Dear LWVSC Members,
Like many of you, I’m rejoicing to see our region begin the small, safe steps to “re-open.” It almost seems like a coincidence that this comes now, as we begin to open our windows, put away our warm clothes, and look forward to the summer months. What we’ve learned about the COVID-19 virus will stay with us, though, and we’ll continue to use our masks and follow the rules of social distancing.
The term “social distancing” is used in the physical sense; we keep our distance from others to keep them and us safe. In many ways, this can bring many of us closer. I’ve been thinking about this in relation to our local League. Even though we don’t get to see each other as often as we might like, we can still communicate in very satisfying ways.
As you know, LWVSC has monthly board meetings for discussing new business, following up on developing plans, coming to consensus on issues, and talking about ideas for events and activities, both for our membership and the community. YOU are always welcome to attend these meetings. If you’d like to attend, here’s the information to do so:
- Meetings are held the second Wednesday of every month at 3:00 pm (this sometimes varies during the summer months). Next meeting: June 10
- Right now we are holding meetings by Zoom, so if you would like to attend, please let me know so that I can send you an email invitation with a password to join the meeting. You can also attend a Zoom meeting by phone. When it’s safe to do so, we can return to having our meetings “in real life”!
As always, if you have an issue or an idea that you’d like the League to consider, just let me know and it can be added to our meeting agenda.
Additionally, we are always looking for suggestions for topical public forums or panels with speaker(s). If you have a good idea that would be of interest to the community, let us know! And remember, our Bulletin is our forum – consider offering a pertinent article that caught your eye, thoughts on a good book, or a memory about earlier days of our League. Your items can be sent to Helen MacDonald, our Bulletin editor extraordinaire.
Let’s stay close, stay in touch, and be in League…
Ann Hatke, firstname.lastname@example.org
For many of us, "NY on Pause" has truly altered our lives. We've witnessed enormous changes almost daily -- in the way we communicate, how we buy our food, how we take care of our families, and how we keep afloat financially. Many plans that would have been easy for us to accomplish a few weeks ago now seem difficult or even impossible. We've seen postponements and cancellations that have disappointed us, and followed news that has frightened and deeply saddened us. I've been encouraged by Governor Cuomo's leadership, though, and look forward to the time when we'll slowly but surely re-open.
One of the topics for discussion at our April board meeting was our Annual Meeting. We all look forward to this occasion, always held in June, as a time to see old friends after a long winter. However, it is also a very important business meeting when we make decisions for our League for 2020-21 -- voting on our LWVSC budget, our slate of leaders, and our program. The big question at the board meeting was -- how could we safely hold this essential meeting during an epidemic?
Luckily we had the guidance and recommendations of LWVUS and the New York State League. Given the possible extension of COVID-19 safety regulations, we felt that it would not be safe to have our annual meeting as planned. Instead we will conduct our business by email and regular mail (for those who do not use email) and we will include all LWVSC members in the process. Shortly I will be sending an email (or letter by mail) to each of you with the following items:
- The Proposed Slate of Candidates 2020-2021
- The Proposed Budget 2020-2021
- The Proposed 2020-21 LWVSC program
- A ballot to vote on the above proposals
- A current membership form (since most of us pay our yearly dues at the annual meeting)
I'll be very sorry not to see you in June, but we will have all the more to look forward to next year. I wish you continued good health -- stay happy and safe!
As I write this month's letter, I am struck by how many things have changed in our lives in just a matter of days. Only a few weeks ago, our calendars were full, activities were planned for months ahead, and we wouldn't have thought twice about making plans to see friends and families. The business of the League of Women Voters goes on, though. The national LWV has had guidelines in place for weeks with health information, COVID-19 prevention guidelines, and recommendations for the upcoming voting season during the pandemic. Please see: https://www.lwv.org/covidguidance.
Members of the LWVSC Budget Committee had a "virtual" meeting recently using the ZOOM program. I'm hoping to set up this free program, too, so that our members can all attend their committee and board meetings or get-togethers from their own homes. Necessity is certainly the mother of invention these days, and work does go on!
It might seem that our lives have been reduced as we "hunker down" in our homes. At the same time, we are part of a much larger picture, as we share this period in time with our community, state, country, and the rest of the world. Our busy lives may have slowed, but now we have the time to reflect on all the things that make our world so precious to us.
In the future, we will have memories of this time, but I feel sure they won't only be about fear and worry, keeping our distance, being on line at the grocery stores, or having to miss a much-looked-forward-to event. I believe we will feel closer to our friends and families, perhaps will have discovered a new interest, spent a lot more time outdoors, and deepened our respect for all the people who have continued to work so that we can be safe, and understood better what makes us joyful and content.
Let's all keep in touch (by phone or email, of course!) and we will make it through this incredible spring of 2020 together.
Our annual Program Planning Meeting was held on February 12. This was a multi-purpose evening; not only did we review our own League positions and those of the national LWV, but we also had a chance to meet new members, and to talk about possible projects to pursue in the coming months. After studying and discussing all of the positions, we realized that we had no changes or updates to make in any of the positions + a possible first! Soon after our meeting, though, we were contacted by the LWV of Massachusetts, asking if our League would support their position on adding "Climate Emergency" to the national LWV proposed program of "Making Democracy Work." After a unanimous email vote by our board members, we enthusiastically agreed to support their proposal.
As stated by LWV Massachusetts:
It is essential that the League take strong and visible action on the Climate Emergency. We must stand with the young people who understand this crucial issue--or lose our relevance to them. Our emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion demands we address an issue that disproportionately affects people of color and people who are poor.
It is only by making democracy work that we can bring the power of the voters to the people who must make the necessary decisions to address the Climate Emergency. Climate disruption will have devastating effects on the US economy, individuals and all levels of government, posing a serious threat to our civil liberties and freedoms.
"Making Democracy Work" means solutions to the climate crisis that are responsive to equity and
justice. Tragically, those least responsible for climate change suffer the greatest consequences of environmental degradation and pollution. Democracy works when all have a voice and are assured of a safe, sustainable, and healthy environment.
I hope that all of our members support taking action on this serious crisis personally, and in our community, state, and nation.