League of Women Voters of NYS


June 2016  

From the President

How good it was to see forty-one of NY's fine League leaders at the LWVUS Convention in DC a week ago and what a whirlwind it was! We started each day with workshops at 7:15 (!) AM and ended after 10 PM. Time flew by so fast, I didn't have nearly enough conversations with anyone, but I was grateful to get to know several of you better. See a full summary of action at LWVUS Convention at end of this email.
TWO TINY WORDS: A seemingly small but exciting thing that happened is that the delegates changed "citizens" to "persons" and "18" to "16" in our bylaws' membership requirements. Now almost anyone can join if they're at least 16 - e,g. people studying to become citizens and most high school students. So great. Since this change occurs in the part of the bylaws that all local Leagues have to match in their bylaws, we think this change should become automatic for you - no local board or annual meeting action needed. Watch for direction from LWVUS on this. 
I hope most of our delegates met or at least saw Amy Hjerstedt, who has been our national Membership and Leadership Development (MLD) coach and was just elected to the LWVUS board.  Amy made sure that some of us got to meet our new coach, Melissa Currence of the Cincinnati LWV.  Amy and Melissa were the co-chairs of the LWVUS Young People's Task Force and we are really blessed to have another vibrant young person to coach us, now that we have to give up Amy. (Well, we're not giving up Amy entirely - more on that next time.)
            Since even our new LWVUS president, Chris Carson, included learning to use social media better as one of the critical challenges we face, we are so lucky to have a coach whose day job is interactive media manager (and communication in general) at the Greater Cincinnati Community Foundation. We'll be sharing her with all of you.
            And I wish all of you could have heard the speakers. It's hard to pick just two but I was particularly impressed with Jennifer Lawless, a professor of government at American University, who talked about her book "Running from Office" that describes how little interest millennials have in getting involved in politics and why, and Celinda Lake, a very amusing pollster for the Democrats, who talked about "messaging with impact." Celinda included some comments about how the League is perceived by the public that you'll definitely enjoy.
Celinda's convention talk is shown at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCZat7zquj0 but you'll have to settle for a different video of Jennifer - this one with her co-author and fellow researcher at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rl4clJ6CD_k  where she says most if not all of the same things she told us.

And I wish you'd also heard the good talks about the rise of authoritarianism in the U.S., about how to engage citizens from non-white cultures, about the history of voting rights in a spell-binding banquet speech by Ari Berman, and more.

Of course a Convention is never just about being talked to or even about carrying out League business.  What's particularly unforgettable are the stories from all corners of our country from other Leagues who are wrestling with similar problems but perhaps in a new way and the sense you get of the true impact of all of the work that all of us are doing.  Even without the membership numbers we had in the golden days of America's volunteer power, we continue to provide a fundamental service like no one else.

Dare Thompson, President
League of Women Voters of NYS
Facebook: League of Women Voters of NYS
Twitter: @LWVNYS
Travel with the League
Click here  for trips and itineraries.
1919 Society
Seneca Falls Convention Days - July 15-17
The Elections Continue
Vote 411 will be live later this summer for the September primary.  If you have a primary race in your area, encourage the candidates to respond and join Vote 411. Contact Jennifer (jennifer@lwvny.org) for details and info or go to www.vote411.org to get the information. 

  • Register in person by Friday, August 19th
  • Register by mail: Postmarked by Friday, August 19th and received by August 24th
  • Apply for absentee ballot in person by Monday, September 12th
  • Apply for absentee ballot by mail: postmarked by Tuesday, September 6th
  • Deliver ballot in person by Tuesday, September 13th
  • Deliver ballot by mail: postmarked by Monday, September 12th and received by Tuesday, September 17th
  • Register in person by Friday, October 14th
  • Register by mail: Postmarked by Friday, October 14th and received by October 19th
  • Apply for absentee ballot in person by Monday, November 7th
  • Apply for absentee ballot by mail: postmarked by Tuesday, November 1st
  • Deliver ballot in person by Tuesday, November 8th
  • Deliver ballot by mail: postmarked by Monday, November 7th and received by Saturday, November 12th
Judie Gorenstein, Judiel728@aol.com
The local Leagues who had congressional primary races in their communities sponsored candidate events this month. The LWV of the Hamptons sponsored a Meet The Candidates Night for the 1st Congressional District Democratic primary on June 2.  On June 8, the LWV of Oneonta and the LWV of Cooperstown co-sponsored Meet The Candidates Night for both the Republican and the Democratic primaries for the 19th Congressional District. The Republican candidates event began at 7 PM and the Democratic candidates night began at 8:30.  The LWV -Nassau County ILO, The LWV of Huntington, and the LWV Port Washington/Manhasset co-sponsored a Meet The Candidates Night for the 3rd Congressional district on June 15th, where all 5 of the candidates participated.  On June 16, the LWV of Broome and Tioga Counties held their debate for the Republican 22nd congressional district.  Two of the three candidates participated with the third wanting to skype in, but following our policy as stated in road to the Voting Booth part II was told that she could not.  All of the Leagues sponsoring these candidates nights had written policies including videotaping.  All of the nights were extremely successful. There were challenges that the Leagues faced before and during the events, but the Leagues stayed in control and received accolades from the candidates, press, and attendees. 
Although the candidate nights went well in June, we all know that the April Presidential Primary was fraught with problems. Last month Leagues were urged to contact their Board of Elections. Kudoos to the LWV of Cooperstown for arranging a meeting and reporting on it.  They are invited to join our Google group and share their findings.  Also at LWVUS Convention, I learned that members of LWVNYC are attending the open meetings that the NYC Board of Elections are holding.  All the other Leagues are again urged to contact their BOE to discuss issues.  Because of low expected turnout in the next two primaries, we anticipate there will be far less problems, but as League members, we need to continue to be watchful.  Remember as you engage voters to remind them of the closed primary system in NY and if they are changing their party affiliation, it will not take effect for this Sept primary.  Also, if they are re-registering due to change of name or address, they need to once AGAIN enroll in a party.
This summer local Leagues will be arranging and holding voter registration drives.  It is not too early to begin your plans for National Voter Registration Day on September 25.  LWVUS has materials you can use.  This is an important day for you to get visibility so publicize what you will be doing. Also, especially if you are doing drives at colleges or where younger voters are, try to have some young members planning and working at the drives.  At convention this year, the age of membership for members was changed and is now 16.   Of course, when we have younger or in fact any members doing voter registration, it is always important that they adhere to our policy, NEVER endorsing or opposing a candidate or a party.  This year, with the first woman running on a major party ticket, with people asking questions about the LWV's history and origin beginning with enfranchisement of women, it will be SO important to make sure that we are not perceived as supporting or opposing a candidate or a party.
Our mission does not end with voter registration or education.  We need to try to turn out the vote.  LWVUS continues to encourage us to follow up after people register and use their contact information to remind them to vote.  Most of our Leagues are against retrieving information from voter registration forms.  Some may be asking voters if they want follow up and having them sign list with email or phone numbers.  Other Leagues are thinking of giving out postcards which the voter will address and League will email.  Still others are looking to Rock The Vote to do follow up.  What is your League doing?  Share your ideas and then if possible results of your efforts contact me at Judiel728@aol.com and ask to be invited to the google group. Democracy is not a spectator sport!  
LWVNYS Delegates at LWVUS Convention

LWVUS Convention, June 16-19, 2016, Washington, DC
Summary by Colette Knuth, LWV of Huntington 
Change was the overarching message at the 2016 LWVUS Convention.  As the League moves from the theme of The Key Structures of Democracy to the Campaign for Making Democracy Work, the delegates were reminded by the national leadership about the controversy in which the League was founded as it focused between issues of broad social change to woman's suffrage.  Strategies were enacted to lead to greater member diversity, expanding our participation on key issues, and strengthening our effort to "reclaim our democracy and protect the right to vote".

A key change was in LWVUS governance and administrative leadership.  The Year 2016 introduced many new members to the Board of Directors.  (The members of the 2016-2018 LWVUS Board of Directors is listed later in this report).  It also marked the introduction of Wylecia Wiggs Harris as its Chief Executive Officer. 

Advocacy Day
The day before the start of the convention, delegates were invited to visit the Capital to urge their US Congressional Representatives and Senators to support the Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA)(H.R. 2867 / S. 1659). The VRAA was introduced to address the voting discrimination unleashed in the wake of the Shelby County v. Holder decision.  Hundreds of delegates participated and their effort was showcased on Twitter (#LWV2016 #RestoreTheVRA). 
The Convention Begins
Mornings and evenings were devoted to caucuses, workshops, and information breakout sessions.  The topics ranged from how to improve League administration to best practices in advancing League programming.  Sessions were also directed to specific issues such as:
  • Global democracy
  • Immigration policy
  • Electoral redistricting
  • Voter protection and turnout strategies
  • Gun safety
  • Carbon emissions reduction
  • Access to behavioral healthcare
  • Facebook and Vote411 best practices
  • Criminal code standards
  • Transgender voting rights
  • Youth voter registration tactics
  • Building membership diversity 
The delegates were treated to presentations on topics such as voter reform, voter political behavior, and the political process.  Following is a list of the speakers:
  • Engaging Millennials in Our Elections. Jennifer Lawless, Director, Women & Politics Institute, American University
  • Understanding American Authoritarianism. Amanda Taub, Vox News and New York Times
  • Protecting the Right to Vote and Expanding the Electorate. Kristen Clark, President, National Lawyers Committee Arturo Vargas, Executive Director of NALEO Christine Chen, Executive Director of APIAVote
  • Money in Politics. Peter Overby, Correspondent, National Public Radio
  • Our Democracy - Complex Systems and Major Forces at Play in 2016. Joe Goldman, President, Democracy Fund.
  • Understanding and Telling the Story of Impact for Democracy with Data. Keesha Gaskins, Program director, Democratic Practice-United States, Rockefeller Brothers Fund
  • Messaging for Impact - What Resonates with Voters in 2016. Celinda Lake, President, Lake Research Partners.
  • Give Us the Ballot:  The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America. Ari Berman, The Nation.
Youtube of all the addresses at Convention can be viewed here: - These are online for you to review and share with your members.  Use this link and scroll down to the bottom row to find the convention videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/LeagueofWomenVoters
The delegates committed the majority of each day in plenary sessions during which votes were cast on decisions regarding League leadership, administration, and policy positions. The chair of the Credentials Committee reported 784 voting delegates registered. The total number of voting delegates for June 17 was 674. The total number of voting delegates for June 18 was 685. The required number for a quorum was reached on both days.
Following is a summary of the delegation's actions. 
Campaign for Making Democracy Work
Delegates approved Motion # 2016-5, LWVUS Board, and the Campaign for Making Democracy Work, and the League's national program for the 2016-2018 biennium.  In sum, these goals are to:
  • Grow the vote - by registering a quarter of a million voters, informing them about voting procedures, and preparing them to arrive at the polls with everything they need to cast their ballots;
  • Protect the vote - by working with local elections officials, organizing poll watching programs, and continuing to fight voter suppression efforts at the state and local level; and
  • Empower six million voters with information, through our nonpartisan voters' guides and candidate forums and debates, and through our online tools - especially VOTE411.org.
This program also addresses voter turnout, reforming political finance regulations, global democracy, and environmental protections. 
  • The League has piloted a program to get out the vote in Ohio and New York by calling registered voters directly about upcoming elections and encourage voter participation. 
  • The League has been involved with White House, State Department, United Nations, and the Security Council in advancing women's roles in democracy, the rights of women and girls, and global environment sustainability.
  • The Leagues has added its voice to supporting the Environment Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan and participated in People's Climate March in New York City.
The following Concurrence Positions were approved:
1. Concurrence Position on Redistricting (Motion # 2016-2, LWVUS Board)
Support redistricting processes and enforceable standards that promote fair and effective representation at all levels of government with maximum opportunity for public participation
After a lengthy debate regarding the authority of the LWVUS Board to recommend concurrence on this position without local and state input, the delegates approved this motion by Card Vote. Total number of votes cast = 652; Yes = 463; No =186; Illegal = 3

2. Concurrence Position on Behavioral Health (Motion # 2016-3, LWVUS Board)
Concurrence with the LWV Colorado position on Behavioral Health including amending the LWVUS Health Care position to include the following as the second sentence under Basic Level of Quality Care:
Every U.S. resident should have access to affordable, quality in- and out- patient behavioral health care, including needed medications and supportive services that is integrated with, and achieves parity with, physical health care. This motion was approved by a two-thirds vote after a short debate regarding the comparative importance of physical health care vs behavioral health care.

3. Position to retain all current LWVUS Positions in the areas of Representative Government, International Relations, Natural Resources, and Social Policy. (Motion # 2016-6, LWVUS Board)

The following resolutions were approved. Motion to move a resolution responding to gun violence in America. Motion #2016-48, LWV of Florida.  In the wake of our country's worst mass gun violence in our history that killed 49 people in Orlando, Florida, we ask for a moment of silence to remember those who were killed, pray for peace for their families and friends and strength for the community and our country.
  1. Resolution on Gun Safety and Center for Disease Control Research. Motion #2016-47, LWV of Florida.  Proposal from the League of Women Voters of Florida urging LWVUS to support restoration of funding for gun violence research at the CDC. In keeping with the LWVUS strong positions on gun control, recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) showing 33,636 Americans died due to firearms in 2013, and an April 2016 letter from 141 medical organizations urging Congress to restore funding for gun violence research at the CDC, we propose a resolution supporting and advocating such research.
  2. Resolution on Supporting Full Rights for the People of DC. Motion # 2016-46, LWV of District of Columbia Therefore, be it resolved that the League of Women Voters of the United States will make statehood for the people of the District of Columbia a legislative priority.
  3. Resolution Supporting Sign On to Our Children's Trust Federal Amicus Brief. Motion # 2016-52, LWV of California. Twenty-one youth plaintiffs from across the United States and Dr. James Hansen, head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (1981-2013), on behalf of future generations received a favorable decision from U.S. Magistrate Judge Coffin allowing them to pursue a lawsuit against the federal government "for violating their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property, and their right to essential public trust resources, by permitting, encouraging, and otherwise enabling continued exploitation, production, and combustion of fossil fuels,".
  4. Resolution Supporting the ratification of the UN COP 21 Paris Agreement. Motion # 2016-53, LWV of Oregon.  The LWVUS supports aggressive efforts to restore balance to the planet's climate system by reducing the atmospheric CO2 to 350 (ppm), the upper safe limit, and Whereas, the United States signed and now, as one of the largest GHG emitters, should ratify the UN COP 21 Paris Agreement.
  5. Resolution Promoting an update of the White House Climate Plan Published June 2013. Motion # 2016-54, LWV of Oregon. The LWVUS should continue working for full implementation of the EPA Clean Power Plan, especially at the state level, as a first step, and should call on the White House to implement an updated science-based Climate Action Plan that stabilizes global warming by bringing CO2 levels down to no more than 350 ppm by 2100.
The following two proposed resolutions were not recommended by the Resolutions Committee because the Committee determined that each should be proposed during the Program debate.
  • A proposal from the LWV of Tacoma-Pierce County, WA calling on LWV to amend wording of LWV position on Equality of Opportunity Equality of opportunity for education, employment, housing, and access to all governmental benefits and privileges, for all persons in the United States, regardless of their race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or disability.
  • A proposal from the LWV of Tacoma-Pierce County, WA on Climate Change We resolve that the League of Women Voters will sponsor educational events, encourage governmental policy change, and seek to implement real world actions around the nation to limit global warming.
Motion #2016-29 APPROVED as Amended by Motion #2016-35
Effectively changes age of voting members. 

Article III Membership Sec. 2. Types of
A. Voting Members. Citizen [Persons] At Least 18 [16] years of age who join the League shall be voting members of local Leagues, state Leagues and of the LWVUS; (1) [individuals] THOSE who live within an area of a local League may join that League or any other local League; (2) those who reside outside the area of any local League may join a local League or shall be state members-at large; (3) those who have been members of the League for 50 years or more shall be life members excused from the payment of dues.
B. Associate Members. All others who join the League shall be associate members.

The following motions regarding the 2016-18 Biennium Budget were approved.
  • Motion to adopt a PMP rate of $32 for the 2016-2018 Biennium. Motion #2016-12, LWVUS Board
  • Motion to adopt the proposed LWVUS budget for 2016-2018.  Motion # 2016-14, LWVUS Board.  Delegates left the first day plenary session with concerns about the Treasurer's Report.  The report indicated losses in the LWVUS investment portfolio since its last report in 2014. There were also concerns about the revenue projections from donations in the proposed 2016-18 budget.  The proposed budgeted also reflected reductions in expenditures in staffing and program support. Of special note was the LWVUS' decision to end the LWVUS support of the LWVUS of California's website administration services to local, county, and state Leagues. 

Chris Carson, President
Karen Nicholson, Vice President
Toni Zimmer, Secretary
Henrietta Saunders, Treasurer

Maribel Balbin
Amy Hjerstedt
Kim Lauth
Anita Loch Jessica Lowe-Minor
Brenda Rogers
Jessica Rohloff
Deborah Turner

Nominating Committee
Peggy Appler, Chair
Mary Ann Reeves
Susan Smith

Presidential Address (watch it here)
The newly elected President of the LWVUS, Chris Carson's address to the delegates marked the serious commitment of the League to change. After telling of her own rapid ascendency to leadership within the League, President Carson spoke of the challenges in created by the current political environment, new technology, and the changing face of the American electorate. She referred to the earliest days of the League:

There is no doubt that as I stand here before you today, our political situation is appalling. The image is bleak, but it is not new.

To put our political situation and its challenges into perspective, we first look to the past, which is not a surprising comment from a historian. Clearly, we have seen nearly the same spectacle played out several times over the course of the past two and a half centuries.

What comes immediately to mind is the Gilded Age and the national reaction to that situation. And in the midst of the resulting upheaval, Congress passed the Nineteenth Amendment, ratified on August 18, 1920. Six months prior to that ratification, on February 14, 1920, the League of Women Voters was incorporated by Carrie Chapman Catt.

Carrie Catt and her fellow founders succeeded in achieving their goal in large part thanks to their sheer willpower, that is true. But they also won this fight because of their carefully-laid strategy and their single-minded determination to follow it.

With this, President Carson emphasized the need for a clear strategy to meet League goals and the importance of collaboration between League at the local, state, and national levels. In closing, President Carson left the delegates with three questions:
1. How do we adapt to this new climate?
2. How do we reach new members in an age of social media?
3. And how do we engage members new and old with a personal, human touch even if they may be in far distant places?

End of Legislative Session
Jennifer Wilson, Program and Policy Director, jennifer@lwvny.org
We had a great session this year with many of our priority bills being voted on in the Assembly. Unfortunately, none of these bills were taken up in the Senate, but we were happy to see Assembly work together to pass the single payer health bill, the Contraceptive Coverage Act, and a bill on equal pay for companies receiving state contracts. This session also saw the full passage of Paid Family Leave, an issue the League has been fighting to pass for many years. The Assembly took up several of our priority voting bills including early voting, no excuse absentee voting, allowing for electronic boll books, and the Voter Friendly Ballot Act. The League was also once again successful at preventing the Education Tax Credit bill from coming to a vote in the Assembly. This was an extremely important that we lobbied against all session and we anticipate it being proposed again next year.
One of the biggest issues we worked on this session was legislation to close the LLC loophole. We worked directly with the bill sponsors and our good government allies to try and stir some movement on this bill. We held several press conferences throughout the session and issued memos of support each time the bill moved to a new committee. In the final weeks of session the Governor issued his own LLC package that created 8 different laws, each one closing the loophole for a specific office rather than a single bill that would close the loophole for all elected officials. The Governor's package was never seriously considered and the bills still do not have Assembly or Senate sponsors. Ultimately the Assembly did vote to pass the original LLC bill but the Senate never took the opportunity to vote the bill out of committee. This will certainly be an issue we will revisit next session.
Ethics reforms were largely overlooked by the legislature this session. During the last day of session, Governor Cuomo released a 5-point ethics plan that was mainly aimed at curbing independent expenditures. The plan did not include closing the LLC loophole, increasing disclosures of discretionary funding or lowering of contribution limits.  Instead the plan tightens coordination rules for independent expenditures, forces political consultants to register as lobbyists, and implements pension forfeiture.  While we support these efforts, these are not the type of reforms that will change Albany's culture of corruption. Until the legislature passes laws to address the larger issues of campaign finance abuse and improper usage of undesignated budget line items, the legislature will continue to take advantage of our broken system. 

Kate Jankowski, Kate@lwvny.org
2016 Students Inside Albany Conference
The 2016 Students Inside Albany Conference had 58 attendees representing 41 local Leagues, MAL Units and ILO's. The students came from all over New York State from Long Island to Buffalo and Plattsburgh to Binghamton. They ranged from freshmen to seniors in high school. They were energetic and enthusiastic to learn about New York State government.
On Sunday evening, Blair Horner, Executive Director, NY Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), and Barbara Bartoletti, LWVNYS Legislative Director, presented information on how New York State Government works. They explained the roles of the various branches of New York State government and the differences between the state government and the other levels of government, eg, national and local.
On Monday, the students toured the state Capitol and heard about whose faces are on those engraved stones and the secret of the fireplaces in the Senate Chambers.  League Legislative Director, Barbara Bartoletti, then provided them with the do's and don'ts of lobbying the legislators - how to approach them, make your arguments and be persuasive. Senator George Latimer joined the group to allow students to role play in lobbying him. Students were able to approach the Senator and lobby him on an issue of the student's choice. It was wonderful of the Senator to engage with the students in this activity.
In the afternoon, the students were directed to find their Assemblymember's offices and shadow their legislator. All of the students were escorted onto the Assembly floor and introduced on the floor of the Chamber. They viewed the legislators at their desks and the Chamber in session.
After dinner, Peter Galie, leading expert on state constitutional conventions (professor emeritus, Canisius College), spoke about the 2017 ballot proposal on a possible state constitutional convention. He explained what is currently in our constitution and the method for adopting amendments. He also discussed past constitutional conventions and issues that could be debated in a new convention.
On Tuesday, Jasmine Gripper, Education Advocate, from the Alliance for Quality Education, presented information to the students on education issues and the methods they use to advocate for these issues. The topic was of particular interest to the students who asked many questions on financing education, but also the hot topics of Common Core and APPR. Blair Horner, NYPIRG, spoke again to the students about NYPIRG's activities in lobbying, as well as NYPIRG's activities on many college campuses around the state.
On the way to the Capitol that afternoon, the students had a tour of the Chambers of the Court of Appeals and heard about the different levels of the judiciary in New York State from Gary Spencer, Information Officer at the Court of Appeals.
The students shadowed their Senator on Tuesday and again were escorted to the floor to watch the session.
On Wednesday morning, Barbara Bartoletti engaged the students in a discussion of what they saw in the Assembly and Senate. Much of the discussion surrounded questions on procedures and voting in both Chambers and the role of leadership in each Chamber.  The students were also presented individually with a certificate for attendance at the Conference. At least five students noted that they had been offered internships in the legislators' offices for the summer.
Just for fun, the students also went bowling one night at a local bowling alley that provided laser lights, disco lights, black lights, and runway lights combined with the latest music videos on a giant screen. The group also enjoyed a boat cruise on the Hudson River another evening to view the city skyline.

The student representing LWV of NYC, Umamah Masum, created a video about her experience. Watch it here
Quotes from some of the students included:
  • I learned that state government is equally, if not more important, than the federal government.
  • The fast-paced and intellectually challenging atmosphere was so interesting, and the potential to create change is something I want from a career.
  • Even though Albany is flawed, I was inspired by the efforts for positive change made by good government groups and certain legislators.
  • It taught me so many basic things about state government that I should have known, but didn't.
  • It has made me want to become more active in state government and made activism seem much more approachable.
  • It was a great opportunity for those who wish to go into government and for connections and internships.
  • Being surrounded by incredible people that are passionate about fighting for what they believe in was inspiring and invigorating!
Thanks to all of our sponsors: NYSUT, CSEA, Key Bank Foundation and Golub Foundation. 

Several Schenectady LWV members joined Helga Schroeter to attend a "Raise the Age" press conference on Lobby Day, May 11th. It was a very moving event featuring a group of mothers who reported on their individual experiences with their children who had been charged as adults in our current NYS system.

On April 10, LWV of Buffalo spoke to the WNY Muslims organization about voting, voter registration and more. A voter registration event followed followed the event. This group plans to conduct voter registration events for Muslims throughout the area.

The Larchmont-Mamaroneck League of Women Voters sponsored the Women's History Month poster contest at the Hommocks Middle School this spring. Larchmont Mamaroneck President Alice Pernick is seen here with two of the winners.
Albany County LWV held their annual meeting June 1st.  Guest speaker for the program will be Professor Stephen Gottlieb, Albany Law School. Professor Gottlieb is the author of the 2016 book, "Unfit for Democracy: The Roberts Court and the Breakdown of American Politics." He will speak on "The Future of Voting Rights in Light of the Changes on the Supreme Court"
June 2, the Hamptons LWV hosted a Democratic Congressional Primary Debate between candidates Anna Throne-Holst and Dave Calzone. Both are vying to become the Democratic candidate to run against Republican incumbent, Lee Zeldin in November.
Nassau County ILO, Huntington LWV and Port Washington-Manhasset LWV held a Meet the Candidates night June 15th.  Democratic candidates for NY's 3rd Congressional District U.S. representative attended the event.
Kathy Hochul, NYS Lt. Governor, was guest speaker at Chautauqua LWV's annual meeting May 18th.  Ms. Hochul spoke about Ethics in Government.

Honorable John J. LaFalce will shared insights from his experience in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1975 to 2003, during the administrations of six presidents at the annual meeting of LWV of Buffalo/Niagara.

LWV of Schenectady honored member, Mary Pritchard, with a presentation of the 2016 Susan B. Anthony Award  for her outstanding service to the League and the community. 

The Alice Walker Award is an ongoing tribute to Alice Walker presented by the LWV of Cortland to someone who exemplifies Walker's commitment to service with an independent spirit, sense of justice and ability to focus on a need in society. Walker was a member of the league, active in community service and a faculty member of SUNY Cortland. This year, the award committee selected Mary Alice Bellardini as the recipient.

LWV of White Plains elected its first male President, Stephen Cohen. Read his interview in the local press here

Co-Presidents of LWV of the Hamptons Glorian Berk, left, and Judy Samuelson, right, welcomed new Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming, the featured speaker, to the Southampton Cultural Center for the Hamptons League's 39th Annual Meeting.  
The Oneonta LWV and Cooperstown LWV  held a debate featuring 19th Congressional candidates on June 8th.  Republican candidates John Faso and Andrew Heaney faced off at 7pm while Democratic candidates Zephyr Teachout and Will Yandik faced off at 8:30pm. Candidates responded to questions from the audience and local media.
Cortland LWV is collaborating with the Cortland Mayor in planning two September 2016 forums to address the public's questions about health impact and ethics of proposed fluoridation of the City's municipal water supply.

On April 11th, Tompkins County LWV along with Rod Howe , of the History Center, teamed up to develop a program to celebrate the centennial of women's suffrage in New York State. The LWV-TC's History Committee will be a significant contributor to the communitywide celebration and will install a display of documents and photos from the League's collection at The History Center in July 2017. Photo on right is also from a voter registration drive organized by LWV of Tompkins County. 

June Highlights in US Women's History
  • June 1, 1993 - Connie Chung becomes the second woman to co-anchor the evening news, 17 years after Barbara Walters became the first in 1976
  • June 9, 1949 - Georgia Neese Clark confirmed as the first woman treasurer of the United States
  • June 10, 1963 - Equal Pay Act enacted: "To prohibit discrimination on account of sex in the payment of wages by employers engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce." (PL 88-38)
  • June 11, 1913 - Women in Illinois celebrate passage of a state woman suffrage bill allowing women to vote in presidential elections
  • June 15th 2017 Honoree Nominations Deadline
League of Women Voters of New York State
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Facebook: League of Women Voters of NYS
Twitter: @LWVNYS