League of Women Voters of NYS


October 2017

From the Executive Director
Election Day is almost here! I want to thank all of our members and local Leagues for the amazing work you've been doing during this election season. Voters are asking for more information, and you all are stepping up to provide nonpartisan, educational materials. We have had a numerous calls and emails in the office thanking you and us for our activities and brochures.

Keep up the great work - we're almost there! We are continuing in the League's original mission of ensuring an "educated electorate."

Don't forget to join us at any of our many events celebrating the women's suffrage centennial and our annual day at the United Nations. There is more information and links to register for these events and celebrations in articles below. Hope to see you all soon!
Laura Ladd Bierman,  Executive Director
League of Women Voters of NYS
Laura@lwvny.org; Tel: 518-465-4162
Facebook: League of Women Voters of NYS
Twitter: @LWVNYS
Vote 411
Travel with the League
Click here  for trips and itineraries.
From the State President
The first of THREE centennial years is heading fast into its peak month because it was on November 6, 1917 that suffragists officially triumphed here in NY.
      We certainly hope you know about Saturday, November 4 when an exhibit, "Votes for Women: Celebrating New York's Suffrage Centennial," will open at our State Museum in Albany and continue to May 13. Our own suffrage treasure - the Susan B. Anthony gavel that you see at every LWV state convention - is just one of the items you'll see. Go to the state museum site at http://www.nysm.nysed.gov/exhibitions/votes-for-women to see more.
     Opening day will include an all-day conference right there in the same building organized by the NY Cultural Heritage Tourism Network which has held preparatory conferences in the Seneca Falls area in 2015 and 2016. They've all been organized by Lynn "Spike" Herzig whom some of you met when he led our pre-convention tour in Seneca Falls. He is a true champion of women's rights and, to his delight, we made him a member of the Geneva LWV.

      Visit Spike's NY Cultural Heritage Tourism Network at http://nychtn.com and scroll down a bit to get all the information about the day's schedule and speakers and to register. Two of the workshops are organized by the League and there is so much more. The emphasis this year is on bringing about full equality for women in our second century of exercising our right to vote. We are grateful to the academics, politicians and activists who are participating, including the Women's Suffrage Commission headed by Lt Gov Kathy Hochul and the NY State Archives.
      And last but hardly least, the day will be topped off with a state League reception from 5 - 8 pm featuring Coline Jenkins, the great-great granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Go to lwvny.org to buy your ticket now. We've been waiting a long time for this so it's "HUGE!" and we want you there.
      On November 6 (Monday, day before election day) in New York City there are two celebrations of the anniversary of the first election in which all NY women could vote.  Unfortunately they are at the same time, from 6 - 8 pm.  One is being hosted by Governor Cuomo and Lt Governor Hochul on the 48th floor at SAP-Gen, 10 Hudson Yards. It's free and open to all but they ask you to RSVP by October 30 at suffrage@exec.ny.gov. The view, refreshments, and celebratory spirit should be outstanding!
   The other Manhattan event at that time, also free and open to all (but no reservation required), is at BMCC's Tribeca Performing Arts Center at 155 Chambers St., and will include speeches, poetry and other writings, drama, music, multi-media installations and live site-specific performances, a women's suffrage sing-along, and an open mic - and of course food.  
   Feeling too far away to enjoy these festivities? Don't despair. On Election Day November 7, Lt Gov Hochul will be traveling from her own polling place and Mary Burnett Talbert's grave in Buffalo to Susan B Anthony's grave and home in Rochester to Matilda Joslyn Gage's grave and home in Fayetteville.  LWV leader Terri Parks is helping in Buffalo and LWV leaders Joan Johnson and Erin Leigh Darnley are helping in the Syracuse area.  The Gage Center and its director Sally Wagner, who spoke at our state convention, will host a reception at Matilda's home from 2:30 (or a bit earlier) to 3:30 and I will be introducing the Lt Governor. 
    And why the graves? The Women's Suffrage Commission has supplied all Boards of Elections with I VOTED stickers to wear and/or put on your favorite suffragist's grave. Make sure YOUR BOE is planning to distribute them. If not, shame! but we have extras - just call.
Dare Thompson, President
League of Women Voters of NYS
 darethompson@gmail.comTel: 518-465-4162
Facebook: League of Women Voters of NYS
Twitter: @LWVNYS
Celebrating "Votes for Women" Exhibit at NYS Museum
Votes for Women: 
Celebrating New York's Women's Suffrage History


Nov. 4, 5:00-8:00 pm  

NYS Museum

The LWV of NYS Education Foundation & The NYS Archives Partnership Trust invite you to a special evening reception celebrating the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote in New York State and the opening of the State Museum's  Votes for Women  Exhibit.


Coline Jenkins, great, great granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, will speak about growing up in a family of women activist. In addition to Stanton, her great grandmother Harriot Stanton Blatch, worked as a major organizer of New York State woman suffrage during the Militant Period of 1913-1915.  Her grandmother, Nora Stanton Blatch DeForest Barney, was the first female civil engineer to graduate (1905) from Cornell.  Jenkins' mother was born one month prior to the passage of the 19th Amendment of the US Constitution in 1920. Jenkins grew up in an atmosphere of suffrage and women's right campaigning.


Museum staff will also serve as guides as we have private access to this new exhibit on women's suffrage history.


You can purchase tickets to the reception online here or click here to download, print and mail in the registration form or call the state League office (518-465-4162) to make a reservation. Join us! 

A Suffrage Centennial Conference
Women's Suffrage: A Suffrage Centennial Conference
Nov. 4, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Cultural Education Center,  222 Madison Ave, Albany
Sponsored by 
The Women's Rights and Heritage Committee of the 
New York Cultural Heritage Tourism Network
Come to a   conference to hear speakers and join a discussion about the women's suffrage centennial:
  • History of suffrage movement in NYS and how we can preserve our cultural history
  • Status of women's movement and women's issues in NYS and how you can take action
  • Sharing ideas for successful programs and action
Click here to register online for the conference.   League members can register at member rate.    
Voter Services
Judie Gorenstein, judieL728@aol.com
Great job by all of our local Leagues this fall in registering voters, offering candidate events and organizing Vote411 in your area. We couldn't do it without all of you.

PSAs to Encourage Voting
Thanks to Mary Speed Perry and Deborah Cosher, new members of the LWV of Huntington, 2 PSAs were created to encourage the public to vote on Nov. 7. One PSA is in English and one is in Spanish. Click here for the English version and click here for the Spanish version. Urge your local League to contact your local radio stations and ask them to play these PSAs - it only takes a call to ask!

Constitutional Convention Education
Sally Robinson, robintwins@gmail.com
Our new brochure on the constitutional convention ballot proposal is now available (click here or see link on state website). 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 op-eds.

Feel free to share part or all with your members and the public. The polls still show that a majority of New Yorkers do not even know that this issue is on the ballot in November. Call the office to receive paper copies of the brochure.
League Day at the United Nations, Nov. 16th
League Day at the United Nations
A Briefing on Forced Labor and Human Trafficking
Nov. 16, 3:00 - 5:00 pm
(lunch and tours available, too, starting at 11:30 am)
The Annual League Day at the United Nations (NYC) will be held on Thursday, November 16. We will again offer a delicious lunch in the Delegates' Dining Room, tours of the facility (General Assembly room, Security Council room, etc) and then a briefing. This year we will have a panel of UN experts discuss the issue of Forced Labor and Human Trafficking. The panel will also discuss what individuals can do to help reduce this problem. 
The State League will also be offering a group bus option from Albany to NYC with a stop in Poughkeepsie. 

First Call to National Convention 2018  
The League of Women Voters' 53rd National Convention will be held at the Hilton Chicago in Chicago, IL, from Thursday, June 28 through Sunday, July 1, 2018. We invite our League members to save these dates and plan to join hundreds of passionate and engaged leaders for our biennial national gathering. More information and the full "first call" is available here.
League Supports We the People Democracy Reform Act
The legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate by Senator Udall (D-NM) and Representative Price (D-NC4) and offers a clear path forward for improving our democracy. This legislation will elevate the voices of the American people so we can be heard over the special interests and partisan bickering. This bill will strengthen our elections with automatic and online registration, enabling more voters to participate in our great democracy.
Rally to Support the Dream Act During House Recess
The League supports passage of the Dream Act and Congress has until the end of December to pass this important legislation. Join activists calling on Congress to pass a clean Dream Act at  rallies and district office visits around the country next week while the U.S. House is on recess.
Election Observation Training Resources from LWVUS and the Carter Center  
LWVUS, in conjunction with the Carter Center, created two online courses to support election observation volunteers and to guide election observation programs. The two courses, Volunteer Observer Training and Core Team Election Observation Training, are geared toward different audiences. The former is meant to be used by election observation volunteers, while the latter is meant to be used by more experienced volunteers, leaders, and staff who are setting up election observation programs in their states or localities. These materials were developed after the Carter Center and LWV Ohio executed a pilot election observation training program in 2016, and were reviewed extensively by LWV Wisconsin. Find instructions on how to enroll in the courses to access materials here.

Local League News
All local Leagues have been incredibly busy with voter registration drives and candidate events. Many have also engaged in other activities that are highlighted here! Great job by all on voter service activities.
LWV of New Castle created a board (see left) about their League for the New Castle Historical Society Exhibition "New Castle's Carrie Chapman Catt & The Women's Suffrage Movement."
The Waterfront Committee of LWV of Buffalo/Niagara continues its review of developments at Buffalo's Outer Harbor, as conducted by the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation. They seek permanent protection of critical environmental habitats, as well as strategies to engage the public while respecting the continuing evolution of the natural habitat at the water's edge. To that end, they continue to build relationships with New York State legislators as well as with the ECHDC and the City of Buffalo.
Several league members and friends of the LWV of Syracuse Metro Area attended the annual luncheon on Women's Day at the State Fair. Key note speaker Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul noting the 100th anniversary of women suffrage in New York State, spoke on how we still have a long way to go to gain equality in the political arena as well as the work place. We were also pleased to have LWVNYS President Dare Thompson join us for lunch.
The LWV of Chautauqua reached out to voters who are not comfortable in English by presenting an explanation in Spanish of the upcoming constitutional convention vote. Mary Croxton showed the League's power point on the process and Mary Margaret Fogarty translated it into Spanish. Minda Rae Amiran distributed a Spanish version of our local "pro and con" sheet and helped with the ensuing discussion.
In honor of the immense work as a master gardener  "to make our neighborhood s more beautiful and provide educational programming to our children," the Mayor of Albany proc laimed Oct. 18, 2017, Aimee Allaud Day (see right)! Congratulations Aimee (just retired LWVNYS Election Law Spec ialist and LWV of Albany member , too).
The LWV of Rensselaer County initiated a project this year to provide "I Voted" stickers on election day.  Rensselaer County has never provided these, and thought they might be a good way to increase voter participation in an off-year election.  Of course, after they had been ordered and shipped to the BOE, the State announced their suffragette stickers.  However, the Board of Election has been very happy to have these at no cost to the taxpayers, and the League hopes to make this an annual project. 
The Natural Resources Committee of the LWV of Tompkins County is continuing to discuss the issue of Tompkins County housing needs and how to solve those needs in ways that are good for the environment and promote thoughtful use of land. The Committee is also in the process of compiling a list of interesting books that focus on environmental issues that will be posted on the LWV Tompkins website, giving a short description of each book.
On September 18, the LWV of Rochester Metro Area convened the first of several discussions about the  barriers to voting that exist in New York State with a panel discussion by: Jennifer Wilson, LWVNYS Program and Policy Director;  Thomas F. Ferrarese, Monroe County Board of Elections, Commissioner; and Douglas E. French, Monroe County Board of  Elections, Commissioner. More forums will continue the discussion on this topic during the next couple of months.
LWV of East Nassau, with the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock, will host a post-election supper w ith commentary on the election results by  Joye Brown, noted Newsday columnist.
At the LWV of Schenectady's luncheon, Natalie Schubel, the Public Health Education Coordinator for Schenectady County Public Health Services offered the attendees  definitions for the terms food insecurity and food desert and what these terms mean in the city of Schenectady. She discussed relevant data as they relate to both terms. She also presented the attendees with a sense of the ways that food pantries operate and a general sense of where they are located in the city. She encouraged the attendees to  become involved with the food pantries and offered ways that they could do so.

After seven months of hard work by Arlene Hinkemeyer and the Women's Suffrage Committee of the LWV of the Hamptons, the August 24 re-creation of the August 1913 East Hampton Suffrage Rally was an overwhelming success (see photos below). The VIP's attending and speaking included Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul and Elizabeth Cady Stanton descendant, Coline Jenkins. Also speaking were the E.H. Village Mayor Paul Rickenbach, Jr. and Town Crier, Hugh King.

Committee members of the LWV of Huntington will be contacting local high schools to invite their students to participate in four distinct programs they have offered in the past : i e, Students Inside Albany, Vote 18, Running and Winning and Student Day at the Suffolk County Legislature. Moreover, they will encourage the schools to share any ideas they may have for new programs that the League can develop.

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