J.W. Wiley (left), director of the Center for Diversity, Pluralism and Inclusion at Plattsburgh State, with the Plattsburgh League of Women Voters president Sally Sears-Mack, at a recent forum called “A Look at American Elections, Voter Suppression and Bullying.”
Photo by Shaun Kittle.
Some of those include environmental issues, voter’s rights and transparency in government.
Betsy Metz, the Plattsburgh League’s secretary, is head of the environmental study committee.
The committee is responsible for a Think Green Brochure, which is a free resource people can use to learn about where they can take things, like televisions and old car batteries, to be recycled.
“While there are multiple environmental issues, we generally support a balanced, safe environment,” Metz said. “Hydro fracturing is a major study right now, it is a significant issue in southern New York.”
The league works with scientists and experts to study issues, whether they are environmental, economic or social.
Metz emphasized the importance in changing what she sees as a major hurdle in getting people active in their government.
“It’s very difficult for voters to get correct information,” Metz said. “People are not participating as much because they’d rather not vote than have an uniformed vote.”
Recently, proposed voter I.D. laws have been a major concern of league members.
“It is an intentional way to make it more difficult for some to vote,” Sears-Mack said. “Voter fraud is almost non-existent, and there seems to be a lot of evidence to support that it is an effort to suppress the vote.”
To help other league members explore issues, the league sponsors monthly speakers, which oftentimes evolve into full-blown discussion sessions.
“We don’t invite speakers just because they agree with us,” Sears-Mack said.
The league’s most recent guest speaker was J.W. Wiley, director of the Center for Diversity, Pluralism and Inclusion at Plattsburgh State. He spoke at the group’s “A Look at American Elections, Voter Suppression and Bullying” forum in September.
“The reason people bully is because of the differences that exist in the power dynamic,” Wiley said. “I can’t see what’s happening in this country, with this voter’s rights issue, in any way other than bullying.”