Making Democracy Work
    November  2016-Volume 69, Issue No.3

In This Issue
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League of Women Voters

San Jose / Santa Clara

P. O. Box 5374
San Jose, California 95150 

President's Message
Mary Collins
 Mary Collins  President,  LWV SJSC

This November election is going to be unforgettable. Across the country, our state, our county, and our local cities, League members have worked unceasingly to ensure all eligible voters acquire and retain their right to vote. I want to thank the many volunteers who enabled us to educate our community on the important issues facing us as citizens of California, Santa Clara County and our cities, and to provide forums for civil and informative candidate debates.

Remember, you can use to get complete ballot information.

With these last days approaching the election, our task now is to encourage people to exercise their right to vote by going to the polls or mailing in their ballots. Ballots can also be dropped off at these locations ( download pdf).

The League of Women Voters United States has asked us to be particularly aware of the threat to the credibility of this election raised by this year's campaign and to emphasize to all voters that their vote does count!  As League members we have worked for almost 100 years to ensure fair and free elections with transparent procedures and impartial factual analysis. Our message to family, friends and neighbors is "I'm voting, and I know my vote will count." Exercise your vote to support your community and have your say in America's future.

As we approach November and Thanksgiving, let's give thanks for our democracy, for committed citizens, and all League members supporting our important work. I especially want to thank Sandy Mory, our fearless Voter Service chair for juggling the many requests we received, and Cecilie Schulze and Judy Conner for their efforts in making Voters Edge a reality.
And don't forget to invite new members to join our efforts in making our democracy work!

Lunch with League - Thursday, November 17th
Dr. Larry Gerston,  Speaker, November Election Results

Be ready for a big change for November's Lunch with League. The League of Women Voters of San Jose/Santa Clara will be joining the San Jose Workers Compensation Attorneys to present Larry Gerston, Ph.D., for expert commentary on the current election results. The venue for this event is the Old Spaghetti Factory in San Pedro Square in Downtown San Jose.

Dr. Gerston is uniquely qualified to provide an analysis of this election year. He is a Political Science professor, emeritus, at San Jose State University, and has written more than ten books including the award-winning "Recall! California's Political Earthquake" (which he co-authored with Terry Christensen). He has written over 100 op-ed articles for the San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and Los Angeles Times. As a political analyst, he has worked for NBC11 since 1980, and for KCBS radio since 2002.

As we have on past occasions, we are happy to have Dr. Gerston share his views on this important topic. He has always proved to be an interesting, entertaining, and  informative speaker. 

We will be meeting at:
  The Old Spaghetti Factory
51 N. San Pedro, San Jose 95110
Thursday, November 17th
Registration, 11:30 a.m.; Lunch begins,12:00 noon
  The cost is $30 per person.

Cost for the luncheon is $30.00 per person.  Registration  starts at 11:30 a.m. Lunch begins at noon. You will be able to choose from up to five menu items the day of the event. You may pay by cash or check at the door.

Please RSVP to Paula by Mon day, November 14th to

See you on Thursday, November 17th,
Paula Radzinski

Welcome to our newest member:

Stacey Hughes
    Thank you to the following member and friend
for their donations to the League:
J anet Hagquist

Thelma Sorich, Friend of League


LWV California Ballot Recommendations for Nov 8th General Election

I Vote with the League
I Vote with the League

Vote with the League!  View our recommendations on the November 8th ballot measures. Share this flyer ( download flyer here ) with your family and friends.See more at: Ballot recommendations .

Visit Voter's Edge California for more on the funding of these measures: Voter's Edge.

Voter Education and Registration, Center for Employment Training
By Sharon Sweeney
One of the League's major goals is educating and engaging voters.  When Jacqueline Escala, Contract Analyst at the Center for Employment Training (CET) in San Jose called upon us, we met with her to devise a voter education program targeted for each of the nine skills training programs taught at that facility. Jacqueline's goal was to do something positive during this election season.
CET teaches critical job skills that help to keep our society up and running.  Electrician, culinary arts, building construction, child care, medical assistant and business office skills are some of the programs offering new and sustainable career opportunities to the students.

Jacqueline Escala, CET, Sharon Sweeney, Roma Dawson, Barbara Walker, and Trudy La France, LWV, engage with students on voting and this year's ballot.
With those programs in mind, Roma Dawson, Sharon Sweeney,and her friend Barbara Walker developed a script for presentations to each of the ten classrooms. The focus was on motivating students to vote, registering new voters, voting options, ballot organization, where to get unbiased information, how to use the State and County voter guides to make informed decisions, distinguishing fact from fiction, and examining how valuable each vote is according to how much money is spent by those promoting or opposing propositions and measures.

Recognizing that there was a lot of material to cover in a short period of time, Barbara made two double-sided posters illustrating the points to be made. Anticipating that some students might not be interested in voting because they were not excited about the presidential candidates, Barbara and Sharon developed a pyramid showing how the ballot for the November 8 election is designed so they could see all the other decisions they could make that could, potentially, affect their future trades. The Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters also provided us with a mock full-sized ballot so students could see what the ballot would look like. Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Benito and Santa Clara County Registrars provided us with voter registration forms.

CET Students
CET students discuss voting and the ballot in five classrooms on October 19.
Our presentations took place on October 19. Trudy La France volunteered to assist Roma Dawson in five classes, while Sharon and Barbara handled the other five. The students were respectful, engaged and attentive. They asked solid questions demonstrating that we gave them fair and relevant information. The teachers were supportive and asked questions along the way that added to the dialogue. By explaining that there are many other contests on the November ballot, our take-away from this adventure is that we believe we inspired the students to become habitual voters. We registered 16 new voters that day and distributed Voter's Edge bookmarks to the students in each classroom. Jacqueline registered 7 more voters just in time for the 15-day Close date of Oct. 24.

FIND YOUR BALLOT - Get the Facts Before You Vote 
Voter's Edge California: Smart Voter update, new and improved!
League Advocates for Affordable Rents
Community Meeting November 16th - Public Comment
By Judy Chamberlin

We have long supported affordable housing, based on League positions. Last spring we advocated for San Jose's Apartment Rent Ordinance. Meetings are being held now for public comment on this ordinance and other renter concerns, for example, for money for renters displaced from affordable housing (example, in the case of demolishing the units). Come join us Wednesday, November 16, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Bascom Comnmunity Center, 1000 Bascom Ave., for input before the issue goes to Council in the spring. For more information or to join the team of housing advocates, contact Judy Chamberlin,

Every year the San Jose Housing Dept. updates its Annual Action Plan which identifies projects and services funded with federal and other grants. League members attended a public meeting to hear about these projects and their goals: 1) increase and preserve affordable housing opportunities, 2) respond to homelessness and its impacts on the community, 3) strengthen neighborhoods, and 4) promote fair housing. A few of the many projects funded from these grants include Meals on Wheels (through the Health Trust), Senior Isolation to Inclusion (through Catholic Charities), and minor repairs for homeowners unable to do it themselves (through Rebuilding Together and Habitat). Let us know if you're interested in future meetings on housing. There are many facets and we'd like your input, contact Judy Chamberlin,

Affordable Housing
By Judy Chamberlin
As you head to the polls on Nov. 8th, remember that our League, along with the other four Leagues in the county, support both Measures A (Affordable Housing) and B (Transportation). Homelessness and housing insecurity are a county-wide problem; here is an opportunity to support a county-wide solution. This bond measure would provide almost  a billion dollars for affordable housing for hardworking families, veterans, seniors, the disabled, and vulnerable populations.

Measure A
Liz Bogatin-Starr, Judy Chamberlin
Trudy La France, Gloria Chun Hoo 
$700 million for supportive ( ~ 3600) and rapid rehousing ( ~ 2400) units; $100 million for low income housing; and $150 million for moderate income (80 to 120% AMI; up to $102,800 for a family of two) including $100M to address the need for proximity to workplaces in the county and $50M for first time homebuyers.

League volunteered for phone-banking for Measure A to get out the vote.

Action, Events, Voter Education
ACTION COMMITTEE - Be part of the Action team. Join League members and meet with California elected officials, observe City Council meetings, engage in League advocacy.  Contact  Judy Chamberlin.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING  -  Measure A phone banking continues. Contact Yes on Affordable Housing: Alex Lin - (408) 887-3582. 

VOTER REGISTRATION  - Volunteer and help coordinate registration at the Naturalization Ceremony several times each year and Get the Vote out registering Voters. Contact Sandy Mory.

HOLIDAY PARTY, Tuesday, December 6th. Brighten up the party with decorations and help with set up. Contact  Paula Radzinski.

San Jose Looking Closely at Community Choice
By Gloria Chun Hoo
When the California Legislature in 2002 passed Assembly Bill 117 allowing the creation of CCAs - very little happened for many years, until Marin County in 2007 began looking at forming a CCA [Community Choice Aggregation  also known as Community Choice Energy] - the ability to purchase wholesale electricity and sell it to residents and businesses. In 2010, Marin Clean Energy (MCE) became the state's first CCA program. It started with 8,000 customers and today serves 250,000 in the counties of Marin and Napa, and in a total of 26 communities. MCE has created 2,400 new jobs, and provides energy through a variety of renewable sources: biogas, biomass, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar and wind. Residents in the MCE service area can choose to purchase energy and have the choice of having 50% to 100% of their energy supplied from clean, renewable sources.

Today, there are five operating CCAs in the State, and 22 communities are looking to form CCAs - San Jose is one of them. The projection is that within five years, 50% of California communities will have the choice for electrical providers through CCAs.

San Jose is now considering whether or not it makes sense for the City to also become a CCA provider and operator. Members of the City Council on Oct. 28 heard from CCAs from Marin, Lancaster, Sonoma and the City of Santa Clara discuss their experiences. In many cases, the CCAs have been able to offer competitive, and sometimes lower rates than PG&E, but always will offer energy that is "greener", comes from renewable energy and increasingly, locally-produced energy. In many instances, the CCAs have seen not only new jobs, but additional revenue available for their general fund, some of which have been directed toward new services and programs in support of energy efficiencies and services for low-income residents.

The Environmental Services staff has named the program: San Jose Clean Energy and its goals are to increase consumer choice, offer more renewable energy, lower greenhouse gas emissions, create local jobs and generate local economic benefits.  According to staff, such a program - if the City moves forward - would be in partnership with PG&E which would continue to maintain the grid, deliver energy and do the billing. But the new San Jose Clean Energy would set rates, purchase cleaner power and retain the revenue. The city staff will send its recommendations and a business plan to the City Council for consideration in early 2017 with potential to launch within the next 12-18 months. Read more on City of San Jose Clean Energy and a recent Local Economic Impact Report HERE.

The League's Climate Change Committee is following these developments and will monitor and report on its progress. To join us, contact Rita Norton.

Bill Status Reports
League of Women Voters California
Based on our positions, League of Women Voters California (LWVC) periodically reviews bills before the California State Legislature and makes recommendations.
Bill Status Report: Bills on which the LWVC has taken a position and recommends action.
Need help with legislative terms? Try this useful glossary .

Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot
Southern Poverty Law Center - New DVD
Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot is the true story of the forgotten heroes in the fight for voting rights-the courageous students and teachers of Selma, Alabama, who stood up against injustice despite facing intimidation, arrests and violence. By organizing and marching bravely, these change-makers achieved one of the most significant victories of the civil rights era.  VIEW TRAILER HERE.
League Holiday Party - Tuesday, Dec 6th, 5 to 8pm

Save the Date -Dec 6th

League celebrates getting out the vote with friends at our annual holiday party.

Tuesday, Dec 6th
in downtown San Jose.

Hosted by Carol and Jim Lathrop.

RSVP to Paula Radzinski
LWV Presents: Insights and Perspectives
Comcast Channel 30, Monday nights at 7:30pm, Comcast guide lists re-broadcasts
The best way to describe Channel 30 is TV "by the community for the community." Channel 30 airs non-commercial, member-produced videos that educate, express views, and expose talents to the San Jose community and beyond. 
Trafficking Coalition, Brian Wo
Brian Wo, Rosaleen Zisch
Joe Deviney_ AG Commissioner
Joseph Deviney, Gloria Chun Hoo

Schedule of Airings in November:
Mon, Nov 7 and Nov 21, 7:30pm
Rosaleen Zisch interviews Brian Wo, Co-Founder,
Director of Partnerships, Bay Area Anti-Trafficking

Mon, Nov 14 and Nov 28, 7:30pm
Gloria Chun Hoo interviews Joseph DeViney,Commissioner, Santa Clara County Department of Agriculture

CREATV CHANNEL 30 Live Streaming from your computer 
Watch CREATV Channel 30 shows on your  computer with an internet connection. 
Events: Lunch with League, and Getting out the Vote

Joe Deviney_ AG Comm
Joseph Deviney
Joe Deviney, Agricultural Commissioner, Sealer of Weights and Measures for Santa Clara County, presented a very informative Lunch with League talk on medical cannabis and the evolving regulations and ordinances in the state and county.
Suzanne Sikora_ Mary Collins _back row___Lora Kerr and Pat Reardon _front row_ joined _MACLA_Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana for South First Friday in October toGet out the Vote in San Jose.
Suzanne Sikora, Mary Collins
(back row) Lora Kerr and Pat Reardon (front row) joined  
MACLA Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana for South First Friday in October to
Get out the Vote in San Jose.

Information on many of these events is available in this newsletter. See our  website calendar  for current listings and more information.  If you'd like more information but don't have web access, contact the League at (408) 271-7163.

November 8
General Election
November 17 Lunch with League
Dec 6 Holiday Party
January 7 Board Meeting
January 28 Bay Area League Day
June 1 State Convention begins

Address / Email Change
To keep our records current please send any changes to your address, email address, or phone number, to our Dues Secretary, Sandy Remmers.  The only updates she receives are on the renewal form which is only sent once a year.
The Voter
Submissions due the 20th of the month
The LWVSJ/SC Voter is distributed monthly.  Article deadline is the 20th of the month.  If you have questions or comments, contact Liz Bogatin-Starr, the Voter Editor.

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  Democracy is not a spectator sport!  Educate!  Advocate!