Dear Chester County League Members:
It is my hope that 2018 finds you well and looking forward with eager anticipation and energy to a productive year with the League of Women Voters of Chester County.
Our Annual Program Planning meeting will take place this year at the George Fox Room at Crosslands Retirement Community in Kennett Square, on Saturday, January 27, 2018, beginning at 10:00 a.m. We will review our existing programs to see whether they should be modified, eliminated, enhanced or simply continued as they are. As we approach the program planning meeting, we are reminded that:
The League is a complex organization with positions at local, state, and national levels, but always speaking with one voice.
In 2016, The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania (LWVPA) developed a Criminal Justice Position.
In keeping with the Criminal Justice Position (and in keeping with our goal to educate the public) the Chester County League has co-sponsored three Criminal Justice Conferences with Cornerstone Christian Church and Justice Rain, Inc. In addition, members of our Criminal Justice Committee are now regular attendees at the monthly Chester County Prison Board Meetings. We have presented our concerns about the county’s $85.00 booking fee to the Prison Board both orally and in writing. I anticipate that our Criminal Justice Programs will be carried on apace in 2018.
In April 2017, we held our first Education Forum On Immigration. The League’s position on Immigration is clear:
Promote reunification of immediate families; meet the economic, business and employment needs of the United States; be responsive to those facing political persecution or humanitarian crises; and provide for student visas. Ensure fair treatment under the law for all persons. In transition to a reformed system, support provisions for unauthorized immigrants already in the country to earn legal status.
I anticipate that our Immigration Education activities will continue in 2018 with the screening of a series of documentaries (“Home is a Human Right”) on the issue of immigration (DACA, ICE and Sanctuary Cities), presented by Brave New Films. As advertised by Brave New Films, “the films in this series—Pursuing the Dream, Nowhere to Go: Shutting Out Syrians, and The Call to Sanctuary—examine immigration issues that impact the lives of undocumented and refugee communities and highlight the steps that individuals can take to fight for immigrant justice”. We will also likely be partnering with Brave New Films to screen other documentaries on other public policy issues, which are of concern to the League.
In 2017, individual members of the Chester County League partnered with Fair Districts PA in the ongoing battle over the boundaries of Pennsylvania’s legislative districts. There is no doubt that our bid for the reform of our electoral system will continue in 2018.
In November 2017, we were able to publish the Fall Voters’ Guide in the Daily Local News, thanks in part to the generosity of our long time voters’ service chair, Mary Lou Dondero. It goes without saying that in 2018 we will continue with the traditional voter registration and voter education activities, which are fundamental to the League, and which are so well established in Chester County.
Our budget had not permitted us to print the Voters’ Guide in the newspaper in the three previous years, and the public made known to us that the printed guide was sorely missed. I anticipate that we will be able to sustain the printing of the Voters’ Guide at least for the November elections, if not for the Primaries, because we are entering 2018 in the best financial position that we have been in for quite some time, thanks to the ardent work of our Fund Raising Committee (headed by our First Vice President, Dr. Pamela Gray) and the generous gifts of a number of our members, many of whom have given above and beyond what we asked.
Also sorely missed was our Quarterly Voter Newsletter. I am pleased to announce that we are working to produce the Quarterly Voter in 2018 under the guiding hand of our Second Vice President, Barbara Lathroum. I anticipate that the first edition of 2018 will be published in April.
In what has become our biennial tradition, 2018 will be our year to “Celebrate the Right to Vote”! The work goes on. I am honored to be your president.
Best regards to all.
Jennifer W. Levy-Tatum, Esquire,