Making Democracy Work

Steering Committee

JUNE MESSAGE FROM THE STEERING COMMITTEE

Our annual meeting and dinner at the Turf Tavern is coming up soon on Tuesday, June 7th. We have the good fortune of having Philip Morris, CEO of Proctors Theatre, as the featured speaker. Philip will talk about some of the unusual characteristics of the Capital District in "The Inside-Out City", with the population of a large metropolitan area fragmented into small and very small cities, small towns, suburbs and open land and how it affects politics and the economy. It's sure to be an interesting talk.

We are also proud to present the 2016 Susan B. Anthony Award to League member Mary Pritchard for her outstanding service to the League and the community. At the dinner, Helen MacDonald will tell us about Mary's many contributions.

Our fundraiser at the annual dinner this year will be a restaurant gift card raffle with the proceeds to be used for educational activities sponsored by the League, including a CDTA bus ad promoting VOTE411.org. Area restaurants have been very generous, donating $15-$35 gift cards, with cuisines ranging from Spanish to BBQ, Italian, Bistro, Thai, American, Moroccan and Asian Fusion. More Info about the restaurants in the fundraiser restaurant gift card raffle. Raffle tickets are 2/$5 or 5/$10.

During the business part of our meeting, we will vote on the Schenectady LWV budget and changes to position statements. We will also be electing members to the Board and presenting the many people who have agreed to serve as project coordinators who are appointed by the Board. We could not do the valuable work of the League without these dedicated leaders and we appreciate their willingness to serve.

We will also be voting on the LWVNYS budget at the annual meeting. The LWVNYS budget is posted at http://www.lwvny.org/LLresources/SBR_StateNews/2016/May/Full-Council-Kit-2016.pdf and will be available at the annual meeting.

Don't forget to bring separate checks (or cash!) to renew your membership, pay for dinner and buy raffle tickets. Between our featured speaker, the Susan B. Anthony Award presentation, the restaurant gift card raffle, the business meeting and friends to reconnect with, we have a great evening to look forward to.

Cheryl Nechamen, Lead

MAY MESSAGE FROM THE STEERING COMMITTEE

The State LWV had a number of successes with the State budget this year after intensive advocacy efforts. The League was pleased that the Legislature did not enact an Education Tax Credit although the League was less pleased that the Legislature, once again, failed to enact ethics reform.

The minimum wage was raised in a complicated scheme whereby NYC workers in large businesses will see an increase to $11/hour by the end of 2016 and $15/hour in 2018. NYC workers employed by small businesses and workers in downstate counties will see wages increase to $10.50 and $10/hour, respectively, by the end of 2016, increasing to $15/hour in 2019 and 2021, respectively. For workers in the rest of the state, including in the Capital District, the minimum wage will increase to $9.70/hour by the end of 2016 and eventually reach $12.50/hour by 2020.

A strong paid family leave program was enacted which will include 12 weeks of leave when the program is fully implemented over the next four years. The program will provide coverage for private sector workers in New York; public sector unions will be able to opt into the program.

In good news for education, Foundation Aid was increased by four percent and the Gap Elimination Adjustment was finally phased out.

The State League devotes considerable time and effort into translating the interests expressed by League members into legislative initiatives. We appreciate their efforts.

Please note that your membership dues should by paid by June 30th for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

Cheryl Nechamen, Lead

STEERING COMMITTEE

Cheryl Nechamen (346-4820)

Lead for March - May 2016

Carol Furman (346-2746)

Lead for December 2015 - January, February, June 2016

Ruth Bonn (384-0804)

Lead (completed)