Making Democracy Work


Announcements and Breaking News

Announcing the Annual Holiday Luncheon

Holiday Luncheon and Speaker Will Rivas of Save Our Streets
December 6. 11:45, Schenectady County Community College
Lunch includes soup and a choice of entrees (honey glazed salmon, BBQ beef brisket or rigatoni with vegetables), fall fruit crumble for dessert and coffee

The Cost of the luncheon is $25 and can be paid at the door or mailed with a check sent to 1269 Ruffner Road, Niskayuna 12309.

Please make reservations by November 29th by e-mail Carol Furman. We are unable to cancel a reservation after November 29th but can add on a small number after that date.

An Evening Celebrating Votes for Women Exhibit

The LWV of NYS Education Foundation & The NYS Archives Partnership Trust invite you to a special evening reception celebrating the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote in New York Sate and the opening of the State Museum's Votes for Women Exhibit
Nov 4, 5:00 - 8:00 pm
NYS Museum
222 Madison Ave, Albany, NY 12230
Join us for a reception celebrating the opening of this exhibit. Colin Jenkins, great, great granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, will speak about growing up in a family of women activist. In addition to Stanton, her great grandmother Harriot Shanton Blatch, worked as a major organizer of New York State woman suffrage during the Militant Period of 1913-1915. Her grandmother, Nora Stanton Blatch DeForest Barney, was the first female civil engineer to graduate (1905) from Cornell. Jenkins' mother was born one month prior to the passage of the 19th Amendment of the US Constitution in 1920. Jenkins grew up in an atmosphere of suffrage and women's right campaigning. Call the state League office at 518-465-4162 to purchase tickets by phone or register at the league website.

The Scoop on Fake News

Rex Smith, Editor of the Times Union, and Judy Patrick, Editor of the Gazette, will help us understand what is going on in the world of news both fake and real.

Without reliable information it is difficult to make good decisions, how does the public know what to believe?

Come and learn about the challenges news reporters face. Rex Smith and Judy Patrick will talk about the issues and answer all your questions.

Come join your League and get a better understanding of the information explosion and how it affects everyone.

The McChesney Room of the Main Library
6:30pm on Wednesday, November 15.

League Day at the United Nations

A Briefing on Forced Labor and Human Trafficking

Nov. 16, 3:00 - 5:00 pm
(lunch and tours available, too, starting at 11:30 am)

The Annual League Day at the United Nations (NYC) will be held on Thursday, November 16. We will again offer a delicious lunch in the Delegates' Dining Room, tours of the facility (General Assembly room, Security Council room, etc) and then a briePing. This year we will have a panel of UN experts discuss the issue of Forced Labor and Human TrafPicking. The panel will also discuss what individuals can do to help reduce this problem.

The State League will also be offering a group bus option from Albany to NYC with a stop in Poughkeepsie.

Register on line at

New Members

Carrie Mattis is a Community Events Specialist at the Schenectady YMCA. She has been involved with the LWV Voter Registration and Information Program for one and a half years. Her other LWV interests are Social Media, Facebook and Healthcare. She is an artist specializing in landscapes; she writes research based articles and is an avid hockey fan.

Nancy Tudor is an Environmental Engineer with the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory.She attended the Women's March in Washington DC this year after severe disappointment with the presidential election results. Nancy joined the LWV to become more active in getting people registered and out to vote. Her other interests include bike riding and reading.

Votes for Women! Reading & Discussion Group

Votes for Women!
Reading & Discussion Group
at the Schenectady County Historical Society

2017 marks the Centennial of Women's Suffrage in New York State, and this fall, we're exploring the subject with a reading and discussion group.

Join Union College Professor Andrea Foroughi as she leads the group through six evenings of book discussion. The book selections include history, biography, and fiction, and provide a window into this chapter of American social progress and a springboard into ongoing discussions of women's history.

The discussion group will meet Thursdays October 12 & 26, November 2, 16, & 30, and December 14 at 6:30 PM at the Schenectady County Historical Society.

Participation is free (though a refundable deposit to borrow the books is required), and light refreshments will be served.

For more details on the book selections, please visit Humanities New York.

To register, please email Mary Zawacki at

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