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The DC Voter
League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia
Vol. 76, No. 9, October 2000

Celebrating Our 80th Year of Service, 1920–2000

733 15th Street, N.W., Suite 432, Washington, DC 20005
202/347-3020,  fax: 202/347-2522
Website:, E-mail:

President’s Corner
Action Alert
News from the Units
Selection and Election of the Board of Education
International Relations
Member News
Education Committee
Voters Service Committee
An Invitation to a forum on the DC Council
Brochure: Our New School Board


I hope you all saw the column in the September 7 issue of the District Weekly where the League's DNet site was mentioned. It was a nice promotion for our newest effort in trying to reach voters. The columnist also mentioned the League's financial limitations but we have good news on that front. Washington Gas has just pledged $3,000 to our Voters Service efforts thanks to Steven Jumper, Director, Public Affairs, for Washington Gas. Also, they will be doing an extensive voter education and registration effort that will include an article about DNet in their employee newsletter.

But we still rely on our members for most of our support. Our fall finance campaign is getting underway and we hope you all will be as generous as usual. We are planning to distribute 70,000 Voters Guides on the Board of Education Election (see enclosure) to all the schools. This outreach effort ties in with our October Units and our Teacher Workshop held September 26. We also will be conducting a Mock Election on November 2 where students in all 146 public schools will vote for the Presidential candidates and on selected issues. We will tally the votes at Logan Training Center, 215 G Street, NE. Call the office if you can volunteer to help decorate campaign headquarters as well as tally votes.

On the National front, we are pleased to announce that Janet Burmester has been appointed to the US League's Task Force on Trade. The DC League's first seminar session on "Globaphobia", led by Janet, was a rousing success. — Elizabeth M. Martin, President

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The DC League submitted four questions in August to the Presidential candidates to be answered on DNet

  • Do you support full voting representation in the Congress of the United States for citizens of the District of Columbia?
  • An anachronistic holdover from the days before the District had home rule government is the D.C. Appropriations budget-approval process, during which members of Congress debate how the District of Columbia will spend the money it raises from local District taxes. Do you support giving the District of Columbia the same budget autonomy as Austin, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee and eliminating the Congressional D.C. Appropriations process?
  • There are major limitations on the District's capacity to raise revenue, some of which have been imposed by Congressional legislation. Will you support an annual, predictable federal payment to the District to compensate for the revenues denied the District and the expenses it incurs because of the federal presence?
  • Would you maintain a separate White House office for District of Columbia Affairs?

To date, no presidential candidate has responded to our questions. We are led to believe the candidates will respond if enough voters contact their headquarters requesting responses.

The following is a list of contact names and numbers for each presidential candidate. Please take a moment to contact the candidates and ask them to respond to the questions concerning the District of Columbia on the LWV's Democracy Network, DNet. Encourage your non-League friends to do likewise.

George W. Bush (Rep.) Bush-Cheney 2000
P.O. Box 1902, Austin, TX 78767-1902
phone: (512) 637-2000, fax: (512) 637-8800
Contact: Cliff Angelo

Harry Browne (Lib.) Harry Browne, Libertarian for President
P.O. Box 2347, Arlington, VA 22202
Campaign Office (202) 521-1200
Contact: Jim Babka, press secretary

Ralph Nader (Green) Nader 2000
P.O. Box 18002, Washington, DC 20036
phone: (202) 265-4000 fax: (202) 265-0183
Contact: Theresa Amato, campaign manager

John Hagelin (Natural Law Party)
PO Box 1900, Fairfield, IA 52556
phone: (515) 4722040 fax: (515) 472-2011
Contact: Sally Peeden

Al Gore (Dem.) Gore 2000
P.O. Box 24387, Nashville, TN 37202
phone: (615) 340-2000 fax: (615) 329-0407
Contact: Ben Green

Pat Buchanan 2000
P.O. Box 2000, Dunn Loring, VA 22027
phone: (703) 734-2700 fax: (703) 734-2705
Contact: Kara Hopkins

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Candidates for the School Board election on November 7 have been invited to meet League members. informally at our October Unit Meetings. Some Units are joining forces with other neighborhood Units whose candidates would cover the same new School District. Plan to attend whichever Unit Meeting offers the best opportunity to meet candidates of interest to you.

Call the Unit Chair for the latest information on acceptances. If you decide to attend a Unit other than your regular Unit, it is prudent to call the hostess to find out about parking, stairs, etc.


Tuesday, October 17

9:45 a.m., Southwest, Hostess: Leona Rumsey, 550 N St., SW, #S202, Co-Chair: Leona Rumsey 863-7484
Invited: candidates from School. District #1; candidates for School Board President
Northwest Day - Members are encouraged to attend Upper 16th or NW Evening Unit Meetings

Wednesday, October 18

9:45 a.m., Upper 16th Street Co-Chairs: Paula McKann, 829-0656; Constance Tate 882-0387
Shepherd Park Library, 7420 Georgia Avenue, NW
Invited: candidates from School District #2
Chevy Chase - Members are encouraged to attend Upper 16th or Northwest Evening Meetings

Thursday, October 19

12:45 p.m., Northeast Day, October Unit Chair: Roberta Johnson 526-4469
Woodridge Library, 18th and Rhode Island Avenue, NE
Invited: candidates from School District #3

7:30 p.m., Northwest Evening, Chair: Joan Domike 966-3865
Hostess: Sheila Keeny 966-1692, 3600 Albemarle St., NW
Invited: candidates for School Board President

Other Unit News: Preliminary Results of Survey: Many thanks to the, fifty-two LWVDC members who returned the survey on the Neighborhood Units, especially to those who included their thoughtful and candid comments. Although this 13% response is gratifying, it is never too late to return the survey if you have failed to do so. Call the office for a copy if you have misplaced yours.

What Your Responses Tell Us: Of the fifty two respondees, 37 or over 70% were over 65 years of age, reflecting our aging membership (or perhaps just that this group has more time to respond to a survey). Thirty three or over 60 percent listed ties to specific Neighborhood Units, while seven reported attending different Units. Twelve or nearly one-quarter of the respondees never attend Unit Meetings for reasons ranging from age and infirmity to doubts regarding the usefulness of the Unit Meetings. Further analysis of your responses will be reported in a subsequent DC Voter. — Sheila Keeny, Unit Director 966-1692

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On November 7 D.C. voters have an opportunity to elect the majority of a newly structured D.C. Board of Education. It is an opportunity to help ensure that this new Board serves its role in the education of District public school children.

For this reason, a group of organizations and individuals came together to develop the enclosed pamphlet, which is designed to offer some thoughts for the general public and elected officials about the kinds of issues that might be considered as voters evaluate candidates for office. We hope the pamphlet will help foster a healthy public discussion about selecting effective school board members on November 7.

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The IR Committee met briefly following the first "Globaphobia" seminar to discuss plans for the year, including Unit Meetings on Trade scheduled for February.

October is UN month; Keeny distributed copies of President Jefferson-Jenkins' "Call to Action" on US arrears for UN peacekeeping.

She also announced the annual United Nations Global Community Day, sponsored by the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area and scheduled for Saturday, October 28 from 9 am to 1 pm at Georgetown University Law Center. Panelists will discuss UN Peacekeeping and U.S. Politics - today's hot button topic. Call UNA/NCA for information and to register (785-2640). There is no charge to attend. The LWVDC will again cosponsor the event.

The Committee will meet briefly after each "Globaphobia" seminar, which Committee members are urged to attend. The next seminar is on Wed. Oct. 11th, 12 noon, at 1730 M Street, NW. — Susan Rao (636-1688) & Sheila Keeny (966-1692) Co Chairs.

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We extend a warm welcome to new members: Mariam Gillis and Lillian Howard.

Many thanks to the members who sent in additional contributions to support the League: Barbara Bramble, Suzanne Campagne, Margaret R. Fox, Cora Grannis, Carol Ragsdale, Clara G. Schiffer, Josephina Wade.

It is with sadness we report the death of Will Myers, husband of League member Martha Myers. Our sincere condolences are extended to the Myers family.

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In preparation for the March 20001 General Meeting, the Education Committee continues the study of the Charter School movement. Accountability will be the major focus as we study Standards, finance, facilities and management.

In addition, the Committee plans to have available for December's Unit Choice, "The Battle Over School Choices", a documentary on issues surrounding school choice. The Center for Investigative Reporting, Inc ., will supply free copies of the VHS tape and accompanying educational materials. — Gladys Weaver, Co-Chair.

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The DC League is helping students at Wilson High School and Trinity College with youth voter participation projects. Voter Service Co-chair, Elinor Hart met with the Wilson student council leaders who organized a Board of Education Candidate Forum held on September 27. She reviewed a forum checklist and gave them a briefing on the voter registration process.

She and Luci Murphy also met with students from the newly revived League Unit at Trinity College about their voter registration and Get-Out-The-Vote efforts. The Trinity League members, who are registering their fellow students, had a voter registration table at the September 23 Brookland Festival. — Elinor Hart, Co-chair.

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Calendar, October 2000

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
1 2 3 10 am, LWVDC Board Meeting, 1730 M Street, NW, 10th Floor 5 6 Unit Council Meeting, LWV Office, 733 15th Street, NW, #432
9 10 November DC Voter Deadline 11 10 am, Education Committee, LWVDC Office
12 noon, Globaphobia: Openness, Jobs and Wages, LWVDC Office
12 6:00-8:00 pm, General Meeting on Council Reform, UDC, Building 39/Level 2, Student Lounge, 4200 Connecticut Avenue, NW 13
16 17 9:45 am, Southwest, Leona Rumsey, 550 N Street, #S202 18 9:45 am, Upper Sixteenth, Shepherd Park Library, 7420 Georgia Avenue, NW 19 12:45 pm, Northeast Day, Woodbridge Library, 18th & Rhode Island, NE
7:30 pm, Northwest Eve., Sheila Keeny, 3600 Albemarle Street, NW
20 November DC Voter mailed
23 24 25 26 27 Association for the Study of African-American Life and History 85th annual meeting, through October 1, Madlyn Calbert, 202-832-7630
30 31      

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An Invitation From


Joined by

UDC, David A. Clarke School of Law
D.C. Bar, D.C. Affairs Section
American Civil Liberties Union, National Capital Area Chapter
D.C. Consortium of Legal Services Providers


Special Guests

Linda W. Cropp
Chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia

Joshua S. Wyner
Executive Director, D.C. Appleseed Center

With Moderator

Shelley Broderick
Dean, UDC David A. Clarke School of Law

Date: Thursday, October 12, 2000
Time: 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Place: UDC David A. Clarke School of Law
Building 39/Level 2; Student Lounge
4200 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Note: The location is at the Metrorail Red Line, UDC/Van Ness Station.
Free parking is available at UDC - enter off Van Ness Street.

For Information call LWVDC 202 347-3020

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Discussions will focus on how to improve the effectiveness of the D.C. Council as an institution. The D.C. Council is in the unique situation of being both a local and state-level legislature, making the issue of effectiveness especially important. The discussions are in furtherance of the position of the League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia supporting active oversight of the executive branch by the legislature.

We will address two sources of recommendations concerning reform of the D.C. Council:

  • Report to the Council of the District of Columbia/Building a Stronger, More Effective Institution. Final Report issued in January 1999 by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) in response to a Council request in early 1998. NCSL was created to foster the development of independent and accessible legislatures.

  • Operational Reform of the District of Columbia Council: A Fix-It-Yourself Manual issued February 1999 by the D.C. Appleseed Center, a nonprofit public interest organization dedicated to addressing systemic management and financial problems of D.C.

These independent reports have much in common, and they are not in conflict with each other. Thus their import is reinforcing. Recommendations of the respective reports, which we will explore, fall within major areas. Examples follow; learn more at the meeting.

Staffing Use of Emergency vs. Standard Legislative Process Public Hearings
  • Provide for Members' personal staff, but centralize professional staff serving committees in substantive areas, e.g., taxation, justice.
  • Minimize use of the emergency legislative process, e.g., by defining circumstances; when use unavoidable, still allow at least limited public participation.
  • Require public hearings before enacting any standard legislation, with certain alternative for hearings before a hearing officer.
  • Council majority hires key central-staff Directors, but the Directors hire committee staff.
  • In the standard process, require fiscal impact statements for all legislation; make them available at the time public hearing notice is provided.
  • Abolish "roundtables."
  • Establish new Council Committee on Management and Public Affairs; DC Auditor reports directly to it.
  • In that process, also adopt a germaneness rule for amendments offered at committee mark-up and at legislative sessions.
  • Manage witness testimony more effectively/time-limits.
  • Improve methods for notice of hearings; increase public awareness of Council activities.

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