Isabelle Schindler and PJ Pujadas Attend Students Inside Albany Conference
Please see summary of their experience on the Students Inside Albany Page as well as a personal report by Isabelle.

Student Achievement Winner Announced

Alejandra Chajon Gonzalez, an 11th grader at Port Chester High School, has been chosen by the League of Women Voters of Rye, Rye Brook & Port Chester to receive its 2016 Student Civic Achievement Award. This award was started in 2014 and will be given annually to a high school student who lives in and attends a high school in the City of Rye, Villages of Rye Brook and Port Chester, or the Rye Neck section of the Town of Rye, in recognition of the student’s overall contributions to his or her school and community in the areas of civic engagement, advocacy, leadership or voter education.  
  Alejandra is the President of her school’s Habitat for Humanity club, has participated for two years in the Tools for Change research project sponsored in part by the League and the Town of Rye and is currently a group leader, is a member of her school's Gay Straight Alliance Club and had volunteered for both the New Rochelle Humane Society and the Port Chester Hispanic Community Outreach program.
We congratulate Alejandra on being the recipient of the 2016 Student Civic Achievement Award.        

League of Women Voters of Rye, Rye Brook & Port Chester Announces Winners of  the Annual
Students Inside Albany Conference

Isabelle Schindler of Rye High School and Juan "PJ" Pujardas of Rye Country Day School have been chosen to represent the League at the Conference to be held in May in Albany. Students from around New York State will meet together with their legislators and attend committee meetings and legislative sessions.  We are proud to have these two dynamic and exceptional students to be our representatives.


Ms. Reisner will continue as a Director for the League and Vice President, Peter Larr, will be interim President.

Click here for video

Video of the program will be posted on RCTV and will be available on demand viewing on:  and Facebook,

Wednesday October 14th at 7:30
Rye Middle School Multipurpose Room
3 Parsons St., Rye

Candidates for Council for District 7:
 Catherine Parker
Susan Watson

View Video Click Here

Thursday October 15th at 7:30
Port Chester Senior Community Center
222 Grace Church St., Port Chester

Candidates for Town Supervisor:
Aldo Vitagliano
Gary Zuckerman

View Video Click Here

Candidates for Town Council:
Anthony Baxter
Lindsay Jackson
Alexander Leans

View Video Click Here

President, Debbie Reisner,  speaks to the League's mission at Annual Meeting and the activities that it embodies

First on my agenda is to thanks our hosts Fred and Barbara Cummings and to Barbara Brunner and Roz Carver for planning this event. 
Even though most of us know why we are here, it is at convocations such as this, our Annual Meeting, that we bring to "top-of-mind" our mission as a public service organization; To remember why we volunteer, why we contribute our time, money and energy.
Our mission is:
To encourage the informed and active participation of people in our government, regardless of party affiliation and to increase understanding of policy issues that will impact our lives and communities. 

The fashion in which we interpret this directive and the model we have adopted to put those ideals not action makes us somewhat unique among Leagues in this nation.  Our program is particularly dedicated to voter education and civic engagement. we do not advocate. In other words, we are passionate about people knowing and understanding the issues and the candidates for whom they are being asked to vote. But we interpret non-partisan as meaning that while we do our best to learn about these issues and the office seekers, we do not pick sides. the Board of our organization and indeed our membership consists of Democrats and Republicans, Conservatives and Progressives, Independence Party members and Independents. Our membership is in equal measure, men and women.

We debate issues vigorously but when it comes to running the League, we check our views at the door and work together to illuminate the issues, engage the young people of our community and work to insure candidates for public office have a fair and even playing field from which to present themselves and their views to the community in person.

We seek the most credible experts we can find from as broad an array of perspectives as possible to present and discuss topics at our Issue Forums. Over the past several years both our Issue Forums and Candidates Forums were used as models and emulated by other leagues in New York state.
The inclusive nature of our approach is accomplishing two important things:

  • It is enabling us to buck the national trend of shrinking membership in volunteer organizations. this month our League was honored both by the LWV of the United States and New York State for our growing membership.
  • It is reinforcing a strong message of tolerance and belief in our democratic system of government. We have all heard that Democracy is messy. It is noisy! In fact, it only works when people with different credentials and dissimilar views stop up to compete for votes. They debate vigorously and passionately. I can tell you that I believe to my core that the somebody who wins in the end is the American people.  It is through he democratic process and the toleration and competition between differing views that ultimately preserves our freedom.  The provision of a platform for debate, programs for education and civic engagement and registration drives that bring new voters into the system  are among the vital services we, as the League of Women Voters, perform.
I wish to mention, now some of the individuals and programs that embody our mission and our devoted members.

Two of our members, Barbara Brunner and Joan Grangenois-Thomas will no longer be serving on the Board.  Barbara has been our Witness to Naturalization Ceremonies  for the past several years and an active member in many Issue and Candidate Forums. She has also served as past Treasurer. Joan is the co-devloper of our Stone Soup series and active in the Hispanic Network,  Window on the Future, One World United & Virtuous and our local NAACP. We will miss their valuable perspectives, judgement and limitless giving of themselves to our programs.

Our major Programs this year and "thank you"s to those who have made them possible:

Candidates Forums- Voter Service Chairs Peter Larr and Gary Zuckerman.

October: State Senate forum Co-captained by Barbara Brunner and Paula Gramache
March: Port Chester Mayoral Forum Co-capatined by Peter Larr and Gary Zuckerman.
May: Port Chester School Board forum Co-captained by Pat Rinello and Roz Carvin.
Forums are recorded for broadcast and posted for on-demand viewing.

Issue Forum on "Common Core- From Inspiration to Implementation" Chair Fred Cummings  with Peter Larr.

Student OutReach- Chair Joan Feinstein

Tools for Change chaired by Roz Carvin
Student Civic Achievement Award chaired by Joan Feinstein
Students Inside Albany Conference chaired by Christine Nicholson

Voter Registration-  Programs at local colleges, Senior Centers and Rye High School manned by Paula Gamache, Barbara Brunner and Christine Nicholson.

It is the diversity of views, perspectives and the stew made possible by contributions from a wide range of members that has created the relevant, exciting and vital organization that this little League of Women voters---Rye, Rye Brook & Port Chester has become.


 The forum dealt with issues that have arisen following the adoption of the Common Core standards several years ago, which represent some of the most pressing public education issues today.
Proponents of the Common Core say that the adoption of the standards was an essential first step to bring truthfulness and transparency to the measuring the achievement of students in our country. The results of tests based on the Common Core standards could then be used to close the gap between socioeconomically disadvantaged children compared to non-disadvantaged kids, as well as the gap between those same non-disadvantaged kids and their peers in Europe and Asia.
Critics complain that its rollout has been deeply flawed. These critics say that the new curriculum has resulted in students feeling bored, confused and frustrated – particularly when it comes to math - and that kids’ creativity has been stifled as a result of so-called “teaching to the test.” They fear that test results will take on a disproportionate importance in many areas ranging from teacher evaluation to college acceptances.
Which of the complaints are valid and which are not? Is the Common Core due for a major course correction or just some tweaking around the edges?
These and other issues were discussed by a distinguished panel, which includes Dr. Peter D. Salins, Dr. Frank Alvarez and Dr. Edward Kliszus.
Dr. Salins is University Professor of Political Science at Stony Brook University and a senior fellow of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and formerly served as Provost of the State University of New York. He is the author of six books, including most recently The Smart Society – Strengthening America’s Greatest Resource, its People –as well as numerous articles on public education in the U.S.

A video of the forum is available on this website.

Students Inside Albany 2015


RYE, NY – The League of Women Voters – Rye, Rye Brook & Port Chester announced today that Haley Neiman, a student at Rye High School, and Spencer Kaplan, a student at Blind Brook High School, have been chosen to attend this year’s Students Inside Albany program sponsored by the League of Women Voters of New York State Education Foundation, Inc. This 15th annual Students Inside Albany program will take place from May 17-20th, and will bring approximately 60 students from across the state to Albany to get a first-hand education about their state government. The program is designed to increase high school students' awareness of their responsibility in representative government and provide information about the tools necessary for meeting that responsibility.  Congratulations to Haley and Spencer.

Students will participate in a series of interactive discussions with Albany insiders on topics such as the state budget process, the role of lobbyists in the legislative process, citizen rights to access government information, the role of media in politics, and the move to reform state government.  While in Albany, the students will have an opportunity to tour the state’s Capitol. The highlight for most students is the opportunity to shadow their Senator and their Assembly member for an afternoon and attending sessions on the Chamber floor.

For more information on the League of Women Voters – Rye, Rye Brook & Port Chester, please visit their website, For more information on the League of Women Voter of New York State Education Foundation, Inc., or the Students Inside Albany program, please visit their website at:

Tools For Change 2014

Final Presentation  of the 2014 Seminar was held on May 20th at 8:00 Town Hall

After much discussion and investigation into an issue being dealt with by many local communities, the students of the Tools For Change Seminar decided to studyHow do current challenges effect the ability of community organizations’ to address hunger?
Unlike in years past when the students have gone into the field to canvas local residents, a focus group made up of leaders of hunger related community organizations will be interviewed by the students to discuss the various challenges and strategies employed to deal with this difficult issue.

To make a tax deductible contribution to support Tools for Change click on the button below. Specify the word Tools on the reference line. 


2014 Student Achievement Award Announced

Rye, NY, May 30, 2014 -- Samuel (Sam) Lawhon, an 11th grader from Rye Neck High School, has been chosen by the League of Women Voters of Rye, Rye Brook & Port Chester to receive its 2014 Student Civic Achievement Award. This is the inaugural year of the award. It will be given annually to a high school student who lives in and attends a high school in the City of Rye, Villages of Rye Brook and Port Chester, or the Rye Neck section of the Town of Rye, in recognition of the student’s overall contributions to his or her school and community in the areas of civic engagement, advocacy, leadership or voter education.  
 Sam is a member of his award winning high school's Mock Trial Team, has participated in the Tools for Change research project sponsored in part by the League and the Town of Rye, is a co-founder and President of the Student Awareness Coalition at Rye Neck High School which seeks to raise awareness of human rights abuses, is a member of his school's Student Senate, and has conducted his own research on the influence of current events knowledge on high school students. This summer Sam will attend a program at Columbia University entitled "Leadership in Law." 
In his application essay, Sam commented, "… I am in the midst of processing data for my own research project to investigate high school students' awareness of both national and international current events. This concept is extremely important to me because I believe that in order to preserve our democratic values, our country must have a politically informed and aware populace."
We congratulate Sam on being the recipient of the 2014 Student Civic Achievement Award. 


To make a tax deductible contribution to support The League of Women Voters or any of our programs click on the button below. You may specify specific programs on the reference line.