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 11 at the Turf Tavern in Scotia. We will post the menu options as soon as they are available.

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. More information will be posted as it becomes available.

Stay tuned!

Song for Suffrage, Votes for Women

Thursday Musical Club Presents `Song for Suffrage, Votes for Women'

In honor of the passage of Women's Suffrage in New York State in 1917 the Thursday Musical Club will present a concert, "Songs for Suffrage, Voices for Votes", in the Carl B. Taylor Auditorium at Schenectady County Community College on April 11 at 7 pm.

The Thursday Musical Club is a women's chorus founded in Schenectady in 1913, directed by Julie Panke and accompanied by Elinore Farnum.

Guest artists will include Totally Pitchin', the student a cappella chorus at SCCC. A prologue to the concert will be presented by Dawn Standing Woman of Mohawk/Turtle Clan heritage and Eric Marczak, specialist in Native American flutes, illustrating the influence of the Mohawk culture to the suffrage movement.

Two songs from the British suffrage movement by Ethel Smyth will be presented as well as "Petition", with a text from an 1874 petition to the United States Congress in support of women's suffrage and set to music by Katie Ballantyne of Ithaca. "And Ain't I a Woman", has a text taken from Sojourner Truth's speech at the Ohio Women's Rights Convention in 1851. "The Spirit of Women", by Vermont composer Gwyneth Walker, is an updated trilogy of African American spirituals.

A reception following the concert will include representatives from several local women's organizations: the SCCC student club of the American Association of University Women, the Schenectady County League of Women Voters, Girl Scouts of USA, and YWCA of Northeastern NY. Darlene Lee and Anne Rockwood will be available to discuss their research on two Schenectady women who were active in the suffrage movement. Lee is writing a biography of Harriet Leonard Colburn and Rockwood has researched Izetta Jewel Miller.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors/students and available from TMC members and at the door. SCCC students will be admitted free with student ID.

Contact : Cindy Kelley, Publicity Chairperson

The 2018 Hugh R. Jones Memorial Lecture at Albany Law School

The Fund for Modern Courts & Albany Law School

Present: the 2018 Hugh R. Jones Memorial Lecture at Albany Law School

Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. Registration begins at 5:30

Introduction: Hon. Janet DiFiore, Chief Judge of the State of New York

Speaker: Hon. Susan Phillips Read, Associate Judge of the State of NY (Ret.)

Albany Law School, 80 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, NY

Reception to follow. There is no fee for this event.

For more information: call 212.541.6741 or email

Forum: The Opioid Epidemic in Schenectady

The Opioid Epidemic in Schenectady
How Does this Affect Me?
Can I Prevent this Addiction From Affecting My Loved Ones?

This forum will be held on April 25th from 6-7:30pm at the McChesney Room at the Schenectady Public Library

Forum participants:
  • Darin Samaha LMSW, Director of Community Services Schenectady,
  • Lisa Ayers RN,BSN Director of Public Health Schenectady,
  • Nancy Jones MHSA, CPP, Director of Prevention, New Choices Recovery Center
  • as well as a person in recovery and others from Ellis Hospital,
  • someone from the Schenectady Police Department.

How significant is the problem in our community and how can we influence this threat to our families and community.

New Members

Anita Sanchez is a retired educator for New York State Department of Conservation. She currently writes children's books with a focus on nature and the environment.

Similar to many other League members, Anita has joined the LWV due to concern for the current political environment in this country. She plans to help with voter registration activities. Her other interests include education and the environment. Anita lives in Montgomery County and joined the Schenectady Branch of the LWV since it is closest to her residence

Bernice Dunn has recently retired as a counselor at the Schenectady Community College. She has joined the LWV due to concern with the current political environment in this country and plans to support voter registration activities as a League member. Bernice has always been active in Niskayuna community initiatives, including PTA and PTO. In 1988, she created the Niska-Game (a fund raising game using a life size Monopoly board) that is still being used by middle school students to help support school activities and the Niskayuna Community Action Program.

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