Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.

News From Around the Leagues of New York State

LWV MeetingLike most local Leagues, LWV of Huntington held multiple Meet the Candidate nights during October; they also held an informational meeting on the local referendum on the ballot in November. The Election Services Committee of the LWV of Buffalo/Niagara serviced four Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority (BMHA) sites in October 2103. LWV of New Castle had a full house in the Chappaqua Library for its Fall Candidates’ Night, and, thanks to NCCMC (New Castle Community Media Center), 75 people were able to watch the event streaming live, and the online video received over 2.200 hits.

Many local Leagues also organized post-election discussions while enjoying great meals. Ellis Henican, Newsday Columnist, Author, NY Times Bestsellers, spoke at a post-election supper for the LWVs of Nassau County. And, LWV of Brookhaven discussed the election at a breakfast, with comments from Charles Lane, Reporter, WSHU- National Public Radio.

The LWV of Broome-Tioga held a meeting, “Navigating the Health Care Exchange,” featuring 2 presenters from local agencies. All 3 are “navigators,” a role established by the Affordable Care Act to provide assistance to individuals and businesses in finding and enrolling in affordable health insurance. LWV of NYC is holding a program, Story of Success: Health Care Exchanges in New York State with Guest Speaker Danielle Holahan, NY State of Health, The Official Health Plan Marketplace.

LWV of Somers held a luncheon and hosted Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney. Congressman Maloney stressed his personal belief that we have to work together.

The LWV of Utica-Rome organized a forum on Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence which drew a diverse crowd of over 50 people. The event featured three dynamic speakers, Emily Amick, Equal Justice Works Fellow at Sanctuary for Families in New York City, Deborah Gelotti, YWCA Crisis Services and Kara Wilson, Assistant District Attorney for Oneida County. The LWV of Syracuse also held a program on Human Trafficking: What Is It? Does It Occur Here in Central NY? What Is Being Done About It? Featured panelists included Monira Alozaime, International Victims Project Advocate, Vera House, Inc.; Captain Mark Lincoln, New York State Police; and Hans Peter Schmitz, Associate Professor, Maxwell School at Syracuse Univeristy. The panel was moderated by Barrie Gewanter, CNY Director, New York Civil Liberties Union.

LWV of Scarsdale featured David J. Kennedy, Chief of the Civil Rights Unit, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York, as the speaker at a luncheon.  Through his engaging and incisive presentation, David highlighted pertinent provisions of the federal Voting Rights Act and discussed the recent ruling by the Supreme Court in Shelby County and the impact of the decision on the ability to use a critical provision of the Voting Rights Act to protect citizens from voting rights violations.

LWV of Rye, Rye Brook and Port Chester is holding an educational forum in December, Detroit is Bankrupt: Could It Happen Here? Panelists include Elizabeth Lynam, Vice President & Director of State Studies, Citizens Budget Commission; E. J. McMahon, Senior Fellow of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and the Empire Center for New York State Policy; James A. Parrott, Deputy Director and Chief Economist of the Fiscal Policy Institute; and Richard Ravitch, Former Lt. Governor of New York. Co-Chair State Budget Crisis Task Force. The panelists, with their diverse viewpoints, will focus on the key aspects of New York State and municipal fiscal management and policy in the context of business, union, taxpayer, political and legal constraints and priorities.

The LWV of Tompkins County co-sponsored a very informative program “Marcellus and Utica Shale Gas Potential in New York State,” which was well-attended, with around 200 in the audience. Cornell professor Tony Ingraffea moderated the program, with speakers Jerry Action (former systems engineer at Lockheed Martin), Lou Allstadt (retired executive vice president for exploration and production at Mobil Oil Corp.), Brian Brock (retired geologist, who has worked for the USGS) and James Northrup (retired oil and gas investor and former planning manager at Atlantic Richfield). The program addressed the question of how much economically recoverable gas is likely contained in the Marcellus and Utica Shales in New York State.

Will Tomorrow’s Long Island Water be Drinkable” was the topic of a meeting for the LWV of Southwest Nassau. The speakers included: Rob Alvey, Geologist expert on ground and surface water issues and Stan Carey, Superintendent of Massapequa Park Water District. On January 1, 2014, PSEG will assume responsibility for providing electric service to the people and businesses on Long Island. LWV of East Nassau held a meeting at which John O’Connell, Vice President of Transmission and Distribution for PSEG Long Island, discussed what to expect from this change.

“Poverty” is the theme of the Schenectady League this year. The League hosted a showing of “A Place at the Table“, a powerful film focusing on hunger in America. It was followed by a panel discussion including Rev. Phil Grigsby, Executive Director of Schenectady Inner City Ministry (SICM), Deb Catozzi, Executive Director of the Hunger Action Network and Margie Skinner, Board Chair of The Food Pantries, all individuals with long experience working with those in poverty. Sara Foss, Daily Gazette columnist, was a well-informed moderator.

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