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Forward to the October 2002 DC VoterBack to League of Women Voters home pageBack to July/August 2002 DC Voter

The DC Voter
League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia
Vol. 78, No. 8, September 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
Member News
How I Met the League of Women Voters
Brown Bag Dialogue
NCA League Offers Debate Moderator Training
Poll Workers Still Needed
D.C. Elections — 2002
Voter Services Committee
International Relations Committee Announces New Time, Focus for 2002-2003
LWVUS Weighs in on Congressional Representation
Healthcare Committee Focus for the Coming Year
Fall Luncheon 11:30 a.m., Thursday, September 19th, 2002
Luncheon reservation form
Calendar, September 2002
League of Women Voters Member Handbook and Directory, 2002-2003


Welcome back from vacation. We are eagerly looking forward to the fall session of the LWV PROGRAM. Our Annual Opening Luncheon to be held at the Sumner School will be the start of our Fall Program. The speakers are Federal City Council Vice President Robert Liberatore and' Kenneth Sparks, Executive Vice President of the Federal City Council. They will discuss the activities and involvement of the Federal City Council in District of Columbia affairs.

The LWVDC web site for Democracy Net (DNet has, been set up has have those of many of the State Leagues), and our D.C. candidates for the September. 10 primary are beginning to input their data and responses to issue questions. Candidate forums and a Voters Guide for the November election are developing. Our mission is still VOTER EDUCATION.

We attended the BOEE Petitions Appeals Hearings and the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Mayor William's. The BOEE is to be commended for the objective, above board manner in which the proceedings here handled.E. Patricia Hallman, President

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1730 M ST., NW, SUITE 1000


See below

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Annual Luncheon
Thursday, Sept., 19th , 2002
11-30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Sumner School

Guest Speakers: Robert G. Liberatore, Vice President, Federal City Council
                          Kenneth R. Sparks, Executive Vice President, Federal City Council

See below for more information and reservation form.


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Welcome New Members: Ayanna Mackins and Neil Richardson.

Contributions: We gratefully thank and acknowledge contributions from: Lillian Howard, Norma T. Melendez, Anne Meredith Smoke, Susan U. Spaulding, Eleanor Trowbridge and the estate of Ann Stults (past President 1985-87).

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How I Met the League of Women Voters

My experience in elections started at a poll in Chicago, where I was a poll watcher for the Independent Voters of Illinois. At age 19, I was not old enough, to vote (then), and the Democratic precinct boss challenged my right to be in the poll. I brazenly complained to the precinct presiding judge that the man who challenged my right to be there was unauthorized to be at the polling place, and certainly unauthorized to go into the voting booths with each voter who came in. The judge kicked, him out; however, that judge then began to go into the booths with the voters to "help " them with the machines.

That precinct never reported its totals until the wee hours of the morning, until the Chicago machine knew how many votes they needed, even though the voting machine tally was available as soon as the polls closed.

My stint as a watcher was ended when a mature woman came and announced that she was on the afternoon shift, that she was from the League of Women Voters, and that she wanted a report from me of any irregularities I had observed. Some of the irregularities reported in the papers the next day sounded much like the ones I had found. — Grace Malakoff

[Editor's Note: If you have a story to tell of your early League experiences, please send to the League office for appearance in a future DC Voter.]

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1730 M ST., NW, SUITE 1000

Global Warming Revisited is the topic of the Brown Bag luncheon on Friday, September 13. Our speaker, Professor Steve Fetter, is currently Associate Director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute at the University of Maryland, where he is also Professor of Public Policy. He will discuss the issue of whether global warming is occurring and if so, the cause and the steps. needed to control or reverse it. This is an opportunity to hear a point of view that differs from the argument that was presented at a Great Decisions meeting involving League members last spring. — Sheila Keeny, Vice President for National Program & Anna Marsh, Brown Bag Dialogue Coordinator

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Back to the basics in transportation - would you take a minute to report to my e-mail ( or to the League office, how' you deal with getting to the public library, and which branch. How did you make your last trip? Were you put off from taking future trips or did the ease of the trip invite more? — Grace Malakoff

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A training session on how to do a debate and be a good moderator will be conducted by Connie Houston, former President of LWVFA (League of Women Voters of the Fairfax Area) and LWVVA (League of Women Voters of Virginia) on Saturday, September 21, 10 AM - 3 PM Packard Center, 4026 Hummer Rd., Annandale, VA. The $8.00 cost includes lunch and paperwork. LWVFA is organizing this workshop in conjunction with the Loudoun County LWV, and the session is open to League members from all Leagues in the National Capital Area. Please register by September 14. Send your check (made payable to LWV Loudoun County) to: Betsy Mayr, LWVLC Treasurer, 1109 Nickels Place, SW, Leesburg, VA 20175. Note: registration fees increase $5.00 if received after September 14, 2002.

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Individuals interested in applying for a poll worker 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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D.C. Elections - 2002

Pat Hallman, Elinor Hart, and I have been monitoring the hearings at the Board of Elections and Ethics (BoEE) (July 23-24) and the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (August 6). These were opportunities to learn in substantial detail both the facts of the challenge to the petitions of Mayor Williams for a place on the September primary election and the election laws that address the challenge. Most of those pertinent details have had press coverage.

The public officials who conducted the hearings deserve much credit for

  • allowing all interested parties as much opportunity as they needed to present their cases. The BoEE offered to meet all weekend to allow the Mayor to present witnesses to rebut the challenges to his petitions, but he elected to call none in the extra time offered.

  • conducting a clearly structured process for reviewing a mountain of material, consisting of several challenges to the 10,000 names of twenty or so to a page

  • stating the reasons for their decision, including their interpretation of. the role of the Board as a bulwark to ensure fair elections.

Our election processes are intended to make running for office easy enough to invite citizens of modest means to attempt it, but not to encourage frivolous candidates. We in the League will continue to look into the election experience this year, with the hope that the BoEE can acquire more resources for making elections more meaningful. — Grace Malakoff

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The DC League again is offering the free online forum for candidates to debate the issues of importance in the District. The League of Women Voters Education Fund's DNet is the premier interactive online voter guide with nonpartisan, statespecific election information. Candidates for the September 10 Primary election have been invited by the DC League to participate in this interactive media.

To view DNet, log onto the Internet and enter Enter your zip code to read and compare candidate statements, suggest issues you care about, and learn about the election process in your community. DNet provides a free online forum for candidates at all levels to debate the issues of importance in your community.

As in the 2000 election, WRC-TV (NBC4) will be linking DNet from their web site voter guide to provide election information.


League members are needed to help at various candidate forums throughout the city. You can be a part of the "forum crew" or work one event. Contact Elinor Hart for more information.

For the General Election, the Voter Services Committee is checking on. the feasibility of producing a printed Voter Guide at an affordable price. If determined feasible, we will need helpers to distribute the guide to libraries, churches, businesses as well as other locations within the district approximately the week of October 21. Possibly teams of two to do this for couple of hours, half a day, or a full day. Contact Judy Smith to volunteer.


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: If you have a computer with Microsoft Word and e-mail, you can do at 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. If you have a computer and an Internet connection, this is another way you can help from home. — Elinor Hart (387-2966) & Judy Smith (882-3021), Voter Services Co-chair. & Sheila Willet (347-3020), DNet Manager

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We're having a party and you're invited!

The International Relations Committee (IR) will kick off the upcoming year with a tea party at the home of immediate past chair, Sheila Keeny. The party will be held on September 15 from 3 to 5 p.m. The address is 3600 Albemarle St. N.W.

The co-chairs of IR, Anne Porowski and Susan Rao, hope that all past and present members of the committee, as well as other interested League members, will attend to greet old friends and meet new ones, and to hear about plans for the upcoming year.

For several years, IR has held daytime meetings, but this year the co-chairs have decided to change the meeting time and place in order to enable all interested League members, including those with full-time jobs, to attend. The IR committee will meet on the 4th Tuesday of each month, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. The meeting place will vary, and will be announced in each month's DC Voter.

The plan is to invite a speaker to each meeting to discuss an area of interest to committee members, with extensive discussion and Q&A following each presentation. Half the programs will focus on topics concerning Africa.

If you have questions or suggestions about the Committee's plans, please come to the tea party on September 15th. We hope to. see you on the 15th and at our upcoming meetings on the 0 Tuesday of each month! .

If you need directions, call Sheila Keeny at 9661692. Sheila's house is halfway between two metro. stations, Van Ness-UDC and TenleytownAU, with plenty of on-street parking. There are stairs from the street to Sheila's door. — Susan Rao (636-1688) & Anne Porowski, (364-0557), Co-chairs

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In a letter to Representative Constance Morella dated July 25, 2002, and signed by Kay Maxwell, President of the National League of Women Voters (LWVUS) re-affirmed its support for "the same rights of full voting representation in Congress for citizens of the District of Columbia as ... other citizens of the United States."

The letter, to be included in the record of the July hearings held by Rep. Morella, ended with the following paragraph:

"The League of Women Voters can support a variety of remedies to achieve voting rights, and we would welcome the opportunity to work with you and other congressional leaders to craft effective legislation. But most of all, we support congressional action to remedy the situation. Two hundred years has already been too long for the citizens of the District to wait."

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During the coming program year the Healthcare Committee will continue to meet generally the fourth Tuesday of each month, at 1:00 p.m., in the DC League Office. Please join us on Tuesday, September 24, to discuss priorities for issues to be emphasized in the coming months. Some issues to consider are: 

  • More emphasis on Clinic Care: If culturally sensitive clinics result in segregated clinics, is that a plus or a minus? A plus only if they continue to focus on their original goals of easy access, quality treatment, and effective disease prevention and management.
  • CareFirst Conversion: The discovery phase has started — testimony, hearings and other legalisms. We continue to monitor the process and participate through the CareFirst Watch.
  • Healthcare Education: What are the schools teaching pupils about good health practices? — Natalie Howard (882-8762), Chair

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Fall Luncheon 11:30 a.m.
Thursday, Sept. 19th 2002

Two speakers from Federal City Council

The Federal City Council is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the improvement of the Nation's Capital. Established in 1954 and modeled on Pittsburgh's Allegheny Conference on Community Development, the Council is composed of and financed by 170 of the region's top business, professional, educational, and civic leaders.

Mr. Robert Liberatore, Vice President of the Federal City Council, will speak on issues regarding the relationship between the Federal Government and the District.

Mr. Kenneth Sparks, Executive Director of the Federal City Council, will speak on the Council's purpose, activities and its relationship with the District.


Charles Sumner School Museum
Great Hall - Third Floor (elevator available)
1201 17th Street, NW, (Corner of 17th St. & M St.)


11:30 a.m. Opening Reception
12 noon Lunch
12:30 p.m. Guest Speakers followed by a Q & A period.


A garden salad 
Hawaiian Chicken with pineapples and a sweet and sour sauce, rice pilaf and vegetable medley 
Rolls, butter and desert. 
Iced tea or a tropical fruit blend, coffee, decaffeinated and tea.

Please print out this reservation form, complete and return for receipt by Monday, September 16th, with your check (made payable to. LWVDC) to LWVDC Fall Luncheon, 733 15th Street; NW, Suite 432, Washington, DC 20005-6020

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1 2 3 4 10:00 AM LWVDC Board 5 6 10 AM NCA Board 7
8 9 10 7 AM-8 PM Primary Election
11 10 AM Education Comm. 12 13 11:30 AM Brown Bag Dialogue 14
15 3-5 p.m. Int. Rel. Comm. 16 17 18 19 11:30 a.m. Fall Luncheon 20 21 10 a.m.-3 p.m. NCA Debate Moderator Training
22 23 24 1:00 p.m. Healthcare Comm. 25 26 27 28
29 30          

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