Making Democracy Work

Citizenship Mentoring

Citizenship Mentoring is non-partisan and aims to assist eligible permanent residents prepare for US Citizenship. Citizens participate in the democratic process by exercising their right to vote; only citizens can vote in federal, New York State, and local elections. The League of Women Voters believes in promoting the democratic process.

Announcing the next Citizen Mentoring Group session of classes!

The classes will be held every Tuesday for 10 weeks starting April 17 and continuing through June 19 from 5 to 7 PM. We will be assisting eligible permanent residents prepare for US Citizenship. The location will again be at the Phyllis Bornt Library - 948 State Street, Schenectady, NY 12307

The classes are free and open to all, but you do have to register for the classes.

You can register at the Phyllis Bornt Library, registration dates are:

Wednesday, April 11 from 6:00-7:30 pm

Saturday, April 14 from 1:00-3:00 pm

Citizenship Mentoring Group for March

We are delighted to announce that five of our Citizenship Mentoring Group students have passed their Citizenship Interviews, and at least one has already been naturalized.

Not only are we proud of them and their achievement, but we're proud of our volunteer tutors and our teacher Cheryl Nechamen. who helped them along the road to citizenship.

Those volunteers are: Riley Hart, Sally Knutson, Mary Leonard, Johanna Petersen, Joanne Tobiessen, Cindy Weissend, Connie Young.

Congratulations to all!

Ann Hatke, Mentoring Group Chair contacted the Schenectady County Clerk, John J. Woodward, and received permission for our League to set up a small table at the naturalization ceremonies that are held in Schenectady. Although voter registration forms are handed out to all new citizens by the Board of Elections, he felt that our presence would be beneficial because we can provide voting information, help filling out the forms, and speak to family members and friends who may want to register. Ann will be applying for a small grant (2018 New Citizens Voter Registration Grant) to cover the expenses for these events. The dates for the naturalization ceremonies are: March 23, May 18, June 22, July 20, August 24, September 21, October 19, and November 16. The ceremonies are usually held at the Hibernian Hall on State Street.

Providing a simple information sheet with information about applying for citizenship was discussed at the Program Planning Meeting on February 12. Many times, those who want to apply don't have the correct information, and don't know where to look for it. Ann will prepare a "fact sheet" which can be distributed at SICM, libraries, churches, and other appropriate places.

Ann Hatke,
Citizenship Mentoring Group Chair

Citizenship Mentoring

We are so excited to have the opportunity to serve our community by providing citizenship preparation classes. It all started when Martha Butler, Director of the Office for New Americans (ONA) in Albany, recently met with interested league members and talked about the difficulties faced by many legal residents who wish to become U.S. citizens.

In typical league fashion, we felt there was no reason why we, as the Schenectady LWV, couldn't take action, and so the Citizenship Mentoring Group was formed! We organized a core group to study the area of the greatest need, what we can reasonably offer with the limited resources we have, and how to actually provide the service. We do not have any outside sources of income; these classes are solely funded by the Schenectady LWV. Thanks to the Schenectady County Public Library system, we were able to obtain the use of a room at the Bornt Library, 948 State Street. This location is easily accessible for anyone interested in taking advantage of our classes which will focus on helping eligible residents prepare for the naturalization interview and test. We are planning on holding weekly classes for an 8 to 10 week period starting in October. Dates will be announced later.

If you are interested in learning more about citizenship through naturalization, there are ample resources and information on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website:. There is even a sample USCIS Naturalization and Test Video which explains the process.