Making Democracy Work


Latest news about the League

May 13 Annual Meeting

Three LWVPA members received lifetime memberships: Phyllis Cassel, Nonette Hanko * and Lanie Wheeler. Each has been in the League for fifty or more years and made outstanding contributions to Palo Alto.

Our guest speaker, Vice Mayor Liz Kniss, made perceptive comparisons of the current times to the tumultuous and transitional days of the late 60's.

Members voted to increase our dues to virtually the same point they would be had they risen $2/year since their last increase in 2010. They will be $85 per member and $40 per additional household member or student.

We gratefully accepted the recommendations of a committee which recently examined our Housing and Natural Resources positions in order to group their elements more logically. The changes include dropping the outdated parts of our energy position and incorporating its still-salient points into other positions.

What will we focus on this year?

  • Review the LWVPA Education Position to determine if an update is needed.

  • Emphasize, with a committee for each, climate change; housing, transportation/transit; local immigration; local campaign finance; and constitutional rights.

  • Educate on civic involvement, civic discourse, civic savvy, and constitutional rights.

  • Reach out to the homeless, other underserved populations, and organizations that work with new citizens re: voter registration, get out the vote, and civic education.

  • Re-activate an Observer Corps to follow local government bodies.

  • Collaborate more with neighboring Leagues and other nonpartisan organizations.

  • Study, with the other county Leagues, whether Santa Clara County's Independent Oversight Committees meet, what power they have, and what their reporting mechanisms are.

During Directions to the Board, one suggestion was to ask tech companies to partner with the League on civic engagement and voter registration.

Leadership Elections We elected a new Officers and Directors Bonnie Packer will continue as President, and Aisha Piracha-Zakariya will become 1st Vice President. The other officers will continue: 2nd VP Ellen Forbes, Treasurer Steve Levy, and Secretary Karen Kalinsky.

Directors will be: Jean Lythcott - Voter Service Megan Swezey Fogarty & Lynne Russell - Membership Lisa Ratner - Advocacy David Springer - Voter's Edge/Smart Voter Sue Hermsen - VOTER editor Tory Bers - Publicity Maureen O'Kicki - Program/Events Lisa Peschcke-Koedt - Civic Engagement Ellen Smith - Board Development

Karen Douglas was elected Secretary/Treasurer of County Council.

Chris Logan will chair the Nominating Committee, serving with Ellen Springer, Nancy Smith, and two members from the board.

LWV on the deportation of non-criminal undocumented immigrants

The President of the League of Women Voters of the United States sent the following message to all Leagues on January 30, 2017:

The League is opposed to deportation of non-criminal undocumented immigrants.

The LWV supports cities, towns, counties and states that make a decision not to cooperate with federal deportation and enforcement actions that include non-criminal undocumented immigrants. Moreover, the Trump Administration's orders are of dubious legality. It is simply wrong, and a perversion of the American system of justice, for the Executive Branch to refuse to obey federal court orders.

The LWV is opposed to discrimination, including discrimination in immigration, based on religion. The Trump Administration's orders appear to be targeted at Muslims and immigrants from majority-Muslims nations.

We would like to remind all our members that we are faced with many challenges to our positions and the League is involved in serious efforts to address them. Among these, we spent last weekend anticipating the issuance of an Executive Order investigating `voter fraud'. We continue to monitor this situation and are ready to issue a statement if that occurs. We also continue our efforts to lobby on ACA in Congress. Everybody in the country is scrambling to keep up.

Chris Carson, President/Chair League of Women Voters of the United States League of Women Voters Education Fund 1730 M Street, NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20036 Facebook: @leagueofwomenvoters Twitter: @LWV| Making Democracy Work™