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Insidethe New York City League - The League of Women Voters of

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Insidethe New York City League - The League of Women Voters of Powered By Docstoc
					       Inside the New York City League
                     League of Women Voters of the City of New York
                    rd
        45 East 33 Street, New York, NY 10016 - Tel. (212) 725-3541 -Fax (212) 725-3443

                                                  Fall 2002


                         LWVNYC Chair Robin Bahr’s Comments
The Advisory Board met in July happen. From the financial web site has been created. The
to review action plans for the point of view, we netted ap- office has been cleaned up. Beth
coming year. This was a luxury proximately $28,000 out of in- Stark has become our part-time
of sorts and a barometer of just coming revenues of $111,000. Executive Director. In short, the
how far we have come. Last The Education Fund was in- organization has been revital-
July the board was fighting for creased by $20,000. We have ized. We are at last in a position
survival. This year we were approximately $40,000 in the to take charge of our future
planning the year’s program. It checking account. We enlisted       The board has continued to
was a good feeling.              new volunteers. We revived the meet the challenge. The follow-
     If you attended the annual newsletter, the Speakers Bu- ing is a summary of committee
meeting, you know how hard reau, our membership meetings plans. Most of the directions
the board worked to make that and a variety of outings. A new          (continued on page 3)
            ________________________________________________________________

                                                                           Equal Rights Amend-
          LWVUS Recognizes NYC & Robin Bahr                                 ment Revisited

                                          Robin Bahr (at left with     The ERA Campaign Network is
                                          LWVUS Board member           a network of people all around
                                          Joan Paik), LWV of the       the United States, supporting
                                          City of New York,
                                                                       and/or working to achieve the
                                          stepped into the spotlight
                                          at the LWVUS convention      addition of the Equal Rights
                                          in Miami when she was        Amendment (ERA) to our Unit-
                                          honored for her work in      ed States Constitution.
                                          revitalizing that League.         The Equal Rights Amend-
                                          Robin, who was new to
                                                                       ment is a matter of simple jus-
                                          the League, accepted the
                                          challenge of leading the     tice for all the citizens of the
                                          NYC League, which was        United States. It reads:
                                          deep in debt with a shaky,       "Equality of rights under
                                          declining leadership.          the law shall not be denied
                                          Robin with a typical can-      or abridged by the United
                                          do New Yorker attitude         States or by any state on
  Reproduced courtesy of New York State   stepped in and turned that     account of sex."
       LWV—Summer 2002 Voter              League around.                     (continued on page 8)
                                                              In Memoriam
        League of Women Voters                                   Amy Beissel
         of the City of New York
                   2002-2003                          November 18, 1944—April 12, 2002

                Advisory Board               A dedicated inspirational colleague and friend, her
                                             memory will be cherished forever by all of us at the
                  Officers                   League of Women Voters. Amy’s sudden death
Chair                    Robin Bahr
Vice-Chairs                                  came just a few short months after she took over,
   Communications        ValerieWarner       for the second time around, the awesome task of
   Development           Pamela Roderick     keeping our office running.
   Membership            Fannie Conner            First as Office Administrator and later as Ex-
   Program               Elma Smolen         ecutive Director, Amy modernized our office in the
   Tel Info Svc (TIS)    Donna Landay
Secretary                Barbara Barr        1980s—buying our first computer, updating our
Treasurer                Eileen McEvoy       membership, fundraising and publications systems.
                                             She worked with three League presidents before go-
        Additional Board Members             ing to Europe with her husband Denis, the Director
Miriam Adelman           Nicky Heller
Laura Altschuler         Adrienne Kivelson
                                             of Operations for the Human Resources Office of
Marian Bott              Lillian Seidman     the United Nations.
Katherine Flaherty       Arlene Solomon           After five years abroad she returned to our cur-
                 Rose Yalan                  rent, smaller headquarters as a volunteer and then as
LWV/NYS Liaison            Mary Lou Urban    a part-time Executive Director in December 2001.
         —————————                           Between that time and her tragic death, she coordi-
Inside Editor              Patricia Young    nated the launch of our web site, meetings with pub-
                                             lic officials, publications distribution, the creation
Executive Director         Beth Stark        of new databases and monthly Advisory Council
                                             meetings. Amy was the linchpin that made our
                                             office and our organization run well.
                                                  She is survived by her husband, parents, bro-
——————————————                               ther, sister, three daughters and a granddaughter.
                                                  The 2003 issue of They Represent You will be
                                             dedicated to Amy Beissel.
                Tribute Fund                      All contributions to the League of Women Vot-
                                             ers of the City of New York made in her memory
                In Memory of                 are greatly appreciated.

           Mary Kobuke Atagi                        ——————————————
         by Rose and Harvey Yalan                Contributions in Memory of Amy Beissel

                 Amy Goell                            Laura Altschuler        Dorothy Kreiselman
                by Paula Miller                       Robin Bahr              Donna Landay
                                                      Barbara Barr            Cynthia Loewy
                Vincent Leardi                        Beatrix Dinitz          Sarah Sacknoff
         by LWV Midwood Branch                        Marjorie Ferrigno       Lillian Seidman
                                                      Helen Heller            Elizabeth Shwal
                 Adele Trobe                          Adrienne Kivelson       Mary Lou Urban
          by Jane and David Soyer                     Gladys Krasner          Rose & Harvey Yalan
                                                                 Patricia Young
                                                     ——————————————
                                             2
                                     Robin Bahr’s Comments
                                         (continued from page 1)

given at the annual meeting tion with the upcoming elec- and national Leagues, but we
have been incorporated into tions, and the more activities need to raise $50,000 in the
these activities. The only areas undertaken, the more volunteers coming year. The end goal is
not covered are specific advoca- are needed. The same is true of restoration of our independence
cy issues for which we still need fundraising. The budget has ex- as a League. We have fought
program chairs.                   panded to support the revital- hard to make that happen and
     Your help is needed on ev- ization of programs, the office are 90 percent there. Join the
ery front. Programs have been and our per member payment fight. It is our cause and one
expanded, primarily in connec- (PMP) obligations to the state worth fighting for.
            ________________________________________________________________

                   Voter Service Committee Efforts: League Priority This Fall
                                         by Adrienne Kivelson

With the full complement of state and congres-       erators for candidate forums and debates. We
sional elections set for this fall, voter service is will hold speakers’ training sessions and we will
our primary focus for the months ahead. And our      also attempt to organize training for representa-
role in promoting informed voter participation is    tives of organizations that want to run their own
even more crucial this year because all of the       candidate forums. For these efforts to succeed
congressional and state legislative elections take   and for the League to have a real impact on voter
place in newly drawn districts, guaranteeing in-     participation, we need your help.
creased voter confusion and uncertainty.                  Our newly reconstituted Voter Service Com-
     In addition to relying on our excellent Tele-   mittee will meet at the League office on Tues-
phone Information Service to answer voters’          day, September 17, at 10:30 a.m. Please join us.
questions, we will keep our website (lwvnyc.org)     If you have any time to volunteer or questions
updated with the latest election information. We     about committee activities, call Adrienne
will also produce and disseminate literature ex-     Kivelson or Fannie Conner at the League office
plaining the election process, conduct voter reg-    (212/ 725-3541).
istration drives and provide speakers and mod-
                            ________________________________________

                                      Membership Committee
                                          by Fannie Conner

Our first priority is to recruit new members. To         We are updating our membership database,
do this, we need your help. We urge each and        and we need experienced help once a week, 3-4
every one of you to search among your friends,      hours on a regular basis. If you prefer to volun-
neighbors, and even like- minded acquaintances      teer from home, we certainly could use you to
to find at least one person to bring to the October contact members regarding meetings and other
15 general meeting (see pg.7). Or, give us a        activities.
name and telephone number to contact.                    For more information, please call Fannie
     We are also planning a Q&A session for         Conner at the League office (212/ 725-3541) on
new and prospective members in the near future.     Tuesdays from 11:30 – 5:30.
Refreshments will be served.
                            ________________________________________
                                                   3
                                      Development Committee
                                          by Pamela Roderick

Our fundraising objective for this fiscal year ispast and we are preparing appeals requesting
$50,000. That may sound quite optimistic, and it their support again.
is. We believe in trying harder. A number of          Our biggest single fundraising effort is an
fundraising initiatives are already underway.    awards luncheon tentatively scheduled for March
     We have developed a promising list of po-   2003 from which we intend to net $10,000. This
tential funding resources for the Telephone In-  luncheon will reinstitute an LWVNYC tradition
formation Service and are submitting proposals   that lapsed for several years, and this year will
to each. We are developing a master list of pos- include what we intend to be a new tradition of
sible donors and finalizing our financing re-    granting an LWVNYC Voting Rights Award to
quests. A review of old donor lists has led us toan organization or person who has been stalwart
                                                 in supporting voting rights and the League’s ef-
several labor unions that have supported us in the
                                                 fort to expand voting rights.
                             ________________________________________
                                    Communications Committee
                                           by Valerie Warner

The League has a lot to be proud of this year—    How Can It Run Better?” which will be taped,
from our newly updated web site to a high-pro-    and a report will be sent to the media later in the
file panel planned for October—and the Commu-     year. The panel is the first of a series of events
nications Committee plans to get the word out.    planned to raise the League’s profile and solidify
We initiated a public relations campaign of press its reputation as the expert source of information
releases and media contact this summer and will   on the workings of city government and the
continue through the election season.             voting process.
     Mailings to the media will feature our web         We also plan to call the media’s attention to
site and our election-season telephone informa-   the incredible progress LWVNYC has made in
tion service, as well as new publications and     the last year, and to ask their help in spreading
plans for the spring fundraiser. A release will   the word about the newly revitalized League and
also announce our upcoming panel discussion       its unique mission and services.
entitled “What Makes New York City Run, and
                              ________________________________________

                                   Women’s Leadership Initiative
                                         by Katherine Flaherty

A new project has begun at the NYC League—        tive lobbying techniques. If there is significant
the Women’s Leadership Initiative. Many LWV       interest, more forums will be organized for next
members are leaders in their fields or have lead- year.
ership potential.                                      Another idea may be hearing from women
     The purpose of the project is to develop and elected officials on obstacles they overcame to
broaden the leadership potential of interested    achieve their goals, issues they face in office,
members. The first forum is tentatively planned   and encouraging and training more League mem-
for Tuesday, November 12, with the topic being    bers to run for office. Please contact Katherine
advocacy and lobbying. Several experts will dis-  Flaherty with your suggestions at 212/399-1244
cuss various strategies on developing more effec- or kflaherty1@nyc.rr.com.
                           ________________________________________
                                                     4
                                    Council Watch Committee
                                           by Nicky Heller

The Council Watch Committee anticipates a         keep the League membership informed and
busy 2002-2003 season. Recognizing the role of    ready for involvement.
the New York City Council as a power player in         To become a part of the committee and the
the city, the Council Watch Committee plans to    excitement of seeing things happen at the source,
follow the committees that contemplate dramatic   call (212) 874-1680, ask for Nicky Heller, leave
changes in the city in an era of constrained bud- your name and phone number. Your call will be
gets. There will be times for the LWV to com-     returned as soon as possible.
ment and express the civic vo ice and times to
                           ________________________________________

                                     Youth Agenda Convention

The League of Women Voters, with the as-        want to build on the students’ civic skills to
sistance of a new League volunteer Sononda      assist them in developing a political agenda.
Samaddar and the help of Fannie Conner and           The students will come together at a Youth
Adrienne Kivelson, hopes to be in four New      Agenda Convention where they will be involved
York City high schools this fall discussing     in consensus-building and decision-making
                                                skills. This is a guiding principle of our mission:
politics, social issues and community affairs. We
                                                “informed citizen participation in government.”
                          ________________________________________

                                    National Convention Report
                                         by Mary Lou Urban

The 45th Biennial Convention of the League of    gressman Marty Meehan (D-MA) were shown.
Women Voters of the United States was held this       In addition to a $2.00 per member payment
June in Miami Beach—contrary to what the         increase, a surcharge of $1.35 for one year was
Chamber of Commerce says, it is not always       passed. The $1.35 will fund a study on the up-
sunny in Miami.                                  dating of the Election of the President position.
     Approximately 1,500 members attended,       A study for the second year covering apportion-
representing all states and the Virgin Islands.  ment was passed if adequate funding can be
New York State had one of the larger delegations obtained.
with 38 members attending.                            Workshops on membership, alternatives to
     A new president was elected: Kay Maxwell,   our election system, making democracy work—it
a former LWVUS board member and president        is up to us, were well attended and informative.
of the Connecticut state League. She is a dedi-       Last, but certainly not least—our Chair,
cated, enthusiastic Leaguer. The slogan of the   Robin Bahr, was acknowledged on several occa-
new board is LWV-FIRST—Financial sustain-        sions for her work in leading the New York City
ability, Impact on Issues, Revitalized Leagues,  League on the path to recovery. On the last day
Strength in diversity, Teamwork and tolerance.   of the convention a presentation was made to
     The League was commended for its work in    Robin on the convention floor acknowledging
the passage of Campaign Finance R   eform legis- her success. She was held up as an example of
lation. Congressman Christopher Shays (R-CT)     what can be done with the knowledge, will and
appeared to extend his thanks. Video messages    enthusiasm of a leader who inspires followers to
from Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Con-         work together for a cause.
                           _______________________________________
                                                    5
                                        Branch Meetings

                        Members are welcome to attend any branch meeting.


                   BRONX                                           M ANHATTAN (CONTINUED)
                                                         Upper West Manhattan
Bronx                                                    Contact:      Sylvia Berman (212) 923-0800
Contact:     Lee Abramowitz (718) 549-9251               Date/Time: Monday, Sept 23; 12:00 noon
Date/Time:   Tuesday, Sept. 24; 1:30 pm                  Place:        Coogan’s Restaurant, 169th St.&
Topic:       From Arrest to Sentencing                   B’way - Fundraising Meeting — $30 / person
Date/Time:   Tuesday, Oct. 22; 1:30 pm                   Guest Speaker : Manhattan Borough President
Topic:       Election Issues                                                C. Virginia Fields
                                                         Date/Time: Monday, Oct 21; 11:00 am
Riverdale                                                Please call for information.
Contact:      Pat Young (718) 548-7381
Please call for information.                                                 Q UEENS

                 BROOKLYN                                Jackson Heights
                                                         Contact:      Barbara Barr…(718) 898-0128
Midwood                                                  Please call for information.
Contact:   Rose Yalan (718) 339-7497
           or Janet Vickrey (718) 836-0855               North Shore
Date/Time: Friday, Sept. 27; 1:00 pm                     Contact:    Marjorie Ferrigno (718) 461-5774
Topic:     From Arrest to Sentencing                     Date/Time: Wednesday, Sept. 25; 12:30 pm
Date/Time: Friday, Oct. 25; 1:00 pm                      Topic:      How Just Is the Justice System?
Topic:     Election Issues                               Date/Time: Wednesday, Oct. 23; 12:30 pm
                                                         Topic:      Election Issues
                 M ANHATTAN
                                            Southeast Queens
Mid-Manhattan                               Contact:      Mary Cox (718) 341-3082
Contact:   Elma Smolen (212) 260-3134       Date/Time: Saturday, Sept. 21; 2:00 pm
Date/Time: Tuesday, Nov. 12; 1:00-3:00 pm   Please call for information.
Place:     Workmen’s Circle Library,        Date/Time: Saturday, Oct. 19; 2:00 pm
           LWV Headquarters, 45 E. 33rd St. Topic:        Election Issues
 ________________________________________________________________________________



                                     Election Night Reporting

Thanks to the many League volunteers who                repeat the project in November with even greater
participated in primary election night reporting.       League participation.
This joint Associated Press/League project will              Please call Barbara Barr at the office if you
net the League in excess of $2000. We hope to           are interested in volunteering (212-725-3541).

                          ________________________________________

                                                    6
                                              Membership Meeting
                                       Tuesday, October 15, 2002 — 5:30 P.M.
                                           LWVNYC Headquarters
                                    Workmen’s Circle Building, 45 East 33rd St.
                                           1st Floor Meeting Room
                        Guest Speakers: Ronald J. Tabak, President New York Lawyers
                                          Against the Death Penalty
                                 Pro Death Penalty Speaker: To be announced



                    Topic: A Time for Decision—The Death Penalty
                                                    by Barbara Barr

The Facts
         - Supreme Court reinstitutes the death penalty in the United States in 1976.
         - New York State reinstitutes the death penalty in 1995.
         - As of this date there are six prisoners on death row in New York State.
         - The Supreme Court in 2002 rules that retarded persons can not be executed.
         - A U.S. District Court judge ruled in 2002 that the death penalty is unconstitutional.
         - The New York City Council in June 2002 passed a resolution urging the governor and
         state legislature to place a moratorium on all executions in New York State and calling
         upon the U.S. Congress to pass the National Death Penalty Moratorium Act of 2001 and
         the Accuracy in Judicial Administration Act of 2001.

The above facts illustrate the salient points that               our courts. Our October League meeting will ad-
we are now considering in regard to whether or                   dress this question. We will have speakers mak-
not this state and nation should have a death                    ing the case for both sides. It is vitally important
penalty. A great debate started when DNA evi-                    for our members, as for all citizens, to be in-
dence was presented in courts and led to the                     formed on this life and death issue.
release of several death row inmates who were                         This spring the New York State League will
found to be innocent. Although New York has                      have a consensus vote on the death penalty in
not executed any prisoner since the death penalty                conjunction with the Balancing Justice Project.
was reinstated, there are six men awaiting death                      Come to the October meeting—learn—and
and more death penalty cases proceeding through                  question our guests.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              Membership Meeting: Tuesday, October 15, 2002
                                              $10 per person registration

Name: _______________________________________________ Telephone: ___________________

Address: _____________________________________________ Amount enclosed: _____________

 Please make check payable to and mail to: LWVNYC, 45 East 33rd Street, Room 331, New York, NY 10016.



                                                             7
                                       Theatre and Tour News
                                         by Dorothy Kreiselman

LWVers went back to our nation’s roots with an       On August 14 we had an enjoyable theatre
awe- inspiring tour of Fraunces Tavern Museum   party to Oklahoma! Thanks to a thoughtful con-
                                                tribution from our enthusiastic Advisory Board
on April 26. Of special interest was the Tavern’s
Long Room. George Washington chose this site    member, Marian Bott, LWVers were joined by
                                                deserving students from Manhattan Comprehen-
to bid farewell to the officers of the Continental
Army in 1783.                                   sive Night and Day High School and from P.S.
     On May 9 we were treated to a special exhi-111. Although located in inner-city areas, both
bition of Iroquois beadwork at the Smithsonian’sschools are highly regarded for their stimulating
National Museum of the American Indian. Our     educational environments. The Manhattan Com-
charming native tour guide, Juanita, willingly  prehensive students were chosen after consul-
imparted her first- hand knowledge of the Indiantation with Gregory Cohen, Executive Director
crafts and native culture to our fascinated and of Student Life Center, and Principal Howard
grateful tour members.                          Friedman, while P.S. 111’s middle-graders were
     A very hot July 18 saw LWVers enjoying a   selected by Principal Sheri Donovan and volun-
guided tour to the cool and fabulous collectionsteer Carolyn Lelyveld.
at Forbes Magazine Gallery. We had fun viewing       Kudos to Marian Bott for initiating this in-
the various exhibits, which included beautiful  novative collaboration. Our thanks also go to
jeweled treasures made by the House of Fabergé  LWV’s Fannie Conner and Barbara Barr who
for former Russian czars; toy boats; parades of donated their tickets to this worthwhile project.
toy soldiers; Monopoly games, and some presi-        New events and activities are in the works,
dential papers.                                 and members will be informed of them in future
                                                issues of Inside.
                          ________________________________________

                               Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) Revisited
                                          (continued from page 1)

     To the continuing great disadvantage, under        (1) The “3-state strategy”: In the 1990s a
the law, of all American women, the United         promising new strategy for achieving the ERA
States Constitution still does not include a       began to arise. The "Madison Amendment," con-
guarantee of equal rights on the basis of sex. The cerning congressional pay raises, became the 27th
ERA, if and when enacted, will provide that vital  Amendment to the Constitution after a ratifica-
bedrock guarantee.                                 tion period of 203 years. This established a prec-
     The “3-state strategy” newly developed dur-   edent such that the Alice Paul ERA’s ratifica-
ing the 1990s provides a very promising means      tion period, currently just three decades, could
for attaining that goal soon, (1) by achieving     hardly be considered unacceptably long.
ratification in just three of the 15 remaining          (2) The 15 currently unratified states are
unratified states and (2) by overcoming any        Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia,
opposition to the resulting enactment of the       Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Neva-
amendment. More than 160 national women's          da, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina,
organizations (totaling about eight million        Utah, and Virginia.
members [including LWVUS]), and many other              For additional information, see equalrights-
organizations and individuals, are currently sup-  amendment.org. and ERACampaign.net.
porting this effort.
                           ________________________________________
                                                     8
                LWVNYC Opposes Mayor’s Timetable for Charter Amendments
                                            by Adrienne Kivelson

While Mayor Bloomberg had expressed an inter-              New York does not have a position on these is-
est in amending the City Charter to provide for            sues. However, we do believe that substantive
nonpartisan mayoral elections and to change the            charter changes merit careful study, ample public
succession provisions, we were surprised and               participation and thorough deliberation. The
distressed at the haste in which he wanted these           schedule set by the mayor does not permit this to
major changes considered. On July 13, with less            happen. The League joined with a number of
than two months available before the proposals             civic organizations in opposing this timetable.
would have to be finalized, the mayor appointed            Additionally, LWVNYC chair Robin Bahr wrote
a Charter Commission with the intent of having             to Mayor Bloomberg u      rging him to remove the
these amendments on the November ballot.                   time limitations and allow adequate time to en-
     The League of Women Voters of the City of             sure full and fair citizen participation.

                             ________________________________________
                                                    NEW!
                              LWV Classic Cotton Box Tote / LWV logo on front
                                 14½ x 12 x 4½ — 12 oz. Black Cotton Canvas
                  Front Open Pocket — 12” handle drop height allows for shoulder or hand carry
                           Cost: $15 + tax prepaid, or send in a check with a request.
                     Sample will be at October 15 membership meeting. Orders will be taken.
                                        _____________________________




                                     Member Database Update

                              We are updating our database on members
                     and need your e- mail address as well as your phone numbers.

      Please fill in this form and mail to LWVNYC, 45 East 33rd Street, Room 331, New York,
   NY 10016. The use of e- mails will reduce our mailing costs substantially.
                     League member data is not made available to other organizations.

   Name ________________________________________________________________________

   Address ______________________________________________________________________

   Home Phone ____________________________ Office Phone __________________________

   E-Mail Address ________________________________________________________________
                           ________________________________________

   Volunteers needed: Please call the office (212/725-3541) if you are interested in serving on
                      one of the League committees or helping out with occasional projects.



                                                       9
                                 UPCOMING MEETINGS
Tuesday, Oct. 8       Reminder: Sept. 18 is registration deadline for Briefings on the Status of
                      Human Rights for Women Around the World at UN Headquarters
                         (Members received a mailed invitation in late September.)
Tuesday, Oct. 15      Membership Meeting:
5:30 p.m.             Discussio n of the Death Penalty (see p. 7 for speakers)

Please mail registration form and check to LWVNYC.
                    Make a Note of these Dates--Details to be announced
December              Holiday Party at the League—Guest Speaker: State Senator Liz Kreuger
Sept., Oct., Nov.     Branch Meetings        (see p. 6)
        Check web site lwvnyc.org EVENTS page for updates on meetings and events.

     Please complete Member Database Update form on p. 9 and mail to LWVNYC.




                                                                                 Non-Profit Org.

   Inside               the New York City League
                                                                                 U.S. Postage

                                                                                     PAID
        League of Women Voters of the City of New York                            New York, NY
              45 East 33rd Street, New York, NY 10016                            Permit No. 6897




                                             10

				
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