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$42.5 Million Bond Referendum Information Session

The League of Women Voters® of New Castle is sponsoring an information session on the $42.5 million bond referendum at 7 p.m. on May 31, 2016 at the Chappaqua Library Theater, 195 South Greeley Avenue, Chappaqua, NY. 

Lyn McKay, Chappaqua Central School District Superintendent, and Pam Thornton, Director of the Chappaqua Library, will each provide a brief overview. They and other CCSD employees will then answer questions from the League and the audience.

Questions about the referendum may be submitted by email to the League by May 30th to lwvnewcastle@gmail.com.   Emails must include questioner’s name and address.

Coffee and refreshments will be available.  For more information, please contact lwvnewcastle@gmail.com.

The community will have the opportunity to vote on the bond on Tuesday, June 14th from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Greeley Gym. 

CONVERSATION WITH THE SUPERVISOR

On March 17, 2016, the League of Women Voters® of New Castle held its annual event A Conversation with the Supervisor at the Chappaqua Library Theater. Supervisor Rob Greenstein provided updates to the community on the latest issues around Town. 

In case you missed it, you can watch the video here: https://vimeo.com/159536788

LWV Conversation With Supervisor Greenstein March 2016 from New Castle Media Center on Vimeo.

LWV MEMBERS GO TO ALBANY

By Kay Schonberg, League Member

On Tuesday March 8, 2016 several hundred people from the Hudson Valley, New York City,  and Long Island areas traveled to Albany to encourage state legislators to support the comprehensive budget item to raise the age of criminal responsibility in New York State from 16 to 18 years.  The group included individuals who had diverse involvements  with this issue.  There were representatives of agencies which worked in both preventive and remedial programs; members of  The League of Women Voters; young people with a history of incarceration who spoke about the impact of that experience on their lives; family members of incarcerated teens; attorneys; professionals who worked with incarcerated youth in the jails; and residents of the Youth Shelter of Westchester ( an alternative to incarceration).  These young people from the Shelter served as an example of the potential for positive growth which can be realized when teens in difficulty are given the appropriate supports and services rather than being subjected to a punitive approach.  Please contact your legislator to urge support for this budget item.

Raise the Age Lobby Day


2016 ELECTIONS

This year in New York State we will have FOUR election days, not counting the school board elections on May 17th and the Fire District elections on December 13th.

  • Presidential primary - April 19th
  • Federal congressional primary - June 28th
  • State and local primary - September 13th
  • General election - November 8th

Below is a summary of important dates related to each of the above elections.

PRIMARY ELECTIONS

PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY - TUESDAY, APRIL 19th

  • Register in person by Friday, March 25th
  • Register by mail: postmarked by Friday, March 25th and received by March 30th
  • Apply for absentee ballot in person by Monday, April 18th
  • Apply for absentee ballot by mail: postmarked by Tuesday, April 12th
  • Deliver ballot in person by Tuesday, April 19th
  • Deliver ballot by mail: postmarked by Monday, April 18th and received by Tuesday, April 26th

Who can Vote in a Presidential Primary?

People CANNOT change their party affiliation now and vote in the primary of their new party affiliation this April; people can vote in the primary for the party they are currently registered. However, anyone who is registering FOR THE FIRST TIME may vote in the presidential primary if they register by March 25th in person or by mail if received by the county BOE by March 30. People with questions can contact the Westchester County Board of Elections at 914-995-5700.  

CONGRESSIONAL PRIMARY - TUESDAY, JUNE 28th

  • Register in person by Friday, June 3rd
  • Register by mail: postmarked by Friday, June 3rd and received by June 8th
  • Apply for absentee ballot in person by Monday, June 27th
  • Apply for absentee ballot by mail: postmarked by Tuesday, June 21st
  • Deliver ballot in person by Tuesday, June 28th
  • Deliver ballot by mail: postmarked by Monday, June 27th and received by Tuesday, July 5th
STATE AND LOCAL PRIMARY - TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13th
  • Register in person by Friday, August 19th 
  • Register by mail: postmarked by Friday, August 19th and received by August 24th 
  • Apply for absentee ballot in person by Monday, September 12th 
  • Apply for absentee ballot by mail: postmarked by Tuesday, September 6th 
  • Deliver ballot in person by Tuesday, September 13th 
  • Deliver ballot by mail: postmarked by Monday, September 12th and received by Tuesday, September 17th 
GENERAL ELECTION-TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 8th
  • Register in person by Friday, October 14th 
  • Register by mail: postmarked by Friday, October 14th and received by October 19th 
  • Apply for absentee ballot in person by Monday, November 7th 
  • Apply for absentee ballot by mail: postmarked by Tuesday, November 1st 
  • Deliver ballot in person by Tuesday, November 8th 
  • Deliver ballot by mail: postmarked by Monday, November 7th and received by Saturday, November 12th 

Vote 411 has information on the presidential candidates. Go to www.vote411.org and enter your address to get voter information. Watch for later in the year as we update the site for each of the upcoming primaries and general election.


COFFEE AND CONVERSATION WITH STATE LEAGUE PRESIDENT DARE THOMPSON

Dare Thompson coffee


Local was very lively with the newly-elected president of the LWV of New York, Dare Thompson; the president of the LWV of Westchester, Marylou Green, and many members and friends of the LWV of New Castle.  In addition, we were very honored to have our state Assemblyman, David Buchwald join us.

While sipping coffee or tea, and munching on Balthazar pastries, the audience learned about the State League.  Dare described the League of Women Voters as a ‘grassroots organization,’ forming its positions, such as the recently adopted  “Raise the Age of Criminal Responsibility,” based on the opinions of all of the local leagues in New York State.  She also described how the State League conducts its efforts in Albany to support its many positions with state lawmakers. 

Marylou Green spoke about the support the Westchester League lends to the ten local leagues in the county.   The Westchester League keeps an eye on the work of the county legislators, and always monitors the county budget.   It also organizes and publishes the fall Voters Guides that provides information on all local, state and national elections, as well as setting up Vote411.org, the League of Women Voters on-line voters guide to candidates as well as polling places.

David Buchwald provided valuable insights on the workings of Albany and gave us one bit of important advice:  reach out to your representatives and let them know how you feel about particular issues-- phone calls are the best approach, but letters and emails are also ok.

See you soon at our next “Meet-Up.”  

FIONA DUBROSA SELECTED TO ATTEND THE  2016 STUDENTS INSIDE ALBANY CONFERENCE

Greeley Junior Fiona Dubrosa has been selected to attend the 2016 Students Inside Albany conference to be held from May 22-23, 2016 in Albany. This student conference, sponsored by the League of Women Voters of New York State Education Foundation, Inc., is designed to increase students’ awareness of their responsibility in a representative government and provide the tools necessary for meeting that responsibility. This interactive conference will bring together high school students from across the state to learn about New York State government and the process by which citizens can participate in the policy-making arena. As part of the program, students will also tour the Capitol and observe the Senate and Assembly in action by spending an afternoon shadowing their legislators.

For the past four years, a Greeley student has attended Students Inside Albany Conference. Brandon Hilfer found attending the conference to be a very worthwhile experience and highly recommends the program to fellow students:

SIA was truly a life changing experience for me. I saw that our state government is comprised of many different vibrant, multi-faceted institutions. Individual personalities play an enormous role in these institutions’ accomplishments. After my time in Albany, I am inspired to bring back the lessons I learned to Horace Greeley High School. As a student leader, I want to combat apathy by giving different sectors an organized way of sharing their views. SIA gave me the tools to strengthen my own community, and I am grateful to have participated in the conference. 

This year’s LWVNC attendee will be selected to join other students sponsored by the over 50 local League of Women Voters chapters throughout New York State. Attendance is free: the LWVNC will provide train fare for the student to travel to Albany; all other costs of attending the conference, including three nights’ accommodations at the Hotel Albany in downtown Albany, will be covered by the League of Women Voters of New York. All applicants will receive a student membership in the LWVNC and the winner will be invited to share their Conference experience with League members.


MONEY IN POLITICS CONSENSUS MEETING!
On January 25th, we held our Consensus Meeting on the Money in Politics study conducted by the National League. The current League position does not answer the question of whether all or some political activity constitutes free speech protected under the First Amendment. Because it does not address that question, the position does not balance the First Amendment interests of candidates, donors, independent spenders, and issue advocates against the interest in equitable competition among candidates for office, preventing undue influence, and enhancing voter participation.

The League is pursuing a strategic, multi-dimensional approach at the federal and state levels to overcome or limit the Court's decision in Citizens United. To date, the League has not supported or opposed particular legislation to amend the Constitution. Even putting aside the considerable practical barriers to ratifying an amendment as well as unintended consequences of the various proposed amendments, we believe that our current campaign finance position does not address First Amendment considerations. 

Click here for a summary of the consensus positions reached by our League.

UPDATE: 

CONCURRENCE  ON "RAISE THE AGE"

The state concurrence was considered by 25 local leagues and they all came to consensus in favor of the concurrence. At its meeting held on January 17, 2016 the State League Board of Directors adopted the following new position:

1. Children under the age of 18 are not adults and their treatment within the juvenile justice and criminal court system should relate to their stage of development. 

2. Children should not be held in adult incarceration facilities. 

3. Rehabilitation is the purpose of the juvenile justice system. 

4. The legal rights of children should be protected. 

This provides a new position on which the League will be taking action during this current legislative session. 

Our December 1st Forum on Raise the Age was well-attended and extremely compelling:

 PIE FUNDRAISER

Thank you to all who ordered desserts in our Thanksgiving fundraiser!


 Town Budget Forum

On November 10th, the League of Women Voters of New Castle hosted a budget forum with Town Comptroller Robert Deary, Town Administrator Jill Shapiro, and Supervisor Robert Greenstein. Comptroller Deary provided an overview of the budget process and discussed the revenue and expense factors that have influenced the decision-making. Thank to all who presented and to those who asked questions.

Click here for the LIvestream replay, thanks to NCCMC.com.

The public hearing on the budget will take place on Tuesday, November 24th at 7:45 p.m. at Town Hall. Copies of the proposed budget are available upon request at Town Hall or online at www.mynewcastle.org. The Town Board is scheduled to vote on the budget at the December 8th Town Board meeting.

WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST MEMBERS

Nicole Aron and David Wolff

Julia Burton

Jason and Chrissy Chapin

Ronni Diamondstein

Randee Glazer

Hala Makowska

Samantha Mortlock

Mary Rohde

Kathleen and David Schrieber

Marie Short

Jane Silverman


                 VOTER REGISTRATION



Voter Registration




A Conversation with Rob Greenstein, 
New Castle Town Supervisor 


Tuesday, March 10th
Chappaqua Library Theater

Can't see the video, watch here: Video here

2014 Voter Participation in New Castle and Our Survey Results

            “I always vote. It is a citizen’s civic responsibility and a privilege.” 

“I have never missed an opportunity to vote, never will. It’s an obligation of living in a democracy.”

 These quotes from two New Castle residents capture the sentiment expressed by many in our community who completed the recent voter participation survey conducted by the League of Women Voters of New Castle. Although New York State’s participation in the midterm elections was the fourth lowest in the country at 28.8%, we are pleased to report that the voter participation rate for New Castle was almost 50%.

The League’s objectives in doing a survey were to find out whether the community feels it is getting the information it needs about the candidates and the issues, and the community’s thoughts on what would make voting more accessible.

About 300 people participated in our survey; 82% of survey respondents had voted in the last election and 63% of respondents felt that they were sufficiently informed.

The following chart illustrates where survey respondents obtained their information on the candidates: 

                         

Of the 50 respondents who had not voted, about 40% stated that they were disillusioned, disgruntled or otherwise not sure their votes mattered. Here are a couple of their quotes:

“My vote can't change anything in politics."

                     "Difficult to determine who was telling the truth and who was not. So many negative                           ads and constant phone calls left more questions than answers.”

Research shows that negative ads late in a campaign can reduce voter turnout (see http://mediaproject.wesleyan.edu/blog/what-matters-with-negativity-is-timing/).

About 40% of nonvoters said they could not get to the polls because of their jobs.  Suggested remedies included early voting, voting on the weekend, voting by mail or online voting.  Early in-person voting and no-excuse absentee ballots are reforms that the League of Women Voters of New York State supports. In fact, New York is one of only 14 states where early voting is not available and an excuse is required to request an absentee ballot.  The New York State Assembly has passed an early voting bill over the last two years, but the Senate has opposed it.

Our survey findings reflect only the opinions of those willing to complete our survey and are not meant to be a statistically valid sample. However, the survey provided us good information from the community. While our survey confirmed that the League’s Voters Guide—a Guide that the New Castle League provides free to every household in New Castle—is still a valuable resource to the community, the League’s interactive voter information website, www.vote411.org, is a great resource for candidate information but rarely used. We now know that we will need to more actively promote this site. Voter participation is a measure of the health of our democracy. Many residents shared their views on the election process. The League will continue to advocate for transparency in government, campaign finance reforms and election reforms. If you agree that we need easier access to voter registration and voting, campaign finance and election reforms, please support the League’s efforts by becoming a member (www.lwvnewcastle.org) or contact us (lwvnewcastle@gmail.com) for information on how to contact your elected representatives to demand change.

PAST EVENTS




The People’s Climate March in NYC 


On September 21, 2014, League members and friends joined over 400,000 people in New York City for the People's Climate March. The March was organized to call attention to the strong public support for moving ahead with meaningful action to fight climate change in advance of the United Nations Climate Summit in September.

Climate March


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Brandon Hilfer Attends League of Women Voters' Students Inside Albany Conference in May

Brandon Hilfer, a 10th grade student at Horace Greeley High School chosen by the League of Women Voters of New Castle, attended this year’s Students Inside Albany Conference, organized by the League of Women Voters of New York State. This fourteenth annual Students Inside Albany Conference took place from May 18-21, 2014, and brought together approximately 60 students from across the state to Albany to get a first-hand education about their state government. Brandon's report can be read here.


 
GIRL RISING FILM SCREENING

Our Girl Rising screening at the Chappaqua Library on January 16th was a great success! It was a sold out show of over 170 seats. $2,200 was raised to sponsor 2014 annual school fees for girls in low-income countries through The School Fund. For more information about The School Fund, go to www.theschoolfund.org   

The screening was co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters® of New Castle and Molly Rosenthal. Molly is a 7th grader in New Castle who attended a Girl Rising screening last spring and was inspired to bring the film to her own community.


Girl Rising Screening


JOIN US

Membership in the League of Women Voters of New Castle automatically includes membership in the League at state, national and county levels. Members -- women and men -- share a dedication to the League's goal of good government, and informed citizen participation. New members are always welcome, and diversity of membership is a national League policy.

Join the League of Women Voters of New Castle!

For a form to print and mail with a check, go to our membership page.

Now you can pay online via PayPal or your credit card. A $3.00 processing fee will be added to your membership dues.

Not sure if you have renewed? Email Lea Barth, Membership Chair at
barthpetrillo@gmail.com.



Make a tax-deductible donation to our Citizen Education Fund now:



LWV Social Events

It was a snow day, but League members and friends still enjoyed a wine tasting at Chappaqua Wine and Spirits. Thank you to Kirk Sprenger and all who came out to support the League

Winetasting 2016


LWVNC members and their guests gather on a late, sunny summer afternoon enjoying lively conversation, delicious finger food and a variety of wines.  The League has scheduled several upcoming informational and educational events so please check the League calendar for details.