Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Tell the FEC to stop the coordinated spending that is poisoning our elections!

From the LWV President, Elizabeth McNamara

Dear League Of Women Voters-Teaneck member,
We’re just one week away from our deadline to submit comments to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) regarding how "to address corruption in the political process." So far, League supporters have generated over 12,000 comments to the FEC in support of stricter disclosure regulations and narrowing the definition of coordination between candidates and outside groups. 

But we need your help though to get us to our comment goal. Tell the FEC to stop the coordinated spending that is poisoning our elections!

The 2014 election was the most expensive mid-term election in our history. Super PACs raised and spent more than $600 million dollars in 2014 to elect candidates who will do their bidding and defeat those who might resist. They were able to do so because they are supposedly "independent" from the candidates, but in reality, there are many ways to coordinate that are not blocked by the FEC's weak regulations. In addition, millions of dollars of secret money from dark money groups poured into the political system seeking to buy our elected officials and distort our elections.

The FEC can do something to stop the secret money and end the coordination between Super PACs and candidates. Tell the FEC to shine a light on secret money and stop coordinated expenditures by outside groups.

As the federal agency in charge of our nation’s campaign finance laws, the FEC has the authority, under existing law, to set disclosure rules and rigorously define “coordination,” but thus far they have refused to do so. The FEC is now receiving public comment about steps they should take “to address corruption in the political process.” We need you to tell the FEC to act and enforce the law.

The American voter has a right to know who is funding political campaigns. And the American public has a right to have the law against unlimited coordinated expenditures strictly enforced. We must work to maintain the integrity of our Democracy by ensuring our elected official will be responsive to voters and not to the big money and the secret money from special interests. The stakes are too high, and the League will not stand by and let our political system be corrupted.  

Elisabeth MacNamara
Elisabeth MacNamara
President, League of Women Voters

Friday, December 26, 2014

January 1 2015:Beginning the LWV Teaneck Year with Review

LWVT CALENDAR  January 2015 

Thursday, January 15 
          Membership Program Planning-
          State and Local 2015-2017 

Monday, January 19 
          Martin Luther King Day 

Saturday, February 14 
          95th Anniversary of LWV’s founding

JANUARY 15, Thursday, Jan. 15, 7:30 PM

All members are called to join in this opportunity to help determine the issues and positions LWVNJ and our Teaneck League will support in 2015–2017.

LWVNJ issues/positions under consideration:
Women and Family
Social Policy
Fiscal Policy 
Natural Resources
Administration of Justice
The LWV NJ Program Planning Forms and Guide (League of Women Voters of New Jersey Study and Action 2013-2015) are included with this newsletter mailing.  

Where Should Your Teaneck League Focus Its Energies Locally?
Township of Teaneck budgetary process?
Community Relations?
Your other ideas?        
Please contact Arlene Gartenberg at 201-837-9559 if you have questions or want additional information.---Arlene Gartenberg. Vice President, Program 

Women’s History Meeting 

Please bring your calendars to the Program Planning Meeting on January 15. Although we have a place for a discussion event (Janet Austin’s), we need to set the date. This year, we are looking at past League goals that were met and goals that still need work. Do we need to pay attention to equal rights practices contended decades ago? 

Two examples of work to be done are parity in wages and equal access to voting. The Equal Pay Act was signed in 1963; women earned 59% of what men earned. Now the gender pay gap is 77 cents to the dollar; the disparity is very much present. 
The Voting Rights Act (VRA) was passed in 1965. Photo ID and other practices have led to  a retooling of the VRA so all have equal access to the vote. Other issues emerged, such as Affordable Health Care (AHC). 

Look at the pictures in the LWVT History ( Although it looks like we were having fun-- and we were--many serious issues were the focus of the meetings. See what is part of our record and what is missing. We may wish to reprioritize---or  rewrite the history.

---Janet Austin & Pat Libutti, Women’s History 

LWVT Sponsored Wadjda at  TIFF 2014 

On Saturday, November 8th, our League sponsored one of the films shown at the 2014 Teaneck International Film Festival (TIFF), which celebrated the work of women actors, directors and writers whose work focused on women’s' issues around the world. 

Wadjda was the acclaimed work of Saudi Arabia's first woman film director, and tells the story of a determined young girl (Wadjda) whose heart's desire was to earn enough money to buy herself a green bicycle, even though her culture doesn't allow females to ride bikes. 

The screening at Teaneck Cinemas on Saturday morning was well attended with over 100 audience members who also heard from Barbara Ostroth about the League's ongoing activities in the Teaneck community.  

Afterwards, the LWV hosted a Q&A session with Ellen Rand and FDU Professor Riad Nasser, Director of Middle East Studies & Globalization and Society Minors, who led discussion about the film as well as women's issues in the Middle East, generally. ---Barbara Ostroth, Voter Services

A Note on Consensus Progress:Charters

The local leagues’ consensus results are in to the LWVNJ Education Committee, who are tabulating and then preparing a “first pass” on a position paper. The next step will be to submit it to the LWVNJ Board. The position statement is then taken before the membership for approval and adoption.
---Pat Libutti, LWVNJ Education Committee

Letter: Progress on Immigration

This letter was published on Dec. 19 in The Record with this banner. 
Thank you for highlighting and putting a face to the immigration issue.  Your  articles showed the need for compassion in this struggle.   It is shocking that anyone would not see the importance of keeping families together.  The idea that Mr. Lopez was kept in detention without enabling him to clear his record is  counterproductive.  Rather than allowing him to be with and  help support his family  while awaiting  resolution,  the authorities  put him  in a detention center for a year,  at the government's/our  expense.  

Thanks to President Obama, after following certain procedures  this family and many others will be able to live in peace  and  contribute to the American economy, and their  children will feel more positive about their country. Most disturbing was the quote from the woman from New Jersey Citizens for Immigration Control suggesting and implying  that the last election provided a mandate for the government to mistreat people.  

It is important to point out to all who say that this election provided a mandate for the Republican agenda, that  when broken down - the GOP won 52% of the vote of only 35% of the population  - thus actually  winning  only 18% of  the population and  about 13% of eligible voters.    

That does not constitute a mandate for anything.   Too many people just didn't vote.  If Obama issued his executive order before the election,  more people would have felt positive about the system and its potential for change, and thus would have voted. 
---Naomi Cramer, Director, Observer Corps 

The LWV US position statement on immigration issues is available at


Priorities for LWVUS 2015

Ninety-five years ago on Feb. 14, the League of Women Voters was founded by Carrie Chapman Catt with the goal to secure the right to vote for women. 

After decades of debate and protest, the 19th amendment became law in August 1920. 
We mark this anniversary with a renewed commitment to protect the right to vote and to make our elections fair, free and accessible to all eligible citizens.

As of Dec. 29, LWVUS sees these four areas of concern as important to monitor act act upon:. 

VOTING & ELECTIONS LWV has worked at the state level against poor legislation that prevents access to voting. The League will continue as the Voting Rights Act (VRA) comes into its restored version.

The DISCLOSE Act is being carefully monitored in the 114th Congress by the LWV. Passage would prevent hidden identities of donors who have been secretly financing elections. 

Clean Power Plan. The EPA proposed regulations restricting ozone and methane. The League had been part of gathering comments about them. What lies ahead: finalization, state approval and then getting the regulations through Congress.

LWV has been and continues to be a strong supporter of Affordable Health Care (AHC), and will work to push back attempts to repeal AHC.
Abridged from LWVUS site:

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Charter School School Update Consensus:Northern Valley LWV

All members, guests, and the public are invited to attend our Charter Schools Consensus at 11:30 am on Wed., Dec 10 in the Paramus Public Library.  After a review of LWVNJ current position on Charter Schools, league members of the ILO, Ridgewood, Glen Rock & Northern Valley will present information about the policy updates upon which members will vote. Consensus allows those attending to learn about an issue in discussion, and express their views. Consensus questions, created by the study and approved by the state Board, provide the basis for this meeting.
We'll see you then!

Thank you.

Respectfully  yours,
Chris Sagona
President - LWVNV

Below: State Workshop: Caucus Education 2012

Sunday, November 2, 2014

LWV Teaneck November 2014

Tuesday, Nov. 4 Election Day.

Saturday, Nov. 8 LWV sponsored film at TIFF: 

10:30 AM Teaneck Cinemas on Cedar Lane.

Wednesday, Nov. 12  5:30-8 PM
 Tribute to Phoebe Seham Women’s Rights 
  Information  Center Register by Nov. 5  
  108 W. Palisades Ave. Englewood NJ 

Tuesday, Nov. 18 12:30 PM Immigration: An American Dilemma. Temple Emeth, 1666 Windsor Rd., Teaneck.

Next Board Meeting: at Margot's house Nov. 19, 8:15 PM PM

LWV Teaneck Registers New Citizens

Shirley Sosland and Janet Austin registered new Americans at the naturalization ceremony at the Steuben House in River Edge in September. Nineteen countries were represented by the new Americans so we are still a mixed salad. 

No elected officials or political candidates were present because state and national elections were imminent. Therefore, the speeches were minimal, however George and Martha Washington, along with Martha’s mother, were present. Another League, Northern Valley, also assisted in the registration. 

---Janet Austin, Women’s History

Voting Links: Get out and vote---and take your neighbor with you

New Jersey Citizen’s Guide to Government.
The online guide can be downloaded.
Use the guide for access, locations, ananlyse of voter questions.

2014 Voters Guide – U.S. Senate

LWVNJ Ballot Questions Analyses

Do you approve amending the Constitution to allow a court to order pretrial detention of a person in a criminal case? 

Do you approve amending the Constitution to dedicate certain State revenues each year for environmental programs? 

Vote by Mail Applications: Oct. 28 
Deadline to apply in person for mail-in ballot: 
November 3, 2014, by 3:00PM., County Office

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

LWV Sponsored film Wajdja showing at TIFF November 8, 10:30 AM Teaneck Cinema

TIFF NEWS: LWV Teaneck Sponsors Wadja Viewing  NOVEMBER 8: 10:30 AM!

Wadjda, the film LWV Teaneck is sponsoring, is scheduled for Saturday morning November 8th at 10:30 AM at Teaneck Cinemas on Cedar Lane.Please put this on your calendars, and plan on attending! Encourage your friends to buy tickets to the Film Festival and take advantage of all the wonderful events scheduled for that weekend! Complete details about films,tickets, and directions are  at or call 201/203-1723.

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