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of New Rochelle, New York

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Any person of voting age, male or female, may become a League member.

To find out more about us, check out the National LWV's  "About the League" page and Where the League Stands.    Email: lwvnewrochelle@gmail.com

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City of New Rochelle


LWV of New Rochelle Candidate Forums Set for October 19 and October 26

The League of Women Voters of New Rochelle announces two Candidate Forums before the Nov. 3 election: one on Monday, October 19 for candidates for Mayor and City Council and another on Monday, October 26 for county legislators. Both forums will be held in the New Rochelle City Council Chamber at City Hall, 515 North Avenue. The forums will be recorded and replayed repeatedly the days before the election on Cablevision Channel 75 and Verizon Channel 28. An on-demand link will also be available.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for both forums, and the public is invited to submit questions. The forums will begin at 7 p.m. All official candidates have been invited to attend.

On October 19, the forum will begin with a short statement from each of the unopposed incumbents. They are District 2, Albert Tarantino-R-IN-C-WF; District 3, Jared Rice-D; and District 4, Ivar Hyden-D-WF. Then the candidates for the three contested districts will deliver opening statements, answer questions and deliver closing statements. They are District 1 incumbent Louis Trangucci - R-IN-C and challenger Luis Zepeda-D-WF; District 5 incumbent Barry Fertel – D-WF and challenger Jeffrey Hastie-R-IN-Ref; and District 6 incumbent Shari Rackman-R, Ref and challenger Elizabeth Fried-D-WF). Finally, incumbent mayor Noam Bramson – D-WF and challenger James O’Toole – IN will follow with this format.

On October 26, the forum for county legislative candidates will begin with a statement by the unopposed incumbent in District 11, James Maisano – R-C. This will be followed by statements and questions and answers with the candidates for District 11, incumbent Sheila Marcotte-R-C and challenger Haina Just-Michael-D-WF, and candidates for District 7, incumbent Catherine Parker – D-WF and challenger Susan Watson – R-C.
The forums, as always, will be moderated by League members living outside of New Rochelle.

For further information and to submit questions in advance, contact Joan Alexander at royjoanalex@yahoo.com


LWV Cable Program Features Teacher of the Year Finalist

During October, the LWVNR cable show "City People and Issues" will feature an interview with Deborah Minchin, New Rochelle High School social studies teacher and a finalist in the New York State Teacher of the Year Award, chats with host Ina Aronow on education, motivating students, American government and the 2015 and 2016 elections. The program is on Cablevision Channel 76 on Mondays, 7 pm, and Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9 pm. Soon to be on demand on Vimeo.

Links to previous programs include the following:--
Now on Demand

Interviews that are now on vimeo.com include:

William Zimmermann, commissioner of parks and recreation, on summer programming, vimeo.com/130452621

Councilman Jared Rice on My Brother’s Keeper in New Rochelle, vimeo.com/130761968

RDRXR VP Brandon Palanker on plans to transform downtown New Rochelle with citizen input, Vimeo.com/127661489

County legislator James Maisano, www.vimeo.com/122978888

Assemblyman Steven Otis, www.vimeo.com/123188954

Linda Tarrant-Reid, award-winning author of African-American history and community activist, www.vimeo.com/120159502

Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, www.vimeo.com/120159503

Sherrie Bell, vice-president, New Rochelle YMCA, www.vimeo.com/115795667

Alisa Kesten, executive director, Volunteer New York, www.vimeo.com/115797739

Luiz Aragon, Commissioner of Development, www.vimeo.com 111332263

Jim Killoren, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity, Westchester, www.vimeo.com 111333900

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

Leaguers at NYState League 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


Women Elected Officials Offer Teen Girls Advice on Community Involvement and “Running and Winning” April 2015

Below, group photo of workshop participants
Group Photo of Running & Winning workshop participants

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. They encouraged the girls to volunteer in their communities when they saw problems to be solved and consider running for office as the next step. Isabella Gierlinnger and Rebecca Meisler represented New Rochelle High School.

The officials spoke during the fourth annual “Running and Winning” workshop, recently [April 16. 2015] sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Westchester, the American Association of University Women of Westchester, and the YWCA of White Plains and Central Westchester, where it was held.

The longest serving official, Ruth Hassell Thompson, state senator from Mount Vernon and the Bronx, summed up a recurring theme, when she described years of volunteering in the community and working on campaigns: “For 40 years, I helped other women run for office. I saw that issues that were important were not being addressed.” She describes herself as “a voice for the voiceless.... People who elect me, elect me to be their voice.”

“Everything you do is affected by government,” said Alfreda Williams, county legislator from Greenburgh.

Most of the women had professional careers and were raising families in addition to their community involvement. “It’s a great thing to be involved in your community. It does matter” said Rye City Councilwoman Julie Killian, an engineer now raising five children.

Several officials pointed out that women bring a different and important perspective to politics: “I think that women look at problems differently than men,” said Shari Rackman, a lawyer and New Rochelle councilwoman.

Below, State Assemblywoman Sandra Galef, Ossining, addressing the group

After listening to the elected officials’ comments, clusters of students planned and presented mock political campaigns including a poster. Selecting one student as a candidate, the others were campaign manager, speech writer, finance manager, or publicity director. The campaigns were centered on an environmental theme, and many of the girls researched their topics via their smart phones.

Below, one team of girls presenting their political campign

One team of girls presenting their political campign

“It was most interesting to see how well young women who just met worked together as a team and created a campaign,” said Cheryl Feldman, Running and Winning Chair. “As one student commented, it gave her the opportunity to put herself in the shoes of a candidate and to understand how the campaign process works.”

“Running and Winning” addressed the growing awareness of the need for more girls and women to develop their unique leadership potential. Women, 50.8 percent of the population, currently make up only 20 percent of the US Senate and 18.2 percent of the House, according to the Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics. Women hold 22.6 percent of legislative and top executive positions on the state level, including five governors.



Cable TV interviews See dates and details at left.  "City People and Issues"  will be available on demand shortly after they are first shown on Cablevision. See links at left for recent interviews and list of past interviews on demand.

Monday, October 19 Candidates Forum. Details at left. Here is the on-demand link to a replay of the October 19 Candidates Forum for New Rochelle City Council and Mayoral Races. The Forums are also playing repeatedly on Cablevision Channel 75 and Verizon FIOS Channel 28. We thank NRTV for making these resources available to us and the New Rochelle voters.

Monday, October 26 Candidates Forum. Details at left. Here is the on-demand link to the October 26 Candidates Forum for the County Legislative races for Districts 7, 10, and 11, which cover New Rochelle. The Forums are also playing repeatedly on Cablevision Channel 75 and Verizon FIOS Channel 28. We thank NRTV for making these resources available to us and the New Rochelle voters.

Tuesday, Nov. 3 Election Day  A personalized ballot including your polling place and candidate generated information is available at wwwVote411.org by writing in your address.

Friday, November 20: Coffee and Conversation Councilman Jared Rice will give an update on the My Brother’s Keeper challenge in New Rochelle.


League of Women Voters Gearing Up With Election Info Via Web Sites, Booklets and Forums

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan, grassroots organization, is gearing up as it does every fall to register voters, plan Candidate Forums, collect and organize candidate information on the web and in print, and encourage every citizen to vote.

“With internet technology, we have the tools to reach people with the information they need quickly and easily,” said Marianna Stout, Voter Service Chair, LWV of Westchester.

The LWV of Westchester has asked all candidates in the county to respond on www.Vote411.org, to a questionnaire asking for basic biographical information, for their positions on major issues and to provide their links to further information. Voters, by typing in their address, will access a personalized ballot with candidates for their local district; they can also find the address of their polling place and directions on getting there. A link to a voter registration form is also on the www.Vote411.org site.

Another traditional League service is the sponsoring of Candidate Forums as well as providing trained moderators to forums sponsored by others. At these forums, or debates, voters can meet and question the candidates or they can watch a replay on the web or on local access cable TV. The schedules will be posted on the LWVW website.

League members will also be registering voters at sites throughout the county, including on National Voter Registration Day, Sept. 23.

“We urge everyone to be registered to vote, or reregister if you have moved,” said Stout. “And it is important to become knowledgeable about the candidates and the issues. The people we send to represent us in Albany and Washington can make a big difference.”

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan, grassroots political organization with chapters throughout the 50 states. The League neither supports nor opposes candidates on any level of government but promotes informed citizen participation in government through education and advocacy. Membership is open to all citizens of voting age.

Voter Registration at Monroe College in May 2014

LWVNR Voter Registration Monroe Coll. Spring 2014

New Rochelle League of Women Voters members were registering dozens of new voters at local colleges and a city street fair in the fall of 2013. 

Joan Alexander, voter service chair, scheduled the registration. Here are photos she had taken at three of these events.

Below: Joyce Goldklang, left, and Tamar Tait, right, flank student Andrea Rodgers, president of Democracy Matters at Iona College, as they prepare to sign up voters.

Voter Registration #4
Below: Leona Newman, Ginny Coffina, and Joan Alexander register voters at the New Rochelle 325th anniversary street fair.

Voter Registration #1
Below: Patricia Carter and Joan Alexander register students at Monroe College in New Rochelle

Voter Registration #12



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Updated by Valerie Castleman Nov. 20, 2015