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The DC Voter
League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia
Vol. 77, No. 10, October 2001

Making Our Voices Heard — Making Our Votes Count

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

President’s Corner
Brown Bag Dialogue Series
News from the Units
Member News
Congressional Representation
Affordable Housing Committee: DC Housing Legislation
Private Elections
League Bed & Breakfast
Children’s Issues Committee
International Relations Committee
A Special View of Washington History for Area League
League of Women Voters Partners to Bring America the Declaration of Independence
Next National Voter to Feature “Memorial” Box
Opportunity Knocks!
LWVDC Welcomes Newly Expanded Unit: Chevy Chase/Ingleside
Highlights of September 5, 2001, LWVDC Board Meeting
Voters Service Committee
Healthcare Committee Report
Education Committee: Support DC Schools When You Buy Groceries
Are Americans at Home in the Global Village? 
Calendar: October 2001
Letter to the President on DC Voting Rights
United Nations Global Community Day


Following the shock and terror of September 11th, the LWV National Office advised members that all national staff and families in DC metro area are safe and secure, and that the office was open and operating. They expressed their shock and were saddened by the tragic events that took place in New York City at The World Trade Center and at the Pentagon. They hoped that all members of the entire League community are safe, as well.

On September 6th, Dr. Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins, President of LWVUS at a Press Conference outside the Capitol, urged the members of the House of Representatives concerning campaign finance reform to sign the discharge petition. She called the political maneuvering on campaign finance reform by the House an abuse of power.

The League's Lobby Corps met with over 200 House staff to press for reform, held in-district meetings with their representatives and reached out to supporters through telephone calls, e-mails and letters-to-the-editor. Dr. Jenkins indicated that the "Shays-Meehan" Bill will close the loopholes that are distorting the campaign finance system.

Several LWVDC members met with the 24 African women here on a State Department Grant through the "National League's International Program Africa III, Women Power in Politics: Building Grassroots Democracy in Africa" project. The goal of the program is to make the 24 women NGO Leaders. In addition to an orientation at the National Office, the women traveled out to the states to meet the League members and to obtain first hand knowledge about the League.

P.S. It was pointed out to me that my statement in my September column was misleading. In clarification, we have not had FULL Voting Representation. Our aim is to obtain FULL Voting Representation in the House and Senate. — E. Patricia Hallman, President

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MONDAY OCTOBER 22nd, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 1730 M Street, NW Suite 1000

A Panel of CAC Members will discuss Transportation

Co hosted by LWVDC, Council of Governments (COG), Citizen's Advisory Committee (CAC) of the Transportation Planning Board (TPB)

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Members are invited to attend any of the Unit Meetings listed below that fits their schedule; call hostess or Co-Chair for transit or parking directions. The first Unit Council meeting of the fall will take place from 12:30 - 2PM on Monday, October 8 (Columbus Day) at the home of Sheila Keeny, 3600 Albemarle St., NW. All Co-Chairs are urged to attend; the meeting is open to all members.


Topic: Affordable Housina

Members of the Housing Committee will present updates on the proposed legislation before the Council of the District of Columbia and what the DC League is advocating for in the legislation. Don't miss this opportunity to learn the specifics of this new legislation that affects affordable housing and rental housing in the District.

Tuesday, October 16

Southwest Unit, 9:45 a.m., Hostess: Gilda Varrati, 560 N St., SW; Co-Chairs: Leona Rumsey, 863-7484, Gladys Weaver, 554-3055

Northwest Day, 12:45 p.m.

Location: Iona Senior Services, 4125 Albemarle St., NW; Co-Chairs: June Bashkin, 337-0949, Barbara Kemp, 362-4529

Wednesday, October 17

Upper Sixteenth Street, 9:45 a.m., Hostess: Paula McKann, 4709 16th St., NW; Co-Chairs: Paula McKann, 829-0656, Constance Tate, 882-0387.

Thursday, October 18

Chevy Chase/Ingleside, 9:45 a.m.; Location: The Lounge Ingleside Community, 3050 Military Road, NW; Co-Chairs: Jean Fleming, 363-0221; Joan Wilson, 237-6264

The Evening Unit, 7:30 P.M; Hostess: Anne Porowski, 364-0557, 4200 Cathedral Avenue, NW #1018; Co-Chairs: Jean Hall, 362-4526; Joan Domike, 966-3865. — Sheila Keeny, Unit Director (966-1692)

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New Members: It is our delight to welcome the following new members: Mary Jo Cook, Wilson P. and Lynn W. Dizard, Mrs. Amy C. Donnelly, Dr. Butler T. Franklin, Mrs. Naomi Hopkins, Selma Y. Janow, Ms. Margaret R. Knispel, Mrs. M.L. (Marty) Leggete, Mrs. Dorothy Mulkern, Ms. Susan Murany, Ms. Marion Sanger, Mr. Rodney Shaw, Kathleen Snedaker, Ms. Grace E. Watson, Ms. Ethel James Williams, and Ms. Louise-Winfield.

Contributions: We gratefully thank the following members for additional contributions received to sustain the DC League's programs: E. Patricia Hallman, Audrey Hatry, and Carol Ragsdale.

Life members:

Editor's note: Life member status is given to members who have maintained their membership in the LWV for 50 years. If you have been a LWV member since 1951 or before and your mailing label does not indicate Life Member, please call the League office (347-3020).

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League of Women Voters. DC members Dominic Archibald, Patricia Hallman, Sheila Keeny, Joanna London, Barbara Luchs, AI and Kathy Schmidt, and Barbara Yeomans participated in Freedom Summer, the ten week petition signature drive on the National Mall. 10,000 tourists signed that they support full voting representation in Congress for DC citizens. These names are currently being entered in the database at DC Vote, 1500 U Street, NW. If you can help, call 462-6000. — Kathy Schmidt, Liaison (232-6460)

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As the VOTER goes to press, Council members Brazil and Evans are putting the finishing touches to the draft "omnibus" housing bill and the League's Affordable Housing Committee is going into high gear. A draft of the legislation will be available about the middle of October. It can be accessed through email. To be put on the list, call Barry Kreisworth (Admin. Assistant to Brazil) at 724-8792.

We will be meeting with Councilmembers Patterson (Ward 3) and Chavous (Ward 7) in September, and we are scheduling meetings with Councilmembers Schwartz (at-large), Mendelson (at-large), Graham (Ward 1) and Council Chair Cropp. We will also be meeting with Stan Jackson, newly named director of the Department of Housing and Community Development. If you would like to attend any of these sessions, call Liz Martin at 537-3043.

The single most important provision in the "omnibus" bill is the Mayor's Title V, the Production Trust Fund. It is critical that the Fund have a designated income source (about $12-14 million per year) and also to ensure that 50 per cent of the funds are designated for rental housing for DC residents with a median income of $23,400 or below. It is the only part of the legislation that can help build new low-income rental housing.

One potentially helpful bill, which has been dropped by the drafting team, is Councilmember Graham's Bill #14-263, on Inclusionary Zoning. This important principle would require developers to include affordable units under certain limited circumstances. The League will be working during the next legislative session to see that a similar bill is introduced and passed.

Leaguers can still influence the outcome. Make sure your Council members, including members at-large, know that you expect their support for full funding for the Housing Production Trust Fund, and that you want the legislation to focus on residents with the most pressing housing needs, i.e., low-income families who rent. Also tell them that you want a hearing on this new "omnibus" bill.

Plan to attend any of the October Unit meetings to get more information AND we hope to see you at the Mayor's Summit, Saturday, October 6, at the Convention Center. To register, call 727-1681. — Liz Martin (537-3043) and Julia Cuniberti (387-0122), Co-Chairs.

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One of the goals of the LWV is to extend its education outreach to include the whole populace of men and women of all nationalities and ethnic backgrounds. As we conduct and monitor Private Elections for organizations, condos, cooperatives, unions, community and non-profit groups, we continue to increase citizen participation in the election process.

The range of activities includes checking the eligibility of voters, distributing and tallying ballots, and certifying the results either on site or in the League office. If you are interested in volunteering to assist in the activities of the private election teams, please contact Reggie Yancey at 7261929. — Reggie Yancey, Chair

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The B&B service is still active! Thanks to the following Leaguers for being B&B hostesses since the beginning of this fiscal year: Morelia Hansen, Sue Whitman, June Bashkin, and Jeanette Miller.

This not only helps us with needed funds, but also provides a delightful way to get acquainted with Leaguers all over the country. Would you like to be a League B&B Hostess? Call me to find out more. — Chris Matthews (269-3890), Chair

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The kick off meeting is Saturday, October 13, 2001 from 10 a.m. to 12 Noon at Tenley Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave., NW. Across the street from Tenleytown Metro (red line.) Parking in rear as well as street parking.

All DC League members with or without children are invited to join the Children's Issues Committee. For the first months of the study, the agenda will focus on collecting facts and figures; interviewing officials, children and families; visiting sites; contacting advocacy groups, etc. The next stage will be to work with units to prioritize concerns; and then - to action.

If you feel enthusiastic about helping this new group get the facts and do something about them, please come to this first meeting or contact Joan to indicate your interest. — Joan Wilson (237-6264) and Joan Domike (966-3865) Co-Chairs.

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Members Attend, then Leave UN Conference

Sheila Keeny, Natalie Howard and Evelyn Falkowski were among the thousand-plus individuals who attended at the annual Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Conference at the UN that began September 10. The subject this year: "NGOs Today: The Volunteer Experience." The conference was cancelled September 11, interrupted by this country's first acts of catastrophic terrorism, which happened not far away.

Committee discusses Illicit Trade in Small Arms

On September 14, the International Relations Committee opened its first meeting of this program year with a minute of silent tribute to the heroic victims of this tragedy. The meeting then continued with remarks by Lora Lumpe about the recent United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons. The Conference resulted in a Program of Action to restrain this trade, responsible for an estimated 500,000 deaths each year. A summary of her remarks will be available from the IR Committee by mid-October.

LWVDC Again Co-Sponsors "UN Global Community Day"

Looking ahead, League members are urged to mark their calendars. The United Nations Association of the National Capital Area will celebrate the UN's 56' birthday on Saturday October 27 - from 10 am until 2 pm. The theme for the panel discussion is Three UN Challenges: Global Aids, Global Warming and Global Democracy (see. enclosed flyer for details) The LWVDC Board has again agreed to cosponsor this annual event, where we will have an exhibit table. League members are particularly invited there is no registration fee.

The next meeting of the IR Committee is scheduled for Saturday, October 13, from 10:30 noon, at the home of Sheila Keeny, 3600 Albemarle St., NW, when we will be planning the IR program for the year. Any interested LWVDC member is invited. Call Sheila Keeny (966-1692) or Anne Porowski (364-0557) for information. — Sheila Keeny and Anne Porowski, CoChairs.

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The Montgomery County League invites D.C. League members to a luncheon on Wednesday, October 24, featuring Washington Post columnist Bob Levey and wife Jane Freundel Levey, writer and historian. They will talk about their book, Washington Album: A Pictorial History of the Nation's Capital.

Keeping in mind Shakespeare's question, "What is the city but its people?" the Leveys will focus on the city's diverse local community within the context of the federal government's influence on everyday life. They will examine the themes they found most telling from their research for the book and will speculate on the city's future.

Their talk will be illustrated by a slide presentation of some of the images from local archives included in Washington Album. Copies of the book will be available for sale ($24.95 plus tax) and signing by the authors.

The event will be held in the Williamsburg Room of St. Michael's Church, 805 Wayne Avenue, Silver Spring Maryland. The buffet luncheon will start at 12:00 noon, and the speakers' presentation at 12:30 p.m. The cost is $27 per person.

To make reservations, send your check (payable to LWVMC) for $27 per person to the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County, Inc., 12216 Parklawn Drive, #101, Rockville, MD 20854. The deadline for reservations is Friday, October 19. Directions: By car: Take Georgia Avenue north to Wayne Avenue, turn right on Wayne Avenue, left on Cedar St., then left on Pershing Drive to find parking. By Metro: Red Line to Silver Spring Metro. Take Ride-On Bus # 12 or #15 to St. Michaels Church on Wayne Avenue. Or, walk east on Wayne Avenue, cross Georgia Ave. and continue to the side entrance of St. Michaels. If you have questions, please call 301-984-9585 or send an email to

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Neighborhood ACTION Citizen Summit II on Saturday, October 6, 2001

Washington Convention Center · 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Register by Internet at  Register by Phone: Call Neighborhood Action at 202- 727-0882. Register by Mail: Send name, address, telephone number, fax number, email address and your Ward to Neighborhood Action Registration, Box 295, 611 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20003

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"Freedom's Journey: The Declaration of Independence and Beyond" exhibit will began touring the United States on September 14, stopping for extended periods at the Reagan, Carter, Bush and Truman Presidential Libraries.

LWV is a partner in this endeavor to bring the Declaration of Independence to towns across this nation to encourage young people to participate in civic activism, to exercise their rights, and to vote. "The League of Women Voters is an honored partner in this effort." "All involved in this project look forward to working together to help reinvigorate the spirit of our country." states President Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins.

For further information, check out the web site

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As we go to press, we have been notified that in connection with the tragic events of September 11, LWVUS is planning a "memorial" box for the Dec. 2001/Jan. 2002 League Connections. It is requested that any information of family losses suffered by League members be sent to LWVUS.

The deadline for submissions is Friday, September 28. LWVDC will make an attempt to make this information available to all its members via email, fax, phone calls and this issue of the DC Voter. Send your submissions to: Shirley Ponomareff, Assistant Editor, The National Voter, League of Women Voters of the United States, 1730 M Street, NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20036-4508. Fax 202-429-4343 or email For more information call Shirley Ponomareff at 202-263-1347.

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Attend the Healthcare Committee Meeting on September 25. See below.
Influence the D.C. Housing legislation in progress, See above
Join the Private Elections team Reggie Yancey. See above.
Join the D.C. League's Bed & Breakfast Hostesses. See above.
Help research children's issues in the District. Call Joan Wilson. See above.
Help provide education equipment to D.C. schools. See below.
Call the D.C. League Office, 347-3020 for more information about any of the above.

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Kudos to Jean Fleming, emeritus member of LWVDC, and Joan Wilson, formerly Montgomery County League, for inspiring League growth joined with continuity. The Chevy Chase Unit is joining with residents of the new Ingleside Retirement Community to establish an expanded unit (note page 4 of our 2001-2001 Member Handbook and Directory issued with the September DC Voter).

On September 10, Jean and Joan organized an LWVDC orientation at Ingleside. Approximately 30 residents were in attendance. Pat Hallman and Barbara Yeomans gave an overview of the history of the D.C. League, its modus operandi, and League programs (local and national). We were pleased to note some of the residents are or were members of Leagues in other areas. D.C. Leaguers look forward to becoming acquainted with the new members from Ingleside; we will have had an initial opportunity at the opening luncheon on September 20. Ingleside graciously provided bus transportation for the event, an auspicious beginning.

New League members residing at Ingleside are: Dorothy Armstrong, Mary Jo Cook, Wilson P. and Lynn W. Dizard, Mrs. Amy C. Donnelly, Dr. Butler T. Franklin, Mrs. Naomi Hopkins, Selma Y. Janow, Ms. Margaret R. Knispel, Mrs. M.L. (Many) Leggete, Mrs. Dorothy Mulkern, Ms. Marion Sanger, Mr. Rodney Shaw, Kathleen Snedaker, Ms. Grace E. Watson, and Ms. Louise Winfield. — Pat Hallman & Barbara Yeomans

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The meeting began at 10 a.m. in the Social Room at 6101 16th Street, thanks to the hospitality of Natalie Howard. President Hallman spoke of plans for the "Meet and Greet" socials bringing together League members across town, aided by Audrey Hatry, Joan Keenan, Leona Rumsey, Anna Marsh, Susan Rao, and Vivian Thompson.

Melmed reported D.C. MYVC Committee is assisting the with D.C. Student government elections, including a new election September 26 at Backus Middle School. League members will give out ballots and count results of elections in 140 schools of an 11th or 12th grade student to serve as student representative to the Board of Education. Melmed will write up the results for the Voter.

Plans for the September 20th Opening Luncheon were reviewed. Sheila Willet noted that there will be committee tables, a table with DC Vote petitions, as well as a demonstration of voting machines by Ms. Alice P. Miller, Executive Director, Board of Elections and .Ethics and her personnel.

For the Healthcare Committee, Natalie Howard noted that Blue Cross/Blue Shield is considering changing from nonprofit to a for-profit organization. After discussion, the Board approved participation of the committee in a group of organizations around the area to study this issue. The Board also approved a proposed new copy for the initial panel of Voter Education Brochure, presented by Elinor Hart. Naomi Glass encouraged League members to attend Mayor Williams' Citizens Summit at the Convention Center on October 6. The Mayor is asking for citizen comments on services and those interested should call 727-0882.

Anne Porowski reported that the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area would like the League to co-sponsor a community meeting on October 27, and the Board agreed to do so. Anna Marsh said the Brown Bag Dialogue will be held October 22, in the LWVUS Board room, 1730 M St. NW at 11:30 a.m. The subject will be Transportation..

Kathy Schmidt said both houses of Congress have assigned the DC Vote bill to committees, and no dates for a hearing have been set. January seems like the earliest possible time for a hearing.

Reggie Yancey reported that the Private Elections team oversaw a pro bono election for the Blind Vendors. Naomi Glass noted that Geri Albers has agreed to monitor water and sewer issues for the D.C. League. —  Frances Gemmill (362-6784)

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Councilmember Kathy Patterson introduced three important election bills on June 26. The LWVDC Voter's Service group reviewed the proposed legislation and strongly supports it. Councilmenber Vincent Orange is a co-sponsor. The measures are:

Bill 14-269: The Election Recount and Judicial Review Amendment Act of 2001. This bill deals with recounts and judicial review of election results. It provides for an automatic recount if the election is decided by less than 1 % of the votes cast. It also clarifies the standards allowing the DC Court of Appeals to set aside an election result. It discourages frivolous legal challenges by requiring a losing challenger to pay reasonable court costs and lawyers fees.

Bill 14-270: The Early Voting Amendment Act of 2001. This would adopt a policy in effect in several states permitting voters to sign up to receive an absentee ballot in the mail prior to every election without providing a reason. In effect this is permanent absentee voter status. This practice has significantly increased voter turnout in States using it.

Bill 14-271: The Voter Information and Education Act of 2001. This again emulates a practice followed by several states. It would require the Board of Elections to prepare and distribute a voter's guide prior to each primary and general election. The pamphlet would contain background information on each candidate and a statement of each candidate's platform and priorities. It would include summary statements for any ballot measures. It is envisaged by some that the LWVDC could be helpful in preparing such documents. The Bills have cosponsors and have been referred to the Council's Committee on Government Operations. — Guy Coriden (232-6759) and Elinor Hart (387-2966), Co Chairs.

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86th Annual Meeting
September 26-30, 2001

Hyatt Regency Hotel on Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC

Call Madlyn Calbert at 832-7630 or Constance Tate 882-0387 for more information.

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At its meeting on September 5, 2001, the Healthcare Committee informed the board that CareFirst, now operating as a non-profit, is exploring the possibility of converting to a for-profit corporation. In D. C., CareFirst is Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Healthcare groups in the metropolitan area are joining together to study and assess this situation. The Board approved the recommendation of the Healthcare Committee that it work with this study group. Interested organizations include the Metroppolitan Washington Public Health Association, the D.C. Appleseed Assoiation, the Maryland League of Women Voters, and Washington Grantmakers.

Some of the questions to be studied are: Is this conversion in the public interest? What conditions should be mandated for any conversion, in order to protect the public interest? How will the assets of CareFirst, gained operating as a non-profit, be used for the public good? A recent meeting to discuss these issues included the Insurance Commissioner of the District of Columbia and a representative of the Office of the Corporation Counsel. or the District of Columbia, the ultimate decision as to the possible change is in the hands of the Insurance Commmissioner.

The next meeting of the Healthcare Committee will be on Tuesday, September 25, in the LWVDC Office, 733 15th St., NW, Suite 432. Rene Wallis, Director of Project Development at D.C. Primary Care Association, will join us to talk about Healthcare insurance. All are welcome to come and assist in our studies. — Natalie Howard, Chair (882-8762)

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EDUCATION COMMITTEE: Support DC Schools When You Buy Groceries

Help a school earn free education equipment by enrolling your Safeway or Giant Club Card with the school of your choice, and your purchases total will automatically be credited to that school. Double credits will be given to all Safeway select items you purchase.

To enroll on-line just log-on to the web sites of either Safeway ( or Giant ( Or, you can enroll at the store where you shop. (If you do not have a computer, you may use the computers at the various libraries in the District. Library staff will assist you.)

Bob Levey's Washington Post column, Sept. 12, 2001 supported this means of all citizens with or without children to help provide education equipment to the DC schools. The article noted:

  • The "lucky duck" school for this year is Jefferson Jr. H.S. in Southwest Washington. It was chosen for improving its daily attendance record.

  • The beginning date for enrollment in the grocery receipt programs for Safeway is September 17 and for Giant, September 30.
  • We are asking you to support Jefferson Jr. H.S. for this 2001-2002 school year. The code numbers for Jefferson Jr. H.S. are: Giant 000263, Safeway 0302. 

    Even if you participated in this program in a previous year, you must register again for this year. — Constance Tate (882-0387) and Gladys Weaver (554-3055), Co-Chairs

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    "Are Americans at Home in the Global Village?"

    A Town Hall Meeting on Globalization: Perspectives on Public Health, Income and Equality and our Children's Future
    Thursday, October 25, 2001 at 10:00 a.m.
    Kenny Auditorium at SAIS, 1740 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC

    Many Americans are not actively involved in the debate about the growing social, political, and economic integration of the United States with other nations. Often the public views the debate over globalization as a tug of war between activists and union leaders concerned about protecting consumers, the environment and workers from harm on one hand, and corporate and government officials focused on promoting market efficiencies on the other. The globalization debate should be a discussion among citizens about how to improve the quality of life on earth for more of the world's peoples.

    The LWVEF, NPA and SAIS want citizens to understand how to shape the policies that govern globalization. The LWVEF and NPA have developed an 18-month project entitled Forging a Greater Public Understanding of Globalization. It is designed to foster abroad discussion on globalization among Americans by relating it to our daily lives. This town hall meeting will initiate this dialogue by highlighting some of the perspectives not often heard in the current debate. This event will be open to the public.

    For additional information please contact Marianne Scott, Senior Fellow, LWVEF at (202) 263-1339 or

    Organized by The League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF), The National Policy Association (NPA), The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

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    CALENDAR: October 2001

    Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
    Sept 26-30 ASALP 86th Annual Mtg. 1 2 3 10:00 a.m., LWVDC Board Mtg. 4 5 6 9 am-4 pm Neighborhood Action Citizen Summit II
    7 8 12:30-2 pm Unit Council Mtg. 9 Deadline November DC Voter 10 10 am, Education Committee Mtg. 11 12 13 10 am-noon, Children's Issues Committee Mtg.

    10:30 am-noon, International Relations Committee Mtg.

    14 15 16 9:45 am, Southwest Unit Mtg.

    12:45 pm, Northwest Day Unit Mtg.

    17 9:45 am, Upper 16th Street Unit Mtg. 18 9:45 am, Chevy Chase-Ingleside Unit Mtg.

    7:30 pm, Evening Unit Mtg.

    19 20
    21 22 11:30 am-1:30 pm, Brown Bag Dialogue, Topic: Transportation 23 6:30 pm, Healthcare Committee Mtg. 24 12 noon "A Special View of Washington" Reservation deadline Oct. 19 25 10 am, Town Hall Meeting, Are Americans at Home in the Global Village? 26 November DC Voter Mailing 27 10 am-2 pm "UN Global Community Day"
    28 29 30 31      

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    August 1, 2001

    The President
    The White House
    Washington, D.C. 20500
    Dear Mr. President:

    The League of Women Voters urges you to reexamine your position on the question of full congressional voting representation for the citizens of the District of Columbia.

    Over the last 200 years, the principle that all citizens are entitled to a voice and a vote in their national government has emerged as a cornerstone of American democracy and a fundamental tenet of our Constitution. Although relatively few Americans were entitled to vote when the Constitution was adopted in 1788, virtually all restrictions on the franchise have since been eliminated, including those based on race, sex, wealth, property ownership, education, marital status and place of residence. Disenfranchisement of Disirict citizens is the last great exception to the constitutional principle of "one person, one vote."

    The United States is the only nation on earth that completely disenfranchises residents of its capital city in national legislative elections. Imagine France denying voting rights to the citizens of Paris or Chile disenfranchising Santiago. It is hard to conceive of such a thing.

    There is an ongoing misunderstanding of the Framers' decision to grant to Congress "exclusive legislation" over the federal district. The purpose of the so-called "District Clause" was to guarantee Congress military security and police powers over the site of its own operations - not to disenfranchise anyone

    A basic principle of democracy is at stake. Americans living in the nation's capital deserve to have full voting representation in the body that makes their laws, taxes them and can call them to war. We must ensure that the democracy Americans have espoused and fought for across the globe becomes a reality in the nation's capital.

    The League of Women Voters supports full voting representation in the Congress for the citizens of the District of Columbia. This support was recently reaffirmed by delegates from all the states at a national meeting this spring.

    Mr. President, there are many ways that U.S. citizens who live in the District of Columbia could vote for representatives to the House and Senate. Citizens could vote through the state of Maryland. The District could have freestanding representation as a state or through constitutional amendment. The structure by which representation is to be achieved is a debate for another day. We ask you now to state your support for the principle that U.S. citizens who reside in the District of Columbia should have full voting representation in the U.S. Congress. If you do not support this principle, is there any formulation you could support that would provide any voting representation in Congress for District citizens?

    As you can see, we feel deeply about this issue. This has caused us to speak forcefully. We trust that you will not dismiss this inquiry, and we look forward to your specific reply.

    Very respectfully yours,

    Carolyn Jefferson- Jenkins, Ph.D. 
    The League of Women Voters of the United States

    Patricia Hollman 
    The League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia

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    Celebration of the U.N.'s 56th Anniversary

    Panel Discussion on Three U.N. Challenges:

    Global Democracy (Amb. Robert Hunter, RAND Corporation)
    Global AIDS (Mary Partlow, Global Health Council)
    Global Warming (Nancy Kete, World Resources Institute)

    Recognize UNA-NCA's Adopt-A-Minefield Program Participants
    with a Keynote speech by Ken Rutherford, Landmine Survivors Network

    October 27th, 2001
    10 am to 2 pm
    at John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
    1740 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
    (Near DuPont Circle Metro Station)

    Admission: FREE
    Box Lunch: $10.00
    Donations Gratefully Accepted

    1808 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite No. 101,
    Washington DC 20009
    Tel: (202) 518-0471 Fax: (202) 518-0473 Email: