LWV San Jose/Santa Clara Newsletter
Making Democracy Work
January 2018-Volume 70, Issue No.5

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 SJ/SC

As 2018 begins, we look forward to many opportunities to further our League's work in strengthening our Democracy. While considering your New Year's resolutions, again make League activities a priority.

Many of our efforts this year will involve preparing for 2018 elections. Now there are opportunities for registering voters and also working on preparing Voter's Edge. Both of these programs are described in this Voter. Later this year, we will prepare for Pro/Con presentations and candidate forums.

Each year members interview our California legislators on issues of concern for League of Voters California (LWVC) as well as our local issues. This is a joint effort with other Leagues, and we participate in seven interviews: Bob Wieckowski (SD10), Jim Beall (SD15), Bill Monning (SD17), Evan Low (AD28), Mark Stone (AD29), Kansen Chu (AD25), and Ash Kalra (AD27). Whether an expert or new to this enterprise, contact me if you are interested.

Our program planning meeting will be February 24. As I mentioned last month, this program allows us to give input to the League of Women Voters US as well as to our local and regional levels. All attendees' opinions are important to shape our League's priorities and actions.

Bay Area League Day, a program for all the Bay Area Leagues, is February 3rd at Laney College. This program explores Bay Area governance - covering policy issues of transportation, land use, and housing. This is open to all members and is a valuable educational resource.

Looking back I thank you for all your contributions to our League; looking forward, I thank you, too.

Happy New Year,


Lunch with League - January 18th, 11am-1pm
Speaker: John H. McManus. How to Discern Real News from Fake in the Digital Age
Come hear Dr. John McManus, author of  Don't Be Fooled: A Citizen's Guide to News and Information in the Digital Age  describe how to distinguish between reliable and fake news in an era of hyper-partisan media and paralyzing political polarization.  A former journalist and communications professor, John McManus writes and lectures about changes in news media and their impact on democracy. His 1994 book, "Market-Driven Journalism: Let the Citizen Beware?" won the annual research award from the Society of Professional Journalists. So did his 2009 college textbook, "Detecting Bull: How to Identify Bias and Junk Journalism in Print, Broadcast and on the Wild Web." In 2003, he founded at Stanford. Using "Consumer Reports" as a model, the project scientifically sampled the most popular newspapers and newscasts in the San Francisco Bay Area and rated them head-to-head on seven yardsticks of journalism quality. Grade the News was funded by the Gerbode, Knight and Ford Foundations and received both national and regional awards.

Dr. McManus was our most popular guest speaker at the League of Women Voters State Convention in 2013, which we (our League) hosted at the Hayes Mansion. And, John is an LWV member.

John H. McManus, Ph.D.
Professor, Journalist, Author
Topic: How to Discern Real News from Fake in the Digital Age
Thursday, January 18, 11am to 1pm
Rookies Sports Lodge
1535 Meridian Ave., San Jose 95125 
(near Hamilton Ave.)

Please RSVP by Monday, January 15 by going to and filling out the form, including your choice of entree. Or you may send an email to or call Marie Arnold,  629-5340.

We meet at 11:00am and are served lunch at 11:30am. The guest speaker begins his talk at noon for 15-20 minutes and then invites attendees to ask questions and give comments. LwL ends at 1pm. Those who wish to buy books can do so then. 

The price of lunch is $20 payable in cash at the door or, if you don't want to worry about having cash, you can prepay just after you register by using PayPal which will take a credit card or a personal PayPal account. We charge slightly more to cover our small PayPal fee.


Register New Citizens to Vote, January 18th
By Suzanne Sikora, Voter Service Chair

On January 18th, The League of Women Voters of San Jose/Santa Clara will participate in registering New United States Citizens to vote.  
The location for the event is:
Heritage Theater
Please note: the voter registration will not take place in the lobby of the theater.   If weather is good, there will be tables outside the theater.  
Please let me know if you would like to volunteer to register voters,  Suzanne Sikora
LWV Bay Area League Day Explores Bay Area Regional Governance
Saturday, February 3, 10am-3pm, Laney College, Oakland

Bay Area League Day 2018

T he League of Women Voters Bay Area's signature event will be held on Saturday, February 3 in Oakland, hosted by Laney College from 10 am to 3 pm. We will explore Bay Area Regional Governance, a topic which encompasses the ways we develop and implement regional policies on land use, transportation, housing, economic and social equity, environment, climate change, air, water, and more.

The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) are merging and there are many options for a combined organization being considered. The current agencies focus primarily on housing, transportation and social equity. Questions are being asked such as: how much authority should the regional agency have on local land use decisions, should the regional decision makers be appointed by other elected officials (as it is now) or be directly elected, and how might this new regional agency relate to other governmental  bodies?

This topic has extremely broad implications - impacting many areas of interest to our Leagues locally and Bay Area wide and will include insights into the League's pivotal role in the dialogue and policymaking over the decades. Come be part of this thought provoking forum.

Bay Area League Day 2018
Saturday, February 3
9:30am: Continental Breakfast
10am - 3:00pm: Panels and Roundtable Discussion

Winds of Change: Impact of Regional Government on Local Government and Community Intersection and Interconnection
Panel I:
Cross Currents of Local Government, Community, Urban and Regional Planning
Panel II:
Today's Microclimate and Head Winds: Micro-Climate of Regionalism, Regional Governance, and Today's Head Winds
                          Regional Roundtable: Regional Climate Forecast, Today and Tomorrow
$35 in Advance Ticket Price | $40 Day of Ticket Price
Includes Lunch & Continental Breakfast
REGISTER: Eventbrite

LWV San Jose/Santa Clara Annual Program Planning Meeting, Feb 24
By Roma Dawson, Program Chair
I s LWV a truly grassroots organization?  The answer is a resounding yes!  Once a year Leagues across the United States gather to determine what priorities align with our mission and adopted policies and positions. Don't miss the opportunity for your voice to be heard at all levels of League. 
Saturday, February 24, 2018
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
  Home of Alice Thorn
1711 Harte Drive, San Jose

LWVUS board recommends no new studies or reviews for 2018-2020, but instead asks Local Leagues to focus on our Campaign for Making Democracy Work. The first questions we will tackle on February 24 are: Do we want to continue with the Campaign, and/or do we want to suggest a new study or review to the national Convention? At local, state and federal levels, League's work on the Campaign--which includes voter protection and mobilization, election reform, money in politics/campaign finance reform and redistricting--is at the heart of the League's mission and its future. We are asked to share information on how our work will impact the Campaign for Making Democracy Work as well as identify LWVUS positions that we intend to use or have used in education and lobbying.

At the same time, LWVUS is undertaking a transformational journey to strengthen our brand and establish a continuum of new and future engaged activists around the League's core issues. As we head into our 100th Anniversary, what can our Local League do to support this work and make a lasting impact on our democracy?

For the last several years LWV SJ/SC has made climate change, affordable housing and transportation our priorities. What do we want to do in the following year to affect change in these three areas? Are there new opportunities for action and education that you are interested in pursuing? For example, LWV California is supporting an initiative to close a loophole in Prop.13 that would result in an additional $11 billion per year in property tax revenue. County Council of the Leagues of Santa Clara County are forming a countywide affordable housing committee to increase oversight and advocacy.  Are there other Santa Clara County issues that merit our attention? League Bay Area is seeking input on its positions especially regional government  Links to all local, regional, state and national positions can be found on our website at
Think about how we can engage our newer members and empower them to work on their areas of interest. The LWV SJ/SC board values the opinions of each and every member. Please attend and feel free to bring a guest. The Program Planning meeting is a great opportunity to introduce interested individuals to the League.  Send questions or comments to Roma Dawson .  Thank you Alice for hosting this important meeting.    

County Council Forms Affordable Housing Committee - Join/Advocate
By Roma Dawson, Program Chair
The County Council representing the five Leagues of Santa Clara County is forming an Affordable Housing Committee. It held its first meeting in December to discuss a potential scope of work.  Local League members from Palo Alto, Cupertino, Los Altos/Mountain View and San Jose/Santa Clara are participating. 

Oversight of Measure A for Affordable Housing bond expenditures will be part of the Committee's mission. The Committee will help determine how we can promote the creation of more housing at all levels of affordability for our County and ensure recently adopted State legislation is effectively implemented. Currently, there is only one committee member from LWV San Jose/Santa Clara while we contain over half the County's population, and will probably have many projects located within our borders. If you are interested in issues related to affordable housing, this is a great opportunity to become an advocate.  Contact Roma Dawson for information on how to get involved with this important work.

Voter's Edge California - Volunteer to Provide Election Information
By Judy Conner, Voter's Edge (formerly Smart Voter)
Voter's Edge, formerly known as Smart Voter, is an integral education program of the League of Women Voters. To continue providing unbiased and comprehensive election information this coming election, we need computer data entry and content management volunteers.
Computer data entry volunteers are needed to send out emails, manage the content submitted by candidates, resize photographs, and monitor the site. We could use at least three of these volunteers for our Local League, and California as well could use a few floating volunteers to fill in for other counties as needed.
There is a training for the Voter's Edge Data Entry system happening on March 10, 2018. The training in Palo Alto will be located at the LWV Palo Alto's office, 3921 East Bayshore Rd. Volunteers will need to bring their own laptop computers.  This is specific training on how to use the Data Entry System.
The link to RSVP for training is here:  Register for March 10th Voter's Edge VEC Training
The computer data entry can be done in the comfort of your home, at any time of the day and, after the training, continual support will be offered throughout the election season.
The candidate filing deadline is early March, so we should expect to receive candidate lists during the first or second week of March.
If you have questions about volunteering for Voter's Edge, please contact Judy Conner or call Judy, 408-476-8056.


LWVUS Statement on Shut-down of the 'Election Integrity' Commission
By Chris Carson, LWVUS President
Washington, DC - League of Women Voters president, Chris Carson issued the following statement in response to President Trump's Executive Order terminating his 'election integrity' commission.

"Today voters win. We are pleased that the Trump Administration has at last dissolved their discredited 'election integrity' commission."

"As has been said time and time again, the purpose of this effort was to justify President Trump's false claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2016 elections. This travesty of a commission was nothing more than a tactic of voter suppression and an unnecessary distraction from legitimate threats to our democracy."

"It is now time for our leaders to focus on the the very real work of securing our elections against foreign interference, while making sure all eligible voters are free to exercise their right to vote."

Contact: Caitlin Rulien | 202-263-1329 |

Bill Status Report - LWV 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.
  • Bills of Interest 2017-2018: 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 .

League and Community 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.  

Connect to our League Web Site for current and archived Insights and Perspectives broadcasts

Schedule of Airings 
Channel 30, Mon, 7:30pm, Sun, 4:30pm
Channel 27, Wed, 5:30pm 

SJ Police Chief Garcia
Edgardo Garcia, Rosaleen Zisch

January Airings

Rosaleen Zisch interviews Edgardo Garcia, San Jose Police Chief

Monday, Jan 8 and Jan 22

SCC BOE Joe DiSalvo
Joseph Di Salvo, Rosaleen Zisch
Rosaleen Zisch interviews Joseph Di Salvo, Supervisor, Santa Clara County Board of Education

Monday, Jan 15, and Jan 29

Watch CREATV Channel 30 shows on your computer with an internet connection. 
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.

January 18 New Citizens Voter Registration
January 18 Lunch with League
January 20 Women's March
February 3 Bay Area League Day
February 10 Board Meeting
February 15 Lunch with League
February 24 Program Planning Meeting
March 3 Board Meeting
March 10
Voter's Edge Training
March 15 Lunch with League

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 LWV SJ/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.

  Democracy is not a spectator sport!  Educate!  Advocate!
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