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New League of Women Voters president pushes for new members

July 16, 2007|by MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN - As she begins her two-year term as president of the League of Women Voters of Washington County, Fanny Crawford said the revitalized organization is looking for new members, gender notwithstanding.

"We have about 50 members currently," Crawford said, estimating six to 10 of them are men. "I would like to see that grow to around 75, especially among younger voters."

While some of the membership is of the experienced type, there are some new members to the game and that's good for everyone, she said.

Crawford said the immediate past president, Monda Sagalkin, agreed to continue as co-president because this is Crawford's first time heading an organization as a volunteer.

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"Monda is just great," Crawford said. She added that Donna Smith - president before Sagalkin - helped bring the League back to life several years ago and is still active.

The League has been disbanded twice because of dwindling support.

Members of all political parties or no political parties are welcome, as are residents from outside the county.

The League is particularly interested in housing issues and charter home rule for the county, in addition to boosting voter registration here.

A fairly new recruit, Crawford, 57, is married with two grown children. She has been executive director of Apples for Children Inc. for 5 1/2 years and with the agency for a total of 16 years.

As head of the child-care resource center for three counties, Crawford works out of an office at 6 W. Washington St. The center has 10 employees.

A Philadelphia native, Crawford went to the University of Chicago, and has worked with young children and education in Frederick County, Md., and Virginia.

Most of all, Crawford joined four years ago to stay informed, and that is exactly what happened.

"We have lunch with the Washington County Commissioners once a year to get to know them and discuss issues with them," she said.

The organization will be doing another voters guide, both published and online, Crawford said.

The next meeting, which is open to all, will be Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Robinwood Community Center. The topic will be citizens' emergency preparedness.

For more information, contact Smith at 301-797-8761; send e-mail to info@washington.lwvmd.org; or call 301-730-1638.

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