Making Democracy Work

570 Taxter Road, Suite 565, Elmsford, NY 10523
Tel: 914-949-0507;  fax 914- 997-9354; email lwvwestchester@optonline.net 

back to top



The LWV of Westchester
Has a New Website

Use the link below and when you get there, bookmark the new site.


This site will not be updated.

Columnist Phil Reisman Gives Kudos to LWVW’s Fair Campaign Practices Committee

"The umpires have taken the field, signaling the start of the season of mendacity.

By 'umpires' I mean the Westchester County Fair Campaign Practices Committee—the panel of neutral arbiters that for the past 24 years has assumed the painstaking task of separating political fact from fiction...."

Read Phil Reisman's full column in the August 7 Journal News.  

Click on Fair Campaign Practices Committee link at left for more information on the committee.

View: Westchester Election Bosses Won’t ListenTired Poll Workers

Marylou Green and Janet Zagoria, Journal News, July 11, 2015.

Westchester’s election commissioners, insulated against criticism, showed their aloofness by ignoring calls to assist tired poll workers. Read more>


Leaguers Heard Richard Nightingale of Westhab about "Housing for All"

The Leagues of Harrison and Westchester heard Richard Nightingale, President & CEO of Westhab, Inc discuss “Housing for All” on June 17th, 2015. Westhab is the leading not-for-profit provider of housing and social services for homeless and low-income families in Westchester. To learn more about them go to http://www.westhab.org.

Lola Geiger, Richard Nightingale of Westhab, Karen Schatzel, Housing Chair

Pictured from left: Lola Geiger, Pres. LWVHarrison, Richard Nightingale, Pres&Ceo, Westhab,Inc, and Karen Schatzel, Housing Chair, LWVW.

Delegates from 5 Westchester
County Leagues Attended the
LWVNY Biennial Convention in
Albany June, 5-7, Setting our
Program for 2015-2017

Leaguers Attend State Convention 2015

Bottom row (L to R)
Sheila Bernson, New Castle
Diane Drew, Larchmont/Mamaroneck.
Jennifer Mebes Flagg, New Castle
Top row:
Madeline Zevon, White Plains
Susan Schwarz, Rivertowns
Marian Steinberg, White Plains
Jennifer Watts, White Plains
Marylou Green, County
Not pictured: Deb Morel, Scarsdale
Roseanne Klein, White Plains

LWV Supports Affordable Housing Effort

Letter to the Editor from Harry MacLaughlin, President of LWV of Bedford, Lewsiboro, and North Salem, published in the Lewisboro Ledger on May 21, 2015

"We applaud the efforts of the Lewisboro Town Board to have zoning code changes proposed to include apartments over shops and to legalize other existing accessory apartments to increase the supply of affordable housing." read more on our housing page

Women Elected Officials Offer Teen Girls Advice on Community Involvement and “Running and Winning”

Sixteen diverse Westchester women holding elected office met recently with a diverse group of 45 junior and senior girls representing 21 Westchester high schools, and shared the joys and frustrations of succeeding in what is still largely a male political world. See photos and read more on our projects page>

Milt Hoffman
An Appreciation

Milt HoffmanOur friend and colleague, Milt Hoffman passed away on April 7 at the age of 86, vibrant, curious, informative and active to the very end. Milt’s call from the pages of the Journal News to do something about the many false and misleading charges tainting our political campaigns was answered by the League of Women Voters of Westchester, leading in 1991 to the formation of the Westchester County Fair Campaign Practices Committee. Milt was also a member of LWVW’s Advisory Committee.

Those of us who have been lucky enough to work with him will find him irreplaceable. He was wise, generous, informed, and passionate, carrying decades of Westchester and NYS history in his head and in his heart.

Milt’s passion for honest politics and governance, his knowledge, wisdom, kindness, and generosity has left Westchester a better place. It is up to those he touched, certainly including us, to carry on his quest.

Harrison Makes Way for Affordable Housing

It’s a step in the right direction – a small step in terms of actual numbers, but a big one in terms of its significance. After months of contentious discussions with fair-housing advocates and support from the County Executive’s office, the Town of Harrison has finally agreed that 5 percent – or 7 units – of the 143 luxury apartments to be built in a mixed-use development near the Town’s Metro-North station will be designated as fair and affordable. The seven units represent the first affordable housing to be built in Harrison since the mid-1980s and will target working families with a representative income of up to $56,000 per year for a three-person household.

The development, which is the first of three projects planned to ultimately bring more than 600 market-rate apartments in the downtown area of the Town, is to be constructed on property owned by the MTA, which had been under particular fire by the Westchester Workforce Housing Coalition. Comprised of more than a dozen members as varied as the Habitat for Humanity of Westchester, Community Housing Innovations, the White Plains/Greenburgh NAACP and the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, among others, the Coalition had pressed the MTA and its selected developer for months to designate at least 10 percent of the units as affordable in the final number. Nevertheless, even with strong support from the County, which will contribute $1 million to subsidize the seven affordable units, supporters had to be satisfied with the 5 percent.

The League of Women Voters of Westchester, long a proponent of fair and affordable housing, applauds the efforts of the Westchester Workforce Housing Coalition and the support of the County Administration in achieving this important step forward.  It is our hope the Coalition, building on its success with the MTA and its developer, will be even more successful in achieving its goal of including 10 percent of the proposed units as affordable in its negotiations with Harrison’s other two developers, whose projects will add 463 more apartments in the downtown area in the near future. Such a move could put Harrison ‘on the map’ for the right reasons and make its residents proud.

Want to Know What's Going on in Albany? Read the State League's revived blog, Capitol Beat

The State League's Capitol Beat Blog has begun again! Each week it will contain all kinds of interesting tidbits from the halls of the NYS Capitol.

Barbara Bartoletti, Legislative Director, and Victoria Melillo-Jordan, State League Director of Policy and Programs, will add their comments, stories and information from their lobbying activities and observations of the NYS Senate and Assembly.

Hear about the testimony provided by the State League at recent budget hearings this week - and more.

Watch for updates every Thursday!

Local Students Chosen to Attend Students Inside Albany Program 2015

NY State Capital

Above: the New York State Capitol, photo taken by Shanae Boothe, one of the Students Inside Albany, 2015

Several Westchester county students attended the 15th annual SIA program in May sponsored by the League of Women Voters of New York State Education Foundation, Inc. The program brings approximately 60 students from across the state to Albany to get a first-hand education about their state government. Read more about students sponsored by
LWV of Westchester County
LWV of White Plains
LWV of New Castle
LWV of Somers

LWV Testimony on New York Health Bill Submitted to NYS Assembly Health Committee Publlic Hearing December 16, 2014

On December 16th, Madeline Zevon, delivered the official LWVNYS testimony at the NYS Assembly hearing in New York City on the New York health bill to create single-payer health care coverage in New York State. Madeline serves as chair of the Health Committees of the League of Women Voters of New York State and the League of Women Voters of Westchester and is a member of the League of Women Voters of White Plains.

The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, drew a large crowd of more than sixty speakers, mainly doctor, nurses, social workers, unions, patients and insurance executives.  The prevailing view was that the Affordable Care Act has not gone far enough in ameliorating the unwieldy system of health insurance.  There are a majority of co-sponsors in the Assembly and when it is brought to the floor for a vote in  the next session (Jan. - June), it will probably pass, but it stands almost no chance in the Senate.  Still, it’s a step forward. 

You can view the statements delivered at the hearing by clicking here.  Madeline spoke second in a full day of testimonies.   Read the testimony on the Health Care page of our website, or download the Word document.

Proposed 2015 Westchester County Budget

The League of Women Voters of Westchester has studied and reached consensus on the proposed budget for Westchester County government. The County administration continues to borrow and bond for what should be listed as operating costs. Financial experts agree that these tactics are highly undesirable.

The County has also starved staffing, particularly in the Planning Department and the Department of Public Works, making it difficult for those departments to deal with projects like infrastructure improvements that contribute to the health and safety of people who live and work in Westchester.

We deplore this approach to budgeting. It is putting the County’s on-going expenses on a credit card. We need a more far-sighted approach from those who lead the County government so that it can meet all its responsibilities to future taxpayers.

Read the full League Statement

Election: Proposal Results

All three propositions passed, including proposition 1, which was supported by the LWV of New York State. This proposed amendment to the State Constitution revises the redistricting procedure for state legislative and congressional districts.

The proposal will establish a new, independent 10-member commission to redraw districts lines every ten years. The amendment creates a new redistricting process that no longer allows legislators to solely pick which constituents they get to represent by drawing their own district lines.

To read more information, including ballot language, background information on redistricting in New York State and throughout the US and five reasons to Say Yes, click here.

To learn about two additional proposals click on the proposals:

Proposal 2

Proposal 3

Forum on Redistricting Held Sept. 10  Sally Robinson, President of LWVNYS, gave a power-point presentation on why the League supports Prop 1, followed by a Q and A. Video now availablehttp://vimeo.com/105927701

Hear why LWV-NYS supported the Redistricting Proposal; learn about the issues. The purpose of this proposal is to reform the process of establishing new state legislative and congressional district lines that the Constitution requires every 10 years. An independent redistricting commission will be established to determine lines for legislative and congressional districts. The forum was sponsored by the LWVs of White Plains, Riverstowns, Scarsdale, Larchmont/Mamaroneck and the White Plains Library.

Results of the League of Women Voters Education Foundation's Survey of Split Shifts for Elections Inspectors

April 2014. The League of Women Voters of Westchester (LWVW), a number of whose members serve as Election Inspectors (EIs), has for some time wondered if splitting poll-working shifts might not: 1) halt the drop-off of inspectors as they age and find the 16-plus-hour day too burdensome, and 2) attract much-needed new recruits.

Read more on our Voter Service page>

Download the statement plus survey responses

Just Published: Updated Green Lawns Blue Waters Brochure

May 2014. Thanks to a generous grant from the Westchester Community Foundation, the Westchester County League of Women Voters Education Foundation has updated its popular 2004 brochure “Green Lawns Blue Waters.” This guide to safe and healthy gardening provides up to date, practical tips to cope with the effects of our changing climate. Free copies are available in bulk for distribution by emailing lwvwestchester@optonline.net or calling (914) 332-1301.

Download the pdf of the Green Lawns Blue Waters
Read more including list of online resources>

League Supports Mass Transit on New Tappan Zee Bridge   read the league's comments on the Mass Transit Task Force Report March 2014

League Commissions Report on New York’s Economically Recoverable Shale Gas
April 21, 2014 The New York State League of Women Voters contracted with Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc. to perform an evaluation of potential economically recoverable Marcellus shale natural gas in New York as a result of determining that New York State’s proposed 2014 Energy Plan lacks this vital information. 
Read the League's press release about the evaluation.
Read the full evalution report (44 pages)

Videos Track Issues of Shale Gas Fracking in New York State's Marcellus Shale, a League Concern January 2014 read more>

LWV Responds to Algonquin Pipeline Expansion Project read the LWV's letter of Jan 14, 2014 to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission>

LWVW Statement to Charter Revision Commission Nov. 2013  Read the statement on our County Government page>

Westchester County Charter Revision Commission Update  April 2013 The Charter Revision Commission met recently to discuss each of its four focus groups' reports. Read the League's response>

Housing Update: see LWV's FAQ for understanding the Housing Agreement and video of the Sept. 16 forum
Read it and more on our Housing Page>
See the video of the Sept. 16, 2013 forum

LWV Westchester Issues Statement on the Westchester County Fair and Affordable Housing Controversy addressed to the County Executive, HUD, and the Board of Legislators
read the FAQ and full statement>
dowload pdf of full statement
download Journal-News Community View 5-17-13 pdf







For up-to-date information on the candidates and your polling places, go to: www.Vote411.org.

Nov. 3 Election Day

Nov. 12 LWV of Rivertowns. Money in Politics. Brent Ferguson of Brennan Center for Justice Democracy Program. 8:45am, El Dorado West Diner, 480 S. Broadway, Tarrytown (across from the Doubletree Hotel). Free and open to the public. RSVP 914-332-7969.

Nov. 16. Rivertowns LWV Environment  group. 1:30pm, 125 Bellair Dr., Dobbs Ferry


Call for Moderators for Debates and Meetings

We are looking for volunteers to serve as moderators at candidate debates and other public forums. Paul Schwarz (of LWVW-WhitePlains), Moderator Coordinator for LWV of Westchester, will train volunteers in the time-proven guidelines established by the LWV. He will be holding one or more training sessions for persons who would like to explore becoming a moderator.

The moderator's role is to conduct any debate in a manner that candidates and audience members are treated fairly and impartially. To avoid any appearance of conflict of interest, moderators are not assigned meetings within their own communities. Moderators are welcomed at events and treated with respect; it's also a great skill to have. Debates, or forums, are usually sponsored by a local League but sometimes by another group in a community. If you have interest or want to learn more, contact Paul at PKSchwarz1@gmail.com.

Help Protect Democracy

In order to continue to carry out our work to protect democracy, we need your help. Contributions to the League of Women Voters of Westchester directly support our programs. Checks may be payable to LWVW and mailed to 570 Taxter Road, Suite 565, Elmsford, NY 10523.

Questions and comments may be directed to Tel: 914-949-0507; fax 914- 997-9354; or email lwvwestchester@optonline.net

Find Us on Facebook

To receive more info on LWV events around the county click here and give us your email address

The New York State LWV's Newsletter is now available online.

See other Leagues' newsletters

New 2014 Directory of Government Officials Has Arrived  Read more>

Join the League!

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan grassroots organization which promotes informed citizen participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. League members make a difference in their community, statewide and nationally through active volunteering and/or financial support.

Membership is open to all citizens of voting age. Non-citizens may join as associates. Students may join at a reduced rate. For further information on membership, contact a local League through the link on this page or e-mail lwvwestchester@optonline.net with your address and phone number and we will contact you with further information.

County League Seeks Volunteers

If you know of someone who may be interested in serving on the County Board or any of the committees, or if you have an interest in doing so, contact the League office:

Tel: 914-949-0507; email LWVwestchester@optonline.net 

Voter Service Moderators Needed!

Help Wanted!
Moderator Training Available
See details on Voter Service page. Contact Paul Schwarz of White Plains LWV PKSchwarz1@gmail.com


Interested in NYS politics? Want to participate directly in the legislative process and development of policies? Join the new LWVNYS Lobby Corps

The League of Women Voters of NYS is developing a Lobby Corps, similar to that of LWVUS. The purpose is to train a group of volunteers who will then communicate the League's position on proposed legislation in person directly to the members of the state Senate and Assembly. The volunteer lobbyists will receive background information, talking points and individual assignments of legislators. A meeting will be held prior to the start of the legislative session in Albany to train and brief the Corps.

These volunteers are not to replace the Issue Specialists on whom the League currently depends for specific information, testimony and memos on particular issues as they are considered by the legislature. Instead, the Lobby Corps will be generalists who will provide the direct contact with the legislators on the key talking points. The Corps will also attend legislative committee meetings to report to the state League on important discussions and votes. It would be expected that the Lobby Corps volunteers would agree to lobby on a regular basis as assigned in Albany, for example, at least 2 days a month.

The Corps will work very closely with the state League's Vice President for Issues and Advocacy, Sally Robinson, and our Legislative Director, Barbara Bartoletti. The volunteers will "shadow" Barbara to meet the legislators, become familiar with the capitol and the legislative procedures, and learn the aspects of good lobbying techniques, especially during the volunteers' first year.

Come make a difference - and try something new in the League! For more info contact Laura Ladd Bierman, LWVNYS Executive Director, Laura@lwvny.org

Read more


Watpa WATPA Home Page WLS Westchester Library System

Updated by Valerie Castleman Nov.3, 2015