THE VOTER
 LWV San Jose/Santa Clara Newsletter
Making Democracy Work
  May  2017-Volume 69, Issue No.9

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

In April, we continued to increase our League activities as the involvement of newer and longtime members grew.
In San Jose, we focused on supporting San Jose's Clean Energy Plan with outreach to individual council members. Your encouragement of your council member's support does make a difference in the eventual council vote.

Also coming in May is a recommendation from Santa Clara's affordable housing working committee to establish fees on development to provide more affordable and low income housing in the city. Roma Dawson represents our League on this committee. League members are observing committee and Santa Clara City Council meetings.

A new effort is beginning in Santa Clara. Our League was invited to work with Asian Americans Advancing Justice on community education in Santa Clara on the potential change of at-large voting for city council positions. The City of Santa Clara initiated a Charter Review committee in response to a suit claiming the city is violating the California Voting Rights Act. While just beginning, if you would like to participate in this effort (training will be given) contact  me.
 
Of course, we continue directly supporting registering voters. We registered voters at the recent Naturalization ceremonies. Outreach to high school and community colleges is being explored for kick- off in next year's election cycle. If interested, contact Suzanne Sikora,
 
Our board has agreed to co-sponsor Affordable Housing Week, May 12-19. The schedule of activities is below.

Looking forward to our Annual Meeting June 10. We will set priorities for 2017-18. Watch for our Annual Meeting Kit which comes mid-May.

Volunteer activities are available at other levels of League. At the County Council level, volunteers are being sought for newly established committees of Housing and Transportation. And, the Bay Area League is seeking observers for three agencies: Bay Area Quality District, Bay Conservation and Development, and Regional Water Quality Board. If you would like more information or would like to participate in any of these, contact me and I will give you more information.

Again, thank you for your participation in making our League vital to keeping democracy strong in our community.



 
MEMBERSHIP
Thank you to the following members 
for contributions for our League:

Curtis Jones, Trudy LaFrance
  Suzanne Sikora and Lora Kerr, Rosaleen Zisch

Welcome  to our newest  Members:
   
Ana Cantu, Anna Fox,  Lora Kerr, Karen Nelson 
 
 
 
 
 
LEAGUE MEETINGS

Lunch with League - Citizen Education: Building a Better Community and Educated, Engaged Citizenry
Speaker: Susan Ellenberg, Senior Director, The Silicon Valley Organization
Our April speaker, Dorsey Moore, Executive Director of the San Jose Conservation Corps and Charter School, gave us a glimpse into a very valuable and little known community resource that assists under-served young people in getting their high school diplomas while earning a salary and learning job skills. He shared several success stories from people who have completed their programs and have become contributing members of their communities. Dorsey has a real passion for his work and the accomplishments of young people in the San Jose program since the 1990s. 
 
Susan Ellenberg is our speaker for May Lunch with League. Susan is the Senior Director for Community Development at The Silicon Valley Organization, (SVO), formerly the San Jose City Chamber of Commerce.  Her presentation will include an overview of the changes at the SVO and her role in Civic Education. Susan is committed to building better community through development of an educated, engaged citizenry. At the Silicon Valley Organization, she facilitates social justice learning and engagement for business leaders. As trustee for San Jose Unified School District, she connects district and community to support student success. Through the Commission on the Status of Women, Susan advocates for equal pay, a reformed criminal justice system, and resources for victims of sexual violence. She holds a B.A. from Barnard College and a J.D. from Columbia University. 

Susan Ellenberg
Senior Director, The Silicon Valley Organization
Citizen Education: Building a Better Community and Educated, Engaged Citizenry
 
T hursday, May 18, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
The Fish Market
 
You may choose from the following menu items:
* Caesar Salad with your choice of Bay Shrimp or Chicken 
* Market Burger w/ crisp bacon, cheddar cheese, and your choice of fruit, cucumber salad or fries
* Liteaters Plate with Fresh Pacific Rockfish, Roasted Veggies and Fishwife Rice
* Teriyaki Mahi Sliders (2) with your choice of fruit, cucumber salad or fries  
Cost for the lunch is $22.00 which includes your choice of coffee, iced tea or soft drink, tax and tip.
Check in will start at 11:30 a.m. Please come prepared to pay cash.
 
RSVP to Paula at LwL@lwvsjsc.org by Monday, May 15th
                   (No shows may be charged for their lunch.)
 
SAVE THE DATE - LWV SAN JOSE/SANTA CLARA
ANNUAL MEETING - SATURDAY, JUNE 10, 9am
Annual Meeting
Annual Meeting
Save the Date
League of Women Voter's Annual Meeting
 
Saturday, June 10, 2017
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Rose Garden Public Library Community Room
1580 Naglee Avenue, San Jose, CA 95126

Featured Speaker:
Neil Chase, Executive Editor/Editorials
Bay Area News Group

More information to follow.

LWV California Convention 2017
June 1 - June 4, Sacramento


This year, Roma Dawson, Mary Collins, and Martha Beattie are
delegates to LWV California Convention 2017.

At LWV SJ/SC Annual Meeting, June 10th, League will hear from delegates on statewide programs, actions, grassroots organizing, voting registration, position studies, and initiatives. 

Speakers confirmed:
Alex Padilla, Secretary of State
Darrell Steinberg, Mayor of Sacramento
Celinda Lake, Lake Research Partners
Chris Hoene, California Budget and Policy Center
Lisa Garcia Bedolla, Professor, UC Berkeley
Jill E. Darling, USC Center for Economic and Social Research

'Make Democracy Work' April Event - One New Member's Perspective
By Cheryl Fuelleman
I am a new member to the LWV.  I, like many, decided that it was time to get involved in our democracy at some level. I decided that voter education and voter registration are the keys to making informed decisions, exercising influence and making a difference. Others had similar reasons for joining. Some have specific issues they want to champion. What we all had in common was a willingness and excitement to participate.
 
To those members who attended the New Member Meeting April 27th, I say thank you! The new members were graciously welcomed by several inspiring, dynamic, take charge women. It was encouraging to hear what the League is currently doing and that it is open to new ideas. What a lively discussion!  
 
My take-aways from the discussion are these: (1) No matter what your reason for joining League or for your staying a member, there is more need now for participation than before in our recent history. (2) While the activities seem to be primarily along one of two lines, that of Action and Studies, these encompass so much, so many opportunities. (3) The League might benefit from even more new active members with new perspectives and perhaps more current members could take a more active role. (4) The demographics seem to suggest a rather homogeneous bunch. The League might benefit from more diversity in its membership. Diverse political, socio-economic, racial, and educational backgrounds could provide different perspectives that should not be ignored. (5) And along those lines, while the current membership is passionate and absolutely capable of accomplishing great things, the League might benefit from younger members who can offer new ideas, energy and longevity. (6) Partnering with other organizations may be of benefit. (7) Then finally, no matter what your passion is, there is something that you can do, you can make a difference.
 
I look forward to becoming involved, meeting even more members and our accomplishing League goals.
 
Thank you - Cheryl Fuelleman

LOCAL CITY/COUNTY ISSUES

San Jose Clean Energy 
City Council Vote likely, May 16th
The City of San Jose will soon vote on whether or not to make "Community Choice Energy" a reality for our city. This is an important decision. Our league has been following this issue, and after review of the proposal using our League positions, strongly urges the City to support community choice (called San Jose Clean Energy).
 
For more background information: San Jose Clean Energy
 
We need YOU to call or email Mayor San Liccardo and your city council member and urge them to support San Jose Clean Energy. 

The vote will occur in mid-May so make your contact today!
 
Here are some points you can make in support of San Jose Clean Energy :
*  San Jose Clean Energy will provide our residents and future generations with a transition to a more environmentally sustainable city;
*  The proposed plan will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and increase the use of renewable and clean energy;
* And will build a strong economic base long-term for our residents, local businesses and the City as a whole.
 
Thank you! Advocacy on issues and action to improve our community and our government is key to the work of the League of Women Voters.

Affordable Housing 
City of Santa Clara Impact Fees and Inclusionary Requirement, May 17th Meeting

Join League at May 17th Working Group Committee meeting to show support of for-sale residential inclusionary and in-lieu fee, non-residential impact fee, and inclusionary requirement.

Final Working Group Committee Meeting
Wednesday, May 17, 4:30-7pm
Council Chambers,  1500 Warburton, Santa Clara 

Topics for Recommendation to City Council:
- Residential For-Sale Inclusionary Requirement
- Affordability Levels
- Impact Fees Applicable to Residential Development
- Impact Fees Applicable to Non-Residential Development
 

Affordable Housing Week in San Jose, May 12-19

Affordable Housing Week (AHW) is a week-long celebration of affordable housing and effort to bring our diverse community together to raise awareness, educate, engage, activate, and unite around affordable housing issues and how we can work together to make Santa Clara County a more affordable place to live for all of our residents. This year's theme, #ItsUpToUs, Silicon Valley, emphasizes the need for collective action and unification around the idea that everyone should have access to a safe, stable, and affordable home.

LWV SJ/SC is supporting the kick-off breakfast this Friday, May 12th (see Affordable Housing Week calendar).

Plan Bay Area 2040 - Planning for Future of Nine-County Bay Area
Public Workshops and Comment: San Jose, May 22, 6:30pm
Beginning in May, residents from across the Bay Area will come together at a series of public open houses to discuss how to plan for our region's future growth.  Will you be there?

After two years of public discussion and technical work, the draft Plan Bay Area 2040 is out for public comment. Lend your voice to the discussion on future actions and transportation funding priorities that the region can take to encourage more efficient and effective transportation and an adequate housing supply while meeting goals to protect the environment. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) want to hear from you.

Please consider attending a workshop, where you can view displays, ask questions and offer comments on Draft Plan Bay Area 2040, Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR), Draft Transportation-Air Quality Conformity Analysis for the Draft Plan Bay Area 2040 and the Amended 2017 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).

Santa Clara County
Monday, May 22, 2017, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Marriott Hotel, San Jose Ballroom IV-VI
301 South Market Street, San José

Plan Bay Area 2040 draft
Based on our positions, League of Women Voters California (LWVC) periodically reviews bills before the California State Legislature and makes recommendations.
  
2017-2018
  • Bill Status Report for 2017: Bills on which the LWVC has taken a position and recommends action
  • Bills of Interest:This report includes bills being "followed" by the League, on which no formal position of support or opposition has been taken, as well as bills on which the LWVC has taken a position and recommends action.  
Need help with legislative terms? Try this useful glossary .

By Cheryl Fuelleman
On March 6, 2017, California State Assemblymember Evan Low (District 28-Campbell) introduced a bi-partisan resolution known as Assembly Constitutional Amendment No. 10 (ACA 10), This resolution would propose to the people of the State of California, an amendment to Section 2, of Article II, of the Constitution as it relates to elections. Currently the California Constitution allows a United States citizen who is at least 18 years of age and a resident of California to vote.This measure would reduce the minimum voting age to 17.
 
If passed, California would be the first in the nation to allow 17-year-olds to vote in general elections. California already allows 16-year-olds to pre-register to vote, and 17-year-olds who will turn 18 before a general election are permitted to vote in the primary, as do many other states. League of Women Voters California is following legislative decisions on ACA 10.
 
As reported by the Mercury News on March 7th, Low stated that "It's really about civics and the habits and patterns of democracy and making sure people are engaged in their government."  In an article published in the Sacramento Bee on March 7th, Low said "Young people are our future. Lowering the voting age will help give them a voice in the democratic process and instill a lifelong habit of voting."  Alexei Koseff, the author of the article, noted that "Appropriately, the fate of ACA 10 may ultimately rest with voters. If approved by two-thirds of the Legislature, it would be placed on the ballot in 2018."
 
According to the Mercury News: "Other pending proposals of Low's would make Election Day a state holiday and would require all statewide vote-by-mail ballots to come with prepaid envelopes."
 
Complete text of the amendment can be found at: ACA 10

Community Outreach and League Activities

LWV Presents: Insights and Perspectives
Comcast Channel 30, Mon, 7:30pm and Sun, 4:30pm; Ch 27, Wed, 5:30pm
The best way to describe Channel 30 and Bay Voice Channel 27 is TV "by the community for the community." Channels 30 and 27 air non-commercial, member-produced videos that educate, express views, and expose talents to the San Jose community and beyond.  
Maha Elgenaida ING
Maha Elgenaida, Rosaleen Zisch

Schedule of Airings in May (partial list)
Channel 30, Mon, 7:30pm, Sun, 4:30pm
Channel 27, Wed, 5:30pm 
        
Weeks of May 8 and May 22
Rosaleen Zisch interviews Maha Elgenaida, Executive Director, Islamic Networks Group (ING)


Weeks of May 15 and May 29
Ann Clarke interviews Zahra Billoo, Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

Zahra Billoo CAIR
Zahra Billoo, Ann Clarke
April Recorded Broadcasts:
Rosaleen Zisch interviews Don Rocha, SJ City Councilmember, District 9  VIDEO

Gloria Chun Hoo interviews Sharon Winslow Erickson, City of San Jose Auditor    VIDEO

CREATV CHANNEL 30 Live Streaming from your computer 
Watch CREATV Channel 30 shows on your  computer with an internet connection. 
Calendar
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.

May 11 New Members Event - Making Democracy Work (2nd meeting)
May 18 Lunch with League
June 1-4
LWVC State Convention
June 10 Annual Meeting

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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