Making Democracy Work
  March  2017-Volume 69, Issue No.7

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

Spring brings growth and hope. Our league celebrates growth in our membership and in new opportunities to Make Democracy Work For All. I personally welcome all new members and invite you to participate in League of Women Voters San Jose/Santa Clara programs and share your interests, insights and talents with us.

March has a variety of options in voter services and community action and education. Among these are the Leadership Academy, March 11th in San Jose; a Forum with LWV Palo Alto on March 15th, "How to Navigate Information in a World of Fake News; and Lunch With League on March 16th with Sharon Erickson, City Auditor, City of San Jose.  Information on all of these can be found on our website, or in articles below.  And you can contact me if you wish to attend or need more information.

The County Council (the five Santa Clara County Leagues) is establishing two new countywide committees, one on housing and the other on transportation. If you are interested in participating on either contact me at ( Our board is considering the need to establish local committees if the interest warrants.

We continue monitoring the City of San Jose's movement toward establishing a Clean Energy program and the City of Santa Clara's movement toward impact fees to support low income and affordable housing.

Lastly, I want to thank all of you for contributions to our fall fund drive raising $3287. This will enable us to address all issues that come to us.

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

Susanne Sikora

Welcome to our newest Members:

Deborah Africa, Vicki Alexander, Barbara Freitas,
 Cheryl Fuelleman, Alexandria Grodzinsky,  Pamela Hammer,
Laurie Kirk, Dorothy Krier, Kiyomi Yamamoto
Lunch with League  - The Role of the City Auditor for the City of San Jose
Guest Speaker: Sharon Erickson, City Auditor
Those of us who attended February's Lunch with League had the pleasure of hearing Maha Elgenaide, CEO of the Islamic Network Group, speak on Muslims in America. She was most knowledgeable and engaging. We appreciate her increasing our understanding of the Islamic religion, the similarities of its principles to other world religions, including Christianity and Judaism, and the distribution of Islamic populations globally.
This month, Lunch with League presents Sharon Erickson, City Auditor for the City of San Jose. She will be explaining the role of the City Auditor's office in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of city services. Sharon originally joined the City Auditor's Office in 1989, serving in positions of increasing responsibility until 2001, when she accepted the position of City Auditor for the City of Palo Alto. Sharon returned to San Jose as City Auditor in March 2008. One of five City Council Appointed Officials, she is a graduate of Stanford University, a Certified Internal Auditor, and a Certified Government Financial Manager. She was the 2008 recipient of the David M. Walker Excellence in Government Performance and Accountability Award for sustained contributions to improve government performance and accountability at the local level. We look forward to having her share her experiences and the unique challenges in serving the City of San Jose.

Sharon Erickson
City Auditor for the City of San Jose
Role of the City Auditor's Office in Improving City Services
T hursday, March 16, 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 by Monday, March 13th
                   (No shows may be charged for their lunch.)

Strengthening & Building Leaders & Community Partnerships
League Leadership Academy: Saturday, March 11th, 9:30am - 4:00pm
League Leadership Academy: Strengthening & Building Leaders & Community Partnerships-
Next Level Communications
Saturday, March 11, 2017, 9:30am - 4:00pm at
This Workshop is especially for Leaders & Community Partners to learn to tell powerful stories and deliver persuasive messages to move your audiences to action. You will practice new techniques and approaches to presentations and outreach to:
  • Identify & understand your audience
  • Use imagery & videos

  • Learn the elements of appealing stories
  • Frame messages to motivate your community
                                                      WORKSHOP AGENDA
Morning Sessions
Afternoon Sessions

Networking & Continental Breakfast
Personality Compass: Understand Yourself; Understand Others
Understand yourself & others to be a better communicator
Crafting a Presentation that Inspires
Eliminate the dread from Powerpoint presentations - learn how you can make a more effective presentation and add the power to the point
Connecting with Audiences through Story
Why is story important to move your audience & trigger action - you need story to motivate change
Framing Your Message to Advocate & Educate
Learn techniques to develop a strong & persuasive message framed for YOUR audience to motivate your community & move them to action
Wrap-up & Networking

Our Co-Sponsors:
The LWV Leagues of: Cupertino/Sunnyvale, Los Altos/Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose/Santa Clara, South West Santa Clara Valley
Our Partners at Press Time:
Asian American Community Involvement (AACI), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Cupertino Chamber of Commerce, Cupertino Rotary, SEIU , Silicon Valley Leadership Group

Leagues Meet with Assembly Members and State Senators

In February, League members from San Jose/Santa Clara, Southwest, and Cupertino/Sunnyvale Leagues visited Senator Jim Beall and Assembly member Evan Low.

Councilmember Low
SJ/SC: Trudy La France, Judy Chamberlin, Barbara Freitas
Southwest: Eleanor Yick (lead), Meg Giberson, Wendy Hendry;  Cupertino/Sunnyvale:Tracey Edward
Assemblymember Low 
The meeting with Assemblymember Evan Low (AD 28) was encouraging. He is very active in supporting measures to increase voter access. As Chair of the California Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee, he introduced a package of bills recently to improve voter participation, eliminate barriers to voting, and fight back against those who seek to deny Californians their voting rights.  Assemblymember Low emphasized access to education. He is a former community college instructor and has a passion for higher education. He has been a member of the State Assembly Committee on Higher Education since his initial year in the office. In terms of increasing access, he shared how "time to completion" strongly impacts access.  He discussed the need for more certainty and less fluctuation in state revenue.

Assemblymember Low told League he is most concerned with the initiative process which he sees as an "abuse of the system." He is introducing a bill which will consolidate special elections into the regular election cycle unless the local governing body decided the matter was sufficiently urgent to merit a special election.

State Sen Beall
(L-R) Mary Collins, Danice Picraux (SW), Senator Beall, Trudy La France, Eleanor Yick (SouthWest Santa Clara Valley)(back row) Tom Picraux (SW); Tracey Edwards (Cupertino/Sunnyvale)
State Senator Beall
State Senator Jim Beall believes "funding of campaigns is very expensive and has become heavily influenced by independent expenditures and outside money."  As a strong supporter of campaign finance reform, Beall has been a supporter of the DISCLOSE Act. He supports overturning Citizens United at the federal level. Beall also focused on the high cost of holding special elections. He suggested studying whether they should be consolidated with regularly scheduled elections, such as primary or general elections. The budget for education is a top priority for Senator Beall. He said state universities and community colleges need to focus on graduation rates and increasing enrollment for in-state residents. Senator Beall supports the expansion of community colleges as well as more CSU campuses and said the state should look into developing a bond issue to update facilities at CSUs. And, Senator Beall said "Conservation is vital in our state. It is everyone's responsibility from a homeowner to a farmer to smartly conserve water." Beall is no stranger to helping get cities' assistance for conservation. He authored legislation to get the city of San Jose the approval to fast-track the expansion of drought-proof ground water storage.  Beall introduced Senate Bill 3 to generate more affordable housing throughout the state. The bill proposes to put a $3 billion housing bond before voters to assist the homeless as well as create more homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income earners.

As the chairman of the Senate Transportation and Housing committee, Beall has been working to fix the state's aging transportation infrastructure. Beall introduced SB 1 this session which will add more than $5 billion annually for road repairs and mass transit.  Another issue, he said, that the legislature must deal with is immigration.


CITY ALERTS AND UPDATES - Sign up for emails
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Want to know when San Jose will discuss consultant reports or host meetings for public input on issues such as housing or transportation? Go to San Jose's main website,   and click "Sign Up" in the upper right hand corner to sign up for timely notifications.

City of Santa Clara sends alerts with agendas and comment requests for council meetings and committee meetings and updates on all city departments, activities, and requests for proposals.
Sign up here:

Trust and Justice
Silicon Valley Reads - Panel Discussion
Sunday, March 12, 2 pm, Cupertino Community Hall
Procedural Justice is a national initiative that focuses on the way police and other legal authorities interact with the public. It is based on four principles: treating people with dignity and respect; giving citizens "voice" during encounters; being neutral in decision making; and conveying trustworthy motives.
In this panel discussion, three local police chiefs with a combined total of more than 75 years of law enforcement experience in Santa Clara County will discuss how local police departments are using procedural justice to build trust with the community to ensure individuals are being treated fairly and without bias.
Co-sponsored by Commonwealth Club Silicon Valley.

Dennis R. Burns, recently retired Chief of Police for the City of Palo Alto who joined the department in 1982
David Honda, 25-year veteran of San Jose Police Department who in 2016 became Police Chief for the City of Watsonville
Phan Ngo, 27-year veteran of San Jose Police Department and newly-installed Chief of the City of Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety
Barbara Marshman, Editorial Page Editor, San Jose Mercury News

New Single Payer Health Bill Introduced, SB 562
By Pat Snyder, LWV Diablo Valley
The campaign to achieve a single payer health care system returned to the California legislature on February 17 when Senators Ricardo Lara and Toni Atkins introduced SB 562, titled "Californians for a Healthy California." Currently, it is a spot bill stating "the intent of the Legislature to enact a comprehensive universal single payer health care coverage program and a health care cost control system for the benefit of all residents of the state," (from the text of the bill). It is expected that the full text will be released in about a month. The goal is to move the bill through the state Senate during this first year of the legislative session. It will be heard in the Senate Health and Appropriations Committees before going to the Senate floor.

The bill text further states that all residents of the state have a right to health care, and notes that under current law many Californians (almost 3 million) are left without coverage or with inadequate coverage.

The bill is modeled on one recently passed by the New York State Assembly. It is based on the same principles which underpinned the other earlier single payer bills in California. SB 562 will establish a comprehensive public insurance plan that covers everyone and guarantees quality basic care - sometimes called a Medicare for All plan. The plan will ensure that no one lacks access to care because of an inability to pay for it.

A fiscal study will be conducted to determine the impact of the bill.  However, numerous studies in many parts of the country, including the 2006 Lewin Report in California, have shown that such a single payer plan will save money over the status quo system based on private insurance. Thus, such a system is critically needed now as costs of care and coverage are rising and benefits are being reduced.

Advocates view this moment as presenting an excellent opportunity to achieve their goal, as our current system is under attack and a new way of ensuring access to care is needed.  Advocacy for the bill is led by the "Healthy California Campaign." The AllCare Alliance and the Campaign for a Healthy California (CHC) are collaborating in mounting an energetic effort to educate the public and move the bill in the Legislature. The League of Women Voters of California, a member of the AllCare Alliance, has  consistently supported prior single payer legislation. When the full text of the bill is available, an analysis will be submitted for possible endorsement by LWVC.

League Calls on U.S. House to Keep Key Elements of the A.C.A.
The League sent an action alert urging members of the grassroots lobby corps to contact their representatives regarding the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Please contact your representatives or call 866-426-2631 to be connected via phone. You can also  use this page to contact your Senators. Tell your member of Congress:
  • Don't repeal the Affordable Care Act without an effective plan that will assure we have affordable, quality health insurance.
  • Now is not the time to take away health care protections and coverage without an effective plan that will assure we have affordable, quality health insurance.
  • Stop rushing to make major changes that will harm millions of Americans while throwing the U.S. health care system into disarray.
How to Navigate Information in a World of Fake News and
Alternate Facts, Panel Discussion, March 15th
Please join LWV Palo Alto for a lively panel discussion on, "How to Navigate Information in a World of Fake News and Alternative Facts." Our panel of experts will include:
  • Stanford Economist Matthew Gentzkow, co-author, Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election
  • Sarah McGrew, researcher at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and one of the co-authors of the recent report "EVALUATING INFORMATION: THE CORNERSTONE OF CIVIC ONLINE REASONING," which found that college students have trouble judging the credibility of online information
  • Tech reporter Daisuke Wakabayashi of the New York Times, formerly with the Wall Street Journal
The moderator will be Dan Russell, search expert at Google.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
7 - 9 pm

Based on our positions, League of Women Voters California (LWVC) periodically reviews bills before the California State Legislature and makes recommendations.
Since it is early in the two-year legislative session, the LWVC has taken few positions on bills. Check back to see whether additional bills have been added to these reports by the LWVC Legislation Committee.
  • 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 .

2016-2018 Impact on Issues, now available online or on Amazon: 
The League's 2016-2018 guide to public policy positions is now available for download HERE . Those Leagues who wish to receive a printed copy may make a purchase  on Amazon or download for Kindle.
Voter Registration Opportunity - San Jose downtown neighborhood
Earth Day/Spring Festival, Saturday, April 8
Future Voter
Voter Registration Opportunity: The downtown South of University Neighborhood has asked us to provide voter registration information at their annual Earth Day/Spring Festival on  Saturday April 8 from  11:00-1:00.  The event at O'Donnell Garden Park, 6th and William St., is family focused so we're hoping to have a kid friendly activity as well as registration forms.  We could use a few helpers to practice "many hands make light work."  Please contact Ann Clarke (

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.

City of Santa Clara Community Engagement in Placemaking
A Partnership with Project for Public Spaces - March Discussions and Workshop
City of Santa Clara has embarked on an innovative community engagement process in partnership with Project for Public Spaces to enable the community to have a greater role in the design and development, both private and public for the overall benefit to the City.

March 14: Envisioning Santa Clara County 3.0
Dan Weden will present Change, Growth and Planning: Envisioning Santa Clara County 3.0
Santa Clara City Hall Council Chambers
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

March 24: Placemaking - Creating the City of the Future
Presentation by Fred Kent, Co-Founder of the Project of Public Spaces and internationally recognized placemaking expert.
Santa Clara University, Locatelli Center
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

March 25: 90 N. Winchester Visioning Workshop
Come participate in a hands-on visioning to help shape the future of the former  Bay Area Research and Extension Center (BAREC) property. 
Santa Clara Senior Center
9:00 am - 11:00 am

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.  
Damon Gustafson CREATV
Damon Gustafson, Rosaleen Zisch

Schedule of Airings in March (partial list)
Channel 30, Mon, 7:30pm, Sun, 4:30pm
Channel 27, Wed, 5:30pm 
Weeks of March 6 and March 20
Rosaleen Zisch interviews Damon Gustafson, Executive Director, Bay Area Glass Institute (BAGI).

Weeks of March 13 and March 27
Rosaleen Zisch interviews Cindy Chavez, Santa Clara County Supervisor.

Cindy Chavez CREATV
Cindy Chavez, Rosaleen Zisch
February Recorded Broadcasts:
Gloria Chun Hoo interviews Melissa Breach, Executive Director of LWVC, on the League of Women Voters California. VIDEO

Ann Clarke interviews Richard James, Chairperson, San Jose Arts Commission and Lisa Vollendorf, Dean, SJSU College of Humanities and Arts, on  the Hammer Theater.  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
American Muslims and Their Faith
Getting to Know American Muslims and Their Faith

Maha Elgenaidi, CEO of the Islamic Network Group, ING spoke on Muslims in America at Lunch with League, and engaged in a very informative discussion.
Maha Elgenaidi ING LwL
Maha Elgenaidi
El Civics Conference Marie Arnold and Liz BogatinStarr
Marie Arnold and Liz Bogatin-Starr shared Easy Voter and Voter registration materials with English language and civic teachers at the EL Civics Conference hosted by City of Santa Clara Adult Education.

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.

March 4 Board Meeting
March 11 LWVC/Council of SCC Leagues Leadership Academy - San Jose
March 12 Silicon Valley Reads, Trust and Justice
March 15 LWV Palo Alto: Panel Discussion on Fake News
March 16 Lunch with League
April 1 Board Meeting
April 20 Lunch with League
April 29 2017 Biennial Council, Bay Area Council - Sausalito
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.

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Rethinking the past present future
Rethinking the past, present, future of Women + Power. Directed by: Tiffany Shlain 
  Democracy is not a spectator sport!  Educate!  Advocate!