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League Newsletter September 2010




Volume 25, Issue 1                                                                                                         September, 2010


Back to League Night

The League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

7 PM


Location:  Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton

Corner of Cherry Hill Road and Route 206 in Princeton Township


Jesse Burns, Director of Communications and Projects for the New Jersey League, will be presenting to our League on the topics, issues, and studies that were discussed and decided upon at the 2010 National League Convention in Atlanta. Jesse spoke at the National Convention on the topic of social media and was very well received. We look forward to an informative evening about National, State, and local League activities for the coming year.


Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP by Friday, September 24thto Frieda Gilvarg at 609-924-7018 or


We look forward to seeing you!





September – Voter Registration Month

September 11 and 12- Statewide Voter Registration Weekend


September 25- Fall Workshops at PSEG Training Center, Edison

“Gaining Ground: Women in Politics” – Ingrid Reed 


September 29– Back to League Night


October 12– Last day to register or change voting address for general elections


October 26– Deadline for mailed application for a vote by mail ballot to the County Clerk


November 1– 3PM deadline for applying for a vote by mail ballot in person at the County Clerk’s office


November 2– General Election Day (Polls open 6AM to 8PM)

From the President’s Desk


Our Princeton Area League has many events upcoming, and we hope you’ll join us for them! Our Back to League Night kicks off our year on Wednesday, September 29th, (more information in this issue), but if you want to be involved before then, we have many voter registration dates scheduled, and would love to have people join us. Chrystal Schivell has worked hard on searching out great locations, and schedules more than one person for each shift. What a great way to get to know fellow League members!


Women’s Equality Day events in August were well attended (see articles in this newsletter) and a great way to raise awareness about the League. 


As we start our new League year, one of our “to do” items is to go green with our newsletter – we’d like to start e-mailing it to everyone. So, with the membership dues letter that you’ll be receiving shortly via regular mail, we are asking for an e-mail address where we can send our upcoming newsletters. This will not only save trees, it will also be a much more timely way to communicate with our members. Bulk mail from the Postal Service is taking much longer than in the past, and unfortunately some members have received our newsletter after some events that were listed in it had taken place! The newsletters will also be posted on our Web site, which we will soon revamp, with the dedicated ongoing work from Sandy Shapiro. 


In the meantime, we will continue to you send postcards about our upcoming events.


I look forward to an active and informative upcoming year, and hope you do to. 

Come out & Join us!

Ruth Ann Mitchell




Women’s Equality Day with the Princeton YWCA

By Ruth Ann Mitchell


The Princeton Area League was invited to join with the Princeton YWCA to celebrate Women’s Equality Day on Thursday, August 26th. Debra Raines, Director of Mission Advancement for the YWCA, kindly asked us to participate. Our League had a presence for the evening with a table with information about our League, with Chrystal Schivell answering ques-tions, as well as voter registration materials, citizens’ guides, and general voter information. The movie Iron Jawed Angelswas shown after a period of socializing and networking. The bulletin boards in the hallway outside the all purpose room have wonderful displays about the road to the vote, and I urge everyone to stop in and take a look. Our League looks forward to further joint events with the YWCA, and we thank both Debra and Judy Hutton, CEO of the Princeton YWCA, for a wonderful event. 


Alice Paul Institute Celebrates Women’s Equality Day


Mary Walton, author of

A Woman’s Crusade,

at the Alice Paul Institute


On Sunday, August 22nd, the Alice Paul Institute celebrated Women’s Equality Day at Paulsdale, Alice Paul’s childhood home. The highlight of the day was the talk given by Mary Walton, the author of A Woman’s Crusade, Alice Paul and the Battle for the Ballot. This is the first biography ever published about Alice Paul, and a book does seem to be long overdue. Mary Walton’s research was extensive, her talk was inspiring, and the mood of the day was very uplifting. Several elected officials attended the event, and the event was well attended with approximately 200 people there to celebrate the day.


Please visit www.alicepaul.orgfor more information and upcoming events at the Alice Paul Institute and www.marywaltonwriter.comfor more information about the author of Alice Paul’s biography.




Voter Services Report from Chrystal Schivell


Voter Registration


Voter registration drives are not only a traditional League service but also an opportunity to remind the community of the League's presence. I have planned several drives in Princeton. If you would like to organize a drive in your community, please do so. I have all the materials you need but cannot single-handedly plan drives for each municipality in the “Princeton Area” encompassed by our League. The following drives are planned. Please sign up by emailing chrystal.schivell@verizon.netor calling me at 924-5238.


Saturday, September 11

LWVNJ Statewide Registration Day coincides with Jazz Feast and the Children's Book Festival. We will have a table in the lobby of the library from 10:30 until 4:30 and another at Tiger Park from 11:00 to 5:00. Many volunteers are needed if we are to staff both sites.


Thursday, September 23 and 30

Princeton Farmers' Market in Hinds Plaza from 10:30 to 4:00. One or two volunteers needed.


Saturday, October 2

McCaffrey's in Princeton from 9:00 to 4:00. I have chosen this date because McCaffrey's is hosting a food-tasting festival that should attract more than the usual shoppers. Eight volunteers needed.


Other drives

Joan Bharucha will again register voters at the West Windsor Farmers' Market - at their request.


Edith Neimark is registering at Windrows and Buckingham Place.


Rita Ludlum will again register at Stonebridge and the Montgomery Farmers' Market.


If you wish to help with any of the above drives, please contact the person in charge.


Information about Candidates

The League will continue its collaboration with The Princeton Packetto publish Candidate Questionnaire Responses (also called Voters' Guides) for contested elections. The responses will appear both in The Packetand on The Packet'sand League's Web sites. This fall, there are contested elections in Princeton Borough and Township, Montgomery, and Plainsboro. 

PLEASE send me suggestions for questions about issues in your municipality. I had hoped for a bank of questions by September but still have nothing. AND PLEASE let people know where to find the League's information about candidates. 


Anne Zeman is again hosting a candidates debate in South Brunswick.


If you would like to take charge of hosting a debate in your community, let me know.  Thank you.





Early in the decade of the ‘30’s the League had a candidate information booth on Nassau Street. Later the League’s newsletter included candidate profiles. In November 1939 the ballot included candidates for the Democratic, Republican, Socialist, National Prohibition, and Old Age parties. Mrs. H.W. Baldwin-Smith, wife of a Princeton professor, inaugurated a special bulletin of candidate information to be distributed to the public. In 1940, 4000 of these information sheets were printed, hand addressed by members and mailed. This was the beginning of League of Women candidate information sheets.


From the October 1978 Bulletin:

“A few Anecdotes from the Past”

Elizabeth Fine (co-chairman of our consolidation Committee in 1952-53) tells of one day that Bettie Schrader was making a speech about the benefits consolidation would bring to Princeton. Suddenly a man in the rear commented that the League was a dishonest organization, as the report they were distributing was so well written it could not have been written by a woman. Who had written the report? Bettie herself, naturally.


Ginny Lockwood is most entertaining when she tells of how “we were always hectographing until late at night.” What in the world is “hectographing”? It was a large tray with gelatin in it. You typed on a special sheet of paper, then squashed it into the gelatin to make copies. This was the precursor of the mimeograph and widely used by teachers.






On June 8, 2010 the 78thannual meeting was held at Windrows. The following is a summary of the annual business meeting.


Review of 2009-2010-“Back to the League Night” in September featured as speaker, David Redlawsk. The December meeting was an author’s night. In April a general meeting was held with the speaker, Rosemary Forsburg. Although no meeting was planned for the topic of the prison population and prisoners return to society, it is an idea that will be revisited.


Future Ideas -The membership directory needs to be updated. Members should include their e-mails in dues renewal. Also, what more can we do to involve members who live in Montgomery? Ruth Ann urged members to call anyone on the Board with their ideas and suggestions for future activities. We are looking for Input. Input is also needed for the newsletter, the Update. The suggestion that we use an e-mail or PDF approach instead of mailing was discussed. Again, members were encouraged to provide their correct e-mail addresses.


Treasurer’s Report was given and copies provided for members. Questions were asked about raising dues, about our contributions to State and National, and about donations to the local League. A motion was made and seconded to accept the report.


Voters Services Report- year in review- Volunteers worked at registration tables bringing in fewer than 50 new voters. Joan Bharucha did four sessions of voter registration at the West Windsor Farmers’ Market. A candidates’ night was held in South Brunswick. Questions for candidates were prepared and their responses published in the Packet.  Members were urged to submit questions next September to Chrystal for candidates in Princeton, Plainsboro, and South Brunswick.


Proposed Local League Programs-Rita Ludlum distributed a detailed summary of the local League’s positions and read them in detail. Areas include: Civic Education, Housing & the Environment, and Consolidation. A motion was made and seconded that we continue with this plan. Rita suggested partnering with other organizations as the best way to approach questions. Our link with them will allow larger presentations.


Membership- Frieda Gilvarg reported membership at 119 and asked for more help in expanding membership A target group could be the recently retired and possibly college students. A member suggested contacting old members who have not renewed. “You don’t have to be Active, just be Supportive.” The possibility of Friends of the League who are not members was briefly discussed. Frieda also emphasized that good programs drives membership.


Web site-Sandy Shapiro, our website manager, suggested that we consider a designated URL instead of the present Princeton Online address, which can be cumbersome. The Board will consider this.


Slate of officers-Since the present Board is in the second year of a two year term, it was not necessary to approve a.  However, Ruth Ann called for nominations from the floor to fill the vacant position of Secretary. None were made at this time. Members were asked to think about volunteering for this position.





Dear League Members,


The League would like to save on postage and copying costs of the Updateas well as providing information quicker. We hope to improve our communications and to use our funds wisely by sending the Updateto you via e-mail beginning in September 2010.


Please check that your current e-mail address listed in the Directory is correct. If there have been any changes, please contact Ellen Kemp at


If you prefer to receive our newsletter via USPS, please contact Beverly Kestenis at 609 924-9703 or




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