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The DC Voter
League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia
Vol. 81, No. 11, November 2005

A Voice for Citizens — A Force for Change

733 15th Street, N.W., Suite 432, Washington, DC 20005
202/347-3020,  fax: 202/347-2522
Website:, E-mail:

DC League Presents Advocacy Workshop
Epstein Collection Edvard Munch Graphics
The Mayoral Election: One Year to Go
President's Message
Library Study: Members Prepare for Library Study
Welcome New Members
Email Anyone?
Travel with the League Program
International Relations
Panel Discussion on CEDAW
Have Women's Groups Lost Civic Spirit?
Great Decisions
Potomac Parkland Update
Citizen Summit IV Scheduled
NCA News and Notes
Member News
League Members Busy with Private Elections in October
Membership Form
Calendar: November


November 14th at 10:00 AM
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, ROOM 104
(Wilson Building)

Advocacy — Key to turning League Positions into Public Policy
Learn how to do it with the DC City Council
Successful Advocates and Council Staffers Will Provide Tips

A City Council tour and advocacy workshop featuring successful advocates and Council staffers. One of the staffers will be Penny Pegano, Councilmember Kathy Patterson's chief of staff. To reserve a space call Elinor Hart at 202-387-2966.

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November 10: Some tickets still available

This is a rare opportunity to see these works, learn how and why the collection was created, and gain a deeper understanding of the painter of "The Scream." 

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

Only a limited number can participate at each session. Advance reservations are required: $25 per person for League members and $35 per person for non-League members. Any additional gifts will be greatly appreciated. 

Call LWVDC at 202-347-3020 to find out what view sessions (10 am or 2 pm) are still available and make your reservation. Send your check made payable to LWVDC to 733 15th St., Suite 432, Washington, DC20005-6020. Admission tickets must be paid for in advance. 

Upon receipt of your reservation, admission tickets will be mailed to you or held at the door. If you have not yet received your admission tickets, call Joan Wilson at 202-237-6264 for directions and parking information. 

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DC League of Women Voters invites you to attend a Community Outreach Forum

All Announced Mayoral Candidates
Michael Brown
Linda Cropp
Adrian Fenty
Marie Johns
Vincent Orange

Mark Plotkin, WTOP
Jonetta Rose Barras, WAMU
Tom Sherwood, NBC4

Colbert King, The Washington Post

Wednesday, November 9, 2005
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Doors Open at 6:00 pm

UDC David C. Clarke School of Law
The Windows Lounge - Bldg 38, 2nd Floor
4200 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
(Van Ness/UDC Metro Station - Red Line
Paid Parking Available in UDC Garage)

RSVP: LWVDC 202 347-3020

Presented by the District of Columbia Affairs & Litigation Sections of the District of Columbia Bar. The Co-Chairs: James Bubar, Charlotte Brookins-Hudson. Other co-sponsors include: Bar Association of the District of Columbia, UDC David A. Clarke School of Law, DC Appleseed, DC Vote, Consortium of Universities, ACLU-NCA.

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Much enlightenment is available on the moving and shaking in our town, as I learned at numerous meetings this month. 

The well-attended Ward VI forum, that we co-sponsored, on the proposed hospital at the DC General Hospital site will be reviewed next month, as well as the overview of DC housing and community development programs offered this week by the DC Department of Housing and Community Development. 

Transportation planning and investment remains a source of massive expenditures -- public and private -- in the name of "reducing traffic congestion." Treatment seems to resemble that for the common cold, neither cheap nor effective, but a source of major corporate profits. 

At the Transportation Planning Board Citizens Advisory Committee monthly meeting, we were faced with a few days to comment on a proposal for a billion-dollar test of toll lanes -- the medicine of the moment for the Beltway. Transit riders pay a toll (fare) for every use of the transportation infrastructure. Will auto users follow suit? Public comment was largely negative in the few days allowed. more on this in the next issue of the DC VOTER. 

In meetings at Ward and neighborhood levels, the Comprehensive Planning process moved successfully into public dialogue. Now including stated goals of our present residents -- poor as well as otherwise -- in our city. 

Recent inputs stress saving our green spaces. Our "open space" percentage is high because it includes all of the easements to which the city holds, like sidewalks, curb spaces, and yard area in our residential row house neighborhoods. 

Saving the familiar physical face of the city is urged as well. A "conservation" category for our developed areas, less complicated than historic preservation designation, is under evaluation. The inconsistency of zoning in our residential neighborhoods was explained. Much of it was linked to the mass upzonings carried out in anticipation of the freeway spiderweb once planned for DC by our appointed Corps of Engineers Commissioner. When the freeway plan was defeated, the zoning changes were not rescinded. The land use map created in the last Comprehensive Plan reflected actual use, giving residential areas the illusion of protection. However the Zoning Commission never got around to incorporating the plan in the zoning labels. 

At the Washington Regional Network planning panel, a former DC government planner eloquently urged that the Comprehensive Plan move away from its past vague, general "land use" outlook. In a developed city like Washington, the big open spaces are no more. He urged that the challenge of planning now is to save our physical history, our residents, and our neighborhoods and to generate strategies which allow the plan to protect and enhance the many values already at hand -- including our already diverse citizenry (whether you speak of money, ethnicity, or race). — Grace Malakoff

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October Units were devoted to the third step of the DC League's 2-year study, "Know the District of Columbia Public Library" (KDCPL). The Library Study Committee is pleased with the turnout and interest and thanks each League member who attended an October Unit meeting. Library Committee members made presentations and led Q&A sessions on the history and current status of DC's Neighborhood (Branch) Libraries. 

Armed with information, League members are ready to move to Step Four: Visiting all 21 Neighborhood Libraries! Many League members volunteered to be part of the survey teams of at least two League members. These teams will visit each library and complete the survey form. The team leader will consult with member volunteers, then contact the manager of her designated library to arrange a mutually convenient time for the visit. Corpools will be arranged, so we hope that members will consider visiting a library that is new to them. 

More volunteers are always welcome. If you have not already volunteered and are interested in making library visits, please contact Kathryn Ray, via email,, or by phone, 202-244-0770 (please leave a message if I am not home). — Kathryn Ray

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Mary Ann Hutton
Richard Jerome
Elizabeth Rose
Eugenia F. Shuller

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The League of Women Voters of the United States is requesting that we include member email addresses in our updates of their membership records. They guarantee that the address will be used only for LWVUS communications, and never shared with other organizations. Please let a member of the Board know if you have questions or objections. 

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Help the League as you travel. For each tour booked by a League member, LWVDC will receive $100. 

For specific tour information contact Travel Concepts International, Inc., 5500 Bucks Bar Road, Placerville, CA 95667. Tel. 1-530-621-3007, FAX 1-530-6221-3017. Toll free in U.S.A., 1-800-762-4216. 

Be sure to tell them you are a member of the League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia. 

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Gillian Sorensen, now with the United Nations Foundation, has been U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for External Relations. She outlined the successes of the United Nations: it provides a global forum; it promotes public health, women's rights, and peacekeeping; it supervises elections; and helps the poor with food aid, and refugees with succor; it has made some inroads in drug trafficking and small arms trade. 

She pointed out that the UN budget is less than one-half that of the New York Police Department! She praised the work of the United Nations, which is introducing the Global Classrooms program in public schools, and the Model UN program in private schools. 


The United Nations Association of the National Capital Area has issued a report of its task force on peace and security entitled "Promoting Democracy Abroad." It reports that in 1900, there were no states that could be considered electoral democracies in the sense of free elections with universal suffrage and competitive multi-party systems. In 1950 there were 43 such democracies, and in 2000 there were 120 electoral democracies. Just a partial list of democratic transitions in the last 30 years provides reason for optimism. Spain, Portugal, and Greece in the 1970s; most of Latin America, the Philippines, and South Korea in the 1980s; much of Central Europe, South Africa and other African nations and Indonesia in the 1990s; Georgia and Ukraine in the first decade of the 21st century. Furthermore, since the end of the Cold War, there appears to be a high correlation between the spread of democracy, increased prosperity, and a reducation of violence from international conflict and civil wars. 

Freedom House also finds that there does not seem to be an insuperable conflict between the values of Islam and democratic government. Although there are no democratic regimes in the Arab world, and only two countries with Muslim majorities are characterized as free," roughly half othe world's muslim population actually lives under democratically elected governments in places such as India, Bangladesh, indonesia, Turkey, and Nigeria, as well as in Western Europe and North America. — Joan Domike

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On November 12 from 1:30-3:30 pm the LWV of Fairfax (LWVFA) will conduct a panel discussion on CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women) which had been ratified by 177 countries, but not the United States. A distinguished panel will be moderated by Christianne Klein, Weekend Anchor, WJLA.

The location of this public forum is at the Annandale campus of NOVA (Northern Virginia Community College) Ernst Cultural Center, 8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA. [Directions: Beltway (I-495) to exit 52 Rte 236, Little River Turnpike), West towards Fairfax, NVCC will be approximately 3/4 miles on the left.]

For more information: Call 703-780-3343 or email Visit for more details about CEDAW.

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Have Women's Groups Lost Civic Spirit?

Georgetown University's Lauinger Library invites members and friends of the League of Women Voters to attend the Government Documents Department 13th Annual Fall Speaker Series. 

Kristin A. Goss, PhD, Assistant Professor at Duke University's Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy, will be speaking on the topic "Have Women's Groups Lost Their Civic Spirit?" Dr. Goss will discuss how women's organizations' issue agendas have shifted over the past 100 years. The hearings data that she has collected provide a window into the issues that women chose to influence - and the matters on which women's voices were considered authoritative by political elites. 

Monday, November 7, 2005
7:30 pm
Murray Room, 5th Floor Lauinger Library
37 & O Sts, NW

Please email or call 202-687-7467 to reserve a seat. Light Refreshments Will Be Served. 

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The DC League will participate in the Great Decisions Discussion Program again this year, assuming there is sufficient member interest. Begun in 1954 by the Foreign Policy Association, Great Decisions is the longest-running informal foreign affairs discussion program in the US. Participating members of the DC League have in the past met bimonthly to discuss the chosen topics. Using as reference the Great Decisions briefing book prepared by the FPA ($15 per copy), the participants take turns leading our discussion of the eight topics chosen by the FPA: UN Reform, Iran, Energy, Brazil, Human Rights in the Age of Terrorism, China and India, Turkey, Pandemics, and National Security. 

Any interested member should call or email me soonest. Our bimonthly meetings should begin in January at a time and place to be determined. I should order the briefing books ($15 each) ASAP. — Sheila Keeny (966-1692 or

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The DC League of Women Voters joins the Sierra Club and a dozen additional citizen groups in opposing the location and size of the proposed Georgetown University Boathouse. We believe the public interest calls for a better boathouse plan, outside the C&O Canal Historical Park and undeveloped scenic shoreline of the Potomac Gorge. 

This Potomac Gorge is a scenic cut that extends from Theodore Island to Great Falls and includes the undeveloped shoreline of the C&O Canal National Historical Park. In the recent federal transportation law, the Maryland Congressional delegation secured $500,000 for the restoration and protection of the Potomac Gorge. 

Thus while half a million dollars in public funding has been set aside to protect the Gorge, more than $10 million of private money has been raised to destroy one of its undeveloped sections, right here in DC, with the construction of an enormous private boathouse for Georgetown University inside the national park. 

The concerns of the Defenders of Potomac River Parkland include: location and size of the proposal; the exclusive facility would be the length of a football field and higher than the C&O towpath; and would destroy habitat, wetlands, and natural floodplan. To access the site for construction, maintenance, and delivery of boats on 60-ft. trailers, a road would be built through the narrow recreational corridor housing the Capital Crescent Trail, displacing the Trail and endangering the fragile C&O Canal embankment. A 70-ft. private dock would extend into the river, blocking shoreline boaters and altering the hydrological flow of the river. 

The project would be the first private development in the national park since it was established in 1971, setting a precedent for future development there and in parks across the country. The release of the Environmental Assessment will be a crucial time for members to express their concerns. 

An opportunity to express the League's position opposing the location and size of the Georgetown Boathouse will be available when the Environmental Assessment is released for public comment. To request notification of the public comment period and a copy of the document,  visit To be added to the mailing list, provide your e-mail address to the Defenders of Potomac River Parkland, c/o Sally Strain at for updates. We wish to acknowledge an article that appears in The Sierran as a source for this column. — Frances Gemmill

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Mayor Williams is hosting a town hall meeting, "Citizen Summit IV" on Saturday, November 19, from 8:30 AM-4:00 PM at the Washington Convention Center. During the summit, citizens and elected officials will engage in extensive dialogue on critical public issues. Using laptops and electronic devices, participants vote their individual opinions on issues. For more information on the Citizen Summit IV, call 202-727-2823 or, on the web, 

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The National Capital Area League (LWVNCA) was created in 1963 under an agreement of cooperation with regard to regional problems shared by the Leagues, such as Water conservation & pollution control, solid waste disposal, housing, transportation, and coordinated land use planning. it was incorporated in 1972, the outcome of meetings of the presidents of the DC, Maryland, and Virginia state Leagues and several local area Leagues. 

The Annual Convention of the 13 member Leagues of the LWVNCA was held on May 14, 2005, at the Arlington Hilton and Towers in Arlington, VA; present were nine NCA Board members, 25 delegates, and three observers. Barbara Sherrill, LWVNCA Presidents, presided. New officers and directors were elected: President, Melpi Jeffries (Montgomery County); Vice President, Pat Sullivan (Alexandria); Secretary, Eileen Williams (Arlington); and Treasurer, Bonnie Franklin (Arlington). DC League members Naomi Glass and Elinor Hart will continue as Directors. 

The Convention adopted the Board recommendation that the NCA position on airports (including BWI, Dulles, and Reagan National) be updated. The Convention also directed the creation of a regional air pollution committee, which will be chaired by Lillian White (Alexandria). The proposed budget was then also approved, along with a proposed by-laws change. 

Three Leagues were honored for work which made a difference in their communities. LWVFA (Fairfax) for a series of public forums that were cosponsored by the Fairfax County Public Library. The project "For Media and Politics" covered such topics as international press coverage of US foreign policy, elections of 2004 and America's culture wars, and the prospects for peace in the Middle East. LWVMC (Montgomery County) conducted a Tree and Land Bus Tour for Leaguers, Montgomery County Conservation Corps, and interested citiens. Participants observed county land use policies on open space, agricultural reserve, and forest conservation. LWVAX (Alexandria) an honorable mention for their project "We will breath easier." In this project, the League, in coalition with civic leaders, won a major battle in the struggle to bring a 50-year-old power plant into compliance with the Clean Air Act. 

On October 7, the NCA League Board hosted a lunch/reception for the Presidents of member Leagues, for a discussion of their current concerns. — Frances Gemmill

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On October 8, the League fo Women Voters of Georgia (LWVGA) and other voting rights advocates scored a victory when a U.S. District Court judge issued a preliminary injunction protecting Georgia voters from the newly passed restrictive photo ID requirement. The injunction prevents this law from being enforced until the lawsuit filed by LWVGA and other groups challenging the measure is fully heard in court. 

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PASSAGES: We are saddened to report the deaths of two League members: Barbara Wyckoff and Kathy Prichard. Kathy was a member of the Montgomery County League and our long-time associate through the National Capital league. Contributions in Kathy's memory may be made to the Kathleen Prichard Library acquisition Fund of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, 514 Poplar St., Columbia, PA 7512; or to the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County, 12216 Parklawn Drive, Suite 101, Rockville, MD 20852-1710. 

MOVING ON: Founding Mother of Young Suffragists to move to California. In early February, Jane Malhotra and her family of Young Suffragists will be moving to California, where their father's employment leads them. While they were here in DC, Jane organized the program for "Young Suffragists" for her own daughters and other students at Janney Elementary School. These young people learned about voting representation and voting rights in Congress (where DC got left behind). They visited mayor Williams, Delegate Norton (non-voting delegate) and other DC officials, and on April 15, tax day, they joined other DC citizens to protest "Taxation Without Representation." 

We'll miss the Malhotra family, but they are leaving behind a lively and thriving program at Janney School, led by Jenny Smulson and other Mothers of young Suffragists. I was fortunate to meet with them after school on October 21, to lead them in a "mock" election, talk about elections, democracy, and other issues. Congratulations, California!

WE GRATEFULLY ACKNOWLEDGE; Contributions to the Education Fund by Susan Spaulding and Fannie Webb Taylor, and contributions to the General fund by Loretta Neumann and Eleanor Trowbridge. 

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The United Planning Organizations (UPO) held elections for one third of their board members. These elections were held on 8 days in seven wards, including two in Ward 7, three in Ward 8 (Ward 8 repeated a week later), and one in each of the other Wards except Ward 3. 

Many thanks to June Bashkin, Joan Domike, Frances and Bob Gemmill, Pat Hallman, Grace and Bob Malakoff, Mart Malakoff, Anna Marsh, Ken Nesper, Iola Piggot, Al and Kathy Schmidt, Joan Wilson, Barbara Yeomans. 

An ANC election for Single Member District 4B03 was conducted on October 27. We thank Julia Cumberti, Grace Malakoff, Carl Nelson, Abigail Nichols, and Judy Smith. 

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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 6:30-9:00 pm, Comp. Plan Task Force, 777 N. Capitol St., NE 2 10:00 am, LWVDC Board Mtg. 3 4 10:00 am, NCA Board Mtg 5
7 7:30 pm, Have Women's Groups Lost Civic Spirit? 8 9:45-11:00 am, Voter Registration at naturalization Ceremony for New US Citizens
December DC Voter Deadline
9 6:30-8:00 pm, Mayoral Candidate Forum 10 10 am or 2 pm, Viewing of Edvard Munch Graphics 11 12 1:30-3:30 pm, CEDAW Panel Discussion
14 10:00 am, Advocacy Workshop 15 16 17 18 Dec. DC Voter Maling 19 Citizen Summit IV
21 22 23 24 Thanksgiving Day 25 26
28 29 30      

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