Making Democracy Work

About LWV Utica-Rome Metro Area

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:

General Membership Meetings and Educational Programs

The Shared Leadership model instituted two years ago resulted in considerable support and reaching out to help our League become stronger and even more active. The members of the team shared their expertise and knowledge in planning and carrying out chapter responsibilities along with a great Board of Directors, smoothly and with graciousness. Lorrie Wasielewski, Nancy Agen, Barbara Gibbs, Karen McBride, and Shirley Hilts-Adams, aided by Carole Torok-Huxtable undertook the task of this relatively new League model with interest and commitment. The coming months will undoubtedly provide us many challenges and opportunities as we experience an ever-changing political landscape.

Several members of our local League joined with other women's groups in welcoming New York's Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for the announcement of the Woman's Suffrage Centennial Commission Act at Munson Williams Proctor Institute on October 3, 2016. Over 100 women attended the announcement ceremony in which Representative Richard Hanna and his young daughter also participated.

We've had a busy, interesting year with several informative meetings on topics related to our community. In addition to monthly voter registration activities at Federal and County Citizenship Ceremonies; a judicial candidate forum and Constitutional Convention information meeting; the selection of a student from local schools to participate in Students inside Albany; and members Mary Chapin, Dawn Laguerre, and Flor-ence Wood receiving community recognition awards, general meetings were held on:

  • Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence Prevention
  • Recycling in the Mohawk Valley
  • Oneida County Food Policy
  • Drug and Alcohol Use and Abuse had to be cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control

Our Annual Meeting speaker, Dare Thompson, LWVNY State President, recounted her Journey as a Leaguer, rounding out a very informative and activity-packed League year.

Voter Services

Since our May 21, 2016 annual meeting, our Utica/Rome League of Women Voters held a total of 22 voter registration drives registering a total of 180 voters at colleges, farmer's markets, Utica City Hall, outdoor festivals, and health fairs. Also since the 2016 annual meeting, we registered 207 new citizens to vote. With 2016 being a presidential election year with 3 scheduled primary elections, we finished the calendar year, (Jan. + Dec. 2016) with 586 people registered to vote 359 from registration drives, 227 from 9 naturalization ceremonies. In addition, we signed up approximately 41 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.

We distributed to libraries and the general public, over 400 LWVNY-issued Voter Guides, which list registration deadlines, explain the voting process, and describe the platforms of state-wide candidates for office.

Since our quest is to inform and educate the public on issues that affect their everyday lives, on Tuesday, October 25, 2016, at the New Hartford American Legion Post 1376, we sponsored a debate for the two candidates vying for the Oneida County Court Judge position + which drew a crowd of about 85 people. In addition, on Thursday, February 16, 2017, at the same legion hall, we conducted a public forum to inform voters on a prospective New York State Constitutional Convention, (Con-Con), to review and amend the NYS Constitution. This proposal will be on the ballot for the November 7, 2017, General Election. This forum gave attendees an opportunity to learn more about this complex issue from LWVNY Executive Director, Laura Ladd Bierman and LWVNY Program and Policy Director Jennifer Wilson.

We were delighted also for the opportunity, on February 13, to appear on the Bill Keeler Show, WIBX Radio-AM950, to announce and discuss the February 16 public forum, which raised awareness within the community and heightened attendance. Of course, our Voter Service Committee knows well that none of the above-mentioned events could have happened without the support, enthusiasm, and commitment of our associates and fellow League members.

Contact the Voter Services committee at Voter_Services@lwvuticarome.org.

Youth

We have selected an excellent candidate for this year's Students Inside Albany conference sponsored by the LWVNYS Education Foundation. The conference will take place May 21-24 and includes high school students from across New York State.

The student that has been selected to represent LWV Utica/Rome this year is Nakiesha Newton, currently a senior at Thomas R. Proctor High School. She holds a 94.5 GPA, is a varsity sports athlete, is a talented musician and is fluent in Mandarin. Despite her rigorous schedule, Nakiesha finds time to volunteer in the community and is an active member of her church. Her career goal is to become a civil rights attorney. We are excited about the talents that Nakiesha will bring to Albany as she represents the Mohawk Valley.

Suffrage Centennial

November 6, 2017 is the 100 year anniversary of New York State's approval of women's suffrage. The committee has been joined by AAUW to sponsor a cocktail party on that date. PUT IT ON YOUR CALENDAR now and plan to celebrate and appreciate the hard work and persistence of our foremothers. Expect tickets to be available for this event by early fall.

Additionally, our league convened a meeting of women's organizations this spring. The goal was to avoid duplicating efforts and to promote each other's suffrage events. A shared calendar was created and is now on our website promoting suffrage events locally. Our members have since attended many interesting and educational programs throughout the community. The coalition discussed ways to work together such as our group doing voter registration at certain events and people in attendance expressed an inter-est in regrouping in three to four months. Our league will facilitate that.

Our league has arranged for a bus trip to the New York State Archives/Museum in Albany to see the special suffrage display of items of their own and borrowed from other museums across the State that show how New York State women and some men built momentum to pass suffrage. The trip is planned for Saturday April 14, 2018. Plan on bringing friends, your children or grandchildren to this event.

Full suffrage was not obtained nationally until 1920 and its success was the rationale for the start of the League of Women Voters so expect many more acknowledgements of women's efforts in the next few years.

Publicity

Monthly news releases were sent to all local newspaper and TV stations. The Utica Observer-Dispatch used the articles as submitted. They were usually put in the middle of the page which is a good place-ment for viewing.

Are you on Facebook? LWVUR now has its own page! Search for and "Join" League of Women Voters Utica/Rome to receive timely notices of our activities that you can share with your Friends.

Our Local Program of Interest

Local Program - Smart Growth 2015-16

Support of measures to reduce pollution in order to protect surface water, groundwater and drinking water has been a League issue at all levels for decades.

After our local study, LWVU/R supported the 1965 referendum creating the Part County Sewer District. In 2006 County legislation formed an expanded district of 13 municipalities plus 2 from Herkimer County.
An aspect of our local Smart Growth study (adopted (2002) is post-study monitoring (adopted 2008) of the Oneida County Sewer District Permit Compliance and Abatement Project to be completed in 2021.
Updates:
  • Sanitary Sewer Manhole Rehab completed and closed in 2014.
  • Sewer Separation Village of New York Mills completed and closed in 11/2014.
  • Sanitary Mainline Rehab

    -Phase 1 - Villages of Yorkville, Whitesboro and New York Mills completed and closed in 2014.

    -Phase 2, 3 and 4 - Town of New Hartford (Kellogg, Oxford), Town of Whitestown (Glen Haven) all partially completed through 6/2015. City of Utica contracted directly for work under Genesee Street.

    -Phase 5 - Village of Whitesboro (Henderson, Clinton) planned completion by 12/2015.

    -Phase 6 - Towns of New Hartford, Washington Mills (Chapman, Higby, Mohawk) to begin Spring 2016.

    -Phase 7 - Village of New York Mills, Yorkville and Oriskany.
  • Flow monitoring measurement fully implemented and analysis underway.
Detailed quarterly progress reports to DEC prepared by O'Brien & Gere Engineers can be found at Oneida County Dept. of Water Quality and Water Pollution Control http://www.ocgov.net/wpc.

Annual Reports