Making Democracy Work


Announcements and Breaking News

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

Call Carol Furman at 518-346-2746 or 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. We will also have a wine pull; the cost per ticket will be $20.00 with wine values of at least $10.00 and one bottle with a value of $50.00; of course you won't know the value of the bottle you selected until you unwrap it! Both red and white wine will be available.

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.

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

Civilian Police Review Board

Dick Shave, Schenectady League representative to the Civilian Police Review Board (CPRB) announced that the brochure for the Board has now been distributed in Schenectady. Dick reports that he has gained a new respect for those people who train the police officers as well as for the Internal Affairs Office that investigates police infractions. There is interest in the Community about the CPRB which will, going forward, provide opportunities for more discussion and education. Dick looks forward to discussing these matters with anyone who has an interest.

"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. "


Carrie Chapman Catt

While we all know that Carrie Chapman Catt fought tirelessly for women's suffrage both here and abroad and that she founded the League of Women Voters, here are some facts about this remarkable woman of which we may not be aware:
  • Originally interested in practicing medicine, Catt received a Bachelor of Science degree in general science in 1880. She was the only woman in her class.
  • When her husband died in 1885, Catt made a living by becoming San Francisco's first female newspaper reporter.
  • By 1900, Catt succeeded the 80-year-old activist Susan B. Anthony as president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), the organizational predecessor to the League.
  • Catt returned to NAWSA as president in 1915. Catt's relentless campaigning is credited with helping win President Woodrow Wilson's respect and support -- which ultimately led to the passage of the 19th Amendment.
  • Catt was close friends with Eleanor Roosevelt, a fellow League leader and women's rights pioneer.
  • She supported efforts for both the League of Nations and the United Nations, the latter of which the League of Women Voters helped establish. Carrie Catt described the League as a "mighty experiment". Nearly 95 years later the League is still a mighty experiment in making democracy work through citizen education and engagement.
    Excerpted from LWVUS