Making Democracy Work

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Statewide League Holiday Luncheon in Dover

The League of Women Voters of Delaware gathered for a Holiday Festival Buffet on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 from noon to 3pm at Dover Downs.

This was a statewide fun event For New Castle, Kent and Sussex Leagues, and a great chance to catch up on all the great work our sister Leagues are doing across the state. Many thanks to Crystal Hamilton of the Kent County League for organizing!

Sandy Spence speaks to festival-goers
Sandy Spence updates festival-goers about state-level advocacy activities

Upcoming TED Discussions

The LWVNCC TED viewings are free and open to the public; we'd love to see you there! The format is simple... we watch an inspiring, thought-provoking TED video, and then talk about it afterward. See meetup.com/LWVNCC-TED-Discussion-Group-Bear for more information or to RSVP.

  • Thursday 12/14, 6:30pm at the Newark Senior Center: Ashton Applewhite, "Let's end ageism" (filmed April 2017)

Author and activist Ashton Applewhite urges us to dismantle the dread and mobilize against the last socially acceptable prejudice. "Aging is not a problem to be fixed or a disease to be cured," she says. "It is a natural, powerful, lifelong process that unites us all."

meetup logo script TED - Ideas worth spreading

Refugee Resettlement in Delaware

Lourena Gboeah
Lourena Gboeah, MSW

At the December 9 TED Discussion in Bear, special guest Lourena Gboeah of the Jewish Family Services of Delaware RISE program talked with us about refugee resettlement efforts in Delaware.

There are 65 million forcibly displaced persons worldwide today. 22 million are classified as refugees, including 6 million from Syria alone. A tiny fraction of these refugees (45,000 to 110,000... around one-half of one percent) are resettled in the United States each year.

In 2017, twenty-five refugees were resettled in Delaware, including families from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, the Ukraine and Eritrea (near Ethiopia). The refugees have many needs when they arrive, including low-cost furnished housing, job search assistance, social orientation, cell phones for communication, and sometimes ESL (English as a Second Language) classes. As the HIAS agency partner responsible for resettling refugees in Delware, Jewish Family Services of Delaware relies on community support to augment the $1000 per person government stipend to settle a refugee.

League members wishing to help with these efforts can go to the jfsdelaware.org/get-involved/rise-with-refugees web page to donate or to sign up for the JFS newsletter.

Two good online resources for information on the global refugee crisis are the UN Refugee Agency (UNHRC.org) and Refugee Council USA (RCUSA.org).

Member Meet 'n Greet

Our first LWV of New Castle County "Meet and Greet" of the season was held on Thursday November 16th, 6:30-8:30 pm, at Patti Christopher's home in North Wilmington.

wine and cheese photoMeet and Greets are a great chance to meet your fellow League members, and bring a new friend to experience the League.

If you have a venue idea for a January Meet and Greet, let Patti Christopher or Lorraine Botticelli know.

Please come and share these fun evenings with us!

Great Decisions Discussion Group

The Great Decisions discussion group holds regular monthly sessions at the Newark public library. Judy Villamarin led the final topic for 2017, "Nuclear Security: The Enduring Challenge of Nuclear Weapons," on Monday November 13 at 1:30 pm. Contact Vicky Kleinman 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 Foreign Policy Association has announced the Great Decision discussion topics for 2018 as follows:

1. The waning of Pax Americana?
2. Russia's foreign policy
3. China and America: the new geopolitical equation
4. Media and foreign policy
5. Turkey: a partner in crisis
6. U.S. global engagement and the military
7. South Africa's fragile democracy
8. Global health: progress and challenges

President's Message - Sister Suffragettes

The League of Women Voters of New Castle County (LWVNCC) President Marjorie Johnson's message to members for December 2017 is included below...

Marj Johnson
LWVNCC President Marj Johnson

"While I was waiting in the dentist's office last week, I picked up a recent copy of The Economist which had a section on issues for 2018. One was entitled Sister Suffragette by Anne McElvoy. "On votes for women, the world is not yet practically perfect in every way." In the article she refers to the upcoming revival in London of Mary Poppins with the fiery suffragette, Mrs. Banks. The revival is timed to coincide with the centenary of women's suffrage in Britain. For some history: In 1918, Parliament granted the franchise to female householders over 30. Canada offered women the vote nationwide that same year. However, New Zealand gave women the vote in 1893, Finland in 1906, the US in 1920 and Sweden in 1921.

What would Mrs. Banks think about 2018? Since 2015 Saudi Arabia has allowed women to vote in local elections, though not national ones. Cultural barriers exist in many places with only 16 percent of Lebanese women going to the polls. Case studies of countries with low women's turnout, from Guatemala to Burundi and Pakistan, suggest the best way to drive change is wider voter registration and ease of access to polling stations. In Egypt, lack of identity cards meant that in some parts of the country up to 80 percent of women did not vote in 2014 and overall only half of eligible women did so. In 2014 Afghanistan prioritized female voters in elections with sex-separated polling stations. In the US more women are lining up to run for office in 2018. So there is cause for Mrs. Banks to celebrate, but more work to be done.

In the US in 2016 only 58 percent of eligible voters (men and women) went to the polls in an election in which 14 states had new restrictive voting laws, particularly targeting minorities--this after the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in 2013 that required federal approval on any state election law. The League's mission is focusing on the Campaign for Making Democracy Work, championing voting rights, voter protection and mobilization, election reform, campaign finance/money in politics and redistricting. Join us in this effort and get others to join us also. Consider giving a gift of membership in the League of Women Voters to one of your loved ones (male or female) this holiday season.

I wish you all a very happy holiday and a politically active new year!"   -- Marj Johnson


November Hot Topic - Clean Water

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.

Clean Water - Delaware's Clear Choice

Chris Klarich
Delaware Nature Society Clean Water Campaign Manager Chris Klarich

The topic for the HOT TOPIC LUNCH on Monday, November 27, 2017 was "Clean Water: Delaware's Clear Choice," with speakers Chris Klarich and Laura Miller of the Delaware Nature Society.

Since the Delaware Nature Society, along with its partners, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary and Center for the Inland Bays, launched the statewide "Clean Water: Delaware's Clear Choice" campaign in 2015, their Clean Water Alliance has grown to include dozens of Delaware companies and organizations.

Coralie Pryde
LWVNCC Environmental Co-Chair Coralie Pryde

Thanks to our environmental committee for arranging the talk, and Coralie Pryde for introducing the speakers.

Laura Miller
Delaware Nature Society Clean Water Outreach Specialist Laura Miller

Chris and Laura outlined the findings and recommendations of the Clean Water and Flood Abatement Task Force, which was established by the Delaware General Assembly in June 2015, co-chaired by Senator Bryan Townsend and Rep. Michael Mulrooney, and released its recommendations in April of this year. The recommendations include establishing a statewide per-business and per-household clean water fee, which would be implemented by draft legislation that has not yet been submitted. The task force report and draft legislation are available online at cleanwaterdelaware.org.

The Clean Water Alliance encourages all interested individuals to join the "Water Warriors" program, to volunteer for waterway cleanup activities and learn how to effectively engage with public officials about water quality issues.

Previous TED Discussions

Previous TED viewings (click the links to download the discussion handouts)...
TEDsters Kim, Lourena and Paul - spreading ideas

Photos of Past Events

Photos of past League events are available on Flickr.

Join Now

Join the League Now!

Affordable Care Open Enrollment - Nov/Dec 2017

Open enrollment for comprehensive health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is now open for Delawareans, and ends Dec 15. The state of Delaware offered in-person enrollment assistance on past November weekends in Wilmington, Dover, and Milford.

You can review plan options and enroll through December 15, 2017 at www.healthcare.gov

The League of Women Voters of Delaware provided volunteer door greeters at these events.
THANK YOU to our members who helped out with this effort!