WHO WE ARE
If you live in Bedford, Lewisboro, Mount Kisco, North Salem or Pound Ridge, New York,
the League of Women Voters of North East Westchester (LWVNEW) is your local league.
LWVNEW is part of a national, nonpartisan political organization. We take positions on issues but never endorse or oppose candidates or political parties. The League encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.
On a local level, voter service is a huge part of our core mission. We hold candidate forums in the spring and fall that are free and open to the public. We produce printed and online Voters Guides which provide valuable information about candidates, candidate forums and polling places.
Our youth outreach efforts include voter registration drives at area high schools and the selection of local students for the Students Inside Albany (SIA) Conference. SIA is an annual program sponsored by the League of Women Voters of New York State Education Foundation which brings together 60 high school students from across the state for a first-hand education about New York’s government. The program is designed to increase high school students' awareness of their responsibility as future voters in representative government.
No matter what your age, the League of Women Voters of North East Westchester is committed to providing voter education and information to local residents.
LWV Policy Positions (updated) Click here
LWVNEW Board Members
Photo credit: Eileen Nadelson
VP & Voter Service
Photo credit: Katherine Dering
VP & Membership
Photo credit: Kay Tyler
Photo supplied by Jean Farber
Barbara Kravitz, Treasurer
Nancy Gould Ralphs, Secretary
Susan Henry, Director
Diane Richman, Director
A Brief History
Prior to 1966, residents of the Town of Bedford who wished to join the League of Women Voters turned to the League in the neighboring town of Pound Ridge. There was a connection between the towns, both exurban, about forty miles north of New York City and mainly residential. In addition, Pound Ridge students attended schools administered by the Bedford central school district.
Nonetheless, Bedford women wanted a League of their own; state and national issues were fine to study in Pound Ridge, but local Bedford issues needed a Bedford League. The members of the Pound Ridge League were wonderfully helpful in guiding the Bedford women through the steps to organize a new group: the League of Women Voters of Bedford.
As the idea of a Bedford League circulated, women of all ages responded with enthusiasm. They formed a provisional League, signed up for study groups, and gathered information about the town, its civil servants, organization, and areas in need of improvement. And they made positive connections with the officials in charge.
The provisional League was a happy, busy group. Mimi Mendelson, the first president of the Bedford League, recalls that at the first meeting of the "official" League she was excited to see about one hundred women in the audience. The first study group they undertook was on clean water.
In 1968, the Bedford League issued This Is Bedford, a sixty-eight page booklet offered to the community for $1.25. It contained in clear prose basic information about town offices, schools, town planning, and libraries, along with maps and charts. In 1976, the booklet was reissued but updated to include the information for Lewisboro, which had joined the Bedford League in April 1972. The name of the group was now the League of Women Voters of Bedford-Lewisboro.
Our founding president in 1966 was Mimi Mendelson, followed by Ruth Preston, Muriel TenDyke, Barbara Kornfield and Peter Rose, Betsy Lebowitz and Janet Rems. In 1978, we voted to add North Salem to our chapter and in 2016, the name was changed again to League of Women Voters North East Westchester, or LWVNEW. Our area now consists of the three previous towns as well as Pound Ridge and the Village of Mount Kisco.