Making Democracy Work

President's Report

Messages from your LWV President

May Message from the President

The State League of Women Voters has been urging local Leagues to come up with one or more events to celebrate the big centennial anniversaries coming up: women's suffrage in NYS in 1917, formation of the NYS League of Women Voters in 1919, passage of the 19th amendment ratifying women's right to vote in 1920 and formation of the national League of Women Voters in 1920.

At the March LWV Board meeting, Ann Hatke, who volunteers at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), mentioned that there's a real need in Schenectady for a mentoring program for legal residents who wish to become U.S. citizens. The Board agreed that this was the perfect project for the League--helping people become U.S. citizens and of course, encouraging them to vote. We also felt that the Citizenship Mentoring Project would be an appropriate way to celebrate the big four anniversaries with an enduring legacy of creating new voters. And to complete the trifecta, it will be a great opportunity to introduce potential members to the League of Women Voters.

We're very excited about this project and have begun the planning process. See the article on the LWV Citizenship Mentoring Project in this bulletin for more details.

Cheryl Nechamen

April Message from the President

Part of the core mission of the League is lobbying our legislators on positions/issues that have been carefully developed through a grassroots approach to accurately reflect the desires of our members.

Advocacy Training/Lobby Day, April 25, 2017, is a unique opportunity offered by the League to learn how to effectively advocate with our legislators on the issues that the State League has identified as priority areas for 2017. The 2017 Legislative Agenda is available on the lwvny.org website under Advocacy Areas.

Issue specialists, covering the areas of election law, health care, good government reform, judicial issues, natural resources, state finances and education, transportation, women's issues and social welfare, will discuss League positions from 10 AM-1 PM. The specialists will offer tips on talking to legislators.

There will be time for members to talk to their own legislators from 1-2:30 PM, although members should remember to schedule appointments in advance. And members will be able to observe the Assembly and Senate in session from 3-5 PM.

The registration fee for Lobby Day is $15 and includes lunch. Click here for more information and to register online. The deadline to register is April14.

If you'd like to participate in this important League activity, contact me at Cheryl Nechamen or 346-4820 for more information.

Cheryl Nechamen

Letter supporting the work of the SCCC

The following letter was sent by LWV President Cheryl Nechamen on behalf of the League and in support of the work of SCCC.

Jennifer Miller, Director of Community College Support SUNY System Administration Office of Community Colleges and the Educational Pipeline SUNY Plaza, 353 Broadway Albany, NY 12204 Dear Ms. Miller: The League of Women Voters of Schenectady County enthusiastically supports Schenectady County Community College's application to the SUNY Community College Community Schools (CCCS) grant. Schenectady County Community College (SCCC), in collaboration with an array of public, private and nonprofit partners, seeks to support high need students, and to build a network of accessible, on-campus, non-academic resources essential to successfully retaining and graduating these students.

The proposed SCCC Community Schools initiative, DESTINATION: SUCCESS, integrates college resources and community based services for students and their families through a centralized location on the College's campus. SCCC's DESTINATION: SUCCESS is aimed at increasing student retention rates of high-needs students by directly connecting them to multiple community resources available to support them through life's non-academic challenges. On-campus support will help students to navigate and address such issues as employment, food, housing, finances, childcare, primary care and mental health services, legal support, transportation, and other day-to-day needs than can negatively impact student success.

The League of Women Voters will partner with SCCC to develop and implement this important initiative. The League will hold voter registration drives on campus to increase the number of new voters. During the voter registration drives, pamphlets will be available that help students who may have felony convictions, disabilities or who are homeless which will enable them to exercise their right to vote.

The League distributes information on candidates and issues during election campaigns. In addition, the League has a long history of holding educational programs on local, state and national issues that will help students to become active and informed participants in our country.

The proposed DESTINATION: SUCCESS initiative is designed to improve SCCC's retention and graduation rates by significantly scaling up the College's ongoing efforts to provide support to its diverse and ever-changing student population. Providing on-campus access to crucial services will give SCCC students the support they need. This, in turn, will further strengthen student's families, our larger community, and our region. We enthusiastically support the College's application for SUNY Community Schools grant funding.

Sincerely,

Cheryl Nechamen

President

League of Women Voters of Schenectady County