Making Democracy Work


Announcements and Breaking News

2019 Annual Dinner Meeting

The 2019 annual dinner meeting will be held on June 4th at 5:30pm at the Turf Tavern, 50 Mohawk Avenue, Scotia. Members will be voting on the Proposed Leaders of LWV Schenectady County for 2019-2020, the budget, and local programs. **Please bring your bulletins from April and May with the proposed budget, slate of officers and position changes.

Following a short business meeting, our speaker Eric Clifford, Chief of Police in the City of Schenectady, will present a talk entitled Building Trust in Our Community Police Department. Chief Clifford will discuss Neighborhood Engagement initiatives, what the Police Department is doing to interact more with the community, become more transparent, become leaders in the community, and encourage all members of the community to help to keep them safe.

The cost of the meal is $35.00 and includes fresh fruit cup, salad, entree and dessert.

Entree choices include:
Chicken Milanese
Baked Scrod
Eggplant Parmesan

Please call or e-mail your reservation to Carol Furman or 518 346-2746 by May 28th. Some additional reservations can be accepted after that date but cancelations can only be accepted if a replacement can be found. Please state if you require gluten free meal

2019 Susan B. Anthony Award Recipient- Joan Johnson

The League of Women Voters of Schenectady County is very pleased to bestow the Susan B. Anthony Award on Joan Johnson in recognition of her longtime commitment to the Schenectady Municipal Housing Authority Board which we find inspiring and a model for community service.

Ms. Johnson joined the Schenectady Municipal Housing Authority Board of Commissioners in March 2006, and continues as a member today in her 14th year of service. During her term Ms. Johnson served on several committees, including Chair of the Finance Committee, Tenant Advisory Committee, and Section 8 Rental Assistance Committee, and as a member of the Buildings and Grounds, Public Relations, Ethics, Bylaws, Lease Revision and Preserving Subsidized Housing Committees. She has also served as Treasurer of the Housing Authority continuously since 2008.

Ms. Johnson was instrumental in the creation of many important policies, including the revolutionary Smoke-Free Housing policy that helped hundreds of residents enjoy a healthier, smoke-free environment in their homes, the Family Reunification Program that reunites formerly incarcerated people with Public Housing family members, and the commencement of the revitalization of Yates Village, the Housing Authority's largest development.

In addition to her service on the Board of Commissioners, Ms. Johnson has served for many years on the Housing Authority's Resident Advisory Board, and as President of the Resident Council that serves over 400 families in the downtown area.


Volunteers are needed for the Summer Lunch Program. We will be serving Monday, August 19 to Friday, August 23 at the Karen B. Johnson Central Library on Clinton St. We need to arrive at 11:15 and we will serve from 11:30 am to 12:45 pm on the those days.

If you can volunteer, please call Helen MacDonald at 518-346-7006 or email:


We could use a Pop-up tent for the Kids Fest Saturday on Saturday, June 1. It would act as a sun shield for the LWV table. If we could borrow yours let Kay Ackerman know at

We could also use small suitcases with wheels for transporting Voter Registration materials to and from locations where Voter Registration events are being held. Contact Connie Young -, 518 393-7061or Peg Foley -, -518 346-3923 or Kay Ackerman - - 518 393-5000 if you have one to donate.


Take Me to Vote is preparing materials to be distributed to all of the elementary schools in Schenectady County.

Help in the massive project of counting packets of 25 tickets for each of the classrooms of those schools would be greatly appreciated. This job can be done at your home or Connie's.

To volunteer call Connie Young 518-393 7061 or

Fight for Fair and Accurate 2020 Census

Join the fight for a fair and accurate 2020 Census in New York State

Under the direction of the board, the New York State League has signed on as an organizational partner to NewYork Counts 2020. New York Counts 2020 is a broadbased, statewide coalition composed of racial, ethnic, immigrant, religious, health, education, labor, housing, social services, and business groups working in partnership with state and local government officials. Their aim is to ensure that New Yorkers across the state -particularly marginalized communities in hard-to-count districts- can fully maximize their participation in the 2020 Census. As a partner,the League will be working with the coalition to create and distribute educational materials and trainings. You can find out more about New York Counts 2020 by going to:

Better Angels

"Polarization is tearing America apart" Better Angels is bringing conservatives and liberals into a working alliance and building new ways to talk to one another through workshops, debates and training. The board of the LWV of Schenectady has voted to support this group. Look into it for yourself.

More info

Voter Girl Project

Preparations for the Voter Girl Project are underway! This Project, developed by LWV Arlington Heights, Ohio and Ohio Girl Scout Council will be presented to local Cadet Girl Scouts (Middle School Grades 6 to 8) on Sunday November 4 from 1-4 pm at the McChesney Room of the Schenectady Public Library, 99 Clinton Street, Schenectady NY.

Middle School Girls will take part in activities exploring Mediating Difficult Situations, Reaching Decisions, and Voting and leadership skills. If you would like to volunteer as a discussion or activity leader, or to help with organization at the activity, email Cindy Weissend.

New Facebook Page

Find our new Facebook page: League of Women Voters-Schenectady County!

Once you've found us, for those of you not familiar with FB, click "like", then click "follow", then click "share" so that it appears on your own page for all of your friends to see. This will help increase our viewership and keep people informed of everything we're up to. Make sure to send updates of League activities, along with pictures to to Cynthia Weissend.

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. "