Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.    JOIN/RENEWGIVE
Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.    JOIN/RENEWGIVE

A Note From Julie Meer Harnick

President, LWV of Port Washington/Manhasset

Dear LWV members and friends,

In Oprah Winfrey’s commencement address at USC Annenberg School for Journalism and Communications, she offered up 10 points of advice: Be the Truth, Stay Hopeful, Be Good to Everyone, Vote, Live Responsibly, Be Kind, Splurge on the Right Things, Be Upstanding, Your Job is What You Do – Not Who You Are, and Be Yourself.

Oprah has quite a way with words and delivery. I enjoyed the speech and her points are all well taken. We at the League of Women Voters like “VOTE” quite a lot. Abraham Lincoln also spoke to the “VOTE” point in a way that only Honest Abe would say it: “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their backs on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.” How apt. With all our Voter Service work, we are certainly trying to keep our bums in good shape.

We are educating voters, registering new voters, demanding fairer election districts and encouraging people to vote.

Oprah also talked about “issue fatigue.” For me, I find this the biggest struggle. There are just so many pressing issues to take up — climate change, healthcare, gun control, women’s equality, and other social justice matters. Where do we begin? Sometimes the number of tasks seem so overwhelming that we are tempted do nothing. Resist that urge! I encourage everyone to pick just one (or two) issues and really go for it. Do everything you can for the safety and preservation of Long Island’s water, or bust your a** for healthcare for all New Yorkers! But take action on ONE thing at least. Don’t know how to do it? The League can help.

My overarching goal as president of [my] local league is to give [our members] a platform for [their] voices. Tell us what you believe in and we’ll support you in your efforts. After all, you’ll need to figure out what you are going to say in your commencement address!


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