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.

Delaware ERA Passed!

The Delaware ERA passed the House on 1/10/2019 by a vote of 35 to 6, and in the Senate on 1/16/2019 by a vote of 16 to 5. This is the "second leg" of the Equal Rights Amendment our State Constitution (the "first leg" passed at the end of the 2018 session). This is an historic achievement for women in our state!

Fearless Girl statue at DE Legislative Hall
'Fearless Girl' statue in front of Delaware Legislative Hall in 2018

Community Activities for MLK Day

Many Leaguers are involved in worthwhile and uplifting community activities surrounding Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, January 21, 2019, and the weekend leading up to it.

Here are some of them; send other New Castle County community events to the webmaster for inclusion.

  • Sat Jan 19, 10 am - Women's March in Newark (@DEWomenMarch on Facebook)
  • Jan 19, 1 pm - Your Privilege is Showing, LWVNCC TED Discussion (article immediately below)

Three from @NewarkDEMLKWeekendCelebrationCommittee on Facebook...
  • Sat Jan 19, 1 pm - Hope Dining Room Clean Up at Kingswood Church on Marrows Road. Day of Service activity, cleaning the kitchen at Newark's only "soup kitchen." Bring cleaning supplies.
  • Sun Jan 20, 3 pm - Community Worship Service, St. John AM Church.
  • Mon Jan 21, 4:30 pm - Reflections - Letter from Birmingham Jail, Newark United Methodist.

In Wilmington, Raising Kings 2019 activities by @OneVillageAlliance...
  • Mon, Jan 21 - MLK Day of Service, and BHIM Awards
  • Wed, Jan 23 - Chess Challenge
  • Sat, Jan 26 - Raising Kings Conference
  • Sun, Jan 27 - Prayer and Call to Action
  • Tue, Jan 29 - Street Law Session
  • Wed, Jan 30 - Movie Screening and Talk Back

January TED Discussion - Your Privilege is Showing

Join us to start a conversation! The most recent TED Talk Discussion was held on Saturday, January 19th at 1 pm at Kay Palmer's home in the Newark area. The format is to watch the TED video and then discuss the "Ideas Worth Sharing." Limited beverages and snacks were served.

Lillian Medville
Lillian Medville

If you missed the gathering, you can watch this TEDx Talk on YouTube:

Nationally the League of Women Voters is interested in broadening the membership to be more inclusive. League Leadership has suggested this TEDx Talk as a means to prompt some new thinking. In this TEDx Talk, Your Privilege is Showing, Lillian Medville discusses her view of the systems of oppression that can limit our conversations and relationships.

Ms. Medville notes: "I had been raised to believe that the way to be a good, not racist white person, was to not see color. Which is unhelpful. If you can't see color, you can't talk about color, and if you can't talk about race gender class or ability you can't understand it. You can't understand the part you play in it and you can't understand the part it plays in you."

Additional related resources recommended by our January TEDsters include the following:

    • How Studying Privilege Systems Can Strengthen Compassion (Peggy McIntosh, TEDx Timberlane Schools, Nov 2012)
    • Tricia Rose - Pain, Passion, and Possibility: Learning from Difficult Subjects (Tricia Rose, Ph.D., Connecting for Change, July 2014)
    • Color Blind or Color Brave? (Mellody Hobson, TED2014)
    • White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son, a book by Tim Wise, Soft Skull Press, 2007
    • Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race, by Debby Irving, Elephant Room Press, 2014
    • Small Great Things, by Jodi Piccoult, Ballantine Books, 2016
Local organizations...
    • YWCA Delaware's Racial & Social Justice program
    • Delaware Coalition to Dismantle the New Jim Crow

January Hot Topic - Smart Justice

The public is invited to all Hot Topic meetings to become informed on a wide variety of topics. It is also a time to check in with members of LWV, make new friends, and invite your neighbors and colleagues to experience the League in an informal setting while we enjoy the buffet lunch at Michael's Restaurant in Christiana.

On Monday January 28, 2019, Kathleen MacRae from ACLU Delaware will speak on the topic will be "Why Smart Justice for Delaware?"

The United States locks up more people than any other nation. With just 5 percent of the world's population the U.S. holds 25 percent of the world's prisoners. Delaware imprisons at a rate even higher than this extreme national average and at a rate that is 81 percent higher than New Jersey's. The culture of maximum punishment was created as a political tool and sustained in part because of the identity of its victims. African Americans are 22 percent of our state population, but account for 51 percent of prisoners held in Delaware. Ending the era of mass incarceration requires dismantling the approaches of the 1980s. Delaware chose mass incarceration and now is suffering the consequences. Each day a person spends in prison unnecessarily is a social, fiscal, and moral failing of our policies.

Kathleen MacRae
Kathleen MacRae
Guest speaker Kathleen MacRae joined the ACLU-DE as executive director in November of 2010. She relocated to Delaware from New Mexico where she had worked for the ACLU-NM as development director. Before settling in with the ACLU, Kathleen was the executive director of the New Mexico Coalition to Repeal the Death Penalty. There she led the campaign that won passage of repeal legislation in the NM House of Representatives for the first time in 2005. In March 2009, after a 10-year effort, New Mexico's death penalty was abolished.

Kathleen has a Master's degree in social work from Rhode Island College with concentrations in policy analysis, community organizing and social service administration and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Rhode Island. She is a member of the board of directors of Equality Delaware, Inc.

$15.00 paid at time of the event covers the buffet luncheon, soft beverage and tip. Please pay in cash if at all possible. RSVP to our Office Manager by Sunday, January 27, so we can let the restaurant know how many to expect. If you need a ride, indicate that on your RSVP. See you at Michaels on the 28th!

November Hot Topic - Delaware LLC's

On Monday November 26, our speaker was Nick Wasileski of the Delaware Coalition for Open Government (DelCOG) on the topic of Delaware LLC laws.

If you missed the presentation, you can watch it in full here. Nick covered two topics, Delaware LLC's (beginning of tape) and Entity Voting in Delaware (starting around 23:18). The entire video is 47 minutes long.

A shout out and thank you to our crack new volunteer videographer, Louise Rolleri!

Delaware limited liability companies (LLCs) have been reported as fronts for illicit activities, including money laundering and child sex trafficking. In a recent Newark referendum a single beneficial owner of multiple LLCs voted multiple times. Should there be reforms to Delaware's LLC Act and business entity voting rights statutes?

Nick Wasileski is completing his third year as DelCOG president. DelCOG is a nonprofit whose volunteers promote open government and the Freedom of Information Act, and raise awareness of issues that are essential to good government. He is also a board member of the Civic League for New Castle County (CLNCC). Five years ago, Nick served on the steering committee of the Newark Residents against the Power Plant (NRAPP), which was a community effort that opposed the construction of a utility scale power plant in Newark, DE.

Great Decisions Discussion Group

The Great Decisions discussion group meets regularly at the Newark public library. The first Great Decisions topic for 2019 will be "Refugees and Global Migration" on Monday, February 11, at 1:30 pm.

Contact Flo Waibel 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.

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

The Foreign Policy Association has announced the topics for Great Decisions 2019, and briefing books are available online at the Foreign Policy Association website, FPA (dot) org.

The eight new topics for 2019 are...

1. Refugees and Global Migration
2. The Middle East: Regional Disorder
3. Nuclear negotiations: Back to the Future?
4. The Rise of Populism in Europe
5. Decoding U.S.-China Trade
6. Cyber Conflicts and Geopolitics
7. The United States and Mexico: Partnership Tested
8. State of the State Department and Diplomacy

Volunteer Opportunities

You do not have to be a league member to participate in these volunteer activities.

Observer Corps
LWVNCC is starting a renewed effort to attend and observe local government meetings, such as New Castle County Council, Wilmington City Council and Newark City Council meetings. Contact Marj Johnson if you are interested in joining our NCC Observer Corps. No prior experience is required!

Voter Registration
Volunteers are needed on an ongoing basis to register new voters at schools and community venues each year. 2018 was an extremely busy year for voter registration requests! Contact Voter Registration Coordinator Patti Christopher if you'd like to help with voter registration in 2019, or to request a voter registration table at your school or event.

New Citizen Ceremonies
The League distributes welcome packets including government and voting information to new citizens at Delaware naturalization ceremonies. These are extraordinarily emotional and rewarding events to witness. See our calendar page for upcoming dates, and contact Lorraine Botticelli if interested in helping out.

President's Message for the New Year

Marj Johnson
LWVNCC President Marj Johnson

The League of Women Voters of New Castle County (LWVNCC) President Marjorie Johnson's message for January 2019 is included below...

"It's hard to believe another year has gone by, and what a busy year it was! We have continued to try and educate ourselves in our monthly Hot Topic Luncheons, The Great Decisions Group, and our TED talks.

But with the mid-term primary and election, we were extremely busy with voter registration and education. We held about 50 Voter Registration Events, with our Indivisible partners and held candidate forums in Newark and in Hockessin. Thanks so much to Patti Christopher and the Indivisible group for all their hard work trying to coordinate and cover all these events. In addition, we gave close to 30 people rides to the polls on election day.

This fall the Board held a Strategic Planning Session with new and creative ideas, including ideas for the 100th anniversary of the League and the 19th amendment for 2020. We also set in place a new way to develop our budget and to let our needs drive our fundraising. There are several initiatives the Board will be putting forth, and we hope some of these items will be of interest to you to help fund. In Dec. we received a most generous donation from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Newark and are very grateful for their support

We had a three year audit review and are in compliance with bank statements and financial practices. We are in the process of reviewing our policies and procedures and the Bylaws and recommended changes will be distributed to the membership prior to the annual meeting in June. We are also redesigning our structure and flow chart so that new members and Board Members can better understand how the League functions.

Most importantly, we gained about 40 members and we continue to meet up with people who are interested in the League and its mission.

Going forward, we are looking forward to bringing greater emphasis to local school board elections and hope to create a Vote 411 system to educate and inform citizens regarding their local school boards. We will be working with the Dept. of Elections to educate the public regarding the new voting machines, which might be in place for the school board elections. We will be working on converting the LWVNCC to a 501c3 entity, which will enable us to have a single budget (instead of LWVNCC and LWVNCC Ed Fund budgets), and will make all donations tax deductible. This will cost some money and will probably take a year or longer to work through the process, but the Board felt it was worth the effort and the expense. And we will be planning several Meet and Greets for members to get to know each other and to also get together with some of our partnering groups. The first of these will be Jan. 17, 2019 at Mc Glynn's Pub.

I look forward to meeting more of you at the upcoming events and wish you all a very Happy New Year. May 2019 bring you renewed determination, resolve, and political action!"  
-- Marj Johnson

Photos of Past Events

Photos of past League events are available on Flickr.

Holiday Luncheon - Dec 5

2018 Holiday Poinsettia The Delaware League of Women Voters Holiday Luncheon was held December 5, 2018, from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm at the Dover Downs Festival Buffet on North DuPont Highway in Dover, DE.

This is a statewide fun event for New Castle, Kent And Sussex Leagues. The Festival Buffet is perfect holiday venue to socialize and network with League members and introduce friends and family to the League. We had a great turnout this year!

Attendees at 2018 Holiday Luncheon
Attendees at the 2018 Holiday Luncheon celebrating a productive year for LWV in Delaware.

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