What's Coming Up and Announcements
TED Talk Discussion
"Connected, But Alone?" - by Sherry Turkle
In this busy season it is possible to still `be alone'. We see people busy on their devices but are we really connected in relationships? Ms. Turkle; author, cultural analyst, and MIT professor, "studies how our devices and online personas are redefining human connection and communication -- and asks us to think deeply about the new kinds of connection we want to have."
This stimulating discussion was centered around how technology is shaping our modern relationships not only with others but with ourselves.
In the spirit of creating connections we included an optional cookie exchange. Interested participants brought packages of three cookies to share with the other participating people. That meant that each took home a variety of cookies to enjoy.
This is a statewide fun event for New Castle, Kent And Sussex Leagues. The Festival Buffet is perfect holiday venue to socialize and network with League members and introduce friends and family to the League. We had a great turnout this year!
On Monday November 26, our speaker was Nick Wasileski of the Delaware Coalition for Open Government (DelCOG) on the topic of Delaware LLC laws.
If you missed the presentation, you can watch it in full here. Nick covered two topics, Delaware LLC's (beginning of tape) and Entity Voting in Delaware (starting around 23:18). The entire video is 47 minutes long.
Delaware limited liability companies (LLCs) have been reported as fronts for illicit activities, including money laundering and child sex trafficking. In a recent Newark referendum a single beneficial owner of multiple LLCs voted multiple times. Should there be reforms to Delaware's LLC Act and business entity voting rights statutes?
Nick Wasileski is completing his third year as DelCOG president. DelCOG is a nonprofit whose volunteers promote open government and the Freedom of Information Act, and raise awareness of issues that are essential to good government. He is also a board member of the Civic League for New Castle County (CLNCC). Five years ago, Nick served on the steering committee of the Newark Residents against the Power Plant (NRAPP), which was a community effort that opposed the construction of a utility scale power plant in Newark, DE.
Contact Flo Waibel for more information about the Great Decision discussion group, and if you are interested in joining group members for lunch at Skipjack prior to the meeting.
The Foreign Policy Association has announced the topics for Great Decisions 2019, and briefing books are available online at the Foreign Policy Association website, FPA (dot) org.
The eight new topics for 2019 are...
1. Refugees and Global Migration
2. The Middle East: Regional Disorder
3. Nuclear negotiations: Back to the Future?
4. The Rise of Populism in Europe
5. Decoding U.S.-China Trade
6. Cyber Conflicts and Geopolitics
7. The United States and Mexico: Partnership Tested
8. State of the State Department and Diplomacy
LWVNCC is starting a renewed effort to attend and observe local government meetings, such as New Castle County Council, Wilmington City Council and Newark City Council meetings. Contact Marj Johnson if you are interested in joining our NCC Observer Corps. No prior experience is required!
Volunteers are needed on an ongoing basis to register new voters at schools and community venues each year. 2018 was an extremely busy year for voter registration requests! Contact Voter Registration Coordinator Patti Christopher if you'd like to help with voter registration in 2019, or to request a voter registration table at your school or event.
New Citizen Ceremonies
The League distributes welcome packets including government and voting information to new citizens at Delaware naturalization ceremonies. These are extraordinarily emotional and rewarding events to witness. See our calendar page for upcoming dates, and contact Lorraine Botticelli if interested in helping out.
The League of Women Voters of New Castle County (LWVNCC) President Marjorie Johnson's message for November 2018 is included below...
"By the time you receive this edition of the Voter, Election Day will be upon us. If you are like I am, regardless of the outcome, I will be very happy when Election Day is over and we don't have to listen to all the negative and vitriolic political ads on radio and TV! It has been discouraging to hear the number of candidates who only want to denigrate their opponent instead of stating their position on issues.
Instead, I hope all of you have accessed Vote411.org to find your ballot and determine your best candidates. Many thanks to Kim Wells and her Vote 411 committee for all the hard work they did on that site and for providing the public with such an excellent, non-partisan resource.
That being said, our work continues to ensure that all people have access to the voting booth, and that people can cast an informed vote. The League will be offering rides to and from the polls so if you know someone who needs a way to get to the polls, call the League office. This coming year, we will also be working to try and bring early voting to Delaware to make it easier for people to vote in subsequent elections.
We are fortunate in Delaware to have had a good electoral system, and we hope to keep it that way, but as you go to vote, please notice what is going on at your site and whether there seem to be any irregularities. And, on Nov. 6, don't forget to thank the poll workers at your site--they put in a LONG day!"
-- Marj Johnson
Although our U.S. Congressional delegation did not change, we have a new Delaware Attorney General, State Treasurer, and Auditor of Accounts, along with five new senators and twelve new representatives in the state General Assembly. New Castle, Kent, and Sussex counties each have a couple of new county council or levy court members, and New Castle and Kent have new sheriffs as well.
The Delaware Department of Elections election results webpage has the details of all state and county races.
The party caucuses chose their leadership for the 150th Delaware General Assembly Session on November 7, the day after the election. Governor Carney's Budget Office will a hold series of public hearings in November providing an opportunity for state agency's to make their budget requests and the public to respond and discuss the upcoming fiscal year budget (July 1 2019 - June 30, 2019).
The new General Assembly will convene on January 8, 2019.
The excitement was aided by celebrity boosts - John Oliver urged his viewers to visit VOTE411 on his October 28 Last Week Tonight show, and Amy Schumer promoted the VOTE411 candidate guides on Instagram on November 5. Celebrity impact is HUGE. After the John Oliver show, traffic for the VOTE411 site surged roughly 20 times compared to an average Sunday following.
Delaware's VOTE411 online voters' guide for the 2018 party primary elections was live from July 16 to Sept 6, and our general election guide was live from Sept 7 to Nov 6. Thanks to the efforts of our fabulous volunteers, we finished with over 70% candidate participation for both guides, including ALL candidates for state-wide races (U.S. Senate, U.S. House, state AG, Auditor and Treasurer) in the general election. Candidates from all parties, in every race on the ballot from U.S. Senate down to NCC/Kent/Sussex county-level races, were invited to submit information for our Delaware VOTE411 guide.
Our county-level VOTE411 advertising teams netted some great publicity! Using posters, handouts, traditional news coverage, social media, radio PSA's and interviews, and community partnerships... and even some movie preview ads, car-side magnets, and custom Halloween candy... League members up and down the state worked hard to spread the word about VOTE411.
In case you missed them, several radio/TV interviews are still available online. Check out this July WHYY website article on VOTE411, and this August interview on WDEL. LWVDE's Sandy Spence also had a half-hour radio talk-show segment with Lora Lewis at WJBR in mid-September covering a broad range of LWV, voting and VOTE411 topics. This Thursday 11/1 WVUD 'Campus Voices' conversation between Rich Campbell, UD student Gillian Williams, and Kim Wells covered VOTE411, student voting, and the campus "Make it Count" voter engagement initiative.
Community response has been fantastic! Over 5,000 Delawareans used the guide in the pre-primary period alone. Usage statistics for the general election are still being compiled and will be posted here when available. But on a more tangible note, VOTE411 Coordinator Kim Wells is happy to report that many people... even some who were initially skeptical... who expressed their personal thanks to the League for providing this valuable election education resource.
Please join the League in thanking our VOTE411 community partners and supporters.