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The DC Voter
League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia
May 1998

2025 Eye Street, N.W., #916-917, Washington, DC 20006
(202) 331-4122/(202) 331-4196 (fax)

President’s Corner
LWVDC Needs a New Home. . .Soon!
General Meetings About DC Finances Replace May Units
Legislative Priorities for the US League of Women Voters
LWV-FA to Race for the Cure
Committee Updates

Bed and Breakfast
DC Affairs
International Relations
Private Elections

LWVUS Convenes in San Diego, June 1998
LWV Race for the Cure
LWV/The National Capital Area
League Membership
Memories of Bella

President’s Corner

Making our Votes Count: Too many of us D.C. residents view our elected officials as bosses, not as public servants. Like colonial subjects we accept their good efforts, criticize their neglect (but only after it has produced a lot of damage) and fail to hold them accountable for some of their actions or provide our support for others on a continuing basis. To MAKE OUR VOTES COUNT FOR A BETTER CITY (MOVC), we must not only elect officials, we must hold them accountable. And in order to do this we must know their powers, their job descriptions. To this purpose our D.C. League, guided by Elinor Hart, has spearheaded the MOVC Coalition to educate the voter.

To be more effective, we have reached out to include the Federations of Civic and Citizens Associations, AARP (Retired Persons), Martin Luther King, Jr. D.C. Support Group, American Friends Service Committee and others. New League members, Kelly Young and Gabriela Schwarz, have contributed brochure design and youthful energy to the communications. You may have already contributed to the momentum in the Special Unit Meetings in March. We hope that you can join the MOVC efforts in the upcoming steering committee meetings May 7 and May 21, 12:00 noon at the National League Office.

Increasing Student League Involvement: Trinity student leaders Stephanie Dorko and Samantha Dallaire, (Sam is also an intern at the Senate Small Business Committee) hosted a reception at Trinity's Alumnae Hall in honor of Women's History Month. Joan Corboy and Chris Matthews of Brookland (Trinity's neighborhood) and membership chair Reggie Yancey guided the discussion on D.C. History and the League. We are continuing to recruit student-members, a special category endorsed by the Outreach Committee of the National Board in 1996.

Dialogue Series: Thanks to Pat Hallman who does all of the administration and publicity for the Brown Bag Dialog Series. Pat would like to have a volunteer to write notes on the Dialogues for the DC Voter. Luci Murphy

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May 6 (Wed) noon, First Meeting of the New Board, LWVUS, 1730 M Street, NW
May 7 (Thu) noon, MOVC (Votes Count) Steering Ctte, LWVUS, see President's Corner
May 12 (Tues), May DC Voter deadline
May 13
(Wed) 11:00 a.m., I.R. Great Decisions: Policy Sale? LWVUS, 1730 M St., NW, see below
May 19 (Tue) 7:00 p.m., General Meeting I: D.C. Finances, Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, 9th & G Streets, NW — Room 315
May 20 (Wed) 10:00 a.m., General Meeting II: D.C. Finances, Charles Sumner School, 17th & M Streets, NW
May 21 (Thu) noon, MOVC (Votes Count) Steering Ctte, LWVUS, see President's Corner
May 27 (Wed)11:00 a.m., I.R. Great Decisions: Religion's Role, LWVUS, see below
May 29 (Fri) May Voter Mailing
Jun 13-16, LWVUS National Convention, see p.4 Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, CA

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LWVDC Needs a New Home...Soon!

LWVDC has to leave the Park Lane Building by Sept. 1, 1998. We are currently renting 628 square feet and pay $667.00/month ($12.75/square foot/year). We are looking for centrally located, secure space near bus and Metro. Proximity to the National Office, City Hall, and/or Martin Luther King, Jr. Library are pluses. Any suggestions? Please call 202/331-4122.

There are no Unit Meetings in May.
Instead, be sure to attend the General Meetings, Ma:y 19 and 20.
Please see note below and Background Paper insert.

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General Meetings About D.C. Finances Replace May Units

Evening Meeting, May 19: King Library — Morning Meeting, May 20: Sumner School

General Meetings on D.C. Finances, to be held the evening of May 19 and the morning of May 20, will review the causes of the District's structural budget problems and the remedies produced by the revitalization legislation enacted by Congress last year. The focus of the meetings will follow the enclosed background paper and discussion questions.

The May 19, Tuesday evening, meeting will take place at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library (Room 315) at 7:00 p.m. The May 20, Wednesday morning, session will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the Charles Sumner School. — Elinor Hart

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Library is located at 9th & G Streets, NW, near Gallery Place (Yellow/Red) or Metro Center (Red/Blue/Orange) Metro stops.

The Sumner School is located at 17th and M Streets, NW, near Farragut North (Red Line) or Farragut West (Blue/Orange Line) Metros.

Call the LWVDC office, 202/331-4122, for more information.

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Legislative Priorities for the U.S. League of Women Voters

We call attention to the subject report in the March/April issue of The National Voter. The national board has updated its priorities relevant to the second session of the 105th Congress. The priorities are identified within two levels. While watching a number of other specific issues (e.g., the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty), the priorities are as follows:

Level One: enacting campaign finance reform and protecting "motor Voter," the National Voter Registration Act;

Level Two: enacting consumer protection legislation for health care; ensuring health care for seniors by protecting and enhancing Medicare; combating global warming and protecting clean air standards; and strengthening the United Nations by providing adequate funding.

We, of course, are pleased to see sustained attention to the United Nations. When the information becomes available, we will report if/how the national board proposes to address the United Nations for the upcoming 1999-2000 biennium League program and, of course, our top-priority interest, namely, full voting representation in Congress. — Barbara Yeomans, Vice-President for National Program

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LWV-FA to Race for the Cure

The League of Women Voters-Fairfax (VA) Area is forming a team for the ninth annual National Race for the Cure, to be held in Washington, D.C. on June 6, 1998.

If you have run this race before, you know it is a very special day; if not, consider participating this year. Whether you are running in honor of a survivor, in memory of a friend, or just to enjoy a morning on the Hill, you will be touched by the experience.

The National Race for the Cure, founded by the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, is the largest 5K run/walk in the United States. The National Race raises money for breast cancer education, research, screenings, treatment and community outreach for both the Washington, D.C. area and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation National Grants Program.

The pre-race rally begins at 7:45 a.m.; the race, at 8:30 a.m. The League team will meet before and after the race in front of the Willard Hotel, 14th and Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

The entry fee is $18 before May 20; $25 thereafter. Registration forms are available at Metro Stations, JC Penney, Pier 1 Imports, and Giant Food Stores. You may also print one from There are three ways to register. Whichever you choose, be sure to fill in our team acronym: LWV.

See page 4 of this Voter for registration details. Please call Lane Stone 703/860-9092 or e-mail:   to request a purple sash or with other questions. — from LWV-FA

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Committee Updates

Bed and Breakfast

Welcome and provide hospitality for League members from across the U.S.A. Call the LWVDC office for more information. 202/331-4122.  — Jackie Russler, Bed & Breakfast chair

D.C. Affairs

A major concern of the D.C. Affairs Committee has been “How have recent changes in local government shaped our city?” Because of the financial crisis, many changes have been made.

Thanks to Barbara Yeomans for her leadership in coordinating contributors to our recent publication, “ABC's...XYZ’s: A Tour Through DC's Revitalization Legislation of 1997.”

We commend observer Betsy Hobby, Grace Savage and Kathy Schmidt for attending public hearings. Issues covered are public safety (alarming complaints by M.P.D. officers); criminal justice (sentencing impact on D.C. Criminal Justice System); and education (D.C. City Council Hearings on 1999 budget proposals and D.C. Board of Education Sumner School Plans). These observations are available in LWVDC office.

Thanks to Pat Hallman, the Brown Bag Dialogues have drawn on several different issues and responses to public concerns (consumer, public utilities, criminal justice, civic organizations, religious organizations, and business organizations).

As we approach election 1999, we consider these questions:

“How close are our elected officials to those being governed?”

“What is the impact of local legislation?” — Anna Marsh, Chair

International Relations

LWVUS issues Action Alert on U.N. funding:

In a recent memo to all State and Local League Presidents, LWVUS President Becky Cain called upon League members to write their Members of Congress to urge them to support prompt payment of our arrears to the U.N. The Alert goes to the heart of our disenfranchisement problem since no one voting in Congress represents our views. Undaunted nevertheless, some of us are writing MOCs with whom we have a loose connection, such as mine with Senator Leahy of Vermont, where I have a plot in a cemetery. I sent him what I have called my “graveyard letter”; in it I thanked him for his principled votes supporting the U.N. You can try this approach or you may have friends in other states whom you may wish to contact about this increasingly serious problem.

You will also want to note the enclosed annual report on the U.N. in 1997-98 from Margery Cohen, the League's U.N. observer.

As further background for your letter, note the following recent analysis by the United Nations Association/USA: “(I)t is highly uncertain if the President's request to pay just over $1 billion in arrears to the U.N. regular budget, peacekeeping, several U.N. specialized agencies, and other international organizations will survive the legislative process this year.”

To illustrate this prediction (and to galvanize your efforts), note also the words that House Rules Chairman Gerald Solomon (R-NY) recently delivered on the floor of the House of Representatives: “I also have trouble handing out any more money over to an organization whose Secretary General Kofi Annan has just cut an appeasement deal with Saddam Hussein, said that Saddam Hussein is a man he can work with, and called US weapons inspectors cowboys....He ought to be horse-whipped for saying it.” Ambassador Alvin Adams, President of UNA/USA reacted, “Such a personal attack has no place in the serious debate over matters of fundamental national interest.” I am also informed that the LWVUS does believe our position favoring preventive diplomacy allows us to welcome Secretary General Annan’s peacemaking efforts in Iraq.

Burmaa Visits U.N.: On a personal note, Margery Cohen welcomed Burmaa, our guest from Mongolia, and me at her home and escorted us to the U.N. on April 1 for the weekly NGO briefing. We also met with the Executive Director of the United Nations Association/USA. I can say with confidence that the League now has a friend in Mongolia. Watch for her in the Mongolian elections of 2000!

Great Decisions: The May Great Decisions discussions will be on “Special Interests: Is U.S. Foreign Policy for Sale?” (Wednesday May 13) and on “Religion’s Role in World Affairs” (Wednesday, May 27). We meet at 11:00 am at LWVUS Headquarters, 1730 M Street, NW. Our discussions have been enlivened by many visitors this year so join us for our final discussions of the series. Call Jean Jones for information (202/966-3064).

See also “Memories of Bella,” — Sheila Keeny, Chair

Private Elections

Thanks are expressed to Fran Garro, Naomi Glass, Jean Jones, Liz Martin, Kathy Schmidt, Reggie Yancey and Barbara Yeomans, who helped earn $750.00 on March 30th issuing ballots and tallying election results at Watergate West, Inc.

Private elections remain a special means of serving the community by offering election assistance at below average rates to agencies and organizations while raising funds for League programs and projects. Thanks to all who volunteer to make it possible. — A. Louise Perry, Elections Chair

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LWVUS Convenes In San Diego, June 1998

The League of Women Voters of the United States convenes in San Diego, CA, June 13-16, 1998. Delegates will consider national program and budget for the 1999-2000 biennium. Speakers and leadership training workshops are also scheduled.

The convention site, Hotel del Coronado, offers many recreational amenities plus sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean from the picturesque island community of Coronado.

It’s not too late to plan on joining delegates from around the nation. Contact the LWVDC office for details. — editor

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LWV Race for the Cure
(See article)

Registration Options:

On-line: on the Race web site, www.natl-race-, for an extra $3 to cover processing/postage for T-shirt and bib.

On-site: at several sites around town, e.g., Hecht’s on May 16 and 17. You will receive your T-shirt and bib at that time.

Mail-in: a race registration form to National Race for the Cure, c/o Hayes, Domenici and Associates, 1320 Old Chain Bridge Road, Suite 330, McLean, VA 22101. If you mail your application you must pick up your T-shirt and bib at the Department of Commerce (14th & Constitution Ave. NW, lobby, first floor, 14th Street entrance) on June 3-5, between noon and 7:30 p.m. Mail-in registration cannot be picked up at an on-site registration location. Do not mail in your registration after May 20, 1998.

Whichever registration option you use, remember to fill in our team acronym: LWV.

Please call Lane Stone (703/860-9092) or e-mail to request a purple sash or with other questions.

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LWV/The National Capital Area

President: Naomi Glass, 202/686-0124. Editor: Gloria Harvey, 301/530-7379.

From the President: Plans for NCA’s Annual Meeting on May 16 at the National Press Building are crystallizing. If you want to attend but haven't reserved yet, please call Molly O’Brien (703/620-9806) as soon as possible. Fellow Leaguer Jean Packard’s talk with ensuing discussion should be fascinating. Jean is currently Chair of the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin.

NCA’s committee on regional water concerns, chaired by Bob Perry (703/534-5421), now meets the third Thursday of each month at the LWV-US office from noon to 2:00 p.m. This thriving committee seeks broad representation from each local league and welcomes new members.

The Fairfax Area League held April unit meetings on D.C. finances and structure, based on information provided by NCA’s committee (chaired by Elinor Hart, 202/387-2966). Arlington, Falls Church, Montgomery County, Howard County and D.C. are providing meetings in May. If your league is not holding a D.C. finances and structure meeting or you would like to attend one in another jurisdiction, call the league office of your choice or call me (202/686-0124). The NCA Board plans to organize a mock unit meeting for interested LWV-US convention attendees who may not realize that the District government's finances and structure are significantly different than those of governments they studied in their civics classes.

NCA Board members are planning to attend at least one local league annual meeting in addition to their own. So perhaps we’ll run into you at your meeting and/or at the NCA Convention. — Naomi Glass, LWVDC, 202/686-0124

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Dates to Remember

Friday May 1, 10:00 a.m., NCA-LWV Board Meeting, LWVUS
Saturday May 16, 9:00 a.m., NCA-LWV Annual Meeting, National Press Club
Thursday May 17, noon, NCA Water Committee, LWVUS
Friday June 1, 10:00 a.m., NCA-LWV Board Meeting, LWVUS

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League Membership

Any citizen of the United States over the age of 18 is encouraged to join the League of Women Voters.

Student Membership

College students are welcomed at a reduced membership rate. Student memberships are offered to individuals who are undergraduate or graduate students enrolled at least half-time at an accredited institution. Student members receive the same services afforded to regular members, may vote and hold League elected office.

Membership Services

All members of the League of Women Voters receive The National Voter magazine and are entitled to member discounts on LWVUS products and services. Through their affiliation — i.e., through the League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia (LWVDC) — members can take action on League positions. In addition, they can learn about the LWV Education Fund and any and all projects that make a positive impact on citizens’ lives. D.C. Chapter members receive the DC Voter and other mailings and benefits from the chapter. All members may vote and hold League elected office. LWVDC members may also participate in the League of Women Voters/National Capital Area, a metro-area inter-league organization focusing on area-wide concerns.

In addition to individual and household (two or more members sharing one address) memberships, reduced rate memberships are available to those with limited means (see form).

For More Information

To receive more information about the League of Women Voters (LWVUS), our local (LWVDC) and area-wide (LWV/National Capital Area) leagues, complete and return the form, or call 202/331-4122

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Memories of Bella

As part of her International Relations Committee report, Sheila Keeny included the following tribute to Bella Abzug, former New York Congresswoman and founder of Women 's Environment and Development Organization, whose recent death was widely noted.

Bella Abzug was our luncheon speaker in May, 1995, at the LWVDC Colloquy “Empowering Women: The U.N. Role.” Speaking extemporaneously, she delivered a number of memorable lines including:

“The women's movement exists everywhere... It has legs, arms, heads — especially heads.... (T)hough most of us were raised to speak softly — that is most of us — and carry lipstick, we no longer will do that. We are now insisting on a larger stick, a stick which sits at the table and makes the decisions, which has something to say about everything that goes on on this earth.”

We will miss her. — Sheila Keeny

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Dates to Remember

LWV/National Capital Area Convention, May 16
9:00 a.m., National Press Club, Washington, DC. Contact Naomi Glass, 202/686-0124.

LWDV General Meeting on D.C. Finances, May 19-20.
See above.

LWVUS Convention, June 13-16
Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, CA. Call LWVDC, 202/331-4122.

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The DC Voter is a monthly publication of the League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia. It is available either through membership ($40.00/year) or through direct subscription ($10.00 per year). President, Luci Murphy, Treasurer, Naomi Glass; Editor, Virginia Spatz (email:
LWVDC, 2025 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006. 202/331-4122. Fax: 202/331-4196.
Website:   E-mail:

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