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The DC Voter
League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia
Vol. 81, No. 9, September 2005

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:

DC Zoning Commission Meets September 8
85th Annual Meeting
We Gratefully Acknowledge
Planning Here and There
Office Anyone
President's Message
League Admirer Opens Private Collection as Fund Raiser
Health Event in Planning Stages: Join the Team
Membership Form
Calendar: September 2005
Fall Luncheon Reservation Form

DC Public Library Study Launches with Two Events

Fall Luncheon Featuring Francis J. Buckley, Jr., Interin Library Director

Thursday, September 22, 2005, 11:30 am
People's Congregational Church
4704 13th St., NW

See flyer for additional information. Reservation deadline is Thursday, September 15

Brown Bag Dialogue with Barbara Webb, Head, Neighborhood Libraries

Monday, October 3, 2005, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm
1730 M Street, NW, 10th Floor Conference Room


October Units will organize teams to survey branch library operations. Look for more information in Unit News in the October DC Voter. 

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The DC Zoning Commission will meet at 7:30 Thursday September 8, 2005, at 441-4th St NW Suite 210, on Case 04-33 (Tend Amendments to Require the Provision of Affordable Housing - Inclusionary Zoning). The meeting is open to the public. The Commission will be meeting with the Office of Planning and the Campaign for Inclusionary Zoning In order to inquire further into their proposals. Telephone: 202 7274311. — Frances Gemmill

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Presiding: Frances Gemmill , President; Parliamentarian Geraldine Whitley, Recorder Ken Nesper, committee to review minutes appointed: Madlyn Colbert, Pat Hallman, Betty Pierce. Attending: 67.

Honored: Madeleine Furth for fifty years of League membership; Soy Pierce, founder of new Capitol Hill Unit.

Treasurer Joan Domike and Budget Committee Chair June Bashkin wined that the budgets for fife past several years have resulted In continuing depletion of financial reserves in spite of increases in donations. Their reports were accepted as presented.

Vice President for Local Program Madlyn Calbert's motion reaffirming current program emphases for 2005-2007 (congressional representation, housing, health care, local elections, education, youth services - rehabilitation versus punishment for vulnerable youth, voter services for 2006, voter registration, and citizen involvement} was adopted.

Vice President Kathryn Rays motion that the League undertake a two-year study of public libraries with the latent of establishing the League's position on the role of the pubic library in the 21 century want adopted. She encouraged members to use their library cards, meet the local librarian and staff; and join a Friends group.

The following 2005-2007 slate was approved as presented by Anna Marsh, Nominations Committee chair:

President - Grace Malakoff
2nd Vice President - Joan Wilson
Directors - Barbara Luchs, John Mathison, Jamie Rose
Nominating Committee - Judith Smith (chair), Elizabeth Martin, Kathryn Schmidt

After dinner, Vice President Joan Wilson Introduced Vincent N. Schiraldi, DC.Director of the Dept of Youth Rehabilitation Services and a member of the-mayor's cabinet who spoke on "Reforming DC's Juvenile Justice System." — Ken Nespser (Editor's Note: Copies of his talk will be available at the September 22nd fall luncheon.]

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Contribution to the Education Fund by Audrey Hatry and to the General Fund by Mary Armstrong Amory.

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The Fairfax County Board has adopted a resolution sponsored by Chairman Gerry Connolly calling for the study of new zoning rules called "form-based codes" as a tool to promote walkable communities in the county.


Public forums will be held this fall by a citizens working group evaluating connections between land use and transportation. The group is the offspring of the Citizens Advisory Committees of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. Chaired by Emmet Tyding, the group is called the Regional Mobility and Accessibility Study. it has presented a variety of alternative visions of development in the region, stressing the importance of looking beyond the past emphasis on investment west of 16th Street. 

The first evening forum on September 20 will be in Oxon Hill at the Potomac View Best Western. This forum will present photographic material on alternative land use possibilities and analyze qualitative travel impacts and transit improvements In southern Prince George's County. Additional forums are slated for Fairfax City, Sliver Spring, and Washington. For details call TPB 202 962-3295.

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The income disparity between DC and the region continues, according to background statistics provided during the Comprehensive Plan briefings. With 13% of the households in the Washington area, DC has 37% of households with an income of less than $10,000, about three times more than its 'share'. Twenty per cent of DC resident incomes are below the poverty threshold.

Housing costs are equally worrisome, with 30% of renters paying more than 30% of their income for rent, although this is not as serious as the national average of 37%. However, 23% of homeowners with mortgages pay over 30% of their income for housing, and of these "cost-burdened" households 30% are seniors. 

Homeownership tags in the District. At 41 % it is well below the 60% national average, but it is middling by comparison with other large cities where it ranges from 30% to 49%. Homeownership varies by ward, from 62% in Ward 4 to 21% in Ward 8. 

Average household income for DC if $78,172, but the median range by ward is from $71,875 in Ward 3 to $25,017 in Ward 8. Seniors over 65 make up 12% of the DC population, but only 9% of the region.

Children are a diminishing group - from 143,00 In 1980 to 114,000 In 2000. Each ward has approximately 70,000 residents, but the proportion of residents under 18 varies from 15% In Ward 3 to 39% in Ward 8.

Households declined in number after 1980 by only 4,800 while the population fell by 66,000, leaving smaller DC households, at an average of 2.16 persons, down from a 1970 average of 2.72. The density range in wards was from a low of 1.65 in Ward 2 to 2.73 in Ward 8. Further information: — Grace Malakoff

Comprehensive Plan Task Force Meetings

Tuesdays: September 13, October 4, November 1 and December 6, 2005, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
777 N Capitol St, NE (Tel: 442-7600)

They are open to the public, inviting written comments and ideas at each meeting. The topic for September is education. In October the topic will be economic development; subsequent meetings will review the draft plan and implementation.

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Don't forget: We are still scouring for low cost office digs, 500 square feet or so, under $25 per square foot, by December 31.

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No August doldrums here. Our health committee is scouring resources for the best program ever on kids - see next column.

Meanwhile our library committee has already started pre-testing the questionnaires for the branch library survey teams.

We have been enjoying the Capitol Women lecture series, along with the CSPAN/TV crew. The August 17 lecture by Dr. Kate Masur highlighted a Supreme Court victory in a case brought by a black woman who was a restroom attendant in the Capitol. The case decision actually stated that the "separate but equal" defense for denying her claim was not constitutional, In the 1860's. It was a vignette of fine historical research. — G.M.

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On November 10th Mrs. Epstein-Collins, Washington activist for women and a longtime fan of the League, will open her private collection of works bid the renowned Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. Hers is one, if not the, largest collection of Munch graphics in the United States.

She will open her home in both morning and afternoon sessions. She will personally describe the reasons for her passion for his work, then lead a tour of the collection.

Because only a limited number of art lovers can participate at each session, advance reservations are required. A reservation form will be Included in the October DC VOTER. — Joan Wilson

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We have been selected by the LWVUS to develop a program on DC Healthy Kids: Exploring What Works.

We are developing a panel presentation to showcase a variety of efforts. Your input is needed: make suggestions of programs you know about. In addition, if you can make a video of an event, or do photos, clip newspaper articles, we need you.

Citizen gatherings during October 22-29 "Deliberation Week" will be complemented by a national PBS broadcast produced by McNeil/Lehrer Productions. The effort is reviewed on the PBS web site "By The People: A National Conversation About America In the World" at

Healthcare Committee Co-chairs Goody Braun and Rene Walls are coordinating the event. Call the League office 347-3020 to find out how you can help. 

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Questions concerning League membership can be directed to the League office at 347-3020. See the LWVDC MEMBERSHIP FORM.

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        1 2 3
4 5 Labor Day 6 7 10:00 am LWVDC Board Mtg. 8 7:30 pm DC Zoning Comm. 9 10:00 am NCA Board Mtg 10
11 12 13 9:45-11:00 am Voter registration at naturalization ceremony for new US citizens
6:30 pm Comprehensive Plan Task Force Mtg. 
October DC Voter deadline
14 15 16 17 Constitution Day
18 19 20 21 22 11:30 am Fall Luncheon 23 October DC Voter mailing 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 October 1
2 3 4 11:30 am Brown Bag Dialogue, Speaker: Barbara Webb 5 10:00 am LWVDC Board Mtg 6 7 10:00 am NCA Board Mtg. 8

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