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League Newsletter June 2009




Volume 23, Issue 5                                                                                                                 June, 2009


77th Annual Meeting


The League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area

Tuesday June 16, 2009

12 Noon


Sunny Gardens: 15 Farber Road, Princeton


Featured Speaker: Ryan Stark Lilienthal

“Immigration Problems and What Can Be Done About Them”


   Mr. Lilienthal is a graduate of Tufts University and Brooklyn Law School and specializes in Immigration Business Law, Immigration Family Law, Visas and Citizenship. A former Princeton Borough Councilman, he is currently a member of the Borough Zoning Board. 

   An overview of the Immigration Position adopted by the National League of 

Women Voters at the 2008 convention is on page 2.



Buffet Lunch: $18 per person

Guests are welcome

Please send your check payable to LWV Princeton Area by June 9 to:

Ellen Kemp, 18 Inverness Drive

Kendall Park, NJ 08824



Please join us for a nice lunch, a thoughtful speaker, and good friends at the LWV annual meeting. You may also pay your dues at this meeting. The dues form for the 2009-10 year will be found in this issue along with the proposed Slate of Officers.



      The League of Women voters believes that immigration policies should promote reunification of immediate families, meet the economic, business and employment needs of the United States and be responsive to those facing political persecution or humanitarian crises. Provision should also be made for qualified persons to enter the U.S. on student visas. All persons should receive fair treatment under the law.

      The League supports federal immigration law that provides an efficient, expeditious system (with minimal or no backlogs) for legal entry of immigrants into the U.S. 

      To complement these goals the League supports federal policies to improve economies, education, job opportunities, and living conditions in nations with large emigrating populations.

      In transition to a reformed system, the League supports provisions for unauthorized immigrants already in the country to earn legal status.

      The League supports federal payments to impacted communities to address the financial costs borne by states and local governments with large immigrant populations.


Criteria for Legal Admission to the U.S.

·     Family reunification of spouses or minor children with authorized immigrants or citizens;

·     Flight from persecution or response to humanitarian crises in home countries;

·     Economic, business and employment needs in the U.S.;

·     Educational program opportunities; and

·     Lack of a history of serious criminal activity.


Administration and Enforcement

The League supports due process for all persons, including the right to a fair hearing, right to counsel, right of appeal and right to humane treatment.

      The League supports;

·     Improved technology to facilitate employer verification of employee status;

·     Verification documents, such as status cards and work permits, with secure identifiers;

·     Significant fines and penalties for employers who hire unauthorized workers;

·     Improved technology for sharing information among federal agencies;

·     More effective tracking of individuals who enter the United States; and

·     Increased personnel at borders.


      The League also supports programs allowing foreign workers to enter and leave the U.S. to meet seasonal or sporadic labor needs.


Unauthorized Immigrants Already in the U.S.

      In achieving overall policy goals, the League supports a system for unauthorized immigrants already in the country to earn legal statue, including citizenship, by paying taxes, learning English, studying civics and meeting other relevant criteria. While policy reforms, including a path to legal status, remain unachieved the League does not support deporting unauthorized immigrants who have no history of criminal activity.


      The position, written by LWVUS study committee and based on responses to consensus questionbecame effective upon approval by the LWVUS Board at its March 2008 meeting. 

      For further details and information refer to The National Voter” of June 2008



The League of Women Voters of New Jersey State Convention 2009


The State Convention was held on Saturday, May 2ndin New Brunswick, and was well attended by many different Leagues. Regular business that was attended to included the budget, reviewing the by-laws and any changes to them, as well as the reports from various League areas and the different committees. Voter Services was working extremely hard leading up to and during the Presidential election in 2008, registering voters and answering their questions, and answering phone calls non-stop on election day! Evidently, the phone number for the LWV was getting calls from other States – that’s how well publicized the number was! The Advocacy group also gave a report regarding several different key areas: education, fiscal policy, government, natural resources, social policy and administration of justice. Many of these key issues can be read on the state Web site at


The part I found to be most interesting were the caucuses that were held in the afternoon, where you could sit in a small group, or visit several different groups, and discuss various issues that individual Leagues found of interest and wanted to have studied. There was lively discussion during these caucuses, and then the issues were presented and the pros and cons were discussed. Some issues were voted in favor of having further study and review done, and others were not. However, the process was really quite educational.


The League does so many different things – educational as well as outreach. I hope that we can bring the value of the League to many more people and hopefully future members!

By Ruth Ann Mitchell








At our annual meeting in June, 2008 we adopted what was hopefully a temporary administrative organization plan, a Committee of the Whole, to make decisions and provide leadership. This arrangement (with the unfortunate acronym COW) continued through the 2008-09 year. We are glad to seek your approval of a return to President/Vice-president/Board organization and present the following slate of officers.


Slate of Officers -2009-2010


President                                  Ruth Ann Mitchell

Vice-president                         Rita Ludlum

Treasurer                                  Ellen Kemp

Membership Co-chairs          Frieda Gilvarg, Nancy Hall 

Voter Service                          Chrystal Schivell

Secretary                                 Open

Update Editor                          Beverly Kestenis

Archivist                                    Beverly Kestenis

Members without Portfolio     Frieda Gilvarg, Edith Neimark, Linda Sipprelle, Anne Zeman


Voter Services Annual Report

from Chrystal Schivell



Voter Registration

      In August, Joan Bharucha conducted voter registration training at the NJ Primary Care Association. She also registered voters at the West Windsor Farmers' Market throughout the summer and fall. Nineteen LWVPA members joined in the LWVNJ's statewide drive on October 20, registering over 60 voters in Princeton and Montgomery and handing out additional registration forms and absentee ballot applications. LWVPA also participated in the Princeton Public Library and Princeton Youth Project's “Rock the Vote.”


Candidates' Forums

      Anne Zeman hosted a Candidates' Night in South Brunswick, and Rita Ludlum organized a Meet and Greet in Montgomery.


Voters' Guides or CQR's

      An alternative to Candidates' Forums is a virtual forum in which candidates submit written responses to questions posed by the League. Responses are then distributed to voters for comparison.   Voter Services decided to adopt this format whenever it seems unlikely that a live debate will draw an audience. In October, we reached out first to Town Topicsand then to The Princeton Packetto publish our Candidate Questionnaire Responses or CQR's. The Packetaccepted our proposal with enthusiasm. Because LWVPA encompasses the same area as is served by The Packet, the collaboration has been fruitful. 

      In November, Candidate Questionnaire Responses were published for the Princeton Borough Council and Montgomery Township Committee contests. This spring, LWVPA covered the school board races in Princeton, West Windsor-Plainsboro, and Montgomery, as well as the contests for council and mayor of West Windsor. LWVPA's name has been featured prominently in each CQR issue of The Packet, and last fall The Packetdid an editorial about us. CQR's appear online at The PacketWeb site, and Sandy Shapiro has placed them on LWVPA's site as well. Voters who seek information about candidates thus have several ways to find it.

      Last fall Voter Services asked members to identify issues in their communities and formulate questions for candidates on those issues. Sheila Berkelhammer, Rita Ludlum, Sandy Shapiro, Jennifer Howard, and Joan Bharucha answered the call. Members of the Committee of the Whole advised Voters Services before collaboration with The Packeton the final choice. 





LWVNJ Receives the 2008 Rutgers Award for Public Service


  The League of Women Voters of New Jersey was awarded with the 2008 Rutgers Award for Public Service to New Jersey. The League was granted the award through a unanimous vote on behalf of Rutgers, the State University of NJ. The League is the first organization to receive the annual award, usually reserved for individuals. The award honors those that perform a vital public service to the residents of New Jersey. The LWVNJ aids New Jersey communities through their advocacy efforts supporting campaign finance reform, fiscal responsibility, and an open , transparent government. Thousands of New Jerseyans utilize the League’s voter information hotline, 1-800-792-VOTE and Web site

League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area


Preliminary Treasurer’s Report

7/1/2008 – 5/14/2009































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Annual Meeting



















































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Citizen's Handbook






Candidates' Night






Voters Service












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“A diplomat never betrays fatigue, boredom, or disgust”

      At April’s very well-attended brown bag lunch, our League’s own Linda Sipprelle gave an insightful talk about her experiences in the Diplomatic Services. Her career took her from Rome where she helped coordinate the visit of President Bush to postings in Vienna, and Mexico City. 

      How is the Diplomatic Service organized? Linda explained its five cones. The Political advocates

 policy, is the right hand man of the minister, and handles complaints to the government. The Economic deals with exports and investment.  A Consular officer handles tourist appeals and issues visas. Public diplomacy influences the opinion of the host country, handles speakers’ forums and cultural and educational exchanges. The Administration handles all personnel matters and real estate management. 

      How does one enter this satisfying and challenging career?   You must be a US citizen between the ages of 21 and 60. An exam is necessary in one of the five cones of the diplomatic service. After the written exam, an oral exam is given, where you might meet with three to five officers and be given a problem needing leadership and organizational skills to solve. A security clearance is necessary which is a lengthy process involving associates from your past. A physical exam is given both to you and your family. 

      While a formal course in diplomatic studies may be helpful it is not a guarantee of success.  Linda 

suggested that one interested in the diplomatic corps read widely on current events and history. Our League is composed of many accomplished people and we were (honored) to hear from one of them.

Beverly Kestenis





Saying Goodbye to Two Friends


Barbara Schwarzschild

Rosalie Markowitz

      Most of us older members knew these great members and probably know of their passing. As membership chair, on and off, for forty years or so I want to acknowledge their contribution to the Princeton LWV.   


      Barbara Schwarzschildwas our president from 1960-62, working hard on all aspects of LWV but her especial contribution was supervising our transition from a Princeton League to an area League to include: West Windsor, East Windsor and Montgomery municipalities. Despite engineering this she had time for her hobby birding, all over the world. She took fantastic pictures which she showed along with playing recordings of bird songs to area schools. She has lived at Pennswood Village in Newtown, Pennsylvania for many years. (Martha Stohlman, Barbara’s good friend at Pennswood. Also a former Princeton Leaguer) was kind enough to give us this information.


      Rosalie Markowitz helped in so many capacities: voter registration, finding meeting places, suggesting possibilities for membership etc. Rosalie was willing to fill in at the last minute cheerfully and her optimism was catching.


      We will miss them. 

Frieda Gilvarg


2009 -2010 Membership Renewal


Please renew your dues now (July 2009– June 2010)

Return this form with your check, made payable to the 

LWV of the Princeton Areato:

Ellen Kemp, 18 Inverness Drive, Kendall Park, NJ, 08824


Dues: $50 – Individual  $75 – Household  $22 – Student




Annual dues include local, state, and national League membership and mailings. 

(Distribution of your dues: LWV-U.S. $28; LWV-N.J. $23; LWV-Princeton Area deficit $1)

Please consider adding a contribution to your dues to make up the deficit and help promote local programs.







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Membership dues and contributions to the League of Women Voters are not deductible as a personal or business expense for tax purposes.

Should you like to make a tax-deductible contribution (this cannot include dues, however), please enclose a check made payable to The League of Women Voters Education Fund.Such contributions will be used strictly for educational purposes.