September 2013 Meeting
Voter Service Activities
This summer the League participated in Community/National Night Out. Voter Registration has continued into September at Hinds Plaza, and McCaffrey’s in Princeton, and in West Windsor and Montgomery. A video of a forum among candidates for Princeton Council and of another among candidates for the Princeton Board of Education will be posted on the League website.
Please also watch our website for voters guides for Montgomery Township Committee and Board of Education, Plainsboro Township Committee, Princeton Council and Board of Education, West Windsor Mayor and Township Council, and West Windsor-Plainsboro Board of Education candidates' responses to League questions.
For years, Rita Ludlum has never made clear exactly when she joined the League --"sometime in the '60s and they immediately asked me to take over a position." But we all know that she has given time as president and voter service chair for as long as most of us now in the League can remember. When, at the LWVNJ Convention, it was noticed that Rita wasn't listed with the other 50-plus-year members, we took action. At our September meeting, Lee Forbes presented her with a certificate from LWVUS, honoring Rita's 50 years of dedication to the League. Thank you, Rita!
The membership committee consists of Frieda Gilvarg, Nettie Lowenstein, Rita Ludlum, and Beverly Kestenis. Suggestions for attracting, retaining, and introducing new members are as follows: assigning a mentor for each new member and sending an email to all League members to welcome the new members.
LWVNJ Fall Workshop Report
Lee Forbes reported on the LWVNJ Fall Workshop she attended Saturday, September 21 in Lakewood. The morning session began with updates by the LWVNJ advocacy team on issues the League has been advocating for or against. These included OPRA and OPMA (Open Public Records/Meetings) revisions; Opportunity Scholarship Act (school vouchers); Tuition Equality Act (in-state tuition for undocumented graduates of NJ high schools; Marriage Equality; as well as the two ballot questions about veterans' organizations' fundraising and minimum wage. Jim Walsh of Food and Water Watch also gave an update on the fracking issue, particularly on the problem of fracking waste in NJ. Movement on several of these issues is expected during the lame-duck session, so League members are encouraged to contact their legislators and/or attend sessions with the advocacy team on those issues they follow.
The keynote speaker, Debra Jacobs of the Ms Foundation for Women (also an LWV member), spoke about the women’s movement today, how collaboration among proponents of multiple causes is effective. Women’s issues include health, economy, the environment, and other areas, so progress is made by working on specific issues with other groups with which we share common goals.
The afternoon breakout workshops that Lee attended were on human trafficking and how to best use the "Hurricane Heroes" video from LWVNJ. The League has obtained all rights for six months. The group at the September LWV-Princeton meeting agreed to show the video at the fall Back to League meeting.
Human Trafficking Study
The Montclair League has put together materials on human trafficking. Our League has been asked to review these materials, vote, and return a consensus by November 22. A 35-minute PowerPoint presentation accompanies the materials. This issue will be placed on the agenda for the regularly scheduled League meeting in November.
Members will be asked to review the information online before the November meeting. Handouts will be available at the meeting. After the PowerPoint presentation, members will give their reactions. If someone cannot attend the meeting, comments should be submitted via email. Once the Leagues in New Jersey reach a consensus, they will work with other states (Texas, Pennsylvania, New York) to propose a program at the 2014 LWVUS convention in Dallas.
November Ballot Public Questions
Analyses of November New Jersey General Election Ballot Questions are now on the LWVNJ website and linked here:
Question 1: Constitutional Amendment to permit money from existing games of chance to support veterans' organizations
Question 2: Constitutional Amendment to set a state minimum wage with annual cost of living increases