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Making Our Voices Heard Making Our Votes Count
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202/347-3020, fax: 202/347-2522
Website: http://www.dcwatch.com/lwvdc, E-mail: LWVDC@erols.com
Nominations for Six DC Board Positions Sought
February 2001 Unit Meeting Schedule
International Relations Committee
D.C. Representation in Congress
Calendar, February 2001
Alice P. Miller, Executive Director
Dear League Members,
Thanks to modern technology I can sit at my daughter's computer here in Sweden and send you my monthly "President's Report." As many of you know, my grandson is gravely ill and I am in Sweden until January 30 when we hope he will be on his way to a complete recovery after a heart operation.
I hope to see many of you at our final Globaphobia meeting on Wednesday, February 14 (IR Committee Report p.2) a week before our Unit meetings on trade. The European newspapers report daily on international trade issues that reinforces the timeliness of the US League's re-study of this issue.
On Monday, February 26, we are fortunate to have Alice P. Miller, Executive Director of the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics as our first speaker in our 2001 Brown Bag Dialogue Series. As you know, these monthly dialogues provide an opportunity to hear from and speak to the people who are officials, community leaders and other notable people that shape the District. Please attend and bring a friend.
As I sit here thousands of miles away, I am more than ever appreciative of DC League members. I want to especially thank the Board and Sheila Willet for keeping everything going. Not a beat missed! My best, Elizabeth M. Martin, President
NOMINATIONS FOR SIX DC BOARD POSITIONS SOUGHT!
The nominating committee headed by Joan Domike (966-3865) is searching for candidates to be presented to the membership at the annual meeting (April 26) for the following positions: President, 2nd Vice President (Local Program), Secretary, and 3 board members. If you are interested in these positions or want to submit a member's name, please contact Joan at the above number.
FEBRUARY 2001 - UNIT MEETING SCHEDULE
The Unit Meetings will discuss the League's Position on World Trade (see International Relations below and the insert entitled "Trade and Global Economic Integration."
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 20 Unit Meetings
Southwest 9:45 a.m., Hostess: Audrey Hatry 554-4450, 530 N St., SW, #S-605
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 21 Unit Meetings
Chevy Chase 9:45 a.m., Hostess: Barbara Luchs 363-0853, 3633 Appleton St., NW
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22 Unit Meetings
Northeast Day 12:45 p.m., Woodridge Library, 18th St. & Rhode Island Ave., NE,
Chair: Roberta Johnson
Sheila Keeny, Units Director, 966-1692
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE
Unit Meetings in February (see schedule above) will introduce our members to the fundamentals of world trade, a topic discussed in an LWVDC-sponsored seminar series, Globaphobia, directed by IR Committee member Janet Burmester. The last session of the series, "Dislocation and Inequality," will be held on February 14 (noon to 1:30 at LWVUS, 1730 M St., NW, 10th Floor). All League members are urged to attend for a head start on the Unit discussions.
Why Restudy the Trade Position? When LWV members nationwide proposed National Program for adoption at Convention 2000, they chose the position on Trade, adopted in 1973, as the International Relations position in greatest need of updating. The November 1999 "Battle for Seattle" had violently disrupted a meeting of the World Trade Organization, and made League members everywhere stop and ask where the League stands today on this suddenly controversial issue (the CNN effect at work!)
A Controversial Position? "Support systematic reduction in tariff and non-tariff trade barriers and support long-range presidential authority to negotiate trade agreements." This constitutes the League's Trade Position in Brief. The full text goes on to recognize that the policy "paves the way for political harmony with other nations, stimulates economic development at home and abroad, and expands consumer choice." The position however, was not used in the debate over several key trade policy decisions in the 1990s (NAFTA, WTO) because of uncertainty about whether the members still support it given the concern of some League members that it may conflict with other LWV positions on human rights and the environment.
The Update: We have now embarked on an 18month month update of the Trade position. Although the Program was amended by Convention 2000 to include a UN position update, the initial emphasis is being placed on Trade. A LWVUS Task Force has been formed on which Janet Burmester serves. The December 00 - January 01 issue of the National Voter carries a very readable article on "the trade debate" by Bruce Stokes, who writes for the National Journal. Other related articles will follow in forthcoming issues of the National Voter. A eight page Fact Sheet prepared by Janet is enclosed with this DC Voter and will form the basis for our Unit discussion. Read it before coming to Unit Meetings; after our discussions you will start reading the business page with increased interest. Next year's follow-up Unit Meetings on Trade should find us well informed as we review the concurrence statement on Trade that we expect to receive from LWVUS in early 2002.
Next Meeting of the IR Committee: The IR Committee will meet at noon on Friday, February 16, (Rosalie Goodman Room, LWVUS, 1730 M St., NW), to conduct a dry run of the Unit Discussions -- all Committee members are urged to attend whether or not you have followed the Globaphobia seminars. Sheila Keeny, Co-Chair (966-1692)
D.C. REPRESENTATION IN CONGRESS
In preparation for the welcome to the 107th Congress today eight LWVDC members assembled the bags of information to be distributed to each Representative or Senator--Madlyn Calbert, Ethel Cooper, June Duke, Antonia Hillyard, Barbara Kemp, Kathy Schmidt, Reggie Yancey, and Barbara Yeomans.
The welcome took place on the east side of the Capitol Wednesday, January 3. Amy Slemmer, DC Vote director, introduced the speakers--Mayor Anthony Williams, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, Shadow Senator Paul Strauss, Shadow Representative Ray Browne and Director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Wayne Henderson. After the talks the DC citizens in attendance delivered the bags of information to the offices of each of the Senators and Representatives. As he left the Capitol, President Clinton gave a "thumbs up" to the assembled crowd. Kathy Schmidt, DC Vote Liaison, 232-6460
Mark your calendar for the Thursday, March 15 General Membership meeting on Charter Schools. A guest speaker (to be announced in the March DC Voter) will present a comprehensive overview of charter schools in the District.
Then, at the March Unit meetings, facilitated by Education Committee members, League members will discuss consensus questions and vote on a DC League position on charter schools. The consensus questions will be printed in the March DC Voter. Connie Tate (882-0387) & Gladys Weaver (554-3055), Co-Chairs.
New Members: A hearty welcome to new members Dr. Joseph N. Grano, Jr. and Lucy B. Murray.
Contributions: We gratefully thank members who made additional contributions to the League: Susan Catler, in memory of Louise Perry; Mary E; Clutter; Marian S. Cowan; Dr. Dorothy R. Dillon; Penelope Feuillan; Lloyd Leonard & Elizabeth Wiener; Grace Malakoff; Loretta Newmann; Lillian K. Rubin; Carl F. Seastrum; Dr. Harriet J. Smith; Lillian Smuckler; Alice F. Stewart;
Other: Grace Savage has moved to Southern California. Her new address is Regents Point Apt 4258, 19191 Harvard Ave., Irvine, CA 92612. With sadness we report the loss of Anita W. Burney who passed away recently.
Finally, we have a President-Elect. When I wrote this column last month, we were still talking chads, dimpled ballots and the like. (I must confess, as I don my D.C. hat -- that moans about disenfranchisement -- left me a bit nonplussed; what else is new?) Nevertheless, whenever I have met recently with Leaguers, whether at meetings or tete-a-tete or even on the phone, election issues tumble forth: "What can we do to improve implementation of the motor-voter legislation?" "How can we encourage more reliable and standardized voting apparatus and practices?" "What about the Electoral College and the League's position supporting its abolition?" Or, "An election study was approved by Convention last June, contingent on funding; where does that stand?" And so on. The NCA Board concluded at its December meeting that these were questions for local, state and U.S. leagues, but is there a role for NCA? Would a regional symposium be useful? Let us know what you think.
Note your December/January National Voter. There is a fine piece titled, "D.C. Deserves a Fair and Predictable Federal Payment." NCA local league members are being asked to send copies to their Congress Representatives so the information and message can be understood to come from their constituents.
NCA's Talk-Out on fund-raising is taking shape. It will be held on March 23, 2001 from 1 10 am to 12:30 pm at the LWVUS offices. Save the date. We expect we will learn from each other's experiences, successes and failures in this area. Featured will be advice on how to approach foundations and write proposals. Whether or not you carry this portfolio at this time, come if you're interested. Call Arline Calaby (410-480-8188) or Mary Elizabeth Gordon (703-280-5186) if you want more information.
The Membership Roundtable continues its meetings . . . the 4th Tuesday of each month. The meeting on January 23, 2001 will be concerned with "New Member Materials and Organization," and on February 27, "Membership Development and Retention Tools" will be discussed. Again, all are welcome; call Susan Trice (703-538-2864) if you'd like additional information.
Hope your holidays were joyful. Naomi Glass, President 202686-0124, NaomiSol@aol.com
Many thanks to the following League volunteers who assisted in the various phases of a Private Election endeavor that included stuffing and mailing 1350 ballots and counting the returns. Thanks to June Duke, Naomi Glass, Barbara Kemp, Anna Marsh, Carol Ragsdale, Mary Rodgers, Kathy Schmidt, Sheila Willet and Barbara Yeomans. Reggie Yancey (726-1929), Private Elections Chair.
CALENDAR FEBRUARY 2001
Upcoming activities Please save the date! The next newsletter will provide more information:
March 15 General Membership Meeting on Charter Schools
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