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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: http://www.dcwatch.com/lwvdc, E-mail: LWVDC@aol.com
Membership Needs You
News from the Units
More Unit News
|Highlights of May 1 Board
Funding the League
Leave a Legacy for the League
Insurance Commissioners Announces Public Forum
International Relations Great Decisions Discussions
Calendar: End of Program Year 2001/2002
Insert: Healthcare in the District of Columbia
The LWVUS Convention will be held in Miami, FL. June 15 -18, 2002. A hot topic at the convention will be the proposal to increase the per-member payment (PMP). The PMP is a portion of the membership dues collected by the local Leagues and sent to LWVUS to support the National League. Many questions about the PMP have surfaced. For more information, see related article in next column. Our LWVDC delegates are Naomi Glass, Pat Hallman, Sheila Keeny, and Joan Wilson. In addition, Kathy and AI Schmidt and Reggie Yancey plan to attend the convention as non-voting delegates. A pre-convention meeting for the delegates is planned for early June. Your suggestions for input into the convention are welcome.
A group of 24 African women arrived in Washington on May 12 for a three-week visit to the U.S. They are sponsored by the called Women In Power in Politics: Building Grassroots Democracy in Africa, funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. State Department under the authority of the Fulbright Hayes Act of 1961. Madlyn Calbert hosted some of the women in her home. The DCLWV escorted them to the DC Lobby Day on the Hill, where they heard the presentations by the coalition members including Mayor Williams and Mrs. Norton. They then followed the petitioners to some of the Congressional offices to observe how signatures are obtained in support of Full Voting Representation and to observe lobbying first hand.
The National Capital
Area League Convention was held on May 18. Paul Taylor, Executive Director of the
Alliance for Better Campaigns was the speaker. He
We are in the process of rebuilding the League MEMBERSHIP. The Membership committee is seeking serious volunteers who are interested in bringing in young people and voting activists, as well as fund raising activities.Please join us for a Membership meeting on Saturday, June 1, 11:00 AM (Call 202 667-8210) Linda Softli, Membership Chair
The Per-Member Payment (PMP) is the way Leagues satisfy the requirement to support financially the national level of our three-level organization. PMP is the major source of income for the LWVUS, providing partial support for advocacy, membership and organizational activities, The National Voter, convention ,and council, and national board and committee meetings. The LWVUS board recognizes and appreciates the significant commitment Leagues make when they pay their PMP.Payment of the PMP is NOT optional or subject to local amendment. In order to retain the right to vote at national convention, Leagues must have made full payment for the LWVUS PMP.
Regular member: Your League's PMP obligation for fiscal year (FY) 2001-2002 is based on the January 2001 membership count of paid-up members as reported to the LWVUS in January 2001. A PMP rate of $21 was set by Convention, 2002 for fiscal year 2001-2002 (July 1, 2001 through June 30, 2002.)
Student member: In accordance with a bylaw amendment adopted at Convention 2000, the PMP rate for League members who are students is $10.50, half that of other members. (A student is defined as an individual who is enrolled either full or part-time in an accredited institution.) This rate is intended as an incentive to encourage students to join the League.
Members in a common household: When two or more members reside in the same household the full PMP is charged for the first member and one-half PMP for each additional member. (Only one copy of The National Voter is sent to each such household.)
Honorary life or 50-year members: Those who have been members for 50 years or more are full voting members but are excused from the payment of dues. No LWVUS PMP is charged.'
recruited or renewed members:
No LWVUS PMP is charged for nationally recruited members (MRM) or for
members who renew through the LWVUS. The budget for FY 2001-2002
includes funds to provide local and state Leagues a $5 rebate for each
Nationally Recruited Member (NRM) reported on the January 2001 summary
Current Dues Collected by LWVDC
The Experience Corps is a program where volunteers, adults 55 and over, tutor children in the public elementary schools. Prior to working with the children, the volunteers are given training and supervision by experts in the area.
Connie Tate and Gladys Weaver have completed the first session. By September each volunteer will be involved in preparation for the tutoring. The Corps needs more volunteers. League members are encouraged to participate in the project to help children in their neighborhood. Gladys Weaver, Co-chair
As the end of our program year approaches the various units may have end of year social meetings. If you have not attended a Unit meeting this year,, we encourage you to attend the socials this month it's a perfect opportunity to get to know other League members in your neighborhood.
The Ingleside/Chevy Chase Unit decided not to have a special Unit meeting in June because of the plethora of general meetings in April and May.
The Unit Council will meet on June 10 with Connie Tate convening at 10 am at 733 15th St., NW, #432.
A Unit Council social consisting of last year's unit officers as well as potential 2002/2003 officers will meet Sunday, June 30 at 4:00 pm at Sheila Keeny's home, 3600 Albemarle Ave. NW.
Wednesday, June 26, 9:45 a.m., Upper 16th St., Kathy Schmidt, 3601 Conn. Ave., NW., #418, 237-5550
Thursday, June 27, 7:30 p.m., Northwest Evening, Sheila Keeny, 3600 Albemarle St., NW, 966-1692
The Downtown Evening Unit hopes to begin regular monthly meetings beginning this fall. We would like to have input from League members who work downtown and would like to attend an evening unit as to the day (Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday) and the start time (6:00 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7:00 p.m.) and a suggested place (Sumner School, a nearby restaurant, or other-please name). Please email your preference to firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject Downtown Unit; or, call the League office at 3473020.
We wish to acknowledge and thank Sheila Keeny for her outstanding contribution to the League as the Unit Director. Sheila is moving on to other League responsibilities. We are looking for League member to assume the position of Unit Director for the 2002/2003 Program Year (9/2002-3/2003). Please contact Pat Hallman to apply.
Welcome New Members: Dorathea E. Brady, Vernon M. Schroeder. In remembrance: We are sad to report the deaths of two past presidents of the DC League: Jane K. Schwartz, (1965-67) and Ann Haynes Stults (1985-87). Both were instrumental in helping the League to grow and many members will remember their contributions to the League.
Jane Schwartz is remembered for her hard work and dedication to the League. Hanging in the League office is the commemorative pen that President Lyndon B. Johnson used on September 8, 1965 in signing H.R. 4822, "An Act to authorize the prosecution of a transit development program for the National Capital region, and to further the objectives of the Act of July 14, 1960".
Income Tax Return Day: the event sponsored by DC Vote was even bigger and better than last, year. One can see a two-minute video of it at www.dcvote.org. LWVDC members Barbara Yeomans and Chris Matthews are clearly visible in the video.
Essay contest: DC Vote has completed its essay contest for middle and junior high school students in the District. The awards will be made in Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton's office the end of May.
Lobby Day: May 15 was a coalition effort. Between 250 and 300 residents participated. All Senate offices were visited. The plight of D.C. citizens without voting representation in Congress was emphasized. Some aides were not aware that even our delegate does not have a vote. Follow up meetings with some Senators are planned as we try to get co-sponsors for S.603, the bill which proposes that until we are granted full voting rights the citizens of D.C. be exempt from federal income taxes.
Flag Day, June 14: Councilman Mendelson will hold hearings on a bill with 11 co-sponsors to add `Taxation without Representation" to the D.C. flag until such time as we are granted full voting representation. If you would like to give testimony, contact Kathy Schmidt. Kathy Schmidt (237-5550), DC VOTE Liaison
HIGHLIGHTS OF MAY 1 BOARD MEETING
Frances Gemmill (362-6784)
Several DC League members, under the guidance of Jeanette Miller, are in the early stages of work to update Know The District of Columbia, which was last revised in 1986. This book is designed to inform not only the people who live here, but also citizens throughout the country who want to know more about the nation's capital and its residents. For many years, members of the national League of Women Voters have been educating themselves and other citizens about local and state governments through "Know Your Community" studies.
Our supply of the 1986 edition has been exhausted, and its update postponed during the transitional period from 1997 to 2000 when the Control Board exercised oversight of our government. That edition is widely used as a teaching text by universities around the area, including the University of the District of Columbia (UDC), the University of Maryland, and the George Mason University. Currently assisting Jeanette are several League members as well as student interns from the UDC.
A complete new set of photographs is needed. You might help with this important part of the production by photos of our city, or by taking photos of significant landmarks that reflect our civic life as citizens of Washington, D.C. Call Nelson Rimensnyder (w 789-1581 h 546-4668) to help with the photos.
More than 40 League members contributed research, writing, and/or editing to the production of the 1986 edition. NOW IS THE TIME to lend YOUR talents, expertise, knowledge, and energy to this new revision. Call Jeanette Miller (362-1203).
As we close out the 2001/2002 Program year and think ahead to the 2002/2003 Program year, your President and Board wish to acknowledge and thank all of the members who contributed to the 2001 year- end, fundraising appeal. Without the gifts from people who support the League beyond their annual dues, our activities would be seriously curtailed. Gifts of all sizes are very much appreciated and will be used wisely. Thank you!
LEAVE A LEGACY FOR THE LEAGUE
Thanks to generous members who have remembered us in their wills, we are able to continue functioning in spite of strains on our budget. Our programs, office space, staff, equipment, and newsletter printing are ail essential. We would like to recognize once again our appreciation for late members Sue & Irving Panzer and Jan Rosenblum, as well as others; whose bequests help to keep us afloat!
You can help insure the future of the League through planned giving. There are many options, including various trusts, making the League a beneficiary of an Insurance policy, or an outright gift in your will. The National League office has detailed information about estate planning (202-429-1965). We selfishly suggest that you specifically designate the DC League (LWVDC or LWVDC Ed Fund). In many cases, there is no tax advantage to designating the Ed Fund, but check with a tax attorney.
INSURANCE COMMISSIONER ANNOUNCES PUBLIC FORUM
On Conversion and Acquisition of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of the National Capital Area
The Insurance Commissioner of DC will hold public forums to receive public comments on the application by Wellpoint Health Networks Inc. to acquire control of Group Hospitalization & Medical Services, Inc. (GHMSI), and as a necessary prerequisite thereto, the conversion of GHMSI from a non-profit to a for-profit company. The first two opportunities for public comments are scheduled for:
6-9 pm at One Judiciary Square, 441 4th St. NW and
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS "GREAT DECISIONS" DISCUSSIONS
Global Warming Not Occurring
Those present at the last meeting on May 3 ended the series with a bang. They made their own Great Decision! They agreed that the policy options presented in the Foreign Policy Association (FPA) workbook were predicated on the false assumption that global warming is underway. The current public debate on global warming reflects inadequate primary information, misleading reporting, some politicizing of scientific reports, and many private agendas. The US resources alone implicit in the goals of the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change are in the billions of dollars. The taxpaying public deserves intellectual rigor in a policy debate of this magnitude, along with a sound scientific basis for environmental policies.
Since the FPA material did not include information on energy basics, such as sources of primary and secondary energy, what sector uses energy from what source, and how much, we began by reviewing some elementary material (readily available on the web site) of the USDOE's Energy Information Administration. We then received a briefing by Professor Emeritus (UVA) Dr. S. Fred Singer, who was the first Director of the former EPA Deputy Administrator for Policy, and most recently, Chief Scientist of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Dr. Singer relied on data from a variety of widely recognized sources. He addressed the unreliability of computer models used for forecasting. He made a clear case that global warming is not occurring, and that any contribution by human activity is not significant. Moreover, although some may assume that carbon dioxide is a pollutant, it is not.
Surely a number of those who attended the meeting arrived with an opposite point of view to that with which they left. Frederick Seitz, a former President of the National Academy of Sciences, has stated: "It is one thing to impose drastic measures and harsh economic penalties when an environmental problem is clear-cut and severe. It is quite another to do so when the environmental problem is largely hypothetical and not substantiated by careful observation. This is definitely the case with global warming." (Foreword to "Hot Talk, Cold Science, Global's Unfinished Debate," by S. Fred Singer, Revised Second Edition, 1999, The Independent Institute, Oakland, California.) Barbara Yeomans
India and South Asia
On March 22, the article in the Great Decisions handbook was augmented by a double gift of experienced advice in the form of Firoze Rao, who grew up in India and assisted in the family business, and his wife Susan, who was stationed in India with the State Department. Firoze describes India's population as highly stratified, starting with a thin layer of very well-off families, and going down to the very poor - who may live, amicably, cheek by jowl with the rich. Step out of the door of a luxurious mansion, and you may find on the curb several families, each inhabiting oneroom huts. Social strains in India are within the strata rather than between. Family planning is not working, as boys are greatly valued to work the fields to help support the family in the city. Girls, however, leave home on marriage and require dowry, in effect paying the groom's family to marry the bride. Family farms suffer from the inheritance system under which the land is divided among the sons until the plots of land are too small to support a family, which then moves to the city.
India possesses vast tracts of land, and an energetic and inventive populace, which should combine to create a wealth of produce and manufacture for internal and export income. The handbook, however, describes India's economy as "mixed". Our guest is less diplomatic, from personal experience. India has a huge and corrupt bureaucracy, fueled by bribery. Courts are honest, but so slow-moving that a typical case may take months or years just to appear on the docket: The unions are large, demanding, and rigid. The combination throttles commercial development. Irrational, say the Raos.
According to Firoze, religious differences were not a divisive issue until they became political, relatively recently. The Indian outlook on the Kashmir issue dates back to the violent partition that created Pakistan, and later Bangladesh, and divided Kashmir 'between Pakistan and India. Since that time, India feels that it has given up enough territory, and refuses to surrender any more. Hope Marindin
CALENDAR: END OF PROGRAM YEAR 2001/2002
28 Tues. 6-9 pm Insurance Commission Public Forum: CareFirst (Please note: Some League members may receive their June DC Voter as early as May 28th and may wish to attend this forum.
5 Wed. 10 am, LWVDC
1730 M St., 10th Floor, NW
JULY3 Wed. 10 am, LWV Board Mtg., 1730 M St., 10 Floor, NW
10 Tues. Deadline: July/August DC Voter
26 Fri. July/August DC Voter mailed.
26 Fri. Deadline: 2003/2004 Directory/Calendar/Handbook
13 Tues. Deadline:
Sept. DC Voter
SEPTEMBER4 Wed. 10 am, LWV Board Mtg., 1730 M St., 10 Floor, NW
19 Thurs. Fall Luncheon - Kickoff for 2002/2003 Program Year
Healthcare in the District of Columbia
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