LWV San Jose/Santa Clara Newsletter
Making Democracy Work
August  2017-Volume 69, Issue No.10

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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

I hope you have enjoyed an invigorating summer and are ready to take on our League's goals for this year.  Your board and I considered your directions from the Annual Meeting and have begun several new efforts.

A Coyote Valley Update Committee has formed and begun the creation of a scope, resources, and timeline, with a target for consensus meetings in March/April 2018. If you want more information or wish to join contact Trixie Johnson, chair, or Virginia Holtz.

Members are working on a major donor fundraising effort. Karen Nelson is spearheading this new effort which is vital to our League. Contact her with ideas or to join the group at  Karen Nelson.

Marie Arnold agreed to take on Lunch With League program, so ably managed by Paula Radzinski previously. At the same time Kelli Parmley and a group are exploring hosting a late afternoon/evening program to engage those members still working. Both are coordinating efforts to provide stimulating programs for our League. You can join and/or share ideas with  Marie or  Kelli.

Our first Lunch with League is Thursday, September 21st with guest speaker Diana Miller, MA, Dept. of Aging and Adult Services, SCC. Diana is speaking on Housing, Homelessness and the Older Adult in Santa Clara County. 

In order to reach a broader community, we are exploring hosting a program at the Mexican Heritage Plaza. Several of us have made initial contacts, but we need a chair and  committee to organize this effort. Let us know if you can volunteer for this effort - Contact Mary.

Our important voter service work continues. This year our League is joining the League of Women Voters United States' call to participate in National Voter Registration Day, Sept 26th. As part of this action, a committee is expanding efforts to local high schools and community colleges, both to register and preregister them and to involve them in the process at their schools.Contact Suzanne Sikora to join the activities.

The County Council of all Santa Clara County leagues still is seeking members for the housing, transportation, and juvenile justice  committees.  For information contact me at  Mary.

TODAY, August 18th, is the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment (August 18,1920), finally giving women the right to vote in federal elections.The League of Women Voters was founded the same year to carry out the final surge of lobbying and to educate members to be purposeful voters. Amidst the celebrations of the achievement, Carrie Chapman Catt (founder of LWV) spoke:
Ours has been a movement with a soul, ever leading on. Women came, served, and passed on, but others came to take their places. Who shall say that all the hosts of the millions of women who have toiled, and hoped, and met delay are not here today, and joining in the rejoicing. Be glad today. Let your joy be unconfined. Let it speak so clearly that its echo will be heard around the world.

Thank you for your participation in the League of Women Voters of San Jose/ Santa Clara's mission as we speak and work for every person whose full participation is still delayed or denied. Let's enjoy an impactful 2017-2018.

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

Martha Beattie, Caroline Cooper, Gloria Chun and Stanley Hoo, Connie Hunter,
Carol and Jim Lathrop, Holly McMahon, Lorraine Myers, Alan Pintacura, Susan Skorey,  Judy Stabile, Carol Watts

Welcome  to our newest  Member:
Clarice Dent

New Officers 2017-2018
(L-R) Martha Beattie, Leslie Hallenbeck, Maryann Haggerty, Mary Collins
League Members elected a slate of New Officers at the June Annual Meeting: Martha Beattie, Treasurer, Leslie Hallenbeck, Secretary, Maryann Haggerty, Vice President, and Mary Collins, President. The officers guide our League in ongoing and new actions. They are joined by directors  Roma Dawson, Carol Lathrop, Lorraine Myers, Rita Norton, Pat Reardon, Suzanne Sikora, Liz  Bogatin-Starr,  Carol Watts and Nominating Committee members, Virginia Holtz, Chair, Sandy Remmers, Sharon Sweeney.

Annual Meeting keynote Neil Chase, Executive Editor, The Mercury News and Bay Area News Group, spoke on the transition of print to electronic news reporting - and the challenges communities face to increase quality news coverage and community dialogue. The League expressed how community partnerships could foster civil discourse.


Civic Engagement in Santa Clara County: The Power of Democracy
By Maryann Haggerty, VP, LWV SJ/SC
Civic Ed google doc

On August 9th the League was represented at a conference on the Power of Democracy at the Santa Clara County Office of Education. The conference thrust was a focus on civic engagement, the status of political engagement in our country today, and a call to action. A distinguished group of speakers stressed the importance of civic education in their own lives and in the preservation of democracy.

Watch the Power of Democracy conference online HERE  - Panelists share perspectives. And,
Take the Pledge to support civic education engagement.

A panel of speakers from area organizations had a conversation on their perspectives of current civic education and what action could be taken. The keynote speaker was Ann Ravel, former Commissioner of the Federal Elections Commission under former President Barack Obama. Her remarks centered on the fact that civic engagement is in crisis since our citizens have become more cynical and less hopeful about the value of democracy and their influence on public policy. Trust in government officials is at an all time low. Younger Americans are disenchanted with our system of government and democracy. She gave the statistic that only 30% of millennials feel that it is essential to live in a democracy. Many believe that their vote doesn't count. She stressed that action has to be taken to bring diverse groups back into the political system; people and public institutions need to connect; and action should emphasize shared responsibilities. To do this civic education must be an integral part of the school process, stressing not only voting but participation.

At the end of the conference, those present were asked to take a pledge to support civic education engagement.

Thursday, September 21st - 11am, meet and greet; 11:30am Lunch
Our first Lunch with League of 2017-2018 is with guest speaker Diane Miller speaking on Housing, Homelessness and the Older Adult in Santa Clara County. Diana is the Seniors' Agenda Project Director with the Department of Aging and Adult Services for Santa Clara County and oversees the County's initiative for becoming the first county with 15 cities getting the World Health Organization's Age-friendly designation.

We'll meet at the Fish Market on Blossom Hill. Please look for LwL RSVP and menu selection in the September Voter.
National Voter Registration Day
Volunteer, Tuesday, September 26th
National Voter Registration Day Volunteer, Tues, September 26th
In 2008, six million Americans didn't vote because they missed a registration deadline or didn't know how to register. In 2017, we want to make sure no one is left out. On September 26, 2017, volunteers, celebrities, and organizations from all over the country will "hit the streets" for  National Voter Registration Day. This single day of coordinated field, technology and media efforts will create pervasive awareness of  voter registration opportunities-allowing us to reach tens of thousands of voters who we could not reach otherwise. 

What It Will Accomplish
  • Register Voters: A network of a thousand organizations operating on the ground and through social media will register tens of thousands of voters in the field and tens of thousands more online while also receiving pledges to vote from those already registered.
  • Educate Eligible Voters: Millions of voters need to register and re-register every year. By utilizing new technology and leveraging partners, we'll educate more Americans than ever before, bringing new voters into the fold.
  • Change the Conversation: National Voter Registration Day will be an opportunity to put our differences aside and celebrate the rights that unite us as Americans; democracy.
National Voter Registration Day is set for the fourth Tuesday of September by resolution of the National Association of Secretaries of State.

Contact Suzanne Sikora to join the activities.
To volunteer Sept 26th with high school student signups contact  Suzanne Sikora
or on Sept 26th with colleges, contact  Cheryl Fuelleman

LWV SJ/SC Voter Registration Committee
(L-R) Cheryl Fuelleman, Rosaleen Zisch, Suzanne Sikora,
Kelli Parmley, Mary Collins, Maryann Haggerty, Beth Gonzales, Suzanne Malone, Trudy LaFrance (other members not pictured)

The Voter Registration Team is looking for volunteers to man our tables and supervise students at Leland, Presentation, and Notre Dame Highs (times to be determined) and Evergreen Valley College and San Jose City College, Sept. 26, 9am-1pm, and possible evening session. Donations to fund materials are welcomed.
By LWV of Southwest Santa Clara Valley
Please join the League of Women Voters of Southwest Santa Clara Valley for an informative program on, "Keeping Abreast of Federal Legislation and Understanding How You Can Impact It."
Featured speakers are Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, United States House Representative for the 19th District of California and Jennifer Waggoner, former president of the League of Women Voters of California.

- Find out how to locate new bills being proposed and tracking their status over time
- Understand the process of how a bill gets written and gains support
- Learn the most effective way to change or abolish a bill or current legislation

Saturday, September 23, 2017
3:00 - 4:30 PM 

This event is co-sponsored by the Saratoga Public Library and the Leagues of Women Voters of Palo Alto, San Jose/Santa Clara, Los Altos/Mountain View, and Sunnyvale/Cupertino.

US Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Extreme Gerrymandering Case
By Sarah Courtney, League of Women Voters US, 6/19/2017
Wisconsin Case Will Have National Impact on Redistricting

WASHINGTON - The Court today agreed to take up the partisan gerrymandering case from Wisconsin,  Gill v. Whitford.  It will be heard next term, which begins in October and runs through June 2018. 

The Court also granted the State's request for a stay, which blocks the lower court's  ruling that new district maps must be drawn by November of this year for elections in 2018.

"This is a critical step forward in the battle against excessive partisan gerrymandering," said League of Women Voters president  Chris Carson. "The decision in the lower court provides a formula that could be used to judge whether a redistricting plan is an unconstitutional political gerrymander. Members of the Court have been looking for a formula or standard, and the decision in this case will likely set the path for redistricting in 2020 and beyond. The essential question is whether the Court will finally accept a new standard and block partisan gerrymandering, or continue the Court's stated disapproval of excessive partisan gerrymandering while never finding one to overrule," Carson continued. 

Continuing the League of Women Voters deep commitment to redistricting reform, the Leagues in North Carolina and Pennsylvania have brought similar cases to that in Wisconsin, both of which will likely be determined by the outcome in the case in front of the high court.

"Partisan gerrymandering has grown much more severe and contributes significantly to the polarization in Congress," Carson continued. "For democracy to work effectively, we must have political competition between opposing views.  Partisan gerrymandering stalls democracy because politicians can effectively give safe districts to themselves and their political parties."  "Partisan gerrymandering is simply wrong," Carson said, "because voters should choose their representatives -- elected officials should not choose their voters."

"We are counting on the Supreme Court for a historic decision that will safeguard our election system and our democracy. We need a decision like the 'one person - one vote' decision that stopped some types of gerrymandering in the 1960s. The Court has an opportunity to make our elections fair and open," Carson concluded.


Affordable Housing 
City of San Jose, July Meeting
Even though it's summer!...Roma, Swathi, Gloria, Martha, Marie and Judy attended the July meeting on updating provisions of San Jose Affordable Housing Impact Fee (AHIF), which League supported. On far left is Nicole Montojo from SV@Home who was also at the session. Swathi Is a League volunteer and recent graduate working with League on affordable housing before heading to college.
The meeting rolled out details
(L-R)  Nicole Montojo, SV@Home, LWV SJ/SC - Roma Dawson, Swathi Ramprasad, Gloria Chun Hoo, Martha Beattie, Marie Arnold, Judy Chamberlin
of the AHIF, such as the definition of properties where it applies and consideration of how developers could possibly trade one level of affordable housing for another level. League generally comments only on policy, but the networking at the meeting and later at lunch made the day worthwhile. Join us next time!


Layering Landscapes with Bay Area Greenprint
By Aleta George, Bay Area Monitor
There's a new tool in town.

The  Bay Area Greenprint is designed to help transportation agencies, water districts, and the conservation community in their work. It is an online mapping tool and data cruncher that measures natural and agricultural resources, and quantifies the importance of those resources in our lives. Planners and policymakers can use this information to better understand the costs and benefits of possible land use decisions.

A team of conservation, data, and mapping experts from  The Nature ConservancyGreenbelt AllianceAmerican Farmland Trust, the  Bay Area Open Space Council, and  GreenInfo Network designed and developed the Bay Area Greenprint. The team launched the tool in June 2017 after working on it for two years with science and method advisors from several other regional organizations.

The need for such a tool is evident for those who work in land conservation, said Tom Robinson, director of conservation, science, and innovation at the Bay Area Open Space Council and co-lead on this project. Prior to working with the Open Space Council, Robinson worked for years at the  Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District. He knows how difficult it is to get data into a communicable shape necessary to make decisions, obtain permits, and submit in grant proposals.

"There is a giant gap between getting data and pulling it into a form at the desktop level," said Robinson. "The amount of information that [planners and conservation managers] are supposed to be conversant in expands every year, and Greenprint is designed to help those folks get quick access to interpreted data for their world."


Plan Bay Area 2040 Adopted
By Greenbelt Alliance
Greenbelt Alliance is excited that the new plan affirms the groundbreaking vision of the original  Plan Bay Area , adopted in 2013 - guiding growth within our existing cities and towns to creating walkable communities for all close to jobs and transit and safeguarding our iconic natural and agricultural lands.

The plan (read report HERE) also includes a rousing "call to action" about the housing affordability and displacement crisis, noting that the lack of homes that people can afford near job centers is squeezing far too many Bay Area residents and increasing sprawl development pressure at the edges of the region.

Some highlights from the plan:
  • No sprawl for 25 years -100% of new growth within existing urban growth boundaries
  • Nearly 80% of new homes and more than half of all new jobs near transit
  • An "Action Plan" chapter with local and regional solutions for our housing affordability, economic development, and climate resilience challenges
Based on our positions, League of Women Voters California (LWVC) periodically reviews bills before the California State Legislature and makes recommendations.
  • 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 .

Sign up for Action Alerts - League of Women Voters California 
League of Women Voters California (LWVC) grassroots action network
Join the League of Women Voters California (LWVC) grassroots action network to advocate on the issues you care about in your community. As we head in to the final weeks of the legislative year, Action Alerts provide up-to-date information on bills and legislation: Voting Rights and Elections, Money in Politics, Immigration, Education, Housing, Transportation, Climate Change, Health and more...

SIGN UP HERE  to receive LWVC Action Alerts and be notified when your voice is needed.

Read More
League and Community Activities


LWVCS Civil Discourse Special Training, Sun, August 27, 2017, 2-4pm - Martha Cox, LWVC Director. will provide training in civil discourse in Cupertino, 2 to 4 pm.  Ms. Cox has delivered similar training in San Luis Obispo and at the LWVC 2015 Convention to rave reviews.  Participation is limited to LWVC members in all areas. If you are interested, contact

Gerrymandering: Political Geography and Minority Rule, Wed, August 30, 7:30- 9pm - Professor Jonathan Rodden, Stanford University.  Learn about controversial redistricting cases headed to the US Supreme Court that may shape our elections for generations. Sponsored by the National Voter Corps, the Midpeninsula ACLU, and the League of Women Voters of Palo Alto.
Los Altos High School Theatre, 201 Almond Avenue, Los Altos

Supervisor Joe Simitian, Listening to Trump's America, Sat, September 9, 2-4:00pm
Come to hear what Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian learned during the weeks he spent interviewing people across the Rust Belt. Learn what makes some of the rest of the country think differently from the Bay Area.
Mountain View Senior Center, 266 Escuela Avenue, Mountain View, Multipurpose Room A
Register Here:  Bridging the Divide with Joe Simitian
Sponsored by LWV of Cupertino-Sunnyvale & Los Altos-MountainView

League SJ/SC Voter Registration Training, tentatively, Mon, September 18, 11am-1pm, at or near San Jose City Hall
More information will be coming.

Van Jones, Political Contributor, CNN; Author, Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together
CNN political contributor Van Jones has said: "The entire national conversation today can be reduced to a simple statement - 'I'm right, and you're wrong.'" He claims the truth is messier than we think; both sides-the Left and the Right-are flawed. During this program, Jones will provide a powerful blueprint for transforming the country's anxiety and distrust into meaningful change, regardless of political ideology, religion or background. In order to create "bipartisanship from below," he says we need to build bridges, stand in one another's shoes and disagree constructively.
Commonwealth Club, Silicon Valley
Villa Ragusa, 35 S. 2nd St., Campbell
All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.

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:   Insights and Perspectives recorded broadcasts

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

Dr. Jon Grundy_ Rosaleen Zisch
Dr. Jon Grundy, Rosaleen Zisch
August Airings
Rosaleen Zisch interviews Dr. Jon Gundry, Santa Clara County Office of Education.
August 21st

Melissa Hippard SCC Parks
Melissa Hippard, Rosaleen Zisch
Rosaleen Zisch interviews Melissa Hippard, Santa Clara County Park
August 28th


July Recorded Broadcasts:
Rosaleen Zisch interviews Lupe Rodriguez, Director of Public Affairs-Planned Parenthood Mar Monte  VIDEO

Gloria Chun Hoo interviews Professor Katherine Kao Cushing, PhD: San Jose State University, Department of Environmental Studies, about water issues.    VIDEO

CREATV CHANNEL 30 Live Streaming from your computer 
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.

Sept 9 Board Meeting
Sept 17 LWV SJSC Coyote Valley Study Session
Sept 18 League Voter Registration Training in San Jose
Sept 21 Lunch with League
Sept 23 Federal Legislation and Understanding How You Can Impact It
Sept 26 National Voter Education Day: Volunteer with high schools and colleges
Oct 7 Board 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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