Making Democracy Work

What's New?

What's Coming Up and Announcements

Upcoming and recent events are listed below. Check our Activities and Presentations page under "ABOUT LWV" for presentation notes from older events.

January Hot Topic - Pretrial Reform

The public is invited to all Hot Topic meetings to become informed on a wide variety of topics. This is a time to check in with members of LWV, make new friends, invite your neighbors, and colleagues to experience the League in an informal setting, as we enjoy Michaels' terrific buffet lunch.

wooden judge's gavel The topic for the HOT TOPIC LUNCH on Monday, January 22, 2018 will be Pretrial Reform, with speaker Kate Parker West of the Delaware Center for Justice (DCJ). Pretrial justice encompasses bail reform along with other crucial "front-end" components of our criminal justice system.

Kate Parker
Kate Parker West, JD

Kate is the Local Site Coordinator of the DCJ SMART Pretrial Initiative. Her areas of interest include pretrial detention and legal and evidence-based services and systems planning. Prior to joining DCJ in December of 2014, Kate worked as an Assistant Deputy Public Defender in New Jersey.

The Delaware Center for Justice believes that liberty should be the norm and that all individuals are innocent until proven guilty. DCJ advocates for the reduction of Delaware's pretrial detention population through the use of data-driven, reliable risk assessments, as well as for improved pretrial practices statewide.

Unnecessary pretrial detention causes real consequences for individuals, communities, prisons, and courtrooms. On any given day in 2014, approximately seven percent of adult Delawareans called one of the secure facilities in our corrections' system home. Nearly one quarter of those incarcerated, (23%) were pretrial detentioners--a group our Department of Correction defines as those held on secured bond awaiting trial. Even as efforts in recent years to decrease our prison population are enjoying some success, both the number of people we detain pretrial and the rates of pretrial detention are increasing.

Cost is $15.00 paid at time of the event. Please pay in cash if at all possible. RSVP to our office manager by Saturday, January 20, so we can let the restaurant know how many to expect. If you need a ride, leave a message on the League Office phone or e-mail when you RSVP. If you have not made a reservation please come anyway; the arrangements are flexible.

See our calendar page for directions to Michaels restaurant.

VOTE411 Volunteers Needed

Vote411.org VOTE411 is an online voters guide website hosted by the League of Women Voters USA. The Delaware leagues will be participating in this program for the 2018 election year.

This is a wonderful opportunity to become involved in a meaningful way in the upcoming 2018 elections.

2018 VOTE411 Volunteers Needed
Your chance to get involved!   Help provide Delawareans with unbiased candidate comparisons

We need volunteers to help frame questions for candidates to answer, to follow up and remind candidates to respond, and to input data into the system.

Volunteer opportunities to serve on the New Castle County Vote411 committee include:

  • A committee chair or co-chairs.
  • A technically savvy person to be the Vote411.org admin for the NCC section of the voters guide.
  • Committee members to plan and get organized during the months leading up to July - September.
  • Volunteers to do follow up calls to candidates during the August, September time frame.

If you are interested please call or email our Office Manager and leave your name, telephone number and email.   You do not have to be a league member to participate.

Great Decisions Discussion Group

The Great Decisions discussion group meets regularly at the Newark public library. Judy Villamarin will lead the first topic for 2018, "The waning of Pax Americana?," on Monday February 12 at 1:30 pm.

Contact Vicky Kleinman for more information about the Great Decision discussion group, and if you are interested in joining group members for lunch at Skipjack prior to the meeting. See our calendar page for directions to the Newark library.

Great Decisions group Nov 2017
Some November 2017 Great Decisions 'Groupies'

The Great Decision discussion topics and schedule for 2018 are as follows:

1. Feb 12 - The waning of Pax Americana?
2. Mar 19 - Russia's foreign policy
3. Apr 9 - China and America: the new geopolitical equation
4. May 21 - Media and foreign policy
5. June 18 - Turkey: a partner in crisis
6. Sept 17 - U.S. global engagement and the military
7. Oct 15 - South Africa's fragile democracy
8. Nov 19 - Global health: progress and challenges

League Day in Dover - March 21

2018 League Day Speakers LEAGUE DAY - MARCH 21, 2018

This year's topic is "Financing State Government: Everybody's Business. Let's Stop Kicking the Can Down the Road!"

Spend the day with us in Dover! We'll have morning speakers and luncheon at the Duncan Center, and an (optional) afternoon of meeting legislators and observing committee meetings at Legislative Hall.

  • Budget Director Mike Jackson, State Treasurer Ken Simpler and DEFAC Chair Mike Houghton will address their roles and responsibilities in the creation of a state budget
  • UD's Ed Ratledge will discuss future trends in Delaware
  • Former state senator Liane Sorenson will speak on the politics of state finance

The $30 registration fee includes lunch. League members, wear something purple (like a purple scarf or pin) to honor the suffragettes. For more information, contact Sandy Spence, Joann Hasse, or our Office Manager.

Carrie Chapman Catt Awards - April 11

Mark your calendar now!

The 2018 Carrie Chapman Catt Awards night promises to be a fabulous event. We'll be At The Rail at White Clay Creek (country club at Delaware Park) for hors d'oeuvres and speeches, coffee and dessert.

This is our bi-annual chance to mingle with League friends and Delaware standouts, while celebrating those who've made profound impacts on our community. Here's a hint - our primary honoree this year is a local League member who has reached the top echelons of the Delaware political structure.

Details to follow later this year. This is big, people!   Big, BIG, BIG!!

President's Message - Happy New Year!

The League of Women Voters of New Castle County (LWVNCC) President Marjorie Johnson's message to members for December 2017 is included below...

Marj Johnson
LWVNCC President Marj Johnson

"HAPPY NEW YEAR! We have a challenging year ahead with midterm elections coming up so there will be lots of opportunities for you to participate in our democratic process and to contribute your services to the LWVNCC.

This spring we have League Day in Dover on MARCH 21 and our Carrie Chapman Catt Award Event on APRIL 11. SAVE THOSE DATES! The Award Event is our biggest fund raiser, but also allows us to honor someone who has contributed significantly to our community. You will be receiving more details soon.

There are many new initiatives being implemented at the LWVNCC. I hope you have checked out our website, and the facebook page for members only. Join the discussion there. Attend our Hot Topics and the local TED Talks. Plan to come to Dover for League Day March 21. Volunteer to help us get the information out for the election. As Jane Goodall said, "What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make". Thanks for making a difference with the League."   -- Marj Johnson


January TED Discussion - Gun Control

On Saturday Jan 13 at Bear Library, several League members and guests viewed and discussed the 2016 Dan Gross TED Talk, "Why gun violence can't be our new normal" as well as Vox.com's short film "America's gun problem, explained." Click here to view or download the Gun Control presentation.

This topic is timely in Delaware... HB 300 to ban bump stocks in Delaware and HB 285 aimed at keeping weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill were pre-filed in the Delaware House of Representatives in December 2017. In addition, the Wilmington City Council is currently considering a ban on sale of realistic-looking toy guns, and on Dec 7, 2017 the Delaware Supreme Court struck down a decades-old ban on bringing concealed deadly weapons into state parks.

The LWVNCC TED viewings are free and open to the public; we'd love to see you there! The format is simple... we watch an inspiring, thought-provoking TED video, and then talk about it afterward. Watch our calendar page for upcoming TED discussions.

TED - Ideas worth spreading

Member Meet 'n Greet

Our first LWV of New Castle County "Meet and Greet" of the season was held on Thursday November 16th, 6:30-8:30 pm, at a member's home in North Wilmington.

wine and cheese photoMeet and Greets are a great chance to meet your fellow League members, and bring a new friend to experience the League.

If you have a venue idea for a 2018 Meet and Greet, let Patti Christopher or Lorraine Botticelli know.

Please come and share these fun evenings with us!

Photos of Past Events

Photos of past League events are available on Flickr.

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