January 2021 Meeting
Jennifer Howard welcomed everyone to 2021. Attendees at the Zoom meeting included Ellen Kemp, Sandy Shapiro, Ingrid Reed, Kathleen Moriarty, Madeleine and Lillian Zullow, Carol Goodhart, Nadine Maleski, Elizabeth Bates, Carin Lin, Sandy Smith, and Chrystal Schivell.
Kathleen Moriarty recently joined the Leadership Committee (LC) as Membership and Youth Outreach Coordinator. Her daughter Lillian has started a League of Women Voters Club at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North. Lillian explained that about ten girls meet weekly to discuss current events. Recently they’ve been discussing the January 6 invasion of the Capitol and the 25th Amendment. When a question about government comes up, they research the answer. Before the pandemic, they held voter registrations at the high school. Now they meet virtually and maintain a website and an Instagram page.
Lillian and Kathleen hope to expand LWVs Clubs to other high schools, such as WW-PHS South and to Cranbury students. Jennifer will connect them with the East Windsor-Hightstown League and with Southern Monmouth County League member Peggy Dellinger, who is implementing a high school program based on a California pilot project. Kathleen also hopes to invite adults with special needs to join the League. We welcome Kathleen to the Leadership Committee.
We are all very grateful to Ingrid Reed for sorting Rita Ludlum’s and Frieda Gilvarg’s many boxes of League history. Ingrid reports that the Princeton Historical Society welcomed the material. Lee Forbes is taking care of the items pertaining to Montgomery, and Jennifer has received the West Windsor documents and will scan them for our use and then contact the Historical Society of West Windsor.
Ingrid suggested that it might be worthwhile to revive, perhaps in an updated format, the League’s old “Know Your Town” booklets. Examples might include descriptions of what various members of municipal departments do, followed by interviews with the persons holding the jobs. With more people working at home, there seems to be more interest in local politics. A League effort to educate residents about their local offices could be valuable. Previous “Know Your Town” booklets are among the archives.
Please note: If you have any pictures of LWV-Princeton events from years past please send them to LWV-NJ. The Board member who did the video for the State 100th anniversary gala wants to maintain a digital archive of photos.
WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2021
February 24 - PCH Virtual Gala. Toshi Abe, Princeton Area’s representative on the Princeton Community Housing Community Board, sent a reminder that the PCH will be having a virtual gala on February 24th from 7-8 PM. This year’s keynote speaker is Professor Eddie Glaude Jr., Chair, African American Studies, Princeton University. He will be speaking about his latest book, Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own. LWV-Princeton Area supports PCH, and members are invited to attend.
NJ Elections: Special, April 20; Primary, June 8; General, November 2
LWV of the Princeton Area Annual Meeting – date to be decided
LWV-NJ State Convention – May
Every two years, Leagues across New Jersey review “Study and Action," which contains LWVNJ’s statements of position, position history, and positions dropped. Rather than reading the entire document, LWV-Princeton Areadiscussed at the meeting “Positions in Brief,” the summary of “Study and Action.” Jennifer attached both documents to the invitation to the meeting. In “Positions in Brief” she highlighted updates in red in which League positions have been enacted into law within the past two years. Attendees gave consent to delete these positions. They also agreed that the section on Transportation should be updated.
There are nine areas in which LWVNJ has positions: Administration of Justice, Education, Fiscal Policy, Government, Natural Resources, Social Policy, Transportation, and Women and Family Issues. Subcommittees of League members from across the state keep track of legislation pertaining to positions in these areas and advocate for them. If any local League member wishes to work on these subcommittees, please contact Jesse Burns, who will forward your name to the committee chairs. If anyone wants to suggest a position to be studied and voted on at Convention, please notify Jennifer within a week.
The meeting ended with an informal discussion of the events of January 6 and a sense that the League has an important role to play in educating voters not only about their candidates but about government as well.