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The DC Voter
League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia
Vol. 78, No. 7, July/August 2002

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
Monday, August 12, 2002, Is Voter Registration Deadline
Congressional Representation
Member News
Voter Services Committee
Membership Committee
Transportation Committee
“In Honor Of” Gifts Benefit the League
News from the Units
Affordable Housing Committee
Private Elections: Hats Off to League Volunteers
Global Warming Revisited
DC Tax Free Sales Tax Holiday
Funding for DC Public Schools
LWVDC Featured in Coalition On-Line Newsletter
DC Pollworkers Needed for 2002 Elections
An Invitation from LWV Fairfax Area
Vote Pins a Success at Convention
Brown Bag Dialogue Set for Friday September 13
On-Line Voter's Guide Provided Via DNet
Membership Form
Calendar: August 2002
82nd Annual Meeting Insert
Convention 2002 — Miami, Florida, Insert 


The 2002 Convention was held in Miami, Florida at the Hotel Fountainebleau. Naomi Glass, Sheila Keeny, Joan Wilson and I were the Voting Delegates from D.C. Reggie Yancey was the non-voting delegate. Over 600 voting delegates representing all 50 states and D.C. attended, plus over 200 non-voting delegates. Kay Maxwell was chosen as the new LWVUS President.

The Convention approved an increase in the per member payment (PMP) that each League pays to the National League to $24.35. The LWVDC budget was constructed before the convention. Thus, we hope members would be willing to cover the unanticipated, but necessary, expense, by donating $3 to $5 to defray the shortfall.

We attended the hearing on HR 1193, No Taxation Without Representation Act, held by Representative Connie Morelia (R-MD), of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on the District of Columbia. It was the first hearing held in over 25 years on voting rights. A panel of witnesses, led by Mayor Anthony Williams and Council Chairman Linda Cropp, gave support to Full Voting Representation. The ensuing discussion on how to expand the efforts to gain support from more sectors emphasized the fact that D.C. cannot use locally raised revenue in support of voter education. (See Congressional Representation.)

I attended a meeting at the DC Vote office with other representatives from other organizations who had participated in the "D.C. Lobby Day on the Hill." Approximately 30 people assembled to formulate plans for the next step, including representatives from Mrs. Norton's Office, the Mayor's Office, Radioactive Stations, and the Shadow Representatives. A myriad of ideas evolved, i.e., the a lawsuit to achieve goals, use incremental steps vs. leap into action, idealism vs. political reality and sponsoring a series of debates on the solutions. The discussion focused on how various self-determination and Congressional Representation groups might work together more effectively, which brought about a spirited dialogue. A D.C. Democracy Exchange Committee will be established to continue the discussion and formulate plans.

Remember this is your voter. Comments, letters to the editor are welcome. Thank you. — Patricia Hallman, President

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For September 10. 2002 Primary

If you have moved since the last election or if you want to change party affiliations, be sure to register to vote by August 12.

Eligible voters (U.S. citizen, D.C. resident, and at least 18 years old by Election Day) can register to vote in the District of Columbia by filling out a Mail-In Voter Registration Form available at D.C. public libraries, fire houses and police stations. Or, contact the DC Board of Elections and Ethics (BOEE), 441 Fourth Street, NW, Suite 250N (Judiciary Square Red Line Metro stop). Tel: 727-2525 Hearing Impaired: 639-8916. . The Mail-In Voter Registration form can also be downloaded from the BOEE web site: After August 26, visit for LWVDC's online voter's guide about the candidates.

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At the hearing July 19 of the Subcommittee on the District of Columbia of the House Committee on Government Reform, which was chaired by Representative Constance Morella, a panel of seven invited experts offered testimony in support of full voting rights in Congress for D.C. citizens -- Mayor Anthony Williams, City Council Chair Linda Cropp, Shadow Representative Ray Browne, Republican Party Chair Betsy Werronen, Greater Washington Board of Trade President Robert Peck, DC Appleseed Executive Director Walter Smith, and Congressional Research Service analyst Eugene Boyd. Unanimous agreement was that votes for a representative and two senators was the desired solution, but means of obtaining those rights was not discussed. 

Mr. Smith's opinion that Congress had the right to so legislate was questioned by the chair, who accepted his interpretation that ruling by the court in Alexander v. Daley directed Congress to seek a solution and that to the best of his knowledge the courts had never overturned a Congressional action specified by the courts. He also referred to a case in which the court had specifically pointed out its reliance on Congress for interpretation. Finally, he suggested that no future Congress would rescind voting rights for D.C. once passed as it would be too costly to be on record against the right to vote.

Mr. Browne's achievement of getting endorsements from 11 cities and states in support of full voting rights in Congress for D.C. made the chair ask for his advice about expanding the effort. He mentioned Mayor Williams' working with the National League of Cities, future visits with state governors, and working through the faith community. Ms Werronen agreed to meet with Mr. Browne and to try to get reinserted in the platform of the NRP the plank formerly there in support of our civil rights. 

In response to Rep. Morella's urging Ms. Cropp and Mr. Williams to be more active in the effort Ms Cropp pointed out the DC appropriation bill again includes a prohibition against using even locally raised revenue in DC support of gaining full voting rights in Congress.

When Mr. Boyd was unable to answer how many federal districts allowed their citizens to vote for national legislatures, an aide brought to the chair a listing from the DC Vote website.

This is only the highlights of the hearing, that lasted over two hours. If you want to discuss it with me, please, feel free to call 237-5550.

Ilir Zherka has been named Executive Director of DC VOTE. Cleveland has joined Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Francisco as cities that have endorsed full voting representation in Congress for D.C.

On June 14, DC VOTE Board members and staff, along with a rep resentative from the DC League of Women Voters, presented testimony before the Sub-Committee on Labor, Civil Rights, and Redistricting in support of the "District of Columbia Flag Redesign Act of 2002." A first reading has been held. A vote is anticipated in the fall. At the hearing, 23 citizens spoke in favor of the bill; six wanted different slogans; three opposed any change; and three spoke without reference to the bill. Chair Phil Mendelson pointed out that eight states include slogans on their flags, and three others have recently redesigned theirs. The proposed changes to the DC flag would not be radical.Kathy Schmidt (237-5550) DC VOTE Liaison

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Thursday, Sept. 19th, 2002
Kickoff for 2002-3 Program Year
Fall Luncheon
(Details in September Voter)

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We are sad to report the death on May 28 of June Roberts Cornog, a member of our Chevy Chase Unit and a retired psychologist at the National Bureau of Standards. Dr. Cornog retired in 1976 after working at MEMBER NEWS continued NBS for 40 years. She was a 1934 graduate of Pennsylvania State University, where she also received a doctorate in psychology. During World War II she served on active duty as a Navy WAVE, and retired from the Navy Reserve as a Commander in 1968.

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS: Dorathea E. Brady, Evelyn Groves, Ed Lazere.

CONTRIBUTIONS: We gratefully thank and acknowledge contributions from: Mary A. Amory, Barbara Brooks Atkinson, June C. Bashkin, Marion K. Bell, Suzanne Campagna, Reba Diggs, E. Patricia Hallman, Audrey Hatry, Elizabeth Hobby, Ann Ingram, Joan Keenan, Sheila and Spurgeon Keeny, Johnetta Kelly, Clara Kirkman, Charlotte. V. Kuh, Anna B.J. and Luther Marsh, Maureen I. McCarthy, Mary L. B. Rankin, Lorraine , Sinderbrand, Constance P. Gladys C Weaver.

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VOTER SERVICES COMMITTEE: Help Needed for Innovative Voter Service Efforts

In an effort to give candidate forums a wider audience, the DC League will be posting transcripts of forums on the COMMON DENOMINATOR website. If you can help review and correct one or more of these transcripts, call Elinor Hart at 387-2966. If you have a computer with Microsoft Word and email, you can do this from your home.

D-NET offers a unique opportunity to provide information about ANC candidates. If you would like to do this for your Advisory Neighborhood Commission or help in an overall way, contact Elinor Hart at 387-2966. If you have a computer and an Internet connection, this is another way you can help from home. — Elinor Hart (387-2966), Voter Services Co-chair.

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MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE: Planning Meeting Scheduled

We have lots of ideas for membership involvement and activities. Please join us for planning a fall fundraiser and other membership activities on Tuesday, August 6, at 6:45 prn at the LWVDC office, 733 15th Street, NW Suite 432. Street parking is available on H, 15th, New York Ave., and around the block on 14th.

For more information, call Linda Softli, 667-8210. — Linda Softli, Membership Chair

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Grace Malakoff, a longtime League expert on transportation in the region, has agreed to serve as D.C. League Transportation Chair and Director on the Board for the coming year. Grace writes: "We will be participating in an NCA study of interstate compacts that looks promising. This is always a lively issue. I welcome any suggestions, not to mention participants on a committee." Grace can be reached at 387-7540. 

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"IN HONOR OF GIFTS: Benefit the League

Many members and non-members have supported the League by gifts of remembrance. Instead of buying yet another gift for that someone who has everything, consider giving a donation to the League in their honor. Use anniversaries, birthdays, weddings, and other special occasions to express your appreciation for a friend or loved one. Consider substituting a donation to the League in place of funeral flowers -- a living memorial!

A letter will be sent to the honoree (or family of) acknowledging your gift, will be reported in the DC VOTER, and will be appreciated by League members for years, as we appreciate the many people who have used this avenue of giving. A lasting gift! — Chris Matthews

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Unit Chairs and Co-Chairs held a final Unit Council meeting of the program year at the home of Sheila Keeny, outgoing Unit Director. The Units that held a Units Choice meeting in June described their events. These were, diverse, ranging from the SW Unit's discussion of neighborhood issues like affordable housing and the new arts center to a report on Convention 2002 at the Upper Sixteenth Street Unit and a visit to the NW Evening Unit by Kathy Patterson, Ward 3 Councilmember, and Jason Washington, representing Adrian Fenty, Ward 4 Councilmember. All current Unit Chairs and CoChairs agreed to continue in their present posts in the coming program year. — Sheila Keeny, Outgoing Unit Director

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AFFORDABLE HOUSING COMMITTEE: League writes letter to Mayor Williams

Following are excerpts from a letter to Mayor Williams from Pres. Pat Hallman sent July 12 regarding affordable housing:

"On behalf of not only of the League, but also the other eleven organizations listed at the end of this letter, thank you for your leadership on affordable housing ...we are especially grateful that your pivotal support ensured full funding for the Housing Production Trust Fund."

..."In order to make the Trust Fund fully operational as soon as possible, we urge you to take three critical actions before the end of July: 1) Appoint the Trust Fund Advisory Board. 2) Issue proposed revised Trust Fund regulations. 3) Issue a Notice of Funding Availability based on the current Trust Fund regulations."

The organizations for which the letter speaks are: the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing & Economic Development, the Fiscal Policy Institute, Independent Living for the Handicapped, Inc., Manna, Inc., National Housing Trust, Shaw Education for Action, Somerset Development Company, So Others May Eat (SOME), Washington Innercity Self Help (WISH), and Washington Regional Network for Regional Communities.

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Hats are off to all of the volunteers who assisted with one or more private elections since August 2001. Whether you stuffed envelopes, affixed labels, issued or counted ballots, each action was a contribution to the task at hand. This has been a stellar year as we conducted or monitored twelve elections, three of which were pro bono. Over $13,000 has been received for these endeavors over the last six months. The League thanks you.

It is an interesting and enlightening people experience. If you would like to volunteer to assist in any capacity for the upcoming year, please call the office and sign up. Thanks again to: Cielle Block, Guy Coriden, Minnie Fitzhugh, Naomi Glass, Audrey Grey, Jean Fleming, Vinna Freeman, Patricia Hallman, Elinor Hart, Audrey Hatry, Jackie Jones, Barbara Kemp, Paula McKann, Anna Marsh, Christine Matthews, Elaine Melmed, Ken Vesper, Abigail Nichols, Susan Rao, Mary Rodgers, Leona Rumsey, Kathy Schmidt, Constance Tate, Sheila Willet, Joan Wilson, and Barbara Yeomans, Elaine Melmed has volunteered to be Co-Chair of Private Elections. — Reggie Yancey (726-1929), Co-chair, Private Elections*

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A recent letter to President Pat Hallman from an "admirer of the national and the DC League and its sanity on the big issues" expressed shock to read the story in the June DC Voter headed "Global Warming Not Occurring", and disbelief that the DC League "took such a position". In her response, President Hallman explained that positions on Global Warming are the responsibility of our national organization, which has in fact lobbied against actions that undermine progress in international negotiations to stop global warming.

The article in question was a report of a small group of Leaguers who participated in this year's Great Decisions program, a series of seminar discussions based on briefing materials prepared by the Foreign Policy Association and conducted by, but not limited to, members of the International Relations Committee. It was not a consensus meeting, and was unrelated to local League program. Other topics in the Great Decisions program this year were India and South Asia, Colombia and Drug Trafficking, and Aids in Africa.

The International Relations Committee plans to hold a special Brown Bag meeting on Friday, September 13, to hear an opposing position on global warming. Our speaker will be Dr. Steve Fetter, Professor of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, where he is also Associate Director, Joint Global Change Research Institute. Details will be in your September Voter. — Sheila Keeny (966-1692) Vice President for National Program

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DC Tax "FREE" Sales Tax Holiday
August 9 -18, 2002
10 days, 2 weekends

Shoppers in DC will get a break from paying DC sales taxes August 9 -18, 2002 on qualified articles of clothing (wearing apparel for humans), footwear (except skis, swim fins, roller blades and skates) or school supplies (including pens, pencils, stationery, book bags, lunchboxes, calculators, and notebooks for use in the classroom, at home, or for any school activity) will be excluded from DC sales tax during this period. For further information call DC Customer Service Center at 202 727-4TAX (4829).

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FUNDING FOR D.C. PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Brown Bag Briefing by Mary Levy On May 20, 2002

Mary Levy, who is among those most knowledgeable on D.C. Public School finances, briefed a "Brown Bag" gathering of Leaguers and guests at LWVUS Headquarters on May 20, 2002. She has lent major assistance to Parents United for D.C. Public Schools, a citywide organization which was formed in response to the D.C. budget crisis of the 1980s. She is currently on loan to DCPS from the Lawyers' Committee on Civil Rights. She presented a detailed package of financial data, on file at the League Office. Below is a summary of major features.

DCPS has nearly 66,000 pupils. As of May 20, the Mayor's proposed FY 2003 budget for DCPS totaled around $773 million. About $576 million is for DCPS operations, including special education programs conducted within the system. About $197 million covers state-level costs, and about 95% of these functions pertain to special education outside DCPS, i.e., tuition for DC students in private institutions and related transportation. State-level funding has risen noticeably since 1997.

Since 2000, funding for the school system and individual public charter schools has been determined by a per pupil funding formula. For FY 2002, the basic level is $5,900 per pupil plus add-on percentages for different grade levels, special education, and English as a Second Language instruction. For FY 2003, the basic level is $6,555 per pupil, plus revised add-on percentages. Public Charter schools must receive the same per-pupil funding as DCPS, but they do not receive state-level funding.

Allocations of funds are determined by the Board of Education. The Mayor and Council have authority to determine the total amount. Major categories of expenditures (with approximate levels for FY2002) are Central Instructional Supervision/Support ($27.4M); Central Non-Instructional Services ($18M); Central Administration ($16.9M); State-level Functions, non-DCPS ($170M); State Agency Functions, non-DCPS ($6M); and non attributable ($0.8M).

Unlike any other U.S. school system, since 1996 the Superintendent no longer appoints the school system's Chief Financial Officer or Budget Director. In August 1996, the District's Chief Financial Officer took over DCPS finances and cast aside the systems producing data designed to meet schools' needs for information, such as enabling detailed analysis pertaining to students, and forecasting requirements for skills and services, e.g., for special education. Instead the current financial systems focus on accounting concerns aimed only at tracking funding and spending levels. 

The Superintendent no longer has control over the budget. Since 1996, the DCPS has had seven Chief Financial Officers and ten Budget Directors. DCPS no longer has a rational basis for financial accountability.

Moreover, there has been a massive turnover of central personnel, and current data systems are now a disaster. Even the longevity of Superintendents has become dangerously short. In the past, they might have served five or more years, the current tenure has become two to three years. A new Superintendent needs a year to understand DCPS, and another two to put any new programs in place.

Teachers still have to provide many of their own supplies and pursue related fund raising privately. Because of the poor level of procurement assistance, principals have to spend a lot of time walking papers through the system. Similarly, they have to "bird dog" the hiring process. The old inefficient system for paying salaries is still in place. Human Resources may have performed poorly before, but Ms. Levy views it now as a "disaster".

The schools will still have to comply with the new testing requirements, and many standardized tests are being used for purposes for which they were not designed. This is especially a problem if only one test is used for making a critical decision, like evaluating a principal or retaining a child in grade. Further, there are now standards for succeeding and failing schools. If, as may. well be likely, one school that is doing satisfactorily is robbed to reconstitute another, there could well be a series of failing schools. There are simply not enough good principals to go around, and many may choose to retire, to work in other jurisdictions or in charter schools. — Barbara Yeomans for Anna Marsh, Brown Bag Dialogue Coordinator

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LWVDC is a member of the Coalition for Non-Profit Housing and Economic Development (CNHED). The Affordable Housing Committee works closely with CNHED to bring about affordable housing in the District. The July Chronicle, CNHED on-line newsletter, can be seen by going to and clicking on the tab "News and Events."

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In a recent news release, Board of Elections Executive Director Alice P. Miller announced that Election Day Workers are needed to work at the polls for the upcoming 2002 election cycle - Primary Election on September 10 and General Election on November 5.

The news release continued by indicating that training is required of all pollworkers, with classes provided by the Board of Elections staff prior to each election. The pollworkers hours are from 6:15 am to about 9:00 pm on Election Day, and approximately two to three hours on Monday before the election for polling place setup. Poll workers are paid a stipend of $100.

Individuals interested in applying for a pollworker position should contact the Board of Elections by calling 727-0823. Individuals with hearing impairments can call the Board's TDD at 639-8916. Citizens can also apply online at the Board's web site at

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A Tea Commemorating the 82nd Anniversary of the passage of the Woman Suffrage Amendment

Sunday, August 25, 2002 - 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Tysons Westpark Hotel
401 Westpark Dr., McLean

Costs: $19
Reservation Deadline is Sat. August 10th.
Send check made payable to LWVFA for $19 per person to
LWVFA Suffrage Tea
4902 Regina Drive, Annandale, VA 22003
For additional information and directions,
call Sheila Richardson @ 703 256-8416

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During the LWVUS National Convention held in Miami, Fla., LWVDC shared a table with NCA to sell and promote our "VOTE" pin. We are happy to announce that we made $1079.87 for our endeavors. Thanks to Naomi Glass and Joan Trafton of LWVMD, LWVUS will be advertising our pins on a website. Please call the local DC office and order your pin before the election. — Reggie Yancey (726-1929)

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Dr. Steve Fetter, Professor of Public Policy, University of Maryland, will speak on Global Warming on Friday, September 13, 2002. This is a departure from our normal last Monday of each month. The time and location remain the same: 11:30 am - 1:00 pm at 1730 M Street, NW, Suite 1000. Bring a brown bag lunch. — Anna Marsh (554-7719), Brown Bag Dialogue Coordinator

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Beginning August 26th, LWVDC will be highlighting all candidates in the Sept. 10th Primary Election on LWV's Democracy Network (DNet). Issue questions will be mailed to each candidate in July with an invitation to participate in the interactive website: Candidates may update their portion of the site as issues arise.

NBC WRC TV 4 will again link DNet to their Voter Guide segment on their website ( to disseminate candidate information to a wider audience. — Sheila Willet (588-1734), LWVDC DNet Administrator

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Membership form

Click on this link for a printable membership form. 

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        1 2 3
4 5 6 6:45 p.m. Membership Committee 7 8 9 Start DC Tax Free Sales Tax Holiday 10
11 12 Voter Registration Deadline for Sept. 10 Primary 13 Deadline for Sept. DC Voter 14 15 16 17
18 DC Tax Free Sales Tax Holiday Ends 19 20 21 22 23 September DC Voter mailed 24
25 LWVFA Tea 26 See candidates for Sept. 10 Primary on  27 28 29 30 31

Plan Ahead — Mark Your Calendar: Tues., Sept. 10, Primary Election; Fri., Sept. 13, Brown Bag Dialogue, Topic: Global Warming; Thurs., Sept. 19, “Kickoff for 2002/2003 Program Year” Fall Luncheon to be held in the great hall at Charles Sumner School. 

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The 82nd Annual Meeting of the League of Woman Voters of the District of Columbia was held at the Kellogg Conference Center on the campus of Gallaudet University on April 25, 2002. As the members gathered, Jeannette Senacal, League of Woman Voters of the United States, was offering demonstrations of DemocracyNet (DNet), a web-based resource for election information 

(Editor's Note: The web address for DNet for the District of Columbia is

Other members were busy examining and purchasing jewelry donated to the league for the fund-raiser. For those members who had not, yet, purchased their "Vote" pins, Reggie Yancey was ready to meet their needs.

Shortly after 6:00 p.m., President E. Patricia Hallman called the meeting to order. The agenda was adopted as presented. Joan Domike was appointed parliamentarian for the meeting. The minutes of the 2001 annual meeting were accepted.

Chris Matthews presented the Treasurers Report for fiscal year 2001-2002. The deficit of $8611 was attributable to a significant revenue shortfall. Expenses were actually more than $5000 under plan. For the time being, the league's activities are sustained by its cash reserves.

Joan Domike, chair of the Budget Committee, introduced the proposed 2002-2003 budget. Adoption of the budget was moved and seconded. Hallman initiated the discussion by indicating the need for a major fundraiser and asked for ideas. The budget, as presented, requires approximately $20,000 in gifts to be fully funded. She also announced that she would appoint a fund raising committee. Elizabeth Martin proposed that the planned use of reserve funds be explicitly recognized. She moved that Line 301 be reduced to $3000 and that a new line, labeled "From Reserves," in the amount of $6090 be inserted. Martin's motion passed overwhelmingly. The budget was approved as amended. Hallman thanked the members of the budget committee for their efforts.

Anna Marsh, chair of the Nominating Committee, introduced the slate of candidates. The nominees were:

1stVice President- Vacant 
3rd Vice President - Sheila Keeny 
Treasurer - Barbara Yeomans 
Directors - Elaine Melmed, Judith Smith, and Joan Wilson 
Nominating Committee - Elizabeth Yancey (Chair), Elinor Hart, and Sue Whitman

The floor was opened for nominations for 1st Vice President, but none was received. Acceptance of the slate was moved, seconded, and approved.

Hallman indicated that her annual report was printed in the program. She noted that the league currently has only 338 members, thus many key leadership positions are not filled. The league currently needs chairpersons for housing, membership, transportation, and-Units. A grant writer is also needed.

Hallman recognized a number of guests in attendance including Arlene Calaby, representing the National Capital Area LWV, Betsy Grater of the Howard County LWV, Jeanette Senacal, who provided D-Net demonstrations, Joe Grano, Nelson Rimensnyder, and our guests speakers for the evening Walter Smith and Lois G. Williams.

Hallman adjourned the business meeting at 7:00 

After dinner, 2nd President Naomi Glass introduced Walter Smith, Executive Director of DC Appleseed Center. Mr. Smith noted that Appleseed is involved in three issues of interest to the league: congressional voting representation, the CareFirst conversion, and the "commuter tax" lawsuit. He added that since our second speaker would be addressing the lawsuit, he would focus on the first two issues. Regarding congressional voting representation, Smith stated that the proponents must focus on two things: bringing national attention to the issue and organizing the business, legal, and educational communities within DC. Regarding the CareFirst conversion to for profit status, Smith declared that the goal of the coalition is to ensure that the conversion, if allowed to proceed, is in the public interest. To that end, the coalition is gathering evidence and retaining expert witnesses with the goal of providing detailed, credible testimony to the insurance commissioner, the DC council, and the U.S. Congress. Smith believes that the regulatory process could take 1-2 years.

Elinor Hart introduced Lois G. Williams, a long-time practitioner of pro bono activities on behalf of the citizens of the District of Columbia. Williams spoke about the indignities of the limitations within the Home Rule Charter that limit the district's ability to tax income earned within its borders. This restriction applies only to the district; states and territories, even Puerto Rico, are not similarly restricted. Two-thirds of the income earned in DC is non-taxable because of limitations on taxing nonresidents although the district must provide state and local services for these wage earner's. A lawsuit to overturn this restriction is being prepared by Williams and others. They will argue that it is unlawful for Congress to make laws that discriminate against district residents who have no voting representation in the deciding legislative body. This discrimination forces the residents of DC to pay more in taxes than the residents of the surrounding jurisdictions. The historical answer was the federal payment, but that is no longer adequate, nor just. Williams indicated that the group sponsoring the lawsuit needs help with publicity and education activities.

Hallman adjourned the 82nd Annual Meeting at 8:55 p.m. — Report by Ken Nesper, Secretary

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CONVENTION 2002 — Miami, Florida

Some 634 delegates from all the states, all the State Leagues, many of the InterLeague organizations, and 423 local Leagues attended the League's biennial Convention, held at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami from June 14 to June 18. The DC delegation, headed by LWVDC President Pat Hallman, included Vice Presidents Naomi Glass and Sheila Keeny and Board member Joan Wilson. Reggie Yancey, Board member, also attended -- working in the wares market to sell our VOTE pins, and establishing her title of "poet-laureate" in a verse inviting the delegates to attend the 2004 Convention to be held in Washington, DC.

The Convention adopted national program for the 2002-2004 biennium, approved a budget for 2002-2004, and elected a slate of officers headed by Kay Maxwell of Connecticut, the new President of LWVUS. Outgoing President Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins gave evidence of her sense of humor and skill in moving a large group of independent-minded leaguers through the agenda without rancor.

As recommended by the Board, the Convention voted to retain the League's current positions in the areas of Government, International Relations, Natural Resources and Social Policy. This meant accepting the new positions on Trade and the United Nations reached through individual member concurrence during the past year. The new UN position now includes League support for the International Criminal Court despite its rejection by the Bush Administration.

The Convention also adopted the Board-recommended "review of the government position on Election of the President," which calls for direct election of the President and abolition of the Electoral College. This review was called for by 61 local Leagues in the program planning process, more than twice as many as the next contender, military policy and defense spending. Also adopted was a review of our position on reapportionment in 2003-2004, subject to availability of funds.

In another significant step, the Convention approved the LWVUS budget which, when combined with the LWVEF budget, comes to $4.629 million in unrestricted income and $4.740 in expenses. Despite an increase in the amount per member that each League pays LWVUS every year, known as the Per Member Payment (PMP), LWVUS reserves will be needed to make up the anticipated shortfall. It was agreed that the PMP for FY 20022003 of $24.35 (increase from $21.00) will drop to $23.00 for the fiscal year 20032004. An effort must be made at all levels of League to husband our resources and increase income. At the same time, we must recruit new members (membership has dropped to 74,140, down from 77,280 as recently as January 2001).

(Song words) (Refrain) 
WE INVITE YOU TO DC IN 2004 It's a Capital Idea 
TO LOBBY, LOOK AND SEE It's a Capital Idea 
TO PLAN FOR 2004  It's a Capital Idea 
TO KNOCK ON SOME DOORS It's a Capital Idea 
TO VOID BARRELS OF PORK It's a Capital Idea 
THAT IT'S UP TO US It's a Capital Idea 

 AN INVITATION FROM LWVDC: The final day of the Convention offered a special opportunity to LWVDC when President Hallman and NCA President Barbara Sherrill invited all to attend the 2004 Convention in Washington. The invitation came in the form of a poem written by our multi-talented Reggie Yancey, delivered by Pat arid Barbara from the dais, over the main microphone.

Acting on detailed instructions from Kathy Schmidt, who could not attend the convention, your delegates distributed information provided by DC VOTE and designed to keep our "voteless" condition apparent to all the attendees. Barbara Sherrill, President of the NCA League, proposed that the national Board establish an "Advocacy Support Task Force" composed of former national Board members and charged with considering how best to advance positions when opportunities arise, even if the positions have not been designated as priorities, without further burdening our advocacy staff, diminished because of our budget difficulties. This is especially important for us since DC issues have not been designated as priority issues thus far, although it's relevant for advocates of other positions as well.

Not all the Convention's time was spent in debate. There were three programs for the education of delegates: 1) a panel moderated by Hodding Carter with five Floridian experts discussing changes in state electoral proceedings resulting from the 2002 election hassle; 2) an update by a State Department spokesperson on the role played today by Women in Afghanistan, including their participation in Karzai's cabinet and the recent Loya Jirga; 3) a talk by Congressman Christopher Shays (R-CT) on the bill he sponsored with Representative Marty Meehan (D-MA) on campaign reform and his concerns for what still must be done. Congressman Shays thanked the League and its President for "making the difference" in getting campaign reform finally to a successful vote.

All of your DC delegates shared a deep sense of admiration for the passionate commitment of so many women and men to the work of the League, their tenacity, their skill in civic promotion, their depth of experience working in political arenas, their energy and drive for making democracy work. It was downright inspiring, and we wish all of you could have been there. —Pat Hallman, Naomi Glass, Sheila Keeny, Joan Wilson, and Reggie Yancey

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