League of Women Voters of NYS


March 2018

Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.

From the State President
Wow.  One day after our March 28-29 board meeting, my head is still spinning. There was so much to talk about and almost everything was future oriented with a strong YOUTH thread running though almost all topics.  
The #MeToo movement and the March for Our Lives were definitely on all our minds as we discussed our own future. This is clearly a time that having "women" in our name and voting and civil discourse as our game are huge strengths. And we know  that our own local Leagues are all hearing from people wanting help as they register voters, deal with a large number of new candidates and primary debates, and reach out to high schools and colleges to support all the new political energy there. Civic engagement is alive in the land.
Our new LWVNYS development staff member, Liz Hutson, was with us for much of the meeting, soaking up all the insights she could about who and what we are and how we operate. She also raised great questions and shared fresh insights on our work. As we talked about a draft document from LWVUS about the need for a better resourced and more nimble, inter-connected League (top to bottom, bottom to top), we realized (and Liz confirmed) that we need to move even faster than LWVUS can right now to become that nimble, inter-connected organization here in NY.
This conversation will continue at the regional meetings and then at LWVUS Convention in Chicago in late June.  We are also talking of an online Council meeting this year (probably in early June), so watch for more on that. Meanwhile, buckle up. As the world moves faster and faster, the League is picking up speed!. "Nimblicity," here we come. 

Dare Thompson, President
League of Women Voters of NYS
darethompson@gmail.comTel: 518-465-4162
Facebook: League of Women Voters of NYS
Twitter: @LWVNYS
First Call to LWVUS Convention in June 2018
Travel with the League
Click here  for trips and itineraries.
Regional Training Workshops
League of Women Voters of NYS
Regional Training Meetings
April 2018

The League of Women Voters of NYS invites all members to come to training workshops being held in Cortland and Rochester on Saturdays from 10:00-3:00 in April. All members are invited to attend any or all of the workshops. All local Leagues 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 (no 
program). There is a $20 charge to cover other expenses.

April 7, Cortland Area
                   (CNY Living History Museum, 4386 US-11, Cortland, NY 1 3045)
April 14, Rochester Area
                   (Rush Henrietta Senior High School, 1799 Lehigh Station  Rd, Henrietta, NY 14467)

The workshops scheduled last week in Mamaroneck have been postponed until June; watch for an announcement on a specific date. 

Tentative Workshop Topics
  • Moderating Candidate Forums
  • Creatively Managing Your Local League
  • Getting your Members Active on Issues
  • Motivating Voters to Vote
  • Engaging Youth in Our Democracy
  • Social Media & Apps for Engaging New Members and the Public
  • Becoming a Player in Your Community: Observer Corps, Hot Topics & Collaboration
  • Raising Funds & Having Fun
  • Making the Most of Voter Service Activities
  • Civic Education & Engagement for Students & Communities
Click here for registration form ; send completed form and $20 check payable to LWVNYS to:
League of Women Voters of NYS
62 Grand St, Albany, NY 12207
Or register by clicking here, with credit card, by fax 518-465-0812 or by phone 518-465-4162  or email Laura@lwvny.org
Advocacy Training and Lobby Day, April 24
The state League's annual Advocacy Training and Lobby Day has been scheduled for April 24th in the NYS Museum (we'll make sure you have time to view the special exhibit at the Museum on women's suffrage history, too). Any member is welcome to attend. Come learn about our advocacy agenda, hear directly from the Issue Specialists about our expected action for the 2018 Legislative Session and lobby your own legislators.

A registration form is available here - please print and mail to state office with a check. Or, register online here.

The topics on which we will be lobbying will depend on how the budget negotiations turn out.

We apologize for hosting this day on the same day as the special elections in many parts of the state. The date was selected last fall, way before announcement of the special elections, and rescheduling is not feasible. Another reason to lobby for early voting!

Legislative Updates
Sally Robinson, sally.s.robinson@gmail.com, and 
Jennifer Wilson, jennifer@lwvny.org
Current Legislative Action
We are in the process of continuing our advocacy efforts around early voting in the state budget. Two weeks ago we targeted members of the Senate IDC who had previously expressed their support of including voting reforms in the state budget in the December "One New Yorker Budget Agenda". They have been supportive of the reform in meetings but we faced an unforeseen roadblock, the Assembly Democratic Conference. Many Assembly Members have expressed to us that they have received push back from members during closed door conference meetings. The seasoned members are now expressing concerns over the roll out of the proposal and the cost. In addition to meeting with members, we met with Governor Cuomo's office to discuss the proposal. Although his office was optimistic they reminded us that anything can happen in the final days of the budget. We have continued meeting with members of the Senate and Assembly throughout this week but unfortunately it's looking like early voting will not be included in the final budget proposal.
There are still several bills which need to be passed before the April 1st budget deadline. We will announce more details on Facebook and Twitter as information becomes available.

Post Budget Lobby Visits
The state League is already planning for a busy lobby season once the state budget is finally passed. A packet with information on voting reforms and ethics and campaign finance reforms has been mailed to each local League and is available here. If you are interested in joining your League members in visiting the legislators, please contact your local League. We need to let the legislators to hear from all of us. 

Parolee Voting Rights
Currently individuals on probation can vote but those on parole cannot vote under New York law.  Many local Leagues have been approached by other organizations to work with them on reforming this law and allowing those on parole to vote.  We initially told the locals that we did not have a position but upon further review of broader LWVUS elections positions, the state Issues Committee decided that the League can support restoring parolee voting rights. At this time, there is not any active legislation that we can support, but when a viable is introduced, we will be doing advocacy on this reform.

Sign Up for the Weekly Legislative Newsletter
This year the League has launched a new initiative to help keep members up-to-date on what's going on in Albany. Our weekly legislative newsletter includes what's happening at the Capitol, upcoming events surrounding advocacy, weekly legislative committee agendas, and weekly League news clips. The newsletter is sent to all members every Friday. If you haven't been receiving the newsletter, check your Spam or Junk folder or email Jennifer at Jennifer@lwvny.org to make sure you're on the list.
Local League News
The LWV of Huntington's first Meet the Candidates Night will be held on April 11th at the South Huntington Public Library from 7-9 PM. Both NYS Assembly-10th District Candidates Steve Stern and Janet Smitelli have agreed to participate. A free Action Workshop on voter registration will precede the MTC forum from 5-6. Anyone interested in learning about requirements for voter registration, when to re-register and other frequently asked questions about the registration process is welcome.
Partnering with a support group for those affected by incarceration, JUST, the League of Women Voters of Broome and Tioga held an informative meeting at the Vestal Public Library to discuss the local effects of mass incarceration. The event was covered by the local media and can be viewed here: http://www.wicz.com/story/37824045/league-of-women-voters-team-up-to-help-end-mass-incarceration
In coordination of other activist groups, LWV of NYC participated in the Women's March in January 2018. With the other groups, they trained and organized an army of 163 voter registration volunteers - 51 of which were League members! These volunteers registered 450 voters during the march, 129 of which were organ donors. We also registered voters at 72nd Street and Central Park West while stationed at the Bus for Progress.
From Sarah Richman, past state League SIA participant and now LWV of NYC Intern:
On February 15th, I had the privilege of meeting Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and hearing her speak at the League's event at the New York Society For Ethical Culture. As a current high school senior interested in pursuing politics, it was truly life changing for me to see a successful female politician discussing her career and the important lessons she has learned along the way. The Lieutenant Governor spoke about the necessity of supporting and electing female candidates to political office, and she has provided resources and encouragement for so many women to follow in her lead...By the end of the event, everyone left the room feeling inspired and empowered to take action.
J. Rosie Tighe, PhD, Associate Professor of Urban Policy and Planning, Cleveland State University, will speak at a meeting of the LWV of Buffalo/Niagara. H er work on affordable housing, social justice and equitable development as she seeks ways to bridge the gap between
research and practice.
LWV of Tompkins County hosted a luncheon at which Denise Green, Curator of the Cornell Costume Collection and Assistant Professor, Cornell Department of Fiber Science and Apparel Design, spoke about clothing during the suffragette era.
How to run for office or volunteer on a campaign is the subject of a meeting of the LWV of Cortland County.
LWV of Rochester co-sponsored an event entitled, Women Voted in New York Before Columbus - a talk by Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner, Professor at Syracuse University and Director of Matilda Joslyn Gage Center for Social Justice Dialogue.
Members in LWV of Chautauqua County discussed human trafficking in their county at a meeting this month.
LWV of Syracuse will hold its annual Legislative Breakfast on April 20th with the opportunity to meet their legislators and quiz them on where they stand on issues important to our members.

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