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

Education Lesson Plans for High School Seniors

The League and the NYS Social Studies Supervisory Association (NYS4A) are pleased to announce the publication of 7 lesson plans for teachers of the New York Grade 12 Participation in Government course. The 7 lesson plans are designed to provide teachers and students with information specific to New York State. Lessons can be customized to meet the needs of individual classrooms or student interests and are designed to be inquiry-based and non-partisan.

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.

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