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HomeSpeaker Series


Throughout the year, the Palo Alto League of Women Voters hosts a speaker series on topics that are of interest to our members and community. Programs are recorded and available on our YouTube channel. Scroll down to view our speaker events. 

Event Recap April Guest Speaker: Law Professor Michelle Oberman

Below are a few of Law Professor Oberman's thoughts on "what you can do to support the cause of women's reproductive rights":

1.Educate yourself and share abortion information--Be a student and then become a teacher. Familiarize yourself with websites that have accurate, trustworthy abortion information, such as:

Reprocare Healthline; Aid Access;; Mayday Health

2. Donate to the folks on the ground in states with abortion bans, such as: Right By You (Missouri chat line helping people navigate travel and expenses for out of state, legal abortions); midwest action coalition (abortion fund) or abortion defense network (supporting those needing legal advice or representation).

3. Work to protect voting rights.


LWVPA Annual Meeting With Guest Speaker Palo Alto City Mayor Lydia Kou:  City of Palo Alto Priorities for 2023 

Sunday May 7th, 2023
2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Thank you Mayor Lydia Kou for being our guest speaker. 

We are excited to invite all members to join our 2023 Annual Membership Meeting! We welcome you to come at 2:00 pm to enjoy refreshments and connect with fellow members. The meeting will begin at 2:30 pm.

Members will first hear from our guest speaker, Palo Alto City Mayor Lydia Kou, on the following City of Palo Alto Priorities for 2023:

Economic Recovery & Transition
Community Health & Safety
Climate Change - Protection & Adaptation
Housing for Social & Economic Balance

Members will then accomplish the following objectives of the meeting:

Approve a 2023-2024 budget
Adopt our top program emphases for 2023-2024 (Palo Alto) and for 2023-2025 (California)
Elect new officers, directors, and a nominating committee 
In our 2023 LWVPA Annual Meeting Kit, you will find the following pertinent information:
Treasurer's Report and Proposed Budget for 2023-2024
2023-2024 Program Adoption
Report of the Election Committee

The Annual Membership meeting is the most important gathering of the League year. Your participation is critical to help shape the important work that we do for the coming year. It's also a great opportunity to connect with fellow League members in-person. Your early registration by April 28 is most appreciated to help us plan. We look forward to seeing you there! 

About Guest Speaker

Lydia Kou is Palo Alto’s Mayor and a City Council member. She was elected in 2016 and re-elected in 2020. Lydia has a long history of community volunteerism spanning her 26+ years in Palo Alto. She served on her neighborhood association, leading her neighborhood emergency preparedness program to a citywide program, organized cultural diversity events and started "movies in the park" as a neighborhood engagement activity. Lydia has also served on various St. Thomas Aquinas parish committees and volunteers at La Comida, a non-profit serving affordable hot lunches to seniors in an enjoyable setting.

During the last six years as a City Council member, Lydia has chaired or been a member of or liaison to many city committees: Chair, Rail Committee; Chair, Policy & Services Committee; liaison to Parks and Recreation Commission, Avenidas, and California Avenue & Downtown Business Associations; and member, Finance Committee, VTA Policy Advisory Committee, and many more. Lydia is committed to her community and believes that a city functions best when it listens to its residents.

Lydia was born in Hong Kong, grew up in Sudan and Guam, and works in real estate with her husband, John St. Clair III.

Past Speaker Events

Watch video recordings and view photos of past speaker events by clicking on each event’s title.
Preventing Gun Violence: What Parents Can Do To Help - LWV Palo Alto Gun Violence Prevention Committee and PTA Council presented a Parent Education Zoom webinar
April 25, 2023
Dr. Erin Holsinger, Stanford pediatrician and noted gun violence researcher; Chloe Chan, Palo Alto High School Student; Stacey Ashlund, LWVPA’s Gun Violence Prevention Committee co-chair and Moms Demand Action volunteer
Voting Rights Film Suppressed & Sabotaged: The Right to Vote & Discussion - Fall Kick-off 
October 2, 2022
Kemi Anike Oyewole, PhD student Stanford University 
Affordable Electrification for Everyone
June 22, 2022
Diane Bailey, Executive Director, Menlo Spark
Bruce Hodges, Founder, Carbon Free Palo Alto
The slide decks for our speakers are here (Bailey) and here (Hodges)
Progress Report on City Priorities - LWVPA Annual Meeting
May 14, 2022 
Ed Shikada, Palo Alto City Manager 
The Road to Democracy Runs Through the Classroom
March 9, 2022
Susie Richardson, Facing History  & Ourselves Board Member
Jennifer DiBrienza, PAUSD Board of Education 
Language of Leadership (for all)
December 9, 2021
Lori Nishiura Mackenzie, Lead Strategist, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Stanford Graduate School of Business 
How to Repair American Democracy
August 2, 2021
Dr. Larry Diamond, Top scholar in Democracy Studies 
Power of Community - LWVPA Annual Meeting
May 15, 2021
Rev. Kaloma Smith, Leader of the University AME Zion Church Palo Alto; Chair, Palo Alto Human Relations Committee 
Climate Crisis Call to Action: Think Globally/Act Locally
March 10, 2021
Christine Luong, Sustainability Manager, City of Palo Alto 
Nicole Angiel, Food Systems Director, Acterra 
The K-12 Opportunity Gap and Its Effect on Equal Access to Education - LWVPA Winter Luncheon
December 3, 2020
Kristen Clark, President and Executive Director, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law  
Genevieve Bonadies Torres, Associate Director, Educational Opportunities Project 
The Personal and the Political: What COVID-19 Reveals and How We Might Respond
June 24, 2020
Julie Lythcott-Haims, Author, speaker, activist, and board member of Black Women’s Health Imperative, Narrative Magazine, and California College of the Arts; she serves on the advisory boards of LeanIn.Org, Sir Ken Robinson Foundation, and Baldwin For the Arts. 
How is the COVID-19 Crisis Impacting American Democracy?
April 29, 2020
Didi Kuo, Associate Director, Research and Senior Research Scholar at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University 
Judge LaDoris Cordell
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