About 200 were in attendance at the East Haven high school auditorium on November 1st.
Hamden/North Haven Board Member Elona Vasinys gave the introduction, LWV CT's Jean Rabinow was the moderator, Elise and Brooks Low were the question screeners, Elona was the timer with Diane Hoffman did the timer-signs. Hamden/North Haven Secretary Julie Clement and her 12-year old daughter Jianna helped distribute League literature and pick up questions. Julie's daughter also shepherded the sign-up sheet and collection box. Julie bought water for the candidates.
Diane brought four volunteers who helped with getting the LWVCT banner affixed to the candidates' table and distributed the index cards at the entrance, asking people to hide their campaign sweatshirts,
and, later, giving the questions to Jean.
Elona invited anyone who wanted to discuss forming a League in East Haven to provide their contact information. Thirty-one people signed up, nine of them men!
The audience to help defray the auditorium rental expense and they chipped in $223.
One woman said: "This is the first time I see the League of Women Voters in action and I was very impressed."
Mayor of East Haven Maturo said that this is the first live debate he had done in nine years and it was wonderful.
It was a fun evening. People did not hurry home but stood around talking after the debate. Many came up to thank the League "for doing this."
For more on the debate, see the story published in the New Haven Register here: http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20131101/east-haven-mayoral-contenders-meet-in-tame-debate
Jackie MacKnight calling Hamden and North Haven town clerks & registrars
League Helps to Educate on Two New Laws to Help Voters
“Two new laws will help some people with being able to vote,” says Jackie MacKnight
, co-vice president of the League of Women Voters of Hamden-North Haven.
One law will simplify voting for people who have a permanent physical disability. It will now be possible to register once for an Absentee Ballot
and automatically receive absentee ballots for all other elections. Request the form from the Town Clerk (not the Registrar of Voters) in your town. You will need a letter from a physician certifying your physical disability.
The other law allows Same Day Voter Registration
. Individuals will be able to register to vote and to vote in elections that same day. Such individuals could be 17-year olds who will turn 18 by election day,Tuesday, November 5; they could be people who have moved to the town from another town or from another state; they could be recently naturalized citizens. Or they could be people who have registered at the Department of Motor Vehicles and whose registration form was forwarded to the registrar of voters of the wrong town.
A person may come to the polling place and find out that they are not registered to vote. Because of the Same Day Voter Registration law, they can go straight to town hall, register, and vote at town hall (without having to return to the polling place).
The League of Women Voters of Connecticut has brochures on "Election Day Registration" and "Important Change for Voters with Disabilities: Permanent Absentee Ballots," available in English and Spanish. Call 203-288-7996
, or write firstname.lastname@example.org
The League of Women Voters encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. It welcomes women and men (since 1974) who wish to join in the work of strengthening democracy.
At the Sept. 12 League of Women Voters of Connecticut “POWERING OUR VOICES” dinner that drew LWV leaders from Greenwich to Groton, the largest contingent was from Hamden-North Haven.
Representing LWV of Hamden-North Haven were co-presidents Mary Bigelow and Miriam Brody, vice presidents Lori Esposito and Jackie MacKnight, treasurer Louise Brundage, a member of the Engage CT
team Erika Forsa, database manager Jane Shaw, and membership co-chair Elona Vaisnys who gave one of the presentations. The dinner was held at the Holiday Inn in North Haven.
The guest speaker was Katherine Wilshire, Director of the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame. Among Connecticut women inducted into the CT Women’s Hall of Fame are the first woman elected in her own right governor of a state, Ella Grasso; one of the greatest geneticists of the 20th century, Nobel Prize winner Barbara McClintock; author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Harriet Beecher Stowe; Olympics skating gold medal winner Dorothy Hamill; beloved children’s author Madeleine L’Engle; fighter for voting rights for women Alice Paul, NPR’s foreign conflict correspondent Anne Garrels, and numerous others, visit www.cwhf.org
The dinner program featured presentations on election laws, campaign financing, sharing expertise on growing membership, raising funds, and increasing visibility. Of major value was an opportunity for networking.
The League of Women Voters seeks to increase understanding of public policy issues, to influence public policy through education and advocacy, and to encourage informed participation in government. LWV neither supports nor opposes political candidates. Undaunted by its historic name, men join LWV also (since 1974). Discuss joining with Elona Vaisnys, 203/248-8035
, or visit www.lwvct.org
Elona Vaisnys on the armrest of Sen. Fasano’s chair in the Senate chamber
Tours, Take One, It’s Free
In just August, more than 1,000 visitors took a state capitol tour in Hartford given by the League of Women Voters, LWV. Visitors came from 58 Connecticut towns, 32 states, and 26 countries. On September 10, the board of the League of Women Voters of Connecticut took the tour also, among them membership co-chair of the LWV of Hamden-North Haven, Elona Vaisnys who also serves on the state board. “The League gets you to do what you always intended to and never did,” beams Vaisnys.
Over the last fiscal year, League capitol tours takers came from 153 Connecticut towns (of 169), 47 states (Alaska and Hawaii among them!), and 67 foreign countries. The Senate and House chambers are a special attraction, including to Vaisnys who could not resist sitting on the armrest of her state senator chair. There is a “Wishing Chair” in the Senate chamber that invites interaction, especially by the young who can’t wait to sit in the ornately carved chair (made from the famed Charter Oak Tree) used by the Lieutenant Governor who presides over the Senate. Presumably, every lieutenant governor wishes to be the governor, hence, “the Wishing Chair.”
The state capitol was built in 1878. It was topped by a gold leaf covered dome on which stood a huge, winged statue called the Genius of Connecticut. In 1938, a hurricane hit the eastern coastand damaged the 3.5 ton, 17 ft statue which was then taken down. An replica of the Genius of Connecticut now greets visitors to the capitol building as it waits for funding to become available, so that it can one day raise its wings again above the golden dome in our state’s capita
LWV has been providing free tours five days a week since 1971. The Trip Advisor
website lists the League tours in 5th place of 41 Hartford area attractions to visit. Tours are available to schools (superintendents receive information), organizations, and groups. Find out more at www.cga.ct.gov/capitoltours
, or email@example.com
The League of Women Voters works to increase understanding of public policy issues and to influence public policy through education and advocacy. The League encourages informed participation in government at all levels but does not support or oppose political candidates. It is active in all 50 states. Men have been joining the League since 1974, and a man serves on the Connecticut state League board. To discuss joining the League, call Elona Vaisnys at 203/248-8035
, write firstname.lastname@example.org
, or visit www.lwvct.org
Left to right: Miriam Brody, LWV of Hamden-North Haven co-president, Sally Buemi, Kenn Venit, Alan Sturtz, Elona Vaisnys, LWV of Hamden-North Haven membership co-chair, Walter Spader, Democratic Town Committee, chair
The League of Women Voters of Hamden-North Haven invites North Haven residents to watch a debate for the seat of North Haven 3rd Selectman between incumbent Alan Sturtz and challenger Sally Buemi. The League prepared the questions for the debate.
The debate was taped at the NHTV studio August 31. The moderator was Kenn Venit.
The debate is being aired every day at 10:00 am, 3:00 pm, 7:00 pm, and 3:00 am up to the Primary on NHTV Government TV, Comcast Cable 20, AT&T U-Verse Cable 99 and NHTV.COM
. The debate lasts 48 minutes.
The Primary for 3rd Selectman is Tuesday, September 10. All five North Haven voting district polling places will be open 6 a.m.-8 p.m. The office of the 3rd Selectman in North Haven is held by the minority party, currently the Democrats. Only registered Democrats may vote in the Primary for 3rd Selectman.
The League of Women Voters neither supports nor opposes candidates for political office. LWV provides voters an opportunity to hear and watch the candidates and form their own opinion about who would better help manage the affairs of the town.
Men and women of all political persuasions are invited to join the League and work on invigorating civic health in our communities. Call 203/248-8035
to discuss joining LWV or email Membership@lwvct.org
L-R: E.Forsa, L.Esposito, J.MacKnight. Seated: Coach, N.Donoghue
The League of Women Voters of Hamden/North Haven joined five other Connecticut Leagues for the first membership development first training on August 6. Attending the training session were Lori Esposito, Jackie McKnight and Erika Forsa.
The program is Connecticut’s adaptation of a nationwide League of Women Voters’ program funded by Ruth B. Shur Foundation to support and strengthen local League leadership, membership recruitment, visibility and best practices. A cadre of state coaches has been recruited and trained to support the local League efforts: Jara Burnett of Greenwich, Christine Lodewick of Ridgefield and Nancy Donoghue of Canton.
During the recent training in the League’s Hamden office, the League participants attended “best practices” workshops conducted by CT’s own leaders, Jara Burnett and Cheryl Dunson. Among the topics covered were techniques to heighten visibility and to identify issues to empower citizens to have a voice in their communities. The next step for the local Leagues will be to develop a variety of programs designed to stimulate community involvement and a plan for year-round visibility. The state coaches will advise the Leagues monthly as they implement these leadership and membership growth activities via conference calls on a monthly basis.
Commenting on this state development initiative, LWVCT co-President Cheryl Dunson said, “In this time of increased political incivility and growing polarization, the League of Women Voters is needed more than ever. A strong League in every community is the best way to ensure that we have an American citizenry that is informed on the issues, ready and able to cast a ballot, and to ensure that every vote is counted.
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, and works to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influence public policy through education and advocacy. For more information about this leadership initiative, contact the LWVCT at 203/288-7996 or at www.lwvct.org
. To join the Hamden North Haven League, contact Mary Bigelow, Co-President at email@example.com
The following is an article which was featured on the LWV US site, and was written by our own Local League member Jackie MacKnight! It focuses on what being a member of the League of Women Voters means to her and why she encourages others to join the League. The following is an article sent to use by League member Jackie MacKnight of LWV of Hamden-North Haven, Connecticut about what being a member of the League of Women Voters means to her and why she encourages others to join the League.
After a long day at work and taking care of my family, I was changing the sheets on our bed and WHACK — slammed my knuckles into the headboard, hard. One knuckle ended up bleeding through two bandages. Since then, I have hit that same knuckle about 10 times, each time cursing at myself for not paying attention to my surroundings. Each day, our world, our state, our town, even our community deal with struggles, trials, situations - ranging from mildly difficult to really serious. For most of us, it’s as if none of that even exists, until you hit your knuckles, and it gets your attention.
My best friend had joined the League and invited me to join. All right, I said, but I thought to myself, “Oh, this is going to be a group of older women chatting or sitting at the polls when people vote.” Boy, was I wrong. Since I joined the League, it’s like I’ve gained eyesight, and I can’t thank the League enough. The League is an organization of women and men of all ages and demographics. We do not support or oppose political candidates. We work to increase understanding of public policy issues and influence policy through education and advocacy. We are about civic action and responsibility. I truly wish everyone could have attended our recent Breakfast with the Legislators. Whether or not you voted for the six state senators and representatives who represent our towns and attended the event, you were able to sit at a table with them, hear them talk about the hot topics in 2013 and hear them explain what they are planning to do about these issues. You could ask questions, begin to understand them as people, and maybe become less cynical about politics. It was a wonderful event. The League does community-based initiatives throughout the year — but most importantly we get together, we talk and discuss issues, we increase our own understanding of public policy issues, we advocate for public policies supported by our members, and grow in understanding about good government at the local, state and national levels.
So, open your eyes to our common responsibility as Americans. What happens to our society is up to us. Let’s become aware before we bruise our knuckles!
The following is an article which was featured on the LWV US site, and was written by our own Local League member Lori F. Esposito! It focuses on what being a member of the League of Women Voters means to her and why she encourages others to join the League.
"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do." -- E.E.H.
These words speak true to me in many domains of my life. I have Multiple Sclerosis; however I do not let the disease define who I am. I am much more than that. I am a woman, an activist, a daughter, a mentor, a sister and a friend – and so much more.
I completed my Graduate studies at Springfield College, earning my Master's Degree in Social Work. I am a Clinician in the Intensive In-home Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Service (IICAPS) program at Yale University, practicing child/family psychotherapy. Concurrently, I am working towards becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).
Regardless of our barriers, I realize that we all play an active role in our own lives. Being an active member of the LWV has opened my eyes to my civic responsibility and my moral obligation as a Social Worker. Although I have been battling with the perils that are associated with Multiple Sclerosis, there are things that I look forward to. For one, I have the means and the know-how to make bold career moves. Like others my age, I have established the connections and built the network I need to gain more control of the direction of my career.
Having the opportunity to be involved with the League, I am finally able to, not only have a voice, but be the voice for those who have lost theirs. The League provides me with the platform to help educate, guide, contribute and most of all empower
those around me. The experiences that I have had has given me added poise and self-confidence...enough to make supervisors, my clients, and the public take notice, and hopefully for the rookies to start looking up to me. With the knowledge I have gained in the League, I am on my way to the top - Multiple Sclerosis will not stop me!Learn more about the LWV of Hamden-North Haven on their Facebook page.
Follow the LWV of Hamden-North Haven on Twitter.
Left to right: Julie Clement, Lori Esposito, Jackie MacKnight, Megan Frank, and Tori Hotton
The League of Women Voters of Hamden-North Haven experienced a surge of young energy with the election of Lori Esposito
and Jackie MacKnight
as Vice Presidents and of Julie Clement
as Secretary at the annual meeting in June.
In additions to their new responsibilities, Esposito and MacKnight will continue managing the Hamden-North Haven League’s social media and Internet that they co-managed during the past year. MacKnight is also serving as social media chair for the LWV of Connecticut. Julie Clement, a new member, intends to use her ringside seat as the chronicler of board discussions and decisions as a fast track to orient herself to League processes and procedures.
The League of Women Voters seeks to increase understanding of public policy issues, to influence policy through education and advocacy, and to encourage informed citizen participation in government. LWV neither supports nor opposes candidates for political office, and members may belong to any political party. Men have been LWV members since 1974. The League is active in all 50 states. To discuss joining, contact Elona Vaisnys, 203/248-8035
, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Six members of the League of Women Voters of Hamden-North Haven participated as delegates at the annual Convention of the League of Women Voters of Connecticut, LWVCT, held at the Graduate Club in New Haven on June 1. LWV of Hamden-North Haven delegates were Andrea Aldrich, Mary Bigelow, Miriam Brody, Jane Shaw, and Elona Vaisnys.
The Convention hosted president of the League of Women Voters of the United States Elisabeth MacNamara. The League maintains a Washington-based national office and comprises a network of state and local Leagues in all 50 states.
President MacNamara mentioned that of the 300,000 new voters who were added to the voting lists in a single day during 2012 National Voter Registration Day, thousands were signed up by the League. LWV of Hamden-North Haven participated in new voter registration also.
Among the speakers at the LWVCT Convention was Elona Vaisnys, LWV of Hamden-North Haven membership co-chair who also serves as membership director for the LWV of Connecticut.
The League of Women Voters is a policy-oriented organization for both genders (men began joining in 1974). It works to increase understanding of major public policy issues and to influence public policy by way of education and advocacy. It does not support or oppose political candidates but encourages informed participation in government. For membership information, call 203/248-8035
, write Membership@lwvct.org
, or visit www.lwvct.org