Making Democracy Work

News Archives

What we've been up to in recent months


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LWVSC Land Use Committee Prepares for new Comprehensive Plan in 2018

Given the state's mandate that Sussex County draft a new Comprehensive Plan for 2018, our LWVSC Land Use Committee is well into planning six educational forums on this wide ranging topic which notably heated up in 2015.

(Public forums were held in each of the five Sussex County Councilmanic districts.)

PLEASE NOTE: Due to unforeseen technical difficulties, the League has been unable to post our March 18 "Kick-Off" Land Use Forum at County Council Chambers on You-Tube.

Here you can access the Comprehensive Plan Checklist.

Here you can access the County Comprehensive Plan Adoption Procedures.

Contact the league to help, join, or ask for details.

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The League of Women Voters of Sussex County
The League of Women Voters of Delaware
and
Common Cause Delaware
are co-sponsoring a Money and Politics event in Sussex County!!

Former Chief Justice Norm Veasey will be our special guest speaker and will discuss the problem of money in politics in Delaware and what we can do about it.

Please join us for lunch. The cost is $20, including tip, and will be collected at the door on the day of the event.

Please RSVP by MAY 5th to the Common Cause website.

Date: Monday, May 11, 2015
Time: 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Location:
Fish On Seafood Grill and Bar
17300 North Village Main Blvd
Lewes, DE 19958

See our Calendar for Dates, Times and Locations of this and all of our upcoming Events.

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The LWV Sussex County Continues its Participation in the League of Women Voters United States (LWVUS) Agriculture Policy Study.

Tuesday
January, 14, 2014
1:00 pm -- 2:45 pm
Beebe Medical Arts Building Conference Room
Beebe Medical Campus
18941 John J Williams Hwy (Rt 24)
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

After three months of research and a earlier public forum introducing the Study, the local Agriculture Study Group of the League of Women Voters of Sussex County (LWVSC) will present a panel discussion.

Among the panelists will be Sussex County farmers, including Charles Smith of TS Smith and Sons of Bridgeville and Hattie Allen, owner of Hattie's Garden of Lewes. These local farmers will address how large and small niche farming can add to the agriculture economy and bring interesting and healthy foods to the local tables.

After the panelists have made their presentations, attendees will be asked for their questions and comments. The meeting is free and open to the public. All interested Sussex Countians are encouraged to attend.

This is an opportunity to learn how the League of Women Voters determines its non-partisan positions on issues of importance to the people in America. The study is being conducted by local branches of the League of Women Voters throughout the United States between November 2013 and April 2014.

For additional information regarding this event, please send email to: sussexlwv@gmail.com. (Dec, 2013)


Check out President of the LWVUS, Elisabeth McNamara's blog in the Huff Post Impact page!!!
In celebration of the second annual #GivingTuesday, a national day of giving taking place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, December 3rd, we've been sharing a look at just some of what the League has done to increase political participation and strengthen our democracy -- and our country -- in 2013. Read the article here.


Following is the link to the Cape Gazette article from November 21st, written by Nick Roth. This article covers the LWVSC's Public Forum, which was held on November 12th and is referenced a few items below in this 'What's New' section. Its' subject was on the

Introduction to LWVUS Study of United States Policy on Agriculture.




LWVSC PRESENTS A PUBLIC FORUM:

Introduction to LWVUS Study of United States Policy on Agriculture

Tuesday
November 12, 2013
1:00 pm -- 2:30 pm
Beebe Medical Arts Building Conference Room
Beebe Medical Campus
18941 John J Williams Hwy (Rt 24)
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

For additional details on the event please refer to the document available here.

You can find the agenda for the meeting here.

You can find a list of suggested readings and websites here.




LWVSC HAS A NEW SECRETARY !!!


Please welcome Michele Tashman to our Board! She has been elected Secretary of LWVSC. Michele has a tough job to fill because our former Secretary, Sheila Zanine did an outstanding job. We are very pleased that Sheila will remain on the board as a director, but are also very much looking forward to working with Michele as our newest board member. Thanks so much Sheila for all your wonderful service, and a warm welcome to Michele in your new position!!




ELEANOR ROOSEVELT : LEAGUE LEADER
In the 1920s, Eleanor Roosevelt served as vice president for legislative affairs at the League, monitoring federal legislation and hearings in Congress. Watch this short video about how Eleanor's membership changed the League -- and how the League changed her.
See more at this link




LWVSC Comments on Proposed Sussex County Budget For 2014
LWVSC member and Observer Corps Chair, Carole Somers, offered comments on behalf of the League during the hearing on the proposed County Budget for 2014. For the full text of the comments, click here.

LWVSC Announces New Officers and Directors
At its meeting on May 13, 2013, the LWVSC elected the following new officers and directors:
Jane Lord, President, seen on right
Jo Klinge, Vice President
Valerie Driscoll, Treasurer
Directors: Sue Claire Harper, Connie Jones, Janet Orlando,
E. Anne Riley, Esther Shelton, Carole Somers, Sheila Zanine.

Thanks were given to the out-going Officers and Director for a job well done: E. Anne Riley, President; Sheila Zanine, Secretary;and Joan Stern, Director. The membership also applauded Voter Services Co-chairs Janet Orlando and Connie Jones and Observer Corps Chair Carole Somers for a great 2012.

Committee Chairs presented Annual Reports that will be available on this site soon.

Fair Housing presentation available

Nick Mirro from the state Division of Human Relations gave a comprehensive and fact-filled presentation on fair housing law, comparing Delaware's law with that of the federal government. He also outlined the role of the Human Relations Division in implementing and enforcing the law as well as advising citizens on their rights vs when they may not have a fair housing case. Cape Gazette coverage of his presentation is here. His Power Point presentation is here.

LWVSC Issues Annual Report of Observer Corps at County Council

Celebrating Sunshine Week, the League of Women Voters of Sussex County issued its Observer Corps' annual report covering February 2012 through January 2013 at a meeting of County Council on March 19. The Corps' Coordinator Carole Somers explained: "As part of the League's support for openness in government, its Observer Corps monitors governmental bodies for issues of importance to the League and to the county."

The LWVSC Observer Corps was organized in January, 2009, and has now completed its fourth year of activity. Observers attend County Council, Planning and Zoning Commission, and Board of Adjustment meetings. Reports from Observers are compiled into monthly reports and submitted to the LWVSC Board. Annually, they are summarized in a comprehensive report for the year. The 2013 report addresses key issues and gives the League's position regarding each topic.

The Observer Corps is beginning to attend school board meetings as well. They will be addressed in next year's report.

You can find the agenda for the meeting here.

You can find a list of suggested readings and websites here.


Op Ed Article Published in DelawareOnline
written by
Charlotte King, President, & Margaret M. McKay, Chair of Open Government
Delaware League of Women Voters
In Reply to Senator Gary Simpson's Earlier Column
THE SAFETY NET SUPPORTS RATHER THAN DISCOURAGES WORK

LWVSC Comments on Proposed Sussex County Budget For 2014
LWVSC member and Observer Corps Chair, Carole Somers, offered comments on behalf of the League during the hearing on the proposed County Budget for 2014. For the full text of the comments, click here.

LWVSC Announces New Officers and Directors
At its meeting on May 13, 2013, the LWVSC elected the following new officers and directors:
Jane Lord, President, seen on right
Jo Klinge, Vice President
Valerie Driscoll, Treasurer
Directors: Sue Claire Harper, Connie Jones, Janet Orlando,
E. Anne Riley, Esther Shelton, Carole Somers, Sheila Zanine.

Thanks were given to the out-going Officers and Director for a job well done: E. Anne Riley, President; Sheila Zanine, Secretary;and Joan Stern, Director. The membership also applauded Voter Services Co-chairs Janet Orlando and Connie Jones and Observer Corps Chair Carole Somers for a great 2012.

Committee Chairs presented Annual Reports that will be available on this site soon.

Fair Housing presentation available

Nick Mirro from the state Division of Human Relations gave a comprehensive and fact-filled presentation on fair housing law, comparing Delaware's law with that of the federal government. He also outlined the role of the Human Relations Division in implementing and enforcing the law as well as advising citizens on their rights vs when they may not have a fair housing case. Cape Gazette coverage of his presentation is here. His Power Point presentation is here.

LWVSC Issues Annual Report of Observer Corps at County Council

Celebrating Sunshine Week, the League of Women Voters of Sussex County issued its Observer Corps' annual report covering February 2012 through January 2013 at a meeting of County Council on March 19. The Corps' Coordinator Carole Somers explained: "As part of the League's support for openness in government, its Observer Corps monitors governmental bodies for issues of importance to the League and to the county."

The LWVSC Observer Corps was organized in January, 2009, and has now completed its fourth year of activity. Observers attend County Council, Planning and Zoning Commission, and Board of Adjustment meetings. Reports from Observers are compiled into monthly reports and submitted to the LWVSC Board. Annually, they are summarized in a comprehensive report for the year. The 2013 report addresses key issues and gives the League's position regarding each topic.

The Observer Corps is beginning to attend school board meetings as well. They will be addressed in next year's report.



The LWV Sussex County's Forum on Extreme Weather Events held on Tuesday, October 8th was well attended and was covered by WMDT TV news.

Check here for the WMDT News coverage of the event.



LWVSC PRESENTS A PUBLIC FORUM:

Extreme Weather Events:
What Sussex County does and what you can do to be safe


Tuesday, October 8, 2013
1 to 3 pm

Beebe Medical Arts Building Conference Room
Beebe Medical Campus
18941 John J. Williams Hwy (Rt 24)
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Speakers:

Joe Thomas
Dr. Wendy Carey
George Junkin
John Mateyko.


At the forum Joe Thomas will speak as the Director of the Emergency Operations Center for Sussex County. Few people have been to the Center and most people living here have no idea of the thought that goes into keeping the residents safe on a daily basis much less in extreme weather events. Everyone who attends will sleep better after learning what the EOC does under Thomas' able direction.

Dr. Wendy Carey was instrumental in preparing a book, "Delaware Homeowners Handbook to Prepare For Natural Hazards", which describes the types of natural hazards in Delaware including tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and extreme heat. Carey will discuss the things you can do as a resident to make yourself safer wherever you live and what you need to have on hand for the period after a weather event.

George Junkin, a resident of South Bethany, will relate his first-hand account of the impact of Hurricane Sandy on him and his home. John Mateyko will give an overview of extreme weather issues from his perspective as a "green" architect in Sussex County.

This well-rounded panel of speakers will present an interesting and challenging view of what Sussex County residents can do for themselves and where they can look for guidance and assistance during extreme weather events in the future.



NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION DAY

In observance of National Voter Registration Day on September 24th, 2013, the League of Women Voters of Sussex County will be sponsoring voter registration drives from 3:00PM to 6:00PM at TWO LOCATIONS!!!:
Walmart Supercenter
4 College Park Lane
Georgetown, DE
and
Giant Supermarket
25939 John J. Williams Hwy
Millsboro, DE

The League will have certified registration agents at each location to facilitate new registrations, address changes, name changes or party affiliation changes. Proof of residency is required.

The League's work to register voters is needed now more than ever. "Voter registration is a critical step to making sure our voter rolls -- and our halls of power -- actually reflect the diversity of our communities", said Jane Lord, President of the League of Women Voters of Sussex County.

According to Census data, nonpartisan groups like the League are responsible for registering large numbers of voters who otherwise would have been left out of the voting process - including young people, new citizens and Americans without college degrees. Nationwide, League volunteers are hosting hundreds of registration events and bringing tens of thousands of new voters onto the rolls.



SEA LEVEL RISE AWARENESS WEEK IN DELAWARE

SLRAwarenessWeek

As part of the observance of Sea Level Rise Awareness Week in Delaware, you are invited to a discussion of the recommendations of the state's Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee on

Friday, September 20th at 7 p.m.

at

St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 211 Mulberry St., Lewes.

Detailed information on the Lewes event can be found here.

Also, please check for the many additional events taking place all over the state in support of Sea Level Rise Awareness at the following SOSDelaware website

For a list of recommended reading prepared by the League's Climate Chair, Chad Tolman, click here



==========NEWSFLASH==========

GOVERNOR MARKELL SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER 41


Sept.12, 2013 Governor Jack Markell kicked off Sea Level Rise Awareness Week today with Executive Order #41, taking everyone by surprise. This is the Executive Order for which the Delaware League's Climate Chair, Chad Tolman, has been campaigning for three years, with the League's support. Executive Order #41 creates the Governor's Committee on Climate and Resiliency, described as a new, long-term effort to get Delaware ready for the effects of climate change and sea level rise. It would require all state agencies to include sea level rise projections in their plans for state-financed projects. It also "requires development of strategies to make state facilities and operations better prepared to deal with sea-level rise, and to share findings with local governments," according to an article in delawareonline.com. A two-year study by DNREC's Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee, of which Tolman is a member, concludes that the state will have to pay huge costs in just the coastal areas of Delaware if the projections of a 5-foot sea level rise by 2100 actually take place. Following the signing of the Executive Order Gov. Markell handed commemorative pens to Sarah Cooksey, head of Coastal Programs, and to Chad Tolman.



GENERAL MEMBERSHIP ORIENTATION MEETING

The League of Women Voters Sussex County is kicking off its 2013-2014 program year with a special meeting on Monday, September 16th, 2013
at
Beebe Medical Center
18947 John J Williams Highway
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
This meeting will be held in the Conference Room located in the last building.

Many of you will get to meet the new LWVSC President, Jane Lord, for the first time. Jane will lead us through a meeting that will highlight the Public Forum plans for the next few months. You will get to meet the women and men taking the lead on these topics and have the opportunity to interact with them.

The 2013-2014 Budget will also be presented for your approval.

The LWVSC Board looks forward to seeing you all at this important meeting.



CELEBRATING 93 YEARS OF THE POWER OF THE VOTE - 2013

LWV Sussex County Celebrates the Anniversary of the 19th Amendment

August 26 marks the 93rd anniversary of the constitutional amendment that granted women the right to vote. In honor of all the women and their male supporters who tirelessly campaigned for 72 years to win this basic human right, the League of Women Voters of Sussex County will present the critically acclaimed film:

"Iron Jawed Angels" on August 25, 2013 at 6:30PM. The film will be shown at the South Coastal Library, 43 Kent Ave, Bethany Beach, DE. The movie is open to the public and free of charge.

This riveting and poignant film is based on the true story about Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, two committed young women who led a group of rebel activists to pursue equality for all American women. They were resolute in their focus and steadfast in the face of fierce opposition sacrificing love, health and well being to achieve their goal. Love vs. career, male dominance, radical vs. conservative groups, government ignorance, racial rights and feminism are woven into this well-crafted movie. Hilary Swank and Frances O'Connor head an outstanding female ensemble including Julia Ormond and Angelica Houston (Emmy-nominated for best supporting actress). It is a highly entertaining film that spans the generations appealing to young and old and inspires a new appreciation for the right of all people to vote.

"On this Women's Equality Day, we are focused on protecting voting rights for all and making sure that everyone who is eligible to vote is able to," said Sussex County League president Jane Lord. The League, which was also founded in 1920, does not support or oppose candidates and is not affiliated with any political party. We don't care whom you vote for; we just want everyone to exercise his or her right to vote.

"Our foremothers understood that voting provides citizens the ability to have an impact on the critical issues facing their communities," Jane Lord continued. "Women's Equality Day is a time to celebrate such a basic part of our democratic process and the right to vote and the opportunities to channel that power into real, lasting change, starting at the grassroots level and not just for women, but for all of us."



LWVSC Marches in the Lewes Doo Dah and Bethany Beach Parades!!

Happy 4th of July League of Women Voters Sussex County marchers in the Lewes Doo Dah 4th of July Parade 2013 were greeted with cheers from the onlookers. Joining (photo below left to right) Jo Klinge, Valerie Driscoll and Carole Somers, were Jane Lord on her bike and Ed Klinge playing patriotic songs on the melodica. Lynda Dunham stepped in for a bit, too!

Sheila Zanine (on left below) and Anne Riley (on right) carried the banner for the LWVSC in the Bethany Beach parade at noon and were delighted by the cheers of support they received.

LWVSC Outgoing President Reminds Everyone to vote in School Board Elections on May 14, 2013 At its annual meeting on May 13, outgoing president E. Anne Riley, PhD, President of the League of Women Voters of Sussex County, urged all citizens 18 years of old or older to vote in school board elections on May 14.

She noted that although nine out of ten Americans believe it is important to vote, only 2% of Delawareans vote in school board elections. "We need to change that!" she said.

The polls are open from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Advance registration is not necessary but identification showing that you live the in school district is required.

For a listing of candidates and polling places in Sussex County School Districts go here. Since the Milford District crosses the County line, it is listed separately here. To view the Voters' Guide, covering all the school districts in the state, from delawareonline, click here.
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LWVSC Sets April 2013 Forum on Housing for All: Fair & Affordable In recognition of Fair Housing Month, LWVSC announces its April public forum speaker is Nick Mirro, representing the Delaware Human Relations Commission Sussex County office. Mirro will outline requirements of fair housing legislation, the role of his office, and how these laws are enforced.

In addition, he will explore such topics as:

  • What's the difference between low income and affordable housing?
  • Where do the nurses and teachers live?
  • Is this a women's issue?
  • Are the nurses here wives and daughters who could not live independently on their salaries because of the cost of housing?
  • What type of housing is affordable -- townhouses, apartments, smaller houses?
  • What about rental property? Is there any?

The forum is free and the public is welcome. It will be held in the Conference Room of the Medical Arts Building in the rear of Beebe's Route 24 Campus, 18941 John J Williams Hwy Rehoboth Beach.


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LWVSC Announces Public Forum on Equity in Public School Financing in Sussex County

"About half the schools in Sussex County are in deep poverty. The other half are doing better. The result is serious inequity in financing our schools," said Esther Shelton, Chair of the LWVSC Program Committee. To address the inequities, LWVSC has scheduled a public forum to be held Saturday, March 16, 2013, at the Georgetown Public Library, 123 Pine Street from 10 a.m. to noon.

A June 2012 email from a Laurel School District student describing her distress at the inequity in financing of public schools called the League's attention to this important issue.

The main speaker is Dr. Nancy Feichtl. She began teaching at Indian River HS in 1968, was Principal of Shields Elementary, Headmistress of the Jefferson School, District Director of Instruction and Special Education for Cape Henlopen School District, and she established and directed the Sussex Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Recently retired State Senator George Bunting will discuss how the county's failure to undertake property tax reassessment since 1974 contributes to the inequity. A study conducted by the LWV of Delaware in 2010 calls for an annual, rolling revaluation of property statewide to reduce serious financial inequities among school districts. That study can be accessed here.

School board members from throughout the county have been invited to participate in the discussion. The public is welcome as well.
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LWVSC and Unitarian Universalists Announce Great Decisions 2013

Fridays, beginning March 15, 2013 7:00 - 8:30 pm
UUSD Church 33739 Marsh Rd Lewes, DE 19958

E-mail sussexlwv@gmail.com or call 302-645-9061 for more details.

Great Decisions is America's largest discussion program on world affairs. It is produced by the Foreign Policy Association. The Great Decisions program highlights eight of the most thought-provoking foreign policy challenges facing Americans each year. Great Decisions provides background information, current data and policy options for each issue and serves as the focal text for discussion groups.

The Foreign Policy Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring the American public to learn more about the world. Founded in 1918, FPA serves as a catalyst for developing awareness, understanding of, and providing informed opinions on global issues. Through its balanced, nonpartisan programs and publications, the FPA encourages citizens to participate in the foreign policy process.

2013 TOPICS

* Future of the Euro by Erik Jones.

* Egypt by Bruce Rutherford.

* NATO by Mark Webber.

* Myanmar and Southeast Asia by Barbara Crossette.

* Intervention by Thomas Weiss.

* Iran by John Limbert.

* China in Africa by David Shinn.

* Threat Assessment by Gregory Treverton.

See dates and detailed descriptions of the topics here.
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League of Women Voters of Sussex County
Not for Women Only!
February Fun Lunch

Friday, February 22,2013 at Noon

The Captain's Table Restaurant
3206 Highway One Rehoboth Beach, DE
302-227-6203
http://www.captainstablerehoboth.com/index.php/menu


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Cape Gazette Covers Fair Housing Talk

The Cape Gazette reported on the LWVSC presentation by Amy Walls, President of the Diamond State Community Land Trust, on the Sussex County fair housing settlement and voluntary compliance agreement. See the article here.

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General Membership Meeting
Program on Sussex County Fair Housing Settlement

Membership Business Meeting at 11:30 a.m.

Program at noon: Amy Walls, President of the Diamond State Land Trust and a member of LWVSC, will discuss the background and outcome of the Diamond State law suit and Fair Housing Complaint that led to the recent settlement between Sussex County and the U.S. Department of Justice and voluntary compliance agreement with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Click here for background.
Bring a brown bag lunch, if you like. ________________________________________________
Safe Communities, Safe Schools, Safe Families: Spotlight on Cyber-Bullying. LWVSC is co-sponsoring this panel discussion sponsored by the Coastal-Georgetown AAUW at 7 pm on Tuesday, January 15,2013. It will be held at the Epworth U.M. Church at 19285 Holland Glade Road, Rehoboth Beach.

Featured Speaker: Dr. Julius Mullen, Chief Clinical Officer of Children & Families First

Panel of experts:

  • Dr. Rebecca Ghabour, Moderator, Wilmington University
  • John Sadowski, Delaware Department of Education
  • Coleen O'Connor, Delaware Bullying Prevention Association
  • Chris Beagle, CAMP Rehoboth

Special Guest Speaker: Beau Biden, Delaware Attorney General will discuss Recent Legislation on Cyber-bullying.

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Fun Lunch
Friday, December 28, 2012 Noon @ Serendipity Restaurant 32580 River RD, Millsboro, DE 19966 (That's in Oak Orchard by the river at the end of Route 5, south of Route 24.) (302)945-3600

Fun Lunches are a great way to get to know the other members of the League, to introduce a friend to the League, and to try out different restaurants in the area.
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Fun Lunch
Monday, November 26, 2012
Noon @
1776 Steakhouse Midway Shopping Center
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
(302)645-9355

Fun Lunches are a great way to get to know the other members of the League in Sussex County. Make a point of sitting with someone you don't know. The Fun Lunches are also a great time to introduce a friend to the League.
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LWVSC Board Meeting
Monday, December 10, 2012
@
10 am
Location TBA
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LWVSC cartoon

Countdown to election Day has begun, are you ready to vote?

The League of Women Voters of Delaware has announced a nonpartisan election resource at VOTE411. This one-stop-shop provides simple tools to help Delaware voters navigate the process.

On this site you can:

  • Enter your address and find your polling place; who will be on your ballot (even print one out); and compare candidates.
  • Register online
  • Find questions submitted by the League to all the candidates, and compare their answers.
  • Find Absentee ballot information, Election Dates, I.D. Requirements, Registration Deadlines, Voter Qualifications and Voter Registration forms, etc.
  • This information is also available in Spanish at the same site.

REMEMBER: Primary Day is Tuesday, September 11, 2012; Election Day is Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Vote 411 was launched by the Education Fund of the League of Women Voters of the U.S. in 2006 and continues each year to provide this useful information to the voting public.

The League is a non-partisan political organization. It neither supports nor opposes candidates at any level of government. Non-partisanship does not mean that we do not take positions on issues, but we do so after research and with membership agreement. We have been doing this since out founding ninety years ago.

This election will affect you, your job, your health care, your energy costs, your environment, your children and grandchildren. If you do not vote you will be letting others make decisions for you. Don't waste this precious right.
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LWVUS produces downloadable guide to the Presidential Election process!
LWVUS has once again teamed up with the Newspaper in Education Institute to produce Electing the President, a handy, downloadable guide outlining all you need to know about the presidential election process.

From helping you navigate the complex nomination process to providing succinct tips for making sense of the daily barrage of campaign coverage and advertising, Electing the President will serve as your go-to resource all the way up to Election Day. Download the guide and share it with your family, friends, and any potential new voters in your life.
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Meet the Candidates

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

7 pm @ Cadbury at Lewes
17028 Cadbury Circle
Lewes, DE 19958
Come out and meet the candidates for State Senate District6: Andrew W.Staton (D), Ernesto B. Lopez (R), Gwendolyn Jones (L); State Senate District 20: Richard W. Eakle (D), Gerald W. Hocker (R); State House Representative District 14: Peter C. Schwartzkopf (D), Margaret V. Melson (L) & State House Representative District 20: Marie M. Mayor (D), Stephen T. Smyk (R)

Thursday, October 25, 2012
7 pm @ Georgetown Public Library
123 W Pine ST
Georgetown, DE 19947
Meet the candidates for State Senate District 18: Gary F. Simpson (R)- unopposed; State Senate District 19: Jane E. Hovington (D), Brian G. Pettyjohn (R)- Write-In, possible special circumstance; State House Representative 36: Harvey R Kenton (R)- unopposed; State House Representative 37: Elizabeth McGinn (D), Ruth Briggs King (R); State House Representative 38: Shirley A. Price (D), Ronald E. Gray (R) & State House Representative 41: John C. Atkins (D), Richard G. Collins (R).

Monday, October 29, 2012
7 pm @ Seaford Library and Cultural Center
600 N. Market ST
Seaford, DE 19973
Meet the candidates for State Senate District 21, State House Representative District 35, State House Representative District 39, & State House Representative District 40.

Tuesday, October 30, 20127 pm @ Georgetown Public Library
123 W Pine ST
Georgetown, DE 19947
Meet the candidates for Sussex County Council District 1, Sussex County Council District 2, Sussex County Council District 3, & Sussex County Council Clerk of the Peace.



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Educating for Work in the 21st Century
A Public Forum on Education in Sussex County

Wednesday
October 10, 2012
1:30 - 3:30 pm

Education is often discussed as necessary for the United States to participate in the global economy. This public forum will focus on the task of educating students who live in Sussex County.

Guest Speakers:

Rhonda Hill
Innovative Schools Development Corporation
Team Member

John Barr
Delaware New Tech Academy in Seaford High School
Community and Business Liaison

Beebe Medical Arts Building
Beebe Medical Campus
18947 John J Williams Hwy (Rt 24)
Lewes, Delaware

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Join LWVSC and help register voters!

Sunday, October 7 from 11 am - 5 pm
at UD's Coast Day

Email us for details on how to help!
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SEPTEMBER FUN LUNCH
September 21, 2012
Lighthouse Landing Restaurant at the Airport
21553 Rudder Lane
Georgetown, Delaware
Friday @ 11:30 am

Come Early to Learn About National Voter Registration Day on September 25,2012.
In 2008, 6 million Americans didn't vote because they missed a registration deadline or didn't know how to register. In 2012, the League of Women Voters Sussex County wants to make sure no one is left out.

Lunch at Noon

Is there a better way to get to know each other than over a meal? We don't think so! What's the hot issue in your life? How's it being addressed locally? All that, along with making new friends and sharing laughs makes the Fun Lunches a calendar asset.

The Fun Lunches are always Dutch Treat with separate checks. Carpoolers will meet in Lowe's parking lot section closest to Rt 9 at 11:00 a.m.

Screening of Iron Jawed Angels at Laurel Public Library on September 18, 2012 from 4 to 6 pm.

The right to vote for today's woman was a hard fought battle that occurred across this nation just over one hundred years ago. To celebrate this victory and to ensure that modern women exercise this right, the Laurel Public Library in partnership with the Sussex County League of Women Voters will present a free showing of the award winning film Iron Jawed Angels at the library on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 from 4 to 6 pm in the Carpenter Community Room.

Starring award winning actors Hilary Swank, Angelica Huston, Patrick Dempsey and Julia Ormond, the film is a must see for everyone, especially young women of today, as it explores the first wave of what has become known as "Women's Suffrage." Nominated for five Emmys and awarded a golden globe in 2005, Iron Jawed Angels is appropriate for ages 14 and up.

Taking a fresh and contemporary look at a pivotal event in American history, Iron Jawed Angels tells the true story of how the defiant and brilliant young activists, Alice Paul and Lucy Burns took the women's suffrage movement by storm, putting their lives at risk to help American women win the right to vote. Of special note for local history fans is the fact that Delaware native, Mabel Vernon played a significant role in this effort. Vernon joined close friend Alice Paul to form the Congressional Union for Women Suffrage. Her involvement led to imprisonment and enduring hunger strikes. Played by Brooke Smith in the film, Mabel Vernon died in 1975.

A discussion of the film will follow the showing. For more information visit http://www.laurel.lib.de.us, email normajean.fowler@lib.de.us or call 302-875-3184.

--From the Laurel Public Library Press Release written by Norma Jean Fowler

Forum on Public Education in Sussex County
On Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 1:30 pm the League of Women Voters of Sussex County will present a forum on Public Education in Sussex County in the Medical Arts Building at the Beebe Medical Campus on Route 24 in Lewes, DE. The event is open to the public.

Education is often discussed as necessary for the United States to participate in the global economy. This Public Forum will focus on the role of education for people who live and work in Sussex County.

Paul Harrell, a Director in Delaware's Department of Education, will represent DOE's newly appointed Secretary, Mark Murphy, at this Forum. Harrell will address the ways that the Delaware DOE can and cannot impact education in here. He will also discuss the actions being taken at DOE that are related to Public Education in Sussex County and the results that are anticipated. A panel of educators will follow Harrell's presentation with questions related to public education in the county.

This is an opportunity for individuals to share their hopes and concerns for the future of children who live here through questions to Paul Harrell of Delaware's Department of Education.

JOIN US THIS SUMMER!

People often say they'd like to help, but no one ever asks them to do anything. Today, the LWV Sussex County is asking YOU for help.

HELP!!

The League of Women Voters was founded to HELP women vote. HELP is still needed. HELP comes in many forms with Voter Registration, and information about candidates and polling place locations leading the way. How to fulfill that most basic work also comes in many forms. LWVSC takes that information to the voters at Festivals and Vote411.

This summer there are two festivals where Voter Services could use your help for 2 hours.

AFRAM Festival
Saturday
August 11, 2012
Seaford Sports Complex
490 Market Street Extended
Seaford, DE

Setup Begins: 7:00 a.m.
Exhibit: 10:00 am + 8:00 pm

AND

Festival Hispano
Sunday
August 19, 2012
Millsboro Little League Complex
State Street
Millsboro, DE

Check-in Begins: 9:00 am
Exhibit: 12:00 noon + 6:00 pm (rain or shine).
This event is free and open to anyone who wants to celebrate Latino cultural heritage.
This day includes traditional music, folkloric dances, plenty of delicious food,information and services focused on the Hispanic community.
Booths will have material about voter registration, upcoming League events, LWVSC Candidate Forums, and VOTE411. Material will be in both Spanish and English at the Hispanic Festival.

Volunteers are asked to volunteer for at least two (2) hours. There will be 2 or 3 volunteers at the booth for each shift.

If you are conversant in Spanish, please consider volunteering for the Festival Hispano. Ideally, at least one of the volunteers for each shift will be bi-lingual.
Interested? Contact Janet @ (302)200-1487 or (302)200-1073

* * * * *

Third in Series on Privatization addressed Education: Public or Private - Should I be concerned?

Nancy Feichtl, Ed. D. kicked off the program held on April 11, 2012. She presented the history of education in Delaware/Sussex County since 1970, explaining she not only knows the history since 1970, she has lived it. She began teaching at Indian River HS in 1968, was Principal of Shields Elementary, Headmistress of the Jefferson School, District Director of Instruction and Special Education for Cape Henlopen School District, and she established and directed the Sussex Academy of Arts and Sciences.

A panel followed with speakers for each of the major categories of education in Sussex County. They outlined what each type of school provides the children of Delaware/Sussex and the challenges each type of school faces today and moving forward.

Connie Hendricks, Head of The Jefferson School, discussed the role of private schools. Kendall Massett, executive director of the Delaware Charter Schools Network, spoke about charter schools. Donna Johnson, executive director of the State Board of Education, spoke from the state's perspective on how public schools are serving the children.

A lively Q&A followed. For excellent coverage, see Ron MacArthur's report published in the Cape Gazette.

LWVSC presented its Third Annual Observer Corps Report to County Council. Observer Corps Chair Carole Somers presented the third annual Observer Corps report to County Council in March. The Observer Corps monitors County Council, Planning & Zoning and the Board of Adjustment. See a copy of the report here. Then, see how the presentation was covered by Ron MacArthur in the Cape Gazette.

The Corps is now observing the Cape Henlopen and Indian River School Districts and is seeking volunteers to observe and report on proceedings at the other monthly school board meetings in the county. To volunteer, please contact Carole Somers.

LWVSC presented the Second in a Series of Public Forums on PRIVATIZATION: ROADS: Who Owns Them? Who Pays? on February 15, 2012.

Panelists included:

  • Vince Robertson, Counsel to Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission
  • Joe Wright, DelDOT Director of Maintenance and Operations
  • Marc Cote, DelDOT Subdivision Engineer
  • Fritz Schranck, Deputy Attorney General, DelDOT

Here is a summary of their informative presentations.

See how the Cape Gazette covered this forum.

See the entire Delaware Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act for details on requirements that certain communities set aside reserves for future road maintenance.

Watch this space for a Fact Sheet on private roads in Sussex County that should appear in the next week or two.

LWVSC presented the first in a series of Public Forums on The Privatization of Public Services

Water/Wastewater: Public or Private in Sussex County -- Who owns your water and should you care? was the topic of a January 11, 2012 public forum that attracted 75 attendees.

What are the ramifications of the trend toward privatization? How do these two services, publicly owned water and wastewater services versus privately owned stand up to one another in comparison? Does privatization create more efficiency and lower prices as promised? Is publicly controlled water supply really less efficient and more expensive? These were the questions addressed at the forum.

Click here for a report on the forum from the Cape Gazette.

Mark your calendar now for the rest of the privatization public forum series:

  • February 15 at 10 am: Who Owns Your Roads: Who Pays?
  • March 14 at 1 pm: Contracts: The Tie That Binds in Sussex County
  • April 11 at 1 pm: Education: Public or Private in Sussex County. Let's follow the money

All forums will be held at Beebe's Medical Arts Building on the Route 24 Campus, Rehoboth Beach.

The privatization series is the LWV of Sussex County's approach to their participation in a LWVUS study of the issue. The LWVSC will hold a membership meeting in April to address questions raised in the LWVUS study. For details on the nationwide study, go to our Voter Education and League Studies page.

LWVSC now has two phone numbers. The new one is 302-200-1487 but we kept the old one too because so many They Represent You brochures were distributed with it: 302-200-1073. But we prefer email at sussexlwv@gmail.com.

League Testifies on County Council Redistricting. Representing the LWV of Sussex County, Jo Klinge testified at the County Council hearing on their redistricting plan on October 25. To see the comments, click here. The hearing was closed after her presentation but public comments will be accepted until noon, Friday, October 29. They may be emailed to redistricting@sussexcountyde.gov, mailed to Clerk of Council at PO Box 589, Georgetown, DE 19947, or FAXed to 855-7549. Comments must be received by noon Friday.

Although the League's statement was the only one presented at the hearing, Wolfgang von Baumgart, President of the Independent Party of Delaware, submitted a written statement for the record in which he "supports and applauds the Sussex County League of Women Voters proposed redistricting plan as an exemplary citizens initiative." He also suggested that the current system is "too closed in nature and that the greater public interest would best be served by an independent redistricting commission." The League has long supported independent commissions for redistricting at all levels of government.

Coast Press Cheers LWVSC Website. The October 19, 2011, edition of the Coast Press in its "Cheers and Jeers" column on the editorial page, cheered this new website: "The League of Women Voters of Sussex County should be applauded for its efforts to improve its online presence. The organization's new website, which can be found at http://www.sussexlwv.org, features a calendar of events, ways to contact government representatives and instructions for registration and voting. Knowledge is power, and with more information available to the community, the group will find it easier to accomplish its goal of encouraging participation in government."

Sussex learns about core standards in education.

Chris Minnich from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) in Washington, DC, explained how that organization of state officials is developing voluntary core standards for math and English. This slide shows the principles that he presented at the League's public forum on October 12. For more details about the CCSSO, go here.

<a Minnich led the standards and assessment work at CCSSO where they are currently working on implementing common standards across states. The Delaware State Board of Education adopted the Common Core Standards a year ago. These standards are part of a movement to unify and coordinate across state lines. These common standards will help students who transfer from one school to another. All but six states have adopted them. It is hoped that they will be fully implemented by the 2012 school year. When they are established, parents will know what is expected and will be able, more easily, to get involved in their child's education.

The Sussex County League of Women Voters joined with other leagues across the country and with the LWVUS to study this issue in order to reach a consensus that will result in a national position on Core Curriculum Standards and the Role of the Federal Government in Public Education. Results of the consensus should be available in early 2012. For more information about the League study/consensus process, go here.

LWVSC Update on Status of Redistricting Sussex County Council The League has prepared a slideshow documenting its 2011 project: Redistricting Sussex County Council. The slideshow explains what the League has done and the current status of the County's redistricting approach. To stop the slide so you have more time to read it, press the vertical double line at the bottom left of the screen. You can go back by using the < symbol at the left or go forward by pressing the > symbol on the right of that double line.

League of Women Voters Sussex County Anounces Annual Lunch with LWV Kent County.

When: Friday, December 16, 2011 from Noon - 1:30.

Where: Abbott's Grill, 249 NE Front Street, Milford, DE 19963

More: Once a year the Sussex County and Kent County Leagues get together for lunch. This is a wonderful opportunity for members of both Leagues to get to know each other and to learn what the other League is doing. This is also an opportunity for the members of each League to bring friends to introduce them to the local League members.

2012 is an election year. It will be an exciting and busy one for the League! It will be a year that the Leagues in Delaware work closely together.

League announces fundraiser at Green Turtle in Lewes November 8. The League of Women Voters of Sussex County is looking forward to 2012. That is an election year and one of the things the League does is to give candidates the opportunity to present themselves to the voters in a non-partisan setting. The League also offers the candidates an opportunity to answer questions that are then given to the public through the Internet or in print. The following is one of the local League's opportunities to raise the money to fund those Voter Service activities. The Greene Turtle supports the League of Women Voters of Sussex County by giving them 10% of their earnings on that day.

HELP US HELP YOU
Come to The Green Turtle
at Five Points in Lewes
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
11 a.m. - 1 a.m.

If you missed this event, but would like to donate, click on the button at the bottom of this page.

Fun Lunch a Success in Seaford. The LWVSC Fun Lunch on Friday, October 21, attracted several newcomers. Trisha Newcomer described what the city is doing to attract businesses and Sharon Drugash explained how the city is educating folks about ways to increase the energy efficiency of their homes. Lisa Collins and Semia Hackett who both work for DART discussed some of the challenges of providing public transportation in such a large county with limited density. Councilmember Pat Jones discussed the need for financial literacy. State Rep. Dan Short, seen here with Sharon Drugash, Amy Walls, Cathy Ward and Trisha Newcomer, stopped by to greet us.

Next Fun Lunches Announced Fun Lunches have been set up for the rest of the year at locations around the county in an effort to attract membership in every district: following the October 21 lunch at PK's Restaurant in Seaford, the League will gather on November 21 at Harpoon Hanna's in Fenwick Island, and December 16 at Abbott's Grill in Milford. See the Calendar for details.

League members win election in Dewey Beach. On Saturday, September 17, League member Diane Hanson won re-election to the Dewey Beach Town Council where she serves as Mayor and Anna Legates won election to the Council. Another woman, Joy Howell, was also elected. They are sworn in on September 24.

LWV SC sends letter to the editor supporting Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance for Sussex County (September 14, 2011) The League of Women Voters of Sussex County supports the proposed Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance. We support this in accordance with the LWVDE initiative urging adequate infrastructure for proposed new development. New development must only occur if the facilities, such as roads, water and sewage service, and room in our schools is available....more

LWVSC Comments on Sussex County Council Redistricting Map (September 6, 2011): The League of Women Voters commends the County for providing the opportunity for public input in the 2011 redistricting process for the first time in history. This is a significant step in the right direction.

Our disappointment comes in the missed opportunity to reflect communities of interest in this process that occurs only once every ten years....more.

League Urges County Council to Hold a New Hearing on Extension of Expiring Projects (August 8, 2011) The League of Women Voters of Sussex County, on August 8, wrote to County Council urging them to hold a new public hearing prior to voting on the proposed extension of expiring development projects. The Council agenda included consideration of an ordinance to provide a blanket extension of certain projects that had not been started by established deadlines....more

League of Women Voters Keeps Busy in Sussex An article published in the Delaware Coast Press on July 20, 2011 covers recent activity.

On the Circle Blog Comments on LWV Observer Corps. Ron MacArthur, in his April 7, 2009, On the Circle blog about Sussex County, described the beginnings of the LWVSC Observer Corps:

WOMEN POWER Maybe they feel more empowered now that one of their own is sitting in a chair of authority, but women are showing up more and more at county meetings. The Sussex chapter of League of Women Voters has started sending an observation team to every county meeting. And there appears to be a groundswell of other women who are attending meetings and speaking out during public hearings and during the public participation portion of council meetings.

Perhaps they are following in the footsteps of Abigail Adams who said: "If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation."

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