Making Democracy Work

Education and Advocacy

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

MARIANNA "POLLY" KUHN, long-time member of the League of Women Voters of New Castle (most recently LWV Somers), and 50-year resident of New Castle, died on December 31, 2018 at age 92.

In her long and productive life, Polly served her community of New Castle (and Somers) as well as the wider world in many ways. Polly was on the New Castle Town Board from 1986-1993, and was Town Supervisor from 1993-1995. Polly oversaw the implementation of New Castle's new water system, which brings residents the sweet, clean water right from the taps, and was responsible for creating the position of Town Administrator, which to this day keeps New Castle humming.

Polly was President of the PTA, President of the LWV of New Castle, a member of the Westchester County League, and on the LWVNYS Board. She was mentor to many, including the late Marion Sinek who noted that Polly had the following qualities: "tenacity, fair-mindedness, looking ahead, determination and concentration, in the office and on the tennis court."

Below are highlights from Polly's long association with the League: 2008-2018: Member of the Westchester County Fair Campaign Practices Committee 1995-2018: Moderator for League candidate debates/forums 2-4 times a year 2014-2017: Somers LWV Chair of Money in Politics Study Group 2004-2016: Somers LWV Chair of Master Plan study group, which became Affordable Housing Study and Advocacy. In Polly's words, "We worked on that so long, that some went on to other positions and work; we had an `alumnae group'." 2012-2014: Member of LWVNYS Board 1995-2010: Member of the Board of Housing Action Council 1995-1997: Worked on an 18-month study of septic and sewage disposal facilities--finding that Westchester had leaky sewer pipes, failing septic systems and overflows from sewage treatment plans. The study called for better enforcement of existing laws, and equity in sewer rates across the county, and pointed out the real threats to the NYC watershed and LI Sound. 1995: Worked on Westchester League Study of Voting Machines when change from lever machines was required.

Polly had a tremendous commitment to engagement and community participation. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her as a friend, colleague, family member, or tennis partner. The League of Women Voters of New Castle will miss her guidance, energy, wisdom and spirit.

During the final months of her life, she continued her community work, including working as a poll worker during the midterm elections, and registering to vote many Somers High School students. Her husband, Ed Kuhn, Jr., predeceased her in 1979. She is survived by her three sons, Andrew, Eric and Ted, their wives and many grandchildren.

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