What's Coming Up and Announcements
"The League of Women Voters is experiencing a surge of new blood, new resources, and new energy. But it is the League's 'old' values that are attracting new members. Values like nonpartisanship and integrity, civility, and a refusal to be bullied."It seems that the League of Women Voters is cool again... who knew?
"Over the past three years, the League, which had 'unashamedly been the League of your grandmother,' has been on a transformative journey, said Celina Stewart, LWV's new director of advocacy and litigation."
Since the 2016 Presidential election, "the League's membership is up 20 percent. The group is drawing new members, whose diversity has spanned age, race, and sexual orientation, Stewart said. The League now has 400,000 members and supporters in more than 700 communities in every state. New Leagues 'are popping up all over'..."
The open houses will be held from 5-8 p.m. on these three dates:
Refer to the attachment for full details: DNREC seeking public input
If you attend one of these meetings, please send your observations, comments and questions to Coralie Pryde. These proposed regulations cover a lot of ground and most of us are unlikely to knowledgeable about every issue... we can, at least, alert each other if we spot anything that raises questions.
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
The misuse of opioids has had an impact on just about everyone's lives whether directly through the death of a loved one or indirectly in extra steps for a legitimate prescription. This past year was the deadliest for suspected drug overdoses. August 2018 was the deadliest month with thirty-nine deaths in Delaware.
Both the federal and state legislature passed laws in 2018 to providing funding and resources directed to reducing the devastation. The TED Talk this month; "In the Opioid Crisis, Here's What It Takes To Save A Life", gives an example from the community of Huntington, West Virginia. Presenter, Jan Rader, gives a hopeful talk that: "shows what it's like on the front lines of this crisis -- and how her community is taking an unusual new approach to treating substance-abuse disorder that starts with listening."
A firefighter and a nurse, Ms. Rader describes the solutions that this community took not only to address the persons caught in the throes of substance use disorder but also to provide support for the people called upon to aid them.
In August 1994, Ms. Rader joined the Huntington, West Virginia Fire Department reaching the rank of chief for a career department in the State of West Virginia. She then went on to receive degrees in nursing. At present she is a serving member of the Mayor's Office of Drug Control Policy which is focused on drug addiction in Huntington and the surrounding communities and creates a holistic approach involving prevention, treatment and law enforcement. Ms. Radar came to national distinction after the release of the short documentary Heroin(e) by Netflix in September 2017. She was recognized in April 2018, as one of TIME Magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World."
Join us to discuss the potential for our communities for brand new approaches to life saving.
Co-hosted by the Coalition to Dismantle the New Jim Crow, Network Delaware, Newark Branch NAACP, the Unitarian Universalist Delaware Advocacy Network (UUDAN), and League of Women Voters of New Castle County.
Presenter: Dr. Daniel Rich is University Professor of Public Policy at the University of Delaware and Director of the University's Community Engagement Initiative. He also serves as Policy Director for the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission.
Education is often mentioned as a pathway out of poverty. However, the achievement
gap is growing in Delaware. This presentation helps us understand our current
needs, but focuses on resources and solutions to bridge that gap. Dr. Rich of the
University of Delaware challenges us to learn from past failures, respond to present
conditions, and plan for the success of Delaware public school students. His
illustrated presentation will inform and challenge professional educators and the
general public on how our system of education can better serve students.
On Monday February 25, 2019, county councilperson Dee Durham will speak on the topic "Plastic Pollution! Zero Waste! In Delaware and Beyond?" Dee will explore the initiatives of Plastic Free Delaware which seeks to reduce plastic pollution through education, outreach and policy implementation.
Dee Durham lives with her family in her childhood home in Rockland, Delaware adjacent to Brandywine Creek State Park where her passion for conservation was instilled exploring the woods and streams of the park as a child.
Dee served as the Executive Director of Preservation Delaware from 1995-2002, and then became Executive Director of S.A.V.E., a land use, conservation planning and smart transportation advocacy organization based in Chester County, Pennsylvania. She was honored with the Chairman's Award from Preservation Pennsylvania in 2012 and in 2018 with the Volunteer of the Year Award from Governor John Carney for her work on plastic pollution.
Dee co-founded and continues to lead Plastic Free Delaware which seeks to address the blight of single use plastic and move Delaware toward the goal of Zero Waste.
$15.00 paid at time of the event covers the buffet luncheon, soft beverage and tip. Please pay in cash if at all possible. RSVP to our Office Manager by Sunday, January 24, so we can let the restaurant know how many to expect. If you need a ride, indicate that on your RSVP. See you at Michaels on the 25th!
In case you missed us at Michaels that day, the videotape is provided below. Kathleen first set the stage by laying out the causes of the situation we are in, followed by a discussion of what ACLU wants to do about it (the Campaign for Smart Justice... starting about 40 minutes in).
The full video is one hour and 8 minutes long. Minute markers are provided below for your convenience:
02:00 - The U.S. is the world's largest jailor
02:45 - Delaware imprisons at a higher rate than average
03:25 - How did we get here?
08:30 - Mass incarceration drivers in Delaware
15:50 - The power of the prosecutor
21:25 - Systemic racial bias in Delaware's criminal justice system
25:00 - The Human Impact
29:30 - (power cut out / Q&A)
38:45 - Injustice reaches beyond those convicted
40:45 - Delaware's Campaign for Smart Justice
44:15 - Prosecutorial reform
49:50 - Prison programs, parole & probation
1:01:30 - Re-entry programming
1:02:45 - Challenge fines & fees
1:05:10 - Smart Justice Tactics
Questions & answers are also sprinkled liberally throughout the presentation; Leaguers are a curious bunch! Many thanks to Kathleen for putting up with us, and for a thoroughly knowledgeable presentation.
Kathleen has a Master's degree in social work from Rhode Island College with concentrations in policy analysis, community organizing and social service administration and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Rhode Island. She is a member of the board of directors of Equality Delaware, Inc.
Additional related resources recommended by our January TEDsters include the following:
• How Studying Privilege Systems Can Strengthen Compassion (Peggy McIntosh, TEDx Timberlane Schools, Nov 2012)
• Tricia Rose - Pain, Passion, and Possibility: Learning from Difficult Subjects (Tricia Rose, Ph.D., Connecting for Change, July 2014)
• Color Blind or Color Brave? (Mellody Hobson, TED2014)
• White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son, by Tim Wise, Soft Skull Press, 2007
• Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race, by Debby Irving, Elephant Room Press, 2014
• Small Great Things, by Jodi Piccoult, Ballantine Books, 2016
• YWCA Delaware's Racial & Social Justice program
• Delaware Coalition to Dismantle the New Jim Crow
Carole Walsh, League member, will moderate. League and AAUW Newark members will staff the event. The evening will be video recorded and posted, in its entirety, for later viewing on the League website.
In compliance with federal regulations for nonpartisan forums, at least two candidates for the same office must be present in order for a candidate to participate in the formal program; no stand-ins are allowed.
We will not know who all the candidates are until after the February 4, 2019, filing deadline.
The Newark city election is Tuesday, April 9, 2019.
The League is partnering with AAUW Newark, and the Newark Senior Center. All sponsoring organizations are nonpartisan and do not support or oppose any political candidate or party.
Volunteers are needed to meet, greet, and collect audience questions. Please contact Candidate Forum co-chairs Carole Walsh or Judy Taggart if you would like to assist that evening.
Newark Candidate's Night
LWVNCC is sponsoring a candidate's night for the Newark mayoral race and city council districts on the evening of March 19, 2019, at the Newark Senior Center on Whitechapel Drive. We need volunteers to meet, greet, and collect audience questions. Please let Carole Walsh or Judy Taggart know if you can assist that evening.
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 February 2019 is included below...
"As I write this we are entering into a deep freeze like we've never experienced before. When I went out this morning, I had to tug and tug to get my frozen car door open! And now the wind is howling around my house.
Despite the long, cold, dark days of January, your League has been busy at work. The Election Committee that the Advocacy Corps put together (chaired by Jill Itzkowitz and Catriona Binder-MacLeod from the NCC League) has been meeting regularly as a group in Smyrna and individually with several senators and representatives, and we are hopeful that several election reform bills will be passed this session. We wrote an op-ed in the News Journal to encourage people to run for school board positions in New Castle County and will continue to provide the public with school board election information and the Vote411.org site regarding the candidates.
Last, but certainly not least, several of us were in Dover for the passage of the ERA in Delaware--a LONG time coming. Delaware was among the states that ratified the national constitutional amendment back in the 70s, but since there weren't enough states to ratify it, it is STILL not included in the US constitution. FINALLY, almost 50 years later, Delaware is officially putting it in our state constitution that "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged on account of the sex of the person". Many thanks to Rep. Valerie Longhurst and Sen. Stephanie Hansen for their persistent effort in getting this passed.
Take heart from that example and never give up on the causes that affect our democracy, justice and inclusion."
-- Marj Johnson