Sandy Smith, in her last meeting as a member of the Princeton Area League and as its Convener/Spokesperson, welcomed eleven members and two guests to our second virtual Annual Meeting.
Presentation of the Rita Ludlum Award to Ana Stucker
Kathleen Moriarty, our new Convener/Spokesperson, noted that Carol Collier, Rita’s daughter, could not join us this year to present the award, but Kathleen recounted Carol’s memories of how important the League had been to Rita. Kathleen enumerated Ana’s contributions as our intern last summer. Ana had created entries in VOTE411 for the races in six counties that lack a local League. Her job entailed contacting county clerks for emails, inviting over 50 candidates to participate, sending them reminders, and publishing their responses. Ana also helped League members who are not computer-savvy with inputting data on VOTE411. To virtual applause, Ana opened the certificate and check for $300 on screen and promised to continue promoting the League’s values.
LWVPA has 53 members, 12 of whom are new. Sandy read their names.
Sandy praised the League's success in informing voters during the pandemic through VOTE411, forums, and virtual voter education programs. She thanked Karen Sladek, Jean Nitzberg, Chrystal Schivell, Ellen Kemp, and Jennifer Howard for their efforts. Sandy herself said that she had never spoken to so many audiences. She showed slides of Jeanne Turner’s and Cindy Gordon’s outreach to food banks and high school students, LWVPA’s collaboration with Princeton TV and the Princeton Public Library on National Voter Registration Day, and Lillian Zullow’s presentation on WPST radio. Sandy thanked them too and noted that all Leagues had met with county clerks to see how Leagues could help—Ellen with Middlesex, Sandy with Mercer.
Sandy thanked Kathleen for raising $174 through Callathon this year.
Sandy noted that many members, some of whom we are unaware, are involved in advocating League positions. She urged members to join the statewide committees. Jean Nitzberg volunteered to promote the For the People Act, utilizing materials sent from LWVUS. Jennifer noted that LWVUS and state Leagues are suing states that have enacted new, strict, voter-suppression laws, and that LWVNJ is supporting bills to enact same-day registration and Better Ballots.
LWVNJ Convention May 2021
Sandy congratulated Jennifer Howard on her election as president of LWVNJ. We were then treated to a videotaped message, shown at Convention, from LWVUS President, Dr. Deborah Turner. Dr. Turner highlighted the League's work during the pandemic, urged young and old members to work together to increase diversity, and stressed that the League will continue to work to empower voters and defend democracy.
In asides, Sandy recommended visiting the exhibit about suffrage at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Jennifer noted that The National Votes for Women Trail is placing markers in each state to celebrate where women made history.
A quorum unanimously approved the Princeton League positions, budget, Nominating Committee, Leadership Committee, and changes to the by-laws.
Plans for Next Year are forthcoming, but members are reminded to pay their dues by June 30, 2021. We are still looking for a treasurer and webmistress and anyone wishing to join the Leadership Committee in any of its roles.
The meeting ended with Chrystal’s reading of a tribute to Sandy Smith for her ten years of service, with thanks to Lee Forbes, who so often worked with Sandy, and with fond remembrances of Joan Bharucha, who died on May 24, 2021.