominating Chair: Pam Rubin

Planning & Zoning: Deb Pekarek

Program/Education: Cindy Dunne*

Voter Service: Ronny Hersch* and 
Beatrice Sevcik*

Youth Engagement: Elissa Ruback*
Students Inside Albany: Joan Bowen and Erika Rublin

* Board members