Issues

Local League News

The highlight of the LWV of Buffalo/Niagara’s Education Committee’s year was the May 23, 2018, forum Perspectives on What Works in Public Education, an informative panel featuring the following national and local educators: Sherry Cleary, executive director, New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute;David Mauricio, chief of Strategic Alignment & Innovation, Buffalo Public Schools; John Cotter Starkey, principal of School #207, the International High School; and Wendy Paterson, dean of the School of Education at Buffalo State College. The panel was followed by a spirited discussion with audience members.

Please join the LWV of Westhcester and LWV of Larchmont/Mamaroneck for a forum addressing Food Waste & Food Insecurity in Westchester County on Sat., September 8th, 10 a.m. at the White Plains Library Auditorium. The highly praised documentary film WASTED! produced by the late chef Anthony Bourdain will be shown. A discussion with Leslie Gordon, Executive Director for Feeding Westchester, and Beth Radow, Chairwoman of the NYS League of Women Voters’ for Committee on Energy, Agriculture and the Environment, will follow.

At the annual meeting of the LWV of the Hamptons, featured speaker Kristen Medeiros-Slevin, here (left) holding her campaign sign “For the People, By the People,” recounted her eye-opening experiences running a grassroots campaign for Smithtown Town Supervisor in the fall of 2017, with no party affiliation and no fundraising. She garnered 8% of the vote.

The Nassau County ILO (Inter-League Organization) will have an intern over the summer, who will be doing research regarding the use of disposable plastic bags. Her research will help us to take a position, on the county level, on this issue. She will also be an observer for the League at meetings of the Nassau County Legislature.

During the annual meeting of the LWV of Rochester, two community leaders were recognized for their ongoing commitment to important causes. Sister Grace Miller of the Religious Sisters of Mercy, and head of House of Mercy, received the “Making Democracy Work” Award for her years-long advocacy for poor and homeless people. In her remarks Sister Grace suggested that members advocate for the poor and conduct voter registration drives for them. Receiving the Carrie Chapman Catt Award, the highest honor for a LWV-RMA member, was Barbara Grosh, who has served the LWV-RMA in many ways since she became involved. Barbara challenged members to encourage the under-represented to vote.

LWV of Tompkins County had a great response to its program on gun control. Fifty five people came to hear a panel which presented the history of gun legislation, gun violence, impact of gun violence on families, and gun suicides.

The League of Women Voters of New Rochelle presented two new interviews on its cable television program, City People and Issues. Phillis Maucieri, Executive Director of the New Rochelle Office of the Aging, talked to host Tamar Tait about the many programs available in the city for senior citizens to help them and enrich their lives. Amy Bass, New Rochelle author and College of New Rochelle history professor discussed her new book, One Goal: A Coach, A Team, and the Game That Brought a Divided Town Together,with host Ina Aronow. Dr. Bass showed the challenges and benefits that occur in a once prosperous New England town revitalized by Somali immigrants who bring their values and their passion for soccer to the high school team and the community.

A Candidate Forum for the Democratic Primary Election for CD 2 was held on June 11, at the Massapequa Public Library at Bar Harbour, which co-sponsored the forum. The event was organized by the LWV of East Nassau and Paula Blum moderated (right).

LWV of Brookhaven members Dee Henson and Joan Keily visited twelve senior classes at Miller Place High School to talk about voting and registering, and brought 121 registrations to the Board of Elections. They also talked to the students about organ donations, a need that the NYS League is helping with because of the low number in our state. Legislation recently made it legal for 16 and 17 year olds to sign up to donate their organs.

How to Talk. How to Listen: Fractured Conversations in a Polarized Society was the topic in a May meeting of the LWV Albany County and the Women’s Press Club of NYS. The panel discussion included Casey Seiler, Senior editor for news and columnist at the Time Union; Susan Arbetter, Moderator and Host of syndicated public radio program, “The Capitol Pressroom;” Scott Fein, Chair of the Government Law Center at Albany Law and senior partner at Whiteman Osterman & Hanna; Linda McKenney. Former vice-president of education & training for SEFCU; and Lara Whelan. Dean of the School of Liberal Arts at Siena College. The panelists discussed ways we can restore civility in our everyday interactions and dialogues. This included finding and forging common grounds, extending tolerance and respect for one another, and focusing on how we “listen” as well as talk.

Congratulations to LWV of Utica/Rome’s Voter Services Chair, Karen McBride Karen, who was one of 6 local women to receive the 2018 Women of the Year Award, presented by the Mohawk Valley Chapter of New York State Women, Inc.

LWV of Utica Rome also held a panel discussion on voter registration at which the following community members provided insight, tips and inspiration for helping improve the number of local citizens who are registered to vote: Ted Tottey, Committee for Voter Registration Expansion (CVRE); Sonia Martinez, Mohawk Valley Latino Association; Venice Ervin, President of local chapter of NAACP; Dietra Harvey, Administrator of United Way’s Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative (ESPRI); Diane Berry, CVRE and League of Women Voters, Utica/Rome.

At the annual meeting of the LWV of Syracuse, Michele Jones Galvin, a great- great- great grandniece of Harriet Tubman and a League member was the speaker. When Michele was in the fourth grade she was given a history assignment to write a report on a historical figure that was greatly admired. Her mother Joyce Stokes Jones suggested she write about “Aunt Harriet.” Unfortunately at that time there was little information on this famed abolitionist who helped so many people escape slavery. Michele’s mother soon changed that by beginning years of research on Aunt Harriet. Her research not only centered on central New York but it also took her to other places
including several towns in Maryland and St. Catherines, Ontario. In 2013, after years of research, Joyce and Michele co-authored and published “Beyond the Underground, Aunt Harriet, Moses of Her People.” The book is a tribute to a great woman.

LWV Steuben sponsors monthly issues forums to spotlight issues that might not otherwise come to the attention of local citizens. The goal of the series, titled Finding Voice, is to offer people a way to have a say in a safe and courteous environment. Each Finding Voice program includes a feature presentation and an open mic session. During the open mic session attendees are encouraged to speak up and say what is on their minds about any issue.

Members of the LWV of Saratoga marched in the Flag Day Parade celebrating women’s suffrage centennial.

LWV of Schenectady offers an educational program for people preparing to the take the US Citizenship exam. There are eight twohour class sessions held on Tuesdays to help prepare for the US Citizenship Interview and Exam. All books and materials are provided at no cost. One-on-one tutoring is also available.

Click the link to view a video of the LWV of Scarsdale’s congressional candidates forum, held on June 24th, featuring the Democratic Primary Candidates for New York State’s 16th Congressional District. LWV of Scarsdale co-sponsored the forum with the Leagues of New Rochelle, Larchmont/Mamaroneck, and Rivertowns.

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