Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy

October 2022

President's Message

Judie Gorenstein, [email protected]

 Voter services are the foundation of the League. Registering women to vote was the reason we were formed.  Although we do so much more today, voter services remain at the core, what we are known for and that which we hold the gold standard. Election Day, is only two weeks away and there is only a few days before early voting begins in NY. I know that league members throughout the state have worked to register voters, educate voters, and then to get out the vote.  I know we have all been doing our best.  I know you all will be voting but, in these final days, I urge you to continue to do what you can to get others to vote.  

Thank you all for all you do and for being a member of the LWV. Together we will work on protecting our democracy!

Lawn Signs

Want a sign to post in your lawn to encourage people to vote! We have them at $5 each plus tax and shipping. Email [email protected] and tell her how many and where to ship them. We can invoice you or your League later. Do it now! 

Take Action on the NYS Environmental Bond Act!

On October 11th, the state League in coordination with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. hosted a presentation and panel on The Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act with speakers from the Nature Conservancy, WeAct, and the Northeast Region of the International Union of Operating Engineers. In total, we had over 200 people attend the event to learn more about this historic environmental act. The League of Women Voters of NYS supports The Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act and encourages voters to vote yes on Proposition #1. The recording of the webinar and the Powerpoint used in the presentation are posted on the Voting page of the state website: 

Below are a few important campaign updates:


Here is the link for two toolkits and another folder with easy to use materials:

Toolkit 1:

Toolkit 2:


Videos, Social Media, and News Coverage

Share and post information from the bond act social media platforms:

You can view & share the video spots “C- grade” and "100 years” on YouTube.

Please reach out to Erica at [email protected] if you or your League has spent substantial funds to advertise this campaign (ex. printing). 

Feel free to circulate the above information to members of your League and please let me know if you have any questions! 

Voter Services

Nancy Rosenthal, VP for Voter Services, [email protected]

Tuesday November 8th is almost here; we are running the last mile of the GOTV marathon! We are not done yet!  Hydrate and nourish yourself; our efforts these last days are critical!  Encourage all to vote!

Early Voting: Oct. 29 to Nov. 6 

Election Day: Nov. 8

To find your early voting poll site and election day poll site,

go to


Vote 411 went live October 1st.  Urge friends, family, neighbors and co-workers to visit the website at to find out what's on their ballot and learn about the candidates. Click here for the one page flyer that you can print out and hang in your neighborhood centers, grocery stores, etc. 

Issues and Advocacy

Sally Robinson, VP for Issues and Advocacy, [email protected]

Erica Smitka, Deputy Director, [email protected]

Election Protection Education

As we near the mid-term elections, an increasing number of conversations have focused on election security and ensuring that NYS is holding fair and reliable elections. This week, the state League has launched an education campaign in which we provide local Leagues and members with materials that detail how NYS runs secure, reliable, and fair elections. These materials can be used as talking points  with other voters and we encourage you to help educate your neighbors on the secure election system.

Click here for a one page Election Security flyer  

Click here for Election Processing in NYS flyer

NYS Supreme Court Decision on Absentee Ballots

As some of you may have read, on Friday October 21 a New York state trial judge issued a ruling in Amedure v. New York a lawsuit challenging aspects of absentee voting laws in New York. The ruling does NOT in any manner impact the ability of a voter to obtain or cast an absentee ballot. The only impact is on one aspect of the absentee ballot counting and challenges law and the decision is being appealed. You can read the full decision here:

PowHer Summit

The state League along with a number of local league members and organizations from across the state took part in the PowHer Summit on October 13th. After the Summit, the state League hosted a PowHer Talk in which we focused on the role of the League in ensuring women’s equity in NYS. One of the ways in which we will do this is with a focus on the second passage of the New York State Equal Rights Amendment in this legislative session.  

Automatic Voter Registration and Online Voter Registration

The state League has been meeting with the State Board of Elections along with the Brennan Center, Citizens Union, Common Cause, NALEO, Brooklyn Voters Alliance and other good government groups to discuss the planned implementation of automatic voter registration and online voter registration in New York State. We have been meeting with the state Board to discuss the timeline for implementation, how to test the system, and to ensuring the board has feedback from our organizations as it relates to the needs of voters. 

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) 

Regina Tillman, 3rd Vice President for DEI, [email protected], and Crystal Joseph, DEI Task Force Co-Chair, [email protected]

It has been a good several weeks for the planning and conveying of information on DEI that could affect the culture, and thus, the policies and practices within the Leagues of NYS. So much to do at this time of year that some of you may have missed or were not in a particular audience so here are the highlights, past and future.

• Dear White Women, Please Come Home – Book Discussion and DEI Workshop conducted

Tuesday, October 18th on ZOOM. With a new techie toy Mentimeter, we were able to graphically observe that we were bi-coastal for this workshop and that we had league representatives from over 13 locations in NYS.

This workshop was heralded as perhaps the best DEI workshop held to date! This was thanks to the two featured presenters, book author Kimberlee Yolanda Williams who partnered with our friend from the DEI workshops of 2021, NYT best-selling author, Debby Irving. The DEI Task Force and I still need to absorb the wealth of comments from both an exit survey and a healthy chat discussion. However, to indicate the direction they went, let me say that 97.2% of survey respondents would recommend, or highly recommend, these two presenters to other Leagues! And congratulations to the 10 attendees who had entered their comments and will be randomly selected to receive a free copy of Kimberlee’s book within the next several weeks! 

Due to hearing that many registrants were not able to attend as they had planned and made inquiries about a recording of the program (no recording was made), here are some ways to access the teachings that we all walked away with on October 18th.

Watch Video of a news interview of Kimberlee (6min):

Watch Video of Kimberlee and Debby in Conversation (1hr 27min):

Purchase the books, Dear White Woman and Waking Up White from bookstores, or as below:

Bulk Books Order Page Dear White Woman

Signed Single Book Order Page Dear White Woman

Bulk Books Order Page Waking Up White

• A virtual DEI Drop-In Session, via ZOOM, is planned for Thursday, November 3rd at 7:30pm as a casual conversation of what we have processed since the workshop and want to share with others. All attendees will receive an email invitation and ZOOM link. Others wishing to consider attending, please look for an upcoming email blast from the State League to all members prior to November 3rd from with the ZOOM link therein. (FYI: Pre-registration is not required for our virtual Drop-Ins and neither are they recorded.)

• President’s Zoom Meeting of October 19th: which picked up on a conversation begun at the 

LWVNYS BOD Meeting of October 7th on the importance of Nominating Committees. It provided me with the opportunity to speak about the role that Nomination Committees play in diversifying Board memberships. Clearly this is a multi-step process and begins with committee members defining skill-gaps (with the help of the current BOD) and, afterward, applying a DEI lens in recruitment. A page of suggested readings was prepared (contact me for an emailed copy) but this article is on the top of the list: 6 Steps to Increase Board Diversity at Your Nonprofit, by Tatiana Morand, in Organizational Management, March 26, 2021. If you are a member who has been designated to work on Nominations for your local League, please read. 

• 21 Day Racial Equity Indigenous Challenge: beginning on Sunday, November 6th. Join us as we, 

as a League, prepare to better consider the impacts of colonial settlers upon the Indigenous population of the Americas. We put aside romanticizing the creation of Thanksgiving and prepare to recognize Native American Heritage Day on Friday, November 25th (designated by Congress in 2009). This challenge was curated by Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr., our friend and teacher Debby Irving, Marguerite Penick-Parks, and Claudia A. Fox Tree (Arawak), Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness (MCNAA) board member. 

“The process of reclaiming Indigenous history is a work in progress and therefore not always complete or aligned. Not to worry. Take in what you can in the spirit it is offered – from perspectives and experiences as diverse as the millions of descendants from the 574 nations on whose land we in the US now stand.”

Sign up anytime between now and November 6th and join your fellow Leaguers in the enrichment of our knowledge and understanding of the heritage of the Indigenous people of this land we now call the United States of America. Contact me at [email protected] for more information.

• Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Organizational Assessment: to be issued shortly to all local 

Leagues of LWVNYS. Two years ago, this assessment was applied to selected local Leagues. However, this year, we hope to ascertain the growth in awareness, knowledge, skill, and abilities related to DEI implementation throughout the entire State. We will ask for its completion by local BOD’s using a method that ensures input to reflect your league, not just of one or two individuals. Please look for more information soon on this important assessment tool to be issued to the field by the end of the month of November. If any questions arise on this matter, or any of the aforementioned items, please feel free to contact me at [email protected].

LWV and the United Nations

Jane Colvin (LWVNYS Board Member), [email protected]

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere. The 17 Goals were adopted by all UN Member States in 2015, as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which set out a 15-year plan to achieve the Goals. Today, progress is being made in many places, but, overall, action to meet the Goals is not yet advancing at the speed or scale required. 2020 needs to usher in a decade of ambitious action to deliver the Goals by 2030.

While the 17 SDGs are closely integrated - action in one area will affect outcomes in others – the one that has received the most widespread attention – deservedly so - is #13 Climate Action. SDG 13 aims to “take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact,” recognizing it as “one of the greatest challenges of our time.”

Climate change is affecting everything and everybody on Earth. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives. Weather patterns are changing, global temperatures are increasing, sea levels are rising, and weather events are becoming more extreme. All life on Earth – from ecosystems to human civilization – is vulnerable to a changing climate. 

To stave off the worst consequences of climate change, the UN is calling for immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep them from increasing which means reducing civilization’s carbon foot prints. Our National and State Leagues have been at the forefront with positions, advocacy, and legislative priorities in support of climate change solutions. We as individuals can do a lot, too.

Our lifestyles have a profound impact on our planet and our choices matter. Around two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions are linked to private households. From the electricity we use, to the food we eat, the way we travel, and the things we buy, individuals can make a difference.

Culled from the many UN and Green organization online resources, click here to view 6 ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

Local League News

Rochester Metro

The Rochester Metro League’s 2022 GOTV includes getting local fire stations involved! Thanks to Annette Hunt of the Voting Rights Task Force, the League has two messages displayed on the message board outside of a local firehouse. The signs were Annette’s idea and she followed through with making it happen. 

Through October 14th, the board displayed the messages “Don’t forget to register to vote by 10/14. Your voice can shape the future,” and “Text VOTENY to 474747 for voting information.” From October 29th to November 6th, the boards will cycle through the messages “Go to Elect candidates who represent your beliefs,” and “Your vote can be cast at ANY Early Voting Location.” 

North Country League / St. Lawrence County 

North Country League member Donna Seymour hosts North Country Matters, a local public affairs video magazine. She and president of the St. Lawrence County League Kathleen Stein hosted two episodes focused on voter education for the 2022 election. The first episode, “Your 2022 Ballot,” focused on the candidates, the changes voters will find in some election districts, as well as where to get more information. The second episode, “How to Judge a Candidate,” had Donna and Kathleen discuss some of the tips and tools voters can use to judge a candidate in preparation for the election.

Saratoga County 

The Saratoga County League recently hosted “Ensuring Fair, Accessible, and Accurate Elections,” a virtual presentation on election integrity. The presentation was led by Dr. Christopher Mann, a scholar and professor of political science at Skidmore College and a member of the Advisory Board at the MIT Election Data and Science Lab. Pulling from his three-decade career voting rights, election administration, and voter participation, Dr. Mann discussed the policies and procedures that are essential to ensuring that every vote counts, as well as what voters have a right to expect when they go to a polling place to ensure a neutral, harassment-free environment.

Rensselaer County / Albany County 

The Rensselaer County and Albany County Leagues have partnered with the Capital District Urban League to buy ad space on busses in the Capitol Region! The bus ads promote and display voting dates for the November election. The ads will appear on the backs of buses that drive on 18-20 routes in the Capitol Region. 

Westchester County

The Westchester League held an event focused on disinformation and toxic speech on social media. “Lies and Liberty: The Future of Free Speech in a Divided America” was hosted by David McCraw, SVP and Deputy General Counsel of The New York Times and author of Truth in Our Times and Andrew Katell, a journalist for the Associated Press. The speakers discussed the daunting challenge that America faces of creating a digital information ecosystem that is vibrant and healthy while honoring and protecting the tradition of press freedom that has been central to the American experience. 


The New York City League is keeping busy this election season. Leading up to this November's midterm elections the League has received a large number of requests for help registering voters and getting out the vote. The Voter Services Committee scheduled over 50 voter registration events! The New York City League has formed a working partnership with the NY Public Library to provide get out the vote events at 35 library branches around the Bronx and Manhattan, and is also working with organizations such as the YMCA, CIAD, and other library branches 


League of Women Voters of New York State
62 Grand Street
Albany, NY 12207
Tel: 518-465-4162 FAX: 518-465--0812
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