League of Women Voters of NYS
Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.
From the State President
It's not too late to sign up for Convention - we even take walk-ins! Yes, it's at least one day (if not three) away from home and we know it's not free. But here are just a few reasons why I hope your League is sending as large a delegation as possible:
- Convention won't happen again for two years! That's 24 months! Don't "throw away your shot"!
- There is an impressive ROI (return on investment) for each attendee and for the local Leagues they represent - in contacts, in information, in tips on how to do things faster and better....I could go on.
- It's inspiring. I still remember speakers I heard years ago and some I got to chat with personally. I also still remember some League leaders who seemed to know EVERYthing. I was in awe. And over the years, many of us newbies gradually became those leaders, amazed at what we've absorbed from the League.
- It's historic. We turn 100 on 11/19/19 and it'll never happen again. At the last convention we celebrated what happened in Seneca Falls in 1848 and how NY won the vote for women in 1917. This year the remarkable Elaine Weiss will bring 1919 and 1920 to life for us and we'll share ideas for our own local celebrations this fall and into 2020. And our state League history ("A Force to Reckon With") and collected local League histories will be for sale!
- It's fun! Yes, we think hard, stay up late/get up early, argue passionately - but we are with others who share our concerns and are determined to make a difference. So there is joy in the air and no small amount of laughter.
- I (and the whole state board and staff) will be so happy to see you! We delight in seeing old friends, in having phone voices become actual people, and seeing a brand new batch of convention-goers we can get to know.
- The times are asking a lot of us all. By getting to know and learn from one another we will become an even fiercer "force to reckon with" for the century ahead!
Dare Thompson, President
League of Women Voters of NYS
email@example.com; Tel: 518-465-4162
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Travel with the League
Click here for trips and itineraries.
Support the League
How can you make a difference? Each individual is capable of making a significant impact on the League of Women Voters of New York State. One way is through
Planned Giving. Remembering the LWVNYS with a bequest from your estate will help sustain and strengthen the League in years to come. Some of the advantages of creating a bequest include:
*A bequest costs nothing now, yet gives you the satisfaction of knowing you have provided for teh League in the future
*You retain control of and use of your assets during your lifetime
*You may modify your bequest if your circumstances change
*If you let the League know of your plans, we will be able to thank you now and recognize you as a member of our 1919 Society.
These are five simple ways to plan a gift:
*Gifts in a Will (Bequests)
*Beneficiary Designations (involving all or part of life insurance, IRA, etc.)
*Gifts from an IRA
*Gifts from a Donor-Advised Fund
*Gifts of Appreciated Stock
Those considering a planned gift should consult their own legal and tax advisers.
Father's Day Tributes
Many of us wear buttons saying, "
League of Women Voters-Not for Women Only
." In 1973, the League's charter was amended to allow male members and we have benefited from that change ever since. Any study of the history of women's suffrage includes the men who stood alongside the suffragists and fought for women to have an equal say in government.
In recognition of your gift of $25 or more (by June 12), we will send a personalized card to the person you designate and let him know you honored him with a Father's Day contribution to the Education Foundation.
Perhaps you would make $100 donation in honor of 100 years of the League!
State Convention is Next Week! It's Not Too Late to Register!
The League's state Convention is scheduled for June 7-9, 2019, at the Hilton in downtown Albany.
Pre Convention Kit
is now available
In this Kit is the information you need to be an educated voter at Convention: Proposed 2019-20 Budget, Proposed Bylaw Amendments, Proposed 2019-2021 Program Planning, and Nominating Committee report for the 2019-2021 LWVNYS Officers and Board of Directors. There is also information about our fantastic speakers and training workshops, as well as updated list of workshops on League matters and information session on what other local Leagues are accomplishing. There is something at Convention for everyone to learn - new members and long-time members!
Bring this kit with you to Convention - you will need it during discussions at plenary sessions.
If you're not attending Convention, read the Kit and tell your delegates how you want them to vote. We are a membership organization and need your input.
to register online. If
are interested in representing your local League at the state Convention, contact your local League President now.
can also attend as an observer - just to see what happens, network with others, and attend workshops and presentations.
Volunteers Needed at Convention
Delegates can volunteer at times other than plenary session and volunteers for plenary can observe plenary session. Volunteers may also sit in on workshops and other events, excluding meals, without paying. Unfortunately, the meals are expensive so they would have to register and pay to attend a meal event. Volunteers are usually booked for a 2 hour slot, but we'll take whatever time people can give us.
Please email Britt Westergard, Chair of the Volunteer Committee (
), with names and contact info for anyone willing to volunteer. We can't have a successful convention without our volunteers!
FEATURED SPEAKERS (more details in Pre Convention Kit)
Civil Discourse: How Can We Achieve That Today?"
Friday, June 7, 6:30 pm
Robert Boatright, PhD, Director of Research, National Institute of Civil Discourse and Professor and Chair, Political Science Department, Clark University
"Action Civics: A 21st Century Approach to Educating Youth for Democratic Participation"
Saturday, June 8, 12 noon
DeNora Getachew, Executive Director, Generation Citizen
"The Woman's Hour Has Struck: Winning the Vote"
Saturday, June 8, 5:30 pm
Elaine Weiss, Journalist and Author
Co-sponsored by NYS Archives Partnership Trust
WORKSHOP AND TRAINING SPEAKERS
"The 2020 Census: Is There a Role for the League?"
Friday, June 7
Jeff H. Behler, Regional Director, US Census Bureau
"How to Make the League More Diverse and Inclusive?"
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Training for All Attendees
Saturday, June 8, and Sunday, June 9
OTHER WORKSHOP TOPICS
(see Pre Convention Kit for details)
Civics and Engaging Youth
LWVNYS Policy on No Empty Chair Candidate Forums
Proposed Concurrence on Election Process
Tackling Food Waste and Food Insecurity
Fact or Fake: Exploring the Role of Media in Politics
Vote 411 Training
Youth Programs of Local Leagues
Moderating Candidate Forums
League Management Options
Social Media, Websites and Other Technology
Parliamentary Procedures and Plenary Session Discussions
Voter Services Q&A
2019-2020 Proposed Budget
Proposed New Program Process and Bylaw Amendments
Women's Suffrage and League History Projects
Join us in Albany to celebrate, learn and meet new friends!
Sally Robinson, firstname.lastname@example.org
During the past month, the state League provided testimony on many issues (click on name to read testimonies):
Laura Ladd Bierman, LWVNYS Executive Director, is quoted in an online article by Spenser Mestel about blue states that also have poor voting rights records. See the article
Early Voting Education Project
The state League received a grant as part of the Making Democracy Work sponsored by The League of Women Voters of US Education Fund. Our project is to educate citizens throughout New York State on all of the new voting laws and also to evaluate the implementation of the new laws during the election.
The new election laws provide new procedures and locations for the public to vote early, but without the specific knowledge of their county's implementation of the new laws, the impact of increasing voter participation may not be realized. As part of this education campaign, we plan the following:
* A website which will educate all New Yorkers especially those in underserved areas on the impact of the new voting laws. This online presence will reach across the state to inform citizens of new polling locations, hours and instructions specific to each county across the state;
* A brochure on the changes, with an insert of the specific implementation for each county and distribution focused for each county (available in the summer);
* Local Leagues will be asked to meet with other organizations serving under-represented populations to provide training and ensure understanding of the new procedures;
* PSAs, template Letters to the Editor, sample Facebook and Twitter posts, and other communication tools provided to local Leagues for their own media outreach;
* Connection, link or marketing of Vote 411 on this new page and of this information on Vote 411 page;
* A survey of voters after the fall election to evaluate the implementation of the new procedures and determine issues for future advocacy.
Data is being gathered by Sarah Bracken (former SIA student and this summer's intern) who is in contact with all local Leagues and counties officials where there is no local League. The local Leagues have been asked to meet with their county Board of Election officials to obtain the county-specific information, but also to determine what issues or problems the officials are having in implementing the new laws. Sarah will collate and standardize all the information from each county to create a template of the specific implementation procedures. A page on the state League's website will be created, which will also have its own direct URL, with all of the necessary voter information specific to each county (locations, hours of polling sites, info on absentee balloting, etc) and links to the county Board of Elections.
A separate brochure just on the new laws, with specifics for each county as an insert, will be distributed throughout the state. Communication tools will also be created and shared with local Leagues and other organizations serving diverse populations.
A survey will also be developed and widely distributed to ask voters about their voting experiences with the new procedures. From the results of the survey, the input from the meetings of the local League members with their county Board of Elections officials, and the communication with the other community organizations, the state League will make recommendations to the State Board of Elections and appropriate legislative committees and staff about changes to further improve the election systems.
It is a huge project and we will need the assistance and support from many local Leagues and many, many members to make it successful! But, an educated public is always our goal and hopefully this will help to increase voter turnout in NYS. Stay tuned as we progress.
|From LWVUS - Policy Briefings
LWVUS will hold a series of
throughout Spring of 2019. The briefings will cover ongoing legislative and litigation efforts. Briefings will be offered on April 23, May 21, and June 11, and they will cover HR4 (the
Voting Rights Advancement Act
), HR1 (the
For The People Act
), and include a legislative and legal fiscal year wrap-up in June. The briefings will also be taped and archived on the US League Management Site. Please
visit the League Management Site
to sign up for the individual webinars. Space is limited, so RSVP soon!
Local League News
LWV of Scarsdale
Annual Meeting and Spring Luncheon were held on May 10
featuring Cynthia Deitle who is a lawyer, a former FBI Special Agent and the former Civil Rights Chief for the FBI. Currently, she is the Program and Operations Director for the Matthew Shepard Foundation, a group devoted to advocacy and education on issues of tolerance.
Neil Buffett and Nicholas Giordano, Professors of History and Political Science at Suffolk Community College, spoke to the LWV of Brookhaven members and friends about gerrymandering.
Hannah Tupper, the SIA student from LWV of St. Lawrence MAL Unit, was interviewed on North Country Matters, a local affairs video magazine . Watch the interview here.
Lisa Scott, President of the LWV of Suffolk County ILO, published an article in TBR Newsmedia, "Making Democracy Work: How Girl Scouts taught us the power of one." Read the article here.
LWV of Broome and Tioga Counties attended six naturalization ceremonies in 2018. During 2018, with our dedicated pool of volunteers, our success rate of registering new citizens was 50%. Since 2016 we have directly provided 558 new citizens with registration packets. It has been an efficient, productive, wise use of League volunteer hours and resources.
LWV of the Hamptons is planning another outing that could rightly be called "Know Your Hamptons". They have had excursions to Shelter Island, Amagansett, Sag Harbor and Southampton and next up is a day in Springs.
On May 21 the New York City League hosted: Celebrating a 100 Years of Breaking Barriers. The event featured cocktails, cake and fabulous speakers such as Billie Jean King and Stacey Cunningham, President of the New York Stock Exchange. The event chair was Jennifer J. Raab, President Hunter College of the City University of New York.
Karen Dewitt, Capitol Bureau Chief for NYS Public Radio, was the speaker at the annual meeting of LWV of Rensselaer County. See photo on right of newly installed board.
Representatives of the LWV of Nassau County Inter-League Organization (ILO), including Barbara Epstein of the LWV of East Nassau, met recently with representatives of the NC Board of Elections to discuss early voting, electronic voting books, and other new changes to the way we will be voting in NYS.
LWV of Huntington held their first Meet the Candidates Night on April 11th at the South Huntington Public Library from 7-9 PM. Both NYS Assembly-10th District Candidates Steve Stern and Janet Smitelli participated. A free Action Workshop on voter registration preceded the MTC forum.
Tompkins County League
held their annual Board Meeting on May 6 at the brand new Tompkins Center for History and Culture where the executive board members were inducted.. Mary Berkleman a lifetime member was honored.
Last fall, the Rivertowns League received a phone call from a grandmother who was determined to bring a voter registration form to her grandson's 18 birthday. She said it was the best present she could give him (although it wasn't going to be the only one!). That grandmother inspired us to create these Birthday Bundles (see flyer left) stuffed with voter registration forms, addressed/stamped envelopes, and water bottle/laptop stickers to send to the party for anyone turning 18 (and soon to be 16 and 17). The celebrant can go home with the string backpack. Our goal is that everyone who is eligible at the party will register on the spot.
The sticker was designed by a young graphic designer who worked with a focus group of teens for feedback on a sticker they would actually want to display. We are offering these bundles at cost. Please pass the word to anyone who knows a teen about to become eligible to register.
LWV of North East Westchester wants to boast about it
wonderful Voter Registration committee who just registered some 325 high school students. Great job!
A Social with Elected Officials was held at the Finger Lakes Tasting Room. This event is a way for LWV of Cortland County and community members to interact with county, city, town and village legislators. It has also been a productive means of recruiting new members.
Christine Reichmuth started off LWV of Buffalo/Niagara's Great Decisions 2019 by leading the first discussion on refugees and global migration. "Today no country has open borders. Every state in today's global system has its own laws and policies about who is permitted to cross its borders, and how they will do so. What leads someone to seek the status of a refugee or economic migrant? Who determines whether someone is a refugee or a migrant? How have different countries, including the United States, reacted to migration? How effective are the international laws, policies and organizations that have evolved to assist and protect refugees and migrants?" There is much to ponder over this hot topic.
League of Women Voters of New York State
62 Grand Street, Albany, NY 12207
Tel: 518-465-4162; FAX: 518-465-0812
Facebook: League of Women Voters of NYS