Making Democracy Work


Announcements and Breaking News

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

League Luncheon

At the League of Women Voters Luncheon on Wednesday, September 13, Natalie Schubel, the Public Health Education Coordinator for Schenectady County Public Health Services offered the attendees definitions for the terms food insecurity and food desert and what these terms mean in the city of Schenectady.

She discussed relevant data as they relate to both terms. She also presented the attendees with a sense of the ways that food pantries operate and a general sense of where they are located in the city. She described what is being done to increase access such as the increase in the hours and the provision for transportation. She encouraged the attendees to become involved with the food pantries and offered ways that they could do so.

New Members

Cindy Weissen Cindy is a registered nurse with the State Office of People with Disabilities. She was inspired by the recent presidential election to participate in the "Women's March in Washington" and to join LWV. Her LWV interests include training for the Citizenship Mentoring Program and the Observer Corps

Cindy is involved in the Greyhound Dog Rescue Program. She is also an avid knitter.

Roberta Roessie Roberta recently retired from Farm Family Insurance as a computer programmer.She has volunteered for the LWV Citizenship Mentoring Program and voter registration. Roberta is also a volunteer for the Reading for Fun Program in local schools.

Riley Hart Riley is the daughter of long time LWV member Emily Hart. She was formerly employed at MIT's Human Resource Department working on data systems. Her LWV interests are the Citizen Mentoring program and voter registration.

Her hobbies include kayaking and Improv theater with MOPCO (The Mop and Bucket Company).

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

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.

Women's Suffrage: A Documented History Reading and Discussion Series

Sponsored by Albany Institute of Art and History
6 weeks Sept - Oct 2017

Join a reading and discussion series at the Albany Institute where participants will examine the history of women's suffrage movement on the 100th anniversary of New York State's passage of women's right to vote.

The discussion leader will be author and educator Giacomo Calabria. Calabria is the author of the 2014 thriller The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy and has been praised by the Times Union as "a confident and masterful storyteller."

We will read about the women's suffrage movements in the United States and around the world from the American Revolution to the modern era, track changes within the movement, study important speeches, delight over misadventures and anecdotes, listen to recordings from the phonograph to the digital era, and ultimately transform the last 250 years of history into a lens for better appreciating and understanding the nation we live in today.

All required readings are available FREE online.

To register for the program contact Patrick Stenshorn, Education Coordinator at 518-464-4478 ext. 405 or

This program is made possible by a grant to the Albany Institute of Art and History from Humanities New York Series Syllabus

Program texts Week 1- Introduction:Revolution Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams (March 31, 1776) Declaration of the Rights of Woman, Olympe de Gouges (1791)

Week 2-The Watershed: Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments (1848) Discourse on Woman, Lucretia Mott (1850)

Week 3-Slavery, Suffrage, and Civil War Speech at Pennsylvania Hall, Angelina Grimké Weld (1838) A Petition for Universal Suffrage (1865) Address to the First Annual Meeting of the American Equal Rights Association, Sojourner Truth (May 9, 1867)

Week 4-Trial Remarks by Susan B. Anthony in the Circuit Court (June 1873) Declaration of Rights of the Women of the United States (1876)

Week 5-World War Freedom or death, Emmeline Pankhurst (1913) Why Women Should Vote, Jane Addams (1915)

Week 6-Universal Rights Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (1920) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)

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