Minutes February 7, 2018

In Attendance:  Clara Sartori, Kate Larson, Sue Okie, Stephanie Maher, Arlene Tulacro, Mimi vanDyke, Martha Banks, Carolyn Bayne, Laurie Williamson, Laura Mosher, Joan Davis.

BUSINESS MEETING  – Call to order:  Co-President Clara Sartori called the meeting to order at 9:35 AM, and thanked Kate Larson for November minutes and Sue Spain for January minutes.

Treasurer’s Report:  Stephanie Maher reported last month activity was light. The December Holiday Party’s new venue, Saint Luke’s Youth & Community Center, and its political parody music program, were enjoyed by all.  Expenses were $640 (including small kitchen, large event room, chairs, tables, keyboard, microphone/audio, set-up, invitations, mail).  Minor improvement suggestions were to lower light brightness, place seating (chairs) up front for better acoustics, and add battery candles to tables.

Co-President’s Report:  Clara Sartori

  • Membership UpdateThanks to Betsy Shay and Molly Myers for updating member database and submitting data to State and National LWV by Jan. 31 deadline. Membership now stands at 127 plus 2 honorary members.
  • Jan. 16 program, “CT and Climate Change,”featuring Robert Klee, Commissioner of the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, was well attended by some 70 people at Darien Library, thanks to Deepika Saksena.
  • Thanks to Jean Sweeney for coordinating the Darien LWV presence at the Jan. 20 NYC Women’s March.
  • Our Jan. 25 Legislative Coffeewas attended by State Representatives William Tong and Terrie Wood, and State Senator Carlo Leone.  State Senator Bob Duff was unable to attend.  Great thanks to Joyce and Mike Critelli for again hosting this annual coffee, and to planning committee Martha Banks, Taylor Carter, Joyce Critelli, Mary Genco, Clara Sartori, Laurie Williamson.  A summary of the event is available on our website lwv.darien.org, and on several local media sources.
  • Food for Thoughtnext meeting is Thursday, Feb. 15, 12:30-2:00 PM, hosted by Ann Ferris, 30 Hale Lane.  All are invited!
  • Upcoming Events
    • Darien LWV will host a Regional Leaders Meeting Wednesday, Feb. 14, 10 AM – 2 PM, 35 Leroy Ave (the former Library).  It could be cancelled in case of snow.
    • Our annual Town Officials Event, coordinated by Martha Banks, will be Wednesday, Apr. 18, Darien Library, 6:30 PM Coffee, 7:00 PM Program.
    • Plans are underway to host, free and open to the public, the film “An Inconvenient Sequel” at Darien Library,  Sunday, Apr. 22 (Earth Day), together with the Darien Land Trust.
    • The documentary “13th,” referring to the U.S. Constitution’s 13thAmendment, explores the history of U.S. racial inequality, and will be reviewed for non-partisanship prior to LWV sponsorship as proposed by Program Committee.
  • Event Coordination:  Caution should be exercised to have only one point of contact: (1) to better coordinate and communicate our event planning activities, and (2) to avoid using the League’s name as a sponsor without first vetting this proposal with the Board.

Observer CorpsLight:  Thanks go again to our speakers Quentin Bell, Executive Director, and Juana Yanes, Counselor, from the Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education, at the January monthly meeting.  The public had been invited, and several new people attended.

Meeting Minutes Approval:  As moved/seconded by Kate Larson/Stephanie Maher, members approved November, 2017, minutes, with abstentions by those not in attendance.  As moved/seconded by Laura Mosher/Martha Banks, members approved January, 2018, minutes, with abstentions by those not in attendance.

Other upcoming events:  (1) Kate Larson invited all to the Darien Historical Society’s musical event Feb. 11, 3 pm, $10/member; $30/non-members, “A JOURNEY: A Musical One-Woman Show” which brings to life seven African-American women through music.

(2)Clara Sartori announced the LWV March meeting speaker will be Craig Flaherty, Chair of the Energy and Recycling Advisory Committee.

Observer Corps Light Speaker – Clara Sartori welcomed Ali Ramsteck, LCSW, Director of Darien Human Services, located in Town Hall Room 109,  Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM, 203.656.7328, darien.gov.

  • Ali Ramsteck described numerous activities, including financial assistance, through which well-trained staff offer services to support Darien residents by phone, e-mail, in the office, or if necessary in a resident’s home.   This office also functions as a branch of the Darien-New Canaan Salvation Army and accepts certain donations and provides loans to residents in temporary need of walkers, for example, or other similar equipment.  The office will accept anonymous calls to report problems such as blight, neglect, alcohol or drug issues. It also provides help with Medicaid/Medicare issues.  Members applauded and thanked Ali Ramsteck for her informative talk.

Adjournment:  As moved by Stephanie Maher, seconded by many, all voted to adjourn at 11:55 AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Laurie Williamson, Co-Secretary