Making Democracy Work


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Annual Dinner Meeting

Announcing the annual dinner meeting!

This year we will have the annual dinner meeting on Monday June 11th at 5:30 PM at the Turf Tavern in Scotia.

Along with the good company and food, we will have our annual business meeting. Members will be voting on the Proposed Leaders of LWV of Schenectady County 2018/2019 and the proposed budget.

Speaker: Barbara Bartoletti, longtime LWVNY Legislative Director, (retired)

Topic: Being Effectively Engaged in 2018

Cost: $30.00

Entree Choices are:

Chicken Florentine,

Roast Top Sirloin of Beef

Vegetable Sauté on Quinoa

E-mail Carol Furman or call her at 518-346-2746 by June 5th to make your reservation. You can pay your 2018-19 dues at the Annual Dinner Meeting, please bring separate checks for the meal and your dues. The League is going to try a new fundraiser this year at the Annual Dinner ....a wine pull. We'll have about 2 dozen bottles of wine; 1 dozen white and 1 dozen red. Most of the bottles will be in the $10 range, but 1 bottle of red and 1 bottle of white wine will have a value of $50. To make things interesting, the bottles will be wrapped, indicating white or red, so you won't know whether you're selecting the $10 bottle or the $50 bottle. Tickets for the wine pull will be $20. Come and take a chance!

We are honored to have Barbara Bartoletti as our speaker. Barbara Bartoletti has been supremely engaged for the League since the 1980s in the role of unpaid volunteer Legislative Director. A role she gave up just last June. She was frequently cited by journalists and appeared many times on TV News shows presenting the League's position on issues of importance. Some of her most vocal messages have been about the Clean Air Act, women's issues, Campaign Finance Reform, Gerrymandering, and Ethics in State government.

You will not want to miss hearing this impressive League member speak about her experiences and hear her advice for the future.

Take Me To Vote Begins Again

Fall elections are coming and there are jobs to do to prepare for Take Me to Vote. The slips for each class in the county need to be counted in packs of 25 and banded. You can do this at home or at my house with a cup of tea. There are 12,000 of them and you can take as many as you wish. The Gazette will have them ready in August and the job needs to be completed by the end of October. If you would like to help, contact Connie Young or 518/393-7061.

New Members

Shelly DeAngelus

Shelly is a Scotia native. She and her husband recently relocated here, following long careers in Southern California. She has degrees in Art History and Psychology and has pursued careers in both disciplines. Shelly, currently works part time with Mail Man Inc. a company that screens celebrity fan mail. Shelly would like to help with voter registration.

Tara Petersen

Tara recently retired from Albany memorial Hospital where she was a Nurse Educator. She was also a Schenectady County Visiting Nurse. Tara has joined the LWV Health Care Committee and the observer Corps. Additional interests include voter services and environmental issues.

Dorothea Potochnik

Dorothea is a retired Schenectady school teacher. She joined the LWV on both the national level and the local level. While she strongly supports the goals of the League, personal issues require her to remain inactive. Dorothea is also a member of AAUW where she belongs to two book groups and a MahJong group. She has volunteered for many years at the Schenectady Library book sales and is a former member of Friends of the library

Riding the Bus

A group of 37 teenagers and 10 adults Marched For Our Lives in Washington, D.C. on March 24th thanks to Schenectady League member Connie Young.

Connie wanted as many young people as possible to participate in the rally to end gun violence so she solicited donations from the 1st Reformed Church, the Unitarian Universalist Society, the Schenectady Foundation and other concerned individuals to cover the cost of chartering a bus and the purchase of Metro cards.

Chris Ognibene, Social Studies teacher at Schenectady High School, helped spread the word to interested students. The Gazette, the Times Union, Channel 6 and Channel 10 interviewed League members and the teenagers.

I was on the bus to D.C. and was impressed by the enthusiasm and maturity of not only our young people but also that of the hundreds of thousands of other young people at the rally. It was an experience that we'll all remember.

Cheryl Nechamen

What's so bad about "the question"?

Every ten years, the United States conducts a census of everyone living within its borders. The last census was conducted in 2010, and the next will be in 2020. The accuracy of that head count has a great effect on all our lives, although we probably don't give it much thought during the years between.

Census data is the basis for drawing district lines to ensure fair political representation. It is used to allocate resources for education needs, hospitals, veterans' assistance, public safety, disaster response, and business planning.

The Department of Commerce has surprised us all with a recent decision to add a new and unnecessary question to the census form, asking about the citizenship of the person completing the form. In response, the League of Women Voters has joined with business leaders, elected officials of all parties, grassroots leaders, and civic activists, to tell Congress to remove the citizenship question from the census for the following reasons:

  • The U.S. Constitution says the census counts all persons -- not all citizens.
  • This is viewed as a political move designed to frighten immigrants into not participating.
  • Getting an accurate count in the 2020 census is critical to all American communities.
  • The citizenship question is invasive and raises concerns about the confidentiality of personal information.
  • It will cause participation in the census to plummet.
  • Businesses will have inaccurate data when making economic decisions.
  • The cost of adding this question, this late in the process, is significant to taxpayers. The stakes are too high to allow this unnecessary question to derail the count. We get only one chance every ten years to get this right. The League of Women Voters vows to work with everyone who cares about the accuracy of the census to remove the question on citizenship.

Reprint from the LWV Buffalo Niagara Voter written by Janey Goodsell

"Democracy Is Not A Spectator Sport"

You've heard that before. Especially if you find fault with what is happening in government be it local, state or federal. Not everybody has to hold office---or even run for office to be a participant. There are plenty of ways to be active and to get involved.
  • If you admire a candidate for office---actively support them. You can carry their petitions, campaign for them---go "door to door" with them---write endorsement letters to the Editor---financially support their campaigns.
  • Become involved in the community---volunteer for a commission or board in which you have an interest, especially if you have expertise or special knowledge that would benefit the work of that body.
  • Publicly support (or speak out against) issues that concern you and find allies to work with to see these issues resolved.
  • The League of Women Voters offers you many opportunities to participate in the business of democracy. Join us in registering voters, volunteer to help us conduct a candidate forum, collect returns at a polling place on election night.

The main thing is tp look for ways to be involved and then to get involved. Be a game player, not a spectator!

The League Speaks with One Voice

"League members must keep in mind that THE LEAGUE SPEAKS WITH ONE VOICE.

It is the prerogative of a member to take no action or to take contrary action as an individual. Thus, as individuals, we all have the right to contact our public officials about matters of concern. What we learn from League sources can always be used to inform a person's individual action. "