For immediate release
December 8, 2013
As Connecticut approaches the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, there is a risk that the heavy emphasis on the tragic event, as well as the release of the summary report on the criminal investigation and the 911 tapes, will obscure the positive steps taken by the state in 2013. The League of Women Voters of Connecticut is highlighting how the state has responded with a wide-ranging examination of policies, laws and practices that impact the welfare of our youth and our families, as well as concrete dollars to enhance public safety. Among these initiatives are:
- Historic Gun Laws Reform: Most residents are aware that the Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety Act that passed by a strong, bipartisan majority strengthened our gun laws through a ban on large capacity ammunition magazines, increased penalties for firearms trafficking, stronger requirements for safe storage of firearms, and regulation affecting the sale of rifles and firearms, among other provisions. We need to keep these reforms in place.
- School Safety Funding: Fewer people may realize that about $21 million in state funding has been dedicated this year to school safety and security improvements, through the School Security Grant Program. A total of 604 schools in districts across the state have been approved so far for improvements requested in local district funding applications.
- Mental Health Services Improvements: Noteworthy initiatives provided for in 2013 legislation seek to better coordinate mental, emotional and behavioral health services for Connecticut children, including expansion of trauma-focused treatment and in-home services, and a new program of psychiatric consultation to primary care doctors.
- Young Adult Behavioral Task Force: This group is hard at work looking at behavioral health issues, particularly for our 16-25 year old population, relating to prevention and screening, behavioral health interventions and difficulties in accessing care.
The League of Women Voters of Connecticut supports measures to protect the health and safety of our residents through regulating the ownership of firearms, and supports comprehensive, community-based mental health systems for children and adults, including early detection and intervention to facilitate care, treatment and recovery. For more information,
visit the LWVCT website at www.lwvct.org
, or call (203)288-7996.
Much has changed since the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School almost a year ago, starting with historic reforms to Connecticut's gun laws. Last week's release of the 911 emergency calls brought back the horror of the shootings.
This week, as the anniversary approaches, Alison Rivard, vice president of public issues at the League of Women Voters of Connecticut
, said she hopes attention will also be paid to the way citizens, non-profit groups, and public officials came together to pass such new laws as the state ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines.
"First of all, people are aware, we passed an historic gun laws reform act on a bi-partisan basis; how often does that happen? I mean that people really rallied together and said, 'We need to make some changes in our laws', and worked very hard, and they did it." Rivard said additional changes to state law needed include stronger requirements for safe storage of weapons and new regulations concerning the sale of long guns.Read more or listen to the full Public News Service story online here.
November's municipal elections in Connecticut marked the first time voters there could register on election day, and local advocates and election officials say the process worked well. Secretary of State Denise Merrill was expecting it would mostly be younger residents showing up for same-day registration, but she said the new option attracted voters of all ages.
"This is the first election it's in effect and it did very well; we had no problems, and we think about between 1500 and 2000 people took advantage of it."
Merrill said election-day registration was particularly popular in New Haven, and most importantly, she said, it gave many people a chance to vote who otherwise would have been left out.
According to Judy Dolphin, co-president of the League of Women Voters of Connecticut and the LWVCT Education Fund
, her group was very active getting the word out about election day registration. And their advice remains the same next time around: don't wait if you can avoid it.
"By the time you get to a presidential election, people are trying to get in line and register; it's going to be challenging; so, what I am suggesting is that you can do yourself a Thanksgiving favor and register to vote now."Read more or listen to this Nov. 18 Public News Service Story online here.
Job Opening: Assistant Administrator, League of Women Voters of CT
This is a 17.5 hours/week position to insure the smooth operations of the CT office of the League of Women Voters in Hamden, CT. The successful applicant will work closely with the Administrator and with the Board of Directors. Professional Experience Required:
- Must be knowledgeable/proficient with MS Access, MS Word, MS Excel, Intuit QuickBooks, Adobe Reader and Adobe Photoshop
- Have strong financial and record-keeping skills
- Have strong organizational skills
- Have excellent communications skills
- Have the ability to handle unforeseen questions and situations
- Have the ability to work well alone, as well as a member of a team
Compensation: $15 to $18/hour
- Familiarity with state and local League of Women Voters policies, procedures and preferred methods of operations
- Familiarity with Constant Contact and PayPal
- Bachelor's Degree.
Send a letter of application and résumé demonstrating interest and qualifications to the LWVCT by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
, or by mail to: Judy Dolphin, Co-President, League of Women Voters of Connecticut, 1890 Dixwell Avenue, Suite 203, Hamden, CT 06514-3183 Deadline for applications: November 22, 2013 The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization of women and men. We encourage informed and active participation in government, work to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influence public policy through education and advocacy.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Many people wouldn't think of Connecticut as a place plagued by human trafficking for sexual exploitation or slave-like labor. But the major north-south artery I-95 runs through the state, leaving it far from isolated.
According to Tammy Sneed of the state's Department of Children and Families, cases of underage children caught up in the sex trade are on the rise, as is general public awareness of what is often dismissed as "the world's oldest profession."
"But I also believe it's increasing, particularly with the Internet," Sneed said. "So, a lot of our young people are recruited, and then also exploited; you know, it's coordinated via the Internet."
Less prevalent, but experts say still a problem, is the situation of immigrants forced into virtual slavery as domestic workers or laborers. In some cases, their documentation is taken and held by their exploiters, trapping them through fear of deportation.
The League of Women Voters of Connecticut is bringing experts and officials together on Saturday to explore the hidden problem of human trafficking. The group's Judy Dolphin noted that prostitution is only part of it: workers in other fields can be victims.
She said this can occur "in possibly domestic situations, where people are hiring someone to work in their home, either as a nanny or domestic help; in the landscaping industry sometimes, with people who kind of are stuck."
Tammy Sneed said her department stepped up its efforts to help underage victims of the sex trade in 2008 and has seen its workload burgeon since.
"We were averaging about 30 reports a year and this year, we're already at about 50, so we'll probably double for this year," she said. "And I think that directly correlates with all the training and public awareness."
Judy Dolphin said an FBI representative will be involved in Saturday's conference as well.
"We want to know not only what law enforcement can do, but are they aware of what they can and should do," she declared.
The panel discussion, open to the public, starts at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Connecticut Center for Arts and Technology in New Haven.
- Mark Scheerer, Public News Service - CT- See more at: http://www.publicnewsservice.org/index.php?/content/article/35123-1#sthash.fz2MvjGu.dpuf
Coalition rally in response to the pending US Supreme Court case McCutcheon v. FEC at the Federal Court Building in Hartford. Left to right, Melissa Patterson-Meador of Middletown representing the Sierra Club and LWV; Carole Mulready of West Hartford representing LWVCT; Cheri Quickmire and Kim Hymes representing Common Cause.
September 1, 2013 – If you are a new voter or recently had a change of address or name, join thousands across the nation on Tuesday, Sept. 24, National Voter Registration Day, and register to vote.
The League of Women Voters of Southeastern Connecticut is sponsoring registration tables and offering assistance in filling out registration forms in Groton and Norwich.
Bring a driver's license or a state ID or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Registrants must be U.S. citizens and 18 years old by Nov. 5, Election Day. Sessions scheduled are:
Groton Public Library, 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Otis Library in Norwich from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Registration materials also will be displayed in the Waterford, New London and Montville libraries, and possibly more sessions will be scheduled before Sept. 24. Also, all libraries always have registration forms.
For more information on voting, see www.sect.lwvconnecticut.org
Make your voice heard by first learning about local and state government and those running for office, and then vote for the candidates of your choice. The Southeastern Connecticut League reminds citizens that democracy is not a spectator sport – register, learn about the issues and be sure to vote Nov. 5.
For those interested in helping with registrations and/or joining the League, contact League Voter Service Chair Irene Weiss at 860-536-3926 or email@example.com
- By Mike Clifford/Bill De Armond, Public News Service CT
HARTFORD, Conn. - The 19th Amendment, which gave women the vote, turns 93 today, and Connecticut voting rights advocates say this a good day to take note of some voting-related changes in laws and regulations. Carole Young-Kleinfeld with the League of Women Voters of Connecticut noted that state law ... Read More
Photo of voter registration drive at Wilton High School. The League of Women voters is using the 93rd birthday of the 19th Amendment to highlight voter outreach. Photo Credit: Carol Young-Kleinfeld
Colin McEnroe's July 21 To Wit column in the Hartford Courant
addresses recent changes to Connecticut's campaign finance laws, which LWVCT has opposed.
"There is ample reason to believe that Connecticut legislators would do truly repugnant things in return for campaign contributions. This year, rather than deal with that problem, they actually rammed through a massive set of changes that allow them to get even more money, with even less public scrutiny of what that money prompts them to do."
McEnroe quotes LWVCT co-president Cheryl Dunson:
"We were blindsided," said Cheryl Dunson, president of the League of Women Voters
. "This is increasingly the way the legislature has been operating, and even after the session we're still struggling to assess all the impacts of this bill."
Bottom line, she said, the bill opened up more ways to pump money indirectly into the hands of candidates and have nobody else know who you are or why you did it.
Great. There's a new level of arrogance on display, writes McEnroe. The League of Women Voters is the ultimate mainstream organization, and the leadership essentially told them to blow it out their old wazoos.READ THE FULL ESSAY by Colin McEnroe in the Courant