April 2021 Meeting

April 2021 Meeting Report

In her last business meeting as Convener/Spokesperson, Sandy Smith welcomed Kathleen Moriarty, Jennifer Howard, Ellen Kemp, Sandy Shapiro, Chrystal Schivell, Jean Nitzberg, new member Rita Caldwell, and new student member Helen Zhu.

Voter Service

Many of us join the League to register voters, but informing them is also our mission. For that, Voter Service needs members with technical savvy to host virtual forums on Zoom. Even when the pandemic is over, virtual forums will remain attractive in that no venue must be reserved, no one has to travel, and few candidates can say they’re too busy. We also need members to staff VOTE411.org, our online Voters Guide. Please contact Chrystal Schivell to volunteer.

June Primary Election

The three Democratic candidates running for Assembly in Legislative District 16 will meet in a virtual forum co-sponsored by LWV of the Princeton Area, LWV of Somerset and Hunterdon Counties, and The Montgomery News on Thursday, May 6 at 7:30PM. Register at TheMontyNews.com to view the webinar live. Email your questions for the candidates to lwvprinceton@gmail by April 30. A recording of the forum will be posted at VOTE411.org and lwvprinceton.org and will be rebroadcast by Princeton Community TV. See lwvprinceton.org for up-to-date information and broadcast times.

A proposed forum for Republican candidates running for State Senate in Legislative District (LD) 16 had to be canceled; there are no other contested primary elections in LD 14, 15, 16 or Mercer County. Voter Service hopes to place on VOTE411.org the names of the primary candidates running in each municipality in the Princeton Area but will wait until fall to ask them questions.

Working the Polls

Board (poll) workers are needed for the Primary Election on June 8 and for the General Election, when early voting will require many more board workers. Students aged 16-17 may work half-days if their parents and school give permission. Shifts are 6:00AM-1:00PM and 1:00-8:15PM, with a 30-minute break and compensation of $100. Students aged 18 and adults registered to vote may work half-days 5:15 AM-1:00 PM and 1:00 PM-8:15 PM at $100 with no break or full days at $200 with an hour break. Contact your county board of elections for an application. Students should ask whether a special student application is required.

Annual Callathon

Kathleen reported that she had contacted members about annual giving to LWVNJ with some success. She was thanked for her efforts.

Updated Bylaws

Jennifer reported that the LWV-Princeton Area is now fully committed to ensure compliance—in principle and in practice—with LWVUS's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy. Members will vote on the updated bylaws at the annual meeting later this spring.

Rita Ludlum Award

Rita Ludlum’s contributions and details of the award were explained to new members. A link to the application is on the League’s website. The deadline to apply is April 30. Kathleen has publicized the award in the West Windsor-Plainsboro North High School’s booklet of awards and scholarships. She noted that the League might increase its visibility by attending a school’s awards night and making a brief speech while handing out the award.

Energizing Young Voters

Jennifer urged members to become aware of LWVNJ’s latest effort to engage students aged 18-29 by offering a menu of interactive, in-school or virtual lessons, delivered either by League-trained facilitators or the classroom teacher, that motivate and equip students and young adults to vote and take action. An advisory board of students in high school and college helps run the program. To learn more, visit https://energizingyoungvoters.com/

LWVNJ Convention

This year’s convention will be virtual, free, and open to the public and will offer workshops and panel discussions daily from Sunday, May 16 through Saturday, May 22, when delegates from local Leagues will vote on LWVNJ’s program, Board nominations, bylaws, and budget. LWV-Princeton Area is entitled to four delegates.

An email about convention was sent to members on April 14; another will follow with details and registration options. If you wish to be a delegate, please respond immediately to that email or to lwvprinceton@gmail.com since you will need to register as a delegate.

Local Leagues have been asked to submit two-minute videos about their activities during the past two years. Lilly Zullow, one of our student members, has agreed to compile the video.

LWVUS Case Study Method program at Harvard

The LWV of the Greater New Brunswick Area has invited us to join a virtual presentation about secession on May 25 by one of the teachers it sponsored to attend Harvard’s program. See lwvprinceton.org for details and how to register.

Help Wanted

Years ago, LWV-Princeton Area chose a Leadership Committee (LC) rather than a President, Vice President, etc. form of organization because responsibility would be shared. We on the LC would support each other and agree to take on only as much work as we were willing to handle. We may email often, but no one is pressured to do all the work and we have become friends and admirers of each other’s contributions. Only the treasurer has specific duties, which Ellen Kemp says are not onerous.

But with Sandy Smith joining the Lawrence League, where she lives, and Jennifer being nominated for the position of President of the LWVNJ (which will be voted on at convention), the LC will have just five members, the minimum under our bylaws. Both Ellen and Sandy Shapiro, our webmaster, were hoping to find replacements this year but have agreed to stay on into 2021-2022. Chrystal Schivell will remain, but melanoma is a threat. Clearly, help is wanted on the LC!

We have also lost all members of the Nominating Committee, a straightforward job of urging likely members to join the LC. Please consider volunteering to join the LC or the Nominating Committee. The positions and their description are on our website; scroll down under About the League to Bylaws and Leadership Committee. Our League needs you now.

Annual “Dinner” Meeting

The meeting will be virtual, as it was last year, on a date before June 30. Although we will miss enjoying a dinner together, we will cheer the winner of the Rita Ludlum Award and vote on the bylaws, LWV-Princeton Area positions, and Leadership Committee. Details will follow.