THE VOTER
Making Democracy Work
  February  2017-Volume 69, Issue No.6

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

January began another eventful year for our League. Thinking we might have some respite, I was wrong. Already there have been opportunities for education and action in our community!

SEIU Local 521 invited us to moderate a candidate forum for the election of their CEO (Chief Elected Officer). This was a stimulating as well as educational experience. It also reminded me of our expertise and our reputation for a fair and excellent election process.

At Lunch with League Melissa Breach, executive director of League of Women Voters California, spoke to us of challenges to League policy issues in California that may be impacted by the new political landscape: voters rights, women's rights, immigration reform, and climate change efforts. In all of these areas LWVC has strong policies which we can use for advocacy. The challenge remains of how to be strong advocates without supporting or opposing candidates, officials, or parties. As Melissa said, however, other people's interpretation of partisanship cannot paralyze us to inaction.

On Saturday, January 21st many of our League members participated in the San Jose Women's March. The League of Women Voters United States had studied the march organizers and their agenda and decided to encourage Leagues to participate in the DC and local Women's March.The climate was festive and a joyful exercise of our democracy. All ages, sexes and genders were evident. The challenge now is to continue our work in concrete actions in our communities.

By the time this issue of the Voter is published, two other League activities will have concluded: Bay Area League Day, January 28th (Read more Here) and the first 2017 County Naturalization Ceremony and voter registration on January 26th.  Thank you to all who were able to organize and participate in these vital actions.

This February we celebrate the League's 97th birthday. You are welcome to celebrate at our annual Program Planning meeting Saturday, February 11th. Here we will set the priorities for the next year(s) and make recommendations for LWVC and the County Council of leagues for their actions. Come and make our League more vital.

Thank you for all your support. We welcome all levels of membership activity. Find the action that you wish to take to Make Democracy Work. Happy New Year.
 
Mary
Membership
Thank you to the following members 
for contributions for our League:

Julia O'Keefe,  Heather Zimmerman
Karen McCreddin, Florence Silverman

Welcome to our newest Members:

Rose Ferrer, Inyaki Lecue
Kelli Parmley, Emma Slade
 
 
Lunch with League  - Muslims in America in Light of the Trump Presidency
 Guest Speaker: Maha Elgenaide, CEO of the Islamic Network Group (ING)
Given the recent controversy over the current administration's immigration orders, we are honored and eager to have Ms. Maha  Elgenaide, CEO of the Islamic Network Group (ING), share with us her perspectives. Her topic is "Muslims in America in Light of the Trump Presidency". 

Maha Elgenaidi has a master's degree in Religious Studies from Stanford University and BA in Political Science and Economics from American University in Cairo. She is the CEO of ING, which has affiliates in 20 states that are dedicated to education and interfaith engagement. She is the author of training handbooks on outreach for American Muslims as well as training seminars for public institutions on developing cultural competency with the American Muslim community. A senior fellow of the American Leadership Forum and recently named by the San Jose Business Journal as one of Silicon Valley's Women of Influence, Maha has been recognized with numerous civil rights awards, including the "Civil Rights Leadership Award" from the California Association of Human Relations Organizations and the "Citizen of the Year" award from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. 

Maha Elgeniade
CEO of the Islamic Network Group (ING) 
Muslims in America in Light of the Trump Presidency
 
T hursday, February 16, 11:30 a.m.
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, February 13, 2017. 
                   (No shows may be charged for their lunch.)

Don't Forget to Vote! What are Your Issues of Emphasis?
Program Planning Meeting, Saturday, February 11th, 9am
Don't miss your opportunity to tell LWV California Board where you want to focus our resources - time, money and reputation - for the next two years. Program includes both advocacy and community education. It includes State and local League efforts. For example, do we want to do more to inform our local community about our Money In Politics study? Is there an issue like streamlining of State environment laws or Proposition 13 reform or "fake news" where you want the LWVC to invest resources? 
 
This year for the first time, we will review adopted positions only if a member asks to do so. Most of our time will be spent on developing our "Issues for Emphasis" which used to be called "Issues for Education and Advocacy."  Local Leagues may request a new study (or concurrence with another League), an update (study of limited scope) to an existing position, issue(s) for community education, issue(s) for advocacy or any combination thereof. 
 
LWVC poses an intriguing question for our consideration: Should we continue to rely on the specifics of a position, and require update studies to change details; or, can the LWVC Board use the broader principles to take positions on new proposals? Currently, our positions have broad statements of principles but most also include more detailed statements about specific policies.  Experienced members are encouraged to share stories of how positions were used in the past. If time permits, we will discuss ways to improve the study process and how to make written positions more useful. 
 
Please Note: Our local League recommendations for "Issues for Emphasis" along with the names of members who are willing to work on those issues are due no later than February 24.     
 
Guests are welcome. This is a great opportunity to introduce potential new members or reacquaint inactive members to the work of LWV.

Program Planning, February 11th, at 9:00am
Montanas De Los Gatos Clubhouse (parking is in front of clubhouse)
Enter on Vista Loop off Camden Ave. Clubhouse is on the left.
 
Please bring a favorite food to share or just bring your ideas.

Contact Roma Dawson with any questions or input on issues.

STAYING IN TOUCH WITH OUR REPRESENTATIVES
By Judy Chamberlin

San Jose - City Council
Following up on League's meetings last year with San Jose City councilmembers, a group of five members led by Gloria Chun Hoo had an informative exchange with Councilmember Donald Rocha, District 9, on January 12. Some areas he sees coming up with the city included: rent control and oversight; gun control (one model is City of Sunnyvale); how the recently-passed Measure A housing monies will be spent and allocated; and how the city will implement new city initiatives which passed in November, particularly the "jobs opportunity" measure requiring employers to offer extra hours to existing employees before hiring new employees. He urged the League to follow these developments.

State Assembly and Senate
During the months of February and March members of our League will be participating in the annual legislative interviews of our local state assemblymembers and senators. We will be using the questions researched by LWVC and partnering with other local Leagues in gathering legislators' opinions to be shared with State League to guide their legislative work for the coming year. The topics of this year's interviews: funding of elections, public higher education, and water resources. We will also be adding a question based on our local priorities about the legislator's view of affordable housing and how the state can be involved in ensuring stable funding. For more information on the interviews or to participate, contact Judy Chamberlin

Stone State Assm


San Jose/Santa Clara LWV members Leslie Hallenbeck, Sandy Mory, and Marie Arnold met with members of Santa Cruz County LWV to interview state Assemblymember Mark Stone to discuss water resources, his legislative priorities, and other issues of interest to League.



Sen Monning

San Jose/Santa Clara members Susan McKuhen, Gloria Chun Hoo, and Judy Chamberlin met with Santa Cruz County League members to interview state Senator Bill Monning. We discussed the funding of elections, the Senator's legislative priorities, and how he thinks possible changes in federal funding may affect California. Senator Monning is Majority Leader of the state Senate; he and his wife are members of the Monterey County League.

Naturalization Ceremony at Heritage Theater
By Suzanne Sikora
On Thursday, January 26th League members joined officials from the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters Office to register new United States citizens as voters. The United States Citizen swearing-in ceremonies were held at the Heritage Theater in Campbell. Registration periods were conducted after each of three swearing-in ceremonies. 

League members and friends who volunteered:
Chata Alfaro,  Helen Athey, Sue Cooney, Jackie Costanzo,  Barbara Freitas,  Robin Hayr, Gloria Chun Hoo, Martha Hull,  Trudy La France, Carol Lathrop, Sandy  Mory,  Paula  Radzinski,  Suzanne Sikora,  Lois Smallwood
 
Register to Vote
Registering New Citizens to Vote
Naturalization Ceremony
League Volunteers  at Naturalization Ceremony
Ba BALDy Area Leagues Step Up to Solve Housing Crisis
Bay Area League Day held in San Jose
Bay Area League Day convened nine Bay Area Leagues in an all-day conference on the Bay Area Housing Crisis. Roma Dawson wore her LWV SJSC and Bay Area Council hats bringing over 150 participants to the Camden Community Center. Panelists shared recent reports on the economic impact of an inadequate supply of housing in the Bay Area as jobs and population increase.

League learned some new ways to advocate and educate and what our state representatives are doing to help...we're ready to put on our League hats (as we've been doing) and work!

LEAGUE DAY 2017 PACKET  
(L-R back row) Carol Lathrop, Sandy Mory, Trudy La France, Judy Chamberlin,  Claire Benson, 
(front row) Marie Arnold, Rita Norton,
Leslie Hallenbeck. (Not pictured)
Mary Collins, Martha Beattie, Liz Bogatin-Starr, Gloria  Chun Hoo, Connie Hunter, Suzanne Malone

BALD Roma and Rosaleen
Rosaleen Zisch, panel moderator, and Roma Dawson, Bay Area Council and LWV SJSC
LWV SJSC members turned out for Bay Area League Day to help guide local and regional efforts to improve California's housing future.

Participating in the conference: 

San Jose Affordable Housing Updates
Staff recommendations on Tenant Protection Ordinance and Ellis Act 
By Judy Chamberlin
The San Jose City Housing Department has released the staff report on the Tenant Protection Ordinance and Ellis Act.  In February there will be community meetings where the staff will explain their recommendation and invite public comment. League members have been following the Apartment Rent Ordinance regulations and will attend a community meeting. If you would like to jump on board as a follower of affordable housing proposals, contact Judy Chamberlin.

The Tenant Protection Ordinance sets out Good Cause Protections for tenants who may feel intimidated and fear a no-cause eviction if they report building or fire code violations or complain about harassment or excessive rent or service charges. It also sets out Good Cause Terminations, such as non-payment of rent, damage to the rental unit or nuisance behavior. Read the full report here:  http://www.sanjoseca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/65481

The State Ellis Act allows owners of rent stabilized buildings to remove their units from the housing market, to use the land for a different purpose, development, for example. The proposal spells out the details of how that can be done with protection and relocation benefits for current residents. On top of a base amount of relocation money for all tenants, additional money is proposed for those who are lower income, elderly, disabled, or have a family with children under 18. Extensions of stay can also be granted for those who are terminally ill or have children in school. You can read the full report here:   http://www.sanjoseca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/65482
Appendix B contains the dollar amount of proposed benefit levels and also contains examples of what other cities do.

San Jose Clean Energy (SJCE) - Community Choice Study Session
Monday, February 13
City of San Jose is moving ahead with a plan to consider a Community Choice Aggregate (CCA) program, San José Clean Energy (SJCE). The draft business plan and technical study are now available  http://sjenvironment.org/sjce.

SJCE goals:
  • Increase consumer choice
  • Offer more renewable energy
  • Lower greenhouse gas emissions
  • Create local jobs
  • Generate local economic benefits
CCA (statewide law) allows local governments to pool (or aggregate) their electricity load to purchase and/or develop renewable power on behalf of their residents and businesses.

The City Council Study Session is Monday, February 13 (session time and live streaming information to be posted soon  http://sjenvironment.org/sjce.
Location: San Jose City Hall Council Chambers.

Finding a Way Home
By Cecily O'Connor, Bay Area Monitor 
This summer, officials are expected to adopt Plan Bay Area 2040, the region's land use and transportation roadmap. While the plan advances environmental goals and transportation system improvements, more work is needed to resolve a confounding Bay Area problem: affordable housing.

That's why regional agencies are forming the Committee for Affordable and Sustainable Accommodations (CASA), a task force that will draw up a housing implementation strategy to accompany Plan Bay Area. CASA will identify actions to fix plan targets moving off course, focusing on displacement risk, access to jobs, and the high costs of rent and mortgages facing low-to-middle-income households.

"The Bay Area is an amazing place to live," said Leslye Corsiglia, co-chair of CASA and executive director of  SV@Home, an advocacy group. "It has beauty and is one of the most successful places in the world for innovation and opportunity - yet we have failed in providing sufficient housing for people who live here," she added.

Read More BAY AREA MONITOR

LWVC Leadership Academy: "Next Level Communications" Workshop
Saturday, February 18th, Oakland; Saturday, March 11th, San Jose

The Piedmont, Oakland, Berkeley/Albany/Emeryville and Eden Area Leagues are hosting a leadership communications workshop led by Sarah Diefendorf on Saturday, February 18th from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm at the James Irvine Conference Center (Plaza A), 353 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland 94612.
 
LWVC has developed this workshop as part of a Leadership Academy to accomplish two goals: (1) to increase the impact of local Leagues and (2) to build local partnerships and attract new members. Sarah Diefendorf, a member of the LWVC Board of Directors, has founded and managed numerous nonprofit organizations throughout her career and has specialized in building financial, communications and leadership capacity in the US and abroad. Understanding that we can all be leaders, she has honed and implemented a wide variety of capacity-building tools in her professional and training life to enable individual and community growth and success.
 
Since the 2016 elections, many Leagues are seeing their membership numbers grow. We've received a lot of attention for our work in voter empowerment and against voter suppression. The key to making the most of these developments is communication: being able to tell our story and inspire engagement. Melissa Breach, Executive Director of LWV California, was a speaker at the recent Women's March in Oakland. Her vivid reminder of the 100-year history of women marching and her call to join in and become involved was a wonderful and inspiring example of how we can stir people to commitment and action by our words.
 
The goal of this workshop is to help League leaders and their community partners learn new approaches to presentations and outreach and to become just as dynamic in their communications.
 
The cost for members will be $35; the cost for non-members will be $65, which includes a year's League membership. We are reaching out to our community partners to share this workshop opportunity.

The Council of the Leagues of Women Voters of Santa Clara County is hosting a second Leadership Academy in San Jose on March 11, 9:30-4:00  at the SEIU office ,  2302 Zanker Road.  

The Leagues of Santa Clara County are currently partnering with Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and reaching out to more organizations. "The Next Level Communications" workshop  will be an energetic day that promises to be enlightening and fun.  The fee is $50 with maximum attendance of 50. Registration information for the March workshop will come shortly.

REGISTER HERE FOR OAKLAND FEB 18th

League of Women Voters US - Action Alerts - Stay Connected
By LWVUS
Join the LWVUS online community to get the latest updates from the League of Women Voters!
We will send you e-communications to keep you up to date on legislative priorities, efforts to improve elections and educate voters, and news from Leagues around the country   READ MORE  HERE

Recent LWVUS Action Alerts:

Stop the Repeal of the Affordable Care Act

Stop Voter Suppression

Stand Up Against Citizens's United
STOP CANDIDATE AND SUPER PAC COORDINATION
Based on our positions, League of Women Voters California (LWVC) periodically reviews bills before the California State Legislature and makes recommendations.
  
2016-2017
Bill Status Report: Bills on which the LWVC has taken a position and recommends action.
 
Need help with legislative terms? Try this useful glossary .

OPPORTUNITIES FOR INVOLVEMENT
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.

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

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.  
LWVC Melissa and Gloria
Melissa Breach, Gloria Chun Hoo

Schedule of Airings in February:
Channel 30, Mon, 7:30pm, Sun, 4:30pm
Channel 27, Wed, 5:30pm 
        
Weeks of February 6 and February 20
Gloria Chun Hoo interviews Melissa Breach, Executive Director of LWVC, on the League of Women Voters California. 

Weeks of February 13 and February 27
Ann Clarke interviews Richard James, Chairperson, San Jose Arts Commission and Lisa Vollendorf, Dean, SJSU College of Humanities and Arts, on  the Hammer Theater. 


AArts CreaTV San Jose
Richard James, Ann Clarke
 Lisa Vollendorf
January Recorded Broadcasts:
Rosaleen Zisch interviews Laura Hawkins, Executive Director and Ashley Kinney, Hospital Manager, Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley.  VIDEO

Trixie Johnson interviews Norberto Duenas, City Manager of San Jose.  VIDEO

CREATV CHANNEL 30 Live Streaming from your computer 
Watch CREATV Channel 30 shows on your  computer with an internet connection. 
League Action and Advocacy
Lunch with League LWVC
Lunch with League with guest speaker Melissa Breach, Executive Director, LWVC
SEIU Candidate Forum
SEIU Local 521
Chief Elected Officer Candidates Forum
Moderator, Gloria Chun Hoo League members Mary Collins, Sandy Mory, Cecilie Schulze, Liz Bogatin-Starr
Women's March
Women's March - San Jose
Roma Dawson, Judy Chamberlin, Sharon Sweeney with friend Valerie. Sharon is a master pink hat and scarf maker!

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.

February 4 Board Meeting
February 11 Program Planning Meeting
February 16 Lunch with League
February 18 LWVC Leadership Academy - Oakland
February 23 Silicon Valley Reads
March 4 Board Meeting
March 11 LWVC/Council of SCC Leagues Leadership Academy - San Jose
March 16 Lunch with League
June 1
State Convention begins
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.

Join Our League
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  Democracy is not a spectator sport!  Educate!  Advocate!