Making Democracy Work

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

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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

White Plains Students to go to AlbanyWHITE PLAINS, NY -Jacqueline Rayo and Vanessa Aceituno, both 11th grade students at White Plains High School, have been chosen to attend this year’s Students Inside Albany program sponsored by the League of Women Voters of New York State Education Foundation, Inc. This 15th annual Students Inside Albany program will take place from May 17-20th, and will bring approximately 60 students from across the state to Albany to get a first-hand education about their state government. The program is designed to increase high school students' awareness of their responsibility in representative government and provide information about the tools necessary for meeting that responsibility.

While at the conference, students will join their peers in a hands-on learning experience about how state government works. Students will participate in a series of interactive lectures on topics such as the state budget process, the role of lobbyists in the legislative process, citizen rights to access government information, the role of media in politics, and the move to reform state government. While in Albany, the students will have an opportunity to tour the state’s Capitol. The highlight for most students is the opportunity to shadow their Senators and their Assembly member for an afternoon attending session on the Chamber floor.

For more information on the White Plains League of Women Voters, please visit their website at: www.lwvwp.org. For more information on the League of Women Voter of New York State Education Foundation, Inc., or the Students Inside Albany program, please visit their website at: www.lwvny.org.

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>

"Running and Winning" Workshop Encourages Young Women to Seek Political Office

Running & Winning Workshop 2014

April 2014. Ten women elected officials from Westchester met with more than 46 young women from 19 Westchester high schools recently to share how they got interested in public issues and eventually run for elected office, encouraging the high school juniors and seniors to consider public office in the future.   Read more with additional photos>

LWV sponsors the Students In Albany Program
Read about our student's experience in 2013>

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


Thu. Apr. 2 Board Meeting. 9:30am Community Unitarian Church, White Plains

Wed. April 15 Forum on Human Trafficking "Present Day Enslavement in our Communities" Confirmed Speakers: NYS Assemblywoman Amy Paulin; Gonzolo Martinez de Vedia of the Human Trafficking Program, Worker Justice Center; Carl J. Boykin, Director, NYS Human Trafficking Department and Illegal Gun Trafficking and ​Kate Okamoto of Sanctuary for Families. 7-9pm, White Plains Public Library, 100 Martine Ave. Sponsors: White Plains League of Women Voters, White Plains Rotary, The Slater Center, El Centro Hispano, and the White Plains Public Library.For more information, contact: Denise D'Ambrosio, denisedambrosiolaw@gmail.com Download flyer.

Thu. Apr. 16 Running and Winning. YWCA, White Plains

Sun. Apr. 19 Rivertowns: Meet Your Elected Officials.Elected officials from the Rivertowns will be available to provide information about their legislative priorities and will answer constituent questions. Refreshments will be served. There is no charge and all are welcome. 2pm-4pm. Warner Library Main Reading Room, 121 North Broadway, Tarrytown. More info sdschwarz@aol.com. Sponsored by LWV Rivertowns and Warner Library. Download flyer.

Thu. May 7 Board Meeting. 9:30am Community Unitarian Church, White Plains

Thu. June 4 Annual Convention, Annual Luncheon, Annual Convention, location TBA

Fri. June 5, Sat. June 6 LWVNY Convention, Albany, NY

Thu. June 18. Board Meeting & New/Old Board Pot Luck Luncheon Location TBA

New Date TBA: Life and Death with Dignity: Taking Charge of Healthcare Decisions. Panel scheduled for March 5 sponsored by New Castle LWV was cancelled because of snow and will be rescheduled.

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


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Updated by Valerie Castleman Mar. 27, 2015