Tag: voting guide

Will Westchester Medical Center Be Forced To Ban Abortions?

I didn’t know who to vote for… so I didn’t vote.

 I have heard these words repeated over and over again since the November 5th Election. Why?  Because the over 85,000 voters in our database who have relied on finding the bright yellow ProChoice Voting Guide in their mailboxes every year – the guide that explained both who to vote for and what Choice means on a County level – did not receive it! This year, there was no ProChoice Voting Guide mailed out to our Westchester voters because we simply did not have the money.

The results are clear and Westchester has paid the price. In 2013, pro-choice candidates lost in astonishing numbers. County legislative seats that should have been wins for pro-choice candidates were losses. In District 10, (part of New Rochelle and Eastchester), the pro-choice challenger who took on the incumbent who opposes abortion even in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the woman, lost by 485 votes. In District 14, (part of Yonkers and Mount Vernon), the pro-choice challenger who took on an 18-year incumbent who votes against women at every opportunity including her historic vote to deny women safe access to reproductive health care, lost by 890 votes. And there are more districts just like these two. These are races in which our ProChoice Voting Guide would have made the difference between winning and losing!

2013 stands in sharp contrast to 2012, when our support for pro-choice candidates resulted in unprecedented victories, and we elected our endorsed candidates at all levels of government. Ninety-one percent of the candidates WCLA – Choice Matters endorsed, won! Those wins could not have happened without you or our ProChoice Voting Guide. (Please make a contribution today!)

 Did you know that in odd year elections like this one, approximately seven out of every nine voters are women, and of those seven, five are over the age of 50? Not your typical internet and social media users. Reaching this target population requires more traditional avenues of communication – yes, snail mail – the U.S. Postal Service. And the postage costs just keep going up.

Anti-choice extremist County Executive Astorino said repeatedly, “County elections have nothing to do with abortion.” That could not be farther from the truth, but people believed him because there was no voting guide to refute him. County government plays a very significant role in reproductive rights and the implications can be huge. Just look at Albuquerque, New Mexico. That municipality just voted on an initiative to ban abortions after 20 weeks. That could happen here.

Reproductive rights is absolutely a County issue.
▪The people we elect decide the County budget. Departments relating to women and families comprise a large portion of that budget. ▪The County Executive nominates and the County Board of Legislators (CBL) confirms appointments to the Westchester Medical Hospital Board; thus the Board’s elected officials ultimately control whether the hospital will continue to provide abortions. ▪The CBL decides whether inmates will get pregnancy tests, abortions, and prenatal care on request and without delay. ▪The County Health Department decides which clinics will provide services and whether they will provide reproductive health services, counseling, and referrals for abortions. ▪The County Executive appoints, and CBL votes to confirm commissioners important to the pro-choice issue including Health, Social Services, and Corrections.

Last year, those elected officials gutted all funding to the community health centers which directly impacted women. Funding for comprehensive sex education is gone, and instead, the County Executive, who is winning awards from abstinence-only organizations, vetoed a bill giving women safe access to reproductive health centers.

Sadly, WCLA – Choice Matters forecasted election night results. We put our voting guide on line but that only reached a limited number of people. In contrast, our mailed bright yellow ProChoice Voting Guide reaches the all-important target audience – women – who are rushing between work and other responsibilities, and those that do not live on the internet. The mailed voting guide provides, literally, an  in-hand education that can and does go from the mailbox to the voting booth.

Make a gift to Choice Matters to support our work.

In 2014, all seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and New York State government are up for election: Congress, Governor, Comptroller, Attorney General, and the New York State Senate and Assembly. This election matters. Last year, we watched as a turncoat Senate Democrat turned his back on his constituents and aligned himself with the anti-choice Republican leader. Together, they blocked the Women’s Equality Agenda from coming to the floor for a vote. They made us realize how much New York has in common with Texas.

If we are not able to distribute our ProChoice Voting Guide to our database of over 85,000 Westchester County residents, November 5th, 2013 will serve as a precursor of elections to come.

But you can stop that from happening by contributing to WCLA – Choice Matters today.

Choice Matters has been standing strong since 1972! That’s 40+ years!
Choice Matters has interviewed hundreds of thousands of female voters, identified those who are pro-choice, and added them to our database. We do this every single week, each and every year. It’s our amazing database and our mailed ProChoice Voting Guide that make us victorious. We’ve always understood this.  But we just didn’t have the money to print and mail out our voting guide this year – and pro-choice candidates lost across the County. We cannot afford to let that happen again next year.

Your support today will make it possible for us to send our ProChoice Voting Guide and newsletter which informs the public about Choice, elected officials’ reproductive rights actions, challengers’ positions, and our critical endorsements. This voting guide newsletter scares some candidates and elected officials, and rewards others, because it holds them accountable for their actions.

 Your generous contribution of $25, $100, $250 or more will help Choice Matters’ ProChoice campaign continue to identify and educate households across the county and state.

 Choice Matters is a mighty pro-choice organization with a proven strategy. That’s because you, our donors, have given us extraordinary support. We hope you will continue to do so because we need your help now more than ever. Your contribution, whatever you can afford – large or small – will make a difference.  Every dollar truly counts.

 Please mail your contribution today or you may securely contribute on line at www.choicematters.org.

 Supporting Choice Matters is the most valuable action an advocate for Choice can take.

 Thank you!

 

The 2013 Pro-Choice Voting Guide

The New York State Board of Elections issued an opinion prohibiting 501(c)(4) organizations, such as WCLA – Choice Matters, from “endorsing” or saying we “support” a candidate. To comply, our endorsements will now be made by WCLA PAC.

WCLA PAC will make its endorsements based on the candidate ratings made by the Board of Directors of WCLA – Choice Matters. Any messaging must come from WCLA PAC. Therefore, WCLA PAC will be the voice used to comment and share information during this election season.

To that end, WCLA PAC will have its own website which you will be able to access through a link on Choice Matters’ home page or by going directly to: http://wclapac.org/ (It is still under construction!)

Donations
We need you to make a donation!
You can do it on the website or you can mail it to:
WCLA
235 Mamaroneck Ave, #103
White Plains, NY 10605

WCLA PAC will use the contributions for election-related items, such as to build out its website, political outreach and to mail, if possible, voting guides to those unable to access the web. For more information, call: 914.946.5363

Unfortunately, due to a lack of funds, I regret to inform you that Choice Matters and WCLA PAC are unable to mail our newsletter and yellow voting guide county-wide this year. Mailing the newsletter and voting guide out to over 80,000 Westchester residents costs $32,520. We were not able to raise that money.

We will put the newsletter and voting guide on our website. You can print it there.

Any additional dollars we raise will be used to mail out copies to those who do not access the web.

We know that this is a terrible loss. So many of us rely on the bright yellow ProChoice Voting Guide and newsletter arriving in our mailboxes every year. And so many of us do not have the  time or opportunity to use the web. Unfortunately, the power of the pro-choice vote will be greatly diminished on Election Day, November 5th.

Hopefully, with your help, we can start raising funds now for next year when New York goes to the polls to vote for Governor, all of the State Senate and Assembly, and for all the members in the House of Representatives!

News Alert: There will be NO ProChoice Voting Guide This Year unless…

There will be no bright yellow ProChoice voting guide in your mailbox this election year unless we can raise $33,000 by September 30th.

The implications of this are huge, and all are negative for the pro-choice community.

Anti-choice candidates will win, and pro-choice candidates will lose, because you will not know one from the other.

Albany will not pass the Reproductive Health Care Act and all funding to Planned Parenthood could be cut — and that’s only for starters.
 
All because — for the first time since we began our mailing decades ago — you will not have received your ProChoice Voting Guide.
 
The most effective way to reach voters is the US Postal Service mail, not email.

Unfortunately, no one—not Planned Parenthood, not NARAL, not the League of Women Voters—mails guides anymore because it is simply too costly.

And emails are not the answer.
Some people receive hundreds of emails every week, and some even hundreds each day. But, where an email doesn’t stand out, a Bright Yellow Voting Guide in your mail does.

Until now, WCLA – Choice Matters has always mailed because it is THE BEST WAY to communicate with voters.

We have over 90,000 pro-choice identified voters in our database!

Pro-choice voters rely on our ProChoice Voting Guide. They grab it out of their mail, read it in the car, or while having a quick cup of coffee, or even as they go to vote. With real-life schedules that start long before dawn and go late into the night, many pro-choice voters have no time to access a personal computer. Click Here to Help Save the Voting Guide

And don’t forget our seniors. Pro-choice seniors are the population most likely to vote, by a large margin. Many do not use computers. They value the mail, specifically the mailing of our Bright Yellow ProChoice Voting Guide, easy to see and to hold.

That is exactly why — despite the ever-growing cost of postage and printing — we have fought to mail the ProChoice Voting Guide every year.  Every year it has gotten harder.  And every year we’ve had to struggle to live within our ever decreasing budget going from mailing three newsletters a year, to two, to just the Voting Guide, cutting them down from 24 pages to 16 to now just 4.  There is simply just no where else to cut – except the Voting Guide itself.

Choice Matters trumpets the truth in its guide. We endorse only those candidates who are 100% pro-choice — and we expose the imposters. We endorse candidates based on their answers to our questionnaire, interviews, voting records, and who is best positioned to help protect and advance a woman’s right to comprehensive reproductive health care.
 
It has always been difficult to fund the newsletters and voting guide — and every year it gets harder.

And make no mistake about it, this comes at a terrible time.  There is an all out war being waged locally and nationally against women and the rights that we have fought for all these years since we won the right to vote.  From attempting to legislate forced vaginal ultrasounds, to battles to deny women contraception, to the veto of the Clinic Access Bill here in Westchester, to Albany’s failure to pass the Reproductive Health Care Act – everything is on the line.  Remember, if they win, we lose. We lose our control over our bodies and with it our  independence, socially and economically. This election –  with the state, congressional and presidential offices all up for grabs –  may very well decide our fate for decades to come.

This is not a story of the boy who cries wolf. It is a sad fact for the women of Westchester County and New York State, and the country.  This year, without your help, there will be no Bright Yellow ProChoice Voting Guide in thousands of mailboxes all over Westchester. We Need Your Help

We need your contribution to save our voting guide. Please donate today to help us mail the voting guide to all pro-choice households in Westchester County.

Meet Westchester’s Own Pro-Choice Male Brigade!

We Must Protect Our Rights and Westchester
by Electing Strong, Independent Leaders! 
Meet Westchester’s Pro-Choice  Male Brigade!!

DISTRICT #2
Bedford, Lewisboro, Mt. Kisco, North Salem, Pound Ridge & part of Somers.
Peter Harckham was first elected to the County Legislature in 2007 and has served as Majority Leader for the past two years. Harckham has proven himself to be a  strong ally who is able to work across party lines to build consensus without compromising the very values for which he was elected. Harckham is also endorsed by the NYS League  of Conservation Voters. His opponent promises to be a Yes-Man for Astorino and oppose sex ed and contraception for teens!
–DISTRICT #3
North  Castle, Pleasantville & Unincorporated Mt. Pleasant & parts of Briarcliff Manor, Sleepy Hollow and Unincorporated Greenburgh.
John Nonna has distinguished himself as a great legal mind and a friend to Choice. As a true public servant throughout his career—currently as a County Legislator, and previously as Mayor, Trustee and Judge—John Nonna has stood up for women’s rights.  Nonna’s opponent is an anti-choice extemist, seeking the Right to Life Party endorsement and opposes abortion even in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the woman!In addition, Nonna’s opponent has no experience in government.
–DISTRICT #4
New Castle & parts of Somers & Yorktown.
Mike Kaplowitz has proven himself to be a strong supporter of the pro-choice community. His position as Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairman made Kaplowitz keenly aware of the role the County plays in the fight to protect women’s reproductive rights. That understanding has served the women of Westchester well.  Kaplowitz’ anti-choice opponent is endorsed by Right to Life  Party and opposes abortion even in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the woman and supports a constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage.
–DISTRICT #5
The Village of Scarsdale & part of Harrison & part of White Plains.
Bill
Ryan has been an active and vocal advocate for Choice since his early days in the NYS Assembly. In his first campaign for the County Legislature, he pledged to continue fighting for a woman’s right to choose and he has done so without fail. Ryan has “more faith in women making the right decision for themselves than in government making it for them…” and believes, “a woman’s right to choose is absolute and should not be subject to legislation.” Ryan also serves on the Large Urban County Caucus in the National Association of Counties He is one of 35 county officials representing over 140 million people, living in the 100 largest counties in America, on matters before the federal government. Ryan’s opponent, although rated pro-choice, will not commit to supporting the clinic access bill that protects women as they enter and leave reproductive health centers. She says she’s a novice whose ideas are still cooking—but in reality, she has been politically active for years and served on Astorino’s transition team. Choice Matters’ choice is Bill Ryan!


New Pro-Choice Voices for the County Legislature!
–DISTRICT #1

Buchanan & parts of Yorktown, City of Peekskill & Unincorporated Cortlandt.
Michael Kane is a strong voice for reducing the size of county government responsibly. His commitment to women and families makes him particularly aware of the importance of childcare to working mothers, thus, his refusal to cut childcare funding irresponsibly because “every dollar cut from childcare costs Westchester taxpayers $3 more in food stamps, $5 in welfare, and $20 in shelter costs [because irrational childcare subsidy cuts force working women into unemployment.]” Kane’s anti-choice opponent is a rubber stamp for RTL Astorino’s anti-family anti-woman agenda.
–DISTRICT #6

Rye Brook, Port Chester, & part of Harrison.
Daniel Brakewood is committed to women’s reproductive health. As a current Port Chester trustee, Brakewood has proven himself to be an independent voice for his constituents. In contrast, Brakewood’s anti-choice opponent has said, even in his own literature, that he will be a [guaranteed] vote for [RTL] Astorino. That is not independent! Choice Matters endorses Daniel Brakewood.
–DISTRICT #10
Tuckahoe & Unincorporated Eastchester, & part of New Rochelle.
John Fitzpatrick
has served the people of Westchester as Mayor of Tuckahoe for two terms, Village Trustee, Planning Commissioner and Police Commissioner. He has made environmentally sustainable initiatives a trademark of his administration. He is pro-choice, fiscally conservative and an advocate for housing. Fitzpatrick’s opponent who is endorsed by the Right to Life Party, is an extremist who opposes abortion even in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the woman. She also supports a constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage.