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Little Genesee by Laura Sloat

Cattaraugus-Allegany League of Women Voters will meet February 22 in Olean

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The public is invited, Stephen Cocca will present “OIL BOOM”

Feb 14, 2023 commemorated the 103rd anniversary of the United State’s League of Women Voters and the local Cattaraugus-Allegany chapter continues to plan for the future. 

The non-profit, non-partisan political organization was founded in February, 1920 in Chicago, primarily by Carrie Chapman Catt, prior to the 19th amendment that ratified women’s right to vote in August, 1920.  The primary mission was non-partisan education to assist newly enfranchised voters to make informed decisions. The League continues this work by registering voters, providing voter information and advocating for voter rights, among other issues relevant to our times.

As some examples, this February, local League members visited Jamestown Community College, Cattaraugus County Campus, Alfred University and Alfred State College to discuss voting rights, Black History Month and more.  For the fourth year, the annual Book Donation to all 31 libraries in both counties was distributed last Fall.  In addition, Voting posters designed by local BOCES students were distributed to all high schools, colleges, libraries and community places in both counties.  Education is still the foundation of our mission.

While the National, New York State and all 42 local NYS leagues continue to advocate for education about a multitude of issues, the League supports the NYS Equal Rights Amendment, (ERA) recently passed in the state legislature, which gives basic equality protections to all New Yorkers. This state constitutional amendment will go before voters in November, 2024. In the meantime, over the coming months, our chapter will provide the opportunity to find out more and engage in open discussions about how the amendment could affect our everyday lives. We encourage local citizens to join us.

The Cattaraugus and Allegany Chapter is returning to monthly meetings about a variety of topics and we invite all to attend Tuesday, February 21 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at Perkins Restaurant side room in Olean. No reservation is required. There will be a brief recap and preview of activities and then a presentation we’ve entitled OIL BOOM by Stephen Cocca.  As described by Steve, ” In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Cattaraugus County was part of a regional oil boom that dotted the landscape with storage tanks and forest of wooden derricks. Olean and the Southern Tier Boom Town that bears its name traces the history of the discovery of oil and the role it played in Olean’s second boom, that of an oil storage and distribution center.”

For more information about the February 21 program or other League activities, please contact Margie McIntosh, 716-904-1327 or cattarauguslwvgmail.com 

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