Tag Archives: membership

Education: Accountability in a New Landscape

Join the League of Women Voters of New Jersey for a lively panel discussion examining accountability in traditional public schools and charter schools. New Jersey education experts will discuss, debate, and offer insight into current education policy trends. Panelists are sure to touch on many current education topics including tenure and teacher evaluation, charter school authorization, and others as they discuss their ideas for education reform.

When: Saturday, September 24, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm

Where: PSEG Training Center, 234 Pierson Ave, Edison, NJ

Register: The registration deadline is this Friday, September 16th! Learn more about the event and register online!

This panel discussion will be moderated by John Mooney, education reporter and founding editor of NJSpotlight.com. There will be plenty of time for questions!

Panelists include:

Dr. Rosemary Knab, Associate Director, NJEA Research and Economic Services

Dr. Brian Osborne, Superientendent of Schools, South Orange & Maplewood

Dr. Julia Sass Rubin, Association Professor at Edward J. Bloustein School and one of the founding members of Save our Schools NJ

Dr. Alan R. Sadovnik, Professor of Education, Sociology, and Public Affairs and co-director of the Institute on Education Law and Policy and Newark Schools Research Collaborative, Rutgers University-Newark.

Workshops

In the afternoon, we will hold skill-building workshops. This year you have the opportunity to attend either

Moderator Training

An experienced trainer and moderator will teach you your responsibilities, including our updated procedures, using a manual and role-playing. This workshop is a double session precluding attendence at any other.

or two of the following workshops:

Effective Lobbying

The League of Women Voters of New Jersey is strengthening our Lobby Corps!    Are you interested in learning how you can be a part of our advocacy efforts, take on a leadership role in the League, and make a positive difference? Join longtime League lobbyist Sandy Matsen to learn effective lobbying techniques.

Membership and Leadership Development

This year, the League of Women Voters of New Jersey is participating in a national initiative aimed at increasing membership! Come learn how your local League can benefit from the best practices our state membership coaches have learned from LWVUS.

Starting a “Running & Winning” Workshop

Come learn how you can start this popular program that introduces high school girls in your community to public service. This is a wonderful way to engage your members and gain new members. The League of Women Voters of New Jersey even has resources and money to help your local League kick off this program!

BrandRaising: Marketing the League

For-profit companies invest significantly in marketing and communications in order to build their customer base and raise awareness. Traditionally, nonprofits have not used marketing strategies and tools in the same way…but should! Come learn how the League can use these proven techniques and tools (like social media) to raise funds, improve outreach, and increase visibility!

Register by Friday, September 16th to avoid the late fee!

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Educate. Advocate. Empower.

The League of Women Voters of New Jersey (LWVNJ) will hold our 59th Biennial Statewide Convention Saturday, April 30th at the Verizon Headquarters in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. LWVNJ is a grassroots network, directed by the consensus of its members throughout the state. Local League delegates will have the opportunity to vote on the business of the state League including program, nominations, bylaws and the budget. There will also be opportunities to discuss topics such as immigration, natural resources, voting, moderating and membership. Marcia Merrins’, LWVUS Board Member, will lead an important discussion on defending the League’s nonpartisan stance—a discussion that will be particularly useful to League moderators.

This year’s luncheon speaker is the founding editor of NJ Spotlight, John Mooney, who will speak about the present state of education in New Jersey. He has covered education issues for 15 years as a reporter for the Newark Star Ledger and Bergen Record and recently has been a contributing writer for the New York Times.

The awards ceremony will take place during the luncheon. During this time, LWVNJ will honor the service of local Leagues and the contributions of outstanding individuals, moderators, and 50-year members.

During the luncheon, there will be the raffle drawing in which three lucky ticket holders will have the chance to win a new laptop, a Kindle, or an iPad2. There is still time to purchase your raffle tickets and you do not have to attend the convention to win. The proceeds of this raffle benefit LWVNJ-EF’s mission to educate the public and promote civic participation. Tickets can be purchased online or by mailing a check made out to LWVNJ-EF Raffle, 204 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08608.

Register for the 59th Biennial Convention today! The registration deadline is Friday, April 15th. A late fee will apply after this date.

Register Online or Register by Mail.

Thank you to our Platinum Sponsor:

League of Women Voters Convention

The following entry is written by LWVNJ Board Member, Ed Gracely.

I just returned from an exhilarating experience at the League of Women Voters of the US Convention in Atlanta. I am always impressed by the breadth of interests League members have! For example, during this convention members proposed, discussed, and adopted statements on marriage equality for same sex couples (we support it!), the travel ban to Cuba (we oppose it), the Senate filibuster (we’d like a lot less of it), and “improved Medicare for all” (we support it). In addition, we will be busy over the next two years working on the studies adopted (one on privatization, the other on the federal role in education).

Some of the New Jersey delegates with past LWVUS President, Susan Lederman (from NJ), seen here in the red jacket in the center of the photo.

These activities illustrate the processes by which the League of Women Voters reaches decisions. Our members choose the issues that we will study and our members decide the positions that we will take –  a very grassroots process! Potential issues to study are proposed at convention and debated, often with informative caucuses, and speakers. After debating, members vote on whether or not to undertake the study. Now that we have two new studies, committees will be formed, materials distributed, and local Leagues will hold meetings to provide their input to the national League. The conclusions reached from local League members will determine our future position on the issues studied. This process of proposal, debate, study, and consensus is at the heart of the League’s approach to public policy issues, and represents a significant part of why the League’s views are respected on so many topics. Every member of the League of Women Voters has a voice within our respected organization, which translates to a powerful voice in government on important legislation — a great reason to be a member of the League!

We didn’t spend quite all of our time debating positions and adopting studies (see more pictures from Convention)! Among other things, there were numerous interesting workshops and caucuses to attend. For example, proponents of marriage equality, Medicare for all, and the education study all held caucus meetings to promote their views.  Workshops offered training on how to advocate at the federal level, issues in redistricting, creating a League web site, and many other topics. League of Women Voters of New Jersey members participated in panels on using online tools in the community, encouraging women to run for office, and election integrity.  We also heard from notables like Kathleen Sebelius (Health and Human Services Secretary) and John Lewis (civil rights leader and inspiring congressman from the Atlanta area). We had a speaker on women’s suffrage at the banquet, and we got to watch a movie all about gerrymandering (creating election districts to achieve political goals).

I love conventions. I always learn a lot, plus I enjoy the give and take of the debates on the floor, and even the nit picky challenges to procedures (which I’ve been known to make!) The best part about conventions is the same thing I love about the League of Women Voters — both provide an opportunity to be personally, hands-on,  involved in a wide variety of decisions and activities that are part of the League’s mission of making democracy work.

From Where I Sat

LWVNJ intern shares her experience and views of the Alternative Energy Conference

The following entry is written by LWVNJ intern, and new member, Mabel Duran-Sanchez and reflects her impressions of the Alternative Energy Conference.

Approximately 100 other members and non-members joined me at the Alternative Energy for New Jersey conference on Saturday, April 10. The conference was part of a continuing project led by the League of Women Voters of New Jersey Natural Resources Committee in search of enlightening and educating New Jersey on different sources of alternative energy.

The first half of the event was dedicated to the informative reports presented by the different League committees who researched geothermal, solar, nuclear, biomass, and wind alternative energy sources. These reports highlighted the economic and physical efficiency of the different sources, as well as their life expectancy and reliability, ecological compatibility, and political viability.

Throughout these presentations, a reoccurring theme was that of collaboration. There is no sole right way to produce energy efficiently while protecting our environment. Alternative energy sources are more efficient when used in combination, rather than independently.

Perhaps some of the most attention-grabbing moments of these reports included when the League of Women Voters of Ridgewood discussed how sewage sludge could be used as a means to generate energy in a waste water plant and when Kimberly E. Diamond, the representative of the Berkeley Heights, New Jersey Environmental Commission (BHEC) presented the extensive and immediate benefits of wind power. Another interesting fact that I learned during the conference was that Germany was the leader in solar energy creation. If a cloudy country like Germany had made solar energy work for them, New Jersey, which was measured second nationally for its total solar capacity, could do the same.

After the reports, the audience headed to the lunch room. While enjoying our meals, keynote speaker, Governor James J. Florio, gave a wonderful speech. Governor Florio’s charismatic personality and enthusiasm for the reports and the Leagues’ findings was exhilarating. He enlightened the audience with his executive experience, knowledge of environmental policy, and his passion for long-term development.

After lunch, Scott Minos, from the U.S. Department of Energy, presented on the importance of maximizing the productivity of the energy that is already produced. Dr. Arjun Makhijani, the president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, concluded the conference. He suggested a combination of alternative energy sources in order to create a more sustainable energy source.

It was interesting to learn how protecting our environment involves gradual changes and that it does not require a complete transformation of everything we know. The problem is whether we choose to contribute to cheap short-term development or more expensive long-term results as Governor Florio mentioned. This is what will determine environmental policy.

In addition to the wonderful things that I learned from the conference, it was truly a proud experience. It was an honor to be involved in such a wonderful project and to be around such inspirational individuals. When Governor Florio expressed his gratitude for all of the League’s deeds, I could not help but to feel grateful to be involved with such an incredible and influential group.