The League of Women Voters of New Castle County provides voter services and community educational events county-wide, observes meetings of government bodies and advocates on issues, and holds regular meetings of our local membership.
League voter service work includes voter registration and voter educational publications, guides and events.
Patti Christopher heads the voter registration section of Voters' Services. After League members or partner groups are trained to register voters using the universal form, Patti makes arrangements with local colleges, schools, community organizations and other non-profits to provide voter registration tables at their locale or event.
Please contact Patti if you would like to participate in voter registration work and/or attend a training session, or to request a League voter registration table at your location or event.
New Citizen Packets
For over twenty years Connie Georgov has led the effort to bring a League presence to ceremonies for new citizens. The ceremonies are held at the Carvel Government Building in Wilmington or at U.D.'s Clayton Hall in Newark.
Each time the ceremony is held, usually about 70 foreign-born men, women and children become U.S. citizens. Following distribution of naturalization certificates, the new citizens file past the registration table operated by the Delaware Department of Elections.
Eight times a year Connie, Lorraine Botticelli and the League members who work with them distribute packets of voter information to new citizens. The packet includes a welcome letter, voting information, a list of citizen resposibilities and a roster of federal and state and local officials.
Leaguers who lend a hand with this activity feel gratified to have participated in this important first step for newly sworn-in citizens. Please contact Lorraine Botticelli if you'd like to participate; helping hands are always welcome and needed.
VOTE411 Online Voter Guide
The Delaware leagues participated in this program in the 2012, 2014 and 2018 election years, compiling information on all candidates for elected positions statewide. In 2018, almost 20,000 Delawareans used VOTE411 to help them prepare for the primary and general elections. In 2019, the Delaware local Leagues will provide VOTE411 coverage for the May 14 School Board elections in Delaware.
Volunteers are needed each election cycle to help draft questions for the candidates, encourage the candidates to respond to the questionnaire, and publicize the VOTE411.org guide to the voting public. Please contact Kim Wells if you'd like to be a part of the VOTE411 team.
The League of Women Voters has a long history with candidate debates. Between 1960 and 1984, the national League sponsored every presidential and vice presidential candidate debate. The League no longer sponsors these televised debates, but state and local Leagues across the country continue to sponsor candidate debates at the state and local levels, just as they always have.
LWVNCC sponsors and moderates forums at the local level, such as town council or city mayor races, and LWVDE sponsors forums for statewide candidates.
Candidate debates are a valuable service, providing one of the only opportunities voters have to listen to candidates offer more than just a brief sound bite. Debates provide an opportunity to hear what candidates are saying and to form your own opinions of the candidates based on your own observations.
Tenants Association Elections
Assisting residents of low-income housing projects in organizing tenants' councils and in holding elections is another important activity of our League. Working with the Delaware Housing Coalition (DHC), the statewide Association of Tenants and the Wilmington Housing Authority, the League serves as a third party overseeing the nominating process and conducting elections for tenants. The DHC and the League have written a manual for tenants explaining the nominating and election process for resident councils.
For many years League member Pat Todd has directed this effort in New Castle County. She needs a protegé! If you would enjoy helping with this project, please email Pat.
Community Educational Programs
LWVNCC hosts multiple types of community educational events on a recurring basis. The public is cordially invited to attend.
Hot Topic Luncheons
The League holds a Hot Topic Luncheon (formerly called "Fun Lunch") once a month. We catch up with long-time friends, eat a nice lunch and learn something new. Hot Topic Lunch presentations range over a variety of topics including legislative updates, healthcare, environmental and social issues. Check the Event Calendar or Articles under What's New for upcoming Hot Topics.
Hot Topics are a perfect, low-pressure way to meet some of our members and learn more about the League. Guests are encouraged to attend!
TED Talk Viewings
In October 2017 and 2018 LWVNCC started a new program series, hosting viewings of inspirational videos from TED.com on various social issues. We tried out several time slots and venues, but the TED viewings are now typically held on a Saturday afternoon at a local church. The format is to watch the TED video and then discuss the "Ideas Worth Sharing." Contact Kay Palmer for more information.
Great Decisions Discussions
Great Decisions is America's largest discussion program on world affairs. It is an arm of the Foreign Policy Association. Published annually, the Great Decisions briefing book highlights eight of the most thought-provoking foreign policy challenges facing Americans today. Great Decisions provides background information, current data and policy options for each issue and serves as the focal text for discussion groups.
The LWVNCC Great Decisions discussion group meets on the third Monday of each month at the Newark Public Library. All are welcome to attend. You may either email Flo Waibel to participate, or just drop in and listen to the discussion. Meeting dates and topics can be found on the calendar.
In past years LWVNCC has sponsored an additional Great Decisions group in Wilmington. If you are interested in attending or chairing discussions at another location, please contact us.
Single-topic Seminars or Forums
LWVNCC sometimes also sponsors or co-sponsors more extensive single-topic forums. For example, in 2017 and 2018 we helped facilitate several forums up and down the state with Zoe Ministries, Prison Ministries of Delaware, AAUW and others to raise awareness of Human Trafficking in Delaware.
Action and Advocacy
LWVNCC influences public policy through our participation in the local Observer Corps and the LWVDE Advocacy Corps (as described under Committees and Leadership), as well as Letters to the Editor and other public comment by League leadership.
League members also make their voice heard on an individual level by attending community forums, activities and marches, contacting their elected representatives on issues that matter to them, and amplifying social media messages on important topics.
If you want to make a greater impact with your ideas, consider joining the LWVNCC Board or an LWV committee!
Per our organizational bylaws, there must be at least three general meetings of the membership each year, one of which may be the Annual Meeting. In practice, we meet many more times than that, as all members are invited and encouraged to monthly Hot Topic meetings and other educational activities described above.
Our county-level Annual Meeting is held between March 1, and June 30 each year. At each Annual Meeting, the LWVNCC membership elects officers and directors and approves an operating budget. In odd-numbered years, members additionally review and adopt a local Action Program. We usually arrange a speaker or program in conjunction with the Annual Meeting. We need a quorum of 10% of members to conduct League business.
State and National Conventions
In addition to our local Annual Meeting, LWVNCC members are invited to the state League (LWVDE) general membership meetings, called either "Council" or "Convention" depending on whether it is an even or odd year. Delaware often also sends a few representatives to LWV National Council or Convention meetings each year.
Member Meet 'n Greets
The LWVNCC Board has set a goal of four member "Meet 'n Greet" events to be held each year on evenings or weekends when working folks can attend. These fun, informal evenings have been held in member's homes, or at pubs such at Catherine Rooney's or McGlynns, and are a great chance for new members and non-member League friends to come meet some of our members and learn more about our organization.
Carrie Chapman Catt Awards
Carrie Chapman Catt, founder of the League of Women Voters and a vigorous proponent of the 19th Amendment, is the namesake for an important biennual fund-raising event in our local League.
The LWVNCC Carrie Chapman Catt Award was established to honor both this remarkable woman and people in our community who express some of her qualities. It is not necessary for recipients of the Carrie Chapman Catt Award to be League members though they often are.
Award recipients are chosen from members of the community who...
- have made significant contributions to the community;
- have awareness of community issues or problems and ability to respond to them in innovative ways;
- are open to others;
- carry on the Principles of the League. (See our Core Values and Principles page.)