Local league activities pattern themselves after the League of Women Voters NYS and League of Women Voters US. Local programming is additionally formulated to reflect issues and concerns of our local communities and region. Among recent activities:
The Leadership Team model continued to be the method our League used, sharing responsibilities in members' areas of strengths. The Team consisted of Mary Kelly-Monaco, Lorrie Wasielewski, Nancy Agen, Barbara Gibbs, Karen McBride and Shirley Hilts-Adams. This model of League operation will continue for the 2018 + 2019 organizational year.
In addition to being busy, the year has been challenging and productive. Eight of our members attended a Regional League training, held in the Central NY Living History Museum in Cortland in early April. It was a day well spent in receiving and sharing information with sister affiliates from Central and Southern New York. Again, eight members attended the Advocacy Training/Lobby Day in late April in Albany, providing visitation opportunities with our Assemblymen and Senator whom were visited in their home offices earlier in the year, along with our Congresswoman. In mid-April a busload of twenty-two members and guests attended the special exhibit on Woman Suffrage at the NY State Museum in Albany. The exhibit was made more meaningful through the information provided by the well-informed tour guide.
In addition to voter registration activities at Federal and County Ceremonies and voter drives at other locations; the selection of two students for the League's Students Inside Albany endeavor; and member Karen McBride receiving a Civic Humanitarian Award from the NYS Women, Inc., were all meaningful activities. Our general meetings, held every two months, covered the following topics:
Our 2018 Annual Meeting speaker, Dawn Catera Lupi, Oneida County First Assistant District Attorney and Special Victims Unit Bureau Chief, shared her journey to her current position. Her talk was entitled Defeating the Challenges, Defending the Victims.
Since May 2017, our League participated in (10) naturalization ceremonies, federal and county sponsored. Of the (483) citizens newly naturalized at these ceremonies, we registered to vote (247) of them, or (51%). (Our "thanks" to all the volunteers who staffed these registration tables--especially the (3) new members at our 17-day sojourn at city hall.) During this same period, we signed up (50) people wishing to donate tissues and/or organs via a tear-off section on the NYS voter registration form. We've been doing this since mid-2015 to assist the New York Alliance for Donation gain donors. [By the way, NYS Public Health Law §4301, effective 2/14/17, allows youth ages 16 and 17 to choose to be an organ donor. More info. on this at: firstname.lastname@example.org and http://www.alliancefordonation.org.]
On Jan. 23, 2018, at the New Hartford Public Library, our League's Voter Service Committee meeting was the subject of a photo and article in the September issue of A'ccent Magazine, issued monthly by the Observer-Dispatch, focusing on the League's history as a suffragist organization, our local League's mission and activities, and League Centennial celebrations.
Our Sat., Mar. 24, 2018 General Membership Meeting featured a panel discussion on voter registration entitled Voter Registration in 16 Easy Steps, comprised of community leaders from four organizations: Committee for Voter Registration Expansion, (CVRE), the Mohawk Valley Latino Association (MVLA), the United Way's Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative (ESPRI), the NAACP, plus the League. Panelists shared ideas and provided insight, tips, and inspiration for helping increase the number of local citizens who are registered to vote. All who attended left with a commitment to continue to work together using each others' areas of expertise to reach our common goal.
Once again, our Voter Service Committee knows well that none of the above-mentioned events could have occurred without the support, enthusiasm, and resolve of our associates and fellow League members. "Thanks" for another successful year!
Contact the Voter Services committee at Voter_Services@lwvuticarome.org.
Sandra, a junior at Thomas Proctor High School was selected for the position of Battalion Operations Officer and Drill Commander of her NJROTC unit. It is the first time that this position has been held by an underclassman. Sandra's extracurricular activities include earning Varsity letters in track and field. Her goal is to be accepted into the Naval Academy.
Currently a senior at Rome Free Academy, Cameron Kilpatrick is an outstanding student/athlete in Football, Basketball, and Lacrosse. Despite his rigorous schedule, he finds the time to volunteer as a Rome Common Council Youth Advisor, and is active in I Serve Mohawk Valley Food Recovery Network. His career goal is to become an Engineer. Cameron has been accepted to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
On April 14 the committee organized a bus to the New York State Museum in Albany to view the Women's Suffrage Display. Although only 22 people rode the bus, we had excellent reviews from attendees. A docent described the long history leading to the vote and the continuation of efforts in recent years for women to obtain credit, strive for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, equal pay, family leave and other issues critical to women.
In addition to names of potential attendees to the CC submitted by local League members, all social service agencies that dealt with women's issues were researched, online, for their presidents, executive directors or staff members and were added to our data base for invitees to the Centennial Celebration at OCHC. IHEs (Institutes for Higher Education) were researched for faculty members in Women's Studies, History, Political Science, and Economics and added to our data base of invitees. Also added were elected officials at the city, county, state and national level. Our Treasurer, Nancy Agen, then took the information of the 250 accumulated invitees and transferred the information to a spread sheet to ease the tracking of potential attendees.
Working with the CC Ad Hoc Committee, an invitation and response package for the Centennial Celebration was developed. The package was printed at The Gallery, a local print shop. Joan Stalloch, Utica Public Library (UPL), provided a space in the Main Lobby from late October to Mid-November for a display of centennial material on Women's Suffrage. Female library staff members expressed their thanks and appreciation for the display. Carl Antonucci, a reference librarian at UPL showed the movie Iron Jawed Angels on a November evening. Upon introducing the program he commented on the turnout + "...better than most for our films." He was moved to learn more on the topic so researched peripheral topics, some of which he shared with the audience. A comment heard after the movie, from an attendee: "I had no idea women experienced the violence and imprisonment that they did for the sake of getting the vote." Additional information was provided via display boards set up on a table with a prominently displayed newspaper headline from November 7, 1917 proclaiming the NYS vote. Following the movie, a WKTV reporter, Callihan Marshall, interviewed Lorrie Wasielewski, Lu Blanchard and Karen McBride on facets of Women Suffrage.
Measures to reduce pollution to protect surface water, ground water and drinking water have been a League issue at all levels for decades. As an extension of our local issues, earlier in the decade Smart Growth study we recognized water quality as an essential element to smart growth and in 2008 adopted post study monitoring of the project planning and progress.
The project moves steadily on target towards the 2021 completion date with sanitary sewer and pumping station rehab projects and new construction at the Water Pollution Control Plant. Educational information provided by Project Ripple Effect is widely available at public events, schools, libraries, PSA's and through a monthly newsletter on line at http://www.rippleeffectocsd.org. See quarterly and annual updates at http://www.ocgov.net/wpc.
The Proposed Local Programs for the coming year, to be voted on at the Annual Meeting, are:
Permit Compliance and Abatement Project and water quality measures to further
Smart Growth and development in Oneida County; and,