April 2015 - League of Women Voters of Westport

Westport Voter
April 2015
Visit our website: www.lwvwestportct.org
The Problem with Money in Politics
Wednesday, April 22
7:00 to 9:00 PM
Westport Town Hall Auditorium
Join us for a panel discussion on a topic that threatens our democracy, the influence of dark money
in politics , the impact it is having on campaigns and candidates and what we can do about it. Learn
more about what the League of Women Voters is doing, as well as groups like Common Cause and
Free Speech for People.
SIR 2015 - Climate Change: What impact can we have now?
Friday, April 10, 2015, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm
Yale University, Luce Hall Auditorium/MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies
34 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven, CT 06511
Registration and Continental Breakfast: 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Program (begins promptly): 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Keynote Speaker:
Dan Esty, Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy, jointly with Yale Law School; Director of the Center for
Environmental Law and Policy; Director, Center for Business & Environment at Yale
Scott R. Stephenson, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, University of Connecticut
Mark Fulford, Independent Farm Consultant and Educator; Owner, Teltane Farm in Maine
Nancy Ruther, Visiting Fellow, MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, Yale
For further information, contact the LWVCT office at 203-288-7996 or [email protected]
Save the Date - LWV Westport Annual Meeting Luncheon - June 3 at the Norwalk Inn
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan, community-based political organization that encourages the informed and active
participation in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy. It was founded in 1920 as an outgrowth
of the 72-year struggle to win voting rights for women.
From the President
710 –4763
Community Services
Suzanne Adams
Member Services, Administration
Jackie Gordon , 803 3725
Member Services, Events
Becky Ruthven
220 1206
Cheryl McKenna
221 8087
Cornelia Olsen
229 9137
Board of Directors
Pat Porio
Barbra Utting
221 7518
Member Handbook - Celeste LaCroix
Voter Editor -Jane Eyes
227 0782
Voter Services-Susan Iseman
Publicity - Doris Skutch
A P RI L 20 15
Dear Fellow League Member,
You know that money in politics is a huge problem when even the Pope is
talking about it as he did when he was explaining the situation to a group of
teenagers last week. He was referencing his native Argentina and simply said
that when people donate money to politicians they expect favors in return. The
Pope gets it.
It would seem that the Pope has more sense than our Supreme Court. Since the
ruling on Citizens’ United, we have seen the birth of a monster, an amazing
increase in the amount of money that is being spent on elections. The
Connecticut Mirror reported that in our 2014 Governor’s race, in spite of the
state’s campaign finance laws, there was $18.2 million spent in money from
outside of the state. That is a fivefold increase over the race in 2010.
The Federal Elections commission reports that the candidates in the 2012
presidential election, the first after the Citizen’s ruling, spent 2 Billion. If there
is that kind of increase in the 2016 election – the thought is staggering.
But, one of the good thing to happen from this terrible situation is the program
that we are putting together for you in April. The Problem with Money in
Politics will be a panel discussion at Westport Town Hall on the evening of
April 22. Our panel includes Jeff Clemmens, author of “ Corporations are not
people”, Cheri Quickmire, the Executive Director of Common Cause of
Connecticut, our own Alison Rivard and a Connecticut favorite son. It will be
an informative and thought provoking evening and I am looking forward to
seeing every one of you there.
Celeste LaCroix
LWV Websites
www.lwvct.org (Connecticut)
www.lwv.org (U.S.)
In Memorium
LWV Westport members note with sadness
the recent death of four long term members.
Micki Schwartz
December 23, 2014
Susanne Kanner
February 13, 2015
Fifty Year Members
Sarah Hertz
February 15, 2015
Nita Cohen
March 10, 2015
New Members:
Returning Members:
Gail Smith
2 Deerwood Road
Westport, CT 06880
[email protected]
Janis Collins
41 Compo Parkway
[email protected]
Rachel Prior
597 Westport Ave. #B240
Norwalk, Ct 06851
[email protected]
203-210-7387 (h)
Arthur Beckman and Nina Skaya
125A Weston Road
Weston, CT 06883
[email protected]
Catherine Walsh
6 Wilcox Lane
Westport CT 06880
203 226 0081
[email protected] optonline.net
Dick and Paula Leonard:
50 Ledge Road, Darien, CT, 06820
203 655 0038.
Staples Tuiton Grants
Director of Communications
The League has donated a named grant to a student at
Staples for many years. The named grant, a minimum award
of $2,000, is administered by Staples Tuition Grants and allows us to promote a candidate who has demonstrated financial need and shown an interest in civics projects, government
or politics.
We need your help. Your generous donation will be
most appreciated and it will also be an indication of the membership's continuing commitment to the scholarship. Rest assured that the entire sum you choose to donate will be allocated to this worthwhile endeavor.
Send your contribution to, LWV Ed Fund at LWV Westport,
PO box 285, Westport, CT 06881
The Membership Committee has recommended that we
would benefit from a new position , Director of Communications. This position would require IT skills and the ability
to run a committee and the desire to bring us into the 21st
century. Please call Nancy Hallas 203-226-7353
Voter Registration
Just another reminder- we need some volunteers, please!
Our friends at the Bridgeport Area LWV can use our help on Friday,
April 17th for Naturalization ceremonies at the Bridgeport Federal
Courthouse. There are two sessions, 9:30am and 1:30pm to chose
from. Please let me know if you'd like to volunteer - it's best if two
league members are there for each session.
Susan Iseman 646 483 7451 or [email protected]
Observer Corp
The Eyes and Ears of the League
The corps is currently observing the Selectman, Planning and Zoning, Board of Finance and Zoning Board of Appeals. We need some
fresh recruits to observe both RTM and Board of Education. This
important work can be done from the most comfortable chair in your
living room as these meetings are all televised.
Call Cheryl McKenna 203-722-8022 for more info.
Book Group News
All meetings begin at 1:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
The group is open to all League members. For information, email Kitty Graves at [email protected]
April 27 - The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff @ Hope Hageman’s, 116 Greens Farms Road
May 18—The House at Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper
@ Leslie Feller’s, 113 Old Hyde Road, Weston
Walk and Talk Politics
Nice weather is just around the corner. Do you want to get
out, get some exercise and talk about local politics and the
shenanigans in Washington?
Join other Leaguers to walk at Compo beach in the late
> Anyone who is interested should email Barbra Utting at
[email protected] , or call 203-221-7518.
LWV Advocacy and the 2015 Legislative Session
Mental Health: The dr iving for ce behind mental
health legislation continues to be the important link between gun violence and the need for early identification
of mental health problems, intervention and access to services. The 2015 Legislative session reflects this continuing concern, with bills directed at: increasing coverage
for long term hospitalization for mental health issues;
increasing insurance coverage for behavioral health assessments; training EMS personnel in emergency mental
health first aid; notifying parents about available mental
health services; studying the availability of mental health
services in group home settings; conducting annual pediatric mental health screening for children; increasing
mental health services for Veterans and members of the
Armed Forces, among other issues.
Most significant was the completion of a Comprehensive
Behavioral Health Plan by the Dept. of Children and
Families in Oct. 2014, required as a part of Public Act 13178. In brief, the plan addresses the need for public financing, restructuring, decreasing fragmentation of services, developing a family support clearing house, expanding mental health screening for children and adolescents, training in infant mental health services, expansion
of services to schools and communities, and structuring
pediatric support services. The League will carefully
monitor whether or not aspects of this plan are actually
implemented in the state and in local communities.
Carolyn Adkins, LWV Specialist, Mental Health
All members are welcome to attend Board meetings on the
first Wednesday of the month at Celeste LaCroix’s.
Westport Voter
P.O. Box 285
Westport, CT 06881-0285
Name ____________________________________________
10 SIR Conference - 8:30 a.m. - noon - New Haven
Address __________________________________________
16 Observer Corps/Action Team - Noon - At the home of
Ann Gill, 53 High Point Road
17 Voter Registration—Bridgeport Court House
Phone ____________________________________________
22 Money In Politics 6:30 p.m.– 8:30 p.m.
McManus Room, Westport Library
Email ____________________________________________
Individual Dues: $50 Household (limited to 2): $75.
Please consider adding $25 to your membership fee to
become a sustaining member.
1 Board Meeting - 9:00 a.m. At the home of Celeste
LaCroix, 35 Arlen Road
27 Book Group - 1:30 p.m. At the home of Hope Hageman,
116 Greens Farms Road
Membership year: July 1 through June 30
6 Board Meeting - 9:00 a.m. At the home of Celeste
LaCroix, 35 Arlen Road
Send check made payable to:
18 Book Group Meeting - 1:30 p.m. At the home of
Leslie Feller, 113 Old Hyde Rd. Weston
P.O. Box 285
Westport, CT 06881- 0285
21 Observer Corps/Action Team - Noon - At the home of
Ann Gill, 53 High Point Road
Contributions to LWV Education Fund are tax- deductible; LWV dues are not.
All League meetings are open to all members.
3 Annual Meeting - Norwalk Inn