Making Democracy Work


Announcements and Breaking News

Announcing the Annual Holiday Luncheon

Holiday Luncheon and Speaker Will Rivas of Save Our Street
Join us on December 6th, 11:45am-2pm
at the Van Curler Room
at the Schenectady County Community College

The lunch will include:
Sweet potato and apple soup with crispy bacon
A choice of entrees-
Roast filet of Salmon with honey balsamic glaze
BBQ Brisket of Beef with mushroom sauce
Rigatoni Pasta with roasted red pepper, wild mushrooms
and fontina cheese
The dessert is a Fall Fruit Crumble

Our speaker will be Will Rivas, founder of Save Our Streets, who will present a talk entitled Common-Unity: Political Engagement and Community Education "a conversation on the importance of political engagement in coordination with the growth of our communities of poverty."

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.

***We will be accepting donations to provide materials needed for the League Citizenship Mentoring Project at the luncheon.

Our Luncheon Speaker William Rivas

Mr William Rivas is the founder of community movement #Save Our Streets, which is a grassroots organization that hosts a unique blend of programming and engagement opportunities; from random Santa drop offs, to Thanksgiving dinners, to Social Justice Videos (Black: Common Unity), Back to School supply drives and after school and mentorship program and also the #Save Our Streets TV show which can be found on public access TV. Mr Rivas believes in not only preparing the next level of leadership but allowing them to sit among us as well. Mr Rivas pursued his passion and ran for Schenectady City School Board in 2015 as well as being involved with the Citizen Action for Equal Funding of Community Schools. Mr Rivas is passionate about the community and its need for educational growth and political awareness and believes that through precise efforts success can be achieved. Mr Rivas's message to the youth that he works with is "You were born for Greatness; mediocrity is not to be accepted".

Shop2gether fundraiser at The Open Door!

Shop at the Open Door on Tuesday, Dec. 12th from 6-7:30 and The League will receive 15% as a donation from all of our purchases that night. The Open Door Staff will happily talk to us about their favorite new books and gifts

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