Making Democracy Work

Action and Advocacy

We are truly a grassroots organization...

Update on Schenectady Civilian Police Review Board

The Civilian Police Review Board (CPRB) members have finished organizing the structure of the meetings. Members of the Board have received the necessary training which includes a number of classroom training sessions, riding with a police officer on his/her routes, and an evening of witnessing the training of police dogs.

The Board has nine members, representing the LWV, Human Rights Commission, NAACP, Schenectady Municipal Housing Authority, Schenectady United Neighborhoods, Capital Region Chamber, Schenectady Inner City Ministry, City Council and the general public, of which five of these members are needed to make a 'quorum'. Also present at the meetings are Lt. Edward Barbagelata, Office of Professional Standards (who prepares the cases which are distributed to the Board members), and Ryan Bailey, Corporation Counsel.

The Civilian Police Review Board pamphlet and by-laws have been updated. Minutes of each meeting are available at the following meeting; meetings are open to the public which take place at Schenectady City Hall, Room 209,on the second Wednesday of the month at 6:00 PM.

The members review the cases a week in advance (copies picked up at the Schenectady Police Department). Four or five cases are reviewed at each meeting. Complaints can include police allegedly being discourteous, wrongful arrests, mistreatment or excessive force.

Overall, the Board has become well-organized under the leadership of Richard Homenick, chairperson, with minute-taking by Rose Harrell. All members take seriously their responsibility in performing the duties that are required in making the Board meaningful and successful.

Flora Ramonowski, LWV representative

League Supports Women's Equality Act

The League of Women Voters of Schenectady joined thirty other local Leagues and the State League in signing on to support Governor Cuomo's plan to advance a 10 point Women's Equality Act that will remove barriers that allow discrimination and inequality based on gender.

We joined with 280 organizations to support this agenda. The agenda includes the following points:

  • Protect a Woman's Freedom of Choice by Enacting the Reproductive Health Act
  • Achieve Pay Equity
  • Stop Sexual Harassment in All Workplaces
  • Allow for the Recovery of Attorneys' Fees in Employment and Credit and Lending Cases
  • Strengthen Human Trafficking Laws
  • End Family Status Discrimination
  • Stop Source-of-Income Discrimination
  • Stop Housing Discrimination for Victims of Domestic Violence
  • Stop Pregnancy Discrimination Once and For All
  • Protect Victims of Domestic Violence by Strengthening Order-of-Protection Laws

This topic will be part of the Legislative agenda during our visits to lobby with our elected Senators and Assemblymen in the coming months. If you are interested in joining several of us in making visits with these officials to present the legislative priorities for the year, please give me a call (Carol Furman 346-2746). A visit with our elected officials is very interesting and there is much support in materials and direction from the state League.

You may also find it informative to follow the Capital Beat Blog written by Barbara Bartoletti, our Legislative Specialist who volunteers her time to advocate for the League on almost a full time basis! You can check out her Blog at One important item on the blog is a report on the second vote in the Senate on a constitutional amendment on redistricting, which the League supports. Forty three Senators voted for the amendment, twenty opposed it.

Carol Furman, Lead

Local Action For Promoting Democracy

The League of Women Voters takes action on an issue or advocates for a cause when there is an existing League position that supports the issue or speaks to the cause.

Positions result from a process of study. Any given study, whether it be National, State, or Local, is thorough in its pursuit of facts and details. As the study progresses, a continuing discussion of pros and cons of each situation occurs. Prior to the results of the study being presented to the general membership, study committee members fashion consensus questions that are then addressed by the membership.

Additional discussion, pro and con, takes place as members (not part of the study committee) learn the scope of the study. After the members reach consensus, the board forms positions based on that consensus.

It is the consensus statement -- the statement resulting from the consensus questions -- that becomes a position. Firm action or advocacy can then be taken on the particular issue addressed by the position. Without a position, action/advocacy cannot be taken.

Below are the topics under study by Schenectady County Committees.

Join a Local Action Committee!!!

Observer Corps: Cindy Weissend , Chair.

Voter Service: Kay Ackerman, Chair; Connie Young and Sally Knutson for voter registration. For more information, visit, Elections and Voter Information

Health Care: Carol Furman, Chair. For more information, please visit, Health Care Action