Sunday, November 6, 2016


This film is crucial to LWV members; since 1979, we have held a position on this subject. Current state's legislation and progress in dismantling it was the film's subject.

Rent it at Netflix.

The synopsis on the Netflix site is as follows:
Amid a political climate that's produced a staggering array of regulations restricting abortion providers, this topical documentary looks at the clinics struggling to provide care and the people going to court to protect women's reproductive rights.

Synopsis prepared by Barbara Ostroth, VP, Voter Service:

Documentary - 90 minutes 

Directed by Dawn Porter
Sponsored by League of Women Voters of Teaneck, NJ

Talkback with Attorney Hillary Schneller, Center for Reproductive Rights; Angela Bonavoglia, author & journalist; Casey Olesko, Planned Parenthood NJ; moderated by Sandi Klein
 Official Site - IMDb - Trailer

From 2011 to 2013, hundreds of regulations were passed restricting access to abortion in America. Reproductive rights advocates refer to these as "TRAP" laws, or Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers. Trapped interweaves the personal stories behind these regulatory battles: from the physician who crisscrosses the country assuring medical services are available; to the strong women and men who run the clinics; to the lawyers leading the legal charge to eliminate these laws; to the women they are all determined to help.

Monday, October 31, 2016



The League of Women Voters of New Jersey has a statewide Education Committee working to understand and influence education policy in the state. Members interested in joining the Education Committee can contact the state office at


The League of Women Voters of New Jersey has positions concerning charter schools, private school choice, school district regionalization, the state role in achieving quality education, teacher certification and professional development, and tenure. Details can be found in the League of Women Voters of New Jersey's Study& Action.

Charter Schools – 2000,  Update 2015 (Study and Action)

The original LWVNJ position statement (2000), supports the intent of the 1995 legislation that established charter schools as a means to encourage innovation within local public schools. However, that support came with qualifications; furthermore, the educational landscape has changed substantially over the past 15 years.

The study materials included: 1) accountability, including school governance, student achievement, and communication of innovative practices and curricula to the district public schools; 2) the role of district residents in charter approval; 3) what organizations should be allowed to authorize charter schools; 4) full-time virtual charter schools; and 5) oversight of educational management organizations in the operation of charter schools.The LWVNJ Education Committee  formed the position from the consensus of 26 leagues, (816 members).

Opposition to School Vouchers ( Study and Action  )

League position: The League of Women Voters of New Jersey believes that the system of elementary and secondary education must be fiscally and educationally accountable to New Jersey citizens. Therefore, public funds should not be used through vouchers or direct payments, tax credits or other fiscal incentives or equivalent financial instruments to support students attending non-public schools.

Current Issues: 2016

The beginning stage of consensus studies involves the Education Committee evaluating issues on need for the study, interest of LWV members, relevance to LWV mission, and willingness of members to carry out the study. The LWVNJ Education Committee has been discussing these areas:


The New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards for Social Studies has as its Mission Statement that " Social Studies education provides learners with the knowledge, skills and perspectives needed to become active, informed citizens and contributing members of local, state, national and global communities"   It further states that "an education in social studies fosters, among other things, a population that is civic minded, globally aware and socially responsible.  It exemplifies fundamental values of American citizenship through active participation in local and global communities and makes informed decisions about local, state, national and global events based on inquiry and analysis."

The National Standards for Civics and Government ,which is published by the Center for Civic Education,  are referenced in these standards. Standard 6.3 Active Citizenship in the 21st century applies to grades Pre-K-12, at all levels (Pre-K-4, 5-8,9-12).Teachers use a variety of strategies to teach the information i.e. debates, mock trials, service learning projects.

Districts also have extracurricular clubs, such as Student Council, Future Civics Leaders, Junior Statesmen of America and  Model UN,   that promote Civics.

The League plays a role in promoting Civics Education by registering voters in the high school, distributing Mail-In-Ballot Applications during graduation rehearsal. The League can sponsor programs such as Making Democracy Work  (Greater Red Bank League) or Running and Winning Programs (Camden League).  The League can partner with the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts to help the scouts receive their badges.




October 8, 2016

                I attended the NJ League of Women Voters’ program at Rider University, along with several dozen other LWV members from around the state.  The morning was devoted to updating us on current statistics for voter registration, efforts in various states to either improve or suppress voter registration, and discuss some of the reasons why this is such a challenging topic even in 2016.

                Our first speaker, Jennifer Clark, counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice, discussed a wide variety of nationwide statistics to illustrate how complicated it is to tackle this issue in various states.  Some of the more eye-opening data included:

·         Of the 12 states with the highest percentage of Latino voters in 2008, nine

of them have increased voter restrictions through state legislative efforts.

·         30 states have made major efforts to modernize voter registration systems since 2008

·         1 in 4 adults in the USA are not registered to vote

·         1 in 4 adults do not understand that their voter registration is not automatically

updated when they move, even if they stay within the same state.

·         39 states offer online voter registration (NJ does not, forms can be filled in but must

Be downloaded and printed out for manual signatures, then mailed)

·         23 states offer voter registration at DMVs and some other government agencies

Via electronic transfer (doing both at the same time)

·         16 states have same day registration either at the polling places or through local

Municipal clerk’s offices, to correct inaccuracies as well as register new voters

·         Only 5 states (OR, CA, VT, CT and WV) offer automatic voter registration at all

government offices (DMV, Medicare, SS, etc) with an opt out option, and are

completely paperless

We then heard from a great panel of three women – Elizabeth Matto, director for Youth Political

Participation Program; Mary Ciccone, attorney for Disability Rights NJ; and Analilia Mejia, Exec. Director, NJ Working Families Alliance.  Ms. Matto gave us a very interesting breakdown of potential voters in the “Millenial” generation (those born after 1981) with eye-opening statistics:

·         77 million potential voters, most ethnically diverse generation

·         Well educated, but economically vulnerable (burdened by student loan debt, contract jobs

that often don’t offer benefits, unable to save up enough in their 20s to be completely  independent from parents, etc.

·         Completely computer literate, also impatient with cumbersome processes of voter registration (too impatient with too many steps in the system)

·         Move around often, sometimes within the same year

·         No loyalty to brands, political parties, etc. – apolitical independent voters

·         Have often received little or no civics education in middle or high schools, unaware of why we pay taxes for government services, etc.

The second speaker outlined the challenges of registering more disabled voters, such as

transportation, some having inability to sign documents, etc.  This population includes many senior citizens (including those in assisted living), those born with disabilities, the mentally ill, etc.  Often, if then if they can use newly developed computer screen readers, they cannot register online, or have electronic signatures validated when they go to vote on election day.  The third speaker talked about efforts to reach out to the working poor, lobbying NJ legislators with the recent package of bills designed to update our voter registration processes like online registration, automatic registration at government offices, etc. which were supported by a bipartisan effort but vetoed by Governor Christie.  She emphasized that league members must interact with our state legislators to build up their resolve to pass this legislation again with veto-proof support.

Overall, the program was very empowering, and we were strongly encouraged to maintain ongoing contact with the LWV-NJ’s lobbyists and contact our local legislators to support our Voting Reform Platform:

1.       Online Voter Registration

2.       Automatic Voter Registration

3.       In-Person Early Voting (not uniformly offered in all NJ counties)

4.       Same Day Voter Registration

5.       Rights Restoration for People with Criminal Convictions in their Past

6.       Portable Voter Registration (automatic updating offered at polling places)

Barbara Ostroth

VP, Voter Services

Teaneck LWV

Friday, October 7, 2016


The League of Women Voters of



Teaneck had a BOE Candidates’ Forum on Tuesday, October 18th, 7:30PM, in the 3rd Floor Student Center of Teaneck High School.  

This forum, which was run by an independent professionally-trained moderator,  included participation by all six candidates running for three Teaneck Board of Education positions in November.

The public was invited to come and ask questions of the candidates, and were  also provided with a copy of the LWV Voters Guide with candidates’ answers to three advance questions as well as their biographical information.  

The non-partisan Teaneck League of Women Voters has been active in hosting candidates’ forums, voter registration as well as participating in discussions and studies on local and state current events issues for over 65 years.  

Handicapped access is  available from the courtyard parking lot off Elizabeth Street.  
For additional questions regarding this forum, call Barbara Ostroth (Teaneck LWV,VP Voter Services) at 201-965-3105.

Thursday, September 8, 2016


Friday, July 22, 2016


The League of Women Voters of Teaneck's letter to The Suburbanite about  SCR66.
It was published Th. August 28.
Below it is the LWVNJ-prepared template used to develop the letter. It has search links helpful in contacting state legislators.

                                                                                                            July 20, 2016

 To the Editor:

 The League of Women Voters of Teaneck is urging the NJ Senate to post SCR66 for a vote as soon as possible.  If passed, it would prohibit the NJ Department of Environmental Protection from adopting its harmful revisions to the Flood Hazard, Coastal Zone and Storm-Water Management Rules.  The Assembly has done its part and passed ACR160.  We now need the Senate to post and vote on this at its’ next session, August 1st.

Several months ago, the legislature voted once to rescind the DEP’s unacceptable proposal, sending it back to the DEP for revision.  Unfortunately, the DEP has done nothing substantial to reduce the proposed damage to our water.  These revisions cause irreparable harm by rolling back protections against flooding and allowing more stream buffer vegetation to be cleared;  buffers which are crucial to protecting our water supply in this state.

The interests of developers should not come before the public’s need for clean water!  Cutting red tape should not mean placing people in harm’s way and risking the quality of our water supply, but that is precisely what the DEP’s proposed self-certification and loosely defined mitigation rules will do.

The League of Women Voters implores readers to contact their State Senators and ask them to urge Senate President Sweeney to post SCR66 on August 1st, and vote YES.  A list of Senators can be found at, or by calling the League of Women Voters at 800-792-8683 (VOTE).

Doris Thurber

Advocacy Chair

League of Women Voters of Teaneck


Help Protect Our Water Supply
Urgent Action Needed Today
Because of your support, we are close to passing legislation (ACR160/SCR66) that will order the NJ Department of Environmental Protection to withdraw harmful revisions to New Jersey's Flood Hazard Rules.

With your action, the NJ Assembly and NJ Senate Environment Committee both passed this legislation, but Senate President Sweeney has not yet posted the bill in the Senate. We need Senate President Sweeney to put the bill up for a vote on August 1st so the full Senate can block these harmful revisions.

Please call Senator Sweeney now at 856-251-9801 and urge him to put SCR66 up for a vote on August 1st to protect our state's water and protect us from flooding.

The proposed revisions threaten our water supply, increase erosion, and increase the risk of flooding. Cutting red tape shouldn't mean placing people in harm's way and risking the quality of our water supply. Read this letter to the editor to learn more about these harmful revisions.

After you reach out to Senate President Sweeney, please also take a minute to contact your New Jersey State Senator and ask that she or he vote yes on SCR66.  

You can look up your Senator by municipality here or you can call us at 1-800-792-8683 (VOTE) for contact information. Thank you.  
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The League of Women Voters of NJ, 204 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08608

Monday, June 13, 2016


Take Action
to Make Voting More Accessible

The New Jersey Senate will soon vote on two bills that each have the power to change New Jersey's voting system for the better.

S1228 will allow for automatic voter registration as part of the driver's license application or renewal process unless an individual chooses to opt-out of registration. The League of Women Voters of New Jersey supports this legislation that will boost registration rates, improve the accuracy of the voter rolls, and save money.

S2116, the "New Voter Empowerment Act," permits 17 year olds to vote in the primary election if they turn 18 on or before the next general election. The League supports this legislation that increases youth engagement in the political process and allows for 17 year olds who will be eligible to vote in the general election to have a say in the nomination process (primary).  

Please call your NJ State Senator today and ask that she or he vote YES on both S1228, New Jersey's automatic voter registration bill, and S2116, the "New Voter Empowerment Act."

You can look up your Senator by municipality here or you can call us at 1-800-792-8683 (VOTE) for contact information.

"Clean Water NOT Flooding" Lobby Day in Trenton

The League of Women Voters of New Jersey has been working to stop the NJ Department of Environmental Protection's harmful revisions to the Flood Hazard Area Control Act Rules, the Coastal Zone Management Rules, and the Stormwater Management Rules.

These revisions will cause irreparable harm to our state, as they roll back protections against flooding and allow more stream buffer vegetation to be cleared, using data from a 20-year-old Water Supply Master Plan. Buffers around rivers and tributaries are crucial to protecting our water supply.

The League is joining a broad coalition of organizations determined to protect drinking water and to ensure that we will not be in greater danger of flooding. We are gathering to ensure our legislators invalidate the DEP's harmful revisions by passing SCR66/ACR160.

When: Thursday, June 16, 9:30 am - 3 pm
Where: New Jersey State House Annex, 137 West State Street, Trenton, NJ
9:30 - Check-in and training (Committee Room 14, 3rd floor, State House Annex)
10 - 3: Lobbying Legislators
Noon: Press Conference (State House Annex Steps) 
Please RSVP to our friends at Clean Water Action at  

Friday, April 8, 2016


Read our Voters' Guide

Read the Candidates' positions in our VOTER GUIDE

Our voters' guide questionnaire and letter of invitation to the Candidates' Night, co-sponsored by LWV/Teaneck, were mailed to each of the candidates for Teaneck Township Council on March 10, 2016 with a deadline date of April 3rd.   In addition to asking them about their Teaneck residency, occupation, education, family & community involvement, we asked them to answer the following questions and to limit their three answers to a total of 500 words or less:

  1. What is your position regarding reinstatement of monthly workshops so that council members can conduct public discussion of upcoming agenda items before a public meeting?  Also, would you support public comment during workshops?

  1. Over the past four years, are there any Council decisions you disagreed with?  How do you feel the issue could have been dealt with in a different manner?
  1. What are your views of the budget process, and what specific changes would you recommend to reduce taxes without cutting services? 

The candidates’ responses are unedited and are in the order received. Click "Voters Guide".

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


The League’ is going to watch TV and discuss ways women are shown in a favorite show.
The women are competent, very competent, in The Good Wife.
What do the women in The Good Wife struggle with in this age, post 1972---advancement on the legal firm, earning power, relationships, job equity, political candidacy, appearance adequacyeminist philosophy?

Are there areas in which they do not struggle at all?

Bring your views, some of which may happen as we watch together.

DATE: Tuesday, March 29
TIME: 7:30 PM
PLACE: Arlene Gartenburg’s TV: Room
RSVP: Please let her know you are coming
INFO: contact Janet or Pat

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Jan 21, 2016 
LWVT Consensus Meeting 
7:30 PM  
Let her know you are coming
This is a general membership meeting: all members are encouraged to attend and participate. 


Feb.1:Consensus form due to LWVNJ

Available:   or

Also available below (Click on title) and on the  first post of the League of Women Voters-Teaneck Blog:
---and Ed Gracely's summary of issues, which appeared in the LWV-Camden County Voter (November issue). 

The League of Women Voter's Teaneck blog has other resources in this area, ,which  have been gathered for your convenience on the first post in our blog, LWV Teaneck: 

Do your homework easily and come to the meeting!