Making Democracy Work


Announcements and Breaking News

Immigrants in America: How Do We Decide?

Immigrants in America: How Do We Decide?

A forum will be held on January 10 at 6 PM,

McChesney Room,
Schenectady County Public Library

Panel participants will include:

  • Sarah Rogerson, Albany Law School Professor Detention Outreach Project at Albany County Jail;
  • Dr. Victoria Martinez, Union College Professor
    mini-term project with students at U.S./Mexico border;
  • Isabelle Paine Thacker, attorney with The Legal Project and formerly with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
Representatives from the education and the faith communities will also be present.

Holiday Luncheon and Talk

December 5th at 11:45am-1:30pm at the Van Curler Room of 2018
at the Schenectady County Community College.

Blue wave, blue ripple, or red storm rising? Bradley Hays, associate professor of political science at Union College and "scholar in residence" at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, will analyze the results of the 2018 elections, place them in historical context, explore their implications for governance, and discuss what it means, if anything for 2020 and beyond.

Lunch $25 includes soup, entree, and dessert
Entree choices: Sauteed breast of chicken with wild mushrooms and tomatoes
Wild caught Cod baked with fresh herbs and lemon , and help us to topped with shrimp beurre blanc
Butternut squash and asparagus Risotto

Reservations are needed by November 28th. Please contact Carol Furman.

New Members December 2018

Carmen Patrick is the vice President of miSci. She also is a member of the Schenectady Rotary, President of the Schenectady Library Board of Trustees and serves on the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Board.

Carmen is interested in Voter Registration and helping with Candidate Forums. She is also eager to participate in other LWV activities that interest her.

Judith Rabig recently moved to the Schenectady area from Bronx NY . She is a PHD Gerontologist and a registered nurse. Judith consults nationally and owns her own business (Elder Life) which specializes in providing local care management to the elderly.

She volunteered at the LWV Candidate Foum in Clifton Park and she is a member of the LWV Health Care Committee. She plans to attend other LWV function as time permits.

Gail Flanery is the Chair of the Steering Committee for the Union College Academy for Lifelong Learning (UCALL). She was an active member of the Omaha, Nebraska LWV in the 1980's where she researched and wrote a study of the status of childcare in Nebraska.

Gail supports the LWV, but will remain inactive at this time.

New Members

Mareline Staub

Mareline is a retired Home Economics Teacher and homemaker. Concerns for the political environment in this country has led her to join the LWV. She plans to attend LWV programs that interest her and will help out where needed. Marline is an avid flower gardener and has many indoor and outdoor plants.

Ani Shahinian

Ani is a social worker with NYSUT (New York State United Teachers). Her LWV interests are Voter Registration and the Citizen Mentoring Program

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

New Members

Sara Lewis

Sara is the director of Special Education and Pupil Services in the Johnstown School System. She is also a Girl Scout leader and is involved in the LWV/Girl Scout Voter Girl Project. (More below) This event will take place on the afternoon of Sunday, November 4th. Sara is also interested in immigration issues and processes. She will also participate in other LWV initiatives as her time permits

Pamela Madej

Pamela is a retired nurse practitioner. She currently teaches nursing at Maria College. Her volunteer activities include working at Hospice and the Joan Nicole Prince Home for the terminally ill. Pamela is interested in the LWV Health Care Committee.

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.

Sculptor Chosen for Central Park Suffrage Statue

Antonia Petrash, President of the Long Island Woman Suffrage Association, and a member of the Port Washington/Manhasset League of Women Voters, has announced that the winner of the design competition has been selected for the statue honoring suffrage leaders Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, to be placed on the Literary Walk of the Central Park Mall.Stanton Anthony Statue Among the 29 statues of men, this will represent the only statue of real women (as opposed to mythical women like Alice in Wonderland) in the park. The winner is American sculptor Meredith Bergmann, a Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate from The Cooper Union,whose model was chosen from among 90 entries. Some other work includes a statue of opera singer Marian Anderson at Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and a bust of Ruth Bader Ginsberg at Columbia University. The statue will be unveiled in 2020 to mark the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote nationwide. The names of other suffragists will be inscribed on the base of the statue.

By Arlene Hinkemeyer, 100th Anniversary Committee Chair Vice President and Publicity of the LWV Hampton Voter

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.


Stay tuned for details on the Observer Corps Fall Start Up Meeting.

Helga Schroeter Honored

Every May, Schenectady County and New York State join the rest of the country to celebrate "Older Americans Month." 2018 is the 53rd anniversary of the Older Americans Act, an Act that supports older people to have secure and equal opportunities to enjoy a healthy life. The Schenectady League is very proud that on May 8th, 2018, our own Helga Schroeter was a recipient of the 2018 Schenectady County Older New Yorker of the Year Award.

For the past forty-nine years Helga has been a strong, continuous voice for treating all people equally. She is a frequent speaker at local government meetings as an advocate for racial justice and action, for minorities and for underprivileged youth. She has tirelessly given of her time and talent to the Schenectady Inner City Ministry, the League of Women Voters, Immanuel Lutheran Church, the Schenectady Community Action Mentoring Program, the Schenectady County Human Rights Commission, Girls, Inc. She has served on the Living Resources Board of Directors and the Committee for the Modern Courts. Thank you for your service, Helga.

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. "