Making Democracy Work

What's New?

What's Coming Up and Announcements

Upcoming and recent events are listed below. Check our Activities and Presentations page under "ABOUT LWV" for presentation notes from older events.

Summer Hot Topic - All-Hazards Awareness course

The public is invited to all Hot Topic meetings to become informed on a wide variety of topics. This is a time to check in with members of LWV, make new friends, invite your neighbors and colleagues to experience the League in an informal setting, as we enjoy Michaels' terrific buffet lunch.

James Tracy
James Tracy
In July and August 2018, trainer/educator James Tracy from the Division of Public Health's Office of Preparedness will present a two-part hazard awareness training session.

Mr. Tracy has over 30 years of experience in emergency management in various capacities... responder, planner, trainer, and liaison. James has traveled to numerous states and several countries tasked to mitigate or respond to incidents and exercises.

The All-Hazards Awareness course is designed to increase situational awareness of common and potential situations that could impose harm upon attendees. Topics discussed will include current issues such as criminal/terrorist acts, natural disasters, and man-made incidents. Further discussion will be given for biological, radiological and chemical hazards. Also included will be actions to mitigate harm to the student.

commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:WMD_world_map.svg
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons, User:Andux, User:Vardion, and Simon Eugster

Take a break from your busy summer, and learn about something that could save your life!

Cost is $15.00 paid at time of the event. Please pay in cash if at all possible. RSVP to our office manager by Saturday July 21 for the Monday July 23 session, and by Saturday August 25 for the Monday August 27, so we can let the restaurant know how many to expect. If you need a ride, leave a message on the League Office phone or e-mail when you RSVP. If you have not made a reservation please come anyway; the meal is buffet-style, so we can accommodate extras.

See our calendar page for directions to Michaels restaurant.

*** Legislative Action Alert *** (from the Advocacy Corps)

Legislative Hall in Dover, DE In mid-June, the League of Women Voters of Delaware published a list of top-priority bills for which we are seeking action before the General Assembly adjourns on June 30 (or early a.m. on July 1).

The full list is on the LWVDE website.

Here is a brief rundown of the legislative outcomes...

Needed Funding:

  • Funding for new voting equipment (add to the Bond Bill) => Outcome: the HB 475 bond bill as passed includes $10 million for new voting equipment

Needed Action in House:
  • HB 90 - early voting => Outcome: passed in House, died in Senate committee
  • HB 300 - bump stock ban => passed and signed into law 6/14/2018
  • HB 446 - voting age and no-excuse absentee, first leg of const. amendmt => defeated in House
  • HB 460 - budget smoothing amendment => died in House
  • SB 171 - provides documents for released inmates => passed and sent to Governor for signature
  • SB 172 - uniform reporting on school spending => passed and sent to Governor for signature
  • SB 183 - controls on abusive LLCs => passed and sent to Governor for signature

Needed Action in Senate:
  • HB 113 - refundable Earned Income Tax Credits => Outcome: passed, sent to Gov. for signature
  • HB 222 - lethal violence protection orders against firearms => passed and signed into law 6/27/2018
  • HB 366 - safe storage of firearms => passed House, died in Senate committee
  • SB 163 - assault weapons ban => died in Senate committee
  • SB 221 & 222 - pre-trial detention reform => died in Senate
  • SB 227 - private insurance plans must pay at least the Medicare rate => passed, sent to Governor

The LWVNCC June 2018 Annual Meeting

All New Castle County League Members are invited to the annual meeting each year to elect a new slate of board members and learn about League activities.

This year's annual meeting was held at Michaels Restaurant in Christiana on Monday, June 11, from 11:30 to 1pm. The annual meeting took the place of both the usual "fourth Monday" Hot Topic lunch event in June and the "first Monday" June board meeting.

After a review of the many activities undertaken by LWVNCC over the past year (July 2017 to June 2018) by President Marj Johnson, a new slate of officers and directors was elected, and the membership gave direction to the new board. The 2018 to 2019 board and nominating committee members are listed in full on the About LWV page.

New board members elected June 2018
New LWVNCC board members elected June 2018
(L to R): Catriona Binder-Macleod, Richard Johnson, Susan Mitchell, Cami Seward, Jill Itzkowitz

Returning board members July 2018
Returning LWVNCC board members (L to R): Marj Johnson, Patti Christopher, Carmela Longobardi,
Katharine Olinchak, Lorraine Botticelli, Joanne Hasse, Kim Wells

Members urged the new board to pursue membership diversity, expanded high school and college voter outreach efforts, cleaner state voter registration rolls, and more effective fundraising efforts among the goals for the coming year, in addition to continued involvement and awareness in areas such as human trafficking and prison justice. Better coordination with other like-minded organizations, such as the Delta Sigma Theta Service Sorority who had three members in attendance, was also recommended.

VOTE411 Project Coordinator Kim Wells handed out information cards and encouraged members to "talk up" the VOTE411 website with their friends and neighbors this election season.

Advocacy Corps member Joann Hasse made a plea for each member to contact their legislators on at least one or two of the high-priority legislative items on the LWVDE list (see the article immediately above).

Board member Cami Seward urged action also on SB 221 and SB 222, which continue the pre-trial justice reforms started with HB 204 earlier this year.

Great Decisions Discussion Group

The Great Decisions discussion group meets regularly at the Newark public library. Barbara Mobarak led the group in "Turkey: a partner in crisis" on Monday, June 18. Next up: Brenda Toomey will lead "U.S. global engagement and the military" on Monday, September 17, at 1:30pm.

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. See our calendar page for directions to the Newark library.

Great Decisions group Nov 2017
Some November 2017 Great Decisions 'Groupies'

The Great Decision discussion topics and schedule for 2018 are as follows:

1. Feb 12 - The waning of Pax Americana?
2. Mar 19 - Russia's foreign policy
3. Apr 9 - China and America: the new geopolitical equation
4. May 21 - Media and foreign policy
5. June 18 - Turkey: a partner in crisis
6. Sept 17 - U.S. global engagement and the military
7. Oct 15 - South Africa's fragile democracy
8. Nov 19 - Global health: progress and challenges

Volunteer Opportunities

You do not have to be a league member to participate in these volunteer activities.

Voter Registration
Volunteers are needed on an ongoing basis to register new voters at schools and community venues. 2018 has been a crazy busy year for voter registration requests! Contact Voter Registration Coordinator Patti Christopher if you'd like to help with voter registration, 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.

VOTE411 Online Voters' Guide
The VOTE411 online voters' guide is a terrific resource that lets voters learn about the candidates for office BEFORE heading to the polls. It speaks to the "knowledge and confidence" part of the LWV vision: Vote411.org We envision a democracy where every person has the desire, the right, the knowledge and the confidence to participate.

Volunteer with us! If you have 10 minutes free per week... you can make a follow-up call to a candidate in your district. If you have 1 hour free... you can put up a poster in your grocery store or flyers on your bank counter. If you know people in Delaware... you can ask for a mention of VOTE411 in your organization newsletter, or think of companies who might agree to sponsor us financially.

Please contact VOTE411 Coordinator Kim Wells and help us get the word out.

President's Message - Heading into Summer

Marj the Sarge
LWVNCC President Marj Johnson's alter ego
'Marj the Sarge'

The League of Women Voters of New Castle County (LWVNCC) President Marjorie Johnson's message for June 2018 is included below...

"This has been a busy spring. Our wonderful Carrie Chapman Catt event was enjoyed by all who attended and it was a great opportunity to see old friends, meet new ones, and celebrate our Lieutenant Governor and Connie Georgov. We made a little over $1,000 on the event.

League Day in Dover, moved to May because of weather, was also a wonderful event, with speakers in the morning informing us of the financial issues in Delaware and a crowded Legislative Hall and agenda in the afternoon, including a meeting with Governor Carney. It was my first League Day and it was interesting to see the wheels of government actually turning! Thanks to all who testified on bills and especially on the Equal Rights Amendment bill. Despite losing the fight on this one, it is not dead, as women over the years have never given up.

State Council met in Dover 5/19 and heard the new initiative coming from the national League, and we also voted to merge the state League into the state Ed Fund League, resulting in a new League of Women Voters of Delaware as a totally tax-deductible entity as a 501c3. This will make tax deductible donations as well as bookkeeping much easier.

Coming up is our annual meeting June 11 at Michael's and I hope many of you will attend to get updated on our current status and look forward to the year ahead. The nominating committee has selected another wonderful slate for the board so come and meet them as well.

As we head into summer, Joanne Hasse and I will be attending the National Convention in Chicago the end of June and will report back to you on the events there. Then I hope there is a chance to breathe!!!"   -- Marj Johnson

Joann Hasse holding up the Delaware sign
Delaware Represents! Joann Hasse holds aloft the Delaware sign at National on June 29, 2018

Yolanda Schlabach's Second Ted Talk is Available for Viewing

Yolanda Schlabach speaks at TEDx 2017
Yolanda Schlabach
Yolanda Schlabach has been one of the main speakers at each of the four Human Trafficking Forums that LWVNCC has sponsored in the last two years.

Yolanda's new TEDx Talk, Life After Trafficking: The Bridge From Trauma to Triumph was published in Dec 2017. This video addresses the following questions: What happens to survivors after escape from, or arrest of, their traffickers? What do they need? What do we, as a nation, offer?

If you haven't seen Yolanda's original TEDx Talk, Sex Trafficking in the U.S.:Young Lives, Insane Profit, watch that one first.

These gripping Wilmington TEDx videos shine a light on the dark underbelly of the sex trade and human exploitation in Delaware.

LWVDE has actively supported legislation addressing this issue, including a bill enacted last year that gave the state regulatory authority over massage parlors so that those where trafficked women were forced into prostitution could be identified and shut down.

Photos of Past Events

Photos of past League events are available on Flickr.

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