Forward to January 2003 DC Voter — Back to League of Women Voters home page Back to November 2002 DC Voter
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
|President’s Message: From
December Unit Meeting
Unit Meeting Schedule
International Relations Committee
LWVUS Task Force on the United Nations Received Blue Ribbon Award
Report on October Units
Brown Bag Dialogue on Emergency Preparedness
News from LWV National Capital Area
Election Day 2002: LWVDC Members escort election observers
Calendar: December 2002
Taxation without Representation in the Nation’s Capitol, Nicholas M. Barbash
Refresher LWVDC 101: Prepared for December 2002 Unit Meetings
PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE: From Pat's Pen
The Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) met in Washington on October 25-27. President Kay Maxwell reported that responses to the "directions to the Board" made in June at the Convention will be finalized soon.
The importance of the Election Reform bill was emphasized, but it was noted that much must be done to implement the law. It allows us a working platform. The booklet, "Navigating the League", a guide to the voting process, is a huge success. The LWVUS is engaging in a "New Citizens" focus geared to immigrants in the neighborhoods. The SOAR membership campaign is a success so far.
Kay Maxwell reported that LWVUS has received many press calls regarding the election - we are the "go to" organization regarding elections. The Board agreed to develop an advisory committee of nonprofit and corporate leaders to increase support and visibility for the League. The Board voted to conduct a sixmonth pilot issue list-serve on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), to share information and member comments.
D.C. public school student Nicholas M. Barbash of the School Without Walls, was honored at our opening luncheon in September. A copy of Mr. Barbash's speech, for which he won first prize at the American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest in Indianapolis, is enclosed as an insert in this Voter. Don't miss the opportunity to read this fine work by one of our own D.C. students!
LWVUS President Kay Maxwell announced that at a recent meeting of the LWVEF Trustees, the Trustees decided that due to financial issues, DNet will be dormant in 2003. That means there will be no coverage of 2003 elections on the website.
The National Capital Area League held a reception and dinner for the LWVUS Board members and staff on Friday October 18 at Sumner School. We had a chance to introduce ourselves, network, and present the case for federal financial support for D.C., the nation's capital.
There has been a suggestion that a DC legislative round table be developed to discuss ongoing issues of concern to women. Anyone interested in participating please call me. — E. Patricia Hallman, President
The December Unit Council Meeting for Unit Chairs will be held Monday, December 9 at 12n at 10:00 am at the home of Judy Smith, 7628 17t" St., NW., 882-3021.
WE ARE STILL IN NEED OF A UNIT DIRECTOR FOR THE NEXT 5 MONTHS. Is there a Unit Member who would like to assume this short-term position? Contact Pat Hallman at 347-3020 or 829-8852.
December Unit Meetings are the time that members usually have socials and we encourage both old and new members, active and inactive members to attend the meeting of your choice. If you haven't attended a Unit meeting before, please plan to attend one in December. There are morning, afternoon and evening meetings to choose from (see schedule to the right). This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce a friend to the League.
The suggested topic for discussion at the social is "Refresher League 101." This was recently presented successfully at the Fairfax County League Units. Many of our LWVDC members, especially the newer ones, have expressed a lack of understanding of the way the LEAGUE functions, i.e., the Units, by-laws, Board procedures, etc. The enclosed green sheet can be used as a basis for a short discussion on how the Units and the other levels of League function, and on the history of the League. Hopefully it will foster a better understanding of the League and lead to a larger discussion at a later time. The presentation is expected to be a short lively discussion with seasoned members and will not interfere with the festive social activities planned. —Pat Hallman
DO YOU HAVE EMAIL?
Please let us know what your email address is by sending a blank message to Iwvdc@aol.com. Enter in the Subject line: email address for <your name>.
Meetings are open to all members and guests.
Tuesday, December 179:45 am, Southwest Unit, at the home of Leona Rumsey, 550 N St., NW, #S202, 863-7484
12:00 pm, Northwest Day Unit, POTLUCK LUNCHEON at the home of June Bashkin, 2358 King Place, NW, #37, Co-chairs June Bashkin 337-0949; Barbara Kemp 362-4529, Note: Time change.
In-Town Evening Unit will not meet in December and encourage those who attend to join in The Evening Unit on Thursday evening (see below). The InTown Unit will resume meetings in January at its usual 6:30 pm time.
Wednesday, December 189:45 am, Upper 16th Unit, at the home of Constance Tate, 609 Delafield NW, 882-0387
Thursday, December 199:45 am, Chevy Chase/Ingleside Unit, in the Lounge, 3050 Military Rd, NW, Co-chairs: Ruth Allen 362-8953; Leslie Dunbar 364-6457; Joan Wilson 237-6264
7:30 pm, The Evening Unit, at the home of Joan Domike, 4200 Mass. Ave., NW, #304, 966-3865
ON A HERBLOCK CARTOON DEPICTING GEORGE WASHINGTON WEARING A BLINDFOLD
Committee members have attended various healthcare events in the District:
The program was followed by a most interesting Candidates Forum devoted solely to a broad range of questions pertaining to health and healthcare. Topics addressed included:
The recent revision of the healthcare organization for D.C. into the Greater Health Alliance, with one major hospital, three participating hospitals, and an array of clinics across the city now forms the basis of our healthcare system for the needy and those who fall outside the criteria for health insurance.
In the District, there are over 200,000 individuals identified as medically vulnerable. This figure includes those enrolled: in Medicaid, D C Healthcare Alliance (incomes 200% of the federal poverty level), and over 16,000 adults with who are uninsured and who are not enrolled in the D C Healthcare Alliance.
Safety net providers are those that deliver a significant level of health care and other related services to uninsured, Medicaid, and other at-risk lower income patients. In the District, the primary care safety net is composed of independent non-profit clinics, hospital affiliated clinics, and school-based clinics. Also, hospital emergency rooms see many patients for primary care conditions.
The 43 sites of the Non-profit Clinic Consortium (NPCC) include mobile vans and homeless centers. These independent nonprofits comprise the largest source of community-based primary care services to the uninsured in the District.
Unity Health Care, Inc. is the umbrella organization for city-sponsored clinics, and is under the city's Healthcare Alliance. Unity is also a member of NPCC. As a federally funded Community Health Center System, Unity absorbed the former Public Benefit Corporation (DC General Hospital, etc.) community health center sites.
Three hospitals: Children's, Providence, and Georgetown University, have a total of 14 sites. Eleven of these sites serve children, two serve families, and one serves only seniors. Primary care is also occurring in some mental health facilities, schools, and senior wellness centers.
From notes on the Primary Care safety net forum sponsored by the DC Primary Care Association October 23, 2002. For a more comprehensive treatment of the subject, see Primary Health Care Safety Net: Healthcare services for the Medically Vulnerable in the District of Columbia, (a 2002 update published by DCPCA).
League members are invited to join the health care committee members. All are invited to attend the regular monthly meeting of the Healthcare Committee on Tuesday, November 26, at the LWVDC Office, from 12:30 to 2:00 pm. Karyn Gill will present the annual report of the D C Health Services Reform Commission. (Karyn, a former state League President, wrote the report.) For more information contact Natalie Howard at 882-8762.There will be no meeting in December. — Natalie Howard, Chair (882-8762)
The D.C. City Council passed 10-3 a resolution against war in Iraq because the citizens of the District will pay the federal taxes and help provide the troops to support such a war but have no vote on the subject in our legislature, the United States Congress.
Ilir Zherka, Executive Director of DCVote appeared on NBC News to discuss current and future plans for gaining full voting rights in Congress with Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and Wade Henderson, executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR). DC Vote will concentrate on organizing in the District, and LCCR will coordinate other national organizations such as LWVUS on the national level. — Kathy Schmidt (237-5550)
The International Relations Committee will not meet in Dec. due to the holidays. We will resume on January 28th at 6:30PM with a presentation by Ursula Muller, Political Counselor at the German Embassy. Please come! For further info, contact Co-Chair Susan Rao at 202-636-1688. — Anne Porowski (364-0557)& Susan Rao (636-1688), Co-chairs
LWVUS Task Force on the United Nations Receives Blue Ribbon Award
The United Nations Association of the National Capital Area presented a Blue Ribbon Award to the LWVUS Task Force on the UN in celebration of the UN's birthday, October 24 - 26. The award recognized the work of the Task Force last year in providing information about the UN to League members all over the US, thereby updating and solidifying League support for the UN. — Anne Porowski & Sheila Keeny
All units reported lively discussions and all felt that Voter Service units were both appropriate and interesting ...in fact,. Leaguelike... and we should schedule them with greater regularity.
League members felt that, in general, the Board of Elections had performed very well during the period prior to and during the primary elections (the general elections were still to come). The glaring exception was that notices telling voters what ward and SMD they were in, and where they should vote, were not received timely or not at all. In addition, inadequate and uneven use of "Special Ballots" in cases where potential voters went to the wrong voting site may have resulted in frustrated citizens not voting at all.
Other problem areas included very strict and uneven enforcement of rules covering taking campaign literature into the polling place, inaccessibility for disabled voters, lack of equipment for vision-impaired voters, and ballot boxes not collected timely in some precincts. Several units felt that many problems could be corrected with better training of election personnel. Many Leaguers were concerned that valid signatures on Mayoral petitions were not "counted" although there was clear support for enforcing penalties for fraud.
There was strong suggestion that the DC League examine current election laws. (Keep this in mind for the January program planning units.) Members were divided on whether noncitizens should be permitted to vote in School Board and ANC elections. Other issues included the question of open primaries and changing the election day from Tuesday to a day that might be more convenient for voters.
There was much discussion of the ballot issues with most units declaring support for the underlying principles but expressing concern about that old devil, the details. — Naomi Glass
MEMBER SURVEY: Members were sent a Survey of Member Interest and Skills via email or regular U.S. mail at the end of November. We thank those members who responded so promptly and encourage those who haven't yet responded to do so before December 15. If you would like another copy of the survey sent to you, please call the LWVDC office at 347-3020.
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS: Bonita Harris, Jennie Q. Henderson, and Anne S. Gralla. We hope you are able to attend one of the Unit Meetings listed above.
CONTRIBUTIONS: We gratefully thank and acknowledge contributions from: Geraldine Albers, Dorothy Armstrong, Hope Bogorad, Janet Brown, Julia Cuniberti, Peggy Dunbar, Sylvia Fesler, Jean Hall, Walter O. Jacobson, Barbara Kemp, Chris Matthews & Ken Nesper, Anna & Luther Marsh, Elaine Melmed, Betty Nyangoni, Nelson Rimensnyder, Clara G. Schiffer, Kathryn & Albert Schmidt, Kathleen H. Shea, Mary C. Smith, Marie C. Stark, Louise Steele, Betty Y. Taira, Constance P. Tate, Grace Watson, Mary Weiler, Patricia Wheeler, Sue Whitman, Frances P. Wilkinson, Elizabeth Yancey.
The Nominating Committee will be developing a slate for the offices to be filled at our Annual Meeting in April. These offices are President, First Vice President (who usually focuses on administrative responsibilities), Second Vice President (who usually handles local program), Secretary, and three Directors. If you want to recommend someone for any of these offices, please contact a member of the Nominating Committee by January 1. Keep in mind that a recommendation for yourself is appropriate and welcome. Nominating Committee members are Elinor Hart, Chair, Reggie Yancey, Sue Whitman, Sheila Keeny, Leona Rumsey, and Johnetta Kelly. Elinor Hart, Chair (387-2966)
BROWN BAG DIALOGUE ON EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
The status of preparedness in D.C. was the topic addressed by Mrs. Barbara Pair-Child, Deputy Director of the D.C. Office of Preparedness at the Brown Bag Dialogue held on October 28. She gave us copies of the new D.C. Preparedness Guide that was distributed in The Washington Post recently, and noted that it is also printed in Spanish, Chinese, and Farsi. The center is being renovated and upgraded with federal funds, and plans are being coordinated with the White House, Maryland, and Virginia.
D.C. is one of the better-prepared cities, having plans for monitoring Metro, air, and water systems. An analysis of threat to the city on a scale of 1-15 has been done, and other issues, such as terrorism, hostage, anthrax, fire, civil disorders, and other threats will be analyzed.
The Office of Preparedness is developing plans in all wards. They will address issues such as "What should we know, what can we do to prepare, how to communicate to the public where to go." Each family should have a family designee to call to check on our safety, to use emergency alert systems for additional information. Portable radios should be kept on hand in case of electric outage. We would need to know if federal and metro systems are closing, and the police and traffic flow system in case of an emergency. There will be cameras on major bridges to detect gridlock.
She said the Office hopes to have D.C. funding for an emergency siren system. They are working with the schools, private industry, and colleges to train them to develop a response plan. There is a need for block captains and ward captains. The Warren Rudman-Gary Hart study report is being used for the emergency plan, and a Congressional hearing on D.C. preparedness is scheduled. — Pat Hallman for Anna Marsh, Brown Bag Coordinator
NEWS FROM LWV NATIONAL CAPITAL AREA
Committee on Procedures for LWVUS Elections: (CMPLE, pronounced, "simple"). The NCA Board approved the recommendation of Sheryl Wolfe to establish this Committee - and it appointed her as Chair - to study the report and recommendations of the LWVUS Campaign Oversight Committee (COC) and to advise the NCA Board on the effectiveness and implementation of the COC-proposed changes to the LWVUS policy of Jan 2002, titled "Campaign Policies for Candidates for LWVUS Office." Other CMPLE members are: Naomi Glass, DC; Janet Hays, FA; Joan Trafton, MC; and Forest Williams, PG. The COC report will probably return to the LWVUS website (www.lwv.org/members) Username, Iwv; Password, carriecatt which, at this writing, is down and being upgraded.
Networking: In an event timed to coincide with the LWVUS Board meeting in late October, the NCA Board and memberLeague presidents hosted 'a light dinner, to which LWVUS senior staff was also invited. Staged in the large meeting hall at the Sumner School and Museum, there was ample room for informal, pre-meal dialogue about NCA operations and activities.
The use of place cards for LWVUS Board and staff ensured that every NCA and LWVUS official had ample opportunity during dinner for further bonding.
Hostess Barb Sherrill guided the program through welcomes, introductions, and thankyous; Elinor Hart reported on the DC Finance program, and Naomi Glass reported on other NCA program activities. Each attendee received a copy of the Brookings Institution's hot-off-the-press study, "A Good Financial Footing for the National Capital: A Federal Responsibility," by respected Brookings scholars Carol O'Cleireacain and Alice M. Rivlin - which lays out the case for instituting substantial and continuing federal support for the District of Columbia.
Naumann Award: Every other year, LWVNCA awards one of its member Leagues cash prize of $300 for exceptional contributions to democracy in action. NCA Vice President Pat Sullivan will soon send application information to member-League presidents. Responses are due in January. — Barb Sherrill, NCA President Forest Williams, NCA Editor
According to the Board Chair, Josephine Baker, "the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board remains dedicated to ensuring that quality education is provided to the citizens of the District of Columbia." The first public charter school opened in 1998 and the Board graduated 13 seniors prepared for college.
The Board continues to make certain that charter schools remain an option for residents to choose and trust for the educational needs of their families. The 200102 Profile of charter schools includes the followin data:
In June 2000, five school applications were received. Of the five, one received first stage clearance but failed to meet conditions for approval in the second stage review. The Charter School Board is committed to ensuring that each Public Charter School meets the established standards before it is granted its Charter.
The Education Committee will meet Wednesday, December 13 at 10:00 am in the LWVDC Office. All members are welcome to attend. — Gladys Weaver (554-3055) & Constance Tate (882-0387) Co-chairs
ELECTION DAY 2002: LWVDC Members escort election observers
Bill O'Field, Principal Information Officer of the Board of Elections and Ethics (BOEE), invited LWVDC to help escort international visitors at polling sites on Election Day. The purpose of the BOEE was to provide visitors an overview of the election process, including the process itself, election results, voter registration statistics, election law, and BOEE policies. I joined three other Leaguers who acted as escorts for visitors to polling sites, following an orientation briefing by Bill O'Field, including a slide show covering the election process and our roles.
Our assigned sites were the Metropolitan AME Church, St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, The Church of the Annunciation, and Jefferson Junior High School. An Australian delegation of political leaders and an East European delegation were escorted by Leaguers Mary Weiler and Vinna Freeman, who accompanied the groups through the polling site at Metropolitan AME Church with the site captain, and an gave an overview of the League of Women Voters. They received interesting questions and much appreciation.
June Duke escorted a Japanese delegation at St. Margaret's. June was delighted by their questions and their interest in the LWV and the election.
I visited two sites, first the Church of the Annunciation, where the Washington Diplomats led a group of 26 diplomats, including Ambassadors, First Secretaries, Minister-Counselors, Charges d'Affaires, and Deputy Chiefs of Missions. John Shaw, a political analyst and journalist for the Market News and The Washington Diplomat, gave a review of political races and candidates throughout the nation. Bill O'Field discussed the election laws of D.C. and our election process. The captain of the polling site led the group through the site, explaining each step in the voting process. There were many questions from this group.
At the last site, Jefferson Junior High School in Southwest, was a group of 14 Future Leaders Exchange Program participants from the former Soviet Union here for a one-year work-study program, staying with families in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. The principal of Jefferson JHS welcomed the students and told them about the school. Bill O'Field explained the role of the BOEE. The site captain led a tour of the site, explained each process, and answered questions.
All of us found this to be an exciting and interesting experience, meeting the visitors and experiencing their interest in the election process and in the League of Women Voters. The State Department escort indicated the hope that families in the District of Columbia will host some of these exchange students in the future. — Pat Hallman
Season's Greetings to all league Members and their families and best wishes for a Peaceful Holiday.
CALENDAR: DECEMBER 2002
"Taxation without Representation in the Nation's Capital"
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