Making Democracy Work

President's Report

Messages from your LWV President

President's Letter June 2019

We always hold a fundraiser at the annual dinner, alternating a silent auction, with a goal of raising $1000 with a smaller fundraiser. Last year was the smaller fundraiser, a wine pull, which was successful in raising $400. This year, we were scheduled to hold a silent auction which requires a great deal of time and effort to organize.

We decided to try a different approach and simply ask our members to donate a little extra this year. We'll have a donation box set up at the annual dinner. If you think the League's efforts with voter registration, candidate forums and citizenship mentoring are worth supporting, please consider dropping a check (if you'd like to be acknowledged) or cash in the box. A board member has generously started us off with a $500 donation.

This will be my last President's Letter as I finish my term as President and move to chairing Voter Services. I'd just like to say that I've served on a number of boards and committees over the years, and I've enjoyed serving on the League's Board the most, by far. It's such a pleasant group to work with, concerned about the issues of the day and willing to work hard to make a difference.

Kay Ackerman has done a superb job as Voter Services Chair and is undoubtedly the hardest working person in the League- thank you Kay! Ann Hatke will take over as President. Ann has done an outstanding job founding the Citizenship Mentoring Group and leading the project to the point where the League is recognized as an effective group in helping legal permanent residents become U.S. citizens. I know Ann will do an equally great job as President!

Cheryl Nechamen

President's Letter May 2019

The Board has decided it's time for our local League to leap into the 21st century and go digital with our bulletin. Two concerns are driving this decision, one environmental and one financial.

Much as we enjoy the convenience of a paper bulletin, there is no doubt that most of them end up in the recycling bin after their production consumes trees and other resources.

The other pressing concern is that printing and mailing bulletins is very expensive. We have 141 members but actually mail 210 bulletins, which includes various organizations, because the minimum number per mailing for bulk mail is 200. Between the cost of printing the bulletins and additional fees for a bulk mail permit and bulk mail postage, offset by revenue from bulletin ads, the bulletin costs about $1700 to print and mail.

We'll be happy to print and mail a bulletin for those few members that need a paper copy but we estimate that will only cost about $200 rather than $1700. That's $1500 that we won't need to raise through fundraising.

Although the $60 individual and $85 household membership dues seem like they should cover all of our needs, the fact is that most of those dues have to be sent to the State and National Leagues as per member payments (PMP), leaving our local League with only $8 and $7, respectively, from memberships- $1200-1500/year to cover all of our activities.

We anticipate making the shift to a digital bulletin in October, but we'll start sending both a paper and a digital bulletin (as a pdf file) for a few months before that so that members get used to seeing the bulletin in their inbox.

If you need a paper copy in October and beyond, please let us know. Otherwise, we'll be sending the digital bulletin to everyone for whom we have an email address.

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.


Cheryl Nechamen


League of Women Voters of Schenectady County