The League of Women Voters of Shelter Island (LWVSI) has joined forces with the League of Women Voters of the Hamptons to create an enhanced organization with a new name.
According to LWVSI President Lois B. Morris, the group will be known as the League of Women Voters of the Hamptons, Shelter Island and the North Fork. While there is currently no chapter on the North Fork, this change will set the stage for expanded reach and involvement in that area.
Under the new plan, the Shelter Island group will continue to maintain its identity and run its signature events, including the candidate forums, State of the Town luncheons, film-showings, annual cocktail party, distribution of election-day “I Voted!” stickers, around-the-Island voter registration efforts and various events at the school.
Importantly, according to Ms. Morris, the change will free the local group from the numerous and time-consuming administrative responsibilities that are required to retain the chapter’s affiliation. These include the filing of periodic reports, administration of surveys, maintenance of a website roster and other, ever-changing mandates, as well as the more quotidian activities such as sending out dues notices, maintaining the financial records and the like.
These administrative responsibilities, in the opinion of the LWVSI board, have hindered new involvement in the organization. Freed of them, the group can pursue other nonpartisan issues and may also draw increased member participation by having committees with specific and defined goals.
“It will expand the world for Shelter Islanders, giving us all access to events in the Hamptons and ultimately, the North Fork, as well as possibly expanding what we do here on the Island,” Ms. Morris said.
The League currently doesn’t have a presence on the North Fork, she explained. The new arrangement “allows us to spread our wings on both forks and creates opportunities for people to be more active in education, or other issues about which they feel strongly. There are many things that go on that now will be available to us.”
The November “Running and Winning” workshop for high school women at the Water Mill Community House was, in Ms. Morris’s opinion, a perfect example of this new synergy. “It was our first event with the ‘greater league’ and being able to give our students access to programs such as this, providing them with more choices than we are able to offer alone, is such an important thing for us to do.”