Inside the New York City League
League of Women Voters of the City of New York
45 East 33 Street, New York, NY 10016 - Tel. (212) 725-3541 -Fax (212) 725-3443
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)
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
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-
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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
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).
Tuesday, October 15, 2002 — 5:30 P.M.
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
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Inside the New York City League
League of Women Voters of the City of New York New York, NY
45 East 33rd Street, New York, NY 10016 Permit No. 6897